Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Work Progresses at the Dust Bowl...a/k/a the Plots

Work is progressing at the plots. Yesterday was a scorcher though. It was 90 degrees at noon and we still haven't had any rain.  How crazy is that??? It's April!!

The long bed to the left is the potato bed. 
This bed is amended and ready to be planted. The potatoes will be planted tonight or tomorrow. I have held off planting due to the excessive heat. I also marked off the pathways so I wouldn't walk on the soil where the beds will be located. 

This is the compost that the county dumped. It's not the best. I put a thick layer on top of the grass along the fence. Hopefully this will decompose the grass. I will be planting pole beans & corn along this fence. I still haven't put the gate up. It's not my top priority at this time. I did decide to move it a couple of feet to the right. So, it's a good thing that it hasn't been installed.

I think this will be my problem area. This is some of the compost from the county which was tilled into the soil when they did the last tilling. As you can see, there are some clumps of grass that are starting to grow. I'm going to shovel as much of this compost onto the paths that I can. Then I am thinking that I should cover this with a tarp to help decompose the grass. 

This is a picture toward the back of the plots. I have the posts and gates laying by the big pile of dirt. I think that the gates will go up as soon as I finish the strawberry bed along the back. 

This is the back of the plots. The bed on the right is the strawberry bed. I installed the bunny fencing and framed out the bed. Then I started prepping the soil. This is a process. First I pull out the clumps of grass that have any life in them, lay the clumps on the path or on top of the dirt and relocate any worms that I find. Then I add some of the organic manure that I purchased last year to the soil. By the next day, the grass clumps are dead. So, I crumble them up and add them back to the bed. This drought is a blessing and a curse. It is making it easier to deal with the clumps of grass...since they die so quickly. Next, I water the bed then add another layer of some of the bagged hummus that I purchased, water again. Then add some of the good dirt, water again, mix in a little and water again!! I've been spending a great deal of time watering the soil!

The bed on the left is the raspberry and blackberry bed. The raspberries are doing well and the blackberries have yet to be transplanted. The straw is really doing it's job and keeping the moisture in. 

The Asparagus transplants are sending up new shoots!!! Yippee!!!

So what gardening did you do in that crazy heat yesterday????

34 comments:

  1. We got to 92.6 yesterday. Which was way more than predicted. I stayed inside with all the shades pulled. I did go out once around 1pm to water the plants. I was hoping the evaporative cooling would help my Asian greens not die. All the brassicas were very very wilted. Everything did grow a lot though. I swear all the plants grew huge amounts in one day. But basically I was a wimp. My friend asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride that afternoon and I laughed at her. She went though.

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    1. Daphne, The heat was horrible. I think that I spent 4 hours total at the plots yesterday. My overwintered collards were as limp as a noodle. They look fine today. I actually brought my potted cabbage & broccoli in so they wouldn't be exposed to that heat.

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  2. Robin, you are one-amazing-woman !!!!.... and such a inspiration.

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    1. Thanks a bunch! I'm beat today from that heat yesterday though.

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  3. Isn't this weather crazy? My spinach is bolting from the heat:-( You are making excellent progress, it is a LOT of work. It is wicked dry, but for your purposes, better dry just now while you are preparing the beds, right?

    Dan and I are working on improvements to our garden water supply and moving our compost bins. Wednesday we get a day off for lunch with a friend and shopping and errands, then back to work. I love April school vacation!

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    1. That heat was just stupid crazy! I'm going to pick some overwintered spinach today. I have some spring spinach seedlings to plant. But, I'm going to wait one more day to put them out.

      The weather is cooling down. So, it will be much better to get your spring vacation work done!

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  4. Your plot is looking great! You have made a lot of progress in such a short time.

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    1. Thanks Christy! I'm feeling it today from working in that heat. I'm only going to spend a couple of hours there today.

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  5. wonderful progress! i wish I had extra plot where I can grow corn and potatoes without critters eating them and keep my garden for smaller things. love that your asparagus already growing even after transplant!

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    1. Thanks Jenny, The plots are good for production gardening and bigger crops for sure! I am so pleased with the asparagus!

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  6. We had our crazy temps LAST month. So now, all the fruit trees, etc that came to life early are getting zapped by the returning cold. Makes me wonder if ANY part of the country is having a decent and haha-"normal" spring....

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    1. Sue, I really don't think that anyone is having normal weather anywhere! Our temps will be back to normal tomorrow...thank goodness!

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  7. I have to admit I'm a little jealous as they still haven't marked off my plot yet (!!! Grrr hopefully this week but rain is expected this weekend) Your plot is looking very nice!

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    1. I sure hope that they get your space marked off soon. Hopefully we will have some good rain this weekend. It will make it easier for you to pull anything you need to pull!

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  8. We have crazy cold and so it's keeping us from doing much if any planting outside.

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    1. It seems like everyone is having extreme weather conditions this spring. Hopefully the weather will stabilize for all of us!

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  9. Robin, I certainly admire your patience and methodical effort! I loved the line your wrote..."That you relocated the worms!" I hope they appreciate your appreciation of them! At this time of the gardening process I always recall the line..."you feed the soil and soil feeds you." I look forward to watching your progress.

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    1. Thanks Patricia, I relocate each and every worm I find. Happy worms makes for good soil!

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  10. I don't suppose you have any excess heat bagged up for export to the UK do you. April is turning out to be colder than March and that shouldn't happen. Still we're getting lots of showers and we can't have everything can we.

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    1. I would have happily sent you some of that heat yesterday! It's much much cooler today.

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  11. You're getting along well there! It'll all be worth it in the end. I just need a break in the rain to get some sowing done!

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    1. The site is definitely moving along. I think I will like this site better after all this hard work is done. You can send us some of that rain!!

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  12. What does your county use to make the compost? I would be nervous of what my county would use. It would have more chemicals than a pharmacy with all the sprayed lawn clippings and industrial AG waste products around here. Lets just say that western PA seems to love its chemicals.

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    1. Jane, It's mostly leaves. But, I don't trust it one bit! I really didn't want any of it on my site. I did toss a bunch over the fence for others to take. I wanted to move it before they tilled. But, I didn't get to it.

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  13. Heat? What's that? I got rained in most of yesterday, but I was ready for a day of rest. It started off sunny this morning, but it's looking iffy now, and I want to get some more gardening done!

    Dang, your plot is really beginning to take shape!

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    1. Granny, you can send some of that rain out here...pretty please!

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  14. You're progressing so well. The place looks more and more ready every time you post. Love to see the asparagus! Ours is just coming up too.

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    1. It's definitely coming along! I am so happy that the asparagus survived the transplant!

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  15. Robin- I continue to be so impressed by how MUCH work you are getting done in such a short amount of time- and in such HOT conditions too. The garden is really starting to come along with all of the beds that you have laid out. I am guessing that your garden is the most "complete" of any of the new gardens there! I do hope your hot weather will quit soon and some much need rain will head your way. We have the promise of our first 70 degree day of the year Saturday. Fingers crossed because its pouring rain outside right now!

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    1. Thanks Lexa, The excessive heat is gone....thank heavens!! No, my garden is not the most complete garden. There is a group of guys who have 10 plots. You should see that place! They do have a lot more muscle power then me though.

      We are expecting some rain over the weekend. I sure hope it arrives!

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  16. I got quite a bit in over the weekend. By Monday with the heat, we took the day off and went to Maine.

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    1. Oh, lucky you!! I love Maine! I hope that you had a nice day!

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  17. I'm exhausted just looking at all the work you're doing. haha.

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