Archive for April, 2012

The Big Garden Spot is Finally Tilled

Hooray!  Could do cart wheels right now if I wasn’t worried about breaking anything since it’s been soooo long since I’ve done a cart wheel.  Why?  The big garden spot is finally tilled up.  What a time trying to get it tilled up. 

Finally found a place that rented tillers.  We rented a Troy Built front tine tiller for only $28 for 24 hours.  The first evening we did strips all the way one direction, then came back across doing strips the other direction.  The ground was so hard as it is a mixture of mostly Carolina clay, it was difficult to till up.

Unfortunately it rained all during the night and again first thing early in the morning.  Even though the ground was wet, we still decided to give tilling a try.  I didn’t even bother trying to wear shoes.  I just rolled up my pants legs and went to tilling. 

The ground was so wet it was squishy, but seeing as I figured it may be my only chance to till it up, I went ahead and tried.  Although wet, the ground was much easier to break up.  As I was walking behind the tiller with my feet sinking into the mud I kept thinking of one of those scenes of people barefoot squishing grapes in a vat.

Almost 3 more rows from finishing it started raining yet again.  We quickly finished and then stood in the rain trying to rinse the mud off the tiller with the water hose.  We were drenched clear through and had to take everything off before we could walk through the house.  It was nice to know it was done. 

The big garden spot now looks like dirt instead of a clump of overgrown grass.  Sorry for the lack of picture, will have to post one another day.  The main reason I’m so happy is that now maybe my hard raised plants I raised from seedlings will live.  They’re getting so big they seriously needed planting and I was worried they’d die before I got them planted.

Back to the Real World

Grass in a field.

Grass in a field. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got back home on Wednesday last week after a trip to dog sit for some friends while they were out of town.  Back to the real world.  Back to trying to sort out things.  My daughter did a real good job trying to look after things while I was away.  All of my seedling babies and the new plants in the raised bed were still living.  Only two very new herb seedlings didn’t manage to survive.

As much as I truly love spring and appreciate the warmer weather, it also has a down side.  Everything grows with such rapid speed it seems and the workload is just increased so much.  It doesn’t help when equipment failure wants to rear it’s ugly head either.  Have had difficulty getting the lawn equipment fixed or finding reasonably priced lawn equipment to at least temporarily replace it.

Yard full of things to do and not really able to do it.  The garden hasn’t been dug up yet.  I’d do it myself, but the tiller is broke, so I just hope I come up with a solution before all the hard work on my seedlings results in dead plants.  Maybe container gardening?  “BUT IT’S NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO!”, said in protest of Murphy’s law that if it can go wrong it will.  I can watch the grass as it mercilessly continues to get taller, but I can’t cut it.  Lastly, the well is acting like it wants to start up causing trouble.

Now, deep breath and release.  Done with the pity party and on to looking at the positives.  I took a walk outdoors bright and early this morning.  It felt absolutely wonderful outdoors and the birds were singing beautifully.  I watered my little raised bed, which is supposed to be strictly for herbs, but is sharing with a few vegetables.  The dwarf peas, mixed lettuces, and onions are growing wonderfully!  The fruit trees are wrapped up with the beginnings of very small fruits, which will hopefully reach maturity.  I was amazed at how big they are already.  Lastly, the Herb Fest in Wake Forest is coming up this weekend.  I am very excited and have been looking forward to it for quite a while.

P.S. – I wrote this blog entry this morning and had to leave before could post, but have fortunately been blessed with us finding a push mower this afternoon and now happily have most of the front yard cut!

Spring Gardening Update

Today started out a little cool, but it didn’t curb my gardening bug.  While in town, I stopped at a couple of stores to check out the plants.  I ended up settling on just one nice looking little peppermint plant.  It is destined for a pot rather than a direct spot in the herb bed.  I have learned better than that from my past experiences with how invasive mints can be in a garden.  It will be a welcome plant though as we love making peppermint tea.

More seedlings have sprung up from the fresh seed I planted, when some of the older seeds failed.  There are now a few watermelon and eggplant seedlings.  Never having attempted to grow oregano or sage from seeds, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but so far have at least one of each coming up.  Some of the plants from the first batch of seeds I planted are getting so big!  I hope the big garden spot gets tilled up soon so I can get them planted in the ground.

I have only planted snow peas once before and the deer ate them all before we could have any, so I am very excited the snow peas are doing so well and are in a safe fenced in area.  Normally we’ve always had a garden and had minimal problems with deer, but snow peas seemed like candy to them.  Here are some updated photos of the dwarf snow peas :

Close-up of Snow Peas

 As you can tell in the first photo, the chives are really growing.  The onions I planted are starting to push up little green shoots and the lettuces have just started to germinate.  I can’t wait for everything to start growing a little bigger…except for the weeds.