One of the vacation projects was putting cement board siding on the outside of Loven. Ick; that cement board is nasty, but the cladding needs to be fireproof. Now to paint it all and put the galvanized roof on…maybe I need another vacation?
Ah! A week off from work. The place looks really spiffed up (projects begun, projects completed, chaos swept away). And: I have bruises in strange places.
About a third of my work as an architect is designing second homes for Chicagoans keen to have a spot on this, the better, side of the lake. You’ve heard about second homes, right? They are acquired because the first home is wanting. But me, I find it hard to ever leave my first home! And why should I? I would rather be home than anywhere else.
And it is just as well. There’s plenty to do.
The new greenhouse layout is perfect for growing long rows of indeterminate tomatoes. It is no secret that I abhor staking tomatoes; I have devoted many posts to this dislike, yet I still grow and stake them. So I tried a new method on Thursday morning, as it was the best time to do it: cloudy, breezy, and the Supreme Court was due to make its final rulings. Instead of sitting by the radio being pissed off, I took to the greenhouse to change what I can.
This is 17 gauge fence wiring. There are many uses for a roll of this stuff; in point of fact, I have never set a current to this wire…and I have gone through an eighth of a mile of it since I bought it. I stretched the wire between the bows, using self-tapping screws held off from the bow just enough to allow a wrap of the wire. Then, I stake the tomatoes by tying sisal twine to the base of the plant, stretching the twine up and knotting it over the fence wire, then draping it back down (for when the plant gets taller/more unwieldy). Pretty simple all around. I have plenty of screws, plenty of wire…but I ran out of sisal.
I trim to one main stalk, and am maniacal about trimming all future suckers until the plant gets about five feet tall. Wrapping with the sisal is fairly easy. Up twisty up, avoiding the fruit branches, loose enough to allow it to grow. At its biggest point a plant might require up to four strings to hold it aloft but sisal is cheap. The wire shouldn’t bend much under the weight; between the 4′ span of the bows there are only two, maybe three plants. And they will all grow to hit the roof sooner than later.
And by the time I finished with this task (yes, doing 76 plants takes a bit of time) I turned on the radio and surprisingly wasn’t angry by the rulings! Ah, a morning well spent.