With daughter’s family away this week to let grandson be with his father’s family for a few days before his service tomorrow, there have been no morning duties other than to the animals. The morning person, me, usually awakes as the sky is dawning, but there have been several nights this week where sleep came quickly for about an hour, then wide awake for 3 or 4, then sleep again for a couple. The pups haven’t been too demanding, and napping or just lying about until near 8 a.m. has been the norm this week. This morning, when the dogs were let out and the outdoor kitty fed, it was already warm enough for just a t shirt. As soon as all the critters had been fed and given outdoor time, the garden called. The boxes we bought two days ago needed to be assembled and put in place. The first one required undoing one end of an existing box to make it a double. The raspberries were thinned and heavily mulched with spoiled hay to try to reduce the weed load. They may be dug up and planted in half sunk pots to contain them, but the rest of the work needs to be done first.
The description of the plan seemed confusing, so last night the online garden planner was pulled back up, the plan deleted and a new one begun. As this is oriented, the chicken coop is just off the upper left corner.
This was taken just about where the garden gate is, off the row of 4 boxes in the diagram.
The top edge was done and one more box assembled, hay moved around, raspberries mulched and a break taken to go to town. Groceries needed to be purchased, a new garden fork was also in order. Mine had a fiberglass handle that split lengthwise two summers ago. It still works okay for cleaning out the coop, but lacks the strength to do garden work. It was taken in last year to see if the Feed and Seed guys could put a new handle on it, but sadly not. Wrapping it with fiberglass tape might give it some more life, but probably still not garden worthy. Last year, eldest son’s was used, but now that they are in a house, not an apartment, it moved to his house. At the Feed and Seed store, they had a garden cart too. Plans had been in the works for one of those. We have two over-sized single wheel wheelbarrows, but they always tip over when I use them, plus they are very heavy. Both of them are stored now in the barn until one can be taken to eldest son. We came home with a cart and a fork.
Each time a gardening session is in order, many trips must be made back and forth to the garage to get all the tools needed for the day’s jobs. Then many trips to return it all. This little two wheeled cart is light enough for me to easily use, big enough to load everything into in one trip each way, and will come in handy for hauling bales of straw or bags of mulch. To make room for it in the garage, first a major cleanup was done in there. Jim had gone off to enjoy the springlike day on the BBH (his motorcycle). Once the garage was done, the tractor was brought down to the garden. Nothing on this farm is flat so the tractor bucket was used to terrace for the new boxes. That part of the garden is deep in rich compost and pushing it off to flatten areas will give me great soil to fill the boxes. The remaining boxes we recently purchased were assembled in place, unprinted cardboard laid down between the boxes and covered with spoiled hay to make good aisles and two of the new boxes were filled.
That was all this body could handle in one day. There is rain expected tomorrow morning, then clearing off, but cooler, perhaps the other two boxes can be filled and more aisles laid and mulched. The plan still needs 4 more of the boxes, but they are for tomatoes and sweet potatoes, so I have at least 2 months before safe planting time for them. In the meantime, the newly acquired essential tool will be used to continue to remove weeds from below where the tractor moved the soil and the onion sets will be planted, seeds will be sown indoors in about 3 weeks for the tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos. The plan is in progress.