The Reconstruction: Dirt under my fingernails

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dirt under my fingernails

Well, I had made a plan that was to keep me busy every weekend from early April to about July with house stuff. Painting, nailing, picking out cabinets, etc. Well, I'm only through about 2.5 of the 8 jobs I had planned. Oh well, life happens, right? Life....and gardening.

I forgot to take pictures of my garden plot in the before phase, but here's another plot that looks like mine did several weeks ago.

I shoveled, poked, pulled, cursed and yanked at a variety of weeds. The worst of which is that damn
wire grass. These weeds need to die! In the community garden setting, it's basically impossible to get rid of all this stuff. It wanders in from the plot next to you, especially when the plot next to you looks like this. BloggingBeta did a admirable job, though. She sifted through her plot, picking out even those tiny stringy root remnants that I like to bury and ignore. That's more dedication to weed management than I can muster. But in August, when I'm pulling weeds, she'll be eating tomatoes in the shade.

But I think I've got things in shape. Steve-o and I put down weed barrier, built a wooden raised bed, and a brick raised bed with bricks the previous owner had left in my plot.

The reason for the raised beds? Well, I got the book, square foot gardening, from the library and I was hooked. See - last year my plot went kaput. The tomatoes and cucumbers got some kind of disease and the beans and peppers didn't fare much better. hunch was that it was the soil. I requested a new plot, and this raised bed idea uses all new soil. The downside is that I had to go out and buy compost, peat moss, and vermiculite, and that costs building the raised beds, which also costs money.....but I will be so happy if things go well this year.

I put the herbs in the part of the plot where I left the soil au natural (with the exception of a bit of peat moss and compost). Thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil....and some strawberries, too. I'm hoping they're not subject to the same troubles as tomatoes are.

Now, you may have noticed something weird about the above photos. Dents in my dirt. at first glance, i thought they were those holes squirrels love to dig because their poor brains are so tiny they forgot where they put their nuts. But no! Bambi got into my plot! And Bambi was hungry. Tomatoes should look like this:

Not this:

And my beans - oh, my poor beans

and my peppers.

The front lawn is under attack, too. Some squirrels (maybe?) ate the tops off of every one of my salvia plants. And my marigolds are off to a bumpy start...which is weird cause I think of them as being really hardy. But the coreopsis I planted last year as a perrenial is taking off, and so is the clematis I got three years ago at the national arboretum sale. I'm training it along the fence. I'm waiting for the blooms to figure out which kind it is, though, because the tag has long been lost.

Oh well - if this gardening stuff doesn't work out, there's always a ceiling to be spackled, a bathroom to be regrounted and plenty of other indoor fun tasks!



At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am jealous of your gardening savy. If you have time, I have some weeds you could pull. I can't even figure out what to plant. Consider me green...with envy!


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