Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Electric garden

UPDATE: Dateline: Friday 3/27/09:
It did rain and for 2 days (Wednesday and Thursday). Total was about 3/4" and we really needed every drop. Today was warmer and overcast, so late in the afternoon when the grass had dried, I went and turned the leaves into the last half of the ring bed. The soil, thankfully, is not clay! It was moist and had settled some from the rain pounding on it, but it forked over easily as I turned in the leaves. Having done that, I can come back into the house for at least a month while the worms enjoy their Spring feast. :-D

A bonus today. While tidying up the remaining leaf pile, a golfer ventured over and asked what was I making. I briefly explained about the ring bed, the bee sanctuary, the native plants, etc. I didn't get too involved or use a lot of hand gestures (well, actually, I was waving my garden fork around for effect). *sigh* Anyway, I think I came off sane because he wished me luck and walked away, not run. That's a good sign. Right? Right? ;-D


A break in the weather coincided with Spring break and I was able to get a couple days of quality time outside. When I looked at the Ring bed, I saw that every single leaf I'd forked in last November was completely gone. Yay! Go worms! Unfortunately, however, this winter's ever- present snowpack totally compressed all the dirt and it was flat as a pancake - and crusting over. Boo! The bed really needed to be tilled again. *sigh* Since my neighbor had used his big tiller on it last year and the ground had already been broken once, I said to myself, "Self," I pondered. "Maybe I could fluff it up using my handy-dandy electric Mantis cultivator. How hard could it be?"

How hard indeed! So this past Sunday, with the unbridled optimism of a first-day dieter, I rounded up as much extension cord as I could find (even begging from yet another neighbor - trying to spread around my enthusiasm for the project). When I finally had about half a mile of cord, I hooked up my cultivator and had at it. And at it. And at it. *pant* Gee, Craig's mondo tiller sure made it look easy. 4 hours later I needed a rest. And some ibuprofen. And maybe some therapy if not a cool glass of vino and a heating pad. (Getting eld is a...!)

Anyway I way overdid it. I got about half of the ring churned up and decided to call it a day, promising myself that I'd get back to it on Monday. Monday I couldn't move. (Oh, the pain, the pain.) Thankfully the temps had dropped overnight and brought in a sharp and bitter East wind, excuse enough to hide inside and nurse what was left of my joints, my muscles and my pride.

Tuesday was a little warmer and I was able to hold on to things again. 3 hours later all the churning was done. Although I, myself was still churning from the pulling on the Mantis for hours. If I could have raised my arm I would have given myself a pat on the back, instead I went in for some lunch and turned on the weather channel. Days of rain ahead. I wept bitter tears. If I let days of rain onto the ring now, it would just get beaten back down flat. *whimper* I had to woman up to the fact that I now had to fork in as much of the leaves I'd saved over winter for just this occasion.

So what's a gal to do? Grab a fork and start turning soil. And while I gave it the old college try, I only got as far as mixing leaves into half of the ring. Then I plumb gave up the ghost. I was encouraged to see that the daff bulbs that I'd planted last Fall were coming up and should make a nice display. And in a week or so when the weather turns a little dryer, I'll be out there again feeding those hungry little worms in that bed. Until then, however, I'm going to spend a little time in another bed I have in mind... *yawn*

Meanwhile, here's the "big picture" early in the season. The ring garden, the veggie garden, the arbor garden, the new stump garden. Not to mention those around the house, the driveway.

So many plans, so much to do, and only so much of me to go around. Gotta pace myself. Maybe a little snoooooooz z z z z z z z z z z z.


  1. This tool works great. I am envious that you are able to get out and work in the yard like that. We still have a few weeks before I can 'fire up ' the tiller.

    Happy Spring!

  2. Good luck with your tilling, Bren. It should take me until then just to recuperate! *moan and groan* ;-D

  3. I'm very impressed! You must be aching. Did you say what you will be planting in the ring? It looks really nice. I can't wait to see how it looks when all the plants are growing there. Now go back and rest some more, you deserve it!

  4. Catherine, I'm hoping that my WS project will give me lots and lots of plants for the ring garden - especially perennials and native plants for the native bees and pollinators. I've also got 4 types of milkweed WS'd and hope they sprout. I'd love to have Monarch butterflies hang out in the sanctuary.

  5. I really wish I had that much space to play. After a week of working, you don't notice the soreness much. No, really. I'm serious. All the pains just kind of run together and you're constantly numb. I think they call it 'shock'. :)

    You'll get there. Get your neighbor back over and borrow his tiller. Cook him dinner or something. Anything to get it done. It's going to look great with all those wintersown plants.

    By the way, don't you have more seed to sow?

  6. I wanna dig in the dirt!!! Im whimpering a little.

  7. Tom - LOL - yes, already the body is acclimating to serious yard work. No matter how much indoor exercising one does, it never prepares you for working outside. With my bum ankle I can't handle my neighbor's monster tiller, but the Mantis - I am still lucky to be able to handle that! I'm really looking forward to my WS babies playing around the big ring. And yes, yes, (nag nag), I've got to WS my annuals, hopefully this weekend! :-D

    Flowergirl - hang in there. We get these "glimpses" of spring this time of year and I use those precious days to full advantage. We still expect more snow, rain, freeze, etc. in these neck of the woods. Just wait, you'll be up to your elbows in dirt soon!

  8. Bravo! Good Work...I'd like to see the white house start a honey bee hive!

  9. Hi Cool Things. The White House is already there. Here's a clip from the article I linked to in a previous post: "A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts, who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey." How cool is that?

  10. Big congrats, Kris! I do admire you for all the hard work that you have done to your garden! Wish I could do the same to mine... but I don't have a tiller! The soil in my garden need to be work out too for planting, but here I'm... knowing nothing to do! :-(
    One thing I notice about your weather, when you put the fall leaves down, by the time Spring comes, the leaves become very bristle (? righ word) and very easy to crush them even with your hand. In my weather, no matter how long you leave them out in the elements, they just stay the same... maybe of all the dew they would get at nights ... they just refuse to break down. I haven't seen any worm feeding on these leaves, either. Or I didn't look good enough?
    Anyway, I love how your garden looks now, getting ready to receive all the seedlings you have started so far.
    Again, congratulations on a great job, Kris.

  11. You are taking on a lot. I bet it will look amazing!

  12. Ha Xuan! Glad to hear from you. The word you want is "brittle" (dry and crunchy). Here the winter snow covers the leaves. During that time the worms feed on the leaves from underneath. If the ground is dry or the leaves or dry, the worms cannot eat them. Worms do so much good in the garden and I encourage them all the time.

    Voter Mom - hello and thanks for stopping by the blog. :-D Yes, yes, always biting off too much. I keep telling myself I don't have to get it done all in one season! Stay tuned...


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