Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yard work

It's a safe bet that we no longer have to worry about frost in this area. That means we can start planting!

Last night I tackled my yard. I threw out the bits of garbage that blow into the yard. Any dead branches hanging out of pots got trimmed away. The orange tree in a pot got moved outside.

At the end of last year I dug up a small sand plum bush from the family farm in Kansas and brought it back to DC. The trunk snapped during the drive and I tried to splice it back together. It didn't work, but I didn't expect it to. My big hope was that the roots would grow something new. And they did. I had two good samples of root and between them I got three shoots. Yesterday I got them transplanted into a bigger pot. So long as they last the summer I shouldn't have to worry about them. If they can survive Kansas winters they can survive DC winters. I'm keeping it in a pot so they don't spread and take over the yard. They reproduce more through spreading roots than they do from seeds.

I also have a big trash barrel full of dirt. I tried to get as much dirt as I can out of it. I'll try to find temporary homes for even more this evening. I'm gonna take another swing at growing potatoes in it. As the plant grows you're supposed to keep building up the dirt until the barrel is full. When the plant dies you kick over the barrel and have potatoes.

Some of the dirt was used to top off another pot that was moved near the house. I've ordered some hops rhizomes to stick in the pot. I shouldn't expect any yield this year, but next year I should have a decent crop. I'm sending some to my brother, too. He has a lot more land to play with than I do. If our brewing efforts do well over the next few years then I may have to include a fermentation tank if we ever replace the barn. That's a huge if. That if could have wiped out the dinosaurs if collided with the Earth.

The tulips and allium Yummy planted last year are peeking up. The kale are getting tall. The mint is coming back. Buds are forming on the tree we planted last year. Still waiting for some signs of life on the sickly blackberry we planted late last season or the grape vines that started coming up wild last summer.

And we finally found a bird bath for the yard. I should have a report on the table I'm making for the yard in the near future.

But that's just my yard. Yummy got permission to plant a garden in the back yard of her place in Baltimore. We spent a good part of the weekend removing trash and raking up several years worth of fallen leaves. The ground was largely bare underneath it. Some weeds needed killing, some still do. But we got a patch churned up and planted. A couple types of tomato, some peppers, Brussels sprouts, catnip, a blackberry bush, and some birdhouse gourd plants. Marigolds were planted along the sides of the garden to drive off the grubs. There's a few other things, but I forget what at the moment.

We put a shelf outside her kitchen window with some basil and lettuce growing in it. Hopefully we can reach out and pluck some lettuce for our hamburgers.

I made her get a tray of peat disks, too. We filled them with marigold and camomile seeds. They were picked for their short germination periods and having prettyish flowers. They're needed in a couple of weeks for something the DC Guerilla Gardeners are doing with some bicyclists from New York. I think they're gonna be taking soup cans and tying them to posts with these plants growing in them.

The residents who are taking care of the front yard at her place are moving in a month. She plans on taking it over. We have a ton of seeds bought or stolen from yards. That front yard is gonna be nuts.

We have some colorful corn and more birdhouse gourds that we're gonna be sticking around town. Gonna get into some actual guerilla gardening.


Scott said...

My girlfriend has introduced me to city gardening. It is very different than country gardening. The easiest and prettiest plant in the garden in the hyacinth bean. I really like it, and it volunteers year after year. As long as people don't eat the dried seeds, it can be shared and spread. It grows very well on fences. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bugs love it too.

Ibid said...

Hyacinth bean. Looks good. We'll have to look into that.