Oh, I’m going to be in for a world of hurt, tomorrow.
It’s going to be worth every bit of it! 😀
But first, I have to show off the little Crespo squash baby!
I got this photo last night.
This is how it looked, less than 24 hours later.
Then I checked it this morning, the leaves hadn’t broken free of the soil yet. Every time I look at it, it’s noticeably bigger! It’s still the only one of the Crespo squash that has sprouted. Hopefully more will emerge, soon. 🙂
Today, the priority was to get the pea beds ready, and that took me pretty much all day! Thankfully, the girls were able to come out and help quite a bit, which made some jobs faster.
The first thing that needed to be done was to dig post holes and set up the uprights for the new pea trellises.
That… got interesting. The posts could not be buried at all the same depth, that’s for sure.
My apologies for the out of focus photo, but you can still see the bottom of this post hole. Yeah, that’s a rock. A rock big enough I couldn’t dig around it to pull it out!
Others were more like this one.
What I ended up having to do was to start with a spade to remove the sod on top. Then I used a trowel to pull out the bigger rocks or find and remove pieces of roots. Then I would use the post hold digger until I hit more rocks it couldn’t get through. If I needed to go deeper, I’d use the trowel again to get the rocks out, then use the post hole digger again.
I set the posts at each end first, between the flags marking the width, then strung a cord between them to make sure the other posts were in a straight line. Every 5 feet was marked with the post that would be going there.
Then the holes got dug, and the line put back across again, and I’d double check the distance for each pole before setting it.
With the girls helping, tying the cross pieces in place was much, much easier and faster!
I tried the cordless drill to see if I could drill pilot holes and place at least one screw at each pole of the first trellis we did. The batteries couldn’t hold enough charge to finish drilling a hole. I had a hard time just to reverse the drill back out again! So that jobs is going to have to wait.
We put all our hoses together, and it wasn’t enough to reach all the way, so we moved the rain barrel to a new spot. For the first bed, we had shredded paper that we soaked on the mesh top of the rain barrel, then placed along the row before topping it with straw. We were able to wet the straw down, before taking a break for lunch, and my older daughter went back to working on commissions.
Then my younger daughter and I continued preparing the beds. These are now ready for planting! The new trellises are not done yet, though. The first trellis will have a single row of peas in the middle, with the seeds planted alternately on either side of the bottom cross pieces.. The other two will have double rows, planted about 2 ft apart. After the peas are planted, the trellises will get A frame supports at each upright, with cross pieces at the bottom, and then they will be strung similar to the first one. Once the top cross pieces were in place, I got the measurement I needed. To finish this, I’m going to need 20 poles at about 5 1/2 ft long, plus another 12 poles at 5 ft long for the bottom cross pieces. My husband went ahead and ordered some more cord that I can use to string supports for the peas, sweetheart that he is. 🙂
We made quite the dent in the pile of soil! 🙂
Before we finished for the day, the girls started laying down straw for a pair of re-oriented beds, then hosing them down.
The three, small beds in the middle that ran East/West are being turned into two longer beds oriented North/South. For the peas, we could get away with laying down the soil in narrow rows where the peas will be planted, rather than the entire space. These beds are going to be intensely planted with onions, spinach, purple kohlrabi and purple kale, at the very least. There are two more smaller, former potato beds that are going to be lengthened to match these ones, and they will be intensely planted, too, similar to Square Foot gardening. So these beds are going to need a whole lot of soil added all over. Thankfully, these beds are much closer to the pile of soil!
By this time of the day, the winds had picked up significantly, so wetting the straw was needed as much to keep it from blowing away as for preparing it to have the soil added on top. I’m going to see if I’ve got anything else I can layer on there before adding the soil. I tried digging into the old compost pile yesterday, and the first thing I hit was the remains of some Styrofoam packaging, of the sort you might buy meat in. Plus a hard plastic lily, which was actually kind of pretty. I know my mother would never had thrown things like that into the compost pile, which means that someone else was using it for garbage, after she’d moved to her apartment. *sigh*
I might not be able to work on this area tomorrow, as I’ll be helping my mother with her grocery shopping in the afternoon, but I hope to at least get the peas planted in the morning. We’re supposed to get very warm tomorrow afternoon, so it would be good to get them in early.
I’m pretty excited about finally getting our first seeds into the ground! 🙂