Hello there. I went out to the garden today to check on the soil, hoping in vain we could till. Still too wet. The 10-day forecast promises clear days, so I hope it drys out enough.
We have a fraternity from Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA coming on Saturday, April 6th. It looks like I’ll get a chance to get tilled up just in time for them to help us with a “mass planting”. We hope to bring our onions and brassicas out to our unheated little greenhouse to harden off and give out to people, and get people tilled up this coming week.
In any event, I looked around the garden and decided the wet soil meant it was the perfect time to overhaul our garlic bed.
We planted 8 heirloom varieties from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange last fall, and they’ve just been doing their thing all winter. However, the straw we put down ended up being hay-like in the amount of weed seed it brought forth.
We mulched to avoid weeds but ended up bringing a lot in. Annoying. In any event, I combed all the straw back and pulled out grass, then re-mulched with a thicker layer of straw and pulled out all the weedy grass clumps.
It is important to note that I did this with company.
We were fortunate enough to be able to hire a garden assistant for 10 hours a week. Nicole Dyer will mostly be busy with tilling and helping gardeners with other tasks they may not be able to do alone, such as fencing and installing various irrigation measures. She will also help us with cooking and food preservation classes, and random tasks (For example she divided up some of our bulk seed and labeled in envelopes for gardeners).
Nicole is our Farmer’s Market manager here in Abingdon, VA, and was looking for another job to round out her knowledge and gain some more hours.
She looks forward to yet another facet of experience in her work on food-access issues, and truly loves plants and exploring the natural world, and enjoys eclectic and healthful seasonal cooking.