Wednesday, May 21, 2014

About Face

Once the snow melted and spring kicked into full gear, I decided that this year I would do a couple of things differently. First off, I did not want to make a big deal about the lawn. Usually I seed and fertilize the lawn in the spring and fall, and it's easy enough, though grass seeds, for whatever reason, are not cheap. I've been doing this for several years, and I think it's paid off because our lawn, at least the front, looks pretty decent, but I figured I would take this year off, which will probably come back to haunt me, but it's just a lawn, right? As the saying goes in New England, if it's green and you can mow it, then go with it.

The second issue I have is with our blueberry bushes. We were given two bushes as welcome presents by the previous owner, and it seemed like a cool gesture. I love the idea of having our own bushes, but as usual, I didn't really know how to transplant them and care for them properly. The first couple of years I didn't even water them, figuring they were plants in the wild. Well, as you can imagine, they were not happy, and at some point stopped producing berries. We obtained several more plants and I did it right this time, but the plants just never really seemed to take off. I wondered if the location wasn't that good; bad soil and not enough sun.

There are ways to help the plants live a happier existence, which mainly revolve around making the soil acidic. You are supposed to add peat moss when you transplant, and then add acidic fertilizer and acid pellets. Then cover with pine mulch, which is acidic, as well. With the exception of the first two plants, I diligently did all these steps for a few years, and the plants seemed to plod along in a mediocre fashion, even declining a bit. I was a bit fed up, and this year said I was done coddling those things.

Then spring hit, and with the grass and weeds and all, the plants looked like they needed a little TLC. Plus, they looked like they were showing signs of life, with some new growth and maybe even a few berries. Feeling empowered, I did an about face and went through the usual maintenance steps, adding acid and fertilizer, and then mulch. I used cedar mulch because we had it and I didn't want to deal with getting pine mulch, but I don't think it will be a big deal.

Now the plants look a little happier, and I feel better for having made some effort. I'm thinking I'll seed the grass, as well, even though I don't necessarily want it to grow faster. I've got enough on my plate as it is, I don't need more mowing time.

Oh well, it's sort of like parenting. You can't expect a certain end result (tell my mom that), you just do it because you care.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Robert Owen for the pic.

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