ow ow ow

Mar. 30th, 2006 03:21 pm
Back hurts. Have finished preparing bed for raspberries, however. Nice big raised mounds, and I used the sod I cut to make sort of walls for the mounds, so they'd stay high even when I water them, rather than melting. I am so tired, however, that I don't want to go and actually plant the damn things now. But, the beds are ready.

Have also done 3 loads of laundry, sun-drying it all, and 2 dishwasher-loads of dishes, and numerous pots and pans by hand, and also wrote 300 words, which isn't very much, but is more than I've written in the last, ehm, week.

Suffice to say, I am a God-damned miracle unto myself, and if Z is not appreciative come raspberry season, I am trading him in.

Ye gods, I'm bushed.

I still have to plant beets and radishes, however.


Mar. 28th, 2006 12:56 pm
Sigh. Burpee sent me a notice that they'd shipped the live plants I'd ordered. I had forgotten, but oh yes-- I ordered some yellow raspberries, because Z was so excited at the very thought of them.
But that means I have to prepare the bed. Bastages. Z and I have planned to rent a rototiller this spring, given all the Ambitious Plans we have, but this week isn't exactly a good time for it. So, nothing for it but to break the ground by hand, cut the sod, till the soil, and dump in some topsoil. That area has never had a garden, so it is thoroughly uncooperative. I did about half of it this morning and have been digging around: eight inches down, the soil becomes hard-packed red clay, utterly intractable and completely unsuited for gardening. I am going to have to break that up, dig it out, and improve at least the top eighteen inches. Raspberries need good drainage: I will have to build mounds for each plant, and if I can break up the packed clay underneath even more, so much the better.
So that's not going particularly well, and I am tired, but I should be able to finish the hard part at least today. Meanwhile, the UPS tracking info Burpee sent me has the package originating in Harrington DE, going to Saddle Brook NJ, then to Secaucus NJ. Predictably, it then goes to Syracuse, NY-- which is certainly between here and NJ. But then the package goes back to Secaucus NJ, where it arrived at 4:27 am. It insists it will arrive here today...
So I'm more confused than helped by the tracking info. I sort of don't know whether that whole thing is a good idea or not. This isn't the first time I've watched a package wander back and forth across the country, but it is the first time I've watched one with live plants in it do so, so I'm naturally a little baffled.

Ehhh. I don't want to get back to work. Sitting is so nice... Although I am feeling exceedingly fat at the moment, and should welcome the opportunity to move myself. My size 16 pants are almost not falling off, and the scale casually mentioned that I was nearly ten pounds heavier than when I last checked, but I'm resolved not to think about that.

The crocuses are all blooming. I've taken some photos. Also, i just saw my first ant in the kitchen. I am distressed. Spring is supposed to be unmitigatedly good for the first bit! Nooo! Don't make me clean!
The kitchen's a disgrace; Z has been in a state of "code fugue" on the weekends, and I've been trying so hard to work on the damn novel... We need a third roommate to live here. Someone who likes to clean. Who wants to live in Buffalo? We'll give you free rent if you clean our house.


Mar. 23rd, 2006 02:17 pm
So. Everyone says, sow lettuce seed "as soon as the soil can be worked", or "start indoors 8 to 10 weeks earlier".
What if you started it indoors? When should you put it out?

I have three different varieties of lettuce that I started under my gro-light, and I don't know when to plant them outside.
(People's impression of our "frost-free date" also varies widely, but I imagine that's because people have different ideas of what that means-- "average date of last frost" is one thing, while "date beyond which there has never been a frost" is quite another, in fact over two weeks "quite another".)

Well, I was just outside, and the soil can sure as hell be worked now... I cleared out the part of last year's garden where the tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants were, pulled out all the weeds, turned over the soil, and put some fertilizer in it for good measure. And it's not only totally not frozen, it's also home to a fairly active earthworm rave, as far as I could tell. There were worms of every size and shape you could imagine, all having themselves remarkably fast-paced little parties. I mean, given that it's 34 and cloudy out, and they're cold-blooded (I assume?), they were wriggling around like it was a rainstorm in July.

But I don't know when I should set out the lettuce I planted, or when I should sow my beets and radishes...
So I started two dozen tomato seeds today. I have one grow space set up in the basement under a four-foot fluorescent fixture on an eighteen-hour timer. I also pried off a sealed-shut heat vent in the basement, so it's actually above fifty down there. It's my bit of extravagance-- also makes the laundry dry better down there.
The other grow space is in front of my east-facing picture window. I've currently got no artificial lights on it at all. If it would ever be sunny, it'd be nice there. It's probably not much warmer there than the basement at this point. So far I'm having about equal germination rates on the windowsill and in the basement. Of the violas and strawberries, I got like three plants total out of like 25 of each, which is pretty abysmal. But of the peppers, I'm getting a lot higher success rate. I wish I knew what the difference was.

I went outside this morning and took photos of the snowdrops while snow was falling. They're all in bloom. The crocuses are all coming up, and many of them are in bud so you can see that I have not only purple ones now but also yellow ones and white ones and a couple that seem to be bicolored. I'm really excited. Although if any of you remember last year, when I posted about four hundred thousand photos of my crocuses (all of which were purple then)... Yeah, I get excited about crocuses.

I wonder how soon is too soon to plant lettuce outside. Because it says "as soon as the ground can be worked" but the ground never froze this year.



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