Still too cold to plant

I've been considering all sorts of goofy things, such as getting a soil thermometer [hey! Only about $10.00 at Lee Valley!], but so far the old hands are good enough for me in re soil temperature.

After all, if after 15 minutes spent digging up odd bits of Blackberry my hands are freezing, it's far, far, too cold to plant anything in the ground.

Different varieties of berries have different types of root. While your garden variety Himalayan Blackberry has the mondo thick 'root from hell' in old established vines, the raspberry has thinner vines, nowhere so thick at their worst. Sometimes it's hard to tell by root, as exploratory tendrils look pretty much the same, and I've not developed the skill to tell apart the various berries based on the initial frilly leaves poking up through the ground as they send out their scouts.

Still no signs of Clematis; the last live section, hiding out on the other side of the fence, was killed back by the Big Snow at the beginning of the Winter, and it's yet to get warm enough for anything to give a look-see. So I'm continuing to feel optimistic that I've done them a serious injury, that there shall be no Clematis in this here yard this year.

The next door neighbor to the East, whose yard I eradicated Clematis from, and shoveled snow from, has gifted me with an electric cultivator, aka roto-tiller; she's shifted away from gardening, having gotten a dog, as well as the cultivator is too heavy for her to use any longer. She got it at a yard sale, don't actually get the impression she used it. So, when it gets a bit warmer, and closer to being plantable, I'll be checking this tool out to see how well it works, if I need to take it apart and give it maintenance, or what. But it'll sure beat spading! Even if I am scared of it, just not as scared as I am of lathes, a tool I just was terrified of back in Junior High, resulting in a 'C' in Wood Shop II, where you had to use it to complete the required project, and I just wouldn't, nothing doing, it looked dangerous. The cultivator isn't that scary, I'll give it a try.

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