The last couple of years I have not been happy with the way the garden produced so over the winter I had the soil analyzed. I was afraid that I had been adding too much old horse manure, throwing the soil out of balance. Surprisingly to me, I was told that the garden needed lime to sweeten the soil which flies in the face of every desert gardening book that states that desert soils are alkaline. This goes to show that soil tests definitely are worth the money and that books can be wrong.
When I first started the garden, I laid out 4 foot wide beds that really are a bit wide to manage comfortably and were larger than the wildlife protection cages. What good does that do? So this year, rather than adding tractor buckets of horse manure, I decided to re-dig all the beds and relay them out to 3 foot by 10 feet in length. This gives me more room to walk around the beds too. Dan is not one to garden, but helped with the digging and the re-layout was totally his job. We just finished today in comfortably cloudy conditions.
We will be visiting our friends Pat and Maureen in Florida for a week, so the beds can rest, and earth worms resettle, before appropriate amendments added when we return. It is a work in process.
The fruit trees are blooming! The pears are full of blooms, the early peach is almost being carried off by pollinators and the apricot should have lots of fruit, barring a late freeze. It is still winter, but also spring.