After weeks of brutal heat that prevented my getting into the garden, yesterday (a work day) and today brought mid-80s and clear skies. Time to build another new bed in the vegetable garden! You can see it framed out in the distance above. On the right are the three beds I did already this year. No surprise that the crucifers in the closest bed are really ailing -- cabbage and broccoli do not care for heat! But the peppers in the middle bed are flourishing, and my tomatoes plants are covered with green fruit, keeping me very hopeful.
But back to the new bed. This is part of my "raise the raised beds" project. A few years ago I put in 2x6 frames, but they proved to be inadequate when the spring rains came, allowing the beds to wick up ground water and stay saturated, rather than draining. This year I'm adding a second level of 2x6 frame to bring the soil up higher.
I'm so glad I thought to cover the huge pile of dirt on my driveway. Despite the two inch rainfall we got a few days ago, the dirt pile stayed dry and therefore MUCH less heavy!
It takes about three dump carts full of dirt to fill the bed. The first cart is easy to load and empty. The last one, not so much.
Once it was filled and smoothed, it was time to decide what to plant. I have absolutely no planting plan for this season, since I had no idea how long it would take to redo the beds.
In clearing the weeds out of the frame before I raised it, I discovered a single strawberry plant that somehow survived to this point. I set it aside as my "inspiration piece." And sure enough, what did I find at the garden center?
Strawberries! These are everbearing, meaning they make a crop in June and continue to have scattered berries through the rest of the season. It didn't take very long to go from this
I put in 15 plants, plus I buried some of the babies on the runners. Technically you're supposed to cut those off so the mama plants can get established, but these seemed so healthy and I hate to discard healthy plants!
The trick will be keeping them watered for the rest of the summer, but next June the reward will be sweet and juicy!
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. -- Thoreau
There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall. -- Colette
I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other. -- Rilke
As innocent as a new-laid egg. -- W. S. Gilbert
Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens. --Anonymous, but my mother gave it to me!
Language...has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. --Paul Johannes Tillich
Life begins when you plant a garden. -- Chinese proverb
The great omission in American life is solitude...that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit. --Marya Mannes
If you were born lucky, even your rooster will lay eggs. -- Russian proverb
When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. --Antonio Porchia
Cocks may crow, but it's the hen that lays the eggs. -- Attr. Margaret Thatcher
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. -- Henry David Thoreau