After the year-end feasts & holidays, I need exercise. So how can I avoid that stinky gym?
The garden has died back for the winter, and there’s a little more elbow room in those beds & borders.
The soil is soft enough to make dandelion digging fun & effective.
The last few scattered leaves give the garden a kind of messy look.
What to do?
Mulching is for:
protecting tender roots & shoots from the cold
fertilizing the beds
giving the garden that ready-for-spring look
Fish compost is my choice of mulch. And yes, there’s usually a little fishy smell that lingers for a week or so… So now’s a good time, considering most of the neighborhood is staying indoors. 🙂
Plus, I’d rather not have that ocean odour in the spring garden when we’re wanting to smell the flowers.
It might be a bit early for spreading compost because seasonal rains may leach some nutrients away, but the garden is most open now. It’s faster to lay mulch without having to spread it carefully around spring growth.
As this garden features many winter bulbs, it’s nice to have the tidiest beds showing the early flowers to their best.
Before I know it, weeds will be popping up too. Covering their seeds NOW will slow them down & save me hours of weeding in spring.
Inspecting the beds gives me a chance to easily spot & remove the few weeds that are still around. I take a close look at what’s really happening in the garden:
The delicate looking flower of the Cyclamen Coum is making its appearance.
Preparing for the delivery of a BIG pile of black gold, I spread a big tarp on the driveway, keeping enough tarp aside for protecting it all from rain. (This mulch is otherwise pretty light!)
This year we had 5 yards of mulch delivered. It was an intimidating pile indeed. No question it was all needed in the gardens, but it would take some effort getting it there. 🙂
I paced myself, by moving about 1 yard each afternoon.
The many ice cream buckets & yogurt containers I’d tucked away particularly for this chore, came out of the depths of the shed. They make great covers for the few plants that don’t like mulch on their crowns.
The wheel barrel, grain shovel, & a couple of 5-gallon buckets are also my friends. They’re tools that require using different muscle groups so I got a little more work done before I petered out.
When it was completed, and all the tools cleaned & put away, I was happy knowing I had:
It’s a fabulous season for finding my inner guerilla. On my morning walk I noticed a bunch of healthy daphne / spurge-laurel beside a wooded trail.
I have a paradoxical relationship with daphne. I like it because its evergreen, drought tolerant, and deer resistant…
BUT the Coastal Invasive Species Committee call it invasive.
AND daphne has poisonous berries & wicked toxic sap that irritates eyes & skin.
BESIDES that – – there are less offensive options to replace daphne.
The rainy season & my mood convinced me that today I didn’t like it. So I decided to pull some daphne closest to the trail edge & my gloved hands.
I braced my feet,
bent my knees,
gripped the main stalk,
Lo & behold the daphne slipped out of the ground easily! Roots and all! Woo hoo!
I felt like pounding my chest & letting out a guerilla roar!
I moved to another… and another. 🙂
A young daphne has one primary root, so in winter’s wet soil it pulls out readily. If it’s a couple of years older, it has more developed roots securing it in the ground . Even so, it comes out without much trouble at all!
In about 10 minutes I pulled 86 daphne!
(Seriously!! I counted.)
There were more still standing beside the trail but I had places to go…
so I left those behind for another day.
This is certainly the best time of year to conquer daphne.
I reckon I’ll add a little daphne pulling to my morning walk.