September 23, 2020: Gardening on Breaks

in Build-Itlast month

Huzzah for a productive day! Stomach is feeling much better today, which meant not much holding me back today. We moved in with my parents last night and all slept there. I'll be spending some nights still at the house in the living room that's now sealed off, but not last night.

First off, I went to Lowe's. I needed a crow bar and a roll of plastic to use to seal off the living room. I ended up with that, twenty pounds of fancy screws, and a hundred seed onions.


A hundred onions for $8? Solid deal methinks. Eight cents a pop. I developed a taste for onions this year after eating some from a friend's garden. Sauteed and chopped fresh in pico de gallo, they really rocked my socks, so I'm growing onions for next year. Because yum.

Living room sealed off

After sealing off the living room to keep some of the nasty stuff from the rest of the house from getting in, I got to work pulling up tile. I got most of it done in the dining room and kitchen, and got the carpet pulled up from the hallway too. I didn't get Sophie's room or the bathrooms pulled up yet, that's why God made tomorrow. After all the flooring is up, I'll be pulling up subfloor room by room, then replacing joists and replacing subfloor. It's starting to look like work is getting done!

Part of the kitchen/dining tile

I took a few breaks into the garden throughout the day. One I used to check on the new potato patch and pull weeds in the original potato patch.

First sprout in the big tater patch

Another break was used to clear weeds (giant bushes of black nightshade) and grass to look for and prep a garden area for next season. Mostly it was just reclaiming the area where I made space for corn this year. There's semi-contoured rows there that I can uncover and maybe plant on. There's also the spot that I used to call the south bed, which I covered with leftover plastic sheet in hopes of making the grass and weeds go to grass and weed heaven. Not in my happy garden soil bits.

Leftover plastic, making a gardenable spot, also one of three big piles of weeds

A third break was used for killing a tomato horn worm, pruning dead tomato branches, and harvesting seed okra. I got over 200 seeds from four okra pods, adding to the stock for my community seed initiative. I hope some of the guys want to grow okra, cause I'm saving a lot of okra seeds.

Okra for seeds

It seems like I did a lot more garden tasks, but the majority of the work was done in the house today. I popped a handful of holes in the subfloor for a few reasons as I worked. First, it'll let the space air out a bit. I went around the house and measured the vent space and it's about 30% the area it needs to be. I don't know if I can add vents, but I will absolutely be wiring in a pair of vent fans. This area I cleared of flooring today sits in an unventilated corner, so what I'll do there is run a duct into the corner to ventilate. Second, the holes let me see what the hell things look like in there. Mostly how the joists have held up to the moisture. Looks like they haven't held up well at all. Joists and beams are probably all going to need replaced under this part of the house due to the utter lack of ventilation. That's really not so bad because there's no walls in here, so nothing sitting on top of the joists! That's really actually the best situation I could ask for in the event of replacing joists.

As for the replacement, I'm thinking I'll be using treated lumber. I need to look more though before buying anything. Some sources say the treated lumber offgasses, which can be very damaging to health in a home setting. Some say the vent fans will vent out that offgassing to keep it out of our home. If that's the case, treated lumber under there may have helped prevent this current situation. Then again, so would vent fans. And more vents. We're learning a lot here about houses and how to make them and how to maintain them and how to pick a good house. I'll make a post about that at some other time, for now it's getting late. I must be getting old, 830 is late. Yuck.

Love from Texas

Nate 💚


Glad you are feeling better. it sounds like a productive day.

You reminded me I must plant garlic around October 1, which means I have to figure out a garden plan...

What is a "garden plan?" I've never heard of this magical thing.

LOL Nate!

I keep saying I need to make a garden plan. I think what I need most is a defined garden... That'd make it easier to make a specific plan. Right now, the plan is "over here I'll plant this, and over there I'll plant that, and ooh I wanna see how this other thing does over here.

I think I just found a use for all these floor joists I'm about to pull up :)