My shoulders are sore, I’ve got a splinter in my arm, I’m pretty sure I’ve still got dirt stuck in my socks… and I’ve had a great weekend!
Yesterday morning I had a gardening class – I signed up for the free Edible Gardens Workshop Series through Pierce County and yesterday’s class was on garden soil. I think that’s a good portion of where I went wrong last year, so hopefully this will help me get my garden going right this year! My only worry is that I haven’t started anything early enough, especially since the weather feels like late May instead of mid-April today! I’ll be starting my seeds this week, but at least when they sprout I’ll be able to put them outside for proper sunlight instead of using a shop light and hoping the weather warms up fast enough to put them outside before they get leggy!
Yesterday afternoon we headed to the Puyallup Spring Fair, and poked around for a while after we finally found somewhere to park. It was insanely busy, probably because the weather this weekend has been gorgeous. The scone lines were ridiculous everywhere we looked, so we passed on those, but I found one food vendor that was offering Dole Whips and so I finally got to try one! For anybody who hasn’t had the opportunity… I recommend it. It’s a pineapple flavored soft serve frozen dessert, and I believe sometimes you can also get it as a float in pineapple juice. Delightful!
I got to sleep in a bit today, and then got cleaned up and headed out to the garden to play in the dirt. Last night I’d gotten some seed pots ready for seed starting. I got a new tool this year – cleverly named Pot Maker – for making seed pots from strips of newspaper. I haven’t been happy with the Jiffy Peat Pods as the mesh outside no longer dissolves in the dirt once planted like I swear they did when I was little, and the little plastic trays were a pain last year. The idea with the newspaper pots is that you can plant the whole lot once it is time to transplant seedlings, and the newspaper will compost in your garden.
I’m interested to see how well this works out – I ruined several seedlings last year trying to dig them out of the plastic seed starting trays! So far they work pretty well – the little cylinders hold their shape pretty well once they’re full of soil, and they didn’t all come apart the instant I watered them!
I’d bought some Walla-Walla sweet onion starts a couple of weeks back, and stuffed them in some seed starting mix bundled together since I didn’t have a place to put them at the time. I’m hoping they’re still viable, and I got them loaded into my newspaper seed pots! I’ve got over seventy, so as long as they all stay healthy, I’ll be looking to give away some onion starts in a couple of weeks. Let me know if you’re local and interested!
I had some herbs – rosemary, sage, and oregano – survive the winter in my raised beds, along with a couple of garlic starts and a few green onions. I dug those out and potted them today, so I could shovel half the dirt out of the raised bed to make room for some new better dirt I’ll be getting next weekend. I’m hoping to move my herbs to some pots near my back patio for easier access, and to free up some vegetable space in my raised beds.
Once I got those out, Destin helped me shovel out the second bed – he’d done the first one by himself yesterday while I was at my gardening class. The dirt has come in handy for leveling out some low spots in the yard! I also removed the trellises I had put up last year for easier access to the beds right now. Next Saturday we plan to drive to Tacoma and get a yard of Tagro Mix and a yard of Tagro Potting Soil to mix together and then mix into the three way soil mix I have in the beds from last year. There’s still a bit of an ick factor on using Tagro due to the human biosolids (class A) factor, even though it’s highly regulated and has been cooked to remove any nasties, but it’s more regulated than compost/manure so I thought I’d give it a try.
I then decided that I didn’t like the look of the project of putting pavers around the beds that I never finished last year, and four wheelbarrow loads later, all of the pavers were neatly stacked along the side of the garage next to the trellises I’d removed from my raised beds. I’ve got some plans for around my beds that will involve putting the pavers back, but I’ll have to see how well my idea works out. Those things are heavy!
My peas are finally sprouting. I sure hope that the warm weather doesn’t finish them off before I get to eat some peas this year. Our lack of winter and early spring are throwing me off for when to plant things, though we’re still getting some frost in the mornings. After I took this photo, I promptly mulched both of my pots of peas with grass clippings, which is supposed to help hold moisture in the dirt. As they get taller, I’ll add a little more mulch, but I didn’t want to chance smothering my peas.
The nice weather also means that the grass is growing, which means that it needs to be mowed often. While I played in the dirt, Destin worked on mowing the entire yard. It’s a good thing that he has a riding lawn mower, because our yard is huge.
I love our little nook of trees in the front of our house, and I would love to put some ferns and hosta under them in the shade. Because of how shallow the tree roots are, I’ll need to have them in flower pots. I’ve got ferns under other trees near our blackberry bramble mess that I can dig up, but I haven’t gathered up any pots yet. If anybody has some large flower pots they’re getting rid of, please let me know…!
Mia got to enjoy some outdoor time today after much beeping and whining from the back door. As always, the lawn had to be grazed, but it was funny that she kept walking around the perimeter of the back yard, and didn’t care for walking straight across the grass. She enjoyed herself, but she got taken back inside when she started looking too brave, and eyeballing the height of the fences!
A beautiful summer (April) day… and our lilac is starting to bloom 🙂 I even had the brains to go back into the house for sunblock fairly early this morning, so sunburn season has been thwarted for today!