This was taken this morning at about 7:30 am. The ice on the pond started breaking up yestersday.
And, just like that the ducks and geese show up. Here are some mallards that were cruising the bird feeders this morning. I also saw more mallards, some Canada geese and a hooded merganser in the pond.
I hope to get a lot done this weekend. According to the weather, it's supposed to be 56
degrees and partly cloudy tomorrow, with rain and 45 degrees on Sunday. What I'd like to do Saturday is start the spring garden cleanup in the vegetable garden, get my tomato and pepper seeds potted up, put up the deer fence, put together the compost bin (which I never did last year), chit the potatoes, and maybe even start building my rabbit fences.
Speaking of rabbit fences, I have a plan I think will work. Last year, the little rascals ate my spinach, chard, pea shoots and pole bean shoots. Since beans are one of my top three "why I garden" plants (the others being tomatoes and basil), this was particularly annoying. Two Great Horned Owls moved into the neighborhood this winter, which seems to have reduced the rabbit population considerably, but I don't just want to depend on the owls to keep the rabbits out of the garden. Fencing is definitly in order, but what's available in the marketplace is either ugly or uglier. There's chicken wire, rabbit fencing, terribly ugly garden borders, and that's about it. The garden is pretty formal, and the last thing I want is chicken wire with the beautiful Chilton stone beds.
So, last weekend I cruised Home Depot looking for fence ideas that I could build and that wouldn't be an eyesore. I found surveyor's stakes, which are just 2" wood stakes with a point on the end, available in either 18" or 36" lengths. For the actual fence, I'll use screening like you use in a window. It comes in aluminum, grey or black, and they make a "pet resistant" type which is supposed to keep cats from ripping holes in it. I figure I can staple the screening (probably black) to the surveyor's stakes. Because the screening is flexible, I will be able to pull up one or two stakes if I need better access to the bed, and I'll be able to roll up the fences for winter storage. I think this will look much better than any other choice out there, be fairly inexpensive, and I won't be impaled by chicken wire every time I lean over to pull out a weed.
I received a partial order yesterday from Gardener's Supply. The deer fence, kitchen compost crock (in blue), red tomato teepees, and hydro mats came in. I'm still waiting for six self-watering containers, which I will spray paint blue or red and use for tomatoes, and organic tomato fertilizer. I've never used the tomato teepees before, but I plan to plant about 2 weeks early (about May 5-10) and see if they work. The hydro mats are great. I used them in seven very large planters last year and only had to water every 1-2 weeks. I've also never fertilized my tomatoes other than using lots of compost and occaisonal fish emulsion dousings (which really stink and bother Bill, so I try to do them on a weekday morning when neither of us will be in the garden).
All my seeds have arrived except those from Veseys Seeds. Today I will order the seeds I need to replace the treated seeds I am not going to use.