Yesterday afternoon brought some pretty severe thunderstorms: torrential downpours, hail, lightening, the works. It was a lot of rain – based on the way that empty buckets and the kiddie pool were overflowing I’d estimate that it wasn’t far off the 40 – 80mm Montreal received. When I went out to pick this morning everything was very squishy and the pathways were all flooded. I managed to pick, and plant the one bed that I actually prepared properly in the fall, but I’ve pretty much left the existing garden alone. I think it will take a few days to dry out.
The technician arrived and was able to solve the left tine not engaging problem pretty quickly. Apparently I’d managed to put a shear pin into the tines but not into the tiller. I’m not sure how to describe it, except perhaps “design flaw”. The technician agreed that if a woman had designed the tiller it would probably be a lot easier to change the shear bolts and would likely work a lot better in general.
He replaced both bolts with tougher ones and I took the tiller out to the field to test it out. The pin broke off within 75 feet of tilling (25 feet of which were on the same 50 foot pass.) The technician was surprised and said he had to see this for himself. So he replaced the pin again and tried tilling himself. He managed to get across about 6 times.
The technician’s conclusion was that the tiller really can’t deal with rocks and that our soil is so rocky the tiller will really only work well after years of removing rocks. I have no interest in repeatedly tilling the soil season after season. I really wanted a tiller to help with turning sod into garden. I really think that the salesman shouldn’t have sold it to me. The technician commented that the salespeople at the Sears stores are not well qualified to sell tillers and may as well be selling clothing. I’m thinking that along with Craftsman, I may actually write to the store who sold the machine.
After he left, I was able to till a bit more (in my super soggy soil that I really wouldn’t have started to work except that I wanted to test the tiller while the technician was there to fix it). Hopefully I’ll be able to go back over it as it dries out and kill the grass/weeds off in time to plant squash, cucumbers & melons. It’s getting close to my 100 days of good growing, but worst case I’ll row cover them in the fall.
First CSA Harvest
I harvested greens, onions, and an herbal bouquet for my first CSA basket. This was two weeks ahead of schedule, but I’m a little concerned that in a few weeks there won’t be much if the soil doesn’t dry out enough to get summer veggies planted soon.
1 – Lettuces & spinach
2 – Herbal bouquet (winter savory, thyme, chives blossoms, and tarragon)
Lettuce 'Black Seeded Simpson' (August 2011) Harvesting
Spinach 'Regal' Harvesting
Onion 'Dutch' Harvesting
Allium cepa var. cepa
Lettuce 'Australian Yellow' Harvesting
Lettuce 'Yankee Salad Mix' Harvesting