Rural Adventures


In Search Of The Perfect Plant Label

Loretta LiefveldIf you're anything like me, you gaze in wonder at those cute little plant labels made of wrought iron, ceramic, wood, or painted rocks, wood, "whatever." You know — the ones that just say "Basil," "Tomatoes," "Sage," etc. You wonder if it's possible for you to make something like that says "Purple Basil," "Thai Basil," "Beefsteak Tomato," "Roma Tomato." After all, it's pretty easy to figure out that a plant is a tomato plant — there's nothing quite like it. Zucchini squash is pretty easy to figure out, too. But if there are three different varieties, well, that's a different story.

There are many, many homemade plant label instructions and ideas online: painted rocks, spoons with a decoupage of the seed package in the spoon bowl, seed packages inside plastic zip baggies placed upside down on a stick, permanent markers on sticks, etched aluminum or copper tags. But they all have their drawbacks. Too short, too tall, too hard to make, not durable, fade or fall apart by the end of the season/harvest, or just plain ugly. I've tried many. But I think I've now hit on the perfect plant labels. They are tall enough to see over most mature plants. They last at least two seasons (so far), are easy to make, inexpensive and easy to store. Let me share my experience with you.

materials

Items needed:

  • Wide, wooden plant label sticks. They aren't easy to find, but I found some that were 6 inches long and 3/4" wide. Popsicle sticks aren't quite wide enough, unfortunately, but they could be used in a pinch.
  • Labels made using a label maker. The one I use has a cartridge, and the laminated tape comes in 2 different widths. I found that labels printed on a laser jet printer from the computer just don't hold up. No matter what you do, the ink eventually fades, and it takes way too much work to put enough sealer on the paper to make it last outdoors.
  • Metal plant sticks. I like 28" simple metal stakes with the end bent into a flat circle. Some are also available where the bent circle is angled back a little, for easier viewing. The 28" height allows it to be pushed into the ground to hold it and yet still tall enough to be able to see it above a mature plant. I think mine are powder-coated... it seems more durable than just paint.
  • Liquid Nails or other glue that bonds wood to metal. I haven't tried glue sticks yet. If you have used glue sticks to bond wood to metal for outdoor use and it works, please comment.
  • Spar Urethane. There are several brands, but all of the ones for outdoor use must be applied by dipping or with a brush. None of the clear spray sealers will hold up for long-term outdoor use!

glued wood on stakes

Directions:

  1. Print labels on the label maker with a large print. Multiple plant names can be lined up one after the other, leaving extra space in between for cutting. Two lines can be used if you want to shorten the length of the finished label, but that's more difficult if typing multiple names on a single pass.
  2. Peel the label adhesive off the label and stick onto the wooden plant label stick. If you haven't added enough spaces between the plant names when you printed the label, cut the labels first so you have enough room.
  3. Cut the wooden plant labels apart and sand the corners and any rough edges.
  4. Glue the wood labels onto the circle of the metal plant sticks. Use plenty of glue. Make sure the wood label is straight.
  5. Let dry completely. As a guide, use the maximum amount of time from the glue instructions. It may say something like "dry to the touch in 15 minutes…allow to dry 24 hours before use." In that case, let it dry for 24 hours. You want to make sure the glue is thoroughly dry.
  6. Cover with at least two coats of spar urethane. The instructions on the brand that I use say to put on a thin coat, let dry for two (2) hours and lightly sand before putting on a 2nd. These are so small, that I actually dip them into the urethane, let them drip for a bit, then wipe with an almost dry brush.

drying stakes

At first, I had difficulty arranging them to dry. Then I hit upon the perfect solution. I have a vinyl-covered wire rack with drawers of various depths. I took two drawers of different depths and put them upside down inside each other. Placing the "wire stems" of the plant labels through the same vertical space and varying the horizontal spacing worked perfectly.

sealant drying

Finally, after drying completely, here they are, ready to place in the garden.

wood glued to stake


Photos property of Loretta Liefveld.

Too Big A Bite

Winter was almost over.   Spring was coming.  Snow had turned to rain, and the temperatures were starting to rise.   My mailbox was filling with seed catalogs.   Time to seriously start planning.

This winter, I tried starting my own seedlings inside.  I bought 10 starting trays with domes and inserts, heating mats and 'smart' automatic timers.  I cleared two entire shelves of my metal shelf rack.  An existing two-bulb light provided the required lighting.  But I had zero luck.  My artichokes finally sprouted, but just sat there and didn't grow.   The asparagus sprouted sparsely.  Broccoli and tomatoes didn't even sprout until I planted seeds a second time.  Snapdragons and onions sprouted prolifically and then just died before they even got as tall as the edges of the inserts.  

I had big plans.  For the first time, I started a journal... that had always seemed too onerous before.   Every day was documented in the journal:  planted beefsteak tomatoes, 4 artichokes sprouted, etc.  Soon, my entries looked like this:  replanted asparagus, replanted artichokes, replanted onions.  It was getting very depressing.

My original plans called for four raised beds with rotating crops.  But we had managed to only build two before my husband had knee-replacement surgery in December.  I really wasn't up to building these all by myself and didn't really need them during winter.   Then spring came, and with it came a kidney donation to his niece-in-law and then ankle-replacement surgery.  Unlike the knee replacement, ankle replacement calls for eight weeks of non-weight bearing.  Building more raised beds was out.

A corner of the garden in the front was looking more inviting.  

I had already dug out a section for in-ground compost and it was half filled.  By spring, it was complete, and I had started another.   My plan was to plant asparagus and artichokes against the fence as permanent plantings.  Since my own seedlings didn't make it, I broke down and bought some.  I was sad that these were just 'generic' asparagus plants (just labeled 'asparagus') and Green Globe artichokes (instead of the varieties I thought would do better in my area).  

Store-bought broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, and bok choi sat in containers while I dug up places for those, dislodging a huge pile of basalt rocks ranging from baseball size to larger than basketball size.  Rain hindered my efforts, making the soil wet and muddy and impossible to work.  A couple of days of sun and I could dig for one day.  The rain brought out all the weeds, and soon I had to weed-eat instead of spending time digging.  Colder weather came back, which meant more time splitting and stacking wood.  New chicks meant building a coop.

I managed to plant a second set of snap peas, and a few leeks and potatoes went into the dormant raised bed.  But I ran out of room before planting the onions and the lettuce, spinach and bok choi started bolting after only 2 days of fairly hot weather.  Relatives came to visit and my time was spent with them.  No one except me liked kale, so it was ignored and grew taller and taller.

No doubt about it.   My plans were bigger than my ability to carry them out.  I had taken too big a bite.

I’ll continue on, but the plan has gone by the wayside, and I’m not going to try to revive it for this year.   I have a little bit of space left in one of the raised beds, so I might plant one more row of snap beans.  I took all of the flower seed packets, combined them, and then just scattered them over the remaining sections of the front corner garden.  Three different types of clover are starting to sprout as a cover crop over the rest of the garden.  But I still have tons of seed packets left.  It’s time to start planting warm-weather crops, so I guess the squash will get planted, but I have to regroup for everything else.

Next year, I’ll try to be more reasonable in my expectations.   At least the areas that I dug this year will only need minimal work next year.  The piles of too-small-to-be-firewood have now been chipped, and will provide mulch over the summer and next winter.  After a larger coop has been built for the chickens (and now ducks), we can get to building the two planned raised beds (although I’m sure I’ll fill those quickly as well).

My plan for next year will be more like:  dig three new 3’ x 6’ areas, stack excavated rocks onto rock wall, build two raised beds, plan paths through garden, THEN  plant two tomatoes, 1/3 raised bed with lettuce (one row at a time), etc.

Anyone else have this problem?  Any other solutions?

20180601 front corner garden Small Custom

Winterized! I'm ready...or am I?

Loretta Liefveld 

When does winter really start? Is it a date? Is it a temperature? Is it whenever you are "stuck" inside?  My answer is that it's different for different folks.

When our nighttime temperature first got down to below zero, I said "Winter is officially here."  But that was one night. We then had twoo weeks of drop-dead, gorgeous weather. Hmm ... maybe winter wasn't here after all. Then, one day, we had some snow flurries. Wow! Winter was finally here. But it didn't even stick to the ground, much less stay for even a day. Hmm ... maybe winter wasn't here after all. We finally had a 4-to-5-inch snowfall that covered not only the ground, but laid a 5-inch layer of snow onto the top of our heat pump, and 4 inches onto our portable greenhouse. NOW, winter was finally here.

But I was prepared (or so I thought). I had made hoops for one of my raised beds out of PVC pipe and shower curtains. I had gathered what seemed like tons of pine needles to cover my herb garden in a layer about 3-to-4 inches deep. I would have used leaves as mulch, but the leaves weren't falling much at that time. I pushed the pine needle mulch especially high right around the base of the plants. I had researched the plants to see which ones might survive and learned that for some of them, I should cut them down to the ground and pile mulch completely over the top of them. 

I was ready for winter! But was it enough?

The apple and cherry trees finally started dropping all their leaves, making a deep mat of leaves on the ground.  I did rake some up into a pile, but the pile never made it onto the garden.  

We did buy a wood chipper, but before we could use it to make wood chip mulch, it rained. Trying to make chips using soaking wet wood in a brand-new chipper didn't seem to make sense.

I thought about taking cuttings from some of my most cherished herbs, ones that aren't really supposed to be cold-hardy for my 6a Zone. But I had brought them here from my central California residence, and reasoned that they had withstood snow before (albeit only 1 to 2 days of snow). Besides, I've never been particularly successful with cutting propagation.

I had read that garlic would withstand winter, so I planted it in my raised bed that did not get hoops. My hooped raised bed had lettuce, kale, spinach, and snap peas.

So, was it enough?  I'm afraid only time will tell. We now have an accumulated 6 to 10 inches of snow (depending on where I look). This is what my raised beds look like now (December 28, 2017):

3_snow on raised beds 2017-12-28

In this picture, you can see the heat pump looks like it has about 10 inches of snow on top.

20171228102322 cropped Small

Finally, my front herb garden. You can see the tops of the shovel, the top of a rolling cart ... and all those "lumps" in the snow are plants. Yikes. Will they live?

Front herb garden covered in snow

Raised Beds Solve Rocky Soil Problem

Loretta Liefveld

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll completely understand why I decided that my vegetable garden will be planted in raised beds. This is a picture of what just the top of my back yard looks like, not to mention the black plastic that covers the entire yard about 4 inches below the soil, or the gigantic rocks lying about 8 inches beneath the surface.

Original back lawn

Large rocks in ground

I searched all over to figure out where to build my beds.  I checked both the front and backyard at different times of the day, so I could see where the sun fell at those times. I also wanted a place that was close to the house.  My previous garden was about 100 yards away from the house. In the summer, when it was hot, I just didn’t feel like walking that far to harvest vegetables. I knew I would be able to take care of them much easier if the garden were close.

I also had to decide on the size and materials. I wanted the beds to be high enough that I didn’t have to stoop down (another advantage of raised beds), so 2 to 3 feet seems about right. I wanted them to be sturdy (maybe even be able to sit on the edge) and easy to build. We decided on beds that are 3 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 2 feet tall. That would allow us to buy lumber in sizes that we didn’t need to cut very much.

I decided on alternating stacking pattern, partially for the strength and partially for the appearance. Here’s the result, before filling it.

Completed Raised Bed

I really wanted to utilize as much of the native soil as possible. Rob used the bulldozer to push a load of "dirt" over to my area.  Like everything around here, it was dirt and rocks, not beautiful, rock-free topsoil. So I had to sift the soil. Since our soil texture is primarily clay, I wanted to mix in plenty of organic material and some gypsum. 

First, I loosened up the soil at the bottom of the raised bed.  This also gives you an idea of what it would be like if I wanted to try to plant here.

Bottom of planter

Next, I needed some organic material to mix in. As I’ve mentioned before, we have lots of ponderosa pines and some red (Douglas) firs. So I took my trusty Husqvarna lawn tractor and its little trailer into the forest to gather "forest mulch."  In the old shed, I found four sifting screens made of half-inch hardware cloth in wooden frames. I wanted to sift out smaller rocks than that, so we put another layer into the frame and offset the holes, balanced the screens on top of planter, and I started sifting.

Sifting screen

The word sifting doesn’t really impart the effort involved.  I wanted about a 50/50 mix, so I would put three shovels of dirt/rocks onto the screen, and then four shovels of forest mulch. I used a short handled shovel to push the material back and forth until I only had rocks, pinecones, and small sticks left in the screen. I put this leftover debris into a wheelbarrow and started all over again.

Screening into raised bed

Little did I know that I would never be able to move that wheelbarrow once it was filled with rocks.

Wheelbarrow full of rocks

Needless to say, this was a long and arduous process, but finally it was finished, and I planted my first bed with some seedlings I had started earlier from seed, green bush beans, watermelon, basil, and peas (right to left). I also planted some carrot seed, but only two of them broke through.

Newly planted 1st bed
(June 30 2017)

I quickly realized that one bed wouldn’t even begin to be enough – even just for now.  

First planter plants grown
(August 27, 2017) 

I decided I needed at least four beds, just to get started. Fortunately, we recently moved the backyard fence out about 10 feet, giving me more room. We leveled pads for three more beds. It was really quite easy. I have a secret, little-known tool that makes this super easy…my husband (haha. He loves it when I say this).

Leveling ground for remaining beds

Soon, the second bed was finished as well, and ready to fill.

This time, I decided it was just way too much work to sift all that dirt and rock, so I bought raised bed mix. Most of the other bagged material that you can buy is meant to be mixed with the existing soil, and I did NOT want to go through that again. But, I finally figured out what to do with that huge rock-filled wheelbarrow that I couldn’t move. I shoveled it into the bottom of the raised bed! Shovelful by very heavy shovelful. But it was still easier than all the sifting I did for the first bed.

The raised bed mix was just a little to "fluffy" for my liking and I was afraid it would dry out too easily, so I mixed in some garden soil mix as well.

I planted two kinds of snap peas, two kinds of spinach, two kinds of kale and two kinds of kohlrabi. I also replanted my carrots. I have a couple of clear shower curtains that I’m using to cover the top of the raised bed when the nights were getting down to 32 degrees. But the days are wonderful, so I can open it up easily. 

First 2 beds planted for winter

I also took out my green beans, which were pretty much finished, and hung them up on the fence as a treat for the deer.  They loved it!  Two days later, they were all gone. 

Green beans for deer

 I’m always absolutely fascinated by how quickly plants grow. The bed starts out looking so lonely and it just isn’t any time at all before it’s filled to the brim. I can hardly wait for this one.

Dehydrating Wild Apples and Plums

Loretta LiefveldYesterday was another rainy day in Kamiah. I love the rain. I love watching it rain. I love doing indoor projects while it’s raining. 

I decided to dehydrate some wild apples I picked several days ago. I know, you aren’t "supposed" to dehydrate when it’s humid or raining, but I really don’t think it matters as long as you make sure the item is thoroughly dried. It just might take longer than usual. But since I normally just let my dehydrator run all night, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.

We have lots and lots of wild apple trees. Most of them have very small apples, but a few have some that are almost as large as the "small" apples sold in the stores. Most of them turn somewhat red-streaked when they are ripe, sort of like a ‘Fuji’ or ‘Gala.’  Most of them are also wormy, but I’ll just cut out the bad parts. The good parts will still be good for dried snacks and apple pies.

First, I used my electric slicer to slice them into ¼-inch slices. They are small enough that I can line up two or three at a time.  As the slices pile up, I immediately put them into a bowl of water so they don’t turn brown.

 2_20170919 Apples slices in colander

You can see that some of the slices look pretty good, but some have bruises or bad spots. On one apple slice, I noticed a worm that had been sliced in half. Yuck!  But at least it wasn’t crawling around.

I use an apple corer and a paring knife to make quick work of the bad spots. The apple corer quickly removes the core, and the paring knife cuts out other bad spots. I don’t worry about making "pretty" slices. The good slices go directly into a lemon juice/water mixture. The scraps go into a colander.

 3_20170919 3 apple slices and tools

 

4_20170919 Apple slices being cut 

You can see the proportion of good slices versus scraps in this picture. The scraps will go to my worm farm and my compost pile.

 5_20170919 Cleaned slices and scraps

Taking them out of the lemon juice mixture, I dry them in a clean towel, then arrange them on a dehydrator tray.

 6_20170919 Prepared Apple slices on tray

The apple slices didn’t use up all of the trays, so I decided to also dehydrate some of the plums I had picked.

8_20170919 plums in colander cropped 

The instructions said to blanch them for 30 seconds, which I thought was weird, but I did it. The skins all split, making it difficult to then cut them in half and remove the pit while still keeping the skin on.   

 9_20170919 plums in ice water cropped

The instructions said to put them on the tray with the skin down, so I tried to do that. In some cases, the skin had come completely off, so I put the skin on the tray, and then grabbed a skinless plum to put on top of the skin.

This morning, I took out the apples and checked the plums. The apples look great! I tried one, and they are the perfect consistency for a snack. I loaded them up into a quart jar. They barely fit.

7_20170920_Dried apple slices on tray

  

120170920Dried apple slices in jar cropped Small

The plums looked pretty weird. They stuck to the tray, and the skins that didn’t have any plums on top were crispy. I turned them over, according to the instructions, but I’m not holding out any hope. I’m sure they will taste fine, but they sure look weird.

99_20170919 Dried plums on tray before turning cropped 

Meanwhile, the store had a fantastic sale on strawberries, 4 pounds for $5! I bought 8 pounds! I'll freeze some with sugar (Rob's favorite dessert — sugared strawberries with cream). Then I'll slice some and try dehydrating those.

20170920 Strawberries 8 pounds cropped

Dehydrating Kale

Loretta LiefveldIt’s been smoky all week due to all the fires in the Pacific Northwest — 74 fires at last count.  With a high-pressure area above us, the smoke can’t dissipate, so it’s hanging around causing the air quality to range between "very unhealthy" to "hazardous."  Since I’m staying inside as much as possible, I decided to do some dehydrating.

I ventured into this experience once before, but didn’t really follow through. Recently, I bought a book about dehydrating that encouraged me to really pour myself into it this time.   So far, I’ve dehydrated zucchini, crookneck squash, apple cinnamon chips (from our wild apple trees), corn, broccoli, and cauliflower. Today, I’m going to try kale.

I’m not a huge fan of kale, mostly because of its super curly edges, which are just too dense for my taste. I’ve had "baby" kale (which is flat) in salads and loved it, though.  The only kale in the store has curly edges, but since this is sort of an experiment, I guess it will do.  I bought one bunch.

The book says to wash it thoroughly and then pat it dry. It also says the kale flattens out more if you blanch it before dehydrating.  It didn’t make sense to me to pat it dry and then plunge it into boiling water to blanch it. So, I washed it thoroughly, but then just went to the next step, which is cutting out the center rib.

20170908kale first wash cropped resized 50 pct Custom

20170908kale cutting center rib Medium Custom

The instructions state that if you want kale chips, cut it into 3-by 4-inch pieces. Otherwise, leave them whole. Well, I don’t know if this kale is just small or what, but once I cut out the center rib, the kale was already in pieces smaller than 3 inches by 4 inches.

I prepared to blanch the kale. I have a ceramic flattop range, and my pot that has a removable strainer doesn’t have a flat bottom. So, I used the inside strainer from that pot separately in another pot that has a flat bottom. It doesn’t exactly fit perfectly, but I think it will be a lot easier than not using it. Once the water came to a boil, I grabbed a large handful of kale and pushed it into the boiling water with tongs. I only used a handful because I thought it would take longer to come back to a boil if I put all of the kale in at one time. The water has to come back to boiling before counting the blanching time, so I put the lid back on. After 15 seconds of blanching, it was ready for the ice bath (which was my kitchen sink filled with water and ice cubes).

I realized there was no easy way to get the inside strainer out, drain the boiling water out of it, and then dump the blanched kale into the ice bath, so I just used the tongs again to pull the kale out of the boiling water and put it into a colander over a pan. I then dumped the kale from the colander into the ice bath.

20170908kale in colander Small Custom

20170908kale in ice water Small

Having never done this before, I was shocked at what a beautiful green it now was!  

It took three handfuls to complete the blanching and ice bath. Once the kale was cool, I put it back in the colander and shook it up and down to drain as much water as I could. It was now time to pat it dry. I think I used four or five dishtowels before it was dry enough. The blanching had flattened the kale somewhat, but all those little curly edges were still there, and they held onto that water as if they were dying in the desert.

Finally, I laid all those kale pieces onto the drying trays. I turned them upside down, hoping they would flatten out more. I ended up with four trays. I sprinkled salt on three trays of kale, and I seasoned one tray with Maggie, which is a soy-based seasoning. It’s very strong, and I just used a brush to pat the Maggie on the pieces of kale. Afterward, it still looked like a lot, so I gently used a paper towel to pat some of the Maggie off the kale.

 20170908kale in deydrator teray Small Custom

I just let the dehydrator run all night, because it was already late in the afternoon. How’d they turn out? Well, they aren’t my favorite snack; the texture is a little weird. They sort of disintegrate in my mouth, and then the ruffled edges are very dense. I’m going to grow some non-ruffled kale and try with those. The ones I flavored with Maggie were definitely much better than the ones that were only salted.

Does anyone have suggestions for a non-ruffled kale to try?

Tree roots and hardpan and rocks, oh my!

Loretta Liefveld 

After we bought our home in Idaho, I just couldn’t wait to start planting. While in Costco one day, I saw several different types of blueberry plants. These were remarkably good-sized plants, not like the puny ones that were available in Central California. So I bought three: Spartan, Duke and Sunshine. Little did I know at that time how hard it was going to be to plant them! Nevertheless, now that I had them, I couldn’t let them die. I started to dig my first planting hole.

The hole needs to be larger and deeper than their existing pot. Here’s a picture of how far my shovel went into the ground on my first attempt to dig a hole. I knew I could ask my husband for help, but this is my project, and he has enough on his hands right now, since we just moved.

 1-20170820 shovel going in cropped

Oh, no! This will take forever. I rummaged through the tool shed to see what kind of treasures might be in there. Aha! I found a post hole shovel that the previous owner left. This shovel has a blade that is much narrower than a normal shovel, and it goes into the dirt much, much easier. Here’s a picture so you can see how much further it went in.

 2-20170820 post hole shovel going in cropped

A spading fork is pretty useful when digging in hard dirt, usually. But take a look at what happened to it when I managed to accidentally get one tine under some roots (of course, I wouldn't give up when it got stuck).

 3-20170820 Spading fork bent tine cropped

Altogether, I used all of the available digging tools on this hole, including the small trowel, which I used to get into small spaces between the rocks in order to loosen them.420170820 different types of shovels Medium

Filling the hole with water softens the dirt and makes it easier to dig. It’s also easier at first to take very small cuts at the edge of the hole.

 520170820Fill hole with water Medium

Unfortunately, after about 6 to 8 inches of topsoil, I ran into hardpan clay and rocks.

 620170831 Hole with hardpan and rock captioned Medium

In order take the above picture, I had to act like an archeologist, going so far as to use a tablespoon and a brush to get the dirt off of the rocks and hardpan. I also squirted water from the hose into the hole to wash the dirt off the rocks, resulting in just covering the bottom inch and a half with water (you can see the dried mud at the bottom, right below the hardpan clay). Two hours later, the water still had not drained.  So, it’s imperative to get past these layers so the plants don’t drown. 

You might not be able to see in the picture, but these rocks are wedged in such a way that it’s sort of like a Chinese puzzle. You have to find the "key" rock and take it out in order to take other rocks out. Of course once you do that, there are a whole bunch of more rocks. The visible area of the larger rock in the picture is about 9 inches by 5 inches. The small rock to the right of it is one of the key rocks. 

To be honest, I still haven’t been able to finish this particular hole. The larger rock and the medium rock next to it are wedged under the tree root that you can see running diagonally next to them.  Digging out the dirt surrounding them, I found a tree root 1 inch in diameter winding it’s way around a rock under the dried mud just above it in the picture. It was literally hugging the rock, encircling it at least on two sides. I’m still working on it. I’m so stubborn that I will just not give up. Stay tuned for the results in a subsequent post.

In the meantime, here is the comfrey plant that I dug up and brought with me from my previous home, along with a container of organic material I gathered to help improve the soil.

720170831 comfrey ready to plant cropped Medium

I have lots of Ponderosa pine and red (Douglas) fir around my home, so I gather the "mulch" and mix it 50-50 with the native soil to put in the hole.

In the picture below, on the left is the ground where I gather the mulch, which doesn’t look like much. But sweep away the surface debris, and there you can see the 2-inch deep mulch of decomposing needles (picture on the right). It’s not yet completely decomposed, so I will add some nitrogen, since the process of decomposition uses up a lot of nitrogen.

 820170831 mulch location and closeup Medium

After mixing the mulch 50-50 with the native dirt, I’ll mix that in with the dirt that is currently in the pot from the plant. 

Here’s the result of planting just my three initial blueberry plants, and a few of the plants I brought with me, lemongrass, peppermint, Lion’s Tail, and lemon balm.

8- 20170701 Front lawn blueberries and plants from 3R cropped captioned

Doesn't look like much, considering the amount of time I've had to spend just to dig each hole. Around each hole, you can see the rocks that I was able to get out while digging. You can see some rather large rocks around the the closest blueberry.

If any of you have successfully conquered this kind of rocky nightmare, please share.