Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008

Another race when I finally got home.  This evening was getting our hair cut back in my old stomping grounds and dinner with the folks.  It was 8:15 by the time I got home so I raced to take pictures with my dad's digital camera.  Thank goodness it's got a flash because it was dusk, but I HAD to get some pictures taken. 

Here's a slightly dark picture of my compost bin.  I threw it together the other day and it turned out decent.  My dad is going to help me build a lathe trellis door that opens and locks.  Notice just how little grass is left in the bin.  WOW!

After I took this I emptied the two bags at the bottom right onto the pile (note I replaced the photos with better shots, so trust me there were two bags there yesterday, ROFL). The blue contains tons of hair. The silver is coffee grounds from Starbucks.  I layered them on top and then threw some grass on top.  Hehe it makes me want to mow to get more grass clippings for the pile.  But I don't NEED to mow.  Hehe I could always offer to mow my neighbor's yard, which is knee high. Er... maybe not.

We're all having fun trying to find stuff to compost.  The 163 things site is only the start.  If soggy cereal works, then how about the crackers and other snacks that my kids spill on the floor. They're no longer edible, but why can't we compost them?!?  And my cats are loving the attention they're getting. Psst, they don't know I just want their FUR! hehe.  And just today, I was waiting for my wife to pick me up, standing in front of Starbucks. They had the free bin right by the door (no, seriously, I bought a frap, I just can't take their free grounds without patronizing them).  With the hair, I was explaining to the friend of the family that cuts our hair about my compost bin and she gave me the hair.  That I will do.  But it doesn't make sense to go buy stuff to compost, or travel all over to get stuff with the cost of gas these days.

As an aside, oil hit a new record today (it's old hat to break a record it seems since they do it daily) at $121 a barrel.  In the Wall Street Journal, there was an analysis that said two things. First that oil is projected to hit $150 within 6 months, which apparently would translate into $4.50 a gallon for gas!  Holly crap!  I don't know what more I can do to use less gas. I take the bus to work. I am growing my own veggies. I've pre-bought as many of the oil-based products I can, expecting costs to go up.  It's not like I can just walk into work and get a raise to compensate...  I know it has nothing to do with gardening, so I digress.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a current pic of my Butte bin.  I think all the seed potatoes are finally sprouting and boy are the big ones growing!

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Thanks, Sinfonian for the comment to my layout question on GW. Hey, I was just checking out your personal blog and noticed how well your spinach is doing. How long has it been in the ground? Mine has just sprouted (after 10 days) and had been covered with a homemade hothouse contraption for the last week or so. We received a massive rain storm Tues night. Do you think I should keep the seedlings covered or let them out to enjoy the rain and the sun? The mix drains so fast that I wonder whether they could really get too much water. Once your seedlings sprouted, did you cut back on how moist you kept the mix?
    Thanks again. It appears you and I are both getting our gardening feet wet for the first time and i'd be interested in comparing our progress.

  2. It probably doesn't use much gas but you could consider getting an electric lawn mower. I've been using one for the 5 years we've owned our house and I love it. Not only do I not have to buy gas but there is no need for oil or winterizing. AND it's not nearly as loud so you aren't waking up the whole neighborhood.

    But, you do have to be more proactive. I let the grass get to high once and blew out the motor. Luckily it was still under warranty so they repaired it for free.

    I just mulch so that may have been part of the problem (it has a mulching blade and no bag). But it does a great job because there is no grass left on the lawn when I'm done. It gets chopped up so small it falls through the remaining grass down to the dirt.

    I have a big 100 foot extension cord so I can easily mow the whole yard plugged in. I just work my way back and forth away from the outlet so I don't have to deal with crossing the cord much.

    One last thing that is great about these electrics - they are really light weight so mowing is not as much of a chore. It's almost like vacuuming the lawn.

    Hey the compost bin looks awesome! I wish we had a bit more space at our house so I could find an out of the way location to put a compost bin. Oh well.

  3. lol, lawn** not yawn, heh...

  4. about the spinach - Kwik - take those covers off, it likes cold weather and so long as you're not getting freezing weather there's no reason to use them. Even indoors when starting seeds you should use those covers.

    Me, on the other hand, I'm trying to grow mine outdoors and they're only two weeks old and we're already getting weather in the 80's. We shall see what happens when grow warm.

    Personally, if they come out bitter as everyone suggests then they'll be perfect with a little crushed, roasted garlic and olive oil in a flash-pan reduction. Ymmm...

    As for lawn mowers, I sit on both sides of the fence. For the back yard I have a self-propelled gas powered mower and for the front yard - newly reseeded about six weeks ago - I have an old-fashioned, human-powered reel-cutter push mower.

    Oddly enough it doesn't take any more time and barely any more effort to use the reel-type mower. The only downside is that it needs to be pushed for about a foot to get the blades spinning fast enough but I was recommended one because it's healthier for the lawn.

    It cuts the blades off in a scissor like motion and only does so to the top-growing blades leaving the side growth laying low so it can continue to grow and further choke out any weeds. Rotary based mowers on the other hand work by creating a huge vacuum over the soil and sucking all of the blades upright and then decapitating them using a hacking motion which can leave spots where light can penetrate to the soil and germinate various, otherwise-dormant, weed seeds.


    But I have a rather small yawn on 0.25 acres

  5. gas is horrendous - everytime I fill the tank I feel poor.
    dh mows our lawn and leaves the grass to mulch. no clue what kind of mower he uses - but now i'm thinking twice about those grass clippings - i've gone through so many bags of commercialized compost starting up my square foot garden with only 1 bag that actually seemed like anything but wood chips. maybe next year will be the year I compost...

  6. I've said this before but it bears repeating. I wanted an electric mower. Unfortunately I can't have one. The sales person wouldn't sell me one after hearing that it takes two hours to mow my lawn. Any electric mower will burn up the first time I tried. I was bummed. I even bought a 100 foot cord that I'd have to move plugs twice to mow my yard with because I've got over a quarter acre.

    And don't even get me started on push mowers. I'm not insane! I'd have a heart attack before I finished half my yard, plus my allergies would close off my airway. ROFL.

    Finally my gas can lasts an entire year. It's not like filling up our van at the pump. /EEK

  7. Arjo - thanks for the advice. I have removed the coverings, however, we have had a lot of rain over the last 2 days and the tips of the seedlings are turning a lighter shade of green/yellow. Looks like a sign of too much water, no?