Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Seedlings Planted But Plenty of Prep Work Done

No tomatoes were planted over the last two days. On Tuesday my wife and I went to the UCLA campus in the evening and last night I ran the meeting for the Los Angeles Visual Foxpro Developers Group.

But there was plenty of preparatory work done. My wife cleared out all the sweet peas and nasturstiums from the "koi pond" as well as deadheaded the flowers in the front yard. The sweet peas were much thicker than usual and took several hours to fully remove all of them. Our green garden waste trash can is completely full. Plus, there's more garden waste to recycle after this load is picked up by the city. It took all day to prepare the rest of the "koi pond" for planting.

My wife handled the pop-up pulp pot sale at Tapia Brothers in Encino on Tuesday. Scott Daigre came by with two Indigo Apple seedlings for us. This looks like a really interesting tomato. Thanks, Scott!

It started raining last night and there are still rain showers this morning. There won't be any planting tonight, either.

Monday, April 23, 2012

13 Seedlings Planted, Sinking Seedlings Fixed

Today my wife made it a point to catch up with the tomato planting.

She planted Black and Brown Boar, Snow White, Yellow Furry Boar, Speckled Roman(3), Garden Peach, Watermelon, Earl of Edgecombe, Vorlon, Red Boar(2) and Creme Brulee in the holes I had previously dug out and filled. She fixed 15 tubs around the seedlings that had sunk. She also planted Matt's Wild Cherry in a pot.

I came home after work and made two more holes in the back yard. My wife planted Delicious and Oaxacan Pink in these holes.

My wife says we're starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to getting all the seedlings planted. If all goes well we'll have it done by this weekend. But it could bleed into the beginning of next week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Made Six More Holes In The Back Yard

My wife pulled out the sweet peas and marked off a few holes to dig.

It turns out that I was ahead by four holes, not three.

After sleeping in and going to the farmer's market, we had breakfast and I went out to dig. The fourth hole was "lost" for a couple of hours (and from the night before) but I was able to find it.

Summary: I dug two holes, took a break, dug two holes, took another break and dug two more holes. I would have dug a third but we ran out of tomato fertilizer. During this time my wife went to a friend's house to plant her garden. 17 plants in all. In heavy clay soil. When she got home she was in no shape to plant tomatoes.

I'm exhausted. It's hard to imagine why based on the text I write.

Maybe a better term for it is "scraping". Most of the time I hit asphalt, though sometime I'll hit an area that was partially cleared before. It usually takes around 45 minutes to get about 2 feet down, maybe a bit further. There's a lot of wedging, getting down on my knees and scooping out dirt, then separating the rocks and asphalt. If it's a "clean" hole, I can dig down straight in about 20 minutes. If it's a "dirty" one, the interior of the hole will flare out as I dig and chip and wedge out the asphalt (or shatter it). I'll flatten the top of the dirt pile and feel out the rocks and asphalt that I missed while pulling it out of the hole.

There's a fair amount of stress on the lower back and right shoulder. Fortunately, I purchased a shovel that is really, really strong and can take a lot of abuse.

After about 45 minutes or so I can work the hole about two feet down. After a couple of holes, I start to overheat and my back needs a break.

But...this will help the seedlings as there's no way the roots can penetrate the asphalt. Beyond that, it's my belief it will help the soil in the long run. But it's hard work!

And that's why I'm exhausted.