Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27, 2008

Today I started about a dozen corn seeds of both my varieties soaking, as well as 2 SF of bush beans.  I let them soak for a half-hour and then put them in damp coffee filters.  The filters are now in un-sealed zip-lock bags on top of the fridge.  I hope they don't mind being stacked on top of each other.  When they germinate I'll plant them immediately into the garden. 

While the seeds were soaking, I took the opportunity to tour my garden.  For once I went to the potatoes first, mainly because was sure I'd have something popping any day now with the warm weather and keeping the soil moist.  Sure enough, I counted not one, but FOUR sprouts!!! Three in the Butte and one in the Yukon Gold.  Sure they may not be as impressive as Judy's tower, but they are sprouting, even in this wacky weather we've got here this year.

Don't they look cute. Like little cabbages.  I'm sure more will be sprouting any day now.

Yay! I just found out my brother (who doesn't read this blog), picked up some russet seed potatoes from a nursery yesterday and is using an old garbage can to plant them.  That was my original plan, until I found the Build-As-You-Grow Bins.  I'm excited. I gave him some pointers from my research, but we'll see who gets more production. Flatlander the engineer would be proud. It's an experiment!  I've got russets, he's got russets.  Unfortunately for him the above pic is from my Butte bin, so I've got a bit of a head start on him.  Of course he's got a decade of experience on his side, just none planting potatoes.

Anyway, I was going to clean up the back yard so the kids could play outside without poking themselves on a stick, but then I decided the pieces were pretty small (six inches or so) so they'd probably compost and act as some much needed BROWN material.  So I left them on my patio until I can build my compost bin and mow my lawn to get the GREEN stuff.  Unless I come up with a better container. I think I'll build my bin out of 6 pallets.  One for each end and two on each side of the middle.  That way it should be approximately 4x8, assuming pallets are 4x4. Not sure.  I've got tons of grass clippings to put in it.  For the bottom I'll use two or three sheets of news paper.  I hope that's what folks mean by layers.  I'll use the insides of my wife's extra news papers from her route.  Most of the pages have color on them, so I can only use a few inside sheets from each paper.  Maybe I can even use some the excess as brown material to get some heat going.  Plus I'll use the list that I got from of 163 items you can compost.  I may just get some hot composting in this year yet!

I also spent about an hour looking for instructions similar enough to Judy's SWC that I could remember all the steps and make one for my tomatoes.  Unfortunately I struck out, so they'll just have to wait another week. 

While I was outside, I remembered another project I wanted to get done. All of the trees that I cut back the grass around and put compost down over landscape fabric have GREAT blooms all over them. While the trees I didn't help out are looking pretty blah.  So I decided to put some compost down in front of my son's dogwood. I only had one bag of compost left so I decided to do his tree rather than my pear tree.  I'll grab another bag next time I'm at Sky.

Another 400 calories burned with my trusty pick axe and I was ready to compost.  I cut out a 4x4 piece of landscape fabric and split it down the middle.  After fitting it around the tree, I spread my compost around the tree (leaving a few inches room around the base).  Then I put a bag of mulch around it since I had extra.  My kids were "helping" me outside all day, but as I was spreading the mulch, my wife called us in for lunch.  I was not quite done spreading the mulch evenly when I heard her scream!

Filthy as I was, I ran to see what was up.  Owen (the little guy in the picture above) was going inside and tripped on the mat in front of the sliding glass door.  He broke his fall as well as could be expected for a 22 month old, but he hit his head on the edge of the vinyl door frame.  My wife was there and picked him up, only to find that he'd split a 1.5 inch gash into his brow over his left eye!  And me with muddy gloves on.   Cleaning it up we found it was pretty well filleted so we threw a huge band aid on it and ran to the ER. Poor little guy. Three hours later and 4 or 5 stitches, we came home.  He's so tough he only cried when they were stitching him up and mostly because they had him in a straight jacket and were holding his head like a vice. 

After I put Owen down for a much needed nap, I went out and finished my project and cleaned up.  Unfortunately I did it in the rain this time, but this is Seattle, so nothing new.  Anyway, here's an after shot with my wife's camera which takes much better pictures.


If it stops raining, I'll plant some more radishes. Its probably time to finally succession plant the longest maturing radishes on the planet.  Then I'll try to keep my little guy from picking at his stitches.  /sigh


  1. Oh no! So sorry to hear about your son. I have a 20 month old and I know all too well how accident prone they are!

  2. Wow, sorry to hear about Owen. Hope the recovery and healing are quick! And hopefully it meant a good night's sleep last night too.