Sunday, May 6, 2012

Busy Sunday

Front yard
Today was a busy "day of rest." We worked on some of the partially done raised beds, and mowed the lawn (which had to include removing the many sticks and rocks that had gathered over the winter so they wouldn't hurt our mower). We were out there for several hours. The results are pretty nice, though. Sis likes having a lawn (of the non-edible kind) so this is HER front yard. It's a lovely expanse of grass punctuated with violets and the occasional dandelion. It's quite pretty, if somewhat useless as a food item. Still, it makes her happy, and she doesn't ask for a whole lot.

Side yard
The side yard looks much better, too, although I didn't get it completed. After mowing for more than an hour, my shoulders and arms were aching terribly and I was desperately in need of water. I did remember to wear my sunhat, though, so I didn't get sunburned. I did get quite a few blackfly bites, but I'm dealing. It was worth it, though - the grass looks much better now that it's been mulched down. From now on I'll be gathering grass clippings in the mower bag, for use as mulch on my garden beds. I needed to start with a good layer of mulch on the lawn, though, to help it along. I'm rather proud of what we did. Sis (with a bit of help from the kids, though not enough) picked up the sticks and rocks and I mowed. The result is pretty nice, though if you blow up the side yard image you'll see where I stopped mowing!

Raised tire bed - veg
The first of the raised tire beds is doing quite well. After the lovely rain we got last week, my beets, spinach and lettuce are up! I am liking using the square foot gardening method so far. The lay-out was pretty easy. I suspect I'll have some veggie "bleed over" from one square to the next, though. I'm not sure yet what (if anything) I plan to do about that. Nothing is planted that might cross pollinate with each other, so if they do mix it up a bit, it shouldn't matter so much. I put the root veggies in this bed because it's so deep (about two feet, at least). The loose composted soil will be easy for carrots and beets to grow in. I'm hoping for a bumper crop of carrots, and at least some beets. I never seem to have success with them, although I try them every year. This year I'm doing the raised bed thing for the first time, so I'm hoping that'll mean I get better results.

Beet seedlings
The beet seedlings are my most exciting thing. Some years I didn't even get this much result out of planting beet seed, so I'm feeling like this is very promising. I'm seeing no weed growth at all in the raised beds, either, which is fantastic. I'm hoping that means the beets and carrots and such will have no competition. It's really hard to tell the difference between weeds and tiny seedlings, so I do my best not to weed too much in these early days. Since there are no weeds, this is great! I'm kind of at the "hold my breath and pray a lot" stage with them. Tomorrow I hope to get my watering hose set up (this year, no drip irrigation I'm afraid... we didn't have the money for it). I plan to do a daily water with a very gentle "rain" type spray. I figure evening will be a great time for it.

Lettuce seedlings
These are my wee lettuces. They're coming up too. I'm going to have to thin soon, and I hate that. I always feel like I'm killing plants. Admittedly, I do tend to EAT what I pull up, if possible. That way the guilt isn't so bad. Yes, I am odd, why do you ask?

You can see the soil is quite dry, though. I need to water them, though I won't be doing so until tomorrow (unless it rains tonight). Our water isn't on yet to the outside pipes. Hubs will probably turn it on in the morning for me, if not this evening. The Dollar Store will yield a cheap nozzle, and life will be good. We already got a hose (thank you cheapie Job Lot place).

Spinach seedlings
Spinach seedlings look a lot like weeds, but since I know there are no weeds in the bed, I'm good. It would be odd to see weeds growing in three squares and nowhere else in the bed. They haven't gotten their second set of leaves (none of them have yet). They will, though. Spinach I can grow. Usually I've grown it in rows, but I did a kind of broadcast spread of it on the raised bed.

I still have the bean/pea bed to get ready, which I hope to do tomorrow. It has the compost in it, but because it's from the dump's pile, there are a lot of larger sticks and such in it. It needs to be picked through, raked out, leveled, and then have the "good" soil scattered on top. Still, I'm a lot closer!

The newly set up herb bed
Our 6 year old's raised square foot garden
My happy rhubarb