It was a glorious day here in Zone6b today! Sunny and a high of 13C this afternoon. A perfect day to give the bogs their annual Spring Clean.
Before I go on, I just wanted to comment on the weather here… its been a long, snowy winter. Since my last post, we got a late season snow of around 20 cm’s! It has since melted, but it really sucks having snow this late in the season. I usually gage our spring by my Birthday… March 30th. On a good year, the daffodils are blooming on my birthday… on year like this one… we’re likely a couple of weeks behind. Our Crocus’ are in full bloom only now! We’re stuck in a cool weather pattern that’s supposed to stay in place until June! We’ll have to see. This winter we got a total of 277 cm of snow, and all the winter months came in a degree or two below normal.
Regardless of the winter, the spring warmup here is slow. Being sandwiched between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, our climate is very much moderated. The large lakes are cold in the spring. This keeps the surrounding areas cooler during the day and warmer at night, so generally we’re protected from crazy temperature swings. In the fall, the warm relatively warm lakes, keep the nights and days warmer. Lengthening our season by a few weeks.
A good friend of mine John Hummer, lives in central Virginia, in the United States. He’s in a significantly warmer climate zone. However, we tend to get our first frosts in the fall generally around the same time! Sometimes, he even gets a frost before me! In the spring… he’s ahead of me here by at least a month! Anyways… enough about the weather!
So I removed all the pine needles today. The photo below shows the pine needles piled up away from the bogs.
You can see the large paper yard bag by the needles. I put five of those on the bogs back in early December! So lets see what we have!
So after the initial pile of pine needles are removed its time to clean things up. I take a leaf rake and clean out as many of the remaining pine needles as possible… then its time to prune back the plants.
I used to be very careful when I first moved these outside. I’d take my scissors and carefully remove dead leaves and cut back phylodia… now… I used the weed whacker! (electric grass trimmer/edger!) It comes in handy later too! Anyway five minutes later… PRESTO! everything is cut back!
Next, I grab the electric leaf “sucker upper” and suck up the debris as well as any remaining leaves, needles and junk in the bogs! Here’s a shot of what it looks like after the cleaning!
Remember I said I use the Weed Whacker for something else… well I do. I mulch the pine needles to mulch the bogs with! I put the needles into a large garbage can, and use the Weed Whacker to chop them up! Its like a giant blender.
Those five bags of pine needles are magically reduced to a bag and half !
So, there you go… my spring cleaning is done!