Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day for working outside. And since lots of rain was forecast for today, hubby and I put in an almost full day in the garden.
But first, before I regale you with the (not) exciting saga of what we did, let me tell you about my adventure planting Sweet Peas.
Wednesday of this past week, I planted my Sweet Pea seeds in one of my raised beds. It's the earliest I've ever gotten them in. Supposedly the seeds can go in the ground up to 6 weeks before the last expected frost date . . . which for us (in a good year) is sometime around Memorial Day Weekend/the first of June. From some test digging, I knew the soil in the raised beds was loose and, on a sunny day, even warm to the touch. So I soaked my seeds overnight and Wednesday headed out to plant them.
I needed to put up the trellis they climb on so I went armed with two long pieces of rebar I fasten the trellis to and the small sledge hammer to pound the rebar into the ground.
All went well for about 6-8" into the soil, and then it was like I hit a rock. Hunh.
The rebar was tall and I thought maybe I wasn't wielding enough oompf using the heavy hammer over my head so I called Papa Pea in as reinforcement. After a mere two whomps on the rebar he informed me the ground in the raised bed was still frozen hard as a rock not far below the surface. Sigh. Well, it is very early in the season for us yet.
I went ahead and planted the pre-soaked Sweet Pea seeds in two shallow furrows on either side of where the trellis will go . . . as soon as the ground thaws a bit more. It will be very interesting to see if I'm a success or failure in getting the seeds in so early this year. Hope I didn't waste the seeds. Stay tuned for updates.
Now back to our work in the garden yesterday. We succeeded in getting compost heaps rearranged for the season (well, almost . . . more on that in a bit here), and compost spread in all the raised beds.
I used my wonderful Mantis tiller to mix the compost in with the soil, then raked the beds smooth.
Papa Pea covered the Pumpkin Patch (soon to be planted in new strawberry plants arriving in a few weeks and renamed the Strawberry Patch) with compost and then started spreading it over the Field Garden.
But once again, that little imp Jack Frost had an impact on our efforts. In both compost heaps we hit the frost line a ways down into the lovely, black stuff which means we'll have to wait for further thawing to finish.
I tilled around the borders of the Field Garden, Pumpkin Patch, and blueberry and raspberry patches to get a jump start on the sod that never gives up on its quest to grow into and take over the garden soil.
That rain that was predicted? Yep, it started around 7 this morning and has continued all day. Perfect for our newly applied compost so it can soak down into the soil. Also, our forest fire danger has been high for a couple/few weeks so it's a comfort to have everything soaked down now.
Looks like this whole week ahead of us will be unfavorable for doing anything outside. Dropping temperatures and wintry mix (yeah, more of that stuff) all week. Good. That means more time for me to lie on the couch, eat bon-bons and nap. (Just what the heck is a "bon-bon" anyway?)
P.S. Thanks again to my daughter for loaning me one of her beautiful photos as a new blog header picture. Johnny-Jump-Ups (violas) are one of our very first flowers to bloom. The ones shown here are not ones currently blooming, but we're hoping it won't be long before they do.
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