Thursday, February 26, 2009

Productive day

Today I woke up to FINALLY see the sun shining- and I couldnt hold it in any longer: I needed to do something on the garden, touch dirt, pull a weed, SOMETHING or I was about to go nutts. seriously.

So I threw my almost 2 year son on my back in his ergo carrier, gave the 4 year old the 'task' of picking up rocks and throwing them out of the planter I wasd working on, and I managed to de-weed, rototill, smooth, dump a ton of starbucks coffee grounds, till again, and rake smooth again a whoping 6x3 ft area. I could have done it alot faster without a 30 pound toddder trying to sqiurm off the carrier on my back and if my daughter would just STAY PUT in one area and not go bolting off into the driveway....ugh. I am trying to stay calm, but I am living in a house with 8 other family members and when I have to ask anyone to watch the kids ( like for a routine doc appointment for me, I havent gone to the doc in 2 years) I felt like I was really asking too much or something. I just feel really guilty having other people watch my kids. * sad sigh* Everyone is freaking out about jobs and finances and such so everyone is in a bad mood/dont want to do anything, well so am I, except my frost date is next week and the ground isnt going to till, amend, and plant itself with a magic wand. Oh well, I'd rather take out my frustration on weeds then people. Especially because I can rip the weeds to shreds and cackle about it.

I guess I kinda feel like the little red hen here....I may start dropping more less subtle hints about needing help, but oh well, this is my project, I dont think anyone is going to understand the work involved or why its so important, I know they get its food, but they dont know the work involved or how hard it is to do with 2 small kids underfoot.

After I came inside sweating after my 3 hour gardening ordeal I decided to get out of the house and drive to a few places ot price stuff out. So armed with a clipboard, a graph pad, and half a dozen pencils ( if the kids touch it I'll never see it again) I went to Home Depot, Lowes, and OSH to price my 'necessities' like potting soil ( for price comparison), fertilizer, chicken manure, floating row cover, lumber, hardware mesh, 6 foot stakes ( bean teepees) and veggie plants. In every store I must have spooked the workers with my clipboard and frantic scribbling. I kept reassuring them I was just a gardening comparing prices to get my moneys max worth but I think they all thought I was some sort of crazy AR secret shopper. Found 2 little bags of vermiculite for $4 each, got them anyway. Tomorrow I plan on making a 'mix' of coconut coir, vermiculite, and miracle grow potting soil. I figure it lets me stretch the pre-mixed stuff without making it too much of a water sponge. but back to shopping...

Of course I couldnt resist the lure of the bareroot plants and starts, I got starts for shallots, some mary washington asparagus plants, and 2 dozen bareroot strawberry plants. Lowes had all their bareroot trees 25% off and a decent selection, but I had to hold back and just get a 'wonderful' pomegranite. They actually had low chill apricots, pears, and apples that would grow well here, but I dont know when I'd find time to make nice large amended holes for them out here. But I couldnt resist the pomegranite tree for $10. I'm going to put the pomegranite in a huge pot I have, and maybe some strawberry plants around it for right now.

I think I figured out what to build the raised beds with. 2 x 6 x 20 douglas fir is about $7, and Lowes will cut as many as I need for free and build the beds 12 in high. So each 20 gives 2 8 ft sections for the long side and a 4 ft for the short side. then i'll just need a couple cut just into 4 ft sections.

The hardware mesh is the expensive stuff, a 4 ft x 25 ft roll of 1/2 galv mesh is $52. so like $18 per bed just in mesh- and only home depot has it that big. lowes only has 3 ft wide mesh rolls. wood comes in even sizes, so I really wanted to make the beds 4 x 4 or 4 x 8 for simplicity. Especially since I am the one who will probably end up assembling them I need to make them simple, and having the mesh 4 ft wide helps make it easy on my female carpentry skills.

eh, why can't my hubby be home to do this shit. I hate designing/building things. Hes the engineer. I just like to plant and paint.


ChristyACB said...

Spring toil can be a pain when others don't pitch in and it can seem even worse when they don't really get how much the help would mean! Sounds like you did fantastic though, despite having 2 little ones in tow.

Sounds like you got some great deals on the plant shopping too! Congrats on that! So far, plants aren't even in stores yet so no hope of good sales yet. Hope springs eternal and I'll be eagle eyeing things this weekend.

How is it going with so many in the house? I think it is going to become much more common to have extended families or friends in homes. Sharing your experiences might wind up helping many of us get used to the idea. :)

Di Hickman said...

Good deal on the Pom tree! Sounds like we're getting the same kind of wire for our trellis, I priced up mine last week and opted for the 5'x25' stuff after fainting at the price of CRM! lol! As much as the CRM was nice and thick the price is a little out of my range right now. I'll be shopping next week and doing my trellis work :)
Sounds like you go lots done though!

OurClanOCuties said...

Hey just checked your blog. Coopers Hardware in Sylmar has the 48in 1/2 hardware cloth for $1.58 per ft. so for 25ft your lookng at just under $40.
Let me know if you would like their number. I have found that they are MUCH cheeper on the hardware cloth then Depot or Lowes.

Sinfonian said...

Wow, sorry about the no help thing. Hehe, I just ask anyway. Try giving them the alternative to help you out there in their garden or watch the kids in there. Take their pick.

Seriously, I get the frustration and bad moods. I keep reminding myself of that when folks at work snap at me. Better than knocking their blocks off or saying something I'll regret. Ah, how jealous I am of your LFD so soon. Mine's not until mid April!

Getting creative with tasks for 4 year olds is never easy, but if you make it fun, they are tons of help. Just mix it up so they don't get bored. Maybe it's that I've got boys, but they always want to help. Good luck getting everything done.

Just think, once it's done, it's DONE! Then you can plant.

Sorry that you don't enjoy the design/build aspect. I love it, and I'm no engineer. I love it all, because it's my garden. I hope you get everything done and continue to take your frustrations out in the garden!

SuburbanGardener said...

It IS a lot of work. I was sifting the dirt in one little tiny end of the garden. Taking the rocks out. After a bit, my low back hurt, etc. etc.
So yes, you do have a lot of work. Take it in small chunks, and hopefully you'll get through it easier than me. But you're young so it's not such a problem.