We are installing an underground dog barrier fence for Max and Hurley to be able to roam the full property (10 acres). First off, it took us a while to be able to save enough to buy the system. After we finish, (if we survive the installation) we are hoping the dogs will love being able to run the whole property instead of just a 90 ft diameter around the house. Above is our first corner marker.
Ha Ha! We made the mistake of assuming this dog fence project would be an easy 1 or 2 week project! A couple months later, we are getting it done and hoping one more week will have the line buried and functioning.
Isn’t this a great idea?
Here is our second corner marker located. They are not that obvious to find are they? Our process started with the land survey corner markers on the North side. This is where we have cleared the brush previously, so it seems pretty straight forward. The search isn’t too bad because our electrical line is buried close to this property line. Luckily, we already cleared this side and the front of the property when we built the house.
Three corners down, one to go.
A search & rescue event begins for the fourth survey marker located on the roughest steep ravines of the property on the south east side. The property is a virtual rain forest with ferns on the bottom southwest side morphing to a quite a steep slope with some really great rock formations.
I waited two days then picked strawberries again. It seems like a lot of work but worth it. The harvest amounted to 20 cups after cleaning and coring. Whew! Twenty cups is a lot of strawberries but it boiled down (literally)….
to four quarts of strawberry syrup….
and two sheets of fruit roll-up in the dehydrator this am. So, you can see that gardening is keeping me busy this summer. This is the first time making fruit roll-ups so my fingers are crossed that they will come out yummy. It is always nice to have something for the grandkids when they come visit.
After finishing other outside projects around here, I step into the garden to pick ripe strawberries. Todays pickings amount to 12 cups after washing and coring. Here is how they cook up into strawberry jam in the evening. Sweet home aromas! I love the smell of jam cooking, drifting throughout the house during the summer evenings.
Meanwhile, back at the garden. After picking strawberries and setting the water, I look for the shadiest area to choose where to weed, and today it is the corn.
Gardens are always in need of weeding, no matter how conscientious of a gardener you are. I am comfortable in my Bloomsday long sleeve shirt, jeans and wearing an old lady straw hat along with sunglasses. The breeze is heavenly, the birds sing to me as the butterfly’s and hummingbirds swoop in and around. Heavenly. It is truly amazing how calming and relaxing this chore is. Mindfully, stretching the back, arms and legs while requiring that I use my knees.
I weeded the first three rows completely. Looks pretty. However, noticing that I was running out of sunlight…. I did a “pre-weed” on the remaining four rows of corn.
What is a “pre-weed”?
I stand and pull the obvious big weeds as I am walking down the row, instead of getting each and every little weed out (on my knees). I’ll go back and fully weed these rows next time around.
Asparagus time is very welcome in our garden. Unfortunately, this time is short when this heavenly vegetable graces our dinner table. So sad it is coming to a close already.
As you can see, it is a veggie that produces welcome little stocks daily that push up from their root base. We love to go pick these with our little knife. There is no better tasting vegetable that a handful of asparagus stocks picked right from the garden before dinner. We are most certainly spoiled gardeners. By the way, did you know that one of our nations past president, Thomas Jefferson, loved asparagus too? He evidently loved gardening too.
The only problem with asparagus is that it takes a couple of years to get established. It takes a little preparation and patience. You can see the trenches we dug into the garden this year. We planted seed for more asparagus here and will slowly add more dirt into the trench as they grow in height. This encourages lots of root growth. The seeds are from our one established row of asparagus that we enjoy now. When these new ones do sprout and show themselves, they will look like whispy little things.
In a few years we should be able to share with other family members, can or pickle or simply sell at a farmers market. We believe that asparagus is well worth the work involved.
If a person were presented with this mystery photo, would they be able to guess what it is a picture of? It seems like quite a normal blooming plant doesn’t it?
This plant used to be quite prolific here in the Inland Northwest. However, the Washington state powers to be decided that it was a nuisance, and began spraying to eradicate it.
Fortunately this was not completely successful and these wild guys are becoming more common again. People are able to enjoy the great products made from these berries.
Have you figured out what plant blossom this is yet?
It is good to keep an eye out for these little treasures as you drive or walk around. Look for bushes anywhere from waist high to towering overhead. These mystery berries are well worth looking for.
Okay, these are choke cherries! The choke cherry is easy to find and pick if you look for them. They make excellent jams, syrups, and cobblers. Happy hunting!
Lately, we have been visiting our chiropractor kind of frequently, and just can’t figure out why our backs hurt. Honestly, all we have been doing is a little gardening. Really.
What Have We Been Doing?
We have just finished gate installation, on the new fenceline around our garden. so now we can go in and out without untwisting tie wires. Fiurst, Pete built three gates out of old 2×4’s we had around, then I painted the wood. Next, he attached pieces of the old fence wire and, “Wa La!” Finishing with three gates ready to install. They are loaded up on the tractor and we go on down to the garden to install them.
When I asked Pete, “Would you like some help with that?”
His reply is, “Nah, I got this.”. Let’s see, is that what you would call a macho reply? It doesn’t seem really easy to me. But, for heavens sake do not tell the chiropractor about this.
Each gate is kind of heavy and real awkward to pickup.
This 10 foot opening is the “drive-in gate” which has two pieces with each one being five feet wide and about eight feet tall. Next is the single walk-in fence further down the hill.
Now we concentrate on replacing the north side of the garden. You can tell how bad the old fence was by how many posts are bracing it up. This length of fence is approximately 100 feet long.
The first thing we had to do was go ahead and lean the fence into the garden. We are needing room to clear and level-out the ground where we are going to put the new fenceline. Incidently, it amounts to about 5 feet further out and is a much straighter line.
Thank goodness for the Kubota tractor, with the disc implement Pete is able to till the soil and then smooth it out even where we want to put the new posts.
This picture was taken from inside the garden looking at the big old apple tree.
Doesn’t the new fenceline look good and straight? Yay! That should keep Bambi out of our garden for quite a few years.
This is the beginning of the new west fence line which is 53 ft in length stretching out from the south side of the garage.
Here is how the old fence and gate looked on the other side (northwestern) of the garage. We walked in here to pick blueberries or apples.
We took down all the wire and pulled the old fenceposts/braces down, then smoothed out the ups and downs in the dirt along the fenceline. So, now we don’t have gaps between the ground and the wire at the bottom of the fence to deal with.
One Kubota tractor with a phenomenal operator can move mountains and valleys. I will never doubt the power of a man and his Tonka toy! Prior to the tractor, we left all the hills and valleys just were they were. Unfortunately, we used to have to put old logs at the base of the fences to keep turkeys out. They would come in every gap where the ground was uneven. Leveling the ground before building the fence, could be thought of as an act of forethought and planning. Wow, that is scary isn’t it? Are we getting smarter in our old age?
This is the west corner going 50 ft. then turning a 45º angle for 40 feet to go around the apple tree. Covering approximately 70 feet before it makes the turn uphill into the northern side of the fence.
Can you identify this mystery fence tool and what it is used for?
I wonder what part this tool plays in the process of fence building?
Rolling-out 150 feet of wire fencing can be hard on your body. Don’t let anyone ever tell you it’s easy. First, my legs get tired from rolling out the wire. Then, biceps get a good workout from lifting it up so it is vertical with the posts. Honestly, how many times can you walk up and down a fenceline in a day before your legs wear out? I learned how to straighten the wire. It is required that you pull with all you got, then pull again. Following this, my hands, arms, shoulders, abs and legs are talking to me all night long.
Say hello to my little friend!
The Fence Tensioner
I think I am in love. It is an old tool from Pete’s secret stash in the garage. A basic block and tackle assembly with a cogged clamp on one end that grabs the wire, and a dual hook chain on the other side. Pete showed me how to slip the chain around one fencepost, then hook the clamp end to the top wire of the wire and pull the rope. Yahoo! Nail the top in, then repeat for the bottom. This tensioner takes a wobbly crooked fence to a straight line. Sweeeeet!
Now all that is left is to staple the wire three times per post. The south side of the garden is about 150 feet long, with 15 fenceposts.
You can see how the wire is drooping down on the top row of wire before we used the wire tensioner.
A garden’s need for potassium is not so simple to describe. It seems that clay soils “fix” or hold onto potassium, whereas, sandy soils tend to experience severe leaching of their potassium levels. So, the type of soil you have greatly affects the levels you may have. It is important for all kinds of reasons including larger fruit, strong stalks, disease resistance, less wilting and much more.
The potassium soil test is a little more complicated to run. It starts the same with some measured extracting solution in the test tube. Shaken not stirred, then soil settled. Use of an eyedropper to put liquid into a second test tube for the “before” color on the card. Next we count how many drops it takes of the other solution to match the “after” color on the chart. It says to add two drops at a time, then shake and see if it matches but we actually started with eight because our
Out of 10 areas of soil tested all had over 10 drops to even come close to match. For instance, 12 drops equals a “medium-high level” of potassium and we had two of those. 14 drops equals a “medium level” which we had 4 of. A couple 15 drop guys, which are “medium-low” potassium levels and a couple 188 drop results showing “low”.