Saturday, May 03, 2008

Garden Update, May 2008

The last few garden updates:
April's garden update
March 2008 Garden Update
March 2008 Garden Update, Addendum

Here is the overview of our garden, as of May 3, 2008.

Overview of our garden, May 2008

Peas, lettuce, beans. Compare with last month; you'll notice that a couple of the lettuces are missing.
Peas, lettuce, beans

The rest of the garden. The butter beans sort of sprouted up overnight a couple of weeks ago.

Beans, garlic, broccoli

Our container plants. The containers along the top are mostly lettuce. The first box has violets transplanted from our yard. The empty looking box will hopefully have green onion seedlings soon. The third box has a couple of marigold seedlings...but I don't even remember putting any seeds in there. That's nice, because absolutely none of the marigold seeds I sowed a couple of weeks ago have sprouted. The plant in the green half-filled pot is stevia. More on that below.

Our container plants

Our nightshades, which would be tomatoes and peppers. Harmony told me that peppers like hot weather, so I put our poor man's cold frame over one of them. It does seem to have helped a slight bit, as the pepper pod/tiny flower thingies are a bit bigger than the other pepper plant's, which was not covered. Also, the row of pebbles marks yesterday's sowing of carrots (Chantenay and Danver's half long).

Nightshades, etc.

At this point, I have a confession to make: last weeks ago, we went to Walmart's garden center and bought some seedlings. I felt like wearing a paper bag over my head because it felt like cheating not to start plants ourselves from seed. At that point, our tomato seedlings didn't look too great, and neither did our peppers. So we went on a shopping spree and bought Homestead tomatoes, sweet peppers, Beauregard sweet potatoes, and a stevia plant (that last one a bit random, maybe we'll make extract from it later). At least we got non-hybrid varieties that we can save seeds from...??? So there it is; my confession.

Beyond the backyard fence, we have planted pumpkins, watermelon, and sweet potatoes. Thanks to the tree I cut down yesterday, you probably can't see them well. I was going to draw circles around them, but perhaps I will leave it up to bored-reader-with-lots-of-time to hunt them down.
Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, watermelon

Here's another picture of a ladybug larva in action, thank goodness.
Ladybug larva eating aphid

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9 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ginny

    Beautiful! It is amazing what you can do when you really want to. You have a lot of good stuff planted in that green tea, uhh I mean dirt.
    ;-) LOL!

  • Ginny

    I just crack myself up...

  • Ginny

    Harmony, I saw your comment on The Urban Homestead blog. I don't remember what dimensions their beds are, but you can make them any size you want, as long as you can reach across easily. I would recommend four feet. We had raised beds in Florida and they were four by eight, because it was easier. We could buy eight food boards and just cut one in half for the ends. We used pressure treated 2x12's, but these days, I would not use pressure treated and 12 was a little deep. I would recommend 2x6 cedar, if you can get it, but pine would work. You just have to realize that in a couple of years, you will have to replace the wood. When in Florida, we got truckloads of composted manure from a dairy to fill the beds. I'm sure if you looked, you would find something like that. Either a dairy or a stable or something. You may or may not want to ask about what medications are given to the animals. You might even find an organic operation around somewhere that would have manure you could have or buy for next to nothing and maybe they would even deliver it. :-D

    It is worth trying...

  • Harmony

    Ginny, we were thinking of looking into some local stables and seeing if we could much some stalls for some free manure. If we get enough of it, that would really cut down on our costs for filling the beds.

    Just wondering out loud here. We have lots of pine trees in our backyard that are partially blocking the sunlight to our garden. I wonder if we could use those for some of our boards?

  • Harmony

    *muck, not much

  • JunkMale

    Dear Wife,

    I'm not quite sure if they'd be big enough. The one I cut down is not that big. If we (meaning I) had reason to cut down some of the bigger ones (which I might hesitate to do), perhaps we (I) could cut some of them up. That would be a LOT of work because we don't have a chainsaw.

    But who knows. I'm not home right now, so I can't go back there and check the diameter of the trees.

  • Ginny

    Actually, it is not a bad idea to cut down the trees that you don't want and use them. But, it would be backbreaking, possibly dangerous work. Maybe there is someone around who has a portable sawmill and they would barter for something... Just a thought. You go, girl! Brainstorm until your brain hurts! In the end, you may only do 1% of what you think up, but it sure is fun to think up things.

    And, perhaps Junkmail could use the exercise and experience from chopping down the trees and cutting them into boards, too.

    Oh, that would be really nifty to have the boards that you guys cut from your own trees...

  • Ginny

    Another idea: free pallets can supply some good wood. You can get good ones and take them apart, being careful to remove all the nails, and then you will have a nice stack of wood. They won't be very long, but you can have two layers, with offset seams, to make longer lengths. The beds would be shorter than six inches, but not by much and they are free! When we lived in Florida, we had a hard time getting free pallets, but here, in Ohio, we can find them easily. Try 84 Lumber, Carter Lumber, Tractor Supply, etc. Actually, try everywhere! They are worth it. If you don't have a truck, it might be worth it to look into a junky old cheap truck that runs and hauls and that is about it. ;-)

    Just thoughts. Discard as necessary.


  • Harmony's Mom

    My Dad used to say: "You get warm twice cutting wood; once during the cutting, and the second time when you burn it". I hadn't thought of using that wood to outline the raised beds, but it should work. I use landscape timbers, but some are really starting to rot out. They are all eventually going to rot (and therefore more wood chips for the garden).