Started the new garden. Think I'm gonna like Maine.
After a year in Maine, trying out a new job and finding a house, I'm finally getting my hands into the soil.
I thought that all the snow we had would put starting the garden off until May but the snow melted quickly this week with only a few patches in some shady parts of the garden still covered in snow. It was a happy surprise to find not a lick of frost in the ground.
Since the snow began to fall the day I moved in back in December, I hadn't been able to put a fork in the ground to see what my soil is like. I'm happy to find that I've got a nice, friable sandy loam, very well drained. So well drained that a couple of days after the snow melted, I was able to go out with the little Mantis tiller and start ripping the sod. I had expected a mud pit when I first stuck the fork into the soil earlier this week but instead, found soil ready to work.
The little Mantis is not the work-horse my dearly departed Troy-bilt was but it got me off to a good start on the garden tonight by tilling the top few inches in one end of the garden to start killing off the sod. I use a raised bed system (like the French Intensive and Bio-Intensive methods) and double-dig my beds. I'm cheating by using the tiller to break up the sod but believe I'm keeping with the spirit of the system by shallow tilling only, followed by double-digging and keeping the soil layers intact. After this season of starting a large, new garden, I may never need the tiller again. My last garden back in the Adirondacks was worked entirely by hand.
Anyway, got lots to do to get the garden soil in shape, the fence up and build the chicken coop and run. A lot of work, but I think I'm going to like it here.