|Note the difference in soil color between my no-till beds and the adjacent conventional/till gardens.|
I was curious if my untilled (now no-till) soil would break on the shovel or clump up into big clay chunks (as it did when I first got the garden plot in 2010). And now, with squash and tomato plants going in the ground, it's too late to till, even if I change my mind. I was excited to see that once broken loose from the ground, the soil just fell apart on the shovel with the tiniest amount of pressure from my boot or hand. It looks great. Nice and dark brown, full of earthworms, centipedes, and all kinds of other critters. Unfortunately, also including several gigantic hornworm pupae, ready to emerge as moths. While I acknowledge that the sphinx moth, the larval form of which is the hornworm, is an important pollinator........no thanks. I have plenty of other bees, moths, and butterflies.
|First harvest of 2011!|
There's a lot of work yet to do to get to that point, and a lot of things that can go wrong with so many young, sensitive plants in the garden. Like my friend Jonas' garden, that was destroyed by hail on the day he planted it. Yikes.
It's been a good week outdoors, from walks with my wife and Hank, to some time fishing the Patapsco River, wetland site visits for work, and some sunny, sweaty hours in the garden. The weather is starting to bear down on us, and promises somewhere between 4 and 10 days of straight rain. My brother the Tugboatdude is coming to town in that timespan and hoping for some outdoor fun (and to watch our beloved Yankees terrorize the hapless Orioles), so we're hoping for a few dry afternoons and/or mornings.
It's May in Maryland - there's a lot of stuff going on outdoors and I look forward to sharing it with you all!