email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Various General Work

Some days are just catching up on small things. 

1.  I spent an hour pulling grass up from the new front yard island bed.  With 3" of Fall leaves topped with 3" of compost, the weeds don't have a solid grip.  But they were lots of small weeds and it took a while.  Better now than when they good good roots into the soil...

2.  The pole beans and cucumbers are up.  But there were a few spots where a seed didn't grow.  So I soaked a few replacement seeds in water for 4 hours and then planted them. 

3.  I can't BELIVE I forgot to plant a cherry tomato seedling with the regular ones.  So I planted it 3 days ago and shaded it from the direct sunlight for 2 days.  It wilted a bit the first day but is happily hydrated now. 

4.  I have a 2'x8' framed bed against the southern side of the house.  Hottest part of the yard.  I planted 2 blocks of bico9lor corn there today.  One matures 2 weeks before the other, so I'll have a staggerred harvest.  And I'll plant 2 more blocks in 2 weeks, for more staggerred harvest.

5.  The Meadow bed is full of several dozen large bright yellow flowers, some dozen multiple flowers in reds/pinks.white, some white daisies, and some small blue flowers.  The plants are listed on the packet; I will look them up so I know what they are called.

6.  The Hummer/Bee/Butterfly bed is too new to have flowers.  BUT, on a whim, I scatterred old veggie seeds in there too.  I am harvesting the best sweetest radishes ever!  And there are a few corn plants coming up.  It is going to be a weird bed this year.

7.  I've been growing bok choy to harvest young for stir fries.  Some are old even to flower.  I just discovered that the pre-flowering heads are like brocoli, only sweeter.  I coukld grow them just for THAT!  But I also like picking the young leaves for the stir-fries...

8.  Got one major project done I meant to do last year and waited too long.  And almost waited too long this year.  The Spring Bulb bed has daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths.  The Tulips and Hyacinths are in wire cages to protect them from the voles.  But there is unused space between the wire cages and I want to plant daffodils to fill the bed (except for the tulip and hyacinth cages).

So I had to mark the spots of the tulips and hyacinths.   It was a close call.  The tulip leaves were still just barely visible.   I thought because the tulips bloomed after the daffodils; the leaves would last longer.  Nope.  I had to to some careful searching to find the spots.  I did. 

Which led me to how to mark the spots.  Well, first, I found the cardboard cutouts I used to make the cages.  12'x14".  Then I had to find cardboard to cut to size to place on top of the cages (so I wouldn't auger in to them in the Fall while planting daffodils around them.

An aside...  I keep things the are of similar size because they seem useful that way.  A dozen liter juice bottles, a dozen plastic jars that hold mixed nuts, etc.  Well, I buy the same wine by the case and I had a dozen of them stacked up in the basement (thinking they would be good for storing stuff fitting together perfectly in tight spaces).

Well, guess what exact size they were with a wide side and flap?  The size of my tulip and hyacinth cages!  And I have a weird curved linoleum cutter my Dad made.  It sliced right down the corners of the boxes perfectly. 

And guess what I also had?  Fifty 10" tent stakes!  Perfect for holding the cardboard down.  I cut them to size, put the debris in the recycle bin, poked a hole through opposite corners with an awl, and carried them all outside.

It was hard to find the remnants of the tulip leaves, but I had pictures of the bed from 2 directions from the blooms last year.  Between the few leaves and the pictures, I set down the cardboard covers and stuck the tent stakes in the holes to keep them in place.

Then I weed-whacked the whole area.   Why?  So that I can cover the entire area with black plastic to kill all the weeds.  The bulbs won't care; they don't like rain while they are dormant.  When the weeds are dead, I'll uncover them in Summer so the bulbs won't overheat (they are shaded all day now).

9.  All this work has been awkward.  I like to keep my kitchen knives sharp.  Stele them once a week to straighten the edges (they curl with use), and sharpen them every few months.  You know that test about tossing a ripe tomato at a sharp knife and it cuts the tomato in half?  Mine do that.

It does that to fingertips too.  I'm careful.  I have brushes to keep my fingers away from the sharp edges while I clean them.  But OOPS!  I cut my fingertip badly a week ago.  I hadn't seen that much blood in 30 years.  It was 15 minutes before enough pressure even stopped the bleeding.  Fortunately, I coagulate fast.

Anyway, I finally managed to get enough coagulation to put a bandage on it.  I have some of that triple antibiotic ointment on it first, then a large bandaid, then some adhesive cloth bandage along my finger to hold the bandaid in place. 

It HAD to be the index finger of my right hand of course.  The MOST inconcenient finger for a right-handed person.  Makes even putting on my velcro-strap watch difficult, never mind tying shoes.

But I may be a bit lucky there.  I think I was a natural lefty, taught to be right-handed in the 1950s (a common practice in the US, then).  I still do some things with my left hand naturally and deliberately do some things left-handed for practice.

It has certainly helped. 

10.  Making progress on the compost bin.  Nothing to show, as I was just collecting boards and posts for cutting and assembly tomorrow.  I looked at the boards and posts I already had and adjusted my design slightly to account for those.  Might as well use up what I have rather than buy new boards!  I'm always flexible about designs.


1 comment:

Megan said...

Keeping busy Mark! The wildflower garden sounds delightful. And I do like the thought of planting vegetables and flowers together.

Megan
Sydney, Australia