Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

I figured Monday would be a great day to take a break from physical work. I had a lot of errands and calls to make. I would mostly stay out of the garden except for a little watering. As I watered, I noticed one of my spinach plants had come up. Whoohoo! On Tuesday many more had popped up, but still it wasn't enough to see if they would totally fill out, but now at least I know that I will have some. With spinach that isn't always a given. Then I noticed little pea shoots starting to come up. Just a tiny top of many of them, but in a few days - especially with the all day soaking rain we are getting today - they will all be up. Again Whoohoo!

My day went right as planned. Until 4:00 came around. The UPS truck pulled in front of the house. I prayed it would be for my townhouse mates. And it was. Then the FedEx truck pulled up 15 mins later. Again I prayed, but this time my prayers weren't answered. I had a box on my doorstep. Usually I LOVE boxes on my doorstep. But dang it I wanted a day off.

The box was from Pinetree. It had 30 strawberries, 22 asparagus, and 5 raspberries. Sadly my husband was off on a business trip or I would have begged him to help. I thought for a minute, but figured if I didn't get them into the ground right away it would probably be the next night or Thursday. Sadly I had to go into the store to work on Tuesday or they would have just waited over night.

Strawberries planted

I power dug all those nice plants in. First came the raspberries in the back yard between the foundation, two bulkheads and the walkway. My last raspberry patch would try to take over everything it was near, but this time they are contained.

Then the strawberries were planted in the rock wall garden where the figs and plum tree will go. Earlyglow (8) is between the gates, Sparkle (8) is next down on the rock wall. And the photo above is of the last bit which is Seascape (10) which is an everbearer. I've grown Sparkle in the past and it is an amazing tasting strawberry. I hope the others are just as good.

The last bit to do was the asparagus. The bed is about 33' long. And I needed a trench 8" deep.

The first issue were the over wintered spinach plants. I harvested all the leaves from the plants in the middle of the bed, but the ones that were off to the side I left. I'm hoping they survive getting their roots cut. I would hate to lose my only early spring producer, but the asparagus is worth it if necessary.

Asparagus planted

Then I planted them all in the trench and covered them with about 2" or so of soil. I took this last photo at just after 7pm. So I was out digging again for 2hours and 45 minutes and about as fast as I could while the light lasted. I was so tired after that.

That night I had trouble sleeping. Over a week ago I injured my bicep somehow digging. It doesn't hurt all the time. But occasionally it sends out sharp pangs of pain. This doesn't make sleeping very easy. A low steady pain is easy to sleep through, but sharp stabs that I'm not expecting wake me up. I ice and heat it every night to keep it from doing so, but Monday's chores were just too much for it. I figured at least on Tuesday I could rest. I had to work the store (an artist's coop), but that involves sitting in a chair for hours, so that wasn't an issue. I even took the bus in and back so I wouldn't have to walk that day.

Then at 5pm. The damn FedEx truck rolled in again. Sob. I swear I used to love the UPS and FedEx guys. Now I curse them. It was my order from Miller's. I had six cranberries (Thunderlake) and two peach trees (Red Haven and Reliance) . I put the peach trees in a pail of water to soak their roots. My husband was there early that day. He had a conference call he was taking at home at 6pm. So he went out and dug two large holes for me. After dinner I went out and planted them. I'm ignoring the cranberries right now they came in small pots so are safe for a while. Luckily the soil was prepared a couple of weeks ago. Peat moss was already dug in. But I figured I didn't have to go out in the fading light. Another day is just as good.

I have three more mail order deliveries to come. I have one rose that is by itself, so easy enough. I have the order for two apples and one plum. Then I have the order for three gooseberries from Nourse Farms that I know will show up today. They were the only ones that emailed me the tracking number. They won't go in today though. It is pouring rain. I'll have to let the soil dry out a bit before they can go in. Thank God for rainy days. Maybe tomorrow. Who knows. But today I have off. I swear. When the gooseberries tell me to put them in as soon as they arrive, I can tell them I'm waiting for their own good.


  1. Honestly, Daphne, as long as you keep ordering, FedEx will keep delivering! LOL I know it's hard work, and you're hurting, but just think how you'll be enjoying all the fruits (and veggies) of your labors for years and years to come! In the meantime, I think you and Erin need to take a vacation together ;-)

  2. Granny beat me to it. I was going to say "tell me how to get FedEx to deliver plants to me please! Oh you have to order them first. Gottcha!" hehe.

    I love working in a rush, it gets done so fast, but yes, it's very hard work. Hope you heal soon. Great work!

  3. Holy criminetly, what a day. You could pray that FedEx goes on strike, but that would cause other, probably worse problems.

    About the bicep: there's a prescription patch called Flexor that delivers anti-inflammatory medication to the site itself. It's great for nagging problems. But a stabbing pain? That might be worthy of a physical therapist. Good luck!

  4. Wow, your hard work is certainly going to pay off! That's what I keep telling myself as I'm endlessly hoeing the blasted evil grass out of my enormous garden. I get carried away sometimes, but I will surely be glad when I'm all stocked up later this year.

    Regarding the arm pain, I am falling apart and injure myself with distressing regularity. My doctor, my chiropractor, and my physical therapist all threw up their hands in horror when I told them I used a heating pad to soothe my pain. The physical therapist explained it best. Heat is psychologically comforting, but actually allows the injured areas to swell more, causing more pain in the long run. They have me icing for 20 minutes, then resting for 20 minutes, then icing for another 20. I'm supposed to do this twice a day but I only have time to do it at night before bed. (I hope none of them read your blog. Lol!)

  5. Granny, yeah I have to quit that ordering thing. I get vacation in August. Can you imagine I scheduled during the busiest harvest season? What was I thinking?

    Sinfonian, now ordering them was fun. Planning the whole yard out was fun. It is planting by myself that isn't. But at least a good portion of the landscaping will be all four of us in the townhouse together. It's on their calendar so they have to be there.

    Kate, wow haven't heard from you in an age. Oh that would be bad too. I can hear the plants crying to me from across the country. Stuck in a box for weeks. The pain starts to disappear when I quit digging. I had Sunday off of digging (but not exercise since I was doing a walk for affordable housing). And that night was bliss. I just need a week off to heal then I'd be OK.

    Grace, I alternate cold first then heat. Yes they do opposite things. But for some injuries heat really helps especially paired with cold. The cold really cuts down your circulation and the heat brings it back. I've found this pain won't go away with just cold. The alternation works better. Then again I don't have any visible swelling at all. It seems more of a chronic problem than an acute problem, which does call for heat. Acute problems should always be treated with cold alone.

  6. Daphne, I'm the expert when it comes to doing to much and hurting afterward. I have osteoarthritis (neck, knees, hands,etc). Kate is right, the Flexor patches might help. Also try soaking in epsom salts (an old fashioned remedy, but the magnesium in the salts does help overworked muscles)...and if it persists; see your doctor might have torn something. Sometimes there is no alternative but a muscle relaxant...and it helps you sleep, too.

    Take care...

  7. Daphne have you had fruits before or are you planting them all for the first time? It sounds like big project putting all of them!

  8. When it rains, it pours.

    On all fronts, huh?

    Your garden is going to look fantastic!

  9. I don't seem to get the delivery times right, I specify either too soon or too late.

    A question about beans - this is the first year I'm growing them. The package says to space 3 feet one way and 8 inches the other way. How big is a bean plant? I had been thinking I'd just pop a few each into a wire tomato cage, that's what I do with most everything, since I have an infinite supply of those cages.

  10. Deb, don't worry. I will see my doctor if it doesn't go away when I rest it. But most all of my injuries get taken care of just by rest. Sadly I don't see a lot of rest in the next month, but after that I mostly have to weed which is easy.

    Vanessa, Yes and no. I've grown strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and raspberries before. But never any tree fruits. Nor asparagus. The really big project is putting the whole landscaping in. Last summer all I had was subsoil. Last fall the top soil all got put on. So this spring the whole yard needs to be planted up. Most of the fruit plants were ordered online, but the rest of the yard is getting picked up at the end of April and early May. But I will have help with that part.

    Ribbit, yes and I suppose I need both kinds right now. But you don't always look forward to rain.

    Karen Anne, I didn't ask for a specific delivery time from most of these places. They just shipped when they thought it was good for my one. As to beans - I plant beans 6" apart in all directions. For pole beans I plant them 6" apart in two rows 6" apart along the back of the bed. That way they don't shade the rest of the bed. I put a trellis up along the back for them to grow on, but tomato cages would work well if they are pole beans. If they are bush beans, they don't need any support, though it can't hurt either I suppose. Some bush beans are semi runners so they but out short runners that wouldn't mind climbing a short support.

  11. Too bad about your arm, hope it heals up quickly...not a very good situation for someone that has to do so much digging. Looks like you are wasting no time at all in populating the new garden...way to go. I like you choices of strawberries, and very nice variety.

  12. I should be getting my strawberries this week! Hopefully you will have better luck than I have had in the past. Apparently, chipmunks and squirrels love munching on the green unriped fruit. Netting for me this year for sure!

  13. Mr H, I just picked every variety that Pinetree had. So it is their selection. But I like it too. It includes one everbearer. One early bearer. And one late bearer. So all the season is well covered.