Sunday, February 10, 2008

February 10, 2008

Ah Sunday. Time to get tons done before you go back to work.  Some people relax on Sunday, but gardeners tend to get stuff done. 

I'm going to keep this post short because it's all about my potato bins and I'll save most of the discussion for my page on them.  Let's say they were very cheap, $65 for materials I didn't already have.  I ended up using the Douglas Fir which was only $4.33 for a 10 foot 2x6.  They've got dings and knot holes but they're solid and hold up in the weather alright, so they're perfect for my bins.  They'll last a few seasons which is pretty good for non-treated wood. 

They ended up being only 27 inches square inside, and 33 inches tall.  They're big enough for my needs and should work for most people.  It took me longer than I thought it would because I'm not that good with my hands and I was working alone. 

I got the materials at 1 and didn't finish until 4:30, and I didn't get all the boards cut like I wanted.  I must say though, my Aunt came over and interrupted my building to help me work in the yard.  We did some light pruning of my mature pear and plum trees (mostly cut back the suckers that grew last year and cut some of the inside clutter).  We also did some weeding and removed most of the leaf mulch I put down in fall.  Apparently they'd done their job and needed to be removed. I wasn't sure of this but she's the expert.  Oh and I weeded my blueberry bed and found a half dozen worms. Insane, in a good way.

Talking to my brother when I returned his truck, it got me thinking that I may want to move my potato bins to my failing rose garden.  It has space and is southern facing, but blocked part of the day by the house.  The advantages of doing that would be I wouldn't have to worry about landscaping fabric being strong enough to hold back dirt or the staples ripping.  I could just dig out a 30x30 square about 12 inches deep and fill with Mel's Mix, then put the bins on top. No weeds, no worry of spilling dirt on my gravel which would lead to weeds taking hold easier.  The disadvantage is that they'd be on the other side of the house from my veggie garden.  They would be 15 feet away from my blueberries though.  I don't know, I'll have to think about it.

Anyway, I'll end with a before and after picture to make you want to go through my Build-As-You-Grow page.

Never say the day is over when you have kids.  We set up a new twin bed for my eldest and moved my youngest into a toddler bed today.  I should have known that the seedlings were in danger, but I hoped for the best with my 19 month old.  Now he could reach the broccoli.  And he did.  He wouldn't go to bed and all heck was breaking loose, when my wife calls me in a panic.  My youngest has eaten the broccoli, and the dirt that it was planted in, and I think it was my best seedling. 

Alas, my seedlings have been a failure.  They are now relegated to the 45 degree garage window sill and they're leggy to boot.  I don't think at this point I will do more seedlings this season, instead I will direct sow seeds in my SFG when I have dirt.  What a disappointment.  Lights are a necessity for me and I don't have a good spot for them.  Maybe next year.


  1. Oh wow!! Love your potato bins! Great job. I think that the fir will work well and hold up for several seasons of potato growing.

    So sorry to hear about your seedlings! I think you'll be fine with direct sowing into the garden. You won't have to worry about the amount of sunlight, etc :-) Glad to hear that your weekend was very productive!!


  2. Thanks, I couldn't get anyone in the Growing Under Lights forum to give my question about the 2 foot light concept the time of day, so I'm bagging the idea for lack of interest. Hehe. Maybe when I get more experienced I'll build some shelves on a blank wall in my family room and put a 4 foot grow light there and have the world as my oyster as far as bulbs and ballasts and lumins and junk. I just wanted to start some seeds before it was safe to do so outside. Maybe next year.