Saturday, May 19, 2012

Twenty hours of garden work...revealed

Allan, the gardener's slave as he calls himself now, and I did so much work last weekend it is ridiculous.
-cardboard placed all over the lawn in area where new beds are going
-3 new raised beds positioned
-fallen birch trees brought out from under the deck and placed in beds Hugelkultur style
-beds filled with four yards of soil
-last years beds topped with soil as they sunk
-seeds sorted and planted
-removed cardboard from herb garden area so we could weed whip the grass and buttercups
-sprayed my vinegar weed killer on a lot of the area
-mounded up soil around fruit trees
-weed whipped right down to the soil around several beds (did you know that you can get a real achy wrist from excessive weed whipping?)
I have had stinging and itchy hands for several days and off and on for the last month. I thought it was the lime in the plant food. We had a friend over for dinner and he asked me if the tomatoes were making me itchy. I had been scratching the backs of my hands. I was puzzled by the question. He said that the oils on the backs of tomato leaves can make your hands sting or itchy, a bit like nettles. Mystery solved!!

I am sore all over and sunburned, but very content.


Becky said...

It would be really good if you could learn to wear gloves. It would also be good if I did too. Green beans make me itch. Contact dermatitis is an individual thing. Your new garden beds look fantastic!

Gardeningbren said...

I love the layout of the raised beds..the fruit tree isn't going to block the sun is it? Mind you..lettuce greens like summer shade. guy's have worked so hard.

Yes. back home.

.09 Acres said...

You both should be proud! That's loads of work and amazing progress!! Looking forward to watching (from afar) your garden evolve over the years.

Erin said...

Hi Becky. I actually went and bought myself two pairs. One for delicate work and heavier ones for, well, heavier stuff. My hands are much improved. I do have a tomato issue as they are getting HUGE and I can barely walk around them in the GH without rubbing my bare legs on them. I really complaining?

Erin said...

Hello Brenda!! The fruit tree is a dwarf Shiro plum and it will be kept smallish. Last weekend we drove an eight foot piece of rebar along side of it to train it on. It will definitely be kept small enough to reach the top.
Today I dug up a large sized lettuce and planted it out in the shadiest part of the back bed. I want to see if they could be transplanted out of the greenhouse as bedding plants. If they can be I'll move them this weekend and plant some of the tomatoes in the GH bed.
Are you glad to be home?

Erin said...

Hi .09. That is so kind. I enjoy watching your garden as well. It is a blast to see what other gardeners are doing isn't it.

Mark Willis said...

Looking good Erin! Those raised beds are really neat. They are a good way of getting into action quickly, aren't they? Even if it was hard work making them, just think how much harder it would have been to remove turf and dig soil!

Caro said...

A very impressive weekend's work Erin! I bet it felt really good to wake up the next day and look out over all that you and Allan had achieved - Gardener's Slave, so funny! You'll need to top up all your raised beds each year as the worms work through it and it's a good idea to mulch the beds anyway to replenish the nutrients in the soil for better crops.
I have a question for you: I know you like to keep things natural and you talk of vinegar weedkiller - do you have a go-to natural solution for aphids? (One of my apple trees is covered!)

Miss Lady Bug said...

Hi Erin, Miss Lady Bug here... Very nice layout of your raised beds. I have been promised to have another one built for me by Fall. I know about those itchy tomatoes, I had a hard time keeping my gloves on too until I was bit by a spider on the hand a couple weeks ago.
Nice blog, I look forward to exploring!

Miss Lady Bug said...

Hi Erin, Miss Lady Bug here... I do not believe my comment posted on your blog earlier, so here I am again! Me and my problems, huh? Anyway, I love your layout of raised beds. I was promised to have another raised bed built by Fall. Hey, I know it's hard but keep those gloves on!
I like your blog, and look forward to exploring.
Miss Lady Bug

Erin said...

Hi Mark. I don't actually have soil. :-)
Rock solid clay. It is wonderful to be able to garden. I am so happy.

Erin said...

Hi Caro. In this area, we buy lady bugs. My neighbor put some reemay cloth over her tree, cinched it up with rope. Left the opening just big enough to empty the lady bugs inside the cloth. Would that work or is the tree HUGE.

Erin said...

Hi LB. I kept the gloves on. It's hard. I like to garden bare handed. I am so shocked to be sensitive to anything. The only thing I've ever been allergic to is poison ivy. I used to puff up like a blowfish.
I'm glad you like the blog. I like yours too. It's awesome.

Miss Lady Bug said...

I know what ya mean...ME TOO. But I did get bit by a spider (I think) while harvesting my green beans a couple weeks ago. My hand swelled up and I was a little worried. It did go down, no problems! But now I am faithfully wearing my gloves.
Miss Lady Bug

Miss Lady Bug said...

Yes, but look out for spiders...I was bit on my hand last week while picking green beans..I felt a prick on my hand but thought it was from the prickly leaves. Always good to wear gloves..You would probably chuckle but now I am wearing long plastic gloves to pick my bush beans. :)

Erin said...

Hi LB. I will keep that in mind. Good tip. I got two spider bites on my leg a couple years ago. I was trimming the snowberries. I didn't feel a thing. I had two bullseyes on my leg and my dr looked, ah spider bite. So now I now. Bulls eye=brown recluse spider. Darn things. I always help them out of the house. The cats torment them until they are dead in a little ball. So you'll see me screaming though the house, NO, NO, STOP IT, GET AWAY, LEAVE IT ALONE, NOOOOOOO. I'm sure you get the idea. Crazy cat lady saving spiders.

charlie b. said...

Wow, looks great!! It's always nice to get tasks accomplished in the garden, even if you do end up exhausted and itchy. : )

Erin said...

Hi charlie. It feels really good to have so much done. Things are starting to poke up out of the dirt. I took a bunch of tomato plants into the store to sell. It should help to offset my seed habit. :-)

Tree Service Queens said...

Hey there, your backyard looks awesome!! Your grass looks very healthy and a vibrant green, I hope all goes well with your itchy hands (wear gloves!!)

-Oscar Valencia