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Go to the local OSH looking for blueberry plants.
Score! Two gallon blueberry plant. I win! Tag says, "Acidic soil pH 4.5 to 5.5. Do not use nitrate fertilizer."
Ask the teenaged clerk, "What kind of soil (gestures to wall-o-soil-samples) can I put around these plants to make the pH good?"
"Huh?"
"It says here, use a soil mix that is 60% conifer, 20% loam, 20% peat. Which of these soils will work for that?"
"Conifer? What's that?"

(Sigh. She's a teenager, not a college professor. She's doing her best. Patience, DeCamp. Patience.)
"It pretty much means pine tree."
After studying the wall of soil choices for ten minutes and failing to interest me in the pine bark mulch, she gets her contemporary (a male teenager who knows about as much as she does.) He can't help either. I wait patiently. There has to be an experienced person working here, and if I wait patiently, they'll eventually arrive at the conclusion that they should go and get him to answer my question.

Then the experienced guy walks in. He has fifty years on his co-workers, and he says, "You want to acidify the soil you have now. Use THIS (leads me to the soil acidifier) and test it with THIS (points at the soil test kit)."

"That's what you need. Any other questions?"

"Yeah, it says not to use a nitrate fertilizer. How should I pick one?"
"Get a 10-10-10 fertilizer."
"I have fish emulsion, will that do it?"
"Yeah. Just check that it's 10-10-10."
"Cool, thanks!"

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I shot out the door this morning prepared to work nursing home for the day, then struggle to finish laundry, groceries, etc. tonight.

Arrive at nursing home, discover there is no schedule for me, call the main PT, and find out that the PTA (who asked me to work for her) never told the main PT I'd be doing that.

MainPT: "Let me come right over and make a schedule for you."
Me: "Actually, I would LOVE to have an unexpected day off, and there are about a bajillion things I can do with today. This is fine."
MainPT: "Seriously?"
Me: "Yes! But I agreed to work the 21st and I really DO need to work that day."
MainPT: "Okay, we'll have a schedule for you then."

So today I went to OSH and bought a bag of good dirt, then drove home with the awesome dirt smell in my car. I had an old, still-somewhat-alive bottlebrush tree stump in the far left corner, which [livejournal.com profile] meatlad  dug up for me, and I worked my new dirt into that corner of the garden. (It looks so much better now that he's done that. Awesome.)

Also: Discovered that the old ginormous palm tree stump in the far right corner had rotted out on top, so was full of good rich dirt. Worked that into a different part of the garden, then used the shovel to scrape out partly-rotted bits of stump. Result: I now have a stump shaped like a large dish. I hear that pouring buttermilk on an old stump helps it to rot faster. I'll try that this week and report back.

Edit: Safeway is out of buttermilk. Will try to execute next week and report back.
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Behold, I have committed neatness and organization. With this track record, next I'm gonna be president. Or, okay, not.

Pictures behind the linky.... )

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