Monday was spent taking care of household chores and running errands. I spent a little time researching jobs on-line and submitted a couple of applications, too. Laundry was finished, bread was baked, and may car got washed.
On Tuesday I cut our first harvest of comfrey leaves. Comfrey is the only foliar spray we plan to use in the garden. To make the tea the leaves were placed in a bucket, held down with a rock, covered with water, and then closed tightly with a snug lid. The bucket will sit outside for three weeks after which time 1 part comfrey juice will be mixed with 4 parts water to be put in a sprayer for feeding the plants. On this day I also started setting up planting beds by loosening soil and removing weeds. Lots of compost was sifted and moved in, fertilizer was spread, and old hay was piled on. Here is a link to our organic fertilizer recipe mix.
By Wednesday the beds were ready for planting. The tomatoes will get transplanted next week along with the peppers, marigolds, and sweet basil. I had to rig up a ‘hot house’ type setting in the middle of a pile of old hay to keep the peppers snug while we went through a frost. To do it I dug out a large hole in the middle of the pile just big enough to set the trays down into and then I laid an old glass door over the top. It worked! Everything else was set back indoors.
Sure enough, there was frost on Thursday morning with temps in the low 30′s. The peppers survived. New leaves on the fig tree turned brown and withered but everything else in the garden seems just fine. That was probably our last frost until early November. We almost got our new grand-daughter on this day, too. But after Daughter-in-Law was admitted, placed in a room, changed into a hospital gown, hooked to monitors, and in bed for three hours, the doctor decided nothing was progressing fast enough so he let her go home with a little pain medication and instructions to walk, walk, and walk some more. Sure enough, after being home for an hour or two, the contractions stopped. Little grand-daughter K could be here just any day.
On Friday I finished double digging bed number 8. Now we are up to 1996 square feet of double dug planting area. Whew! I know it doesn’t sound like a lot of space but it really is when planting in raised beds and utilizing close-space planting as John Jeavons describes in his book How to Grow More Vegetables. Next week we will break the 2000 square feet mark as I plan to dig another 64 feet if the weather allows. That may be all I get done this spring, though, as double digging gets too hard to do when the temps get up in the 80′s. On this day the onions, garlic, carrots, and horseradish were weeded and composted too. The corn was cultivated. Strawberry blooms were removed. Everything was watered really well. I still need to add a little compost to the comfrey bed.
Yesterday, on Saturday, we rearranged the dog’s houses in the back yard to get them under some shade. The ‘dog yard’ is a pretty good-sized fenced area that’ s just off the back of the house where last year we lost most of the shade when the tornado came through. We had to crowd the houses under a couple of small trees but I think the dogs like it. We were planning to build our new bird houses for the apple orchard once we finished with the dogs but instead we were called away to an emergency plumbing job at our son’s place.
We went to Son’s house and figured out where a couple of water leaks were coming from then rushed to Lowe’s for parts. We got back, put everything together, and turned the water on. Agh! There were new leaks everywhere. Needless to say, no one in our family is a plumber. Today we’ll spend most of the day at Son’s fixing the plumbing ~ again.