Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More digging...and harvesting.

My weed block roll came in from Burpee's this morning.  So we got the ground in front of the fence tilled and the material laid down and pegged and marked for the posts that are intended to support the grape plants when they arrive...  no word from Burpee when the Edelweiss will arrive and the Stark order is due tomorrow. I expect to try and get the plants in as soon as i possibly can.

I don't know how i'm going to drive those posts in though. They are 6', so the tops are above my head when they are upright and i can't whack at them with the mini sledge. That and the ground is rocky, so about every six inches, tilled or not, i peg a rock.  I think i could use the hooked crowbar and sort of pilot drill a hole with that, then put the post in that hole.  We do have a post-hole-digger but i'm not so good at using it.  But i might have to try.

I need to pick the Pak Choi. It is too big and it wants to bolt now. It really should have been harvested  last weekend, but i have never grown it before and i was curious about how it does at a larger size. But now that it is actually threatening to bolt, i will harvest it and plant some more. I tasted it and its still quite nice. Not bitter and still tender.  So i think i will put some pak choi on the grill with a couple tilapia fillets for a nice light supper.

I also need to plant a tomato in the Topsy-Turvy planter my oldest daughter found for me at a yard sale last year.  I admit i am curious to try it.  I have known people to use 5 gallon buckets as suspended planters for tomatoes, but if you look online about the Topsy-Turvy there are many conflicting reviews.  I really want to see if many of the bad reviews were for real. The buckets were always said to work really well both upright and suspended...


Ok, i  got the "vineyard" all ready.  It needs a better title....  or does a handful of vines make a Vineyard?
Mini- vinny- yard.
Mini-Vineyard... i like that.
At any rate, it is ready to accept the plants as soon as they arrive.  There is even enough room on either end for the blueberries.

Roll out the red carpet...erm, the black carpet rather.

I had to pin it down with whatever was at hand cause of course the wind was blowing.

Oh, before i did that, i drew a line 3' away  from the fence so i had a guide and i used this:
(which, by the way,  my Grandfather gave me :o) )
to till the area so i could make sure the soil was mostly sandy loam as i remembered it was and not all hardpan and clay like i was a bit worried there was.

So anyway, i rolled out the "20-year" weed barrier, then marked out where the posts need to go.  I decided that i will attempt the minimum recommended 6' between posts. Its going to be at least a full year, maybe 2 before i will know if it was a good decision or not.

I used yellow fluorescent spray paint to mark where the posts had to go through the weed barrier...  if the wind blew things out of their straight line i wanted to at least not have to measure every 6' again.

I also made my own ground staples out of a pile of old wire coat hangers i bundled and saved years ago. Those things are good for so many things but i finally used up my coat hanger stash today.

Pounding the stakes in was no treat but they did go in and except for the first 3 posts (which kept hitting potato-sized rocks) they all went in without too much of a fuss.

I took the picture kind of low because i am so darn sick of that ugly house being in all of my pictures.

Glad the hard part of this project is over now.  Still not certain how i plan to tie up the vines when the time comes. I'm still leaning toward a low set cordon,  i'd like it to look purposeful in the winter (and be low enough to be sheltered somehow in the winter), not just a scribble of vines all over.  But the 6' posts don't look as tall when they are 1.5' in the ground.  I may have to save some more money and replace them with 8' or find a non-ugly way to raise another wire to take care of the higher vines.  I have probably 2 years to figure that out.  I don't plan to string the wires until fall since i will be using the posts as both wire supports and growing stakes.  I bought 7 posts because i wasn't certain if i was going to try to keep the Suffolk red or not, so acted as though i would in case i did.

I did go pick all the pak choi.  It filled one half of my two bay kitchen sink most of the way.  I should have weighed it but i forgot.  I ended up wrapping the tilapia fillets in the larger leaves with salt and pepper and steamed it in my bamboo steamer. They tasted quite a bit like fresh trout that way. A little milder in flavor, but nice.

There are actually some frost warnings out in the state tonight:

But not in my area,  though it does make me nervous.  All the white areas are the higher elevations and their valleys, so they get colder there. We are expecting an overnight low of  40 degrees,  which is chilly compared to what we have gotten used to.

I think that is all i wanted to take note of today.