Category Archives: Weather

Just Tilling in the Rain


Ah, sunny Florida!

Ah, sunny Florida!

I’m trying something a little different this year; actually tilling the garden. With a power tiller!

The weather report claimed that light thunder showers would begin about ten this morning and last all day. It’s Sunday and my neighbors prefer quiet before 9 AM; I headed over to Home Depot about 8:30. HD’s smallest rental tiller is a Mantis XD – thirty-seven dollars for four hours.

After waiting in line – and waiting in line – at 9:30 I was finally ready to load the tiller in my car. Just as the heavens opened. This was not a light shower! But I couldn’t wait to see if the weather improved – I only had four hours.

Halfway done (on the right)

Halfway done (on the right)

The Mantis owner’s manual euphemistically refers to it as a “traditional tiller.” That means it is operated by brute force. The manual also waxes enthusiastic about how efficient their tiller is at chopping up grass and weeds. The reality was somewhat different.

I carefully followed the instructions – walking backwards through the garden as the little Honda motor tried its best to wrench my arms from their sockets. Fortunately I got a break about every 5 to 10 feet. That’s how often I had to stop, turn the tiller on its side, and unclog the tines. I estimate that the motor was actually running about fifteen minutes out of two hours.

Tines? What tines?

Tines? What tines?

But the job was eventually done and it was much quicker and more thorough than using a shovel. The rain, by the way, never let up once while I was working. But it stopped, for good, at 11:30. The rest of the day has been clear and sunny. Why do I even look at weather forecasts?

February Harvest

Once again, I’ve been remiss in posting.

Our cold, miserable January ended with a bang – the last five days were even more wet and miserable than the rest of the month. Around here we average 2 inches of rain in January. During the last five days of January, 2014, I got over 3 inches at my house. February has started off less miserably but the rains continue off and on.

The good news is:
I haven’t had to water my garden during the last two and half weeks.
There was not one Frost all winter!
I harvested some vegetables.


Wednesday, January 29: harvested three small heads of broccoli, total 18 ounces. I chopped these up and ate them, raw, over the next several days in my lunch. Very tender and tasty.

Saturday, February 1: harvested three ripe tomatoes, total 11 ounces. Yum.

Sunday, February 2: remember those cauliflowers I planted on a lark? Well one of them never formed a head. I harvested the other three today – for a total of 33 ounces. The smallest head of cauliflower weighed as much as the largest head of broccoli. Must think about planting more cauliflower next year.

Thursday, February 6. Harvested one small tomato: 4 ounces. I’ve been very pleased with the tomatoes and I’m keeping on top of picking them just as they become ripe. The flavor is very good. I also picked a couple of tiny green peppers and jalapenos on Friday – these plants are definitely done for.

The garden isn’t yet producing enough veggies to supply all my needs. But I eat raw veggies every day for lunch—and the garden has been handling that for the past couple of months.

I’ll add some pictures to the post when I figure out where I put my camera. I had it on Friday…


[Update: I mowed the lawn for the first time this year. I really should have done it two weeks ago.

More broccoli. I picked another small head: 3.75 oz. ]