This spring was a happy one for vining plants! Warm days, cool nights, and lots (lots) (lots lots) of rain had the peas growing into a jungle and the purple vetch covering the walls of the vegetable garden. Oh, and collard greens that grew over 6 feet tall!
It’s still a little too cold in the Northeastern US to plant much outside. I have peas and kale, who love colder spring weather, started outdoors. In the meantime, I’ve run out of front window space! Seedlings have taken over!
A plastic egg carton makes a very good seed-starting greenhouse. Most plastic egg cartons have three sections- one that goes under the eggs, one that goes over the eggs, and the lid. Cut off the one that goes over the eggs with scissors and then poke holes at the bottom of it with a knife. That piece will then fit right into the section that goes over the eggs, so that the one with holes in it can hold dirt and drain water, and the one underneath it can capture the water. Until the seeds sprout and get too tall, you can use the lid as the top of your greenhouse.
Editing to add some pics from my cellphone to make this simple process more clear:
Separate the two egg-shaped trays
Make holes in the bottom of the separated tray
Pick out some seeds, these were my choice today
After putting the separated tray with holes back into the intact tray, put a shallow layer of dirt in each compartment and add a seed or two!
Fill up the rest of the way with dirt and pat down
Just one pile of dirt in a series of piles of dirt. Thrilling!
The entire back yard currently looks like a work site, as we have been digging out an enormous hole to build a garden up out of. I’ll post about the garden another time, but for now I want to engage the mundane task of reveling in rocks and dirt. Sound under-thrilling? Well I spend just about all my time on days off from work hauling rocks and dirt around my yard, so this is a peek into my “leisure” activities, if you will.
This giant mound of dirt is a project within a project wrapped up in a project with a few projects on the side.
- Turning the earth and removing rocks to get the ground ready for the garden
- eventually making a fire pit and “patio” (extreme stretch of the term) out of the very large rocks that have come up
- making a rock wall around my wildflower/pollinator garden with the medium size rocks
- making a stone path through my back yard to the state park that’s behind my house
The very large rocks will be starring in their own post one day, for now we’ll focus on the smaller stuff.
a pile of rocks. when I fit them neatly together, they will make a section of the wall
the rock wall in an early stage
That ocean of green weeds you see behind the wall is mugwort. I spend a fantastic amount of time digging it out of my yard and replacing it with wildflower seeds so that bees, butterflies, hummingbird moths, and other pollinators will be happy in my yard.
mugwort roots, the bane of my existence
Mugwort is a very invasive species that is incredibly difficult to get rid of and will take over any spot of dirt it sees. There is a state park with beautiful hiking paths and brooks behind my house, but you have to make your way through mugwort that can grow over 6 feet tall to get there. So I’ve been making a pathway through the mugwort, hauling rocks by bucket and wheelbarrow to make for an easy passage.
the mugwort doesn’t quite look happy that I’ve taken some of it’s ground
hauling rocks. per norm.
These projects will be updated as they progress- hey- and eventually get completed! But for now this should explain such things as 1. my farmer tan 2. why my boots are perpetually shaking out dirt 3. why I’m so sore after a day off.