Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Gardener PigRain rain go away

I want to go out to the garden and play!

It’s raining – drat. This is my full day off from work and I want to be outside playing in the dirt. It doesn’t help that it rained on Sunday too and Monday was too wet to do much. I stayed out in the rain as long as I could hauling mulch to my gardens. Unfortunately mulching also includes weeding and eventually I was so muddy that I couldn’t hold onto the trowel or shovel handle.
I could work in my shed, but the work I can do there right now is outside and involves moving dirt. I don’t think it would be prudent to run several hundred feet of extension cord through wet grass in order to use the power equipment for cutting supports and beams. Perhaps I should go to the lumber yard and scope out tools and supplies. Maybe buy a good handsaw.
That was Tuesday……Instead I changed into dry clothes, had some coffee and when the rain gave way to sun went back out to work some more. At one point when it began to drizzle again I was actually getting wetter from the inside out than from the rain. The humidity was bringing on a sweat. Eventually evening came, and with it a nice shower, clean clothes and dinner out with a friend to discuss gardening, etc. It turned out to be a good day after all.
Wednesday I mowed lawn, propped up gangly tomato plants and cleared a new section of garden to roto-til and did a little housework before work.

Today I am trying to decide what to accomplish that will not overstress my sciatica, since this afternoon’s job requires standing all evening on concrete floors. I could roto-till that patch of garden, but probably not a good idea. It is cool this morning, so I could go downtown and shovel a couple of loads of mulch on, but that twisting motion is a killer even when I try to go slow and not lift too much at one time.

My town offers an excellent supply of wood chips free for the taking. It also offers a great reward which means my grandchildren are willing to help shovel them into the back of my car. Just down the street from the town barn, we have an excellent ice cream stand with very reasonable prices. Several loads of woodchips equals a treat. We found a way to use a tarp which (a) keeps my car cleaner and (b) means we don’t have to shovel the chips off, we just pull the tarp out, (unfortunately neither of the grands are here today) and pulling that tarp out is as hard on my back as the shoveling.
This is why I love my full days off. I know I can work myself into a achy, limping ball; take a hot shower; and sleep it off. On workdays I have to be presentable and work ready by mid-afternoon. Not so bad at my short job where I sit at a computer, more difficult at the long job which requires me to stand, lift and carry. Ah youth, where are you when I need you.
I had my first, fresh from the garden ,squash last night. From the looks of things I need to find a quick, easy method for freezing squash for the winter. My tomatoes have vastly overgrown their supports and I need to work out a solution for that too. (turns out it is ok, and better for the plant, to just trim them back to the height I want) The banana peppers are starting to ripen. I transplanted some kale which just does not seem to be thriving. I think I will be able to get enough rhubarb for a pie. I had my first handful of string beans and discovered the carrots are growing after all. The strawberry patch is flourishing. Next year I should have some good shortcake out of that. The Canna lilies are coming along as are the Gladiolus. My rose bushes are growing but no buds yet.I’ve planted bits and pieces of things all over the yard. I can’t remember where I put the Trumpet vine I was given, so I have no idea if it transplanted well. With all the rain we’ve had it would be a great time to dig out the remaining hostas from my vegetable patch, but they are blooming and they attract the humming birds, so that will just have to wait.
I’d better get out to pick blackcaps before the neighbor gets them all. A job I suppose I could do is to cut back the encroaching bushes from the berry patch to let them thrive. As long as I leave the branches to be hauled away for another day, I should be ok. There are grape vines with grapes, but none of the neighbors know if they are wild or cultivated. I will spare them until this fall when I can tell if the grapes are worth eating.
One way or another I had better choose or there won’t be enough time to get anything done. Tomorrow is an early and extra-long day and it looks like the schedule will be grueling, so I must be ready for that. Then a shift on my feet Saturday, and then I am free to go for a few days.

Hopefully this next week the weather will cooperate.

By AFarmer

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