It was such a warm and beautiful morning that the kids were able to play outside, enabling Mommy to get some work done in the garden without waiting for the baby boy's nap time. I started with the planting area on the side of the house, which looked like this yesterday..

I was able to hoe it clear yesterday evening while the kids played in the front yard, so this morning all I had to do was add compost and turn it in. That green line along the side of the house is the hose we have running from the front
tap to the kitchen garden in the side yard. There's no tap on that side of the house so we had to improvise.

Last year when I first made this bed the soil was unalloyed clay, to which I added copious amounts of compost. I didn't see a single worm at the time, and this morning I couldn't turn over a spadeful of soil without seeing 1-3 giant, fat worms. There were so many it was a pain to try to chop up the soil finely, as I cringe every time I see an injured worm writhing in agony at the end of the spade. This was one of the fortunate ones that escaped unscathed.
They were huge, almost as thick around as my pinky finger. They caused quite a bit of excitement for the children, as did a few Japanese beetle grubs that got carried to the back and fed to the chickens.

The additional compost was carefully mixed in and the top of the bed smoothed with a soil rake, for a final result that looks like this..

That was the "I'm really tired, please take me to bed." face, so I did. After he passed out I finished planting the potatoes (for a total of 10 tubs planted) and gave the tomato and pepper seedlings their first shot of fertilizer.

Grow baby, grow! Speaking of growing, see if you can spot the potato sprouts in this fuzzy, Itriedtozoomintooclose pic.

I'm planning on using the old straw from the chicken coop to hill around the potatoes this year. It'll be great in the tubs, since filling them with soil would make the bottom third of the container perpetually soggy. The straw will keep the tubs from becoming waterlogged and make it really easy to get the potatoes out at harvest time. Now all I have to do is keep them hilled up and pray it doesn't get too hot too quickly this summer and kill the tops back before the potatoes have time to get big. I like baby potatoes, but I like to have some big ones, too!