Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy, Busy Week

Aries took the past week off as a vacation week, and having him around full-time always messes up my schedule somewhat. Plus, he had projects in mind, and they usually end up involving me too.

First item he had on his agenda was paint the living room ceiling. Living in a home heated with a wood stove means it can get a bit dingy looking over time. So I looked through my home decor files to see what color we'd used before, finding out the last time we'd painted had been 1997. Not too bad. Off he went to the store to buy paint, while I started getting everything movable from the room - clearing tables, moving out lamps and dining room chairs, taking down artwork - and then finding drop cloths and plastic sheets to cover the carpet and things too big to move.

I let him deal with dusting back corners, taping off the wood trim, and the actual painting though. I had things to do out in the garden. Our Spring(?!) weather had been too cold and windy to set out my tender crops any earlier. When I could, I'd set them out on the deck during the day, bringing them in each night. But now, I'd finished up with the latest stage of the garden remodel, and was ready to get my kitchen counter back.

While I'd planted the earlier crops in the upper part of the garden, using two of the old "S" shaped beds, I had been digging and re-shaping the lower part from two S's into three 50' long straight beds. Instead of planting each long bed with the same type of plants, I divided each bed into thirds, making three "blocks" of three 1/3 rows. When I redo the upper part in the fall or next spring, I'll have six long rows, making six blocks, in the same area that previously held only four. I'll finish working out a new crop rotation schedule then.

For the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, holes were dug, eggshell, Epsom salt, and a bit of bloodmeal, bonemeal, and greensand added. The plants set out, cages added, Wall-o-Waters placed and then filled. Last year, I was about this late setting out my plants, and I didn't use the W-o-W's, figuring everything would be ok since nights will now be above freezing until mid-September. Our night temperatures are in the high 30's to mid-40's this time of year. But I found out that just because the plants aren't in danger of frost damage, it's still worth the time and effort to use the W-o-W's. Last year, my plants grew so slowly, and set fruit so late, that I didn't get much of a harvest. The W-o-W's, left on the plants until after the Fourth of July, give the plants such a nice little warm transition spot that when the heat of summer finally sets in they can really take off.

His painting finished, Aries then decided that as long as almost everything was out of the living room he'd shampoo the carpet too. Fine with me, I still had more work to do out in the garden. In the middle block I seeded corn and beans - the corn in trenches so I can hill up the roots later to keep them from blowing over in the wind, and then squashes, zukes, and cukes in the remaining third. I put wire down over everything to give the seeds a headstart from the birds, put new washers in the hose connections, and got all my soaker hoses and valves arranged. And then got to go inside to put my living room back together. To be continued . . .

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