Mar 152014
 

Garden Update 2014

This past week has seen me doing very little in the way of gardening.  I was able to take a few minutes here and there to thin out the seedlings I have already started.

So what was I doing instead of gardening?

  • Catching up on over a week’s worth of laundry – something that is possible now that it isn’t 5 degrees outside
  • dental appointments
  • having required home visit for our foster care license
  • finished patching kids’ jeans
  • making the spare bedroom visitor friendly again.  It had become a catch-all room plus a DIY project in progress.
  • making our bedroom visitor and kid friendly (chose to place these visitors here due to the work we are doing in the spare bedroom.  It is very much not kid friendly right now.)
  • making meals for the freezer
  • finding an outfit to wear to court
  • updating my wardrobe (if I was going to toss out clothes I needed enough left to actually have something to wear, by choice I don’t have a lot of clothes – I decluttered 9 shirts)
  • setting up and going to MOPS
  • entertaining 2 different sets of overnight visitors
  • watching a friend’s kid (my kid loved the impromptu play-date and lunch out)
  • going to an all-day conference

Oh, yeah and ADOPTING OUR KIDS!!

I was hoping you all would understand why this just wasn’t the week to be doing a lot of gardening and why my posts have not been my normal schedule.  It has definitely been a full week, and the house looks so much better for it.

picked up bedroom

This upcoming week has a lot more free time, very few required places for me to be or things to accomplish.  I  plan on making the most of it while I can.

Gardening and Home Goals for the week of March 16, 2014:

Call school to inform them this will be the last week in preschool for my youngest.

List all the start dates for the seeds I have.

Start seeds that should already have been started.

Work on removing 2 lilac bush stumps.

Plant peach tree? – I may hold off on this one for another week.

Add mulch to areas around the yard, if the mulch pile is no longer frozen on top.

Declutter 49 items.

Cook and freeze pork roasts in refrigerator.

Create more omelette kits for freezer.

Plant 200 – 300 onion sets – if ground isn’t still frozen.

green onions in raised bed 2I am very ready for the 2014 gardening season.  However, if I don’t start now with my garden jobs, soon it will be an overly busy time and I’ll get behind.  The warmer weather will appear before we know it – though I’m not convinced we are through with snow storms or freezing temperatures.

How are your gardens or garden preparations coming along?

Jun 192013
 

2013 Garden Update

 

 Some late planted zucchini sprouts have appeared.  Now to see if they will last till I am able to put up some sort of rabbit deterrent.

zucchini seedlings by shed bed

The first red tomato appeared earlier this week.  This is off one of the tomato plants that was quite large when I planted it.  It is from one of the plants whose tomatoes and blooms I did not remove.  These plants looked in bad shape the first several weeks after planted, then seemed to settle in and make a good come back.
first red tomato of the season 2013

This week also brought about the first cucumber bloom.  I’m hoping these get pollinated this year; I would really like some cucumbers and not just great looking plants.

first cucumber blossom of the season 2013

The summer squash plant in the 5×5 Challenge bed seemed to have doubled in size overnight.  That is what summer rains will do for a garden. I have been slowly harvesting the green onions you see around the squash plant.  I have taken out four large bunches and still have many more to go.  Guess that is what happens when you plant a few hundred onions.  🙂  Update: I harvested another bunch just now to sell to a customer at our stand.  I usually trim the greens as they are very long this year and tip over any container I put them in.  The customer was interested in some with the greens still attached, so I walked out to the garden, harvested some and sold them to said customer.  I love keeping things small and personal.

summer squash plant in 5x5 challenge bed June 17 2013

The seeds in the patio planter are starting to appear.  The flower ones that is.  I have yet to see the basil seedlings make an appearance.  This is currently in a spot that gets afternoon sun.  I may move it so it gets more sun.  It can always be moved if it is getting too much.flower seedling in potting soil

The bean plants in my kitchen garden bed.  I’m curious to see how these grow as I have planted beans in the past … on my own that is, we had them in the garden growing up.


Harvest to date:  5 bunches onions (one bunch = as many as I can hold in one hand without them dropping out, I’ll count and estimate later), 2 strawberries (2 more ready to pick) and 1 tomato.  


May 232013
 

 SNOWY_GARDEN_SIGN

What a week of wind this has been.  It is still cool and wet, not at all the warm weather I, and my seeds, have been hoping for.  Is this the reason the majority of my seeds have not sprouted yet?  It isn’t snowy, like the picture above, but it for sure isn’t a warm Spring.

I did see a wonderful surprise today.  The summer squash I planted last week is starting to come up.  This bed is against the house on the south side.  I’m wondering if this has something to do with these seeds sprouting and not the others.  The other beds are a bit away from the house and on the north side, though in a sunny location.  The one against the house has the added advantage of heat from the house warming it.  Well, I say advantage, but that isn’t so in a hot summer when it bakes the plants.

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I am delighted to see my blackberry bush is still going strong …

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as is the blueberry bush ….

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My second, and newer, blackberry bush has yet to leaf out.  I’m thinking the cool weather has something to do with it.  It is still alive, so I am holding out hope.

Here are the four tomato plants I planted a few weeks ago.  The first two are ones I did not take the fruit or blooms off of.  They are looking a bit wimpy.

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The second pair are looking a lot better.  They haven’t grown much, but have perked up.

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The flowers seem to be doing well in the planters and in the bed.

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Week 5 of the 5×5 Garden Challenge is now underway.  Here is the update on the bed I’m using for the 5 x 5 challenge –

The wind has taken its toll on the onions tops.  They are laying every which way instead of straight up.

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There seems to be a Bermuda Triangle of sorts in the bed.  Whatever gets planted in this spot disappears – bean plants, tomato plant, onions … not sure why, but it just goes away.

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I also planted seeds here … again.  There used to be a zucchini transplant here … it disappeared.  I put in a second one.  It disappeared.  Third time is a charm, right?  I hope so.  We’ll see if summer squash have a better track record.DSCN7771

The 5 x 5 Garden Challenge started a few weeks ago.  The main goal of this challenge, according to Chiot’s Run blog, is to learn and encourage gardeners, especially new gardeners.  Please join us in the challenge and see how much you can do in a small space.

Round 5x5 logo
May 012013
 
Round 5x5 logo
 
The 5 x 5 Garden Challenge started a few weeks ago.  The main goal of this challenge, according to Chiot’s Run blog, is to learn and encourage gardeners, especially new gardeners.  Please join us in the challenge and see how much you can do in a small space.
I decided that if I actually want to plant this bed to the best of its abilities, then I should have a plan.  This past weekend found me with a piece of paper, ruler, pencil, and my copy of Square Foot Garden.  After a few re-dos I think I have a plan.  We’ll see how things actually turn out once I’m putting them in.
The green onions are looking great.  Here is what they looked like last week:
green onions in raised bed 3
And this week:
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Garden Update
I have to admit that I am already experiencing some garden envy.  My friend has had a great garden these past few years, while mine has been, well, let’s say there was a lot to be desired.  Two years ago I barely got anything in.  the tomatoes I did get planted grew lots of leaves but produced  nothing edible.  Same for last year.  I realized my beds were way too shallow, and I had used landscape fabric as a barrier.  Not the best growing medium for tomatoes.  This year, they are in the taller bed and the “barrier” is newspaper, which their roots should be able to do through if needed.  Same results and changes for the peppers.  Anyway, this friend is able to not only have a small garden in her back yard, but also three separate plots in the country.  Three different people have offered her space in their large country gardens.  I am happy for her, but wish someone would offer me space.  Then I realize that I would rather spend my time in other ways and am happy no one has offered me space in their country gardens.  It also challenges me to use the space we have and be creative.  Containers on the deck, raised beds in the yard, making flower beds serve a dual purpose, and growing cucumbers from hanging containers are just a few of the ways I’m doing this.
The reason this all came to mind was due to the green onions above.  Since I am planting in raised beds, rather than the ground I already have a great crop of onions coming up while my friend has yet to till her garden.  I”m not actually sure what the onions look like right now, but the tops look great.  I didn’t have to worry about flooding – the beds are raised.  The snow didn’t even hurt the crop, the soil is a bit warmer than the ground.  I don’t have to wait for the ground to dry up for a person to come till the garden.  I already have the beds ready to go, I don’t even have to wait till I get some mulch/ground cover down.  Yes, I still need to work on fencing/protection of some sort, which should be done this week.  Otherwise my garden is off to a great start.  I am by no means tooting my own horn.  The 2013 Gardening Season has a long way to go and you never know what it might have in store: squirrels, plant diseases, heat, wind, too much water, kids being curious, etc.  It is all unknown.  What I do realized is that I shouldn’t be envious, but thankful that I am able to garden at all and that I have options to make up for lack of space.  I’m not trying to grow melons this year, but I do have three different berries added to my garden spaces that will hopefully result in fresh fruit this year, or in the upcoming years.
I saw two lettuce seedlings finally sprout in a 4×4 garden bed.  I had planted four seeds in one square and was afraid the bird had gotten them.  This made my day yesterday.  Perhaps I’m not a complete failure at this.  My husband also lifted my spirits by reminding me that we had a drought last year and the year before my focus was very much not on gardening.  Amazing how quickly one forgets.
Three trellises are also up, as is part of the fencing.  I finally decided to stop trying to find the ‘perfect’ solution and just do something.  I also realized that what I do this year is probably going to be temporary and shouldn’t be something that will take a lot of time or money.  Here is what I finally decided on:
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There are ‘T’ posts at the four corners.  Between these I am adding chicken wire and smaller posts.  I was shy on some wire, so I stopped around the first bed.  Today I went to buy more and then realized, after looking at it, the wire I bought today is a foot taller than what is up there right now.  🙁  Oh well.  As long as it does the job I don’t think anyone will be able to tell form the road.  Thankfully my neighbors and I are on good terms and I don’t think they’ll care much.  I contemplated returning the wire I got, but since I used a coupon to buy the roll, it would end up costing me more money.  It isn’t worth it.
Apr 272013
 

I love looking at what other people are doing and seeing if it is something I can use.  Sometimes it is just beautiful and awe  inspiring.  Here are a few images of late that I have come across that made me think, “I want my garden to look like that”.  Or, “Hmm.  I could do that but would need to tweek it a bit here to work for me.”  This post plays two parts – 1) It reminds me of all the great ideas I have seen and where they are.  2) It shows you some of the different things I am looking at and where they might be found.

REDWOOD FENCED RAISED GARDEN KIT -  8' x 8'

Cedar Fenced Raised Bed Garden Kits

raised vegetable garden

Best Garden Beds – Raised Vegetable Garden

This is from a thread on GardenWeb.  I could post the whole thread here, if I was allowed to.  There were so many inspiring ideas for arches and trellises.  Take a look through the whole thing if you have time.  It shows progress of this garden, and others, over at least three different growing season.

This layout is close to what I was thinking of doing …

 Companion Planting

… but I think this fence looks neater and would be more manageable.  I really don’t need anything tall to keep out rabbits and squirrels.

Now here is someone with an idea who made it become reality.  Smart thinking and great problem solving – raised beds with movable mini-greenhouses.

Talk about using what you  have.  I know of more than one barn/shed/basement with old shutters in them.  I can’t find the link to the plans (only to the general page) to make this garden bed.  So, please, if you own these plans or know where to find them, let me know and I’ll add the link.

hugelkultur

Hugelkultur garden bed after 2 years. Photo Credit: Permies.com

Hugelkultur is something I have only recently heard about. Have you?  (If not, check out Hartke is Online for a video and links to learn more.) I get it, I really do.  It makes sense.  It took someone with a problem who was looking for a solution and acted upon an idea.  Yes, it probably took several trial and errors.  However, if you know that the theory is true, then you just have to find the right way to apply it.

Just goes to prove that most of us think about what is already accepted as “the norm”.  Who said that fencing has to open outward?  Gardens to Gro shows another way in one of the raised bed kits.

None of these are affiliate links.  Please do not feel that I am trying to pressure you into buying something.  My intent is only to show you the different ways you can do a raised bed and how you might set them up.

See anything that may you say “oh, now that is a great idea”?

Apr 242013
 
Round 5x5 logo
Sorry for the publishing issues – this post originally published blank, several times.  My apologies. Now, on with the show.
The 5 x 5 Garden Challenge started a few weeks ago, though this is my first week participating.  The main goal of this challenge, according to Chiot’s Run blog, is to learn and encourage gardeners, especially new gardeners.  I haven’t been a new gardener for several years but always enjoy joining other gardeners in a challenge, especially one where you are encouraged instead of being put down or made to feel bad because of inexperience.  (I’ve actually been in that situation as a new gardener in a new-to-me-zone with a plot at a community garden; it actually made me not want to garden that year.)
After some thought I decided to use my new 3 x 8 bed for this challenge.  That puts it at 1 square foot less than a 5 x 5, but even they say to use what you have.  It is also the bed I was planning to put peppers and tomatoes in due to its depth.
The plants Chiot’s Run is planning on planting are: zucchini, tomatoes, scallions, beans, and lettuce.  Perfect.  I don’t normally grow beans but started some this year because I want to have some in the pantry come fall.  We are not huge bean eaters, but that has been changing over the past year.  While I’m not planting scallions I do have onion sets in already planted in the bed I chose to use for this challenge.  (Or is this an interchangeable term, depending  on where you live? like coke/soda/pop?)  Also zucchini seed are started and just appeared this past week and the lettuce seeds are just waiting for another successive planting somewhere.  I’ll add a few here.  I too am planning to plant marigolds and basil.  The marigolds have already been seeded into this bed and I am hoping those are the seedlings I see coming up.
all seedlings 2013
All of the seedlings I currently have under a grow light.
Cilantro seedlings
Cilantro seeds that appeared not quite a week ago.
tomato seedlings 2013 2
Two kinds of tomato seedlings.
zucchini seedlings
Zucchini, which needs planted soon.  From my reading of late I have learned that you should not disturb their roots while transplantings them to the garden.  There is a third one coming up that you can just see in the background starting to poke up out of the soil.  To the right are the bean plants, they are the very thin long plants.
cucumber and tomato seedlings
Cucumber and tomato seedlings the gardeners-in-training planted at a spring event.  These guys even survived having their soil greatly disrupted while on the way home.  I wasn’t even sure they were still in the pots, let along that they would appear.
green onions in raised bed 3
This is what the raised bed looked light tonight.  All the green are onions that are appearing.  Knowing the squirrels used this as their buffet for the first few days I wasn’t sure how many would appear.  After taking a rough estimate I figured there to be about 225 green onions in there.  The plan for these is the freezer for use in beef stews this coming winter.  Pearl onions are expensive at the store but a wonderful addition to a beef stew.
green onions in raised bed
Here is a closer photo of the onions.  There is a big difference in size of the tops that are currently showing.  I’m hoping this means that not all 200+ will be ready at one time.  I planted all the onion sets I had, though I think there would be enough time to do a second planting or to fill in the gaps.  There is enough room in this bed to plant 384 bulbs at 16 plants per square foot – 3′ x 8′ = 24 sq ft x 16 = 384  When I bought the seed sets I bought them buy the pound rather than a certain number per bag.  I was not going to sit there and count 384.  Also, when I planted them I didn’t measure the space between rows or how many I put in each row.  I know that these would be a first crop, with other plants going in while these were still growing or on the way out.  I didn’t need to be exact in my planting.
In other gardening news I ordered a heat pad for my seeds.  There were a few things that lead to this decision.
  • I noticed that my basement, where I have the grow light, was still cold even though it was warm outside.
  • The cells felt cold and wet after I watered them.  Not exactly the best way to grow plants.
  • One of the bean seeds I am trying to start specifically says that it will not grow in cold, wet conditions.  I even soaked these seeds before planting, per instructions, yet nothing has come up.
  • I was hoping this would stimulate other seeds I’ve planted to come up.
  • I had extra money to use on Amazon from gift cards I had earned in the past few months.  I decided to ‘treat’ myself, after buying several things we needed on there (mainly spices this time).
heat pad for seedlings
I plugged the heating pad in earlier this afternoon so I’ll give you an update next week as to how it is going.
raised bed with coversThis is still the squirrel deterrent system I have in place for this bed.  This isn’t going to work once I plant other plants, but it is working for now.  Seeing as I want to put tomatoes and beans along the back row, I can’t do a cover.  I am leaning more towards a border of chicken wire that extends about two feet above the bed edge.  I think this will be tall enough for me to lean over and reach the plants in the middle.  Any other suggestions?
I also plant to add some peppers to this bed.  Now to sit down and write a plan on paper now that I know exactly what I want to do with this area.  Until this past week I had planned to put the beans and zucchini in a different bed.  However, we are planning to have the house repainted and the other bed is right by the house.  I think I will now have to wait and plant this area a bit later than right now.  I’m thinking that area will have more tomato plants and some herbs put in there, as those can grow in pots for a while until the painting gets started and finished.
Apr 182013
 

I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the blue pictures.  These were in the shade.  As this isn’t a post about taking photos, I hope you can ignore that quality and appreciate the photos for what they are, a visual of what I am talking about.


The squirrels have really been an annoyance this year.  To start off with, they’ve eaten the majority of the bird seed I put out a month or so ago.  So much so that I stopped putting it out till I could figure out a solution.

Then they started eating the flower bulbs I put in pots on either side of my stoop.  Granted, these were left over bulbs, so I wasn’t really upset about the money lost on purchasing them.  But that doesn’t mean I wanted them eaten.  I wanted flowers.

At about the same time I realized they were eating my onion bulbs in the new garden bed.  I had hoped the squirrels would leave them alone, being that the bulbs were onions.  I’m mean, my worms will eat everything but onions when I feed them scraps.  No such luck.

To keep all the onion sets from being eaten I placed my old raised bed covers on tops of the new bed in hopes that the squirrels wouldn’t be determined enough to crawl though the small gap left between the chicken wire and the edge of the bed.  (The covers don’t fit very well and actually are hanging off three sides; I put them end to end as the  new bed is longer and narrower than the old raised beds.)  This solution seems to have worked, though it doesn’t look the best and won’t work once I plant larger plants in that bed.

Now it was time to figure how to keep my tulip bulbs from being eaten.  As these are planters near the front door, I didn’t exactly want to place chicken wire over them.  I knew I just needed to make it harder for the squirrels to dig, obstruct them if I could.  Out of frustration, and lack of time, I reach down, picked up a stick and broke it into pieces.  The pieces I laid on top of the soil in the planters.  IT WORKED!  I couldn’t believe it.  Out of the past seven days I think we have lost 1 bulb.  This one happened to be in a large-ish gap among the twigs, which I quickly closed up.  A benefit of this solution is that you can’t see it from the sidewalk.  A drawback is that you can see it when you walk up to the front door.  However, as it looks more natural than chicken wire, is free, and is renewable I’m okay with that.

planters with sticks to keep out squirrels 2

planters with sticks

planters with sticks to keep out squirrels

With this problem out of the way, I began to think about my other raised beds.  What did I want to do for them?  As they aren’t really planted yet, I didn’t think I had much to worry about.  Um, yeah.  Apparently something is really loving to dig among my new strawberry transplants.  The rest of the bed is covered in wood chips and sawdust, so I was wondering if the unobstructed access to soft earth is what was attracting them to the exact spots I planted.  Whatever was digging also like the bed where the wood chips were pulled back from the plants versus the bed where the sawdust had blown around the plants.  I was contemplating this yesterday but wasn’t sure what to do.  I walked away, hoping time doing something else would help me find a solution.  It did.

While walking back to the house I passed my rosebushes and noted that there was at least one cane that was dead and needed to be cut.  That was my light bulb moment.  I had noticed near the bird bath and bird feeder that if I threw bread crumbs among the rose bushes the birds would get them, but the squirrels would not go in there.  My hope was that this will carry over to the strawberry bed.  

strawberry plants newly planted in raised garden beds

I grabbed my pruners and set about cutting that cane, as well as a few more on another bush that I knew would grow into the yard and get cut during the summer.  Being careful not to stab myself on the thorns, I gathered up all the canes and went back to my strawberry bed.  The cut canes were laid along the rows of strawberry plants.  Since I’m not sure if the digger was a neighborhood cat (though no ‘evidence’ was found), a squirrel or another animal this should deter all of them.  No one likes to dig among thorn bushes.  That is,  unless you are a mouse, but this also didn’t look like a mouse.  Whatever was doing this was doing it to dig.  The strawberry plants were not harmed in any way, except for being disturbed and pushed out of the way.

As we are having thunderstorms at the moment, I do not have an updated picture to show you.  You’ll just have to imagine straight, green and gray canes laying along the black circles where a strawberry plant had been placed.

I’m still left trying to figure out a more permanent option to keep out the squirrels (and rabbits) from all my raised garden beds.  I could always do the method I used to do, but I’m not so sure that is the best method.  I will also need to be able to put bird netting over the strawberries (I think) once they start producing (hopefully) this summer.

Have you found anything that works great for you?  Is it something you learned about from elsewhere or did it just come to you?

Apr 092013
 

While looking out the window this winter and seeing my main gardening area, I knew something had to change.  These boxes just were not cutting it out on production.  What should I do? After talking with another gardener about this I decided that I needed to remove the landscaping fabric under the soil and make the beds for tomatoes deeper.  While looking at these from a different angle this past weekend I also knew that each box needed more soil.  This happens after a while in raised bed areas, as the soil components break down.  I just hadn’t realized exactly how much this had happened. This also is a project that I should have done on a cold winter day.  As I was redoing a front flower bed, traveling for a few weeks, de-wallpapering and painting a bathroom and working on 21 17 other projects during those cold winter days, early Spring ended up being when I could do it. This is the before picture that was actually taken this winter. 2012 garden end of season 5   Here are is a box of tools and some of the boards.  I found it nice to have all the items I need in a box that was not only easy to pick up, but sturdy enough to use.  It held: newspaper, a pencil, screws, several drill bits, a drill, extension cord, hand saw and a few smaller pieces of wood.   Materials to make new raised garden bed box   I laid out the loose boards to get an idea of placement.  It also then enabled me to direct any  kids looking for work (“I want to dig”) to the area needing grass removed.  The removed grass was placed where there is a bare spot in the yard. Marking off placement of new raised garden bed box   This is the view along the row of boxes.  I couldn’t figure out if I wanted the backs to be in a line, the fronts, or neither.  At first I wanted all the backs to be in a row, and that is how I placed the new box.  It was only after filling it with dirt did I realize I had proceeded to line all the old boxes up by the front edge after I rearranged them.  Oh, well.  It really isn’t that much of an issue as only two out of the four are the same size. View of raised garden bed boxes before redo   The new box was going to be 1 foot/ 12 inches tall.  This meant making two 6 inch deep boxes and staking them.  Here is the first box in progress of being constructed.  The new box is 3 feet wide by 8 feet long by 12 inches deep.

close up of end of new raised garden bed box being constructed

If you can see the corners you will notice how the edges are rotated.  In other words, the end board is not sandwiched between the two side boards.  Instead, the first side board is screwed into the of the side board.  The side board is then screwed into the end of the other long board.  This gives more stability.

I also found that my side boards were too thin.  I thought this when I bought them but wasn’t sure.  Once I got home I realized they were.  If this become a problem in the future I will add another to make it thicker.  Actually all the lumber is thinner than my old boxes.  I used 1 inch cedar lumber this time.  Today I found out that I could have gotten the 2 inch stuff if I had just asked.  They had it in back as there wasn’t room out in the normal store area to show everything.

finished end of new raised garden bed box 2

After trying to get the boards to stack and stay straight I realized I need some way to hold them in place.

Connection pieces on new raised garden bed box top layer

On each of the long sides I put two extra pieces like you see below.  On each side I screwed one piece into the top board and the other piece into the bottom board.  When all four pieces were attached with one screw the whole structure was more stable. (You can see their locations in the photo below.)  I was then able to go back and add the second screw into each piece.

This project looks so much easier in picture format than it did the day I was actually doing it.  Boards didn’t want to stay put for me to create boxes, there was nothing to brace against so I was having a hard time screwing things together.  Then they came apart, twice, while trying to move them.  Once it was all together, though, it was very solid.

finished construction of new raised garden bed box

The place I wanted the new box was at the end of the line of current boxes.  I decided this was good in that it was near the other boxes, near the compost pile, and would not require me to take out large patches of good looking grass.

area for new raised garden bed box before cleared

Here I have started to fill the new box and remove one of the old ones.  I lined the bottom of the new box with 3-4 layers of newspaper, covered it in dirt from the old/current boxes, the leveled the dirt in the box.  Before moving the old/existing boxes I had to pull up the rebars I used to secure the tomato trellises.  I then shoveled out as much dirt as possible.  When I was down to the very last, I picked up the box and moved it out of the way.


raised garden bed boxes redo

Raised garden bed box redo 2

I lifted up the edges of landscaping fabric, dumping the remaining soil into the center of the fabric.  This made it easier to scoop it out.  When it got very low I was able to pick up the fabric and dumb it in the new bed.

The first bed was where I had put several of my worms.  I was amazed at the number I came across.  There were even more in this small bed than in the other two larger ones put together.  Not only more, but larger worms.  The photo below shows the biggest one I found.  The length of my hand and half the size of my small finger.

removal of old raised garden bed box

worm found in old raised garden bed box 2


Monday I mixed together peat moss and mulch I had at the house.  I had moved the two larger old raised bed frames together and lined the bottoms with newspaper.  I spread the peat moss and mulch mix in these.

Then I took some yard waste I had to the City’s disposal site.  While there I picked up some compost and bagged leaves.  The compost is what the City makes from yard waste citizens leave.  The bagged leaves were ones people brought and just left.  One bag of leaves was added to the new bed and mixed in with the soil.  They were then watered well and left overnight.  This bed is full and ready for planting.

The compost was added to more peat moss and was added to the larger of the two older raised bed frames.  These beds need more soil in them before being ready for plants.

GOALS

The reason for showing you all this is because this is my main goal this week – to get the garden ready for planting.  This meant:

  1. Building a new raised garden box.
  2. Moving soil from the existing beds into the new raised bed.
  3. Rearranging the existing raised garden boxes.
  4. Putting new soil into the existing boxes.
  5. Planting onion sets and flowers in the new raised garden box.
  6. Planting strawberry plants in the two larger existing boxes.
  7. Planting lettuce in the small existing box.
  8. Removing dried, decayed pumpkin from front stoop planters.
  9. Plant left over tulip bulbs and flower seeds in front stoop planters.
  10. Plant blueberry bush in pot.
  11. Add flower seeds to front garden bed.
  12. Start sunflower seeds (to replace kids’ sunflower that died while we were away over Easter) for planting outside in a few weeks.

I have been spending all my spare time (the past two days) working on this.  I thought about stopping to type all this up, but decided to actually do something first and show you when I got a chance.  Besides, now you get to see the progress in action.  The first thing this morning I will be doing #5 – planting onion sets and flower seeds in the new raised bed.  Later in the morning I will go back to the yard waste disposal site and get some more dirt for the boxes.  I would love to get #6 & #7 completed by Tuesday night then proceed on to finish the list on Wednesday.

Barring any late Spring snow storms, our last frost date came two weeks early this year.  I’m hoping not to miss the extra time we have.  By keeping the plants started to those that can withstand a bit of cool weather, I’m hoping to have a better crop than last year where it was too warm when they were started.  I will also be able to cover these up if it dips down too low.

The lack of household goals in on purpose.  My goals there are:

  1. load of laundry each day
  2. do the dishes
  3. cook/make meals
  4. pick up each morning and afternoon so things are laying around everywhere

I even told my husband that I know I’m letting the house work slip right now.  However, once the garden beds are finished and the first things to be planted are in the ground I will shift my focus to the house.  I haven’t forgotten it, but it is not as time sensitive as the garden.

 

How about you?  Any gardening plans for this week?  How are your seeds coming along?