Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It been a 5 days ?? Really!!

Oh, I'm slow at this blogging stuff.
The last week - started some peppers and tomatoes on paper toweling, one of the peppers is already potted and an inch tall, no activity from the tomatoes yet.
Bought a 6-pack of cabbage to replace the the home grown ones that got frozen, they are planted and under the Harvest Guard cover, doing well.
Went to the garden center Monday and bought a yard of leaf and twig compost. I recommend that if the wind is blowing you keep the windows rolled up while loading compost. I now have compost dust all over the inside of my truck, bah. Hopefully that is the last of the compost I need to buy.
Spent all day Tuesday in the yard and garden. Unloaded the compost (weather delay), built a 2ft by 4ft cold frame (box, no lid yet), spread the compost onto 3 beds that didn't have compost yet and turned one of the compost bins, as the temperature was below 100F.
When I got home tonight, I found that a dog had run up the middle of most of my beds and dug holes in two of them, one being the one that was seeded, %$#%^& dog. Painted the cold frame ,first coat anyway, need more paint. Then put up some wire fence on one side of the yard, will need more posts to do the other side.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Riches Invested

I noticed Tuesday that the remains of the grass clipping pile was getting a little ripe so cut a piece of wire fence about 16ft long and made a new compost heap. Put the grass pile and all the leaves that were pictured in my last post into it. It took all but two bags of leaves and a little pile of grass and stray leaves. But the next evening it had settled enough to add those. And tonight its about 8 inches below the top of the fencing. As the compost bins finish I will use the contents of the wire pile to refill the bin.

Wow, I have stuff growing, YAY. As I was checking the beds I noticed onions and ? growing, its been 11 days since they were planted.

I have no idea what this is, but the area was planted with a French Mesclum Salad blend seed mixture, which contains a bunch of different greens.

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Embarrassment of Richs

My co-workers have be good to me the last couple of days. This pile of grass clippings today

and 6 of these bags of leaves. Yesterday the remainder of the leaves and the two bags of clippings.

The top two pictures were taken AFTER I had doubled the contents of the bin on the left. The bin on the right is the compost that was started in November and is close to be done. The center bin is 2-3 week old now.
Planted these cabbage seedlings on Tuesday evening. I covered them with the milk jugs in the back ground, which didn't do any good :-( because the it rained that night and blew them off. The seedling in the lower left was heavily wind damaged but the others were O.K.. Then the last two nights the temperatures dropped into the mid 20's and froze them, one may survive :-(. Do wish it would cloud up at night to keep some of the heat of the day, it's been in the 60's in the late afternoon then drops like a rock.
In the picture above, the Basil seedling in the center was the same size as the one on the left two days ago, wonder what happened?
Update on starting seeds in bits of T.P., I recommend that you use a cheap thin one ply, as the the thicker two ply is hard for the seeds to send they leaf stalk though. I had the tear a hole for the eggplant to poke it's leafs though. (that is the pot on the right in the second row) .

Finally here is my Fork. And My brand new 20 inch probe compost thermometer.
I can now get to the center of the piles to take their temperatures.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What we have here is a FAILURE to irrigate !

Friday - Replanted the cabbage in to bigger paper pots tonight.
Saturday - I finished drilling the holes in the pipes of bed number 1 tonight, Yay. BUT when I turned on the water ,major fail, the supply end of the bed was washing away while the far end of the middle pipe had no water. I'm thinking that I can remove the half of the pipe closest to the supply pipe and replace them with pipes from another beds with smaller and fewer holes drilled in them.
Sunday - Spread wood chips on the paths this evening, used all the chips on hand, still have 40 foot of path to do. Put some broccoli seed to spout.
Monday - Number 1 son and I got another load of wood chips this morning. While he spread them on the remaining paths I planted the mats I had made up. Hint - have plenty of stones on hand if the wind is blowing. Now have onions, turnips, swiss chard, two types of beets, two type of carrots, spinach and lettuce in the ground. Also planted the cabbage, hope they do O.K.. Then spread some compost on bed #1. Cut the bottoms out of some milk jugs to put over the cabbage as it still gets down to mid 30s at night. Was going to plant peas but decided to soak them first.
Tuesday - Took the wife to see Alice in Wonderland this A.M., not a bad flick. After we returned I planted the peas that I had set to soak last night. Also sowed some ground cover seed (field peas and oats) on two of the beds that will not be planted until mid May, so they can get some green manure in them and to keep the dust down. The dust get very bad here at times, and the wind NEVER blows, ask Annie's Granny. The eggplant seed I started on bits of T.P. have sent out their radicle (see last post) so will pot them up later this evening.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Germination Mark 2

Made up some seed mats tonight, Dragon Carrots and Scarlet Nantes, on toilet paper. These the napkin mats of onions, turnips, beet, swiss chard and lettuce. Ready to plant now.
Going through the seeds I got from Ganny I found the Red Eggplant, which gave me an idea. EG sprouts his seeds on paper toweling before potting, which has a short window of opportunity for planting because of the radicle penetrating the toweling. My idea is to place each seed on a small bit of toweling/T.P. then planting toweling and seed with no chance of damage to the radicle.
So 6 eggplant seed on bits of T.P. and covered with another bit. Will let you know how they grow.
And thank you to all the people that are following my ramblings.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Over the river and across town to Granny's we go

Spent the morning to doing things that have been ignored for awhile. Then the wife and I went to visit Annie's Granny. Swapped a few seeds and tales of gardening over a sandwich that included the last of her Arizona lettuce.
After we got home, I drilled holes in the pipes of bed #1, 9/64s inch about 4 inches apart. All the beds have their pipes connected to the main, all they needs are holes.
Yesterday, number one son helped in the garden, picking up the stones out of the pathways, then spread some wood chips on the pathway beside bed #1 (picture to follow).
Also turned 2 of the compost piles as they were cold. This evening they had warmed up , the older to 100F and the newer to 140F. I didn't add any greens to the older pile which is probably the reason it hasn't heated up as high/fast.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Start of my weekend

The beds now have their water lines. Built one on Friday, three of them together Saturday and finished the 5th Sunday. They don't have the holes drilled yet which is O.K. as I really have no idea where they need to be yet.
Ran out of glue Sunday, so had to wait until this morning to start hooking up them up to the water supply.
Tomorrow's plan , finish hooking up the water lines, start drilling holes, start putting wood chips in the pathways and if possible,start planting lettuce, spinach and other cold weather veggies.
Brr, 28F forecast for tonight, but still in the high 50s for tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Let there be compost

Got home this evening with two 30 gallon garbage cans worth of grass chippings from a co-worker, so its compost time.
Pulled the mower out of the shed and ground up 3-4 of the bags of leaves I had collected in the fall, mixed those with the chippings, gave them a drink and piled them up. Will probably be steaming in the morning. Love compost.
Also spread and leveled the rest of the planting beds, including the wife's 'Flower' bed, as she has been buying flower seed.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Busy Weekend

Sunday - Planted a trio of basil seed this evening after reading this blog and they are poking their little green heads out of the soil already.
Monday - Finished the main waterline on Monday ( I thought) and assembled the valve manifold. Then had to dig up the supply valve to replace a broken pipe. That finished off Monday.
Tuesday - Spent the morning at the dentist getting a toothache taken care of. In the afternoon finished up the water line. When I finally got water, I spread the compost piles out, watered them, spread some waste animal feed(nitrogen source) and re-piled them. Later that evening I did a few of Granny's napkin seed mats (two each of two varieties of beets and one of lettuce ).
Wednesday - Had to dig up the supply line, forgot to glue the pipes together (I suffer with C.R.S.,can't remember stuff). Then put together the piping for one of the beds. This system is based on this Video(not the one I wanted, couldn't find the right one, but this one is the same idea). The pipes are 16 inches apart, as you can see I need to box the beds which are supposed to be 4ft across.
Checked the compost piles, boy were they HOT, so the feed must have been what they needed.