The Weekly Digs #66

by Becky
Published: Updated:

This week we pushed hard to get our garden soil prepared at the farm garden.

Tuesday we headed to our land to finish putting sand, lime, and wood ash on the soil. It had rained Saturday but still 3 days later, the soil was still too wet to plow. Consequently, we put all the amendments on the top so it was ready to plow quickly if it did get dry enough. At this point we are almost a month past our last frost date and I was starting to freak out a bit. 

Some of my freaking out was because I’ve been holding off on planting my tomatoes for about 4 weeks longer than planned. In tomato time, that means they are on the verge of blooming! They were also very tall. Thankfully I have the 4 inch soil blocker so they had some room to grow but it was definitely time to get them in the ground.

Wednesday a miracle happened and the soil was dry enough to plow with the walk behind tractor! I told Cameron it was now or never because it was supposed to rain again the next day.

We plowed and picked up buckets full of rocks. Then came forming the rows which was not as easy as J.M. Fortier made it look in his videos. We had some difficulty figuring out if we were doing it right but by the end Cameron got the hang of it. 

I let him do the precision plowing, keeping the lines straight, because I was worried my muscles wouldn’t be up to it. We finished at 11:30pm. Our kids were so tired (one fell asleep on the grass as we were working) and then the rest passed out on the car ride home.

YouTube video
This video is from Tuesday and Wednesday

I have to admit that we were totally exhausted too. I was still hoping to plant my tomatoes before it would rain again on Thursday night. 

So we set out again on Thursday but it was late since we had things scheduled all day. We arrived at 6:30pm and it started to rain right when we got there. I had already loaded 50 tomatoes and 7 pepper plants in my trunk and I did not want to bring them home again.

I ran out to get started planting and the kids helped. At this point Cam hadn’t arrived yet because he was finishing work. I saw darker clouds in the distance and heard thunder. We were literally racing to get them in the ground. 

We got all the holes for one row dug (30 holes). Then the kids and I started to put in some blood meal for nitrogen and a little granite rock dust to help remineralize the soil. Around this time Cameron arrived and it started to rain harder. The paper bags holding the fertilizers were falling apart from the rain soaking them and then the bags were dripping dust everywhere. 

I carried them back to my car and put them in the trunk. Then I finished putting 7 tomatoes in the ground and by this point it was downpouring. I had brought dinner so I told Cam lets go eat in the barn and then hopefully it will let up by the time we finish.

I ran to the car with rain literally dripping down my face so hard I couldn’t see. It was then I realized I left the car window open and my seat was soaked. 

When I got in the car, I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. My window was still open, torrential rain pouring all over me. One of the kids said they took the keys to the trunk and left them there. Cameron managed to cover my window with a blanket and we both got out to look for keys. While we were searching and moving the bag of rock dust, it split open even more and poured all over the trunk.

We took the fertilizer bags to Camerons car and continued the search for the keys. After emptying literally the entire trunk of lawn chairs, our dinner, garden tools, etc… we found the keys at the very bottom. 

I hopped in the car, rolled up my window, and drove to the barn. We were hungry, soaked, cold, and dirty. But then we ate and felt better. After eating, the rain started to let up and we got back out there. I asked Cam if he would put some compost down in the aisles so I could walk down the rows without getting slipping all over in the mud. He did and it worked amazing!

We got 30 tomatoes in the ground. The conditions were not ideal at all. But if there is one thing that Cam and I have learned so far, it’s that conditions are rarely perfect. We are giving it all we have despite the odds being against us. 

We finished up about 10pm and drove home even more tired than the day before. I helped kids get to bed and then went downstairs for a little bit to help Cameron with pulling out cabinets in our basement. Because we are hoping to sell our house soon, we had someone coming to measure early the next morning for carpet.  At about 11:30pm I called it quits and Cam stayed up even later to finish. 

Every day has been like that lately. Going, and going, and going! It’s tiring but at the same time we are all loving our time spent out on the land.

In the gardens:

  • Planted 30 tomatoes and 7 pepper plants at the farm garden. Varieties are San Marzano, Brandywine, Black Krim, and Cherokee Purple. Pepper is Emerald Giant, I am going to save seed from these so I only planted one variety of pepper so far so that the varieties would not cross.
  • Harvesting strawberries- about a pound a day from 81 square feet.
  • Harvesting asparagus, lettuce in abundance, green onions, rhubarb, and sorrel
May 21 2020
May 21 2020

I will add a weekly photo of the garden farm here next week so I can keep tabs on how that is progressing too.

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