Monday, March 14, 2016

I'm gonna kill that dog

So anyway, while fossicking aroud the side yard I discovered about a wheelbarrow and a half's worth of rotted wood beneath the stump of a fallen tree, just the kind of thing that would make a great mulch for strawberries.  Luckily, I have a new bed of strawberries without mulch.  Problem solved.

But I had a wheelbarrow AND A HALF of rot. Which means I had to go back to the tree after I had carefully spread the first load among the strawberries.

By the time I returned - literally 5 minutes later - Digging Dog had decided to advance the project by digging up a half-dozen strawberries and half-planting half a cow femur in the center of the bed.

So now I have a gorgeous, flourishing, fully-mulched raised strawberry bed with metal fencing and tomato cages laid across it.  That may not keep the cats from crapping in it, but it just might save a dog's life.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Re-planting

Oregano and parsley, living together. Mass hysteria!
I mentioned before the self-contradiction of planting perennials in that brand of cinder-block raised bed designed to be temporary.

It makes no sense from a bed standpoint, as you don't want to tear up living plants to re-form or reshape the bed.  But it makes even less sense from a plant standpoint - even if they stayed in one place, such plants become impossible to feed*: their roots grow to take up every cubic inch of the inside of the brick.  That constriction squanders much of their potential.

So today is spring re-planting day.  Last year's oregano, parsley, and tarragon - a couple dozen plants in all - are all coming up around the beds. So it's time to find them each a permanent home in the yard. Tarragon will go out front where it can get plenty of sun (and where other tarragon is already rocking out the place).  Oregano will go into the old strawberry bed**.  Not sure yet where the parsley is going.***

That will free up lots of little nooks and crannies for companion plants this year.  I'm going to forgo the mustard and dill - they're just too tall and make it hard to get around - and will concentrate on shorter companions, more flowers, etc.  But I'm also going to have a buttload of Greek oregano, some anise, and maybe a bit of winter savory to accompany the annuals like cilantro. So next spring will require a re-planting day as well.

And it's official: I'm not growing potatoes this year. With 17 different kinds of pepper seeds waiting to be planted****, I simply don't have the room.

* Well, yes, I suppose I could use pelletized plant food or something. Except that I don't.
** Making a second oregano bed and something of a dilemma. Because it tastes better I'm planning to switch to Greek oregano from Italian this year. But the Italian is doing really, really well.  Maybe I'll just process that for other people.
*** That's the problem with adding bed space. Like buying a bigger house, pretty soon it's just as full as the one you just moved out of.
**** I hit one of those ebay vendors that sells seeds for .99 with a $2 shipping charge.  But she was also willing to combine shipping. So instead of paying $3 a pack for seeds I ended up paying abut $1.10 postpaid for every kind of seed I ever wanted, including a .99 pack containing 2000 radish seeds.  I'm gonna need more bed space.