23 February 2012

Is it over yet?

I'm really sick of winter.  I'll admit it. Up until this point, I was so defiant in insisting that I loved Montana and was having the best ever winter, but I'm done.  I'm ready for spring.

I hate our driveway.  After our big snowstorm last month, we had to park just inside our driveway and hike up to the cabin for about a week.  We could have plowed it, except our driveway has really deep ruts, and plowing would only scrape off the snow in the center, leaving behind the snow and slush on either side, and it really wouldn't help much. I should say that I expected this, I was warned that the driveway would be hard to use in the winter, but that was when I thought it was 60 yards long, and in summer, the thought of dragging groceries uphill on a sled sounds kind of fun.  Yesterday, when the snow was melting, I scooped up 3 wheelbarrow loads of sawdust and bark and laid it down on the driveway to give it some traction.  After last night's snow, it's completely covered up.

But the reason I'm really looking forward to spring is for my garden.  Here it is last August.

We got here at the beginning of July, and I know it was pretty ambitious to start a garden that late, but I did anyway.  Since I didn't work this summer, I had plenty of time to spend in it.  Here's what we planted:  baby pumpkins, giant pumpkins, squash, carrots, green onions, herbs, 7 different kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, 4 different kinds of peppers, mesclun, and spinach.   The funny thing about gardens is that they require a lot of sunlight.  Our yard is completely surrounded by trees, so any given spot in the garden might get only 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight every day.  What we ended up getting out of the garden: a couple salads, some carrots, green onions, and the herbs.  Everything else died in the October frost before it matured.  Yes, October. Three months growing time wasn't enough for most of the plants, even though I bought a lot of them as plants, not seeds.  My vision of selling pumpkins roadside out of my mother in law's pickup truck never came true.

This is what my garden looks like now:

Snow, snow snow.  I would call this snow rude names but there are several people who read this that have the word "Grandma" in front of their names and I'm not ready to reveal my true potty mouth to some of them yet.  It's hard to find inspiration in garden beds that will likely have snow cover on them for another 2 months.

I've got a few questions:

1.  Does anybody know if fireplace/woodstove ash is good for gardens?  If it's not, I'm screwed.
2.  Any suggestions for what to plant this year?
3.  Any luck with seed tapes?  (For those that don't know what I'm talking about, they are strips of paper towels or TP that have seeds glued to them with a water/flour mixture.  From what I can tell, it is easier to plant and have the spacing right.)


p.s. We're under an avalanche warning.  Seriously?


  1. We used to put ashes in our garden when we first started it. Should be good for it. Plant stuff that doesn't take more than 4 months to grow: potatoes, peas, beans, corn, carrots can take the snow.
    yo mama

  2. Maybe you should just come up here and plant it on your vacation.