Out of order, but it’s getting done

It had been my intention to work on clearing out that last low raised bed in the main garden area, at the very least, but once I got outside I changed my mind. There was less standing water in the yard, and the grass was getting out of control, so I decided to try mowing.

We have a large yard.

I was also using the collection bag to save those wonderful grass clippings to use as mulch. It doesn’t hold much, so there was a lot of stopping and starting to empty the bag.

After several hours, pretty much the entire inner yard was done. There was just one place that still had so much water that, even with the mower set higher than usual, it was just too deep. I even opened up the gate in the fence near the fire pit and mowed into the outer yard. I like keeping a lane in the grass to the back gate mowed, as an extension of the driveway. There’s too much water do to it in the usual areas, but I was able to clear a lane from the fire pit area, to where the lane would be. If we absolutely had to use the back gate, we would be able to drive through the inner yard to access it. We certainly wouldn’t be able to get through, the usual way!

Another of the goals will be to trim away some small trees taking over a corner, then mowing the areas where we will be planting the Korean Pine.

But not today!

Did I mention we have a large yard? 😀

The rest of the main garden area should get a once over with the mower, before going over it again with the weed trimmer, as close to the ground as possible, but I was just too exhausted to work on that today.

The ornamental apple trees are starting to bloom. So are the sour cherry trees, and all the lilacs are developing buds. Finally! That shows me that things have finally really warmed up, hopefully enough. I don’t know that we ever got frost last night, but the sweet potato slips are fine. I’m leaving the covers on them for one more night, though. Tonight is supposed to be the last cooler night, though I’ve noticed the forecasted overnight low has changed to quite a bit warmer than before.

Tomorrow, we start transplanting everything. The sun room is turning into quite the jungle!

We’ve had a very high germination rate this year – a huge improvement from last year! Even the Yakteen gourds, which I restarted, have a few seedlings. Some things had seeds germinate weeks apart, but they still made it. We even have a second tulip tree sprouting! We’d pretty much lost all expectation of any more tulip trees, or any paw paws, germinating, so that was quite a nice surprise.

Another nice surprise is that all the turnips have started sprouting already! My goodness, that was fast.

Today, the girls finished transplanting the silver buffalo berry, and prepped to plant the sea buckthorn tomorrow. After that, it’s just the Korean Pine for this year’s food forest additions.

My priority tomorrow will be to get the newest low raised bed next to the compost pile topped up and ready for planting. The Kulli corn will be going in there, and I want to get that done as quickly as possible. They really need to be transplanted soon. If we start them indoors again, I won’t do the toilet tube pots. It worked well enough, and it certainly saved space, but the seedlings quickly needed more room to thrive. Even if they were in just the red Solo cups, they would have fared well longer. Once the corn is transplanted, we’ll have to make sure to put a net around it right away, so they don’t get eaten!

The girls will start transplanting tomatoes along the chain link fence in the south yard. We have more tomatoes than will fit there, though, so others will be planted in the low raised bed that I finished prepping yesterday. There are so many, we might have to the last one that still needs to be weeded, too.

It’s going to be a flurry of transplanting over the next few days. The sun room is going to look so empty when we are done! 😀 We will also be direct sowing the pole beans at the squash tunnel, along with the 2 canteen gourds that are trying to claim their way out of their pots right now. Then there are the two types of corn to direct sow, and I honestly don’t know where we’ll be planting those. We’re really behind in preparing beds, but once those trees came in, they became the priority. Mowing and using the weed trimmer is also going to higher on the priority list, since the winter squash is going to be planted throughout the old garden area, not in prepared beds. Basically, we’re going to dig holes, add some garden soil and the transplants, and mulch around them. The grass is so tall right now, though, we couldn’t possibly get that done until it’s cleared.

Little by little, it’ll get done!

The Re-Farmer

Evening round up

Well, when it came to the mad dash to get the lawn mowing started, it was mosquitoes 0 : rain 1 😀 The bug spray actually worked this time. 😀 Thankfully, I didn’t have to charge the battery on the riding mower, and could get started on that right away. I got rained on a bit, but it wasn’t until I was using the push mower to get the edges that the rain started falling heavily enough I had to put the equipment away.

I’m also happy to say that the lawn mower bag we found in the basement and moved to the barn is for this push mower, rather than one of the many broken ones lying about. It’s a rear bag, and normally I would have closed the cover of the side opening, but that wasn’t an option. Someone built a sort of shield of wood that holds the flat up, while also preventing clippings from spraying towards whomever is pushing it, and the shield is bolted to the body of the mower. I don’t mind it being open, since most of the clippings goes into the bag anyhow. I kept the folding wagon close by to empty the bag into, and was able to fill it before I had to stop due to rain. This will make it so much easier to have grass clippings for mulching and composting! 🙂

Later in the evening, before I headed outside to do my rounds, I paused to check the indoor plants. Particularly the aloe that has started to bloom.

It had a surprise for me!

Not only has one of the flower spikes reached the ceiling, it’s pressing against it, and looks like it has more growing to do!

Outside, there were more blossoms emerging. The crab apples are starting to bloom.

This is from one of the trees in the West yard.

You can really tell that these ones get more light than the ones planted North of the spruce grove.

Earlier in the month, I had spotted some fungal growth on one of the apple trees by the spruce grove. Now that the leaves are in, I can see that the entire section of that tree is dead. There are still two sections of it growing, and seem to be healthy, so far, so we’ll see how it fares after I remove the dead section. (update: after taking a closer look, the living sections aren’t going that well, after all. 😦 )

Of course, I visited the kittens, and got thorough and viciously attacked by little critters!

Big Rig looks even bigger when she’s next to Saffron, who is the teeniest of the bunch.

Now that they’re bigger, and occasionally stay still long enough for me to check, it looks like we’ve got three females and two males. Big Rig, Turmeric and Saffron seem to all be female; it’s a bit surprising, since orange tabbies are usually male. Leyendecker and Nicco both appear to be male. With Leyendecker being black, it’s even harder to tell with him! 😀

If all goes well, tomorrow, I’ll be able to get either the rest of the mowing done, or the rest of the planting done. Maybe even both, weather willing.

I completely forgot about the pumpkin seeds my mother gave me. It’s quite late for direct sowing pumpkins, but I’ll give them a try. Checking the seed trays, some of the gourds are most definitely emerging! After the trays were knocked over, they’re all mixed up, but none of the gourds had sprouted at all yet, so the new ones can’t really be anything else.

I used more of the soil mix for the sunflowers than I expected, so I think I will pick up more, the next time I’m in town. We still need to get those chimney blocks outside, to use as planters for the cucamelon transplants. The plan had been to take them through the new part basement, and up the stronger stairs, but with the kittens down there now, and always under foot, we’ll have to find a way to get them up the more rickety old basement stairs.

Once again, I am thinking of how great it would be to convert the old chimney for the wood burning furnace into a dumbwaiter! 😀

Once the blocks are in place, I plan to fill the bottoms with grass clippings and straw, then top it with a soil mix. With more squash to transplant, I don’t have enough of the soil mix left for it all.

It’s all coming together rather nicely, I think. I look forward to seeing how everything does.

I spoke to my mother today, and was telling her about what we’ve planted and where. Of course, she had to start telling me what I should be planting, none of which is what I am planting. She is currently fixated on onions. I should be planting onions. Also, I should be using the chives (which are coming up nicely) in salads. Also, I need a tiller. Because digging holes for the sunflower seeds is… and she stopped herself before saying it, though I could still here the word “stupid” hanging in the air. 😀 I had told her about my wanting to go with no-till methods, and the use of straw, and she told me that she’d never seen anyone do that before. Straw is only for strawberries, not for anything else. It’s rather funny, how she is so convinced that the way she did things is the ONLY way to do things! Nobody else ever did anything different. 😀 As for the old garden area, I reminded her of the conversation we’d had about planting trees there, and how we were intending to plant fruit and nut trees. She started telling me I should get hazelnuts from the bush, for free. The problem with that is, I have no memory of where those hazelnuts are. I was little more than a toddler when I went with her to gather nuts. They may not even be there anymore. So many trees and bushes have died, over the years. So she reminded me of one place we know for sure there is a hazelnut bush. The cemetery my father and brother are buried in!

I’m not sure what she expects me to do about that. 😀 But hey; at least we are in agreement on the planting of food trees!

All in all, I think it’s been a decently productive day! 🙂

The Re-Farmer