Spring brings lots to do

During this past weekend and early week, Lee and I were happily busy with outdoor chores. Then I got a bloody cold, and we have been cooling our heels and watching the rain pour down.

Evil the rooster had his pen mowed. He wasn’t exactly chipper with all the activity, but he did his best to strut his manly stuff and look suitably concerned.

Lee tilled up several garden beds by hand with his grub hoe. He said the soil broke up beautifully. These beds have been in use for several years now, and spent the recent winter months under a sheet compost of chicken litter.

I prepped the new beds with Steve Solomon’s fertilizer mix and worked it in.

I filled up my remaining beds with seeds and starts.

Grow little broccolies, grow!

There was an old Brussels sprout plant left behind from last season that sprouted the most delicious and delectable tender shoots. As you can guess, Lee and I were munching on them.

Lee’s Note: Brussel sprouts must be the world’s most overachiever vegetable. First they produce a tall stalk covered with dozens of Brussel sprouts. If left uneaten for months, they next head out a single larger cabbage. The cabbage eventually bursts, the stalks tip over from the weight, and an abundance of Broccoli Rabe sprouts from the main stalk. I’m fascinated to see what it will produce next–hopefully chocolate!

Lee spent a couple evening hours on three days and made an amazing amount of progress clearing out blackberries with his grape hoe. I followed after him and raked up all the dead grass and bramble mix. We want to plant some grass seed here to help compete with the inevitable regrowth of the blackberries.

Lee also dug out the biggest blackberry root either of us had ever seen.

Finally, we got the chainsaw going and started cutting firewood from the nut trees that broke up in the snow storm. There are so many small trunks that it’s a slow process. On the plus side, no splitting!

The rains have finally ended and my cold is on the decline, so I have high hopes for this next weekend.

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10 Responses to Spring brings lots to do

  1. Ann says:

    You’ve done a lot of work in your yard, and it’s certainly showing! Beautiful. Well, the forecast says the sun is shining in your neck of the woods, and it’s early Saturday morning as I write these words, so get up and at ‘em! We’re not that lucky, as it’s pouring here and we have rain in the forecast for the next 7 days! I think you know the feeling…

    Hope your cold is getting better, and that you’ll make lots of progress this weekend.

    And let us know if that Brussels sprout plant happens to grow chocolate…

    • lee says:

      Well, 7am is a little early for us on the weekend (or just in general, really) but we did get up and at ‘em. The weather was beautiful. It was sunny, dry, and not too hot. I’m sending good weather thoughts in your direction!

      Tonight we gave up on dreams of chocolate and decided to eat all the broccoli shoots instead. They were a pretty tasty last hurrah from plants that weathered our rainy slug-ridden Oregon winter.

  2. Ron says:

    Roosters are so good at looking brave and worried at the same time. :)

    That is one huge blackberry root, I haven’t seen any even close to that.

    • lee says:

      I’ve been enjoying having a rooster in our flock. He’s the most interactive of the chickens, constantly stalking the fence line and watching.

      Sadly, that blackberry root is fairly common for here. Oregon’s state flower is the Oregon Grape (which looks like a tiny Holly tree and produces bitter purple “grapes”), but it should really be the Himalayan Blackberry. They regularly grow 12 feet tall and bigger around than your thumb.

  3. Dan says:

    Robin and Lee,

    Your projects sound a lot like our projects. Invasive eradication, planting, and rain. No colds thank goodness. Feel better soon!

    Dan

    • robin says:

      Hi Dan,

      Yup it does sound like we are on parallel paths. I have to say that vodka recipe for your knotweed sounds super cool. I wonder if we saw knotweed while driving though Maine and didn’t even realize it. I really hate invasive stuff. One day if we ever get rid of all the blackberries I have a bunch of ivy to contend with . **groan** I saw there was bad weather for the northeast. Hopefully it goes away for you soon!

  4. Benita says:

    If you do get chocolate from your Brussel Sprouts, I want seeds!!!!

  5. Spring is a busy time of year! Hope you are feeling better and didn’t have the 3 week cold that I did..frinking terrible.

    • lee says:

      Nope, it wasn’t a 3 week cold and Robin is feeling significantly improved. Also, she didn’t give it to me! (That may be a first.) It looks like it’s going to be a good spring for the grass production. We haven’t quite finished mowing everything for a second time and much of it needs another pass. We try to keep the main yards mowed so it looks like someone lives here, and our property edges mowed so the county doesn’t do it for us (often badly).

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