[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Let's see, I updated after Thursday's planting, so...

Saturday I covered the new plants with various plastic and glass containers. I ran out before I'd covered everything, so I used light covers to support the plants I then put a comforter over. It worked, but now I need to clean my comforter, and I've come to the conclusion there is a reason all the gardening books end up mentioning plastic gallon jugs. I had a vinegar jug and yup, that was by far the simplest.

So I've put out word that I need plastic jugs, and it looks like I should be able to collect enough to have a frost-cover collection soon. I'll just keep it stacked with the garden stuff, which will make these things easier. :)

Sunday all I did was check things and tend chickens, then Monday it was back to work.

I put a few more plants in the ground, a couple of Homestead tomatoes (I've heard good things) and a few banana peppers. Then added another layer of mulch to the garden boxes. I've pulled out the soaker hoses and once they uncurl a bit I'll be putting them in the side beds and adding another layer of mulch to those. Before that I should really find the courage to use my drill on the masonry and put in the support for the faucet divider. :S

(btw Gryphynshadow: I looked up the mulch thing, I think it may be sawdust you were thinking of that leaches nitrogen...no mention of that in my text for bark mulch....if I'm wrong, can you link me?)
cut for gratuitious photography )


[identity profile] gryphynshadow.livejournal.com
I turned the compost pile today. Ahhh... smell the dirty nutrition!

I really do think I'm getting the hang of it. Over the weekend, we added quite a bit of stuff to the pile, including a fern, some of the neighbor's sod (she dug it up, it's not like I snuck over there to steal her grass or something. don't look at me like that.), and miscellaneous leaves, vines, weeds and yard stuff.

So, today, I turned that over, spread it out, and layered the old compost on top of it. Mixed it, as'twere. What was on top, is now on bottom. The sides are in the middle, and the bottom is on the top. As I worked, after each layer, I watered it pretty well. You see, I'm tired of my compost being dry in the center.

The very center middle of the pile was looking very nice! I'm starting to see some definite decomposition, the leaves are starting to loose their shape, woody stems are softening up dramatically, and it's got that good compost smell going on. mmm... Stirred up quite a few little bugs, but it looks like the ants have moved on. Too bad, the chickens would have loved to have eaten them.

:P

Speaking of chickens... All that's lacking on the pen is the roof, and plugging holes. We need to chicken wire over the corners, cause there are gaps, and put bricks and paving stones around the inside border to keep the chickens from digging out (and other critters from digging in.) I figure, one good long day of work on it will do.

I've started cleaning up the pathways and patio areas in the backyard. You see, the previous owner massively landscaped, including flagstone pathways through the plantings. These pathways have become overgrown, and so need to be hacked out of the jungle. Talk about a work out! I'm about a third done with that chore.

We've started dismantling the ex-fountain. So far, there's a giant pile of rocks that used to be fountain stuff in the middle of the patio. In the process, we found a really cute garden snake; black with green and yellow longitudinal stripes. He was about 2 1/2 feet long, 3/4 inch in diameter at the thickest. Cute little fella! Still needs to be done on the ex-fountain: pull out leaves, any stones not mortared in place, remove garden hose fragment (?!), put in some soil, add low growing plants (moss, alyssum, creeping herbs, etc...), and decorate to create a faerie altar.

Also still needing to be done:

*knock out remaining bricks from raised foundation beds
*take out sod from random rectangle in backyard, front yard next to tree
*tamp soil in each of above
*add sand
*lay paving stones
*finish weeding established beds
*pull out partially rotted timbers and raised bed in corner
*take out honeysuckle and pole it's on
*fill hole under patio where it's caving in (oh, did I not mention that? well. Like the description says.)
*build, fill and make use of raised beds in front yard, side yard.
*fall over

Since that's a really long list, how about something uplifting to finish this off?

We've got 6 broccoli plants producing flower heads! The cherry tomato isn't totally dead, and is in fact producing little tomatoes! All three of the pepper plants have teeny tiny peppers on them! The potatoes are coming up! I've harvested some of the onions, they're yummy!

Oh, and yet more of the to-do, but in a happy way with not too much labor and more immediate results:

*start herb seeds
*transplant out tomato plants
*prepare curved bed for herbs

A lot has been going on this spring, which would be why, at the end of the day, I'm usually too tired to give a blow by blow of what we did. In the next couple of days I'll post some pictures from the backyard, to show you all what we've been up to.

In the meanwhile, happy spring gardening!!!

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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011

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