Monday, March 22, 2010

Whoops! Hip-Hop! Tilling up the Garden


Some friends dropped by while we were celebrating Shabbat by doing nothing but relaxing and practicing some hip-hop. Here's Michael working one out.

I didn't take any photos of my friends doing hip-hop moves, but I did take a photo of the scarf project I finished up. Elaine wanted to know how to do the fringe, so I demonstrated on one end and she tackled the other. Here is the wildly successful new fashion statement that came about as a result of being very deep in conversation - the "Off-Fringe".

What you can't hear is the hysterical laughter taking place as we all gathered around.

This back porch is getting quite adventurous! I am going to have to start buying a few pieces a week so I can build something back here.

This front yard excavation is 7 years old. Still nothing will grow here, not even weeds. Beyond hauling in truckloads of topsoil, I have no idea what to do. I will have to get out an old video I recorded of Elliot Coleman turning soil like this into good soil within a year. I don't know how expensive it will be, but maybe he is very creative about it. I seem to remember Daikon radishes being part of it...

After a couple of days of clear weather, the soil had dried out enough for Michael and I to begin tilling in the garden. He's putting the cover back on after installing the new belt.

While he did that, I mowed the weeds over the area we are going to plant peas.

I found several items still growing from last year.

Swiss chard.

Large onions, thought not very large.

A bunch of bunching onions.

Two different types of leeks. I'm very excited about these. I love leeks for soups, and hate to pay the grocer prices.

And this is why we mowed first, to eliminate getting weeds wrapped around the tines.

The sky was beautiful. The weather fairly balmy, though very windy, so we needed jackets.

Soaking up the sun.

Getting the knack for starting it up. So often you have to play with the choke, backing it off, bringing it up. Each engine is a little quirky. We figured it mostly out within about 20 minutes.

What shoes are you wearing, Michael?

That's better!

Since the garden is mostly sloped at the top, we decided to tier the beds up here. So after Michael went over the lower side of the bed to break it up, I spaded the upper side and tossed it onto the lower side. This also made it easier to keep the tiller going in a straight line on a hill. They like to wander downhill while you are struggling to make beds.

Found a praying mantis egg sac in the branches of one of last year's pepper plants.

We're going to let this sit for a couple of days, letting the weed roots resprout, then til it again. Probably do that one more time to make sure they are worn out, then plant peas by the weekend.

We dug up some of these giant frustrating weeds. The roots are massive and you can hardly kill them. I hope we got all the roots.

Coming back up we see the wind has taken out the shoe bin, again, and all the patio set along with it. I've got to do something else. I've had it with that thing. Currently, it is propped up against the back of the house with a step ladder and cement blocks holding it all still. Not pretty.

But this incoming storm sure is!

Crazy weather year, hasn't it been? I guess we'll all see where this year takes us. Happy garden planning!




  1. We are getting our garden ready too. I love this time of year.

  2. that barren area, i bet if you were to dump any amount of spoiled haw and straw (and/or grass clippings) you can find, layer it with any amount of old cardboard boxes & newspaper you can get and water it in so its always moist to some degree, by next spring you will have some good topsoil there.

    no tilling all the way up here yet, but i should have all my hoophouse material in by this afternoon. Yay, Spring!

  3. SFG,

    Flowers in our hair, dancing barefoot on the green grass, delicately sprinkling seeds on rich, soft soil...

    Oh, wait, that's my fantasy...

    It's great to see spring coming. I can't wait to open my windows again.


  4. Icebear,

    Well.... I've tried that and it seems to get blown away. Maybe I've not been diligent enough though.

    My compost pile, which I've not worked a lot on lately, went from about 20 truckloads down to about 2 wheelbarrow loads of compost. I am going to need a heck of a lot more stuff! LOL

    You still have frozen ground... wow! Like perma-frost.


  5. wooohooo don't you just love playing in the dirt? It is storming here right now I and I lost my post driver. I need to put up two new fences to protect my new kitchen garden beds before I add the dirt and plant my 30 tomatos peppers and herbs. I still havent planted potatos yet. I know it is late but I will do it anyway. Can't wait to get beans in the garden but after 4 inches of snow just 3 days ago here in N TX I better wait. Good luck!


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