This is me, taking a break from the garden…

After getting the Dorinny corn planted yesterday, we could take a break from manual labour in the garden for a day or two. Which makes this the first Sunday I’ve been able to take as a day of rest for a while.

Well. Sort of.

For some reason, I did not sleep last night. At all. At 4am, I found myself chatting with my SIL. She had been driven out of bed by pain, so she got up to watch the sun rise. Which is why I ended up outside by 5:30 am, doing my rounds and watering the garden beds, haskaps, the newly planted mulberry and the nearby cedar. We did get some rain during the night, which was wonderful, but it still wasn’t enough to skip the morning watering. Most of the rainfall missed us, it seems. We’re supposed to continue to get rain over the next while, and possibly even thundershowers, but we’ll see if any of it actually falls in our area.

I did, at least, get a nap in after I finished my rounds. Unfortunately, as I’d somehow thought yesterday was Friday instead of Saturday, I hadn’t phoned my mother as I’d intended. I woke to a message my brother had sent a couple hours earlier, telling me he’d called our mother and she was talking about going to the grocery store with her walker. By the time I called and got through to her, she had made her trip. It was just a little one, though, so I will be going over later in the week to help her make a larger trip.

We needed to make our own trip to do some shopping; it should have been done yesterday, but I just wasn’t up to the drive. I still wasn’t up to it, today, but my daughter was able to do the driving, so we headed out this afternoon to the smaller city, where they have a tiny little Walmart. Cat food was one of the things we needed to get more of. It seems people have been making a run on the big bags of kibble, because there was almost none in stock! At least, not of the affordable stuff. I grabbed 2 of the last three bags on the shelves. While there, I also took a look in the gardening section and discovered that all the hoses longer than 10′ were completely out of stock too.

One thing they didn’t have was the hardwood pellets we are switching to, in place of cat litter. All but two of our litter boxes have been switched to the pellets. The cats have gotten used to the pellets already, which is great. Using the pellets has meant no more dust, and no more smell! They also need to be cleaned out less frequently, since they don’t get scooped, but emptied completely after several days. We just have to figure out how to dispose of the pellets during a burn ban.

Getting more of the pellets meant going to Canadian Tire. I haven’t been to this location since before the restrictions, and had heard they didn’t accept medical exemptions, or even Mingle Masks. I’m happy to say that I had no issues at all. At least not with my medical exemption. Finding the pellets was something else entirely! I found the type I’d picked up before in the seasonal section, but in one of the groups I’m on, people talked about switching to the pellets and mentioned getting them at Canadian Tire – but the ones they were talking about were much cheaper. Even the bag I did get was cheaper than litter, but it wasn’t what people were talking about. My daughter tracked down an employee who said they were by the cash desks on the way out, so we went and looked. That’s where the automotive section was, so we were confused. We looked around some more, then finally found a different employee. She looked it up on her phone and found exactly what I’d seen people talking about. It turned out we had to go through the cash desk first, pay for them, then someone would bring them to us.

Once we knew that, we made a side trip to the garden centre, first. My daughter has a birthday next month, and I wanted to pick up an early birthday present for her. She’s been really wanting to have raspberries, and the ones my mother had transplanted in the old garden are not doing well. I’m still not sure why she chose to plant them under the apple and chokecherry trees, and in the middle of flowers. They’re not getting anywhere near enough light. We weren’t going to get more until next year, but she has been wanting them so much, I decided to surprise her. ๐Ÿ™‚

Once in the garden centre, we found their raspberries and I got my daughter to choose which variety she wanted. There was only two to pick from, and she chose a heritage variety that produces a small yield in June, then a larger yield in September. We got two plants for now. While there, I was very happy to find lady haskaps, and picked one up.

We will harden these off a bit before we transplant them. We’re not sure, yet, where the raspberries will go. Over the next while, we plant to pick up varieties that have different coloured berries, so these will be the first of many! The lady haskap will be planted between the two we have now, though off to one side of the bed, to maintain the spacing they need. The male haskap has opening blossoms, while the struglling female is finally starting to open its leaf buds. We definitely won’t be having any berries this year! With this new female plant, though, we will hopefully start having some next year.

After finding the plants we wanted, we went to pay for them, and asked about the hardwood pellets. We didn’t have someone bring them to us, because it turned out the stack was in the exit vestibule. No wonder we couldn’t find them! The 40 pound bags were only $7 each, so we got two. We’d taken my mother’s car for the trip, since it hasn’t been driven enough. Next time, we’ll be using the van, so we’ll have the space to get more and be well stocked.

While doing my rounds this evening, checking the garden beds, giving the newly planted corn an extra watering (my other daughter had watered while we were gone, but it’s pretty much impossible to over water in this area), and checking out how well my daughter’s tulips are growing, I found the plum trees are in full bloom, now!

The rain we got was enough for them to fully open. It’s remarkable, how much of a difference even a little bit of rain can make, when things are as dry as they have been!

Last night, the girls had popped outside after dark and called me over to see the sun room window. I had the aquarium lights set up vertically on the inner side of the shelf our seedlings are on, and it was causing confusion!

There were moths all over the window, trying to get at the lights, including this beauty!

They won’t have as much light to attract them tonight, though. In checking and watering the seedlings (and finding a whole bunch of new sprouts, including another Crespo squash!), I noticed the Montana Morado corn and Mongolian Giant sunflowers, in their long bin, were getting leggy, reaching for the light coming through the Western windows. I set the brighter of the aquarium lights up above the bin, which should help with that problem. At the rate these are growing, I might have a problem keeping the light high enough above them, that they won’t get too close to the fixture; this one actually puts off some heat, too. With what I’ve got to support the light fixture right now, it’s about as high as it can go, unless I can find something else to hold it in place. We will have to figure that out!

Even on my “day off”, I just can’t stop thinking about the gardening! I can hardly wait to continue setting up the rest of the beds we need and, now that the peas are starting to sprout, finish their trellises and build the squash arches.

I suppose I should let the girls have some of the fun, too… ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Re-Farmer

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