In woodchuck news, we left the house last Saturday, and turned onto the main road we’re just two houses in from, and there was a very dead woodchuck in the middle of the road. It had the right coloring to be ours, and we haven’t seen hide nor hair of any sort of woodchuck since then, so I think we have a reprieve for at least a little while. We never thought he lived here, so hopefully no one else moves into the territory and decides it would be a great place to live.
I feel bad – it is their home too, and so far, he’d left my plants alone. Poor thing.
Yesterday was a long day. I did two separate sessions of planting to get everything out. (It was sunny, and really warm, so I went as long as I could in the morning, and then went back out for evening.) But everything is in the ground, and I’ve done as much woodchuck prevention as I can think of, so we’ll see how it goes.
BF finally got a start on the great mulch project in our evening session. We’ll see how long it takes to finish that.
We’re trying more herbs up on the deck – this time in dirt in the red planter. The bottom is all basil – my seed starts were really slow this year. I also put the bedding dahlias and some extra marigolds in pots. Usually, I would have swept the deck when I was done, but I was really done by the time I was done with the planting last night. Cleaning the deck can wait.
And finally, we added a few extra things to the front bed, as well as the nicotiana and delphinium I started from seed. I’m very interested to see how those do.
This is the front bed, continuing the red, yellow and blue theme. This was from earlier in the week, with all of the plants we bought last weekend. I also put a small divot in the mound of mulch, and made this bed look much better.
While we were out and about yesterday, we stopped at the nursery where BF had picked up the yellow dahlia that did so well in our front bed last year. We got another one (as well as a red dahlia), as well as some other yellow, red and blues for that bed. (And some marigolds and alyssum for the kitchen garden, as well as some ginger mint.) I’m still planning more shopping next weekend, but this was a good start.
We caught up on yardwork this morning. As expected, even though he was cutting it at a higher level than normal, the lawn was so far gone, BF was not able to do the entire yard in one battery life. So the front at least looks decent, but the backyard is about half done. Vast improvement, though.
Here’s what I came up with for hardening off my seedlings, since I don’t dare have them on the ground anymore, with monsieur/madam woodchuck hanging about. One bench wasn’t enough, so I have a sheet over the second one while I await my new order of row cover.
They really needed to go out – my mother had brought me over a tomato about a month ago that she had started, and it was threatening to outgrow the grow light shelves. I only left two types of plants inside that were still on the small side.
I am so behind – I have some things I really want to direct sow, but I still need to get the trellis situated before I can do that. Dang Covid. I know I have a very good reason to not have done anything for a couple weeks, but it still really annoys me that I couldn’t.
The stump has been ground, and the city even came through and filled in the hole, and seeded it with grass. They did not seed in the area around the new tree that they had to dig out to plant it, which they did not completely mulch over, so their technique is a little inconsistent, but all in all, I’m counting this as a great experience getting a tree removed at no cost to me.
In other news, we have lost control of the lawn. I can’t mow it (I enjoy not having my eyes swell shut if I can help it), and BF’s been down with Covid. So of course, it reached peak growing in the past week. BF will get to it over the weekend, but it is definitely not our finest moment in lawncare.
The other garden task I was behind on was planting up the seedlings. I had bought another grow light last year, after two wasn’t enough for what I planted last winter. I’d tried to set it up when I first planted seedlings, but the zip ties I needed were no where to be found. Those were later located (after we bought new ones, of course), so I was able to set the light up on Monday. I planted up all the remaining seedlings over a couple of nights this week.
My one worry is my hardening off set up. I was just putting them out in the back yard, on the ground, and covering them at night. That was before the woodchuck showed up. So I’m going to have to put them up on the deck, and rethink my covering strategy. I’ve got a week or so to figure that out fully.
My plan is planting on Memorial Day weekend, but I can always push that out if that turns out to be on the cold side, like it was last year.
One of the very irritating things about Covid (I’m choosing to be irritated) is that I had plans for those two lost weekends. Yard work plans had factored in heavily. There’s a large pile of mulch under a tarp right now we had delivered two days before I developed symptoms, that I feel like is mocking me at this point. We need to buy a wheel barrow to deal with it, and that went out the window. So that should be remedied over this coming weekend. In the meantime, a few things did get done.
The city came and replaced the Norway maple they pulled out last year. It’s planted closer to the street this time, which we very much appreciate for the future of our driveway. It’s a red maple cultivar, so it’s a native, even if it has been toyed with a bit to make it faster growing.
They still have not ground the stump of the old tree. That’s been contracted out, and they were theoretically coming this week, but we’re closing in pretty fast on the end of the day on Friday, so perhaps next week?
The magnolia in the backyard did its annual reminder of why it’s not such a bad tree, after all. (It’s just so boring after the flowers drop!)
In my second weekend of being confined to the grounds, I at least had more energy, so I managed to clear out the back corner, as well as the front shrubbery. Both those areas are looking more and more like we’ll add shrubs to them, but it was at least nice to get the detritus out of them for now.
The shrubbery will need some careful tending – the multiflora rose and multiple of Norway maple shoots are trying to come back from being cut down.
I had wanted to plant peas last week, but it was way too wet. BF had seen our little buddy around earlier, but I finally saw him yesterday, so plans had to be made to keep the peas safe.
I already had the support up from my prep-work last week, so some front screening was added once I put the peas in. I also got some large rodent repellent, but it’s going to rain tomorrow (much of next week, possibly), so I’ll put that out once it’s dry. I shouldn’t really need it until there are sprouts, anyway. So this might get interesting.
In more pleasant news, the violets are out in the lawn. Along with the ground ivy. Which I probably shouldn’t be pleased about, but it’s so pretty this time of year, I can’t hate it.
For the second year in a row, the Grammie begonia is blooming. It only bloomed once in the seventeen years we lived at the apartment. I guess it really likes this window.
One of the bad things about working from home is I’ve gotten really bad about turning on my personal computer, so I’ve fallen behind a bit on my documentation. I’ve planted my second round of seeds, and actually planted up a few from the first round. Oops!
I did a little outside clean up today, but not much. It’s still pretty wet out there. I’d hoped to plant peas, but we had enough rain yesterday I’m afraid they’d drown. So I at least got the support set up for where I want them to go.