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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Still more gardening: dirt, old seeds scattered, thistles and random roses 
9th-May-2016 10:21 am
Summer
The garden continues to come together. As mentioned in the previous gardening post, there was a great movement of soils and composts yesterday. I topped up one of the potato bags and put a little bit more soil in two of the others. The second renewed bed - with the naturalized oregano on one end - now is absolutely full to the top with goat compost soil and its accompanying population of earthworms. Once that settles a bit, I'll augment with potash and greensand and we will plant.

Along with moving all the dirt to all the places, I did more planting. Most of the planting was to get rid of old seeds in a way that will either be really productive or at least not intrusive. If they sprout, it will be a fun experiment. If they don't, I won't miss them. The first renewed bed - peas/potatoes - now also has beet seeds in it (tape style planting, dated 2015). The dirt pile just next to that bed - where I moved one of the oregano plants - has a trench full of mixed gourd seeds in it (dated 2010). The clay/rocks/dirt pile next to the garden entrance likewise got a touch-up. I leveled the top of it and put a bucket-load of compost soil on top, then trenched in two old packets of pumpkin seeds (2005, 2007). If they sprout, yay bonus! Just next to that mound, I raked the leaves away from the fence, put a packet of old bean seeds down (2010), and shoveled some new dirt on top. And just for fun, I put half a packet of old watermelon seeds (2012) in the two permanent planters (made out of paving stones) on the south side of the veggie garden.

We ordered two flats of flowers from Blushing_Grace for a fundraiser of hers. So the next act is to get the flat of petunias and the flat of mixed snapdragons* into the front octagon bed before they get too stressed. Unfortunately, in order to do that, we have to weed. ::sigh:: It's the never-ending fight against blackberries and trees. But I do love to look down on the octagon from the bathroom window and see the pretty flowers and the butterflies. So I think it's worth the work..

Along with the never-ending blackberry fight, I'm also on the lookout for poison ivy and thistles. In my wanderings in the back garden, I took the hoe to a number of thistles that had started up. No one eats them, and while they are pretty, they are a pain in the shins when I accidentally brush against them. I also tore up two poison ivy vines and hacked them to pieces. They are very close to where I put the beans, which means Round-up is no longer an option.

While driving the tractor through the garden to the new compost pile, I noticed two more volunteer country roses over towards the graveyard. I managed to avoid driving over them with the tractor. While they are equally annoying as blackberries when in the wrong places, roses aren't quite so virulent or persistent, so humoring a few of them (like the two in the octagon) won't suddenly cause the place to be overrun.

* There are very few plants that deer won't eat if they are hungry enough (see the NC State list of most common garden plants eaten and not eaten). However, neither petunias nor snapdragons are oh, eat me now! deer food. (Daffodils, azalea, columbine, and monarda are also not deer-attractants.) I'm hoping that I have enough uninteresting plants in the front to hide the hollyhocks, and that the roses will be passed by as not worth the time and the dog.
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