Tuesday, March 29, 2016

forking the garden soil loose

i dont have a tiller, and after using them twice in my life i'm not sure i even want one for regular use. so instead i use a garden fork to loosen up the soil each spring. this side is done and loose.
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this side is not, its still compacted. especially after all the trampling around i did replacing the fences.
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all loosened up
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i planted peas outdoors
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molly checking them out from the other side of the fence
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i should have waited another week or two to transplant the peas outside, but they were getting too big for their pots and i didnt want to repot. about half died. the others are about halfway up the trellis now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

corned beef

i love corned beef. i bought it prepackaged, already brined.
corned beef

ready to dump in the pan and go in the oven.
corned beef 2

add water and cook
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it shrinks up a little while cooking
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looks so good, and slices so easy thanks to being cooked low and slow.
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yummy yum yum corned beef
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the first time i cooked it i didnt have cabbage on hand, but i did have carrots. so i threw the bag in the juice and put it back in the oven for half an hour.
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yay leftovers!
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Sunday, March 20, 2016

cedar apple rust / cedar hawthorne rust

these weird brain-looking things are cedar apple rust (or maybe cedar hawthorn rust).
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they grow on the dwarf cedar tree in my backyard.
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pulling them off means parts of the branches comes off too.
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there was just a freaking TON of these things this spring
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the rash i get from touching juniper or cedar or arborvitae. or pretty much any evergreen.
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if i'd left them on thru spring they'd eventually start growing and look like this
6-2-13 011 photo 0a8d0467-9d54-4c87-b83a-b4aa83bfef2a_zpsd9284ead.jpg

the orange horns grow longer and longer and longer and are the spores of the fungus which affects both cedar and apple trees. if its cedar hawthorn rust, which looks kinda the same, it can affect pear trees. i dont want my pear trees infected.

Friday, March 18, 2016


my brother and his wife gave me some cherry tomato seeds for xmas two years ago. sweetpea adores the cherry tomatoes, so i planted them again this year for her. they saved the seeds themselves, and some of the seeds were in clumpsand i was too lazy to break them up this year. so i just planted them that way. i didnt expect EVERY single seed to sprout, but they did!
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oh boy did they ever! WHOOPS!
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i really wasnt expecting that to happen...
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so i did some thinning
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rather than pull the extras out, i just grabbed the scissors and cut them off.
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there was a lot of thinning to be done
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i cut them back to only two stems per pot
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newly thinned
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watermelon sprouting under grow lights
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onions, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and various flowers
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blurry tomatoes on the bottom shelf of grow lights
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peas and i think radish greens out in the greenhouse
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the new hose reel i had to buy because the old one broke last fall. and its difficult to wrangle 100 feet of hose without a hose reel.
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

replacing the garden fence

i bought three lengths of 25' long fencing by 3' tall of 1/2" galvanized hardware cloth. i've no idea why this type of fencing is called hardware cloth, theres nothing cloth about it. its all metal.
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then i cut off all the zip ties holding the old plastic fencing to the fence posts. it was a lot of zip ties.
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the old plastic fencing, no longer attached to the fence posts (but still buried an inch or two along the bottom and surrounded with paver bricks).
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the plastic fencing which is only a couple years old is having to be replaced because the critters are EATING it. i think its the bunnies. they chewed 8 holes along the bottom of the fence. EIGHT!
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a holey fence isnt good for anything.
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one section of fencing out, two more to go
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flipping the bricks out
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the ground was still soggy so i was sitting on kneeler pads working those pavers up and out.
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molly decided to sit right next to me. puppy is in the background watching over his domain.
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ahem! you have stopped petting me!
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doggy kisses
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molly laying next to me, supervising.
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lots of bricks to flip out so i can rip out the buried fencing
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here i'm sitting on the edge of my raised bed garden with my feet dangling, and molly had to come sit between my legs for more petting.
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even with the fencing gone, molly still wouldnt come in the garden
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its not really night in these pictures, but it was nearing dusk so the flash made it look like i was out working in the dark.

molly just laid down and watched me.
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the moon was out while the sky was still light. a cheshire cat smile. my camera doesnt take pictures of the moon very well.
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puppy was willing to step just past the fence posts, but still wouldnt go any further.
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first section of metal fencing in place, buried, and with the pavers back in place too.
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all the rest to go...
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all along the fence line really really tall grass grows. but the bunnies can squeeze thru the chain link fence so i have to put up garden fencing along the chain link fence. and the tall grass grows between the two fences where i cant yank it out, but it still goes to seed and keeps trying to spread into my garden. so i sat and painstakingly dug the fuck out of all the grass along the fence.
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half the fence done...
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the other half to go
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i spent a lot of time sitting in front of that fence digging and yanking. and eventually molly decided it was safe to come inside the garden and check out what i was doing.
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and then laid down right along the fence in my way. goober.
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i finally got molly to move out of my way and puppy comes in to see what the hell i'm doing.
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and to get his ears scratched a little bit.
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its hard to see, but the second section of fencing is up all along the chain link fence, buried, with pavers back in place so the bunnies cant dig under the buried fencing (they have, thats why i go to such lengths).
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it just barely made it around the corner. this was where i started worrying it wouldnt be enough fencing. the old plastic fencing (which also came in 25 foot lengths) stretched out about two feet further than this one did.
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the metal fencing wanted to stay curled, i had to unroll it and weigh the ends down with bricks to straighten it out.
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the third 25' long fence section in place, buried, and with pavers back in place.
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you can see its about 4 feet short.
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luckily they sell that fencing in 5' long sections, so i bought another section and finished off the opening. then used a piece of the old plastic fencing to be the 'door' which i can flop open or closed. the metal fencing was too stiff to be a door. i tried it, but had to cut it away.
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when i did get the last section in place, the pavers overlapped by just a teeny bit. but i had all the pavers tucked tight and square against each other so i had to go to the corner and back all the pavers out just that teeny bit so they'd fit. pain in the ass that was.
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all done! with extra plastic fencing zip tied to the metal fencing under the door as reinforcement since i have a tendency to trip and the dogs will come rest their paws on that section just under the door and push it down.
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this was done on many different days spread out over a two week period.