Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008

Again, another busy evening. 

I decided to start early on my to-do list.  I tried to get the pallets today to build my compost bins this weekend, but the company getting rid of the pallets is only open until 5 pm, Monday through Friday.  Coincidently, that's when I get off work, and although I can leave whenever I need to run errands, deadlines loomed today and I was slammed so I couldn't leave.  So no pallets until Monday at the earliest.  I have decided I still need to mow my lawn and hope to prune my rhodies.  So I'll still dump my grass clippings into the yard-waste container, but I won't give them to the Waste Management folks and Cedar Grove. Instead once I build my bins (hopefully Monday after work) I'll just dump the container into my bin.  Hehe actually I'll get help lifting it into the bin.

Oh, and for folks who think I should just leave the grass clippings on the ground. I think it looks bad, but really it wreaks havoc on my allergies for days if I don't get it all up.

As for my bin, I've decided to go with two 5x5x3 bins. I've been told by countless people that more than one bin is best. I don't quite understand specifically why, but I will learn.  Frankly I didn't think I could handle this project with all the other projects I've got going on this season.  But in reality, now that my garden is mostly planted, it takes up very little time.  Just like Mel says, in ten minutes a day I can take care of everything.  And aside from a few little tree weeds that seem to be popping up in my potato bins and minor weeds in my gravel garden area, I haven't had to weed anything in my garden yet.  Pretty cool!

 Although it isn't on my to-do list, I've got tons more seeds germinating.  Corn, peas, pole and bush beans.  I have tons of space for these veggies and very little planted.  I want succession planting, but not as much as I have set up right now.  So I have got a half dozen plastic bags with damp coffee filters filled with seeds sitting on my refrigerator germinating seeds.  It goes really really quickly... sometimes as little as 2 days.

I really like this method because there's no waste of pots or dirt.  You just soak the seeds and then dampen the filter after they're in there and in the bag.  It's a mini-green house!  And you only plant the seeds that germinate.  That's great for my peas, because this is the third re-plant to fill blank spots on my trellis.  It's also good because my Precocious corn isn't germinating as well as my Seneca Horizon.  This way I only plant the ones that will grow.  Though others have done it, I thank Toasty for convincing me to take a shot at it.  Hehe I just hope you can re-use the coffee filters because I did.  I just couldn't see anything stopping me from re-using perfectly good filters with just a bit of dirt on them.  I took them directly outside and pulled them out and putting them in the ground.  /shrug Tomorrow I'll plant what's germinated and continue to plant what's ready.

Finally, tonight I noticed something amazing about one of my tomato plants. Despite their small size and the fact they're not even planted outside, there's a flower blooming on a brand new stem that's grown out from the main stalk in the last week.  hehe I've GOT to get these in the "ground" ASAP.  So immediately after we put the kids down, I raced to the hardware store to get everything I needed to build a SWC. 

I couldn't find the little pond basket or the thin PVC for the overflow.  So I improvised.  The only pond basket they had was a 10 inch, which took up most of the bottom of the bin.  So I found a drainage basket for a drainage pipe. It's six inches and a slitted cone.  Not perfect but I made it work. And for the overflow, I cut one of my kids straws and poked it through the holes I drilled.

Besides the slow process of all the cutting I did with a dull razor blade, there was one thing that didn't work out as I hoped.  After I measured the height of the basket and cut the bottom out, I realized that the bottom of the bin is raised.  So when I assembled the bottom reservoir, it didn't rest on the bottom easily.  I hope it will once the weight of the dirt is on it.  Of course it will work, it's just not perfect, but who cares.  So TADA! I finally built my SWC. 

I had waited and waited because I had hoped Judy would find her SWC instruction page archived someplace like she found her blog pages archived on Google.  Her page was SO cool and informative that I knew I could do it after reading it.  I hope she can recreate it so everyone can build one.  If you've read her blog, you'll know that everyone that she's given one to wants more and more!  They're addictive.  You can move them anywhere (though once they're full of dirt and water they're HEAVY!)

So the weekend hasn't really even started and I've got a ton accomplished. It's amazing the energy you have when the weather's good after "decades" of foul weather.

Enjoy the weekend and hope your garden grows noticeably over the next few days!


  1. For those of us just tuning in, where would "Judy's Blog" be? It sounds like she lost her files? And she had a cool SWC how-to? Maybe we could help search.

  2. Judy's Blog can be accessed directly from the Blogroll on the right side of the screen, or via which is also linked on the right.

    Welcome! Hope you enjoy my antics...