Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Rob finished building the new raised tomato bed a couple of days ago, and we got it filled with dirt (a mixture of compost, top soil and peat moss) today. My six tomato plants are now planted and enjoying the sun :-)
We still have another raised bed nearby that Rob built, which will eventually have strawberries in it. Rob is still deciding if he wants to change its orientation before we fill it, though --we're a bit worried because we've built these on top of the septic field. I'm actually wondering if we should move this second one off the septic field entirely --with strawberries, it would actually be attractive (as opposed to the tomatoes, which just get wild and gnarly), so it could go somewhere else on the northwest corner of the house.
Emma and I went to get some bone meal to mix into the tomato bed this morning, and I found another baptisia, but this time a lighter blue one. I don't know where I'm going to plant that yet, but I'm excited about it. I also got two more lupines, but this time I'm going to plant them in the shady east bed. The ones I have in the birch bed are obviously getting too much sun.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Yesterday evening, Rob and Emma and I finished mulching the birch bed. We had to take the rocks that form the path out first, and these horrible, tiny, biting ants always form colonies under the rocks. So we also used some pesticide to kill the ant colonies. Then we used about 7 or 8 wheelbarrow-fulls of mulch. Emma was a lot of help --even using the pitchfork to fill the wheelbarrow and wheel it to the garden several times on her own. It looks great especially from the upstairs window in the guest room.
Today Rob spent time working on the raised beds he's making on the west side of the house for tomatoes and strawberries. It'll be really nice to have the tomatoes close to a water source.
The yellow iris have started blooming, and look very nice with the purple ones. The orange iris should be blooming soon as well. The garlic chives around the birdbath are also blooming. Most everything else is still just a lot of green.
It's supposed to get rather warm this weekend --I wish it wouldn't because it rushes everything.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Above are pictures of us and the yard, clearing brush.
Yesterday we (Rob, Emma and I) cleared brush for five hours. Rob had the chainsaw, and Emma and I dragged branches out of his way. After that we all piled the branches into the tractor wagon and got them to the burn pile. At one point the burn pile was over 10 feet high. We now have a big pile of ashes, and a couple of areas that are under control again. We had several other areas we wanted to attack but we underestimated how big a job it was :-)
Friday, May 7, 2010
Well, we were dry and very windy for a week (we actually had a fire alert --in the county we're allowed to burn brush, and they said no fires until the wind had died down because everything was so dry --just 10% relative humidity). Last night we had some storms come through and give us about 1/2 inch of rain; it also has brought much colder temperatures. It was only in the 40's today and very wet. Tomorrow won't be much better.
We got 10 yards of mulch delivered today, and I'm hoping tomorrow will be cool but drier so that I can start loading up the wheel barrow and trucking it around to the gardens. It's a LOT of mulch :-)
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Last night we had a storm that dumped a lot of rain, which we needed. Yesterday we also got the mower started and mowed for the first time. So, this morning the gardens looked really beautiful from the second floor windows with the grass neat and green and the mulch all dark brown and wet.
We have lost one of the birch trees, however, and it's going to have to come down. The top of the second one doesn't look great, so I'm wondering if that one will also go in a year or so. Those trees were from the Arbor Day Foundation, and they don't send out the more expensive, resistant varieties of trees. I was thinking that perhaps we could replace the one that's already dead with a River Birch. I had thought about putting in an ornamental crab apple or plum, but I like having birch trees there because they give filtered sunlight.