Sunday, April 12, 2015

Second Week of April

Once again, I traveled this week, so there's not a whole lot that's new. Did some more cleaning--to the point that there's no plastic crap in sight from the house--and finally broke down the raspberry trellises. Rotting 1x4 crosspieces nailed to chemical-treated 4x4s, they looked like little utility poles. Now the posts are out of sight and the cross-pieces are on the kindling heap. (I't's good when you travel, and get to finish your work week early and tackle somethign like this before the weekend's officially underway).

Through a combination of girl stomps and worm tunnels, the weed heap really does seem to be shrinking. I did not add to it this week.

The rhubarb is ready. I'm amazed at that a few hacked up crowns are producing already, at about 2 months in the ground.

One of the things about getting a yard with long-untended trees is that you end up bringing a bunch down: deadwood, moribund-wood, cross-branches, unwanted withes,... Mostly, I try to neither bring in nor remove biomass, so it's important to be able to deal with a lot of it. Because so much of it is woody and not readily compostable, it begins to eat up space.

I feel like I'm getting into a pretty good flow now. Part of it is pacing. Not every bad branch needs to come down today, and doing a few at a time pulse through the system without the hang-ups that a yard-full of branches can create. Generally, here's how it breaks down:
  • Branches, cut-end first, are dragged to the SW corner, between the pear and my willow fence. 
  • Conifers get the machete shave, removing flexible boughs with foliage and strewing them around the pear where the ground is muddy.
  • Any branches that would make good stakes are pulled and cut, with the small stuff usually going onto the brush heap.
  • Bigger wood is generally destined to be firewood, and I bring it north, near the shed and under the fir, where it gets hacked and sawed down. 
  • Pear and other fruit-wood is separated for cooking only. The general wood-pile is more or less twigs at one end and pieces awaiting final sawing at the other. 
  • The fir carpet will, as the weather dries up, shed the needles. Twigs will then go into the firewood stream. 
 The other thing I did on my early start weekend was buy about 65 bucks of plants at the farmers market.  Now I have a couple of lavendars at my doorstep, and the bricked corner of the south bed is now home to some oregano, thyme, and rosemary. I also got some bay and white sage, which will live in pots.

By virtue of travel, I also had some bulb planting to do. I've been looking at areas affected by wildfire, and gathered what I believe to be camas and some other kind of lily. Since I don't know exactly when they'll bloom, much less guarantee that I'll make it, I dug up a few and planted them here. Having slightly expanded the onion bed and added some presumed wild onions in part of that space previously, the new bulbs went there.

That seems like about it, so far.

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