No one had to tell me that spring had sprung. It seemed like it happened overnight. One bright sunny morning I woke to birds chirping, clear skies and a yard full of blooms. Lighting the way from my front door to halfway down the driveway were azaleas with sparkling colorful blooms. It made my house seemed gorgeous. Out the back door, I could also see cascading roses accentuating the outside of my greenhouse and along my garden posts.
It was perfect. It was as if I lived in a picturesque English countryside cottage instead of my 1970ish brick ranch styled home in badly need of an update. I felt all was right with the world and I lived in a beauteous garden. Life was blithe and full of hope. I took a deep breath of the spring air as I sipped on my morning coffee. Yes, it was spring and life indeed was perfect!
I turned and walked inside the house to my kitchen sink overflowing with last night's supper dishes and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was spring! I have a lot to do! Spring is a time for spring-cleaning, to clean the cobwebs and dust that has accumulated and to get my house and yard organized. Spring is also a time to simplify, to reduce what I have and make what I have be useful for me. Springtime also means that I have sundry list of garden chores as well.
At the start of every season, I make a goal list of what I want or need and then work backwards from there to make it become reality. For example, I want to have herbs such as mint to make fresh tea from and herbs such as basil, dill, thyme, sage, oregano and cilantro to flavor my home cooked meals. I want to have my own vegetables growing in my kitchen garden so that I can serve nutritious vitamin-packed side dishes with my homegrown grass-fed beef and pork. I also want to have fresh fruit drizzled with honey for dessert.
Now that I have the end in mind, I can make my spring chore list. I start out by identifying my goals. In my example, my three goals include herbs, vegetables, and fruits. After identifying my main goals, I then make a list of things I need to do to help facilitate that goal to become a reality. I would also like to mention that I am frugal and love to re-use and repurpose items to save on the bottom line. Here is my own spring chore list.
• Take stock of my current herbs that are growing and spruce them up a bit by adding some compost.
• Make a list of herb seeds and plants that I will need to buy or maybe a kind friend may have extra to share. I always try to be a kind friend who is willing to share as well!
• Find some old containers that I can paint and add drainage holes to serve as my herb containers.
• Take stock of my current vegetables that are growing and spruce them up a bit by adding some compost.
• Weed all of my garden beds and give it to the pigs.
• Make a list of vegetable seeds and plants that I will need to buy or maybe a kind friend may have extra to share. I always try to plant vegetables by seeds because it is less expensive. In addition, I save vegetable seeds from my garden produce to plant the next season.
• Keep seedlings moist by mulching, which also will help in retarding weeds.
• Add cages for tomatoes and cucumbers as well as any climbing vegetable or fruit. Do not feel the need to buy cages; repurposed materials are easily refashioned into climbing structures or to hold in plants that may tumble over.
• Take stock of my current fruits that are growing and spruce them up a bit by adding some compost.
• Plant trees, bushes, and vines as they are now being discounted at the nursery. Make sure to give them extra attention to get them off to a good start.
• Mark my calendar now to remind myself in the fall to take cuttings of any vine I want to propagate.
• Tie up my blackberry and muscadine vines, so they will grow on the wire where I can easily harvest them.
• Apply fertilizer around the drip line of my fruit trees and look for any pests that may want to munch on them.
The spring chore list helps keep me focused on what I have to accomplish. If I feel overwhelmed by a job, I take a break and do something that is good for my soul such as write my mom a handwritten note, or read a chapter from a good book. In addition, I break a big job into smaller pieces over a longer period of time. Some jobs will require several days or weeks to get done.
To keep me motivated to do spring chores, I will often post photos of last year's crops around my home office or cut out pictures of my dream garden. I also love to write down gardening quotes to read to keep my spirits high when I need a boost of energy.
Sometimes when I look at magazine or online photos of gardens that do not have a single stalk of weed growing it makes me feel like I am failing as a gardener. However, I am realistic about weeding. Weeds will grow. Some I will pull and some I will ignore. Once I felt overwhelmed in pulling weeds that I made a sign that read, "Feel Free to Pull Weed" and stuck it out in my garden. The sign made me feel better.
Have a great spring season! I hope you get your chores in the garden completed!
— Texas Pioneer Woman
To learn more about my adventures in farming, raising livestock, and being frugal and creative in my corner of the woods in Texas visit my blog thetexaspioneerwoman.blogspot.com.
To make a visit to my farm, please visit my website www.gomezfamilyfarm.com.
Photos belong to Jannette Gomez