Wow, what a glorious day! As is often the case in Seattle, the forecast can change often and even then it can be completely wrong. I had been very excited about partly cloudy temps in the mid 60s, which was the forecast most of the week. Then, at the last minute, the forecast changed to mid 50s and rain showers all weekend. Just to make the forecasters completely wrong, we had a high of 77 with at worst whispy clouds if you really searched for them. It was beautiful and my garden loved it! I swear I could see the tomatoes growing! hehe
First off, my wife graciously let me sleep in this morning til 10 am, which is completley unlike me. During the time she was up with the kids, she saw the beautiful weather and plotted out a 5 mile walk for us (compared to our standard 3.5 mile course). So after our smoothie we started packing up for a long walk. Before we could make our escape my father and aunt showed up. My dad wanted to work on his car and my aunt wanted to work in the yard. Tis the season to butcher, er... prune rhodies and azaleas, and boy do mine need it. Needless to say my wife wasn't happy. She had her heart set on going for a walk and my aunt wanted me in the yard. Thankfully one of the items on my to-do list was for my aunt... to weed the rose garden area. If you recall, I'm not big on flowers. They're pretty, but I don't want to work for them, hehe. So we went to exercise while she started weeding.
By the time we got back she had half a yard-waste container filled. No, I didn't use any of that for my compost bin. I'm not that hard up for greens, ROFL. After changing clothes, I immediately went out and we started whacking back bushes. We did a ton of work. I was running around helping my aunt with the clippers, saws-all and chain saw and helping my dad with his car. The good news is that my dad helped me string up the trellis. It doesn't look nearly as good or straight as GardenGirl's or Judy's, but somehow I don't think the plants will care. I tried to get the peas to grab the trellis with moderate success. I'll work on it more tomorrow.
After lunch it was back at it. We accumulated QUITE a pile of branches from rhodies, azaleas, lilacs and some short tree we just cut down (after we cut it down I realized I had a huge hole in a garden area, now I have to plant a bush).
The funny thing is my eldest. He's four and loves to help. He was saying how strong he was by dragging branches from the front yard to the back yard. It was so cute. Here he is helping with a branch with part of the pile in the background...
Instead of taking a pickup full of branches to the dump and paying $20 to give Cedar Grove more material to charge $28 a yard for compost, my folks brought over their chipper. YAY! Just see if they get it back. MUAHAHAHA hehe. So the rest of the evening was spent shredding and chipping buckets full of composting goodness. The bits of leaves and branches all mixed together over the top of of a fluffed compost pile with a layer of Starbucks coffee grounds in the middle. Mmm Mmm Good!
Hehe yeah, I do look silly with those big ear phones. They're the best you could buy back 15 years ago when I worked in a safety supply warehouse for two summers. The did a good job because that little yellow machine was LOUD! I didn't finish the pile today, light gave out on me, but I made a huge dent in it and added about 6 inches of incredible mulch like chips. Hmm, I wonder if it'd work as a mulch for my SWC... I still need to cover the plastic. hehe.
Ok, just to warn you. The rest of my post has no pictures attached. See the digital camera batteries died and I was too busy to change them. So I relied on my wife to take the pictures, so the last one was the ONLY one with me in it or what we were doing. The rest were all of the kids. Hehe.
I actually stopped work on the cleanup before dusk. I had a to-do list that needed to get done in amongst the rest of the work today. In a half hour I got tons done. I cut another BAYG bin layer's worth of douglas fir and installed my first (or second) layer and added dirt. I must say I made a mistake in putting the bins so close to the fence. I can't get the screw gun between the fence and the bin. So I screwed the boards together and not into the 2x2 on that side. I got the idea from a forum where someone used the BAYG bin concept but made a frame out of the boards and slid it over the 2x2s like a sleeve. I didn't use that for all the boards, just the one in back our of necessity.
I filled them with dirt, covering up the stems again. Boy did it take a ton of dirt to cover all but 2 or 3 inches of potato plant. In the Butte bed I have a huge drop-off in the back right corner because there is a tiny sprout from that slow starter. Since it sprouted I didn't want to move it up to the level of the rest for fear of disturbing roots that may be finally growing. It was really hard to mound a ton of dirt to cover 6 or so inches of growth.
I also finally got to plant out my corn bed. Well mostly. I ran out of Seneca Horizon seeds that germinated, but the Precocious half is FULLY planted out. YAY! And what was already planted is really growing well. Well for this area mind you. Not like Judy's or Shots from GW in climates known for farming. I know I can grow corn here but until I eat the first cob out of my garden I'll remain cautiously optimistic. The last thing I did for my garden tonight was to soak more Seneca seeds to get germinating on the fridge to get in the ground fast. I want to get my corn bed growing in this nice weather so they get a jump on summer.
(NOTE: I snapped some pics in the morning and updated the page.)
Ok, sorry if this post isn't exactly coherent, but I'm fading fast. Time to take some Aleve and hit the sack (I wore my heart-rate monitor today and just the exercise and heavy working burned me 3,740 calories!). Let's hope the weather holds for tomorrow so we can continue to make more great compost (note that the forecast just changed to a high of 68 with a chance of thundershowers /sigh). And to think Mel suggests compost from 5 different sources. I can count two dozen off the top of my head, hehe!
Enjoy Spring and your garden!