Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Working Hard

The garden has been incredibly busy recently. There is nothing like hot weather and an up coming trip to remind you that you need to get things done and soon. My main chore has been finishing up that double digging of the tomato bed. I started double digging on Friday and did two hours every day throughout the weekend.

Then came yesterday. I did two hours in the morning. I had a friend stop by after I was almost done with my time. She wanted to go for a walk. All I could think at the time was that I really didn't need the exercise, but off I went. Walks really aren't about exercise. They are much more about gabbing with friends in the guise of exercise. An hour later I was back; had lunch; and decided I wanted to get the bed done already. Two hours a day is good to keep the arms and back from getting sore, but really it was taking forever. I didn't want to dig today. It is a really hellish day, at over 90°F(32°C). So I put in a couple more hours of digging yesterday and finished it off. Now I know people complain about all this digging stuff but I've lost a pound and am buff. Who needs the gym when you have a garden to dig? Sadly the rest of the summer will be lighter work, so I might have to lift those weights again.

Just digging the bed of course is not enough. I had to de-pile the dirt, rake it smooth and amend it. The piles were hard to smooth since it was much higher than before. I may have removed a ton of rocks, but I put back in even more of my half decomposed compost. I put it in the lower layer which is mostly clay and small rocks. Since I had so much extra dirt, I took two pails worth of the good top soil and will save it for when I make the mix for the potted tomatoes. The soil ended up about three inches taller than the edging of the bed. I'm sure over the next month it will sink back down a bit and be more manageable.

Here is my finished bed. The closest part is where my flowers will go. I'm going to put in some sunflowers and my tithonia. This morning before it heated up I prepared that bed. That is why it is darker then the far end. It is still moist. A little farther on you can see some trenches. I planted my chitted potatoes in that 4x4 section. I'll blog about that saga later. Next is the section where my pineapple tomatillos and my eggplant will go. That section currently has carrots growing down the middle. The last section will be the tomatoes and chili peppers.

I made the tomato end walkable. This bed is long and I hate to have to walk around it all the time. So I made sure I had some way to get around. If it wasn't there I might try to hop over the bed at some point. It is much safer to have a way around.

Today I did as much as possible before the hot weather descended. So as I said I prepared the flower section of the bed and planted potatoes. Then I planted some nasturtium and borage seed along the fence. I made the pea trellis since the peas are starting to grow and reach for things. It is still out of their reach but it won't take long.

I harvested some greens. Aren't the little radish seedlings I thinned out just darling? They went whole like that into my salad. Salad today for lunch. Whoo hoo! And I went to the store to pick up bone meal, vermiculite, and coarse sand. These are for my potted tomatoes. Well the bone meal is for all my plants.

Now I'm ensconced inside and contemplating cleaning the filter to my air conditioner. It is something that needs doing every year before I start it up for the first time. It is a small air conditioner that only cools down the family room and only on those really hot and humid days. Like today. Today? Really? On average Boston only gets 13 days in the 90°Fs all year long. And we are getting one in April? If this keeps up, I'll be really screwed. I don't take the heat well.


  1. WOW! Those average temps say it all. Be careful working in the heat. I have to remember to bring water with me to the garden so I don't overheat. Try to stay cool.

  2. Send some of that heat up here to the Northwest! I'm freezing today, it's 44F, windy and raining. I dragged all my poor plants inside and I'm just going to leave them in until next week, when we are supposed to hit 70. They looked so good last week when it was warm, in the 80s...now they look pretty bad. I just hope they make it another week.

  3. Double digging --shutter-- I try and avoid doing that. However, I was installing a garden yesterday and it went up to 30C with the humidex. Thakfully it was in a shady spot. You're garden's looking nicely manicured!

  4. Hmm, if we averaged your current temp and my current temp we would have a nice comfy 73F. Oh well, just dreaming...

    You garden is shaping up so nicely. Amazing how quickly you went from frozen ground to planting out.

  5. Your bed looks gorgeous, Daphne! I have no heat tolerance at all, so I can totally sympathize---it hit around 100 the past three days, and is a "balmy" 86 as I type. I'm just dying, and like you, I have exactly one small air conditioner (in my home office) but so far have resisted turning it on. Come back, spring!!!

  6. It was pretty chilly here today but was really warm Saturday & Monday. You really are working hard to dig then walk then dig again, I couldn't even do that. I'm more the take long breaks in the shade kind of person. Your turned beds are looking very nice.

  7. Thankfully we rarely see temps like you have there. Your garden is looking great after all your efforts.

  8. Wow, you sure have been working hard! I have had 2 salads, and am hoping it's not too muddy to go get some more thinnings tomorrow. I have had a few radish thinnings, but they didn't have little radishes yet. I think they do now.

  9. You've been busy, I'm going to cheat and use a friend's tiller since I'm starting with a totally new space. I'm envious of your salads. I haven't managed to get anything into the ground yet in my garden at our new house.

  10. That double-digging is some hard work! I know you're glad to be finished with it. It's been hot here, too - and the mosquitoes are out in full force....

  11. Hmm my post seems to have been eaten. I'll do it again.

    Wormsandflowers, I do have to be careful. I hydrate. I even drink gaterade. I hate the stuff, but otherwise I get really bad leg cramps in the heat.

    Annie's Granny, I wish I could send you the heat. It would have been nice to be 15 degrees colder.

    Ottawa Gardener, I wish my digging had been in the shade. That would have been so nice.

    Michelle, oh that would have been perfect. Luckily it has cooled down by now.

    our friend Ben, 100 ack. I actually faint in weather like that. I'm such a heat wimp. I have to confess. I have two air conditioners. The other gets put up in my bedroom. It rarely gets used (we have lots of windows and a whole house fan to cool it down), but for those few days I can't live without it, it is a god send. The kids move down to the basement on those nights.

    Dan, :> I'm a weird person. I like exercise, but I usually like it in hour long bites.

    Keewee, thanks. Luckily we rarely see those temps either.

    Sue, I love the early spring salads. They are just so exciting compared to the later ones. You really appreciate the first ones.

    Fullfreezer, I couldn't use a tiller. It would kill my shoulder. Weirdly hand digging doesn't do that it just makes it stronger. I hope you get your garden up soon.

    EG, I'm so glad we don't have any mosquitoes yet. It will happen and soon.