Monday, April 27, 2009

Summer is here

One of the horrible things about South Carolina is the changing of the seasons. That is, it happens so fast. We get about 3 months of winter, 2 weeks of spring, 2 weeks of fall, and 8 months of summer. I know for most people, that doesn't sound so bad. But we are cold people. We like the mountain summers where temps never get over 83 in mid July. We hate the beach.

It was a beautiful weekend. But temps got into the low 90's here and it's still freaking APRIL mr weatherman!!! Looks like our 2 weeks of spring is gone and gone. I guess it was fun while it lasted; oh wait. I've been laid up with pollen allergies for the last 2 weeks. I've never had a pollen problem before, and let me tell you it sucks. But friday afternoon everything started clearing up, I was able to put the contact lenses back in, and things finally started feeling better.

Saturday we got out into the garden. It desparately needed some love. Here's what it looked like before:

and here's after: actually this was sunday morning. Notice all the grass from the left hand side is gone.

So we got the rest of the sod cleared,weeds taken care of, and the whole area was clear and ready to plant. Here's what we had going into the ground:

We got in a good 5 hours of gardening saturday morning. The girls absolutely loved every minute of it. They didn't want to go back inside for lunch. The earthworms that we love in the garden did not love having the girls in there, however. Evil Genuis liked using the worms we found to measure things. She kept stretching them out, wrapped them around the fence, other forms of general animal torture you would expect from an Evil Genius. Bigun liked to see how many she could hold at once before they wriggled out of her little hand, and she would end up squishing them. Earthworms are a sign that the soil is very fertile and nutrient dense, so it is a good thing we have so many.

Now after 5 hours of gardening on Saturday, the kids took a nap, I fueled up and went to the gym. I blew off a half marathon to garden, and after 5 hours in the 93 degree heat I wanted to take a nap too. But that dang training plan called for 16 miles today. I was originally going to cut it down to 13.1, and I ended up doign 13.5 miles on the treadmill at the gym. It was so hot outside, and I already felt a little sunburned. But I made sure to track my half marathon time and splits. First was 5.5 miles in 55 minutes (including a warm up walk), then 5.5 miles in 58:21, and 2.1 miles in 24:40 for a half marathon total time of 2:18:01 which would have been a nice PR had I done the race saturday. Then I kept going for another .4 miles just to see what I had left. There wasn't much gas left in the tank. But I felt god about the half time, and it was getting late into the evening so I just called it and went home.

Sunday morning we went back out into the garden and spread out some dookey. Horse and cow manure, actually. But all the kids could focus on was playing with poo. Then I fought with the tiller to try and get it started and the tiller won. I ended up tilling the pepper patch with a shovel, and got all 50 pepper plants in the ground. I'm using a flat piece of concrete reinforcing wire to outline my pepper patch this year. I'm going to hold it off of the ground with wooden stakes, but I laid it flat and put one pepper plant inside each hole in the mesh. So the plants will grow up through the wire, and have the support they need to keep from falling over. Peppers need full sun for the leaves to grow, and the leaves provide the shade needed for the pepper fruits to grow. So they are best grown in a patch, and that's why I didn't get a very good yield last year. I tried to intersperse the peppers through the other plants. So this year we'll see how much more fruit I can get growing as a patch. and if this reinforcing wire works it will be a really cool gardening trick.

We still have to finish mulching with the straw and get all of the other plants in the ground. But they are coming. It will all get there. Those are strawberry plants in the foreground, and the pepper plants are half mulched.

I wanted to take the bike out on sunday, but movies and the heat got the best of me. And the soreness. I woke up sunday with incredibly sore legs. the bike should have worked out some of that stuff, but the gardening did not. So it became incredibly challenging to push that shovel back into the dirt, or take a knee to sink a plant.

I did use the Awesome Auger to get those peppers in the ground. That was really cool. It tilled the cow manure into the dirt, and left me with a perfect planting hole. And since I was using the reinforcing wire for my layout, it was easy.

My peas are also about a foot high now, you might be able to see them starting to climb the fence. Happy monday! hope your weekend was as good as mine.


Melanie said...

13.5 miles on a treadmill! THAT's dedication. Great pics :)

Amber said...

Jeez, I can't believe you ran that far on the TREADMILL!!

Growing up in a place that is the complete opposite--8 months of winter and 3-4 months of summer, I would LOVE to trade places :-) I'm a sunshine, green grass, hot temperatures kind of girl!

tfh said...

Gardening is hard work, esp. in that heat. I'm so impressed by 13.5 miles after all that. Anyway, your garden is looking great.

Thanks for the strength training tips-- I'll check that book out!

carrie said...

Good grief! All that gardening AND 13.5 miles...on a TREADMILL? You win all the toughness points this weekend.

Marcy said...

Dude you TOTALLY ROCK!! 13 on the TM, you're my hero!

I'm LMAO at the kids water table. We have the same thing and the same thing always happens. You put the water in and it's nice and clear and then by the end of the day they have thrown dirt, sticks, and stones in there HAHA!

Missy said...

I know it...we go from winter right into summer in these here parts. It's crazy. Hard to get acclimated that quickly for some hot weather racing.

13.5 on the suckmill?!?! You rock.

Shannon (The Daily Balance) said...

nice work on the treadmill! I am so jealous of your garden! I don't even have a tiny patch of grass to call my own ;(

Sara Cox Landolt said...

I love this time of year in Wisconsin. Watching the plants come up, the green of new green. We have a terrace garden on the hill in our backyard. This year we're going to try some new things, excited for that. I can't wait to eat fresh tomatoes!!! Great workout as well, nice job!

RBR said...

So do you actually have to lobotomize yourself to run the treadmill that long? I honestly cannot imagine the horror.

Your family and your garden are gorgeous. Nice job.

joyRuN said...

I think you're my hero. To garden for FIVE hours in the heat then follow it up with 13.5mi on the mill???


Calyx Meredith said...

OMG - how can anyone hate the beach? Although I have to say I love fall and wish it lasted longer. The nanosecond of transition between too hot to too cold (fall) and then back again too cold to too hot (spring) bums me out. Almost caught up - the gardens look great - your girls even greater. :D