Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Of a Lee Valley Origin.

We gardened Sunday and Monday night (after D. got home from work).

I had two days in a row off! The shocker of it all to my system. I was restless Monday morning not knowing what to do with myself so I ran 10k. That settled me down. Fortunately, I went early enough before the wall of heat descended on the city. The heat and then the whoville transit workers were up to some shenanigans stopping all service. People were on roller blades and biking and walking and very grumpy. I'm glad I didn't have to go to work that day.

back to the garden.
It's so easy for me to digress.

After we finished raking the soil, laying down the mulch and pinning it in place, transplanting our seedlings and watering, I started to note how our garden could be a game of "how many L.V. products do you see in this photo?" The photo would be here if I wasn't working with a computer from the last century (or if my sister was back in whoville and I could upload photos ad nauseum on her computer)! How many Lee Valley items can you fit into a small garden, you ask?
Well, try to top this.
*keep in mind that I don't know the exact dimensions of our urban garden, but it is small).

So here's what I've discovered to be of L.V. origin:

The seed starter kit I used to plant a feed seeds in the peat pellets.
When we turned the soil the week prior to planting I couldn't have used the spade without my gripper gloves. We also pruned the mulberry tree quite extensively. D. climbs up the tree with his trusty folding saw that works on the pull strokes. He also took the loppers, although I'm not sure L.V. carries ours anymore. While D. was up in the tree dropping branches onto the ground, I sharpened up my leftie felcos using the sharpening tool that my sister bought a couple of years back. Then I went to work breaking down the branches. We bundled everything up and any loose leaves we collected in our pop up garden bag
We rested a week and then got back at it this Sunday past. After laying down our cedar mulch walkway, we started to plan where we'd place our transplants. We lay out our red mulch that we've used for the last five years for our tomatoes with much success and much less weeding. It even saves on water since we raise the mulch up so the water runs into the plants and doesn't just sit atop the mulch attracting the dreaded mosquito. We pinned the mulch into place using the fabric pins. We transplanted the tomatoes using a wonderful tool that I haven't actually seen in a while for planting bulbs. It cores out a section of soil and holds the soil until you dump it out. It's really quite wonderful. The tool belongs to my sister and looks quite old. i'd love to get one for myself when we move. I also threw in some sunburst zucchini seeds, early white bush scallop zucchini seeds, and mini cucumber seeds that I really enjoyed last year. I covered these areas with the garden cloches. We'll see if this helps the seedlings or not. After carefully placing our transplants into their new homes, we watered generously filling our watering can from the hose with the spray nozzle going and added a little of the Wegener's fertilizer that we've also been using for many years now. Great stuff and lasts a good long time. I also inserted some aqua spikes that I call "carrots" since that's what they look like. I bought some more today to cover as many plants as possible because they really are handy for watering when we seem to be getting more long stretches of these hot humid days. Last year we had blossom rot on our tomatoes and I'm not doing that again.
I continued puttering while D. hooked up the rain barrel, which is actually a discontinued item from L.V. so I'm glad we got it when we did. This year however, I've decided that I'm only going to use collected rain water for the perennial garden and water the veggies with tap water. The reason? Acid rain. Sure we get rainfall, but I'd rather put some "fresher" water into the veg with the Wegeners than add more chemical crap. I know I know it's probably a losing battle living in smogville but...I also like watering with the hose when needed. D. had some trouble with the rain barrel only because the eavestrough was so mucky, no water could get through. He cleaned it out (god bless him) and plopped in the gutter siphon. We've had this for a few years and never used it. Makes no sense I know.

Our final chore for Sunday was to put some copper blocker around the sweet mamoth basil since slug particularly like that plant. However, we only did a small section since I'm waiting to see if the slugs appear since we had so few last year compared to previous years when the decimated the hostas. D. did the ol' beer in a aluminum pan trick so they could die a happy death and boy was D. busy emptying those traps. I sincerely believe that because D. considerably reduced the slug population that year, they haven't been as abundant.

That was Sunday.

Monday we erected our homemade fence that D. made from old hockey sticks (before there were composite sticks) and plastic "chicken wire". We watered again.

Today, I did a little watering after work using the coil hose that we started using last year once we attached the brass quick release couplers. I also noticed how much easier it is to change nozzles now that we have the zinc shut off valve where the two hoses connect. I don't have to go up and down the stairs anymore to shut off the tap. Very handy.

Phew! I'm sure I missed something. Please keep in mind that we've accumulated these things over the last six years of veggie gardening.

Oh did I mention that I did all of my gardening in my holey soles?


Wandering Coyote said...

Wow, they should give you a bonus for all the free advertising!

Julia said...

Funny, I have never heard of Lee Valley prior to reading this blog! Of course, my "garden" is really a wild jungle of weeds and perennials left over from past tenants.

sp said...

I didn't know about LV either until I met D. It's mostly known by woodworkers. Since D. was working with his friend who is a woodworker, I found out about LV when they mail ordered supplies from them. It's predominantly a mail order company so it's not exactly everywhere.

red jane said...

I can't remember how I found out about L.V.- I think through a catalogue at a theatre, probably left by a astage carpenter. I fell in love online and it was only this past xmas that I stepped into a store, not realizing it was a warehouse set-up. I love L.V. for so many reasons; I don't think you can ever have enough of their stuff, really.