Stones, Stones, Stones

We had a glorious weekend. After 5 days of noise and dust, the patio is finished. I’ll take a picture of it once the coming rains have washed it clean. The challenge now is to level the surrounding soil and clear it of stones, stones, stones, and to grow grass and plantings around it. I found that Home Depot has a neat little tractor for rent with a scoop, a leveler, a trencher and augers. It’s not too¬† expensive and it will fit through our garden gate. It’s on our list for the next rainless weekend.

The seedlings (except for the brassicas and spinach) went out twice for some sun, the first time in the diffuse light of the hoop house, the second time in the morning sun on our balcony. I also fed them (fish emulsion) for the first time. Some of them are ready for transplanting, but I’ve been moving things around on my garden plan and haven’t settled on a place for them yet.

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I also dug two more new garden beds (each 4 x 8′). The first one took 3 hours. The second one took about 10! It’s only the5 feet West of the first one, but the ground was full of glass, tree and other roots, marbles, small liquor and medicine bottles, broken tiles, and stones (bricks), stones (boulders), stones (slate).

In the picture below you see the operation. I dig half the bed, 1 foot down, dumping that soil on the other half. I place the screen (1″ and 1/2″ hardware cloth) over the hole and sift the soil from the other half through it. It takes some manouvering, especially in the end. That fills the hole, and for the bed itself (the extra 9″) I use the soil from the old potato towers and the excavation for the new patio (also full of rocks). It’s good not to bring in new (already sifted) soil and to use the materials on the property, but that material is quite a challenge.

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What was best of all was Amie making herself at home in the garden while I worked. Here she is, writing secret messages in her diary.

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