Friday, February 17, 2017

growing more food

I have spent this entire month so far working out in the yard clearing out the freeze and winter damage, cutting back the roses and doing some much needed maintenance on the big front flower bed, harvesting and cooking and freezing food from the garden, getting my spring planting started, preparing the ground for a new raised bed which arrived yesterday but which I can't fill with dirt yet because of all the rain we have had and are having. It's wet out there today.

Remember this?

It looks like this now.

Last year you might remember I bought 4 yards of vegetable garden improved soil for about $38 a yard from a big dirt, sand, and gravel company in Rosenberg that was so hot organically that everything I planted turned yellow and shriveled up. After it sat all spring and summer it did grow some beautiful broccoli and cauliflower and the tomatoes I put in earlier are growing well. So now, I need another two yards for the new bed and I'm hesitant to go back to the same company though they told me the mix is a little different this year and they haven't gotten any complaints. I called the local feed store for a recommendation and they hooked me up with a guy who sells caney soil which is supposed to be such primo dirt that adding organic material for fertilizer is unnecessary. He will sell me this soil for $20 a yard and he is much closer. Unfortunately, with the big rain storm Tuesday morning and a small shower yesterday morning and a small shower this morning, it's all wet and muddy and he just wouldn't feel right selling it to me this wet. He apologized about that but I told him I appreciated his integrity. Anyway, it may be mid-week next week before I can get the dirt for the new raised bed so I guess I'll go ahead and pull out the broccoli which I was letting get it's secondary growth and put the onions in the big raised bed.

About that new raised bed. Last I wrote about it I had decided against buying the vinyl 4' x 4' x 11” for $130 and was going to head into Rosenberg for western red cedar and build my own but then I decided to check Costco first and they had an almost identical one except it was 2 - 4' x 4' x 11” that could also be configured as a 4' x 12' x 11” for the same $130 (which is about what the cedar would have cost). Sold!!! It arrived yesterday and set-up was a breeze, no hardware needed.

Scalping the grass down to the dirt.

A layer of cardboard, a layer of weed cloth, a layer of compost inside the raised bed, hay will surround it.

Well, I was going to lay out more cardboard and weed cloth and some of the hay today and get the onions in but it's still raining, albeit lightly, at noon. So, no outdoor work today. I do need to box up the magnolia leaves pieces and send them to the gallery for their March show but I also need to empty the wheelbarrow of dirt so the wheel, which has gone bad, can be removed and replaced and I do have three leftover tomato plants and a nice basil and empty pots in which all that can go so I'll probably go out to the barn in a little while and do that. Keeping my hands in the dirt is keeping me sane while the inmates are in charge of the asylum in Washington though I'm starting to feel a little niggling in my brain that is telling me I need to start on new models and get making stuff again.

One of last years projects except for the spirea which will get planted elsewhere.


  1. You're making some wonderful improvements. Your garden is really looking good for spring.

  2. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the wet side yard of the trailer. I think a raised bed. It will be self watering.

  3. The mushroom compost we spread and tilled into our garden last summer has made a vast difference in our yields this winter. I hope it continues into summer. I think that you are like me and when certain cosmic and weather changes occur, there is no choice for us but to get in the dirt and prepare it for planting and then to plant.
    We have that gene.
    Sounds like you're really getting it together this year and I admire you so. To everything there is a season and this season, now, is for getting food crops in the ground.

  4. Sounds fun to get into, it will be 1 1/2 mo here. I relax when working in the garden, but it gets tough after.

  5. Things are really looking good over there. It looks like the weekend's going to be nice, too, before that next heavy rain. That's good -- a little sunshine, a little time to drain, and it's all good.

  6. I find that it's always good to get an early start in the garden as things will some be getting very busy.

    1. especially down here. mostly it's the heat of summer we have to beat.

  7. Well you've certainly been busy! We're just barely getting started on the year's garden maintenance. Dave was out pruning today, in fact!

  8. Wow, you have accomplished a lot! I always feel deserving of my evening in my recliner after I have done a good days worth of yard work. I pruned down all my tall grasses today and cleaned out my day lily beds in two gardens. I am beat. Like you, I am stressing about the current lack of leadership. It amazes me that his followers still are making excuses for him. Are they blind and deaf?


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