This could well be the earliest spring on record - the temperatures are well above normal for this time of year, and the melting is about three weeks earlier as well. This might not bode well for things like flooding, or the migratory birds finding enough food for their nestlings.
The gardener is the ultimate optimist - and organic gardeners even more so. Because we're so reliant on the weather to plant crops, when the bugs and other pests are out of control in a different schedule than normal, everything gets out of whack. Here's a quick way to protect seedlings and newly seeded crops from birds and vermin;
Chickens are an ever fascinating addition to your garden; they are pest control, when limited to certain areas, manure producers and compost stirrers.
But what happens when their pen or house gets too stinky for you to go in? The smell of ammonia can build up in the winter, and by springtime, it's unbearable. How do you think the birds feel? It's so bad for their health, and of course, their egg laying.
Lettuce, spinach and kale - the smaller the better. These can be grown as microgreens, or left to get a little bigger.
After a winter of collecting your kitchen scraps, it's time to get composting. I add leaves, horse manure and other things to get a hot compost going. You can even add moldy or stale chopped grain or flour to get the micro herd working.
I hope you've enjoyed this issue of Out in the O-Garden Newsletter. Stay tuned for more as the seasons change. See you then!