Thursday, April 2, 2015

End of March

For almost 4 days near the end of the month, I was away, but the weather cooperated and everything was fine.

Besides, I came back with 4 more hops varieties and planted them. Seems to me it was Zeus, Northern Brewer, Newport, and maybe Galena? Anyway, they're all in the ground, and have had a mix of sun and rain since. Like all the other hops, they're in 18" diameter holes carved out of the sod, with a few shovels of worm-heap compost in each. I'll eventually strip the interstices of grass to make a long bed that will luxuriate under a blanket of mulch. This weekend, I'll cut some young cherry trees at Brown Street to be poles.

After returning, I also cut back the camellia, working inside-out, taking off a few feet up top and giving the house more breathing space, but not making it look different from the road.

On a roll, I hacked down the small (about 5' diam) rhododendron in front of the office window. It was crowded up against the camellia and the house, harboring trash and weeds, and producing no food, material, or aroma. Even though I have not dug out the base and all the weeds yet, it looks better to me.

Next, I headed around back with a ladder or two and cut a bunch of dead crap out of the big pear. At one point, I climbed up with the long-handled cultivator and was hooking branches. A lot of lichen-covered dead-twigs came down. At another point, the long-handled cultivator was stuck up there, but eventually I got it down.

I've also been working on the south beds. Got the SE corner done, maybe 4' x 6' in area. Then peeled back dirt previously dug by th house down to the underlying cardboard, and started another bed. That's as far as I got, and we keep getting afternoon rain that makes it less enticing to go out and shake dirt and sort out weeds. Eventually, though, it could be about 4 of that size.

Oh, and next to the house, I filled the north 4 feet of the future outdoor kitchen with gravel from the Mission Creek screening. A few brickbats are in place to keep the gravel from migrating, but it's compacting nicely and so far, so good. Prior to this, I'd worked the dirt (which at this depth is redder and less loamy than the A horizon) to almost level, canted slightly away from the house and stomped as compactly as my frame and patience allow.

Hmm. What else? Raked up a lil heap of fir needles and cones, which I'm using as blueberry mulch.

This weekend, I'll waive the usual No Biomass Leaves This Place rule to get rid of some of the trimmings piling up around here. I'm running out of space, and rhododenron is the worst compost material, so something has to go. Also, this will spur me to have at the big rhody about 12 feet diameter), which is crowding the house as well as the only way to get a truck in back. And as long as I'm at that, there's a bunch of weedy crap on that end of the house that would be good to get rid of.

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