The past three days have felt like one long Saturday. It is like that almost every year after Memorial Day for those of us who are teachers with yards and gardens. As soon as graduation ends, which it did about a week before Memorial Day for us, we are outside putting in as long of hours as the weather permits. This involves using muscles in ways that walking around a classroom or sitting at a desk does not do. Even though I no longer teach full-time, I still have some of that mentality in my muscle structure, and perhaps worse now as a part-time Pastor. I am just not up for long days of physical labor anymore. Working with hoes and rakes and bending over in weird positions to get seeds into the ground is not they type of contorting my over grown skeleton is able to assimilate easily. OK, so all of that out-of-the-way, here is a bit of what we have been up to for the past few days.
Start with the garden: I did a short update two posts ago, but here is what happened yesterday. It has a really strange configuration this year, but we are rotating crops to different areas as you need to do in a garden. I will say up front, this is not the optimal place to put plants, but it will have to do this year.
I planted the sugar peas along the north fence line. We had them on the east last year, but they only ever produce when they are on the north. This is the only plant in what I consider the best spot.
I wasn’t even going to touch the garden on Thursday because it rained on Wednesday night, but I ended up digging around in it after supper. I put the ornamental corn and some sunflowers just to the west of the potatoes. Next I left spaces for the tomatoes. A few years ago we did tomatoes in that area running south to north and they did very well.
It might be hard to see the cans and cages on this picture. The cans are starting to rust, and I had to throw a couple of them away, but it is better than having all new ones when it gets hot; they tend to burn up the plants. I don’t know the reason for the cans, we just started doing it for protection when the plants are young, and we have continued, and for us it works. It is also nice for watering. I just fill the can and that is what they get each time. This is nice for the tomatoes that don’t really like their leaves wet.
You see the fence to the left of the picture. We put that dead in the middle of the garden for the cucumbers. This is not ideal, but it will have to work this year. I like to grow them on the back fence and they have lots of room, but again, it was time to rotate.
This area is the front of the garden, the far west side of it. I have set out 40 cans for peppers. I am not sure yet how many will go it. There are also 40 spots for tomatoes. The peppers are surrounded by the onions. We had decided not to plant any this year as we really don’t use them, but Paulina reminded us that last year we used them between the peppers and the tomatoes to keep bugs away. This year only the peppers get them, so another experiment in progress.
The long rows along the north side beside the peas are two rows of zinnias and two rows of blue lake beans. Last year, I somehow picked up beans that prefer to climb. We had such a mess with them crawling all overt he ground that we never did get many beans. Hopefully this year we are able to replenish the jars of pickled beans that we have been taking to every pot luck we have in church.
So it rained another 3/4 of an inch last night, so there was no going back to the garden this morning. We still don’t have the tomatoes and peppers in the ground. We also did not have any beans to plant and the garden off to the side was ready, but we stopped short of planting the pumpkins and gourds because it looked like it would storm. This afternoon we took time to get the flowers off the graves at the cemetery and stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things so Paulina could make a pie crust for some apple pie (next post). While there James noticed they had seeds. Though not the brand we normally get, we bought some blue lake bush style and I put them in. As the ground was still a little wet, I decided to cover my shoes so I wouldn’t track mud all over. They made lots of fun of me with these plastic bags on.
In an effort to get to the end of the garden work, we put in a few timbers for our version of raised beds. They aren’t exactly raised, just sectioned off. The small one will be lettuce and spinach and the longer one which is not fully showing will be carrots and beets (if we get some seeds) and maybe about 4-6 red cabbage, not sure on them either. I also will put in some green zucchini in the open spot beside the small raised bed and yellow summer squash on the other side. For wanting to go 50 percent flowers, we have managed to plant a fairly large garden again. Maybe next year.
The rest of the day was spent working on flower plants and trying to plan how to tackle the clutter and major work that needs to happen in the house. After our work in the garden, James and I were sitting outside on the patio facing the fountain and such and decided we know why it is so easy to just do nothing in the house all summer. Summer is for outside and working in the yard and garden, or not. Sometimes it is just for sitting and looking, and I have a feeling the older we get, the more we will be doing that. Oh yeah, two days ago I woke to hear James order a load of gravel for the driveway. I guess we know how the first part of our improvement funds were spent this year. Check out the before and afters on this one.
I wonder if this is going to need reporting to the county assessor. The assistant is sometimes pretty tough with family members when the taxes need to be raised. Perhaps I should have reported the driveway instead of the staining of the east steps. At any rate I will be checking my next bill. HA HA!!