Sunday, April 24, 2011

By Far My Favorite Spring Arrival

Lindsey Rose Damitz, born 2 weeks ago to my oldest son.

Gotta Love Trader Joe's Basil

Where else can you get a huge basil plant for $2.99?????? Once the heirloom tomatoes get here I'll be set for Caprese salad all summer!!!

I think the herb bed soil is a little too fertile for this California Poppy

Do You Dig It? Hopefully I Won't Have to Anymore.

This weekend I decided to get atleast a few of my new raised "No Dig" planters up and running. I decided to build 12 3' X 6' planters to put into my garden area. It's a shame to go up above my very amended and fertile garden soil but alas I am looking for a way to do less work with better results and possibly ease my problems with crabgrass (it loves fertile soil as well). I'm doing the "No Dig" garden as an experiment this year and will fill them with soil next year if it is not a success. I also was doing this as a more frugal way to fill the raised beds versus compost mix. Of course fuel prices have driven the price of alfalfa and straw up so much it is barely more frugal than just filling them with a good compost mix.

The garden area before any preparations:

Gathering the goods: 1 bale of alfalfa to 2 bales of bedding straw.

Blood Meal and Bone Meal: 3 pounds each for an 8 X 12 planter.

Assembling the boxes: Just a cheap ripoff of the Bird boxes

Prepping the ground with cardboard and newspaper layers to slow the emergence of crabgrass.

A dusting of Bloodmeal and Bonemeal applied to the paper to aid with it's breakdown into compost:

4" of alfalfa added with a dusting of bloodmeal and bonemeal added for decompostion:

8" of straw added with a dusting of bonemeal and bloodmeal added for decompostion and fertilizer for plant roots:
I'll add this picture later as I forgot to take one.

4" of premium organic compost from Hasties:

I added steer manure to the planting holes and as a watered in dusting on top:

Squash beds:

Cucumber bed:

I plan on getting the rest of the planters built, filled and planted this next week. Adding mulch to the pathways will be accomplished as soon as I caan secure some chippings from a tree trimmer as 3-4 yards of bark are not in the budget. I'll post more pictures upon completion and provide updates during the growing year.

A Few Flower Pics

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gathering the Goods

I spent today driving around picking up newspaper, blood meal, bone meal, alfalfa, and straw to assemble my "No Dig" project. I'll pick up a good compost, some steer manure and some 2X12s to box them in this next week. I'm hoping to get a couple of test boxes up and running by next week. I'll have to wait and see what this unsettled weather is going to do though. I still need to get my normal planters going also. Right now the main thing producing in the garden are the Everbearing strawberries.


Can You Fool Mother Nature

I am trying adding straw to the top of the soil around my potatoes to get them to produce more. I added 6" today and plan to add 6" more in a week or so. Hopefully it ends up producing more potatoes. I have tried the continuos burying method before and did not end up with any more potatoes than with a standard trench method.

Annies Spring Party

Went to Annies Spring Party and came hoe $100 lighter but with some great plants for the hummingbirds and bees. I planted what I already had spots for and repotted the others from their 4" pots into one gallon pots. I also learned an invaluable lesson....the plants are not 25% off like in the fall.

The repotted plants waiting on me to decide exactly where to put them.

Turkey Hunt Minus Turkey

Went up turkey hunting and ended up taking pictures of wildflowers instead.

Poison Oak

Opening to Bumblebee Nest