Saturday, May 16, 2009

Big Day!

Officially, the last average frost date is something like May 10th, but apparently many people around here consider it to be more like the 15th.  At any rate, we've been plodding along doing what we can between bad weather days earlier in the month, and getting all the supplies we need. We've been planning on planting the tomatoes today, Tier 3, and as many other things as possible.

We started the day by attending the Waverly Pancake Breakfast, which was fun just to get out and see Waverly neighbors and meet new people.  We came home and started working.  It was a cool, overcast morning, so a great day for planting.

We started the layers to build the beds.  The layers go as follows (bottom to top): cardboard, horse manure, topsoil, peat, chopped hay, goat manure, and a large layer of topsoil-peat-hay mixture.  We think this should do the trick.  It adds bulk to the clayey soil.  As I'm planting I'm also adding handfuls of a mixture of soil, peat, goat manure & organic fertilizer. 


I counted all the plants and planned out where to put them (two rows in each section of this tier), then Tim began putting up the t-posts we planned to use for the tomato trellis.  Unfortunately, what we'd thought about doing just wasn't going to work.  It needs more support to keep the wires taut.  Back to the drawing board, and another trip to Lowe's to buy lumber.  Dang.  We decided to finish other projects during the day and go to town in the evening to get supplies.  We also need more cardboard to complete the sections down by the tree.  So, Tim finished preparing the beds in Tier 4, where we will put bush beans & marigolds, summer squash and nasturtiums.

I did get our little herb triangle planted with mostly perennial type herbs.  It's nice to see the little seedlings in the ground, and I think they like it.  I planted chives, oregano, thyme, garlic, chamomile, and seeds for cilantro and parsley.

I'm mulching all of the beds with old hay. We have some clumps of curly, tough hay that won't go through the shredder for some reason, so I'm using that alongside each bed to help keep the moisture in along the sides.  Hopefully that will help.

One little surprise of the day, was that as I was looking at my pea seedlings popping up in Tier 1, there was a hole in the soil, like something had dug it up.  I reached down to smooth it out, and IT MOVED!  There was something just under the surface, and it was no worm.  Out popped a toad!  Yes, I screamed a bit, just because I was startled when the soil moved.  I pushed him out of the hole, he hung around for a while while I took photos, then hung around all day.  He ended up making another hole to hide in.  I really don't want him messing up my garden, but I suppose he causes little harm, and will eat bugs.

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