A Slow and Steady Spring Breakout


Vernal Equinox 2019, Microstead Report. Read other microstead reports here.

Aside from the snowstorm in December and the polar vortex plummeting temperatures for a few days, this winter was mostly mild. My greenhouses weren’t able to sustain plant life over the off-season, but I’d like to try planting earlier in the Autumn next time around.

I was however able to grow some collards beginning in February, and I started most of this Spring’s vegetable garden from seeds in February too. Aside from the collards, everything else has been very slow to take-off. I definitely think I started planting rather early this season, (which is fine because it’s making everything grow hardy), but in the future, I may want to either start seeds inside or wait longer. Inside, I was able to do some Lions Mane mushrooms, and would like to continue exploring growing them as well.

Before planting in the back, I also conducted some home soil tests. You can view my results and see how to do it here.

Bee Hotel Experiment Update

Early in the spring, I put out several bee hotels at nearby parks. During more recent walkabouts, I discovered that at least two of these have nesting suites which are filled already. I’m really excited to see the hotels in use, and looking forward to continuing my observations to better the design and placement of them in future years.

Read more: Experimenting with Bee Hotel Placement

Other Recent Accomplishments

I’ve begun work on creating a more diverse flower garden in the front yard space. I hope to eventually eliminate the pine needles being dropped there by the landscapers contracted by the HOA. When possible and available, I’ve been planting native species, however there are a few introduced flowers as well. Literally as I was planting the front, the garden was visited by some early Eastern carpenter bees who I have also spotted in the backyard. They seem to appreciate the selection offered out front.

Beyond gardening, a small neighborhood permaculture group is also taking shape here. We’ve had two meet-ups so far and made plans to explore sharing skills, tools, and labor in the coming growing season. I’m hoping to continue engaging with this group and seeing what form our support for one another takes this spring and summer.

Goals for Summer Solstice 2019:

  • I still need to establish a rainwater collection system

  • Finish landscaping in front yard

  • Collect more observations on bees using the hotels I placed (determine bee species, source of nesting materials, flight patterns and distance, etc)

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Pat Mosley (LMBT #16882) is a licensed massage therapist and life coach in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His work is especially focused on creating permaculture in his community, which sometimes looks like providing bodywork, and other times looks like writing or designing gardens for people and bees.

Get connected with him via email to info@pat-mosley.com