Sunday, May 01, 2011

Gardening and other stuff

Note to self, yesterday was annoying, in spite of finding plenty of on sale chocolate still at Target.

Well, a while back I had a cough and was a bit sick for a little while, but nothing major. Still, the cough has not quite gone away, and it is starting to cause me some problems. So yesterday I had planned to dig a big hole in the ground in the front yard, cause I'm thinking that anything major done in the front yard is best done on the weekends, and hopefully finished on the same weekend, as this would prevent any complaints to the office from being noticed until after the work was done. But I got up yesterday and realized that I just wasn't up to it. So I drove off to run a few errands instead.

I have just this week found my missing debit card. Or rather, my husband just found it and gave it to me. The way I remember it is this: I noticed that the envelope had come in the mail, and perhaps I had even seen the card itself when the envelope was opened, but I never actually had the card in my possession, and I certainly never had it in my wallet or went out and bought anything with it. My husband would then complain whenever I would ask him to get money out of the ATM for me, as I should be able to do it myself, as he had given me a card. And I'm sure that he meant to give me a card, and I think maybe he even said something like the card came in the mail and it's on the desk, but he did not ever actually put the card in my hands, and I didn't have the card. So after months of this, he goes to the bank and says something like please give my wife a new card, and they say something like we can't give you a card for your wife (even though it is the same joint account that he already has a card for) your wife will have to come in and get it herself. And somehow this doesn't get done right away, as I would think that we would both have to go to the bank at the same time to do this, as it would speed things along if one of us had a card so that they didn't spend a lot of time looking for the information and so forth. And then before we went to do that he found the card stuck some odd place in the desk where I would never have looked for it or anything else.

So now that I had my debit card, I went to get clearance Easter candy and some sand and other things that I needed for the garden, and as long as I was at the Home Depot and have money I might as well buy a few more stepping stones. And I think that I should just do that whenever I happen to be out and have money, buy a few more stepping stones or a few more cinder blocks or whatever I feel up to dealing with at the time.

It is annoying that in the garden a.) I seem to be running out of usable space while at the same time b.) there still seems to be way too much grass to deal with. The cheapest way to totally cover up the grass is cement, which is a hassle. Stone or blocks are easier and usually look better to begin with, but then later grass grows through and or they look uneven. To prevent grass growing through and to make the ground nice and level, you are supposed to spread sand under and then put more sand on top so that it settles into the gaps between. But that makes it more expensive, and more work, and if you really want it to look nice you buy this really super expensive special sand that blocks water, which wouldn't be a good thing at all in a garden and around trees and such. So once in a great while I'll deal with the cement (when it's not right under a tree or someplace that needs water), but most of the time I'll probably be using blocks, and the cheapest blocks are the ones that are 4 x 8 inches, and not very attractive.

Anyway, I'm running out of space, sort of. There are raised beds that are not permanent, and in fact some still have plastic under them, which will not do at all. Of the permanent beds I have dug, one is 3 x 12 feet and currently has tomatoes, peppers, and squash (not yet producing anything). And it will also have cucumbers, but right now I'm having a problem with the trellis failing over and I've removed it until I can figure out how to prevent that. On one side of that bed is the asparagus. I'm always kicking myself for putting the asparagus there, right in the middle of the yard, as the asparagus plants are not that attractive and tend to fall over a bit, and I think that I need a fence around it. This year I lengthened the bed, because I found purple asparagus at Walmart. On one half of the new asparagus area all eight plants have emerged, but on the other half I only see three, and those three are very small and struggling. I had even worried that the whole package was dead, but then seeing three emerge I hoped it would all be okay. I haven't given up yet, and I'm thinking that the other side just didn't get a long enough soak before I planted them, so maybe a lot of water would help. Anyway, I haven't yet given up on the purple asparagus, I'm just saying that half of the new area is disappointing and might have to be finished next year, and might even have to be finished with regular green asparagus.

Anyway, with the new asparagus, the asparagus bed is now four feet wide and twelve feet long. On the other side of the asparagus bed is an herb bed. Last year it had some herbs and a lot of cucumbers, but the trellis there was old and part of it rusted and fell apart. After having to remove the trellis, there didn't seem to be any reason for the cucumbers to be there, so I added more herbs and one of the artichokes. Oregano has taken over much of that bed, and I'm hoping that it and the thyme will cover all the spaces between the piquin peppers and the artichoke and the other herbs. And just past the herb I have dug a space for a Navaho thornless blackberry. I have to dig a bit more for it to make that area twelve feet long to match the asparagus and the bed on the other side of the asparagus, but I plan to do that soon enough.

On the other side of the herb bed is the most recent permanent bed, and I guess that I will call this the short bed, as it is only about four feet by nine or ten feet. And while I suppose I could dig more and make this one a bit longer to match the others, I'm not planning to, as I want a wider walking space on that side, so that one doesn't have to make turns and noticeably walk around things getting from the front gate to the back gate. And then there's going to be room for a bed between that walking space and the fence, which this year will probably be a temporary bed with pumpkins. The short bed has popcorn, soybeans, spaghetti squash, another artichoke, a few peppers, and a few herbs, so nothing producing yet.

And that's about it for the vegetables. You might have noticed all the vegetables that I didn't mention, like lettuce, spinach, and other salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, beets, carrots, potatoes, regular corn, green beans, peas, melons, etc.... I don't seem to have room for those at the moment. I know that most people who garden have a little of all those things in half of the space I mentioned, but they probably don't have a quarter of that space taken up by asparagus, another quarter taken up by herbs, they tend to grow regular corn instead of popcorn, and they grow peas and some other kind of beans rather than soybeans, and they don't have near as many pepper plants as I do. So it isn't entirely a problem of space, just that I've done different things with it than most people.

I know I've made it sound like my backyard is about 15 or 20 x 12. It isn't, it's bigger than that, though off the top of my head I'm not sure how big it is. There are paths between the beds that are about two feet wide, and there's a bit of space closer to the house and there's space under trees and such. There are six more beds (four of them still need serious work), but these are smaller (three are 4 x4, two are about 3x5, and one is about 4x4) and mostly have flowers in them. There is room for one more 4x4, which will probably have herbs in it, and that's nearly all the room I have left that isn't either reserved for a fruit tree, or too close to the house or else in too much shade to be useful. And these areas either have grass growing in them now or else will have soon if I don't do something about it, and all the areas in between other areas also either have grass or need something to prevent grass. And in these areas I need to either a.) do a lot of work and/or b. ) spend money on cement or pebbles or blocks or sand or something.

So at the same time, my yard seems too big to deal with and too small to have the plants I want. When I am digging and weeding and buying blocks it seems too big, and when I'm planting and harvesting it seems too small.

It is cold today. Not really cold, but it feels cold, and it is cold for May (only a high of sixty something degrees) and it is cloudy and dark but not yet really raining, and it is windy. I turned on the heater in the car this morning, and I still feel cold most places other than the house because I'd put away most of my sweaters and can't easily get to the stuff I wish I had put on. Other than being cold it's been a pretty good day, as I found some pumpkin seeds I'd been looking for, had a nice lunch, and watched the Adjustment Bureau.

No comments: