March 3, 2012 - Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Maybe I bit off a bit more than I can handle when I decided to enlarge the garden.


Our day began at 10:00 a.m. when Mr. Granny and Scott began digging out fence posts after I'd removed all the clips and fencing.


Bryan unloaded the sod stripper and fired it up, while Kevin began rolling up the strips of sod.


They loaded a trailer with rolls of sod, and still had all of this left over. I'm thinking it would have been easier to reseed rather than try to lay all of this into the old garden area, and "somebody", I won't name names, neglected to follow my instructions to keep the sod rolls up next to the fence. That entire area will have to be leveled, so the sod will have to be moved again! I worked on leveling it with a rake for about an hour, and didn't even make a dent in it.


So....here is the garden extension. Pretty rough right now, and the old maple tree roots were so near the surface it made stripping the sod very difficult. It will have to be tilled up, and that might prove interesting what with all the big roots.


Areas like this will either have to be chopped out with an axe or made into a raised area for squash. The roots are huge, and right at the surface.


Remind me to never, ever, ever plant cosmos again. These 10-12' giants had to be cut into sections then pulled. Now what will I do with them? Too bad I don't have a chipper. Our only alternative is a big bonfire.


I put in a full day. A bed was made for Grandpa Ott morning glories. I dug a couple of buckets of compost into the soil, raked it smooth and added a mulch of grass hay. A week or so before it's time to plant the seeds, I'll scoot the mulch aside to let the soil warm up. Strips of wire fencing were tacked to the back fence to give the vines something to climb.


The lettuce bed was dug, and compost and alfalfa pellets were scratched into the top few inches. It's all ready for seeding when the time comes. A small bed next to it was also amended, mulched with hay, and fenced off to keep Annie from sleeping on it. I haven't yet decided what will go there, possibly a small herb bed.


I cleaned up and mulched the lily bed, and that pretty much took care of cleaning and prepping my "back 40", the area behind the garden shed.


Is it bedtime yet? My body aches all over. Oh, it's only 4:15. Darn. I feel like I put in a lot more than six hours!




36 comments:

  1. Yes, I think it is bedtime for you! You really got a lot done today! You have a big enough family that hopefully, you can get some help to get things done.

    Now go put your feet up or go to bed!

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    1. I think I wore them out, I don't see any volunteers in my future ;-) I took a hot bath, two Tylenol and cooked dinner. I was starving after a day of fresh air, so I'm pigging out right now!

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  2. That is a lot. You really did a lot. Moving sod is such a task. I hope your helpers are ready for some more lifting. Your plant support look really good. Very sturdy. Those must have been some massive cosmos. I've never had them make stalks that big and hardy. Sleep well!

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    1. Gardener, I'll probably do the sod laying, but I'm going to cut it into manageable squares. Yes, the cosmos got HUGE! I was expecting 4-5 feet tall, but not 10-12 feet!

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  3. It is going o be so worth the effort!

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    1. Meems, it should be, if I live that long LOL!

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  4. Wow, that is an incredible amount of work for six hours. I have stripped sod using those sod cutters so I know how hard that can be. Your new garden extension looks great, and I can't wait to see the progress.

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    1. Kris, I'm going to take it "a few feet at a time", and hope I can stay just ahead of the planting schedule. I have to get a fence up though, the dogs are having a heyday in all that dirt!

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    2. Looks like you have a little room for some corn now. :)

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    3. Yes, Kris! I actually have a small corn bed (maybe 8' x 8', I haven't measured it yet), and I have bought my corn seed! Not a big crop like yours, but we should get a few ears of fresh, sweet corn. In fact, I wanted a really sweet one, so I bought a hybrid...TripleSweet Hybrid.

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  5. All I can say is "WWWWOOOOOOWWWW", Gran. I can't wait to see how the new space shapes up. You know what they say - Go big or go home. It's gonna look so good, I can already tell.

    P.S. - that pic definitely doesn't make me want to grow cosmos either. Yikes!

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    1. Thomas, it will be a bit bigger than the old garden! There's still a lot of work to do on it, I hope this old body holds up.

      Dwarf cosmos only! I grew this regular variety the year before, in containers, and they got about 5' tall and gorgeous. In the garden soil they went absolutely crazy, and were more foliage with not many flowers.

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  6. Things be a foot. :) Good to see. All I did was pick up Azomite and seed trays. I did repot the corn into gallon pots. Their roots, at being a little less than a foot, were longer than they are tall. They look happier though.

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    1. Stay @ Home, I think, with gas prices going sky high, food prices will soar and we'll all need to expand our home gardens. I'm hoping to grow enough this year to supply all we need, plus enough to help out our four kids' families.

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  7. Wow! What a day you had. So glad the snow melted in time for the sod clearing. Now that the really hard part is done, you can take your time getting the beds ready. I can't wait to see how it shapes up.

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    1. Rachel, it was in the low 60s today! Perfect sweatshirt weather for working outside. I do hope the good weather holds for a bit, I have sooooo much to do!

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  8. WOW! AWESOME! Can't wait to see what goodies grow there!

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    1. Well, 1st. Man, we know there will be lettuce and flowers! And raspberries and strawberries. Everything else is "if"...."if" I get it done!

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  9. WOW! I got tired from just reading the post! It looks like a great start and all the work will be worth it this summer. I agree with your thinking about rising gas prices abd rising food prices. I'm going to have a lot more ornamental edibles in the flower gardens this year.

    Hmnn... you need dwarf cosmos, I'm sure I have seeds somehere, LOL!

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    1. Ed, I had dwarf cosmos last year, too. If you look at my banner, they are on the far left right next to, and the same height as, the 5' ladder! They turned out to all be white, and I so wanted them to be colorful. The giant ones were a gorgeous pale lavender. I was so disappointed, I threw away all my cosmos seeds!

      Our local Ace Hardware has American Seeds for 10 cents a pack this week. I'm tempted to go buy the entire rack!

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  10. You got a lot done today! Next weekend is going to be my big garden clean up. I saw your comment about the cosmos and thought oh no because I just added a pack to my order yesterday.

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    1. Vanessa, take this as a warning...put them in a container if they are full size type of cosmos! As I told Ed (above) my dwarf cosmos were 5' tall. They are in the far left of the banner photo, right next to the ladder.

      I'm setting my goal to clean up an 8' section of the now 22' deep garden each day that it's warm enough to work outside (and that my old body is still moving). I think it's 75' long, but I got about 12 feet of it done today. Just over a week of good weather should complete the cleanup, just in time to start digging the garden beds.

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  11. It's looking wonderful!! I have 'root' issues too. I figure I'll just build up OVER them! :P Hugs!

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    1. Wendy, I was so hoping most of the roots had decomposed by now. Nope. It's going to be a challenge, believe me.

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  12. A new garden is so much work. I wonder how many wheelbarrows of dirt I moved to get mine up and running. It must be huge. At last I didn't have to dig all the dirt underneath like I did for my last garden. Since it was new soil put in by the landscapers it wasn't hard (well the bobcat ran over parts of it and those parts took work). Good luck on getting the rest whipped into shape.

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    1. Daphne, I'm hoping John can get the rototiller running and get it dug for me. Mr. Granny actually volunteered to take the chain saw out to work on some of the larger roots. This may turn into a two season project, as I now have no little Ford Ranger for hauling compost from the nursery. Bags of poo from the big box store will have to do.

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  13. Wow! No wonder you ache- that was a big job!

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    1. Kelly, six hours of labor, for my first day of the season, was hard work! My body felt every bit of it last night.

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  14. Great post. I wish we had had a sod stripper. My husband and I have been working to expand our garden this year. But we have gone the old fashioned route--a couple of shovels and our own backs. Ow! I like this post so much that I guess I will have to take pictures and put up one of my own.

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    1. Cristy, at $100 to rent a sod stripper, it was probably worth every penny.

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  15. oh my looks like you were all working hard! I am sure it will be more than worth the hard work once everything is ready to harvest!

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    1. Still working, Mrs. P.! I was afraid I'd be too stiff today, but it's all OK.

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  16. You were busy yesterday! I hope you are taking it easy today and enjoying a little sunshine. The new garden space looks great.

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    1. Christy, it's 63F in the shade, and I've been out for three hours now, in the sun, sweating! I should be wearing a T-shirt instead of a sweatshirt!

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  17. oh. my. goodness. My back is hurting reading this post and looking at those photos! You will be so rewarded when it's done though!

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    1. Erin, I actually exceeded my 8'x22' section of cleanup today, and got most of the garlic moved. We're doing fence posts this afternoon...turns out John has a pounder.

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