Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

 That bed of Tristars? I had hoped to gently clip off runners to populate another bed (who doesn't want double the strawberries?) and I kept waiting for runners.



Nope, no runners. And yet, that bed. . . it was looking kind of, kind of. . . dense. (Sorry about the crappy picture -- using a phone).

What is going on underground? A lift with a digging fork revealed --- aiiieeee! It's the Great Lumping Mass. These plants have multiplied. When I began, each berry plant was a teensy slip of a thing.

If I shake enough dirt off of the mass of clumpiness, it's easier to divide the soon-to-be separate strawberry plants. Notice those berries? This variety is still pumping out flowers and berries, some of them quite large. Unfortunately, they taste like watered-down strawberry jell-o, so no joy there. I still give them points for trying.

It didn't take long to fill up another bed, on a three/two pattern. Then I looked back at the original bed, and between a third and a half of it was still very thick with berry plants.

So I eyed another bed in the garden. Dig, lift, shake, separate, and it, too, will hopefully produce luscious berries in the spring. Alas, however, there were many, many, many more berries left to go. I got into a rhythm, flinging separated berries into a cardboard box until the bed was nearly all thinned and I was tired.

And then I turned to the local gardening lists and found homes for all of them. Go forth and grow, little berries! I even had enough left in the bed to provide a friend with berry plants days later.

Someone is going to get a strawberry cream cake for her birthday next year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Raining and Pouring

The weather service here has promised rain twice over the last two weeks -- and it's rained once. We're supposed to get a storm this week, so I've finally achieved a modicum of garden work. The front yard tomatoes are removed, at least.

And I plan to put in some leafy green seeds to fill that front bed before the rain hits. Must put up a little dog-proof fence, though. Taz likes to vault to and fro over the bed when there aren't big plants in it.

Work has been challenging lately partly because my computer with all of my work-related files on it has decided to break in the power region. We thought a new cord would do it, but maybe it's broken more deeply inside. I'm going to try to figure out how to replace the port, but I'm not 100% confident that I will be able to. Fortunately I can use Eric's when he's not here, but it's a bit of a hassle.

 Rain outside, water inside. The other day, I looked up from the bed and said, "Honey. . . looks like water in the ceiling." A leak we thought we'd taken care of hadn't been. Sigh.

After peeling off a bit of the thick ceiling paper, just to establish that it was, in fact, a leak, we went upstairs to the bathroom in question. Yep. A leak. So with a long weekend, we did the first two-thirds of the demolition.

Under the two layers of phenomenally ugly linoleum was particle board. Yes, home renovators, the spongiest of all underlayments, with no up-to-code pesky water barriers at all!

Now we try to figure out how to redo the bathroom so that it's functional, non-leaky, and hopefully much, much, much less ugly. I had hoped to go on vacation some day, but instead, we'll do a plumb-cation! Anyhow, showers are good. Both outside and in, but only with the right kind of materials!