just phyllis

just phyllis
Small Town, Indiana, USA
November 13
Blogging with PTSD --------------- "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia _____________________________________ All works ©Phyllis45, the author of this blog. _____________________________________ Also posting at Our Salon http://oursalon.ning.com/ http://oursalon.ning.com/profile/Phyllis


APRIL 7, 2012 8:20PM

Progress on the potato patch...

Rate: 19 Flag

I am another day closer to actually planting potatoes. Woohoo! All of that darn dirt is moved. But back to the beginning...

I stayed up almost all of last night. I just did not want to fall asleep. I had several people blow up in my face this week. As a result, my brain didn't want to be alone last night and stayed awake on OS and FB until like 3:00 am.

breeze from the south
Breeze from the south

Thus, I didn't get outside until 1:30 this afternoon. My first order of business was to assemble the new tiller. I am liking the name Hector for it. It is a special time as this is the first brand new piece of equipment, besides cars and a weedwhacker, that I have purchased for myself, assembled, and used, so a name seems appropriate.

fresh from the box   

As you see, it comes mostly assembled. I had to attach the handle and could have used another set of hands but managed pretty good, the depth bar, and adjust the wheels.

attach handles

 The hardest part was actually putting in the oil. I had to leave it sit after putting in the 20 ounces and let it settle before I could get a dipstick reading. Then I had to add another 2 ounces or so.  So several tries were needed, but it is oiled up.

put together

 Taking a break, I looked around the corner of the shed and saw a ton of lilacs blooming. I also found out that I am still seriously allergic. I was standing down wind here and got a face full of scent which attacked my throat. Pain, swelling, trouble swallowing. So I admire from afar. It seems to be just these old fashioned lilacs, though. I had my face buried in the blue ones with no issues.


first part

 While waiting for the oil to settle, I started leveling out the dirt in the potato patch. Got the first part done and got hungry, so stopped to eat some cantalope.

first part

 Went back to spread out the rest of the dirt and put it out to the edges of where I want to till. Found out my potato patch isn't quite square to the rest of the garden. Oops. 


  Planted an oak tree that grew in my hibiscus pot this winter.


 And saw some robins squabbling over the worms.

Or over the girl to the left...  

 Now, I need to shower and go to bed so I can get up early tomorrow to till my garden, mow, and possibly plant those potaoes.

Have a good night!


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
That's good progress, Phyllis!

I picked up a load of zoo poo today (2 actually, one for a friend, one for me), got the first raised bed kit set up, dumped in about half the load of poo and a bag of peat moss. I'll finish unloading the truck tomorrow.

I've got a tiller under wraps that I haven't started in a couple of years, but I'm trying to move everything to raised beds. The tiller is just too noisy and too much trouble for just an hour or so a year.
Wow! Hector is looking fabulous! Sorry about the lilacs. They're so pretty. Have a great night!
Mark, hauling zoo poo for a friend is indeed a good deed. Sounds like you had a good day, too!

I plan to use the heck out of this tiller. I need to start a flower bed for the seed angel I got from Lance's (my dog) crematorium and start some serious landscaping in the back of my yard. This is going to be fun!
MM, I can look but not smell, so it's not a total loss. Hector says thanks!
Working from the bottom.. great capture of Robins squabbling!

You're allergic to lilac? How much of a curse is that?! Our lilac plumes are shriveling already. I cut a few of them (not mine but hanging over my side of the fence, so fair) for scent in the house and etc.

I want to borrow your tiller..
Have at it! Tillers are good for breaking up new ground, but the only I was using mine for was mixing in zoo poo (it's composted, no poo smell) and composted yard waste.

I forgot to say the tent catapillars (sp?) are out in force.
Mark, I just turn with a shovel, a spring thing. Always told the son to turn some soil in the spring and grow something, anything! The zoopoo sounds like a good way to go..
@tr ig - When I bought the house in '05 I inherited a garden space maybe 30x30 - a lot more than I wanted to do by hand. I'm downsizing now.

The zoo poo is great for the garden and a bargain too - this year it's $40 for a bobcat scoop full. The city (Louisville) used to sell composted yard waste, but Waste Management or BFI (forget which) pulled out.
tr ig, I didn't know the robins would be flapping up like that so got lucky there. And if you like my tiller you'd love what ALL of my neighbors have- big ole $600- $700 rear tine monster tillers. Mine is the tiny one on the block.

Mark, what are tent caterpillars?
Wow that tiller looks like you could do the whole south forty!!
Wow what a powerful reaction to the old fashioned lilacs. I love watching your garden grow. Keep me posted.
You say "po-tay-to" I say you're nutso. I love Yukon Gold potatoes. In a mesh bag. They're a little pricier than russet but well worth it, I think. Also, Ore-Ida frozen mashed; they're a miracle! 10 min. in the micro and you've got mashed potatoes. Good in a pinch. Just out of curiosity - are you Irish?

As for your new toy; I'd have named it Atiller the Hon.

Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa. Ha ha.

I hope you sleep well tonight. What a wonderful friend Hector will be.
The gardener's real best friend.
Happy Planting
rated with love
Go you !
I hope you put little bug-deterrents like marigold or tansy or something in the cement block cavities, otherwise they'll breed snails & deadly spiders that crawl across the lawn at night.
Hoping Margaret feels much better soon too.
I am envious of your Hector... that should make your work easier. I'll be working with raised beds again this year. Last year I didn't keep up with the watering and maintenance well enough. I hope to do better this year.

Sad about your lilac allergy.

Margaret, Hen House has those little lovelies on sale. They are scrumptious mashed!

Here's a better description than I could give:


Look at the pictures and descrition of the Eastern tent caterpillar - they insatiable eaters of young leaves. You can't put your foot down anywhere without squashing at least one.
@Kim: I am feeling just dandy, thanks for presuming otherwise.

@asia: Hen House - for potatoes? Do chickens lay potatoes in Kansas?
jmac, I hope so. I've done everything with a shovel prior to this. Pretty tedious.

zanelle, it surprises me, too. Stay tuned...

Margaret, I love that name, but would the tiller get confused? And I don't know if there's any Irish or not. My mother's father is unknown. Yep, even in the 30s...

RP, Puff had other plans than my sleeping. Cat...

Kim, I'll have to get some. I did find a slug when straightening the blocks. Would powdered sprinkled into the holes work? Can't have evil spiders.

Asia, I get off to a good start then slow way down and don't keep up with the weeds like I should.

Mark, will check out the link; can't write and flip pages on a phone. Sounds like walking could get yucky.

Margaret, glad you're good. Kim's comment made me wonder.
jealousing over your tiller!! (and nice piece of land)
Phyllis you can put powder down, of course, but it's toxic. I was just thinking wow, there's 40 or 50 ready-made pots there ; top each one up & have nasturtiums, cherry tomato, chives, garlic, anything, since it's under the same watering area.
& if some of them deter bugs, even better.
I'm glad, Margaret. The hysterical laughter made me think, you know ... you might be losing your mind ... but never mind !
Let's have a nice cup of tea !
Righteous work, Phyllis. We've had a Troybilt Hector for several years. Good, sturdy little machine. Whatever you do, don't overplant the zucchini!
Julie, I almost drove my realtor nuts, and I made him come out to see this house when he was sick. I brought him some Sprite and saltines and I drove, but I fell in love with this house. I have felt trapped here, too, but just because it was deteriorating and I couldn't afford to fix it up. Then we had hail...

Kim, we are so sympatico! Are we psychic twins? I saw those blocks as the perfect place for cabbage and green beans. And I can wrap the whole caboodle in chicken wire to keep the bunnies out. They decimated my beans last year, the little varmints. At your suggestion I bought a 6 pack of marigold that is actually a 10 pack to keep the bugs away.

Chicken, I have never planted a zucchini. My neighbor keeps telling me I can have from his garden then makes me wait until his family is done. I think I'll plant one this year. I have the perfect spot.
Did that gentleman caller/neighbor who assumed you were a damsel in distress make an appearance to try and "help" again ?
Pensive, no, I haven't seen him again but need to. The bathroom floor is squeaking again.
Love this...it reminds me of being a girl and watching my grandfather tilling the garden for potatos. God...those were good taters! Have a great night.
Wish I had some Crete potatoes to share with you.They are some of the best in the world. nest to yours that is!
........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★
Jealous I am Phyllis.

Sure hope you keep posting pics of the progress as the green shoots come through the ground...
Diatomatious earth works great sprinkled liberally around on the ground for the crawlers of any sort...completely non toxic....
Maureen, there's something about fresh picked food, isn't there. Yum.

Algis, I would like to try Crete potatoes. Foodie Tuesday?

Mission, I will blog garden until you guys are tired of it. Deal? And I had forgotten about D. earth. Thanks for the reminder.
A wonderful tribute to spring; when all is possible.
I love lilacs too but they do have a very overpowering fragrance. Looks like spring has sprung! Wonderful to be outdoors and starting a garden. Thanks for sharing this with us. Good luck with your potatoes!
I need to get my tiller fixed again I also need to stop letting the men in my house use it! I want to grow more than I can in containers but it will have to wait until next harvest season. I love going out to pick my own food...I do love all the work you are doing and sharing!!
Great pics...good post!
John, thank you.

Brianna, I really love lilacs and breathed them all the time as a kid but after 20 years away they have decided that I must die. Sad.

LL, tell the men that tilling is women's work. We know where we want that garden to be.

tai, it helps to have a lovely day to photograph.
I love this! I've grown potatoes before and the taste and texture are so much better than store bought. Similar to the way that tomatoes bear no resemblance to their cousins in the supermarket. I am envious of your hector. I till by hand and the soil is solid clay. I haven't planted much this year because of not eating food for a while, but the local garden club has their once a year tomato sale Saturday and we are so excited to get those planted. They were the best last year... ahh tomato confit slow roasted with bacon. All I've got in the ground right now are the fava beans in full flower. I am looking forward to salads made of their sweet leaves and roasting the beans in their pods. I also just planted a few asparagus plants, but they are a long way from producing. Last time I tried those the dogs discovered them and carefully nibbled them to the ground every few days. This time I planted many more and I think I have a dog that doesn't care for veg. Great pics and inspiring post.
I'm useless with my hands (as many an ex has pointed out!), so I'm always fascinated (and a little intimidated) by stuff like this. Closest I've come was when I helped out a plant-trees-on-nature-day thing in fourth grade.

I hope you'll keep updating on how you progress. A potato patch, that too - who'd have thought?
Zul, your comment re the dog eating the asparagus made me laugh. I got lucky that mine never figured that out.

Icyhighs, who needs manual dexterity when you have a sense of humor, though it does make me wonder why only your exes complained...