Beefy Tiller, Beefsteak, and Thyme

Thursday I was able to finish cutting the sod off the square garden. I was able to enjoy being outside almost the entire day, and got a bit more sun than I realized.

Friday I went to the rental store and picked up a rear tine rototiller.  When I drove to the equipment lot with the rental store employee, I was shocked.  I was expecting a large Troy-bilt type tiller. Instead, before me was the Barreto 1320, all 560 pounds of it. The tiller was about 6.5 feet long and just over two feet wide.

The beefy tiller. A good investment for a few hours.
Me making a turn with the tiller. Not fast, but very effective.

This was one beefy tiller.  Quickly my garden beds took shape.  My soil is very rocky, and other tillers I have used have been very shaky.  The Barreto 1320 was solid, not much shaking at all.  Fortunately, this tiller had a very strong screen behind the tines because lots of rocks and debris, even two bricks, were coming up out of the ground. I made sure to stand directly behind the screen, because rocks would occasionally pop out the sides.

The new cucumber bed and the square garden looking good. This is one of the bricks the tiller brought up.
The Micro Farm in panorama. Me finishing the square garden.

I knew the weather would be wet for the next week, and I wanted to take advantage of the rain.  So I got my compost and peat moss on the beds and rototilled.  As the rain came the ground has slightly settled in and the surface rocks have been exposed.  Now I can rake out the top rocks, and plant my early crops.  I plan to plant my peas after we have a couple of days of dry weather.

When I go to the cellar to water my seedlings I get the itch to plant.  I know the weather is too cold, but I still get the itch.  The seedlings are doing well.  I started a six-pack each of Thyme and Rosemary; I had a late idea to add to a specific herb bed this year.

Tomato seedlings doing well.
Cucumbers and tomatoes.
The Thyme is just coming up. I am excited about the herbs this year.

I should be able to get peas and some lettuce in the ground if the weather co-operates this  week .  I started to paint my cold frame today.  After I put the finishing coats on that I will try to get some of the seedlings outside during the day to get some real sunshine, although they may grow to fast with some good sun.

I have a few finishing touches I want to get checked off my list before planting starts.  The last frost date here is May 20th so I have at least a month before anything goes into the ground.  Realistically, my plants will not planted until Memorial Day, but I know the days will go fast and I want to be prepared.

Have a good week. Stay warm.


6 thoughts on “Beefy Tiller, Beefsteak, and Thyme

  1. Looking good Spencer, That’s one heck of a tiller! Your soil looks very nice too, good and rich. We had snow this morning – ridiculous!

    1. Hi Dave. Yeah, that tiller was a beast. Might be a bit too much for your beds. lol. I found the soil to be pretty good last year, we’ll see how things work out this year. I live in a rural farming community. Much of the land was farmed so at point someone was able to eat of this land so hopefully we can too. We had snow showers yesterday April 21. Nothing stuck but wasn’t the most encouraging thing to see.

    1. Hi Kate. The tiller was heavy. You are right it was rewarding. I know a household tiller would have had a much harder time. My grow lights are just shop lights on my work bench. Many of my creations need to be done with almost no cost, so buying lights and a frame just for seedlings is not something I can do. I rigged a box or two under the lights and “borrowed” a ceramic heater to keep everybody mostly warm. I have been to the hardware store and seen specific lights for growing, but I have no idea what kind my tubes are. If you saw they whole operation and not just the pictures I think you might laugh, its pretty ugly. Next year I might put something together that is a bit “new and improved.”

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