Last weekend we did some major grading, pulling the artificially high “flower bed” that had been created around the front of the house away, to allow for better drainage of rain water after major storms. The flower bed had been edged with large field stones, which looked to have come from an old foundation or stone wall. Sam had the idea of building a new stone wall as a border between the back yard and the adjoining field – where Tina had started to create some sort of shady flower beds under the existing tree line. None of the guys were keen on this idea (probably realizing that they would have to help with the heavy lifting for a project bound to take months), but Tina found basic instructions for a mortar free stone wall – with pictures – and the first stones were sorted into piles. There are literally tons of such stones around the house and fields, so theoretically, the wall may become a reality.
We also ended up rototilling and raking the newly graded front yard sections, sowed grass seed and covered the seeds with some of the left over dry hay from the barn. We had to water this for two days, until luckily it rained all day Wednesday. Hopefully this grass seed will sprout OK – to match the rest of the front yard, which we seeded a few months ago (first grass appeared right around Easter)
Jens volunteered to paint the barn roof! He arrived before 7:00 am, and Jeff had already gotten a safety harness (plus reflective roof paint and brushes). By 8:00 am Jens had secured the D hooks on the rooftop and strapped himself into the harness – he finished the entire one side of the roof by 3:00!
Also got more garden planted this morning:
- 42 bell pepper plants
- finished the pepper row and tomato row with cucumbers (marketfare)
- row next to the peppers starts with 1 pack of yellow straight neck zucchini
- about 4 oz of black zucchini
- 1 packet spaghetti squash
- about 1 teaspoon of acorn squash (saving the rest for late summer planting)
- next 1.5 rows = green beans: .5 lbs of Tema, .5 lbs of Slenderette
Worked a little on the herb garden, added mariegolds to the border, hoed and watered
Finished washing and labeling the canned goods, then ran wires to add more lights in the cellar, set up more shelves and finally moved all the jars and bottles downstairs. Thanks to Knud and Shannon, these two batches of wine bottles were capped with the heat-shrink foil, red for the peach wine and green for the apple wine.
Our potatoes are up very nicely, as are the red beets, peas, parsnips, lettuce and spinach. We had a nice slow drizzling rain all afternoon and planted – finally – 114 tomato plants (about 100 Roma and the rest Brandywine) and the 47 cabbage plants. Also planted a dozen basil plants in the herb garden. Went to the Newville Hardware store to get more corn seeds, as well as summer and winter squash, cucumber and some flower seeds. Weed-whacked two rows of blackberries and filled in those spots where the plants did not take (about 10%) – we had extras set aside for filling in. Would have gotten more done today, but Sam locked her keys in the car while getting ready to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding – so we had to drive the spare key out to the wedding venue for her (twice – since the first time we took the wrong spare key). Also got another section done in the shade bed at the edge of the lawn, put in more bleeding hearts, sweet woodruff and hostas.