Thurs. April 25, 2018: Sprouts

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde

Well, it looks like we might actually get a bit of spring. Although the nights are still cold, and the heat’s still on way too much.

The lettuce sprouted, but it’s not looking great. The Principasse Borghese tomatoes have come up, and the Moneymakers are just starting. One pot of lemon verbana has a few shoots; the other does not. Two of the three scarlet runner beans are going like gangbusters.

The two Rose of Sharon plants, the potted lilac, the potted forsythia, the potted hydrangea, the potted blueberry, and the clematis are all back out on the deck. I have a couple of chairs out, and had my first official glass of wine out there on Monday afternoon.

Still plenty of yard work to do. Got some of the tree limbs cleared, but there are still plenty of leaves to rake. I’m mad at the road work crews; they’ve been working on my street. Their version of “clean up” at the end of the day is to leaf-blow their debris into my yard. This is not okay.

I hope the coming weekend is warm and sunny; there’s plenty I’d like to do, and I’d also like some time just to sit and enjoy!

Hopefully, I can take and post some photographs soon.

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Spring Planting Late — But Then, So is Spring!

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Jupiter Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I’d really like winter to be over. Any day now, okay?

I finally planted both the Moneymaker and the Principasse Borghese tomatoes. Planted two pots’ worth of lemon verbana, some of my scarlet runner beans, and lettuce.

Delighted that the lettuce is already poking up.

The weather’s been bad on the days I’ve had off to work in the yard, so I still haven’t been able to clean up the debris from the March storms.

Fingers crossed we have some decent weather this weekend so I can.

I’m tired of daily news about contaminated food. We really do have to grow most of our own so what we eat doesn’t kill us.

 

March Storms, April Storms

I’m still trying to clean up after the four March storms. We already had another snowstorm on Monday, April 2, and another one is expected to come in this weekend.

I’ve cleaned most of the front yard, including raking out the beds and cutting back debris, to let the beds breathe. They’re growing merrily, in spite of the storms.

I raked the terraced area in the back, along with raking out the big border bed there. That bed is growing like gangbusters!

All in all, those two areas spat out 420 gallons of leaves!

I still have the side yard (what I call “no man’s land”) to clear, a small transitional area in the back behind the garage, and then the big area in the back I call “the meadow” which has a lot of downed tree limbs.

With another storm coming in soon, I have my work cut out for me!

 

Cleaning Up After The Storms

March 29, 2018
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Sunny/cloudy and mild

It was actually dry enough, the past few days, to start cleaning up after the series of nor’easters that battered us in March. Most of the snow is gone, especially in my yard. There are some piles in corners along the street, but my yard is okay.

I started in the front. I’m in the process of clearing away all the branches and tree limbs that came down over the month. Not easy work, especially when it came to the large tree limb that broke off the dogwood. I hope I can work all through the weekend and make some serious progress. I should be able to finish the front yard today.

I’ll have to rake it then, still leaves around. I have to rake out the beds in the front. I used leaves to mulch in the winter, but there’s new growth, and I need to scrape away the old leaves and let it breathe.

I started cutting back the dead growth in the terraced bed in the back. I’d wanted to wait until it all passed and re-seeded itself naturally, but then the weather turned, and I couldn’t finish. Again, I used leaves to mulch. The new growth is coming up, so I have to rake it out. I cut back a good bit of it yesterday.

I also got out the handsaw and took out some invasive autumn olive and several oak saplings that are acting like invasives, especially within the rose bushes on the side of the house. When I’m sure it will stay mild in a week or two, I’ll give the roses a hard prune back — they’ve made that side of the house nearly impassable.

I still have a lot of that weird cedar-like invasive to dig out. I have to make sure I get the roots, or it just springs up somewhere else.

The crocuses are blooming, which is great. The daffodils and hyacinths are growing, but it’s been too cold for them to actually do much.

Yes, there’s a lot of work to do. If we have a string of days where the weather holds, it’ll be great. So often, the days I have time to work in the yard are the days where the weather is off.

But I’m looking forward to how beautiful it will be, once it’s cleaned up and ready for growing season!

Snowy March

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Waning Moon
Snowing
Celtic Tree Month of Ash
International Women’s Day

Short post today, and not just because it’s snowing.

It’s because I haven’t made any garden progress yet. The weather’s been too awful to do anything outside.

Inside, the sweet peas are growing merrily away, but I haven’t planted anything else. Saturday and Sunday are the next possible planting days, according to my calendar. Although, since it’s waning moon, I should plant things like potatoes, that grow under the ground (or carrots?), not things to grow above the ground.

Black Tomato

I saw a jokey meme on Facebook about black tomatoes for goth gardens. And I’ve become obsessed with dark tomatoes.

So now, I’m hunting down seeds from the darkest tomatoes I can find, and will add them to the many tomatoes I’m growing this season.

Because I love to grow tomatoes! 🙂

Have a great weekend. Let’s hope the weather starts getting better — at least on days I don’t have client work at their sites — so I can get out and start working in the yard!

 

March 1, 2018: Nothing Done

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Full Moon
Celtic Tree Month of Ash

I have gotten nothing done in the garden.

Nothing.

I am quite annoyed with myself.

However, on all the days the weather’s been good enough to work, I’ve had client work or other appointments. The days I could pull on some old clothes and get out in the mud, well, it’s beyond mud. It’s raining or sleeting.

So much for getting ahead of things!

I’ve got to get the invasive autumn olive, the oak that’s acting like an invasive, and that weird evergreen invasive out sooner rather than later. But, with a nor’eastern coming in today, I doubt it’ll be this weekend.

The sweet peas are doing well inside, but I haven’t planted anything else. I’ve got plenty of seeds waiting their turns, but, according to my calendar, the next planting days are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week, so we’ll see what we can get done.

I’m writing about plenty of gardens in my fiction. Just not getting any of it done off the page!

Feb. 22, 2018: Preparing for Another Season

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Waxing Moon
First Quarter Moon
Celtic Tree Month of Ash

It’s been far too long since I wrote in this journal. The weather is funky — overly warm and rainy for February. I hope that, because it was so cold so early in the season last year, that it killed off the bugs. Last winter, the thaw and strange temperature fluctuations didn’t kill off enough pests, and it was an awful year for creepy crawlies.

I didn’t spend as much time perusing seed catalogs as I would have liked. But I’m figuring out what I want to plant this year — more vegetables than usual, I hope, because I want more control over my food source.

I planted snapdragons indoors on Imbolc; they barely came up and then died. I hope, when it’s warm enough, I’ll have better luck outside. I also hope it’s not an omen of how my growing season will go!

I planted some sweet peas, again indoors, a few days later, and they are going like gangbusters. This time, I soaked them for several days.

According to my calendar, today is a planting day. I have some “mystery seeds” that I saved from something — I think it’s from a pepper. I plan to plant those.

I will start the tomatoes indoors soon, and some lettuce. I have saved seeds that I saved from last year, and also from a seed-saving workshop I took, given by Edible Landscapes of Cape Cod over at the Wildlands Trust in Plymouth. I bought some seeds from them, which I will plant in the next few weeks, and I also saved some seeds on my own. So we’ll see what happens.

I have a better phone in my camera and more storage, so, hopefully, I’ll also be able to post more photos over the weeks and months.

As far as the yard goes, I have a lot of cleaning up, both from what didn’t get done in the fall, and from the winter messes. I also have to get rid of that weird cedar plant that’s acting like an invasive, and some oak that’s been acting like an invasive — along with the actual autumn olive that IS an invasive. When it gets warmer, I will hack back the roses that have gone wild over on the side of the house. They’re gorgeous, but they need to be pruned way back or they will block passage on that side of the house.

The crocuses are poking little leaves up. I didn’t plant tulips in the fall, and I think all the ones I’ve planted through the years have either worn out or been eaten by squirrels.

But I am looking forward to putting the overwintered plants out on the deck and perking things up for spring.

This season, I want to concentrate on herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, zucchini, maybe some peas and bush beans. Things we will actually eat. I also want to get more strawberry plants — the ones we had last year were wonderful.

Fingers crossed for a good growing season!

 

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