Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 18, 2008

I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. I was frustrated at being so overwhelmed in my free time when I've been like that for quite a while at work.  I'm so far behind I could work weekends til the end of the year and not catch up, but I won't do that to my family.

Anyway, I wasn't really trying to one-up anyone, just share my frustration.  And thank you DoubleD, I know your work is head and shoulders more hectic, stressful and draining than mine. So when you kicked me in the tail about not being lazy in the evening, it got to me.  Instead of playing with the kids or reading them book after book and making dinner, I got home tonight and had my wife dress the kids for getting dirty outside while I changed.  Then we went outside as the sun was going down (6:30ish) and I sent my wife out to get as many bags of Starbucks grounds for your garden as she could.  While she was on her errand, the kids and I fluffed the compost, using the decomposing kitchen compost, several bags of molding old coffee grounds and shredded paper.  I kept the kids busy garthering up the fallen plums and pears and helping me with the hose to wet down the layers.  After that my wife got back with 10 big bags of grounds.  With the fresh stuff I dumped most of them on top of my dirt pile.  I figured whatever the potatoes took out of the soil (not much since they were only in the bottom six inches), the grounds would put back. 

It was cute, I had my 4 year old hold the well-used vermiculite bag open while I shovelled dirt into it.  He was great and I was so proud of him.  But kids only have so long of an attention span and so after my wife got settled back inside I had her come out and finish up loading 8 bags of Mel's mix to be used for something later.  We didn't finish the job, but we got enough of the dirt off the tarp that we could drag it over the hole where the potato bin was.  The grass was brown so I watered it a bit after sunset and sent the kids inside to eat and get ready for bed.

Then, I was feeling so gung ho about my to-do list that I bundled up and grabbed my steel rake for trying to get the grass and weeds out of the area where the wasps are so I can find the hole where they come out to kill them once and for all.  Unfortunately I'm a wimp and didn't get hardly any of the weeds out before I ran off while being attacked.  I'm a wimp because I was so bundled up that they couldn't get me if they tried.  /sigh

So, I didn't take many pics tonight because it was late and there was no light.  Besides, if you want to see my compost method, check out one of the many posts where I did take pictures.  It's not rocket science, just think lasagna, hehe.

So, two chores down, many more to go.  Tomorrow I hope to get more done, so I can justify the day Saturday for the volunteer work.  And yes, I will have Sunday, but with my grandmother-in-law in town, I'm sure we'll be busy with her so she can see her only great grandchildren.

Lastly, I did take pictures of my dying potatoes.  Guess hoop covers over them won't do any good.  I watered them one last time tonight but that's it.  The clock's starting for three weeks to harvest.

And since I was in the neighborhood, I snapped a pic of my cantaloupe just for Judy.  Seems only the far right plant is producing female flowers, so I hand pollinated several again to make sure it takes.  Not sure I want 5 or so cantaloupe growing off one plant.  I may fertilize again this weekend, probably in the water that I fill the reservoir with.  Give them an organic boost to help them set fruit and mature faster.

Maybe tomorrow I'll enlist my mother and brother to help harvest some plums and maybe even some blackberries.  If I don't do those soon, it'll be too late!  Same goes for harvesting my tomatoes and stuff.  Maybe I can get my brother to swap me some lettuce for tomatoes.  hehe.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I hope you manage to get some quality rest in there too. :)

    Your russets are at exactly the same stage as mine are. I am toying with the idea of just leaving them in the ground until October sometime - as I am not planning to use that bed for anything this winter. Only disadvantage to leaving them in the ground for storage as long as possible - is that I will be too late to plant a green manure crop for the winter there. May be worth it though to keep them as cool and protected as long as possible. They say extra day they are left in the ground - is 2 days more of storage time. I don't know... just toying with the idea.

    Glad you had such a productive evening - and I do hope you take a deep breath and enjoy some R&R time too.

  2. Sinfonian, don't let it overwhelm you to the point that you no longer enjoy it, you don't want to burnout in your gardening enthusiasm. Make yourself a list of what HAS to be done, what SHOULD be done and what will survive if it DOESN'T get done. First on the "HAS to be done" list should be family. Time spent with your little ones is of the utmost importance, the compost pile will survive whether you turn it or not, it will just take longer. The time you spend in the garden with the little ones will soon be precious memories for you, and a source of knowledge for your children.

  3. I agree with Granny. My children grew up before I realized it. Looking back, I wish that I would have spent more time with them - doing anything. The compost will make, even if unattended. I've been working on my current batch for almost a year - but it will be so ready in February! I fully understand about the demands from's just part of it. You'll get those Blackberries, I just know it. Take the frustration out on the wasps....that will definitely give you a lift! Hang in there.