Friday, May 20, 2016

Last seeds started and planting has begun

I had the 17th off  so i got the mints, cukes, melons, sunflowers and other herbs started.

I had two days off in a row earlier last week so i got the fencing started:

Finished that today.

I planted the Okra, hot and sweet peppers and many of the tomatoes.

The larger Carmine Jewel cherry tree is doing well

It was in full bloom today with at least 5 types of bees plundering the blossoms.

It might be a bit on the early side to plant but it is rush time at my new job and i don't have another day off until the 25th. The weather forecasts claim night temperatures won't go below 45 F for the next 6 days. The black plastic heats the soil beneath a few extra degrees so i expect there to be something of a micro-climate going on.

I also got the 6 Pineberry plants installed in the empty spots in the strawberry bed that were left by the plants that didn't make it.  

I'll put down a list of which tomatoes, peppers and etc i actually put in today, in another post.

I'm in for a 9 hour day tomorrow - one hour is a break,  but for home improvement centers,  this is like the second to last weekend before Christmas up here.  Memorial Day weekend is considered the traditional 3 days of "getting the garden in" since we almost never have frosty weather after that.   Though i have noticed by taking notes and referring to my blog that it is pretty darn safe about 3 weeks before that, give or take a few days.

Friday, May 13, 2016

All the good stuff, growing, budding, digging...

Blueberries, still small after so many years

Beach plum budding

Blurry picture of Carmine Jewel buds  (small child who dresses herself in the background).

Carmine Jewel cherry again. It is growing and thriving!

A few days later, blooming nicely!

I planted some English peas in here about 10 days ago. They are coming along.

My dad came over and tilled 5 days ago...  he does this for me and a few other people. There is a family who bought a house that used to belong to long time family friends , less than a quarter mile from where i grew up. They are Brethren, i think- and work to live simply. My dad drove by one day last spring and noticed they were hand-turning their garden. He let them know he had a rototiller and he could come by and till for them anytime. However,  he warned them to not offer him any money and he tilled it the next day...  This year,  they called and ever so politely asked him to stop by  -tried to offer him payment and dad repeated his "warning". So,  my dad tilled their spot and he was offered a "sampling" of fresh baked bread and a dozen eggs. Gratefully received. :)

So,  this is what i did to it today....   I got 9 rows out of it.  In past years,  i could hill up 7 rows in one whole day if hubby could help me on at least 3. Before that, (the occasionally mentioned car crash thing that almost did me in but let me buy the property after the house burned- etc) it took me a few days to get that far.  It took me about 2 hours today. Of course i took breaks and drank lots of water but it is as fast as i have ever gotten this task done. Yay!

Then,  installing the soaker hose....

It wasn't that bad. The packaging instructions were basic but straight-forward. The pieces were easy to attach.  I had bought two, 100' kits but needed an additional kit. While the first two kits were warming in the sun to straighten out,  i went out and bought the third.  After fetching the kids from school,  i got the last 2 rows assembled and tested for dead lengths or spritzes.  All of the lengths beaded and dripped evenly without trouble.

For one inch of water,  we can run the hose 200 minutes according to the packaging.

Now for the covering.  I went with 6 mil plastic.  20x 100. I officially measured the width at 27 feet. I guessed the length is 36. It took two cuts of the plastic to cover the whole, contouring the raised beds.

Our 7 year old daughter enthusiastically delivered the bricks one by one.  We got it all pinned down before the ever-present wind wreaked havoc.

 We have a seam that we overlapped from right (subducting) to left.  So that bit is finished. The sun should heat any germinating seeds,  the plastic will snuff them.

Along the way---

The male Seaberry/Seabuckthorn is standing at stud. The female, "Titan" is ready to receive but the last time i took photos, i had to use photoshop to encircle the female "blooms" so they could be noticed.

Hardening-off seedlings

 blurry pic of Stanley Prune Plum buds

Strawberry bed. Looks messy but they are thriving.  I have used Roundup on a paintbrush to remove grass that has come up through the plastic

Friday, May 6, 2016

Trees Sprayed

Had some luck a few weeks ago and picked up 4 one gallon pump sprayers at work for under $3 each-  they normally go for at least $12 each at the absolute least.  Now i have a sprayer for pretty much anything i need to use without having to thoroughly clean each before use. So, i have one (different one besides the 4 clearance deal sprayers)  for the fung-o-nil, one for the bonide fruit spray, another for the BT, then one for the organic anti-tomato blight stuff,  leaving one spare for whatever else comes up.

Therefore,  i got the apple, beach plum, prune plum, grapes and cherries sprayed with the Bonide today.
It was great weather.  We had very chilly (though above freezing) cloudy, windy, ugly weather for the last few days. It got to about 70 degrees F by 1pm today. I got to work in the outdoor garden center for about an hour and a half during the chilly part of the early day.  I love that so much it hardly feels like work.  I was hired on in a permanent position so i don't get out there as much as i'd like-  seems the company tends to concentrate on keeping the seasonal people in those spots this time of year.  Even at this time of year,  though it is too cold for most,  i'm all happy just to be outside. When it gets to be in the high 80's-90's i will suffer more than those who chill easily. But i've also lost almost 60 pounds since last year.  I have 60-80 pounds to go but i'm going to feel more comfortable than i did when i had more...creases.....  lol

So, other than the fungonil stuff,  i got the first seasonal spray done. Much easier using the fine spray nozzle  with a one gallon tank than dragging around 75 feed of hose with a drenching hose-end sprayer. We'll see if the finer spray is applying enough of the effective ingredients. It has got to be better than not getting to the task at all.

Also,  i started hardening off the seedlings. Due to the unlevel-ness of my light stand i accidentally may have murdered some of my Meatball eggplant seedlings.Nothing is square in a house over 100 years old and i need to work on getting that light stand at its own level. All the water i was pouring into the flats was not reaching those at the back end.  I did get to water thoroughly today and they all got their dose of fish emulsion fert- which is honestly the first time i have managed to fertilise seedlings before planting. I never had a liquid fert on hand that wouldn't burn the seedlings. This is a 5-1-1 fert and it smells a bit like Thai fish sauce lol.

I still have herbs, cukes/melons, ground cherry and sunflower seeds that must be started soon.
My dad is coming to till tomorrow morning.  After that i plan to spend the following days carving out the rows, installing the soaker hoses,  laying the 20 foot wide 6mil plastic and erecting the PVC hoop houses.

I won't plant anything out until after next week, per : and

But i don't wait for the planting glut of Memorial Weekend. It is too late for most and too much all a once for the rest

Its crunch time...a little at a time.