We took full advantage of the sunshine that Michigan has given us a bit earlier than usual and did some spring cleaning in the garden last week. it felt so good to have the sun on our faces and be out in the dirt working up a little bit of a sweat. Typically we do not get to do this until mid to late April and by then it’s rush rush rush to get everything done before we put the seeds and plants in the ground.
We had a blast working together as a family. Otto old enough now to be out there and play and want to help. Well… almost. He pulled out his little folding chair and sat by Joe and said “I think I’ll have a nice holiday” and watched us work. He basically helped just drive the tractor. It took us about 2 hours to clean out the beds and get everything ready for the next steps.
Last fall I let everything die and dry out in the bed. I find that it makes for an easier clean up in spring than when everything is still green in the fall. We loosened everything up with a rake (the dirt was still frozen a few inches down). we pulled all the old vegetables and flowers out of the ground and hauled it to a big brush pile in the back of our property. We also removed the top layer of soil to get rid of some seeds that might be popping back up.
Last year I let the seeds who came back stick around because it was fun to see what came back. This year I am going to either try and transplant the survivors or pull them because once they grew to be quite large they took over a lot of the other plants and made my beds look a little messy.
The things that decided to take on a life of their own were poppies, cosmos and tomatoes. They were fun to watch but things are going to be a little bit more orderly this year. As we continue to work outside as temperatures allow I made a quick checklist for getting everything ready for the garden season.