Spring And The Vernal Equinox
Today is the First official Day of Spring and the Vernal Equinox according to the almanac it happens at 6:45 pm EST when the sun crosses over the celestial equator. If you are a weather man spring started March 1st. For me spring started when I opened the door the other evening and heard the Tree Frogs Peeping. About that same time I noticed that the Trees were just starting get the red Buds. The red buds are a sure sign of days getting longer. And within a few days the Red Buds Burst and what was just a hint of red is now very noticeable. Soon there will be small leaves. There is the old timers saying I heard my Grandpa say every year. Got to get the potatoes into the ground by Saint Patrick’s Day. But the Old Indian Wisdom says Plant the potato when the buds on the trees are the size of a squirrel’s ear. Well that would be about now. The Indians cultivated a lot of crops and use the signs of the season to do it by.
Soon it will be time to tune the mower sharpen the blade and cut my grass. I let my grass grow long before winter. I feel the extra dormant long grass is healthier and provides protection for the ground. When there is long grass the snow can’t pack down against the soil and freeze the soil as much as my Neighbors. The only success I can see is that I have HUGE numbers of night crawlers in my yard. And just going to my Neighbors yard the population Drops drastically. I believe that the numbers of worms is a direct result of my soil being dark and smells wonderful. I have some of the richest soil in my neighborhood.
I never rake my lawn either. To be honest I go around and collect bags of leaves to spread on my garden. I get a lot of funny looks and shaking of heads doing it. I watch my neighbors spend hours every year collecting the mass biological harvest that the trees pulled from the Lawn they spend money and time fertilizing. Blowing it out to the curb so the city can come and use a vacuum to suck it into the back of a truck. They take it and dump it at the Boat ramp so that when the river floods the leaves get washed down river. Or take it over to Krodel Park and Pile them into Large Piles and Burn them because they will not take the time to let them compost over the winter. What a waist! If the city would take the collected leaves and just let them compost over the winter they could sell the composted leaf litter back to the citizens of the community. Using the money to offset some other expense. Or even give it away if people wanted to come get it.
I learned this from and old man that lived a few blocks from my apartment when I was living in Columbus Ohio. I would see him out every fall picking up Bags of leaves putting them into his little Red wagon. Even raking leaves from the piles along the side of the road into burlap sacks. He was at least 80 years old he and his wife worked there little triangle lot garden every year it was the most amazingly productive garden I have ever seen. On my way back from work one day I noticed him setting on his wagon taking a rest so I offered him a ride. We loaded his wagon into my car with all the bags of leave and chatted on the way back to his home. I asked him why he collected all the leaves every year.
He smiled and looked at me like he had told this story a million times what will once more matter. He said when I came home from the army we brought our little home but there was no soil left. When they bulldozed the aria to build the homes they pushed all the top soil off. So he started to build top soil with rotten leaves he called it. Take your leaves and pile them up and just let them set all winter. Early in the spring you dig your garden and shovel your rotten leaves into the soil as you go. Dig your garden as early as you can. Letting it set fallow until spring planting the rotten leaves make healthy soil and healthy plants. After helping him that day and watching there garden produce so much food much more than they could eat I knew he was right. So every year I gather leaves and pile them on the garden. And every spring I mow the leaves into my lawn and garden.
Spring has Sprung it is officially hear. So now if you haven’t started your seeds you have no excuse. It won’t be long before you see garden plants for sale in the Mega Marts. Soon the Local Public Pool will open and the kids will be clamoring to go swimming. Soon the lighting bugs will be out and that is summer it just around the corner.
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Photo From Flickr Commons Thank you: Robin