Spring Garden 2015 It’s already Spring! What’s happening in your garden this Spring? Color is popping up in my garden and I am sooo ready for our cold long winter to be over.
Finally, Spring has Sprung in my garden. Many happy daffodils and crocuses are peeking up through the beds of oak leaves. It seems we are at least two weeks behind last year’s beginning of Spring, and almost a month behind 2012’s Spring season. Maybe that old groundhog was right!
We had a long hard cold winter this year. It was so cold for so long that my front pond and waterfall froze through almost completely. Three goldfish were living in the front pond, and I was really hoping to find all three still alive. Finally, when the pond thawed out, I did see that all three goldfish survived and the pump was still going strong. In the following few weeks, one goldfish didn’t make it and went to goldfish heaven. I’m looking forward to “fishing” out the other two as they’ve become a bit bigger in that pond. They will move to one of the bigger ponds in the backyard.
Last weekend, I removed all the pond mesh from my three ponds. The pond mesh keeps out most of the tree leaves and other tree debris that drops and blows around during the winter. The backyard ponds are very active already. I counted 21 goldfish in the bottom pond and 9 goldfish in the top pond. Looks like the majority of the fish in each pond survived the winter. That’s one hundred percent attributed to leaving the pond pumps on all winter. I believe running the pumps keeps the pond water a lot healthier! I did clean the filters when I removed the mesh. A messy job but someone has to do it. My plants that get the fish poop are pretty happy for extra fertilizer.
My backyard ponds are currently home to at least 11 frogs. There are probably more frogs that haven’t yet emerged or that have been “hiding” from me. At least one bullfrog was “giving me the business” when I was cleaning the filter in the bottom pond and had rested the flexible tube that attaches to the filter on his favorite perching place. The frogs usually aren’t so talkative this early in the year. At least one frog has been seen at the front pond. Haven’t seen any bullfrog tadpoles yet but I know they’re in the bottom pond. The bullfrog tadpoles will grow legs and turn into frogs in about a month or two.
The backyard whiskey barrel pond is set up and will run through mid-October. We had a lot of frogs laying eggs in the whiskey barrel pond last year, so hoping for the same this year. There are no fish in the whiskey barrel pond so the eggs won’t be eaten before they get a chance to hatch.
I don’t remember if I mentioned closing down a small pond in the backyard. Although it was a neat “surprise” as you came upon it sort of around a bend, it was not convenient enough to feed the fish daily and keep it maintained. Most likely, I will move that small pond liner to a new location this year where we can see it and it’s more accessible.
A pair of cardinal birds has built a nest in my photina bush. Not the best location as it’s accessible from the deck stairs by predators…however, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal aren’t the brightest when it comes to nest locations.
The evil microstegium has already sprouted. The microstegium, also known as Japanese stiltgrass, is an invasive annual grass which, of course, the deer won’t eat. Microstegium grows in dry shade. It’s mostly eradicated from our front lawn over years of weeding and treatment although it does pop up around the edges in the woods. It would help if the neighbors would get rid of their microstegium, but they don’t. If it’s green, it must be good, right? Not this stuff! The seed pods hold over 1000 seeds per pod. Microstegium seeds can remain dormant for up to 7 years.
I plan to try my hand at growing some lettuces and spring mix this year. I purchased several packages of lettuce seeds as well as my favorite herbs. For a few years, I’ve wanted to repurpose an area of our front property as a vegetable and herb garden — alas, I haven’t gotten around to it. There are two old native dogwoods gracing that area right now. I’ll probably have to wait until they pass on. Or I can place my herb and vegetable garden in another area. It’s too shady in the backyard so growing in pots is iffy. My deck gets about 4 hours of direct sun and then the rest is dappled shade — just not enough sun for sun-loving herbs and other plants.
What’s happening in YOUR garden this Spring? Leave a comment and let us know!