Monday, April 07, 2008

Getting Things Done

The soil is workable.
A bit too damp still, but I can ignore that small detail.

As is the case every year, the hubs had the usual fight with the rototiller. Apparently, just add oil and the motor will seize tight as a drum on you after it has started momentarily and then stalled.
I went on an internet hunt for used ones for sale. Ha! $1800.00?! Are these people kidding? They're used for Pete's sake. The prices never got down to a range we were even close to affording. I think the cheapest I found in my area was $600.00. Bah. So the fight continued after a few phone calls to friends for discarded motors, of which only one was found that wouldn't come close to fitting.

In the end it didn't matter as 'spawn of satan' tiller decided it had given him enough grief and was ready to go to work for another season. His arm is hurting like heck this morning from a temperamental rewind being yanked a thousand times, but at least he won in the end.

After the wasted few hours fighting with the devil tiller, we popped over to my step-mom's for her birthday. By afternoon we were more than ready to actually get something accomplished.

The trellis got set up and the peas are planted. All five varieties. I hate peas, but the rest of the fam love them, so I guess it's not wasted space? lol.

Sugar Snap
Oregon Sugar Pod
Laxton's Progress

Whichever variety they decide they like best is what will ultimately get planted next year. I don't even know what variety we grew last year. They will eat them no matter what kind they are anyway, so I guess it doesn't much matter.

Half the onions got in the ground - Sweet Spanish.
We ran out of light before we could get the White Bunching sprouts planted. We'll get to those on Tuesday.

The koi are much happier as we've gotten the pond filter and waterfalls up and running. All seem well and happy. Unfortunately, we lost one last year (due to a pump malfunctioning) but this spring everyone looks good. I'd really, really love some Wakin, but they're impossible to find for sale around here, and if you do stumble on a few, they want $25.00 a piece! Unreal.

The Orfe were zipping around and looking for those first bugs of spring. It is glorious to see them whizzing through the water again. There may be no blooms in the yard, but there is color in the water. :)

According to last years records, we transplanted broccoli, cabbage, head lettuce, cauliflower and brussel sprouts on April 22 and they all did very well except for the brussels. Maybe I'll start hardening them off this week and get them in the ground a week or ten days earlier this year to see how they do compared to last. Hopefully, I'll have better luck with the brussel sprouts staying tighter.

My daughter got me some India Mustard seed last year. I have no idea what this is, or how to use it. The packet only says "used for greens", "pick outside leaves as they mature to encourage more growth". I've come across a few sites that say it is an invasive weed in some parts of the US, but dies at 17 degrees.

So, what do you do with it? Eat the leaves or grow it for the seeds? Some info said that it has a peppery flavor in salads when you use the small interior leaves, but it will have a 'burn your tonsils' effect if you eat the mature leaves. My youngest son would be happy with the burn your tonsils thing, but the hubs would not. Do you cook like collards (which I'm also hoping to try growing for the first time this year)? Mix with lettuce? Wait for the seed and make mustard? Seriously - what?

I'd hate to waste garden space on something we won't end up eating. Maybe I'll give it a half-row with the collards. Experiments are always fun!


Flighty said...

I cleared my plot just using a fork! Mind you it is only 30 by 60 feet, and I took it very steady taking several months to do it.
I wasn't going to grow much vegetables but having been given lots of seeds I'll try them all! xx

Tina said...

Hiya Flighty!
Holy cow - I'd drop dead trying to do mine with just a fork. lol. But, good for you! That's a ton of work.
And you just have to try things that were given - it's a rule, doncha know?