Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Muscle Moving Day

Lawdy, did I work hard yesterday.  Lawdy, did I sleep hard last night.  But as you all know, it was a deserved, good sleep, and I'd probably still be sawin' 'em off it my bladder hadn't insisted I get up at six bells.

I got my loverly cauliflower baby seedlings (teen-aged they were, really) planted in their raised bed and covered with the cold frame for the night.  They suffered a smidge from transplant shock, but already this morning they look much better than they did last night.

This is a new (to me) cauliflower I'm trying this year.  An old heirloom from Sustainable Seed Company which supposedly has "self-wrapping leaves which shield the snow-white heads from the sun."  This eliminates the need to tie the leaves up over the heads as they mature.  The name?  Self-Blanching Cauliflower.  How's that for originality?

I edged the asparagus/Everbearing strawberry patch (all the time muttering bad words about the dang quack grass which never gives up trying to sneak into the garden soil), and then cross-creeping along on hands and knees, I weeded the asparagus and strawberries, then mulched the asparagus with straw.

After getting the asparagus mulched, the last wheelbarrow was still nearly full so I used that to mulch the raised bed containing our rhubarb and comfrey.

Helped (grunt-groan, puff-puff) Papa Pea move our two ancient, but still usable, snowmobiles from one storage spot to another.  (This would have been oh-so-much easier if it had been done when snow was on the ground and they could have been started and driven to their new home.  But I'm not pointing fingers.  There are multitudinous tasks I never get done in a timely manner.  'Magine that.)

More eradicating encroaching quack grass around the whole perimeter of the field garden.  Took a wander over to the shell peas and potatoes, both planted last week on the 10th, but nothing showing there yet.  I did notice in my meanderings of the day that the raised bed of yellow storage onions I planted on the 6th are just starting to poke through.  I plant two 4' x 8' beds of yellow and one of red onions each year.  Usually I don't plant any of them this early, but decided to give one bed a try since onions are a bit frost hardy . . . should they have to be.

I replanted two varieties of lettuce in the bed I put in on the sixth.  Most varieties (I always do a mixture of red and green lettuces) are sprouted and doing very well, but one of the varieties (I replanted) had sprouted very sparsely and the other was a complete no-show.

I'll end with this picture.  On Monday, Papa Pea replaced these two raised bed frames with new ones he constructed.  Looks as though we got our money's worth out of these, doesn't it?  I'm thinking they were at least twenty years old.   


DFW said...

If your quack grass is the same as our bermuda (or a close cousin), it is nearly impossible to control! I hate that stuff.

DFW said...

Oh, hit enter too soon ... You are working so very hard but I'm sure it will be worth it in the near future! Great job & rest was well deserved.

gld said...

Like DFW, Bermuda grass is my personal nemesis!

Congrats on all the good work. I can't believe anything outside could last 20 years. Wow.

Several gardeners I know have commented on seed failure. Wonder what's up with that?

Happy Gardening.

I saw three Pilgrim geese for sale on Craig's list and thought of you.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - If Bermuda grass has a tough root system that goes on forEVER, it is indeed like our quack grass. Unless you manage to get out the whole root system, which is practically impossible, it just keeps growing even if you hack off what's above the surface of the soil. Arrrgh!

I don't mind working hard outside, especially during this time before the biting insects come out!!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - It may be our cold winters that allow wood outside resting on the ground to last as long as it does. Not much decomposing action goes on when it's below zero!

According to our researching (and searching), it seems Pilgrim geese are becoming harder to come by. Maybe you should have grabbed those on your Craig's list, put 'em in a box and sent 'em our way! ;o}

Sue said...

Those raised beds certainly gave you some good use! We used Hemlock on our first ones and they are now 8 years old and look just as bad as your 20 year old ones. I'm not complaining--I think each bed cost $20, so that's reasonable. We "invested" in cedar for 4 beds last year. I could have gone on a 3 day pie trip for what that cost. At least with the cedar beds, I'll have something to show for it besides a potbelly--LOL!
Have a terrific and busy week up there

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I know of what you speak, m'dear. Hubby made these latest beds out of hemlock fir which cost $14 for each 2" x 12" x 8' board. He was going to use cedar, but changed his mind when he priced it. How much for a 2" x 12" cedar board 8' long? Forty-four dollars!

Laurie said...

Hmmmm, I wonder if I have quack grass. I thought it was nut grass, but there's no nuts on the roots and the roots can be very long. I'm going to google it. Great job in the garden. You sure did get a lot done.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Laurie - Well, no matter if it's Bermuda grass, nut grass or quack grass, it's AWFUL stuff and really, really hard to keep ahead of, isn't it? Today I moved wheelbarrows full of wet, heavy compost and I just finished making out my list for tomorrow. Sure hope that crew of 12 shows up so I can get it done! ;o}

Kim said...

Oh Right Mama Pea! The crew of 12! That is what I forgot to put in for them. But today is to be our first day without rain in 2 weeks so I am hoping for lots of sunshine and perhaps some wind to dry things up. But I can certainly work on pots and raised beds while I wait.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I haven't heard of Self-Blanching Cauliflower, very interesting. A couple of seasons ago, I tried growing cauliflower.....end results.....absolutely nothing!!!

It's really nice to finally hear you're out planting and prepping your garden beds for seedlings. No more snow....woooohoooo!!!!

Moving snow mobiles without snow is heavy work, I truly hope Papa Pea didn't hurt himself doing this.

Mark said...

Hi Mama Pea! Little jealously going on here! Glad you're doing so well with the garden so far. Going to be interesting to see how that cauliflower works out. It sounds great if it all works as advertised.

Oddly enough, our never-ending garden nemesis here is quack grass also. We've got all but 3 of the 23 garden beds cleared, but we're fighting a real battle this year. Man that stuff can take over in a hurry!

We've got a couple of beds that look like yours and a couple more made of ancient landscaping timbers that are starting to cross over from bed rails to mulch. I suppose that means it's time buy lumber.

Mama Pea said...

Kim - Isn't it strange how the spring time weather never seems to cooperate so we can do what we wanna do when we wanna do it? :o] Gotta see what we can do about changing that!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Oh yes, it feels so good to be able to play in the dirt now! Funny, I've never been able to successfully grow cauliflower either until last year. Hope I didn't goof this year by trying this new variety!

Thanks for thinking about Papa Pea not hurting himself moving the snowmobiles. What about little ol' me who was grunting and groaning right beside him?? ;o] He always says I'm the "most important" worker around here 'cause if I don't work, he'd have to do it all by himself! (I've got to keep him thinking that way, right?)

Mama Pea said...

Mark - The best thing I seem to be able to do re the quack grass is to have ALL area cleared of it in the fall. Then in the spring it doesn't seem to take hold as quickly. (Well, that's my theory anyway and I'm sticking to it.)

Yep, the decomposing rate of wood in contact with the ground is amazing. Mulch is good though, right? Just not made out of raised bed frames!

Best of luck with all you've got left to get shaped up . . . before you get shaped up! ;o]