Back to work in the yard.

Had a couple of sunny days that dried out the yard and today was in the high 50’s so I was able to get some yard work done. Mom gave me two shopping bags full of lavender plants and a bag of mums that she thinned out from her yard. So I had a good motivator to get to work.  I think I found a good spot for the new plants by the patio. I have a rose bush that grows very well there so I trimmed back the rose bush and made a couple of new planting beds for the lavender and mums. My soil has a lot of clay but where I made the new lavender bed was a little rocky and I think that the new plants should do pretty good in that area. The mums I planted on the other side of the rose bush next to the BBQ grill. I did not know mums are a insect deterrent so I figure next to the grill and patio is a perfect spot and it is well away from my garden beds. Repelling mosquitoes is a good thing, repelling bees is bad! I added a few plants called Persian Buttercups but they look nothing like a buttercup. They sort of look like a rose in the outside petals but with a dark green center. I think they are a striking looking  plant and I hope the do well in that spot.

While I had the rototiller out for getting the plant beds done I got the raised beds turned over. I still need to rake and cleanup a little bit but it is amazing how black and rich the soil looks in the raised beds this year. I added a bit of old straw and rabbit manure last year then left a thin layer of leaves on top over the winter and I have high hopes for the garden this year.  I used the rototiller to break up the dirt that has humped up and settled from the water main.  Didn’t get out to the RV parking area but I got most of the work  done in the back yard. I never really appreciated how much clay is in the soil here until this year.  Improving the soil of the entire back yard is going to take some time but I’m tired of dumping all kinds of junk on the lawn just trying to make it look good. It will take some extra physical work but work, but in time it should payoff with nice healthy growth for all plants. I’m rethinking my compost area and building it up with scrounged pallets. I have a couple of places that will let me have them for free and it should not be to hard to build with a little bit of hardware.

I added a bunch of straw to the dirt for the tater bucket and filled a rolling 30 gallon trash can about a third full with the excess soil from the water main job. I’ll use this dirt to top off the potatoes as they grow. I have not had much luck growing potatoes in ground so it will be interesting how well the party bucket does and how much yield I get in taters.  I cleared a rain barrel area of grape vines and filled a big garbage bin full of cuttings. I still have one really bad spot to clean up on one of my Cherry trees that the grape vines are climbing like mad.  I have few canes that are so thick that I will have to use the saw on them to get them cut. My little battery power saw keeps throwing the chain so I need to read the instructions again and see if I missed a step putting it together. The corded electric chains saw is still working great and I did a little trimming with it instead.

I did much better than usual getting all my tools out and doing stuff the easy way with power. It was a tiring day and I know I’m going to pay for it, but it felt good to play in the dirt and get stuff done. The weather forecast has a some rain and perhaps a thunderstorm on Friday but I can brush out the dogs and take it somewhat easy physically before doing more work this weekend.

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10 Responses to Back to work in the yard.

  1. I think I may have to get one of those little roto tillers for my raised beds myself.

    • Jamie says:

      Pioneer, I have a Greenworks tiller and mower I got from Amazon and both have been great! It can take a bit of time to figure your pattern of work to avoid the cord but it is a breeze to to use without worrying about the gas, oil or spark plugs on gas mowers/tillers. My Dad mowed my yard last year with my Greenworks mower and liked it so much he bought one to replace his old gas mower.
      I think the tiller costs about $150.00 and the mower is about $180.00 so they are competitive to a regular gas type on price.

      The tiller won’t plow the back 40, but it has done a great job working small beds in heavy clay soil. I think it will do a great job for the average gardener as is super for anyone that has some physical limitations like myself.

  2. S.Lynn says:

    I cannot wait to get up to our property in Wilder this spring. Reading your blog makes me chomp at the bit to get out of the current state. Have so much to do but your blog really encourages me and makes me realize it will be quite a work in progress. Two steps forward, one back. Hopefully just one-half step back.

    • Jamie says:

      S.Lynn How exciting fpr you. A move is always a lot of work but having a blank canvas will make the masterpiece truly yours!

  3. Snake Plisken says:

    Thanks Jamie, with that nice article I’m not only envious that you can already get out in the yard, but my cabin fever is hitting the tipping point as it is for most of us in the upper Midwest. 🙂

    My large raised bed garden is till under a foot of snow but that doesn’t stop me from wondering when I can get my hands dirty. In the meantime, I was given a 5 lb bag of coffee grounds that one of my work associates gets for free from Starbucks. I plan on doing a light sprinkle on top of the snow and rototilling the grounds and mulch once the ground thaws. I think the dark colored grounds might help melting the snow.

    I’m planning to expand my garden to double it’s size. I was very fortunate to have had such a bountiful harvest all summer long from my one raised bed that I’m going to attempt two more. Trouble is that I’m a newbie to gardening and there is so much to know. I’m going to invite my neighbor over ( she’s an excellent gardner ) and ask her for advice as to what to plant where.

    Have a super weekend!

    Snake

    • Jamie says:

      Snake, I consider myself a gardening newbie too. I’m lucky that that I can get help from my aunt, Mom and the neighbors. I used to kill all my plants now it is only a few, once and a while. LOL
      I figure if I can get a couple of buckets worth of veggies that pays for seeds and stuff and I learn a little bit more each year.
      I want to go more vertical and use the cages for bush varieties. My hope is it will make gardening a little easier with my disability

  4. Spud says:

    Ya, my niece Megan that lives near you was celebrating the nice spring weather your having !

  5. kymber says:

    Jamie – i am so glad to hear that you are out in the yard and doing some hard, tiring work. yes, you’ll pay for it with sore muscles and aches and pains but you’ll feel really good about the work you have done. here is a story that i think you will find funny – we still have so much snow and ice on the ground that the 2 bags of peat moss that we left just outside the greenhouse in early december are still frozen in place. jambaloney goes out several times a day to try and un-freeze them to get them in the greenhouse. he always looks so disappointed when he comes in and tells me they are still stuck solid – bahahahahah! warmer temps should be coming soon and hopefully we will get that peat moss in the greenhouse, get it unfrozen, mix it with compost and manure, sift it using and old window screen and have beautiful dirt to start our first seedlings in in a small greenhouse that we have set up in the house. oh but Jamie – if you could see his poor face when he still can’t unstick those bags – it’s just priceless – bahahahah! i am glad that you are getting so much done. yer a real workhorse you are!

    your friend,
    kymber

    • Jamie says:

      kymber, I’m a little surprised that I didn’t end up very sore. I guess I have been a little slow to take advantage of all those electric tools and planning my work ahead of time. Instead of cutting/pruning everything and leaving piles to pickup later. I work until I fill up one of the big garbage bins and stop. Takes a little longer but I don’t havea pile of stuff to clean up later which always discouraged me before because I didn’t finish the job.
      This working on sections rather than attacking the whole problem at once makes me feel like I’m getting the job finished each time I work.

      I bet jam left those bags outside last year said to himself they will be fine because you guys have mild winters! HA

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