Home > Spring is for yard work...and gardening!

Spring is for yard work...and gardening!

April 25th, 2010 at 01:18 pm

My apple tree in bloom.

It's a rainy, dreary day and I'm feeling rather relieved about that. It gives my body a chance to recover from all the yard work I've been doing, plus I know this is the day I'd better write my freelance assignment since i start training with the Census Bureau on Tuesday. Plus, with the rain, I get a break from my twice daily watering schedule for the grass seed I sowed. It's finally coming up in one section, not in the other, which gets less sun.

Yesterday I accomplished a lot. In the morning, I transplanted a corkscrew willow that had languished for several years in a spot that got plenty of moisture but not enough sun, apparently, and moved it, well, just about 25 feet further inward toward the center of the front yard. Basically, I'm running out of space to plant things, and I know this corkscrew willow can reach 30 feet in height, so I have to be careful not to put it in a spot where it shades out other things I've planted, including my vegetable garden and 5 different viburnums.

Anyway, I dug the new hole, poured some well-aged horse manure it it, then moved and re-erected the deer fencing around it and watered it.

Bleeding heart

Onto the veggie garden. I finished shaking out all the clods of grass, hauling them in a wheelbarrow to the brushy perimeter of the yard and heaving them in a spot where no one will see them.

Then I brought out from the garage 4 more 7-foot-high metal posts and the last of the fencing I'd bought last spring, to expand my veggie garden by about 50%. Becus other shrubs I planted are sort of in the way, I was forced to expand in one direction, and it now makes my garden an L-shaped affair, not a typical square or rectangle.

I put the fence up without too much trouble. (I had laid it out flat for weeks in my garage so the thing wouldn't instantly spring back to a rolled position if I let it go. Having a helper would have made that unnecessary, but I managed.)

I dug up 1 row in the new section of the garden and planted cut up organic red potatoes I had stored in the basement. Hadn't planned on using them as seed potato but they were rapidly sprouting, so I thought what the heck. However, I wanted more potatoes, so I got in the car and headed for Wal-Mart where I remembered seeing small bags of russet seed potatoes the previous week. (I am still learning, and impressed by, the competitive Wal-Mart prices on all sorts of things.)

Brought my russets back home and after reading the package directions, realized i should wait a day or two before planting to allow the potato sections i cut up (1 or 2 eyes per section) to callus over. Not sure what that does, and I'd forgotten to do that with the red potatoes I'd already planted, but oh well, guess we'll see.

I shoveled up a wheelbarrow full of mulch (left over from a pine tree i had taken down, mulched and left in a huge pile of my yard, near the driveway) and shoveled it out parallel to the potatoes I'd planted. The mulched section will be walkway; I wanted to mark it clearly so i don't accidentally step on where I planted. I'll have another walkway in this section with a 2nd row of potatoes against the fence on the other side and a row of tomato plants (4 to 5) going down the middle. So there'll be two walkways in between. I hope to plant the rest of the potatoes on Monday, weather permitting, and the string beans, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, etc. will go in 1st weekend in May. They are either seeds or little seedlings i have started.

I will buy the tomato plants, and maybe the bell peppers, and put them in last.

Crabapple in bloom.

Twisted old crabapple.

Lungwort in bloom

My basil seedlings were looking so poorly i bought 2 basil plants yesterday for $2 each and potted them up already. I also potted up 2 elephant ear tubers (another Wal-Mart find, $3 each) in large pots and will be excited to see what they look like. Right now, they look very much like small coconuts!

Wild turkeys have been wandering through my property, sometimes 1, sometimes 2. I can often hear them gobbling in the woods.

8 Responses to “Spring is for yard work...and gardening!”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    I love the pictures! Its raining here as well and is giving me a break from yard work too! I have grass I am trying to grow and relieved I don't need to water for once.

    I am glad you posted the crabapple picture. I have always heard they were gorgeous but didn't know what they looked like. They are beautiful!!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Those pictures are beautiful. Makes me miss my crab apple from the other house.

    You have inspired me to look into planting potatoes for our garden this year. I like to try at least one new thing each year.

  3. Homebody Says:

    Your post brings me to tears. My back has been bothering me so much I just told DH last night I did not know if I could handle a garden this year. I want to be doing what you were doing. I will be able to do some, but not want I really want.

    My BFF who lives in Salem, Oregon spent yesterday tilling and planting her little acre of paradise. At least I can live vicariously through posts like bleeding heart has not even poked it's head up yet..... nope just got up and checked again. Only 2 phlox in 4 pots is coming up. Sigh.....

  4. fern Says:

    Homebody, I'm so sorry, but try to do just a little at a time (advice i should follow myself). Maybe you can just downsize the garden a bit. No one should have to go through the summer without homegrown tomatoes, IMO!

    Hey, I'm 50 now, I think i'm entitled to take an Alleve every once in a while if I'm feeling achy. (I never do, but I hear it helps.)

    The only reason I'm able to do so much is becus I'm unemployed, and that, of course, presents its own set of problems.

    Yeah, i've noticed it's my back that's killing me much of the time because of all the bending over. I think I have a strong back, but even then, it's very tiring.

    Once it gets to be early summer, I'll be in the "maintenance" phase of yardwork. Meaning, a lot less hard labor, due partly to the heat and humidity and due also to the mosquitoes that make it unpleasant to be out too early in the morning, or in the shade. so this is my busy, busy time.

    Maybe put some dwarf tomatoes, or cherry tomato plants in containers. Basil does well in pots, too.

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    What soft, beautiful surroundings! Smile

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Beautiful pictures! The Bleeding Hearts are right side up, but why is the picture upside down?

  7. patientsaver Says:

    BA, you have a good eye! I just found it easier to take picture bending over and upside down, so then when i downloaded it to my computer, i needed to turn the picture right side up.

  8. patientsaver Says:

    Creditcardfree, I found potatoes really easy to grow, as long as you prepare the beds well, meaning, dig down and loosen up the soil 8 to 12 inches down. DONT add any manure. Cut up the seed potatoes (you can also buy organic potatoes at the supermarket and use them) with 2 or 3 eyes on each chunk. Let the chunks sit a day or two until the cut side scabs over a bit. Plant them 3 to 4 inches deep a few weeks before last expected frost date. When they start to grow and get about 5 inches high, hill them up with dirt, straw, hay or mulch to prevent green spots on the potatoes growing below the plant. Keep doing this as needed every few weeks. Don't harvest til the plant dies back in fall. Digging for potatoes is the best fun!

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