A Good Time to Plant

I enjoyed getting away from the nursery last month to plant native plants in the Upper Bear Creek Natural Area with Water Tenders.  Twenty of us planted almost 150 trees and shrubs (Western White Pine, Douglas Fir, Nootka Rose, Snowberry, Sitka Spruce and Sword Fern).  It was hard work!  

 I spend most of my time in the nursery, working hard to coax plants to grow in rather artificial conditions. Their pots are too hot in the summer and too wet in the winter; their roots are separated from the biological interactions that occur in nature between fungi and the roots of companion plants; they have to depend on unreliable me to provide needed nutrients.  They don’t all survive Tadpole Haven Boot Camp.  So it’s gratifying to give them a proper home.

 Last Saturday seven or eight of us finished mulching in the natural area, which is just downstream of the nursery.  I brought some native Woodland Strawberries (Fragaria vesca) and three of us took time to plant them into the freshly spread mulch.  My knees were wet and my hands were cold by the time we finished, but I didn’t mind. I was thinking ahead; I’m hoping to find a nice patch of tasty berries along about June!

 It’s hard to think about summer when we are headed into the darkest time of year, but it helps to get outside and plant.  Imagine the rewarding feeling when you see evidence that the new plants are pulling nutrients from the soil and putting on new growth (especially rewarding when you can taste the evidence!).

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