Back Forty, butterbeans, coffee pot posts

Saturday morning coffee pot post

It’s almost noon, and this is the end of the coffee pot, but I was trying to get a few things done around the house.

Which is not easy these days, between physical problems and mechanical problems. The mosquitoes are out with a vengeance, as I knew they would be after all this rain. Sandy can’t get the lawn mower working and the repair guy is backed up for several weeks. I tried to charge the battery to the electric weed whacker, because the little bit we have that needs to be cut down can be done with that, but the battery is not charging. Sandy is about to take the mower apart, after trying several suggestions given to him by the repair guy. He seems pretty determined not to buy a new one. I gave my hand-powered reel mower away because we never use it.

We are draining the rain barrel at the front corner of the house and moving it to the back corner where we can put it up on blocks and attach a hose to it. That may do the trick as far as providing me with untreated water that I can store until needed and also help with the wet basement.

The seed starting this year has been a big disappointment – I don’t seem to understand how much water to provide. Either I provide too much or too little. I may as well have started my seeds in the ground for the most part. Several of the Roma tomatoes are doing well, though. I’m a little discouraged about the garden and my ability to care for it, although it is twice better than it was last year!

I have hooked the hose up to a motion sensor battery powered sprayer to try to deter the groundhog. He seems to like hanging out under the back house. I looked under there and he whistled at me in surprise. Now I know why they are also called whistlepigs.

The lima and cannellini beans came up almost immediately, and the Sugar Baby watermelon seedlings are doing well. I planted the tromboncino and Candy Roaster squash seedlings the other day and will use the greenhouse frame as support for these. Also I could not help myself and planted some cheese pumpkin seeds in the bean bed along the fence. There really is not room in my entire yard for these big winter squashes, but the squash borers will probably get ’em anyway. One weekend task will be to set up the trellises for the pole beans so I don’t rely totally on the fence for support.

I guess that most of the mystery seeds that I threw in this planter are beets. The broccoli is doing well in here, to my surprise. Maybe it likes being crowded and ignored.

Now I’m thinking about getting Justin to dig us an outer ring to the garden bed, spiraling out like a galaxy or a snail shell.

We are getting estimates for the removal of the large silver maple now that it has been approved by the city. This is a national historic district so we have to get a lot of things approved, which I don’t mind so much. It may have saved a few good trees and keeps people from tearing down historic houses and building cheap student housing, so I’m okay with it. There is poison ivy around it and on it, so I guess I’ll pour some vinegar on it and see if that kills it. We should have more sun in the Back Forty and both our house and the house next door will be much safer in a storm when it is removed, so as much as I hurt when trees are cut down around here, I feel okay with this. I feel like it is necessary. It will definitely be very expensive. Goodbye, tax return.

I hope that the arborist doesn’t trample my front garden too much taking the tree out. I think that I’ll transplant some of this thyme to the hugelkultur bed. Maybe some other herbs, but I do have some flower seeds germinating there.

I’ve learned that some seeds do better as volunteers that when I try to start them in a pot. This is a borage volunteer from last year’s plants. Ground cherries are the same for me. Maybe I will fling the rest of the seeds into the back garden and see what happens. The problem is that I might not recognize them as plants that I want.

Okay, I’m going to spend time weaving during the rainy and muggy parts of this weekend, and making bundles for dyeing the pockets for my alchemist’s apron. So glad that we screened in the porch! It’s almost as good as being at the lake. These daisy fleabane flowers are ready to go into a bundle.

In closing, good things can come to those who wait. I bought this biennial flower last year. I don’t even remember what it is, but it is a welcome splash of purple now that the foxgloves and comfrey has dropped their blooms.

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