Planting the Spring Garden

I can’t believe how late I’m planting everything. This spring has sped by with too much travel and not enough seeds started or early vegetables planted. I’m feeling pretty puny today and yet I’m absolutely driven outside to plant, weed, and start seeds.

spring garden1

See that mass of weeds around the cauliflower on the upper right? That is Florida betony. Over the winter, that betony took off like a rocket all over the garden, punching right through cardboard and 6″ of hay mulch in places. This is the only weed that tempts me to use herbicides. To clear the bed above, I had to rake out 4″ of betony infested hay mulch and the top two inches of decomposed hay/soil and pull as much of the tubers and runners as I could. Then I added a wheelbarrow full of new soil. I’ll dump the betony-infested hay mulch under the citrus trees in the back, where it’s too shady for the betony to grow.

mugwort

In better news, some of my over-wintered medicinal herbs are doing quite well. The mugwort is thriving and the ashwagandha is coming back from the roots like I had hoped. Its “nap” was pretty short, but should serve to intensify the medicinal strength of the herb.

orange and azalea

The citrus trees, azaleas, loropetalum, and camellias are all in bloom together. It’s stunning. The first weekend in April is slated for “citrus feeding weekend”. Last year the trees didn’t get anywhere near enough fertilizer so this year we’ll be giving them several inches of compost, rotted hay, trace minerals, and giving foliar feeding a try if I can afford the equipment.