Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 4, 2008

Boy am I sore, and not just because I got a tetnus booster Friday and my arm aches whenever I move it.  Today was a decent day, though I wish I'd got a bit more done.  The weather cooperated for the most part, it only rained slightly when I was working.  But most of my day was spent spinning my wheels.

I got the truck and went to Lowes, but I couldn't figure out what was the best option for covering my compost bins.  It looks like the best option is to buy 12' corregated fiberglass, but it's fairly expensive considering the bins and what fills them are free.  I would need 2 sheets at $18 a piece, and that's for the thin stuff.  Not going to break the bank, but is there a cheaper way?  I've asked my dad to go with me to help me figure it out tomorrow.  So much for checking that off my to-do list today. 

I did however, get the beauty bark there.  I got three bags total or 6 cubic feet.  One bag was pine dust and the other two were small piece beauty bark.  I figured since pine needles are very acidic, then pine bark would be too.  I put that down first, and then layered the beauty bark over it.

Not sure what I'll do against the house.  It's under the eve, but I don't want anything growing there either.  I've got a bag of sandy mulch that is left over from the compost rings I cut out around the fruit trees. Maybe I'll fill it in there. It won't look good but either that or I buy another bag of bark at the store tomorrow. Since it's only $3.50 I may just do that.  By the way, doesn't it look nice!  Now for the grass to grow back outside the bricks.

Another thing I checked off my list was to plant lettuce.  It was raining and terribly windy when I did it, so I just sprinkled a few seeds on the ground and covered them with some finished compost.  Note that I'm using the original batch that's been cooking nicely since I started my second bin.  I even transported a couple worms to my bed.  Doubt they'll survive, they never do in my beds for some reason.  But unfortunately, the packages of lettuce got wet in the rain. I hope the seeds are ok.  Since two of them are Monsanto owned now, I won't be buying them again.

The third thing off my list was to plant the garlic.  When I picked up the truck from my brother, I grabbed three of his biggest garlic heads.  Then I used a garden hand rake to clear the ground of beauty bark in five rows about three feet long in my old blueberry bed. 

These three were in between the two bushes, and the other two were on the other side of a bush.  I found a great deal of worms in the clay-heavy soil, as well as quite a few weed roots spreading out underneath the bark.  Very interesting, they weren't morning glories but they acted very much like them.  So I cleared out the area where I was planting the garlic to the best of my ability in the short time I had.  Then I used a hand shovel to break up the dirt in a small hole pattern where I would plant the clove.  Finally I covered the cloves with the beauty bark that I raked away.  According to my brother you plant them only a half-inch deep, but I think I went a bit more than that with bark.  Let's hope they make it through easily enough.

When I was talking to my brother, he questioned whether garlic would do ok in an acidic soil, and if so, would it change the taste of the garlic?  So I looked it up online (after I planted it, hehe live dangerously).  Apparently garlic likes slightly acidic soil.  Since I didn't amend the soil between the bushes except for beauty bark, which is slightly acidic, I should be fine. /whew!

I'm not sure what I'll go when I run out of space to plant between the bushes.  Maybe I'll get a kiddie pool and plant half garlic and half yukon gold potatoes in six inches of dirt.  Unfortunately I wouldn't want to put it on the grass where it would kill it.  Hehe maybe I could put it on the roof of my shed, kinda like a roof-top garden.  Wouldn't that be funny?

So unfortunately I only got three of my chores done today.  Thankfully tomorrow is supposed to be mostly cloudy with no rain.  That way I can get a ton done.

Before I went in though, I had to re-cover my potato bin several times because the wind was so strong that it blew off the tarp (I ended up weighing it down with a brick).  I also examined the cantaloupe plants.  Unfortunately they look like they're coming down with blight due to the damp dark weather we've been having.  Maybe I should use stakes to create a make-shift hoop cover and cover it with the plastic I'm using for the potato bin right next to it.  I think there's enough.  Anyway, here is the biggest cantaloupe growing to-date...

All the plants have females on them now, but I'm not holdling out hope for any but this and another one that are growing nicely after I juiced them with fertilizer.

Well, it's late and I've got a long day ahead of me.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Funny, the difference climate makes. In North Carolina I plant them 2 inches deep, and after they are up I put 2 inches of mulch down. Guess they'd rot in the PNW. Also, I have mine in a 4x4 bed in the garden. 256 cloves. This is my second year growing garlic and I'm up to 5 varieties. What can I say, it's addictive!

  2. The blueberry patch looks super! Good job integrating edibles into your landscaping.