Sick kid=less garden time

I’ve been keeping up with picking the Chandler and summer strawberries and some compost turnings, but little else this week. My little sweetie pie missed 3 days of preschool due to being sick. And he’s been clingy!

Today he and his dad went to the park and grocery shopping, and I got out to the garden. I picked a quick basket of berries, then fertilized: the  corn and beans, the new strawberries, the tomatoes, the greens, the potatoes, and the old strawberries. Yay! Then I hoed the mostly unplanted new sunflower bed and part of the one I planted some 10 days ago. I was on the phone with my friend who was complaining that it was 82 in San Francisco (she was driving with air conditioning on). It got up to at least 87 here while I was out there, and was 80 inside until around 9pm.

The broccoli raab bolted really fast and I need to pull it out. The dino kale and the one collard plant that’s left from the winter look like they are about to bolt :(. One of the tomatillos is really huge! The chandlers are, I think, starting to slow down. We have missed a lot of really good berries in the old patch. At the end of the evening I got to plant 10 or 15 feet of sunflowers with T (I think he put about 15 seeds into a deep hole he dug, lol) and I tucked in a few melon seeds, too. I shouldn’t have stayed out until 8 because that did not help him to get to bed. I think I’ve reached peak evening garden time (and thus garden quantity time) and have to start coming in earlier to try to help get him to bed earlier. I’d really prefer to always be outside at sunset. 😦

Today Z finished prepping for 3 rows of winter squash/pumpkins. He was working on chisel plowing a bed or two on the south side when he sheared a bolt on the chisel plow and bent the top link on the tractor! Photos are all his. He thinks that he can probably still use the landscape rake, lol. It’s probably not a good idea! File that under #ridiculousthingsthathappen

z_bentupchiselplowz_anotherviewofchiselplowz_benttoplinkz_preppedforpumpkins

Sometimes getting things done hurts

Yesterday morning I had kind of a rough time in the garden. I couldn’t get the mower started. It has to be on perfectly level ground and it can’t be in grass that’s taller than like 4 inches. Then I kinda punched myself in the face trying to pull up my shirt sleeves. THEN I was putting compost out around the new strawberry plants and stepped YET AGAIN in the trenches alongside the bed and sprained my ankle. I kept going and didn’t elevate much and it hurts a lot more today.

I did hoe a few more feet where more strawberries can be planted soon 🙂 But we need to fill in those trenches before mowing, fertilizing, or even planting can happen. It’s just not that safe out there. And I need new boots. (and sneakers, which is impossible for me to find) I really like these boots, so hopefully I can find another pair. This is an expensive week, with our trash bill and preschool and seeds all being paid for in one week! I guess that’s what bank accounts are for.

Working towards planting stuff

This morning I was running behind because I had a nice chat with a fellow mom when I dropped T off at his school (he goes 2 mornings a week). I was also still taking it slow – today was my first time having kale with my breakfast in almost a week!

When I finally made it to the garden, I worked on raking and moving soil to level out the bed where the next strawberry planting will go. We have about 25 or 30 feet of drip tape out there, which will be fine for the 25ish crowns that I have in the fridge, assuming they are still viable as I haven’t checked on them in a while. I’m never very happy about the soil getting chisel plowed or raked when compost wasn’t applied first, and there are some weird things about the soil in the south side of the field. It sounds like a former owner brought in soil to cover up a, um, small pond that formed in the winter. This might explain the sinkhole that I filled in last fall (or this spring?) at the east edge of the field.

Some late buckwheat that sprouted on the south side of the field
Some late buckwheat that sprouted on the south side of the field
You can click on the image to see a closer-up version.

I was hoping to get out there this evening to throw compost on top of the bed, but it didn’t happen. I also need to hoe out weeds. Speaking of weeds, there is buckwheat out there! I was surprised to see it, since we’ve had some low temperatures- last night at 4:30am the thermometer outside the house said 34 degrees (and my phone backed that up, as it was the temperature that it showed in the morning). Supposedly buckwheat doesn’t like the cold. I barely made it out there tonight to turn the water on for a bit and check to see that there were no major new leaks.

I really want to get fava beans into the ground. I’d like to put some at the end of the Chandler strawberries. The raccoons have still been digging that area (and the garlic and onions) up like crazy. We have a bed that we’ve been saying would be favas, but it got really messed up by the tractor. Z thinks we should put the beans into the 4inch deep furrows and rake over them. That _might_ work, but would the beans be too deep?

I was going to mow, but…

I was given something of a “personal morning” and finally made it outside at 11:00. I brought the push mower (http://www.billygoat.com/Product-Categories/Detail/high-weed-mower-residential-commercial) out and walked along the lines of sprinklers to try to make a visible path so I wouldn’t bump into the sprinklers or their poles. I had two sets of two beds to do (see https://farmingmum.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/20150920_104052.jpg?w=300) – one had been mowed before and not watered much after – I think it had been mostly buckwheat, and I think one part is going to be a Junebearing strawberry bed. As I got near the end of a bed of super-green sorghum-sudangrass, I started pulling out tall, mature pigweed plants. Somehow I lost my protective eye wear and I can’t find it again. That area is too wet to mow, anyhow, but I need to find those goggles.

I decided to mow the drier area without the eye wear, and started up the mower with some difficulty. I couldn’t really get it to run at full volume, but finally I let it start mowing. It promptly sputtered to a stop, and I remembered that some drip tape had gotten wrapped up in it at the end of my last mowing. Doh! This time, it actually had spit out two good-sized pieces of tape (the smaller was like 15 inches)!  I was like, I’m not turning over a mower with a full tank of gas in the garden to pull this thing out, so I put it away. I certainly wasn’t going to try later on in a 100 degree day, especially since a slight breeze was starting up and it’s fire season.

So I hoed 3/4 of the unplanted area of the pea bed, in hopes that I’d get back out there this evening to finish hoeing and plant (I didn’t). We ran errands in the afternoon, and I was told to go to the gym (this would guarantee that I’d get a shower). I got home about 15 minutes before dark. Sigh!