Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17, 2008

Wow, we're not in Kansas anymore Toto!  Not sure where we are, but this isn't Seattle.  The latest I recall getting snow is late March, and that was insane.  Now we're sitting in mid April and they're forecasting SNOW for this area.  Not just in the mountains, but the lowlands as well.  The temps are also supposed to get into the low 30s at night.  If it weren't for the precipitation I think we'd get frost!  And I've planted warm weather crops!

So after hearing it from several people at work that either garden or know I do, I rushed home and started mowing my front yard.  It was sprinkling, so I had to mow tall wet grass. Insane I know. But my front yard looks horrible, and I'm the only one in the area that hasn't mowed multiple times.  It's just never been good weather when I had time.  With the forecast we've got this weekend. I knew tonight was my last chance (and it wasn't forecast for rain today).  Just shows you how bad the forecasts are for good weather this time of year.  So I got half my front yard mowed. I chose the half that is next to my picky neighbor to stay on his good side.  My 80 year old neighbor is too cool to care.  Maybe Sunday if I get a clear hour. It'll be crazy again, unloading a jammed bag every 15 feet, but worth it. 

So after I filled up one whole yard waste container (50 gallon I think) with half my front yard (yep, I make TONS of grass clippings a year).  I broke out my hoop cover. It was stored behind my shed for the season, but it went up pretty fast.  Then I had to find my tarp.  It was of course in the garage, not where it belongs (bad Sinfonian!).  It actually went up fast alone. This time I used the jumbo binder clips I got to clip the plastic to the PVC.  I would have taken a picture but by then it was pouring rain and pretty dark.  I didn't get home until 6:15.  I'd say it took all of 5 minutes to set up the hoop cover after I found all the stuff.  It'd go faster if my wife wasn't under the weather and in her PJs and bathrobe inside gamely watching the kids. 

Then I pulled out my cold frames.  I couldn't lift the 4x8 by myself, so I put the small windows over my bean seeds and my cuke seeds.  Neither have sprouted but I'd kind of like them to. hehe The big cold frame will go over my corn bed  Unfortunately it won't cover all the seeds and seedlings as I planted one row of two varieties, so even though it doesn't take up all 10 feet, it takes up more than 8 feet because I planted all my seeds then moved down to half-way to start the next variety.  I'll take my chances.

I also noticed that my gutter leaks or my roof doesn't completely drain into my gutter in one spot.  That means that I have a puddle on the side of my corn bed. It's only 4 inches around but that'll kill any corn plant there.  Not sure what to do about it since the roof in question is two stories up.

All this time I've been looking and wishing my potatoes would sprout, I'm glad that I couldn't see anything poking up in the twilight as I was heading in for the evening.  That and the only veggie that didn't get covered (besides the corn that will be covered tomorrow) that isn't a cold weather crop (broccoli) are my radishes. They're already breaking the world record for days to actual maturity, so what's another weekend?

My SWC is still sitting outside.  It needs some interior clean-up, but I'll do that this weekend.  There's only a little dirt in the bottom, but there are weeds growing in it, so the dirt's got to go.  It's actually built slightly differently than Judy's design. There's no pond basket. It uses 3 inch corrugated pipe with two pipes with holes in the "bottom" to allow dirt in to soak up the water.  I've seen that design on the internet before. Six of one, half dozen of another I guess.  Thank you Toasty and Mr. Toasty for letting it go to good use!  I don't think with the weather we're going to have this weekend that I'll actually plant them, but the SWC will hopefully be ready.

If you're a reader of Judy's blog (link on the right), she's got a HUGE to-do list for this weekend. I normally use Thursday to list my to-do list, but this weather's got me bummed out, so aside from the SWC and hopefully getting the rest of my yard mowed, I'll likely rake my back yard to get up all the small branches and twigs from the cherry tree demo last weekend. Other than that, I'll take it easy.  Work is stressful, and the weather's not allowing me to relax in the garden. Grrr.

Well, time to get ready for bed.  Rough night and the family's sick. Add that to not sleeping well and it's time to take some vitters and hit the sack.  Enjoy your garden and hope your weather's better than here!


  1. Oh my goodness -- SNOW! Jeezzz!! What is going on with the weather this year? It doesn't want to warm up for some reason.... doing the same thing here too. It was kinda crazy for us to have to cover up our gardens for 2 days for a frost this late in April.... I hope that your cold weather will end soon.

  2. PNW regularly gets frosts thru early May, but normally there is some variety in the weather, some warm, some cold. This year, it's just cold, cold, cold.
    Corn planted April 1st, April 15th, or May 1st will all ripen at the same time.
    Beans planted outdoors will likely never sprout. I planted mine indoors and they're currently living in the cold frame. They look great but we'll see how they deal with the 42-degree high temperature days coming up.
    I try to grow summer and fall crops in the same beds. This year I'll likely rip out some of the summer crops cuz they won't ripen before the fall crops have to be planted.
    Radishes ripening in only 80 days!!! 8-(