Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Garden prep - of bleach and dug treasures

With my garden, the things I do aren't usually big and climactic.
Usually they're small. Sometimes rather tough work. But I like it that way.

Over the weekend - on Sunday when I was going through the birth-pangs of finishing my essay, I decided to tackle the rock border to my new front-yard garden.
Because I just could not stand one more minute of editing without self-combusting.

Soon in my digging my shovel hit something hard where there should have been soil.
I stuck it down a few inches over, thinking I'd hit a little rock.

But this one wasn't little.

No this - and the others I found (perhaps 7?) - were quite respectably sized. Hefty, even. Rocks that would hurt if dropped on your toe. In fact they'd probably break your toe. I'm guessing at least 1 square foot, and 2 inches thick.

They were extremely satisfying to dig up one after another.

There must have been a nice rock-border there before the junipers took over the space. I wonder what it looked like 10, 20 years ago. If the old and prickly-snarled junipers that we shed so much sweat wrestling out were ever nice to look at? If there were other plants growing there?
I doubt I'll ever know. But I'm glad to have my rocks, though they still aren't quiet enough for a border.

Here are the products of my hard work:

The other recent gardening adventure of note involved bleach. And holey gloves.

I'd read somewhere that it's a good idea to disinfect old seed-starting containers, to kill the fungi that cause damping off... and anything else nasty, invisible, and alive that still might persist there.

So yesterday I asked mom to buy some bleach at the grocery store.

This morning I found myself standing in our cluttered basement.
The stark, spartan bleach bottle - new, white, and clean - was contrasting impressively with its surroundings.
It looked a little dangerous.

I had already donned my oldest set of PJ's.
I'd also found a pair of tall, thick-plastic gloves lying around - exacly the right kind to use when handling bleach.
Except for that one hole in the pinky finger. And that other one somewhere unidentified in the other glove.

My mother's warning that bleach - well, bleaches anything it touches & the label on the bottle saying NOT TO LET IT TOUCH YOUR SKIN played through my head as I filled up some old plastic storage boxes with water, added a very approximate helping of bleach, and submerged my plant trays.

Plant trays have annoyingly awkward shapes.
Every 15 minutes or so, I had to pull out the dripping containers, and put them on top of another tray to dry; I couldn't rinse them until I'd finished completely because of the large plastic bin I'd put straddling the sink which was precariously full of bleachy water.

Well, I'm not sure what it does to your skin besides making it tingle oddly, but apparently diluted bleach isn't all that dangerous. I haven't keeled over yet.
But my plants will hopefully be fungi-free.
Sigh. The things I do for my garden.

Finally - the cool-room thermometer has been migrating around the house, trying to find a place where it gets warmer than 20 degrees Celsius. So far I'm coming up blank, so I think I'll just have to put them in under the warmth of the grow lights and hope for the best.

I'll be a-seed-starting tomorrow! I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. looking great Maddie!! your blog is really interesting, sorry i havent commented before but i have been reading it!