Garden recovery

After my last post about the wayward hens, and finding two more eggs in the back garden hidey hole, with a cooler evening, I tackled the back garden mess. One of my garden tools is a handle 15″ or so long with a T shaped end. One side is a 3″ wide hoe blade and a 3 tine digging fork on the other end of the T. It took me several hours of sitting in on the soil or the rock wall to eradicate a ton of bermuda grass and comfrey at the lower edge of the garden and vetch, oxalis, clover, and other invasions at the upper edge. Where the rocks are still piled awaiting removal by placement in the patio or along the wall, vetch was left as it doesn’t pull through the rocks very well. The half barrels on the wall and the potted perennials are going to be scattered through out the weeded bed for now.

Yesterday, in the heat of the day, under full sun, I sprayed the vetch with salted vinegar, donned leather gloves to remove a truly thorny invader, but walked away from it to let the spray do it’s magic. It doesn’t do magic on vetch that is still thriving today. I love the vetch when it isn’t in my gardens, the bees all love it too, but it can’t reside where it currently is.

The mostly finished patio and the transition area between the finished part and the garden part where the vetch is thriving.

As the sun lowered in the sky, the heat rose for some unexplained reason as the night was to be very seasonably cool, but my trusty tool and gloves were taken over to finish weeding the north edge of the vegetable garden behind and in the tall asparagus tops, the fall potato bed that never came up, and some in the tomato and pepper bed. As I work the beds, I am increasingly unhappy that I made two very long 4 foot wide boxes too close together. With tomatoes on one edge and corn behind it in the second bed, it is difficult to get to the weeds and harvest tomatoes without stepping in the beds. That design may be revisited this fall at the end of the season, breaking the longer of the boxes up and replacing it slightly uphill with 3 boxes that are 4 feet square. To do that, the blackberry half barrels will have to be moved down below the blueberries where the raspberry half barrels are, and if I put thick weed mat down first and line them up along that edge of the garden and mulch heavily around them, maybe the blueberries will stay less weedy.

The efforts in the vegetable garden produced a large compost pile that now needs some dry material on it, perhaps the soiled wood chips from the coop.

While weeding back there, I disturbed a bumblebee. They have never bothered me before, just flitting around where I worked, but this one became quite agitated at my efforts to remove the deadnettle and clover and she stung me three times, once on my midsections and twice under one arm. Bumblebees don’t have a barb on their stinger and can sting multiple times. The more she stung me, the more aggressive she became. I swatted her down with my glove and removed from the area. Today the stings are angry red and itchy. That makes 8 stings from bees and hornets this summer, more than I have gotten in my prior 74 years. So far, the red swelling, a headache, and three days of itching have been the only reaction. I truly hope it doesn’t develop into a more serious reaction, though a talk with a volunteer rescue squad member told me they do carry epinephrine on their trucks.

Today we have rain, so I’m off the move the pots and barrels around and pick tomatoes. This afternoon while it rains, I will can another batch of pizza sauce and use some of it on tonight’s dinner.

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