stubbed toes and mud pies

flowerbug

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we picked up most of our plants today. tomatoes, peppers, onions, cukes and some bean plants (for my brother). the greenhouse guy said that he has some other plants for us and to come back next week when they'll be ready.

the low tonight is 66F so the plants are sitting outside. hope the raccoons leave them alone (they usually do not bother them at all).

the onions can be planted any time, the tomatoes and peppers i'm thinking we'll get them planted sometime the next week as long as the forecast still holds up on the overnight lows. so far, looking ok. perhaps some rains will get in the way, that would be ok, we need some rains.
 

digitS'

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66°!??

That like never happens here.

Just checked. A couple overnight temperatures of 60° occurred in last few days of June, 2020. I know, you can read the horticultural literature about waiting for consistent lows above 50°.

🤫 Don't tell my tomatoes, going out today.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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66°!??

That like never happens here.

Just checked. A couple overnight temperatures of 60° occurred in last few days of June, 2020. I know, you can read the horticultural literature about waiting for consistent lows above 50°.

🤫 Don't tell my tomatoes, going out today.

Steve

the lowest temperature on the weekly forecast for overnight is 49F and that is next Thursday. i think we're past frosts now. i sure hope so. peppers, tomatoes will just have to cope. they usually are all ok as we plant later.

i'm going to get some Purple Dove beans planted today if the weather will let me get it done. i want to finish up the one garden i've started and i have plenty of those to get planted. even with all the seeds i've given away the past month i still have a few thousand seeds from the ones i selected and if i run out of those i have about 10Kg of others (eating beans :) ) i can select from. the only difference is that the selected seeds were ones i put aside as i was shelling because i liked their color or how they shelled out.
 

flowerbug

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i should be outside weeding. it's raining. i should be cleaning my room. it's raining. :) any excuse i can find to avoid cleaning i'll certainly take it for a while. breakfast... hmm... :) sounds good. what's that about cleaning? i forget... :)

gardening matters, i need to weed several areas, somehow i have to squeeze that in between planting and rains, also need to finish up project i'm nearly done with (the first part). i have about 10-20 more square feet of sod to remove and bury or deal with and then it will be all done. move some plants or just remove them entirely. they're nice purple flowering phlox. i hate to just remove them and luckily some can be left alone along the north edge of that patch. once that is done it is ready for planting. :)

the second part of this project i'm not sure when i'll be able to get back to it. there's a lot of crushed limestone that was moved to along this edge as a mulch to keep splashing dirt from getting into the neighboring pathway. it was moved because it had a lot of dirt and sand in it from where i scraped it up before and eventually the plan was that i would get it screened from the dirt and returned to some pathway someplace. i have the box with the screens now and i've already screened some of it but there is probably a few weeks worth of screening i'll still need to do. i figured i could save it for some real hot summer day when playing in the water will be fun. <-- delusional thinking for sure... :)

the north garden needs weeding bad before the weeds start dropping a lot of seeds around.

planting, as i can get to it. we're ready as we can get for that with most of the gardens inside the fence kept weeded. the starts are sitting out there in the rain right now. i just had a bit of a panic because Mom can move things around on me and i wasn't sure until i just looked to make sure they weren't under the dripping edge of the roof which would have made a mess, but gladly she left them where i put them. *whew*

we're not planting as many tomato plants as last year so that should mean for a bit easier of a harvest season. no green peppers or cucumbers so that keeps the work down there too. Mom decided she wasn't interested in harvesting and fixing cucumber stuff and we don't need any more pickles or sweet pickles. sweet onions are starts and ready to get planted any time i can get that done. melons and squash seeds we have plenty and can poke those in when it looks like the overnight lows are going to stay warmer. maybe in a week or two. which would be a normal time for us to plant them anyways.

strawberries are blooming and putting on fruit now. looks like the frosts didn't kill everything off and these rains are going to help a lot, plus i did water them a few times.

i think i can find some beans to contemplate where i can get them planted and other things to distract me while it is raining. i'm sure i can squeeze a nap in just in case of an emergency or something... i don't have any fluffy books on hand to read. can check the worms if they need any food and water. sounds like a perfect day to me... :)
 

flowerbug

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the Annual Running of the Worms happened this week. :) i used six and a half buckets this year of around 150-180lbs of worms, worm castings, worm pee, worm poo, rotted fruit and vegetable scraps, bones, egg shells, paper scraps and whatever else was in there.

a very interesting thing to note was that the worm bucket i put the most orange peels in seemed happiest of the lot. i guess the composting worms i used didn't mind the citrus peels after all. these are not native worms and will not survive our winters here. i don't recall seeing many native worms in that bucket so perhaps they didn't survive or were reduced populations.

i said half a bucket above because to restart a bucket means i do have to keep some worms behind instead of using the entire bucket up so the last two buckets i used yesterday i left some worms in the bottom and also included some of the top layer too since i use multiple species of worms in my buckets i try to keep some of each part of the bucket just in case there's a mix present i hope to keep them in the buckets i restart. i'm not down there actually looking and counting worms so i just give it a rough estimate and hope for the best. :)

the remaining three buckets i will use to restart and repopulate the rest of the buckets including the population of tiny spiders that have been working very well as fungus gnat controls. i wish i had some places out in the gardens where i could release more of these tiny spiders as they might help with controlling some mites or other small bugs in the gardens, but with bare dirt in many areas now i don't have too many spots i can release them when i open up a bucket to put it in a garden. i took the small spiders and put them on the lily trees and in some thyme. as these are very small and normally live in detritus and near the ground i'm not sure if any of them actually have survived when i release them, but at least they have a small chance.

the other denizens of the buckets besides the worms are spring tails and wood lice, in particular the wood lice get pretty big and a very nice blue gray color. when i was removing the top layer from the buckets i was trying to find a good home for the wood lice along an edge where they could hide from the sun and heat. a few minutes later i would have to herd them back as they were trying to crawl across the crusty surface layer of the garden and that wasn't very good habitat for them. i'm sure some birds got a tasty snack later after i was gone, but by then i also had watered the garden so it wasn't quite so dry.

all of the greenhouse plants are out now and so i'll need to water them this morning to make sure they're settling in. it is pretty foggy right now so i'll wait a bit yet before heading out to check on them all. only a few minor things to plant via seeds and then i can plant beans in the rest of the gardens that haven't already been claimed.

strawberries seem to be coming along ok. will need to water them tomorrow. hot weather on the way...
 

digitS'

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wood lice ... i'm sure some birds got a tasty snack later after i was gone, but by then i also had watered the garden ...
I just wouldn’t have expected you to be crying over wood lice!!

;) Are they of special value with the vermiculture? There have been occasions, far in the distant past when I have found wood lice in the bookshelves. Last time I saw any was in a dry bathtub. These seldom sightings, in a 100 year old house, I consider fortunate.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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I just wouldn’t have expected you to be crying over wood lice!!

;) Are they of special value with the vermiculture? There have been occasions, far in the distant past when I have found wood lice in the bookshelves. Last time I saw any was in a dry bathtub. These seldom sightings, in a 100 year old house, I consider fortunate.

Steve

they're just detritivores that hang out with the worms in the buckets. i think they're an interesting creature in how they look and as far as i can tell they do no harm out in the gardens.

i wasn't exactly crying either, just wanted them to stay alive and happy. :)
 

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what kind of person are you?

i'm an introvert and i'm also a follower. i say these things because i'm both happy as i am and also because it is how i was hatched and raised, my environment and my nature at heart.

being the youngest child it was often to my advantage to stay back, to watch and to learn and then react. it just wasn't that often where leadership was going to do me any good. getting too much attention was often not the best approach because it could also mean various forms of drama or mild abuse and none of it was all that bad really compared to what i've heard happen to other people i think i got off pretty easy and did ok.

but mainly because i had older siblings who taught me how not to get caught (by their mistakes) and also being challenged to use my mind and observe and plan. even if i wasn't the smartest kid on the block, whatever i do and did have back then i did use.

gardens were a good way to escape from the indoor arena and to get out where most of the siblings didn't care to be. so also a place of more freedom and quiet and where i could actually be a leader of my own small kingdom. it didn't matter if my subjects were ants and worms or growing plants and weeds. it was often more rewarding because i could see the results (and enjoy eating them too :) ) and share them with other people. food and flowers, green plants, shade and bugs to learn about and ways of planning and layering things to work together. i've always been glad to learn new things as i got older and now as i am getting into older age too i have to relearn how to get things done.

i am not a morning person. i don't like getting up early and doing things right away. this coming hot weather will force me to get things going and more done in the morning. i'm sure i'll learn some more about life too... :)

books eventually were a good way to escape inside. if i was reading a book a lot of times the siblings would leave me alone, but those are other stories for other times...
 

flowerbug

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it feels good to have the fenced gardens planted in beans and everything else too. only need to get back to the strawberries for some weeding and they're starting to get some red in there too so i'll have to start checking and picking.

morning routine now is to get out early and water and then get planting until my body says it's had enough. normally that's about noon then i come in for a break and perhaps a siesta if i blink too long.

@ninnymary the melon seeds i planted on the 3rd have already started sprouting so it looks like i won't have too much to worry about there. :) hope the melons turn out as well as they did last year - i'm ready! :)

plenty of flowers out now and good to see the bumblebees on the onions and comfrey.

i may be doing some groundhog stalking later today.
 

flowerbug

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i think the chipmunks, groundhogs and birds are going to get a lot of my strawberries this year. with it being so dry everything is interested in juicy berries. and i was hoping to have more time to plant this week before having to weed and pick strawberries but now i'd say there's enough red in there i should get looking and picking before i get back to planting beans again.

water first, then we'll see what i can tolerate this morning... :) i'm really not a morning person... haha... :)
 
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