Still filling and planting

Our weather here at the lake is exactly opposite of the forecasts. All week long they were projecting heavy rains and actually the area received 5-7” collectively over 3 or 4 days while we received maybe 1/4”. Yesterday and today the forecast was dry – less than 20% likelihood of rain- and it rained all night and into the this morning. It was raining lightly when I went to bed and it rained hard enough this morning so that I awoke to the rain.

This rain is welcome since I did some landscaping along the path yesterday. Landscaping doesn’t mean going to a nursery and getting plants – it means moving some wild plants from one jungle location to another. We have loads of Bromiliads so I thinned them out and filled in areas that I recently filled with dirt. I count trimming the palmettos and raking away 10 years worth of pine needles and oak leaves as landscaping. I also count pulling out thousands of Boston ferns landscaping – so my definition is loose.

Trying a new variety in the garden this year and got a surprise. I read about a cross between broccoli and Kale which the seed company called Brokali. It’s a cut crop, which means you cut it when ready and it grows back, providing a steady stream of goodies. The tops and stems are touted as sweet and delicious. To me it sounds like Broccoli Raab, something I planned to put in the garden in November. Anyway, I got a surprise when I decided to start it indoors for the season a few days ago and saw it germinate in 3 days. Conventional broccoli does germinate quickly, 5-7 days, but I’ve never seen little plants pop out this fast. In this case that may not be a good thing since they’ll be ready to pop in the garden in October which is still fairly hot here. I’ve got plenty of seed left so if this batch cooks in the garden, I’ll have a follow up crop ready to go.

If you are into greens, you can really satisfy your need with very little garden space by focusing on cutting crops. A cutting crop is one where you cut off the leaves as needed while the plant continues to produce more. This year I’ll have a few Kale plants, two varieties; swiss chard, 2 varieties; spinach, 2 varieties; broccoli, 2 varieties not including the Brokali and Broccoli raab, both of which will be there; collards, and several varieties of leaf lettuce. I guess I should throw parsley into that category too. I’ll end up with only 2 garden rows of these items which will provide all the greens we and our neighbor can handle with plenty left over for Nancy’s bridge and quilting ladies from November through April. Two garden rows is less than 100 SF. I’ll mix that up with the one time pick crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, celery and all the roots – carrots, beets, onions and parsnips.

Really making good progress on the filling project. The path to the dock is completed as is the wide area along the lake front and I’ve started filling the view area. I’d say I’m at the 2/3 point on using up the fill dirt and am fairly confident now that I have enough dirt to do the job-at least with a shallow level of fill. Since the dirt pile is positioned adjacent to the area to be filled, it’s going much faster than the dock path. I roughly estimate the area to be 800 SF but it’s tougher to estimate the depth because of the many pot holes and roots that need to be dealt with. Just putting an eyeball on it, I think it will be close and I think I can complete the job by the end of the week – before my bride gets home.

Filling the view area
Filling the view area

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