Wednesday, March 18, 2009

saying goobye to a smart patch of grass

coolio neighborman has lent me his mantis tiller. the front yard is the target. less lawn more flowers and veggie patches. i'm also carving out a cool place for the bee hives.

i've been at it for a good 2+ hours. my arms are numb, my hands are numb and the vibrations are serious man! just now taking a short iced coffee break.

this is not a one day job. though i'm nearing my day one goal, i think i'm less than an hour away. then it's time to clean out the chicken coop. i'll be piling the hay that i pull out of the coop and that which i pulled out of wabbit wabbits condo onto several of the newly tilled areas in order to keep the grass from growing back overnight and to help smother out weed seeds. i should be going right up until sunset but it will prove a good day.

i'm doing my best to use only goods i've already got. fingers crossed it will all work out.

also checked off the list today
  • planted one moro blood orange tree
  • planted in the rio red grapefruit tree
  • planted in my thai lime tree - formerly living in a container
  • dropped in some musky melon seeds and seedlings
  • dropped in some desert king water melon seeds
  • planted in my white eggplant seedlings
  • moved the three compost bins to their new locations in amongst the apple and peach trees
the compost bins are my secret clear a new space for gardening weapon. i keep them in the same spot for 4-5 months. once the goods are ready i empty them and distribute their goods about then i move the bin leaving a freshy new gardening spot free of grass and weeds set and ready to go. slowly but surely i'll have the entire orchard fence line cleared of grass. bit by bit by bit, all goes well.

the picture up top illustrates what's left below the former compost pile once i move the compost bin off it's earlier spot. a bit of perfection really. i highly suggest you try it yourself. as you can see, my compost bins are built using old wood pallets. they do the job and they are freeeeee!

well it's now 7:50pm and i did not get the chicken coop cleaned out. that will be on the top of the list for the morning - after the egg laying of course. i would not want to sent the ladies into a tizzy. nor would i be interested in the payback - for some reason i am beginning to believe that these ladies are smarter than they let on.

i did on the other hand get about 75% of the tilling finished. my arms feel like they might just fall off and my hand strength is lacking.

i placed thick clear plastic over two of the larger areas in hopes of solarizing the soil and knocking out the remaining grass and weed bits.

i got the squash babies in and under a row cover. they are planted in a bed that benefited from a cover crop of winter peas. i tilled in 2/3 of the winter peas and left the other 1/3 alone in order to allow the nitrogen fixing to continue.

why the row cover? i am determined to beat those darn squash vine borers this year. now the question is, how do i get these babies mating? I may have to do it by hand to start.

question - does anyone out there know if the squash vine borer moth tends to fly at a certain time of day? if so, i could plan to leave the row cover open part of the day in order to promote pollination.
  • zucchini
  • yellow straight neck
  • butternut
that is all for the day
plenty plenty
now it's time to enjoy the beauty of the cool evening.

* * * * * * * *
upon further reading i have learned that the pesky squash vine borer flies both day and night!!!


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