Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chain-gang garden: working out old school

To review, this is the starting point:

Biobabbler's garden LATE late June, 2010. Kinda grim.

Note bone-dry grasses outside. Typically I start my garden when things are actually still green...

Plots 1-5, starting from south, at the garden door (gulp): Plot 1

Not TOO bad. It's already lined in aviary wire (finer than chicken wire, and I learned chicken wire does NOT keep our gophers out). Planted 4 tomatoes--1 Brandywine (swoon) and 3 Ace (it's what they had at this late date). Back end of plot will be "Three Sisters." Just gotta get the squash started in little pots first (so LATE this year!)...

Plot 2:

oog. Not good. It's lined with chicken wire, which means I have to dig the whole thing out and chuck the chicken wire, probably dig more so that the plot is deep and broad enough. (okay, just now, a scrub jay chased a Stellar's jay out of my garden. hm...) Then line with aviary wire (hope I have enough), then fill back up with dirt, possibly composted manure, then water, then plant.

Gotta bit of work to do...

Plot 3:

This looks much better. The whole thing is lined with aviary wire and I have some boards and logs to provide structure and slow soil loss. I think I like this one best.

Plot 4:

Ew. Can barely even DETECT plot 4. A very subtle, ghostly outline of chicken wire on a reduced size bed (don't remember why).  See Plot 2 for allll the work ahead of me.

So, plot 5.

=) Monday I was thinking "oh, man, the plot where I need to put the tomatoes is one I'd shoveled out 2 years ago, and not put the soil back in, so I have to fill the WHOLE thing with dirt, THEN add composted manure, etc."

Well, not so much. Once I dumped the first manure load in (pre-adding dirt), I remembered WHY I'd shoveled all that dirt out.


They inspire SO much industry around here.

I'd dug it out so I could lay down aviary wire on the bottom (about 1.5 or 2 feet down), so when I return the soil and compost and plants, the gopher doesn't have his way with my industry.

At least that was the plan. And apparently I dropped the ball (plonk!).

Well, alrighty then. So, back to this year, first I shoveling the manure back out, and proceeded to dig the plot out more thoroughly.

And found an old foe. And was confused.

A big, fat root that I SWEAR I sawed and removed 2 years ago. Deja vu.


I remember it 'cause it had been HOT and I was digging and sawing in the pit, and sweat so much it dripped off my nose: that hadn't happened to me before. That I remember.

ANYhow. Shrugging my shoulders, I proceeded to dig around it (again), and eventually was wanging on it to dislodge more dirt (very high tech) and it trembled.


Roots, if you don't know, don't typically move. Much less resonate.

So, maybe I HAD cut this before. I gave it a tug, it moved, then I really yanked, and it came off in my hand! SWEET.

I HAD sawed it but didn't quite get to the pulling it out part. Bizarre.

Welcome to ADHD gardening.

ANYhow, laid out the aviary wire, bought ground staples and fixed the wire in place, then flung the dirt back yesterday a.m., added the poop, and watered.

 Watered a lot. It was quite the dusty bin.

Today I will plant our remaining poor tomatoes, which suffered through 102 degrees Monday. Yikes! Oh, and plant the basil that resurrected itself in the same plot, since basil and tomatoes help each other out.

I've got TONS more to do, but work also beckons, so will try to NOT run in the gym in the evening, and redirect my energy to the garden AFTER my work day is over.

Pretty much need to garden DAY AND NIGHT to get this puppy going.

Cannot WAIT till I have tomatoes and beans and corn and squash all growing. woo-hoo!

And I will share it all with y'all.  =)

YOU, by the way, are a big part of me finally getting my garden BACK. So, THANKS! =)

Will definitely keep you posted (no pun intended).



  1. So tomatoes and basil help each other out in the ground AND on your plate? Nice!

  2. And I thought my garden took a lot of time. Good luck with it.

  3. @CP: I KNOW. I was thinking that--happy in a plot together and happy on a plate together. They're just PALS. =)
    @Bill: Thanks =) Some day all beds will be lined with aviary wire, bolstered by boards, and then it should be pretty easy from then on.

    It's good exercise, anyhow. =)


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