Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And So It Begins...

On Sunday we were told it would rain - 50% chance. Of course, that also meant 50% chance it wouldn't. It didn't. Which, for the outdoor chore department, was a good thing. I had planned to spend a rainy day inside doing dishes, laundry, cleaning (all of which really does need to be done), but I opted to do outside stuff until the rain came. Translation: I spent the day in the yard!

The piles of hardpan dirt (I refuse to call that stuff soil) were shovelled into the wheelbarrow and mixed with peat moss, pearlite and vermiculite, and then shovelled onto the top of one of the veg gardens - I'm trying to build up the soil in this spot ala "lasagna gardening" (no tilling, just piles and piles of stuff on top of the ground). I have some serious weeding to do there (I'm not convinced this is the best way to build a garden; it's great in theory, and probably works like a charm if you have good, and copious, sources of compost, topsoil and manure to layer, which I don't).

I then set about digging weeds from the regular veg beds. Six beds are now weeded and nicely raked into raised plots, ready for planting. It sort of looks like I have six new graves in my yard, albeit very long and narrow graves! Ten beds remain to be done.

I was sorely tempted to plant peas. I spoke with a neighbor in the morning as Toby and I passed by on our walk. He, too, was contemplating putting in his peas, if he could get his tiller going and his garden dug up. I heard the tiller running most of the morning, so I suspect he did just that. In the end, however, I passed on the peas. I know "they" say you can plant them as soon as the ground can be worked, but, sheesh, it IS still April! It may have been in the 80s Sunday and Monday, but snow is not out of the question yet. Maybe I'll rethink peas next weekend.

Meanwhile, the garlic have all come up beautifully and are standing tall at 6-8"! I'm very excited about this - I may have garlic to sell come fall! AND, I found some onions and leeks from last year's seeds still growing! Hm - maybe starting them from seed isn't too bad after all, although to have maybe a dozen survive out of 150 isn't really a good survival rate. I think I'll stick to ordering sets for now.

I did make a mistake on Sunday: I put the tomatoes out in the sun. I thought a little sun would be good for them. Unfortunately, I overdid it - their tender leaves were scalded. I thought I got them into shade quickly enough, but apparently I didn't. So now I'm nursing them along in the house, back under their grow lights. Their second leaves are growing, so I'm hoping most will survive, especially since I had planned to sell some this spring!

Patience - it's a hard lesson to learn, and even now I find that I want to rush along, even though I really do know better! Sometimes you can cut corners, but more often than not, you cannot. Ths can be a hard lesson to learn.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Garlic is Up

Yes, the garlic is up - even the ones I planted waaaay too deep! If all produce and produce well, I should have garlic to sell this fall! Woo-hoo!

We had another lovely day yesterday. I put the little tomato plants outside to get a little sun, and I'm afraid I overdid it a bit. Their little leaves were looking rather pale when I brought them in: sun scald. :( Hopefully they will recover soon. [I also got a little sun scald - my arms are pink above the glove line!]

Spent the whole day outside: hanging laundry, making trellises for the hops from old sunflower stalks, making trellises for the grapes from bamboo poles, making mulch for the new trees and shrubs (by chopping up the dead ornamental grasses and other gleanings from the flower gardens), turning the compost pile (and combining two bins...I may actually have enough for each garden bed to get at least a small dressing this spring), rolling up dripper hose lines and starting The Weeding in the veg beds before planting.

It was a full day. I even heard a bluebird - the first since that poor blighter was around last month.