Soggy Snotty Sunday of Strawberries

It was another drizzly day in the garden. My bare root strawberries came in from Park Seed yesterday so after a 12 hour soak, they were ready to hit the dirt.

Park (lovely company that it is) sent 27 roots instead of 25, but holy cow strawberries take up a lot of room! I used up roughly 112 square feet of precious garden space for 20 plants, stuck 5 up by the house, and put 2 in a pot for my mother-in-law. (Evidently I’m still a newbie since I’m surprised by this.)

During the first hour after I gave the area a quick till, I realized that I’m probably not actually yet well enough to be laboring out in 45 degree rain. And the level of soggy muddiness was even a bit disgusting to me. Here I am showing off my mud and misery as well as the patch of potential.

Ta-Da! Amazing, isn’t it?

I still have the weird smell of the bare roots in my nose.

I also planted my seeds for root veg today: carrots, beets, and turnips. Moon is a waning crescent in Capricorn, which is an earth sign so a-ok for planting roots and yeah, I’m doing that this year. And here is a shot of how the rest of everything is growing.

By the time I came in, Gordon had a lovely pot of spicy delicious chili ready to eat. Now I’m lounging around sipping some echinacea lemongrass tea, hoping that my body can continue to recover from the bad cold I had last week, even though I abused it somewhat today.


Spring Planting by the Moon

Thanks for letting me use your image, whoever you are!

The moon is barely a waxing crescent. It was new just two days ago. I recently learned that waxing is for above ground crops, waning for below. Crescents are for leaves and gibbous are for fruits. So I guess I maybe should have waited a week or so for the snow peas but oh well. Also, plant when the moon is in an earth or water sign, never fire or air. The moon will be in Pisces until noon tomorrow when it moves into Aries.

Last year my dad told me to plant by the moon (using the Farmer’s Almanac website). I told him that I didn’t have time for that nonsense, but ended up with a lot of germination trouble. (Sorry, Dad.) With a little planning it really isn’t hard, so I’ve decided to try and plant by the moon this year.

January 20th I started my leafy greens and today, with the help of Tilly (the tiller) and Gordon who spent 2 hours with Tilly earlier this week, the babies went into the ground.

So it doesn’t look like much now, but it’s very well spaced and I think the plants will be huge and lovely soon enough.

I transplanted collards, broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, mizuna, and arugula. Also planted seeds of green onions and snow peas.

Salad Bowl Lettuce
Snow Peas

Silas helped me for a little while and gleefully proclaimed, “This is just like 2016 when we spent a lot of time in the garden together!” Five minutes later he started whining that he wanted to do something fun and ditched me to go into the house. (Yes he describes his memories by year and yes it’s weird.)

We did it, Tilly!

Tomorrow morning Gordon and I are installing his lovely addition to the chicken coop.


Silas picked the first daffodil for me

My Valentine’s Tiller

I still want chocolate

Gordon surprised me with this beautiful thing he found on craigslist for $150. It runs like a dream. We were able to chop up the entire garden in under a half hour. It makes the place a smaller, more dealable world. It’s my first very own gasoline-powered yard equipment and I love it so much. Between this guy, my claw-fingered garden gloves, and Gordon’s repair to my cultivator, I should be able to better manage the weeds this year. Love love love.

These guys are scheduled to go in the ground next Saturday, while the moon is a waxing crescent in Pisces. Baby lettuce and brassicas and some arugula (which excites me and I’ve not previously grown).

Here you see Scout helping me to thin the babies out.

Three Frigid Nights Ahead

The veg garden is going to have to endure on its own at least for tonight (they’re crucifers after all) but we’re attempting to save the herbs with a warmed tent. 

Tonight is supposed to drop below 25 for an hour or two, tomorrow we’re expecting a hard freeze, and I’m not certain about Thursday night, except that it too will suck.

I think the basil is already dead and the chives may be too, but we still have baby dill, cilantro, parsley, summer savory and peppermint that are worth saving. Not to mention the new rebirth of the balm, sage and oregano. 

Good night, little troopers!

Spring Left (or Winter is Coming)

(See what I did there?)

It’s pretty. For now. Before the carnage is revealed.

I forgot to tarp the girls and they’re a little pissed off about it.

I did cover the herb garden, as well as the lettuce and newborn carrots. I suppose I shall see what actually happens.

The snow makes Wendell fast.

And then we had snow cones made from real snow!

(Aaannnd super awesome Game of Thrones date night happened this week:)

Winter is Coming

The Garden!

As of two days ago, my early season babies are in the ground. Gordon and Eddie tore up a pretty big area of the back yard over the last month or so. Then for three evenings in a row, Silas and I shoveled and hacked and hoed until dark, to get a 13×15 area ready for the cool season transplants. We left the few kale and brussels sprouts that are still thriving from our fall planting. (Brussel sprouts are slow mofos! I seeded these in August and now finally have sprouts that are smaller than gumballs.)

88 new plants: Lettuce mix, mustard, baby bok choy, chard, curly kale, and black magic kale.

My first planting of baby bok choy and chinese cabbage bolted in their plug pots (live and learn, right?) So instead of composting them, I offered them up to the chicken garden for: Immediate Destruction.

The new, bigger area is for the summer stuff. It still needs a lot of love before it’s ready to host plants. The area beyond the planted section is our expansion. 

Mapping it out in my pajamas

It needs a fence to protect it from woodland creatures as well as my three dinosaurs and fast furry dragon. We started on it too.

It’s going to be awesome!

Better than last year’s:

Spring Planting February 2016

This weekend I also transplanted about 25 baby herbs and flowers. Some dill, peppermint, zinnias (that apparently don’t like to ne transplanted so we’ll see), forget-me-nots, mullein, and calendula. My whole body is sore. That’s OK, I’ll waste away at my desk all week, exhausting my mind and resting my body instead.

I also weeded around my little memorial tree in the herb garden area with the help of my girls.

When I was ready for them to leave me so I could plant, I used Eddie’s suggestion of how to deal with a T-Rex: hold still or move very slowly. It worked! If they noticed me enough to start moving toward me, I’d just become a statue and soon enough they’d get distracted by something better and would leave me alone. Pretty cool chicken skills!


It crept in early while I was fretting and itching and planning.


The air warmed and dampened and flowers poked up their heads.


Then this morning my chores were accompanied by a 52 degree fog. The misty air, full of scent and energy, invited me to the reveal.  It’s here! Early or not, it’s here.


This festival of life that comes every year, weather we humans choose to celebrate or not. Spring elation, better than Christmas and fleeting, like life itself.