Monday, 11 June 2018
I wrote this yesterday:
I've just come in from being out in the garden for a couple of hours. I always get my vegetable garden in relatively late compared to others due to this being a very busy work time for me every year. I drove around to two different garden centres, disappointed to find they had no four packs of tomatoes. Not even a sad little zucchini plant, either. I did pick up seed potatoes and onion sets and some bean, pea, beet, and lettuce seeds. I ended up in our little village at the family run greenhouse to discover they did have plenty of tomato plants left and some peppers and (yay!) zucchinis!
I also picked up six bags of composted cow manure. I'm never sure which to buy: cow or sheep. I went for the larger animal this time. They were the same price anyway.
I had already hand dug my "increasingly smaller" vegetable garden, but it was time to rototill. My husband had unearthed my best friend, the rear-tine tiller, from the shed (past car parts and an actual car - well, a project car, perhaps we could call it a potential car...) .
You might think he is a lazy sod who doesn't do gardening work for his wife, but I prefer to do it myself. Gardening is my main form of exercise in nice weather and I get an incredible sense of exhausted accomplishment from doing 99% of the work myself. The rare time I will ask him to build something I need, or perhaps dig if I've hit an unmoveable rock (which happens more times than you think) or the ground is the consistency of dried cement). I ripped open and shook out the composted manure on my garden and tilled it in. This is the first year the tiller didn't get caught up on a big rock and proceed to dig itself to China. I take that as a good sign.
Then I felt the need to dig the twitch grass from around the front, open side of the composter. It looked ugly - and yes, I ridiculously care what my compost container looks like. I discovered that there was some pretty nice compost in there. So I grabbed a couple of big round bins and dug the fresh contributions off the top. I would save those to put in once I had taken all of the well-composted mixture out. Would you believe I had almost two full wheel barrows of lovely rich dark compost. I tipped that on my garden and raked it through. Every once in a while I had to stand in the shade of a tree and pant like a dog. Not that I'm complaining about the heat, but it is tiring work.
Once I emptied almost all of the compost out of the container (made from three pallets by my kids under my direction), I put back the two big bins of fresh material so that it could continue the process. I have high hopes for my little garden this year. (Oh, and for the benefit of any readers from "across the pond", we Canadians call a garden the actual piece of soil in which flowers, vegetables, or shrubs grow. The rest of the area we call our yard. Front yard, back yard, side yard... Sometimes we might call it a bed e.g. a perennial bed or an asparagus bed.)
I must now get busy with supper preparations. I've ripped off a few more rhubarb stalks. Dessert for tonight in some form or another. I may take some stalks to work for anyone who wants them. There's no way I'll use it all or need to freeze it all. It's roast chicken breast and a quinoa salad tonight.