A few random things for today. First, I am not feeling overly adventurous or getting-things-done-ish today. Not really lazy, but this morning it was humid and sticky, and now that the air has crisped up and cooled off, it is raining. So I’m just sort of wandering around wondering how not to waste my whole day off. It doesn’t seem right to be inside all afternoon when the garden wants so much attention. So a few random bits here for now hoping that the rain will end, or at least turn to drizzle so I can go back outside.
Last night at work I noticed that we have a new iced tea for sale–TAZO tea. I have used their tea bags before and liked them quite well, so a bottled iced tea version seemed interesting. Particularly the green tea with spearmint and lemon grass. I turned the bottle round to read the nutrition information. This one bottle of tea had as much sugar as a can of Coke. That is just not right in my book. Why can’t you buy bottled ice tea without so much sugar in it? So I put it back. And thought about it and thought about it. I bet the mint and lemon is nice together. When I got home last night I rummaged through the tea drawer. Yes, I have a tea drawer. Don’t you? This is what I came up with:
Gallon jug of water, decaffeinated green tea, lemon tea, and loose leaf spearmint tea.
An hour on the counter and it was lovely. And decaffeinated too. And ZERO sugar. And pennies for a gallon.
Some gardening bits now:
This is my seed starting shelf in the entryway of my house. I planted these seeds about a week ago. There are some cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, squash, zucchini, so far. Once these are set out I will start more. It gets pretty warm in that little entry way as there are windows on either side, so this is actually a good spot for them. Disregard the messy recycling underneath the shelf.
Ug and I worked on this project this noon time. Down either side of my driveway the lawn makes an annoying dip, ditch-like. It is really hard to mow these two strips where the hay is now. Ankle buster type of mowing. One wrong step and your ankle is done for the day. So my theory with this whole yard is to start filling in the bad spots with raised garden beds. Anyplace hard to mow or hard to walk is getting planted instead. These two rows of mulch hay will be growing potatoes. I planted the left hand side (with the white sign for variety identification) with Red Pontiacs. I still have the right side to plant, I have Yukon Golds and Kennebecs waiting to go in. What surprised me was how far they went. I had about 3 lbs. of sprouted spuds, (59 cents per pound, so about $1.80 worth) which planted this whole row, once cut up into chunks with two sprouts each. My dilemma now is that I have one more row and two more bags of taters. So more hay and another row somewhere else. A nice problem to have.
How can this work? Your potatoes will never grow like that. Just in hay? Not even in dirt? Of course they will. I learned this by accident when about five years ago the best thing to come out of my garden was the potatoes that grew in the compost heap which was mostly mulch hay. I had just chucked them in there as trash, and they grew the most healthy plants with beautiful, clean potatoes. The light bulb went on. Why do all this work with a rototiller? And then spend your summer bent over pulling out the weeds that you multiplied by a million by chopping them up with the tiller?
The thing about growing stuff this way is that its simplicity is its beauty. Layers of newspapers underneath, or not, whatever you have, layers of this mulch hay (that we get from Everett in exchange for baked goods, holiday meals, and rides to the supermarket once in a while) and in one seasons time, the grass underneath has rotted into the earth, the newspapers are gone, also turned into earth, and the mulch hay condenses, into earth. No tilling, no digging, just layering. And driving Everett to town.
This is another bed waiting for its seedlings. If you want to add soil, somethings do like to start out in a bit of soil, then add a scoop just where you are going to put your plant or seed. Not covering the whole bed with soil (which is expensive to bring in, or full of weeds if you dig it from somewhere else on your property), just using a quart or two to get a plant started.
What is that white edging? When I bought this house it came with an above ground pool in a heap under a tarp in the woods. These are the rims that would have gone round the top.
The garlic looks great, the first batch of peas is starting to climb the fence, with another batch starting to come up where the pink tape is. The tape is so that Sadie does not walk through it. She is a bit of a bulldozer. To the right of that is another row ready to plant where beans will be. I don’t think you can see but there is fencing for them to grow up. If the rain stops I will go out and do that today. Maybe even if it doesn’t stop I will get out there and plant them.
Its hard to see but the asparagus is starting to get tall. I have had a few nice meals of it and I think I will let the rest grow out, so as to have a better crop next year.
Yes, the grass needs mowing. Planting potatoes is more interesting though.