Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cocoa Puff Day

Apologies to anyone looking for information about actual Cocoa Puffs (TM).  

In my head, I call today Cocoa Puff Day.  It's first day in spring that I go out into the garden to stir in all the little bunny poops into the soil.

I have mixed feelings about rabbits in my garden.  On one hand, they ate clear through the bark of my brand new honeycrisp apple tree, so I hate them.  On the other hand, they give me free fertilizer every year and seem to wait by my garage so that anytime I come home, they're hopping down the alley looking super cute.  So I love them.  (Cute + free fertilizer) > (Sad, doomed tree)

Do you see the little Cocoa Puffs?  
I've vacillated over the years in my "cleaning up the garden before winter" philosophy.  Some years I clear everything out at the end of fall so that I have nice, clean beds for spring.  I usually feel very accomplished and organized those years.

Other years I'll feel lazy and just leave all the tomato plants and broccoli stems to rot.  The downside to this is that when pulling soft, cold broccoli plants from the garden, it's hard to get a good enough grip to pull them out as their skin slips right off.  And I've watched enough CSI to imagine that this is what it would be like trying to pull a dead body out of the ground.  Ew.

The past few years I've found a happy medium between the two methods: I clear out the beds that get the most sun so that they're ready for early planting in spring.  But I leave some plants remaining in the shadier beds so that the bunnies will snack on my leftover collard stems all winter and leave behind their little poops.  Win, win!

The next step?  Not-so-patiently waiting until it might be safe to plant!  It feels like spring today, but it just snowed two days ago, so I'm trying not to plant any seeds just yet.