Digging in the Dirt
Today went just as planned. I woke up early, had my coffee and breakfast and watched the news. At 8:00 I headed over to Harmon Field to do my run and I was pleasantly surprised to find only a few other people there. I thought for sure there would be youth soccer games going on. I ran three miles, not very fast. I really need to get focused again! I am doing the novice half marathon training but I think I really need a plan that has set times in it like I had for my 10K training. This one just has mileage, no speed training or tempo training, etc. I think I will find a new plan.
As planned, after the run I drove to Landrum to Aires Market to get my plants. I was so happy to find that they had all the tomato varieties that I wanted – especially the Brandywine Heirloom. I bought s few tomato plants, some hot Tabasco pepper and so Kung Pao peppers! I never heard of them, but I cannot wait to grow them and make Kung Pao chicken with them! I also got some bell pepper plants and melon plants. At checkout the old man that works there warned me about planting too early. He told me that I really needed to wait another week. He said it a few times in a very serious and concerned tone. I have to take his advice. At first I was disappointed to not be able to plant, but I figured I have a lot to do to get the ground ready.
I dropped my plants off at home and headed to Lowes. I need soil enhancers. I got a few bags of “Black Kow” manure and some composted mushroom fertilizer. I got home, loaded the Ranger and headed over to the garden. (Yes, I finally got a Ranger lesson and can now drive it all by myself!)
After I unloaded all my supplies I started in on the dirt. I wanted to make raised beds to put my plants in. This involved measuring off 3×6 foot areas for the tomatoes and digging a trench around the perimeter and piling the extra dirt into what will become the bed. It was weird at first because they looked like little graves instead of garden beds!
On top of each bed I mixed in the cow manure and mushroom compost that I bought and then took the hoe to the larger chucks to make a relatively smooth dirt. Then I raked the top to make it level. This picture shows the larger beds that I put next to the tomato beds. One of these has bush beans ( I planted them today) and the other will have cucumbers and something else – I have to decide.
It was SO hot while doing all this digging. I brought water, but it was gone pretty quickly. Luckily I have the trusty Ranger so I buzzed back home and got more water and my gardening book. I need constant instruction!
I planted some radish and carrot seeds next to the lettuce John already planted and then made a couple of more beds.
The smaller beds near the fence will each hold two tomato plants.
At the end of the first lettuce row on the right is a raised bed where I will put more lettuce, radish and carrots and also some spinach. The new, narrower bed next to it now has onions planted in it.
By the time I was done I was pretty dirty. It looked like I rolled in the dirt!
All of this took a few hours. My back will definitely be sore tomorrow. And, I failed to wear sunscreen so my back is burnt. Right now I can feel the heat radiating off my back.
Tomorrow it is supposed to rain so I am going to get up early and try to get a few more beds made and plant some more seeds. I have some melon seeds – I just have to figure out where I am going to put them.
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