Category Archives: garden

too good to be true

Every year in this area, it seems like we have a short few days of spring-like weather.  This year however it has been nearly a month and looks to be so for another two weeks. The 6 inches of solid ice have turned into  mere patches with slush, mud, and running water.

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I can get down the mountain with the car !  Later today I will try to get up the driveway with a half load of wood and a fridge.  I think I can do it!

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The mountains are nearly snowless and springs that normally start to run in may are already running.  Little waterfalls are alive and rushing.

The weather has been so nice that today I went down and worked in the community garden that this year will be turned into a flower garden for the town park. As an experiment and just because I couldn’t help myself I cleared one bed, put in some Chard, Spinach and Pea’s.  The bed I covered with the plastic beg insulation came in last fall.   Hopefully the weather will stay about how it is, long enough to get a few little leaves.  If winter returns and all is lost, no harm done.

feb 13 2015 019feb 13 2015 020I must admit I am fully enjoying the weather, and trying to not get ahead of myself as I know it is too good to be true, but sometimes life must be approached with the delight of a child.  I know the cold and snow will be back and the seeds planted today will never produce a full crop but playing in the dirt was fun none the less.

Bottle Garden (project2 part2)

I rarely, if ever, buy water in bottles, I have a large mug for my water, but I do buy ice tea. These bottles are a bit more work to make into a garden but I have to say I like the result. I think I will stuck to the ice tea bottles unless some one requests the water bottle style.
All the steps are the same except that the lids are large enough to put in two screws on the union from bottom to catchment, making it more solid and eliminating the need to add super glue. The bottom of these bottles are made in such a way it is VERY difficult to drill them out, but have a nice circle that can be followed with a razor knife. Do this carefully so you don’t slice too far or slice off a finger! Doing this however, makes the hole too large to just push the tops through as you do with the water bottles. I had to find a washer to put between the cap and the bottom of the bottle. This is not a common washer size and might require you taking in the bottle to find one that works.
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with the amount of caulking between the lids once the caulking is dry the drain holes will be need to added so the caulk does not plug them.
botttle gardens copy
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Raised and Layered Gardens

Several years ago I took over the Community Garden in my little town. The park it was to be moved to had been an old railroad yard and while nice and level the soil was beyond a quick fix. The garden site itself was where some 30 years before they had tried to build a skate rink but it never held water, so not only was there the coal, creosote, and diesel fuel in the soil there was a layer of hard packed clay. Raised beds were the best option.
After consideration the decision was made to make them taller than average so we could put n straw bales with soil on top. The idea was to make it easier for those who could not easily bend down or kneel on the ground to be a part of the garden.
Ten yards of top soil was brought in to top off the straw bales and to make larger lower bed we fondly named the squash bed as that was what we put in it that year.
The beds below and those above both exploded with growth and over flowed. The weeding was easily taken care of and the garden days were mostly afternoons gathered around a BBQ and soaking up the sun. The sun flowers that year towered up over 12 feet.
Year two the straw bales held out and we just added thick course mulch between bale ends and the bed walls, with compost on top and planted and again the growth was stunning. The heritage tomatoes took over the garden early on and kept producing well into September. With the beds sunk down by fall the base of the plants were well into the box and protected from fall frost so that I was picking fresh tomatoes into mid October. (quite impressive for this climate)
spring Back Prince Tomatoes 2011
Year three we dug out the ends of each bed in a double dig style to put in new bales and moved the rich new soil back on top.
We had enough extra to pass it on to local elderly, family’s in need and sell some in the local Feed Supply Store.
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It is year four now and the beds are holding up. We added the rough compost to one bed and the rich loam to the tops.
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in the empty bed we began a layered compost. Leaves, well wet down, cardboard, (worms LOVE cardboard) move leaves and on upward.
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All of it needs to be wet down and kept damp for a good fast composting action.
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The year is looking up as seeds are in the ground, and the sun is out. We hope this year to repeat the bounty of the garden.