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Just Outside My Door 03/22/12

March 28, 2012
By ELAINE G. COLE - CORRESPONDENT ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

It's good to say hi again to you all on another lovely, warm March day. I have been saying that most every week. However, a week ago or so, I found my purple crocuses in full bloom just outside my door and the daffodils buds, in the same bed, were near to popping open. The two colors will make an even more beautiful picture. The forsythia that I brought in the house a few weeks ago never bloomed, but it's leaves came out. I'm hoping the buds on the bush didn't freeze. The pussy willows came out and are gone by now, but Bill brought me some of them from the mill lot that are out now. Thus we have more than signs of the new season in our yard than just sunshine and warm temperatures, although though the calendar states it will not arrive until the 20th. One other spring sign is the mud, but it's not in our yard.

During the last month or so, I have been getting some new ideas about gardening and outdoor decor. The most recent idea I've read was about "cardboard gardening." The best part is it is free. Apparently it makes a good foundation for a new garden bed or any garden that already exists. It will also help control weeds. I think it's a new kind of recycling, although it would take a little forethought and collecting of cardboard boxes from stores or elsewhere. It must be flattened out and placed in the bed.

The idea for using cardboard and newspapers for gardens is not something new. Organic gardeners have been using them for many years. I had never heard of it, but I became interested after reading an article written by Stacy Tornio in the May 2012 issue of Bird's Watcher's Digest. It gave a lot of instruction about how to use it. I also found a lot of information about the process on the Internet.

Tornio wrote about how cardboard can be used in container gardening also. Although it will only last for one season, it works great. One can decorate the box anyway that is desired. It can also be use to plant seeds in the house prior to the time of gardening outside. Once again the container is free and it would no doubt be easy to transfer the plants into the garden. I think probably the sides of the box could be taken off and maybe even the bottom or it would disintegrate in the soil.

One other interesting topic in the May issue of the same magazine gave pictures and information on all the new kinds of flowers and vegetables available this year. Many seem to be great, but no doubt they will be more expensive.

If you are a gardener, perhaps you will be interested in trying some of the above methods of gardening or the new plants. Whatever, I wish you a great gardening season this year.



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