I couldn't resist sharing another picture of Luella's tree with you. I took this yesterday while out walking the dogs.
I'm itching to get to work in the garden, and in fact I started yesterday. First, I picked the small baby collard greens I'd planted back in October. They never got very big, and most of the seed I sowed didn't come up. So this bundle was my first and only harvest of collards this year:
I trimmed and washed them and put them in the refrigerator. I'm planning to cook them tonight; we'll see how they taste. After pulling up the collards, I got to work with my hoe and tackled the weeds that had sprung up in the bed. After they were uprooted and tossed aside, I turned over the top layer of soil, breaking up any dense areas. Last of all I smoothed everything out with a rake. Now the bed is clean and ready to go for the new year!
I went to Lowe's midafternoon yesterday and purchased several large bags of compost. I spread a layer of it a couple of inches deep over the top of the bed to hopefully enrich the soil.
Speaking of compost! I have a compost bin! With Gregg's help I built it yesterday. It was the simplest design ever: three pallets at right angles to each other, secured with heavy duty zip ties. I had a roll of chicken wire that we stapled all around the inside to help hold everything in, and except for a top, it's done.
As you can see, it's not beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it will be functional. That's the important thing, right? And if, for some reason, it doesn't work out, it will be very easy to take apart. The best part is that it cost me less than $20 to build. I only had to buy zip ties to hold it together and a strong staple gun for the wire.
The tomato and pepper seeds I started a week ago are slow in germinating. So far, I have only three tomato sprouts and zero peppers. I've added a heating pad underneath the tray they're in to hopefully help things along, but I think today I'm going to start some extra seeds just in case. I'm not used to such slow germination and I don't want to be planting out late.