Lately, given the frozen water that has been
filling up the backyard all month, the AeroGarden
has been about all I've been able to do
to keep myself occupied,
(Yes, I know, "you can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think")
(Thank you, Dorothy Parker)
One of the problems has been
that the boys have not been around
to do the heavy lifting.
(Not that they're any good with heavy lifting, mind you.)
(That always falls to Becky.)
But, they did get back from vacation on the first.
Yes, they certainly are.
On the last warm, dry day of January,
we laid down a goodly dose of fertilizer on all four gardens:
Nick, Nora, Asta and Butterfly.
The next day, hell, the next month,
it snow heavily and steadily, not clearing the ground again
until the First of March.
Colorado began to feel like Michigan.
What I discovered as I went to rototill the fertilizer into the soil,
was that, rather than dissolve and work it's way down through the loam,
the fertilizer mainly sat on top and hardened into a delightful candy shell.
Fertilizer candy, but, what the hell.
So, not only did I have to rototill it actually into the soil,
but, also, break it up into pieces that I could work it below
the surface of the garden.
While the rototilling does look good from distance,
up close, it's another story.
It is, after all, a small rototiller.
43 cc engine with 8-inch tynes.
Basically, it breaks up the top layer of dirt
and that's about it.
At some point, I'm going to have to get out there
with a three prong pitchfork,
(We've got EVERYTHING here at Bitterman's!)
and dig everything deeper into the soil
One of the problems with using a small rototiller
(or, any rototiller, really)
is that it might dig up the top layer of soil,
but actually compacts the lower levels,
just below the surface,
forcing fertilizer and water to collect too close to the surface
and doing future root growth no favors.
Hence, the heavy duty three prong pitchfork.
(I must remember this season to keep it away from Furious George)
(As he likes to stand on the top of the fence)
(And yell, "I AM TRITON, GOD OF THE SEA! KNEEL BEFORE ME!" at passersby)
(Not only do they not understand his chimpanzee squawking)
(But they have a tendency to call Animal Control, which always loses us a day.)
The Butterfly Garden
is still covered with snow.
The rototiller basically scooted over the top of the ice sheet,
Dragging me through the fence
And, into the Bat Shit Crazy Neighbor's yard.
(George went over, apologized for my intrusion and helped himself to a martini.)
I did get one area tilled.
Not that you can tell.
It was muddy as hell.
Ruined a good pair of Florsheims in the process.
Mr. Bitterman seems happy to be back.
He was growing weary of Anaheim
and working The Enchanted Tiki Room.
Furious seems happy to be back as well,
Especially since his Amazon orders
(on my card)
Seem to be catching up with him.
As a little surprise,
Furious brought his young nephew along
to learn the business from the ground up.
I've got to admit,
Young Otis Gumpox
Is both cute and delightful.
Though he certainly hasn't made friends with the cat.
We'll be back soon
As Bitterman takes over the kitchen table
To raise the seedlings.
I'll let you know
How the cat does ...
Not well, I'll wager.