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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catching Up

I'm surprized it has been 6 days since I last posted.  Well, I've been busy and put my posting efforts into the cats' blog.

The time has been spent, mostly, in yardwork and finishing the compost bin.  The compost bin is nearly finished; I'm really only deciding whether to put a solid top or a wire top on it.  I made the mistake of looking that up on the internet.  Naturally, people come down on both sides.  Some want rain to fall in to keep the composting material wet, others say it gets too wet and better to moisten the material as needed.

Don't laugh, but I'm doing both.  The lid will have a chicken wire top for normal rain to fall in, but also an attached plastic top I can drape over for torrential rains.  It matters because composting microbes need air and too much water fills up all the spaces where air can enter.  If there are 2 good ways to do something, I will generally find a way to do both.

But most of the outside work has been in the yard itself.  I started several projects last Fall and some new ones this Spring and have a couple yet to start.  The veggie garden has been a priority.  As much as I like flowers, I would rather eat a tomato than stare at a flower.

The tomatoes are my favorites.  I have 9 heirloom plants and 3 hybrids.  All are in places where I haven't grown them before (to reduce diseases).  The 3 hybrids are backups in case it is a really bad year for diseases.  My 2nd favorite veggies to grow are Italian flat beans.  Last year they just didn't grow; this year I am harvesting already and can expect to continue that until the 1st frost.  Italian flat beans are not the grocery store beans; they have a deeper, nut-like taste.  My 3rd favorite veggie is bi-color corn.  Yellow corn is too starchy, white corn is too sweet; bicolor is just right for me.

And of course, I have cukes, radishes, carrots, melons, kohlabi, spinach, snow peas, leeks, scallions, chard, beets, etc.  I need to plant my Fall crops of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage soon. 

The other major yardwork project is cutting down brambles in the backyard and killing wild ivy, wild grapes, and some persistent invasive vine from a neighbor's yard.  And there seems to be poison ivy cropping up everywhere! 

The flowerbeds are doing well, with one exception.  My oldest bed, along a fence, has gotten overgrown with grassy weeds.  That might be a Fall project (pull, cover, and smother) over Winter.  The meadow flower bed is doing wonderfully this year; much better than I expected from the poor growth last year when first planted.  The Hummer/Butterfly/Bee bed is newly-planted this Spring, but is showing some flowers now.  The oldest bed (Spring bulbs of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths; Summer plants of daylilies is doing well enough, but I want to cover the Spring bulbs with sheet plastic to kill the weeds while the bulbs are dormant.  The daylilies are all along one edge and will of course stay uncovered.

My new Astilbe beds (1 in the front yard and 1 in the back) are struggling a bit.  I think I should have planted them deeper.  I put 3" of compost on the soil and planted them in that; it may not be what they needed to set grow out roots well.  The compost always seems dry.  The backyard Astilbes were getting too much sunlight and 1/3 have died.  I set a shade cloth over them last week and am watering both beds every other day.

So there is a lot to talk about.  I'll post on each part of the yard over the next week, with pictures.  But I wanted to get things listed first if only to make it easier for me to decide what to post about each day. 

And to add to the list of things I need to do, my sister is visiting in a week and I have a LOT of cleaning to do!  She hasn't been here for several years and THAT visit was focussed on moving Dad from here to an assisted-living facility near here.  So she hasn't actually "just visited" for almost 10 years.  It is a big event for me.

So...  More later.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Looking forward to seeing pics of the vegetable garden, Mark.

Sydney, Australia