i made myself a cup of coffee using the can of cafÃ© bustelo i bought. made for espressos, i found the grounds to be too fine; i prefer a course to medium ground, so the grounds don't leech into the coffee during the brewing. but the coffee came out fine, no more grounds than usual. i don't like the taste though: no real flavor other than coffee, and more bitter. i still prefer what i was using before, new england coffee's colombian supremo, which has a courser ground. afterwards i was all jittery from the caffeine, which got me ready to start my day.
after making a grocery list, i drove to market basket to pick up a few things for the cafe and some stuff for myself. i decided i'd be eating italian subs for the next few days so i bought some deli meats. next i drove to the gas station to fuel up the car, which had been running on near empty. then i went to the cafe to drop off the supplies. it was strange to be going there and not painting (though even if i wanted to i wouldn't be able since it'd be raining later in the evening). i told my aunt i ordered a new charging cable for her xiaomi fit band (around 75¢; she told me yesterday she lost hers) but it's going to take a few weeks before it arrives; in the meantime, she could borrow my sister's godmother's charging cable or wait until my mother returns next week. next stop was the watertown home depot to pick up my online order of jobe's blood meal ($9.75). finally i went to belmont to do some yard work.
i mowed the lawn 4 days ago and already it's covered in new leaves. while pushing out the mower from the garage i accidentally knocked over a metal post which smashed into the mower, knocking off a section of the plastic covering (nothing that can't be superglued back). i was lucky it didn't fall onto the motorcycle or ripped the battery charging cables. i put in the last of the gasoline supply. today was a good day to shred the leaves as it'd be raining later. i even ended up raking the leaves from the side of the street, figured better to do it now than over the weekend when they'd all be soggy from the rain.
i then moved to the backyard. the only tree we have left is the large maple, with a circle of dead yellow leaves. i ran the mower across the leaves, making sure not to go over too large a pile or risk the mower blade jamming again.
i bought the blood meal to add to the garlic beds because i read the extra nitrogen helps them to grow bigger. i never used blood meal before. a 3 lbs. bag is actually a lot smaller than i'd imagined. blood meal has an awful smell, like rotten bone marrow. i thought it'd be granules but it was more of a black powder. i rolled up the salt marsh grass cover so i could sprinkle the blood meal into the soil. in RB0, half of the bed (right) i didn't see any garlic sprouts, while the other half (left) did have them. mades me think that maybe squirrels had gotten to the cloves before i added the chickenwire screen. not too big a deal because i still have plenty of other cloves in the other garlic beds. RB0 was the only bed where i saw sprouts, since it was the first bed i created. all other beds i didn't see any emerging garlic. in RB2 there was a layer of fine mycelium when i rolled off the salt marsh grass. don't know if this is good or bad for the garlics.
i stored the dahlia tubers in a box of slightly damp peat moss. trying to moisten the peat moss is an exercise in futility as it can absorb a lot of water. i misted the peat moss with the sprayer a few times but every time i mixed the peat moss the water disappeared. but hopefully whatever amount of moisture i added with keep the tubers from drying out completely. i just need a place to store them over the winter. the garage might be too cold, the only other place is the basement.
the only raised bed that hasn't been amended yet was RB3. RB3 is unique in that half of the bed has been taken over by foxgloves (with a smattering of snapdragons, hollyhocks, and daisies). i ended up adding 2 cu.ft. of peat moss and 50 lbs. of composted manure. peat moss is great as a filler; the soil of the raised bed only ever came up half way up the box, but after i mixed in the peat moss, it was nearly filled. peat moss of course has no nutritional value, but it makes the soil softer and easier to work with. i also don't know if autumn is the best time to amend the soil (seems like spring like would be the better time); my fear is any nutrients will leech away but next year's growing season.
after finishing up in belmont, i left and got back to cambridge by 3pm. my day of yard work wasn't done yet as i still had to rake the leaves around my own house. i finished by 4pm. only then was i able to get something to eat, the last of the pastries my sister gave me on sunday.
for dinner i made an italian sub: sub bread drizzled with apple cider vinegar, topped with some provolone cheese then toasted in the oven, prosciutto, salami, capicola, shredded lettuce, garden tomato slices, and onions. it tasted pretty good. i also collected the arugula leaves from the plants i brought back from belmont, washed them, and put them in fridge for a future salad.
the rain started in the evening, an incessant drumming of raindrops. the storm will last overnight, but by tomorrow morning everything will be dry and we may even see some sunshine. the forecast says temperature in the 40's with strong northern winds.