Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17, 2009

Boy, I am shocked at the strong opinions dancing around my Monsanto post half a year later.  I guess it must show up on some google search or something.  Anyway, I always appreciate gardening opinions, since there's never a right or wrong way to do things in gardening.  There are of course, 100 ways to grow a tomato, hehe.

Anyway, today's weather was even better than yesterday's.  It was 75+ today and the kids just about lived outside.  I too spent a good deal of time there after helping the folks again.  My brother couldn't help because his knees were killing him.  More on that later.  So it was just my dad and I, but I'm happy with the work we did.  Unfortunately it's just getting more and more time consuming as we uncover more work to do. /sigh.

When I got home, I checked out the yukon gold potatoes.  Some have already sprouted up from the surface, but I dug down anyway.  Surprisingly, there were root systems starting already, and I found that I had for the most part, planted the seed potato 5 or 6 inches down.  I think I have room for another 2 inches of dirt on top, so I plan on hilling the squares with either straight compost or left over potato Mel's Mix. I haven't decided.  The good news is I didn't need to replant them.

At that point, I mixed up some fish emulsion and watered the tomatoes with it.  Not only did I direct water the plants through the holes I cut in the red plastic mulch, but I also topped off the reservoir with fish emulsion.  Let's hope they like it.  Unlike EG, I was too ashamed to take pics today, hehe.  Of course mostly it was because my garden was showing signs of neglect.  Naw, I still weed, well there were some mushrooms growing that I hadn't picked out yet.  What really was bad was the hoop cover plastic thrown into the walkways between the beds, the garbage from the laundry clips I got, and the clips themselves.  Everything was just laying on the gravel.  So I took some time to tidy up the place.  I even had my boys help me lay out the plastic on the grass in the back yard to dry out.  Funny thing though, whenever I set it down, condensation would form on the bottom.  So I ended up folding it up wet anyway.  Whatever, at least they're put away in the shed. 

I left the hoops up in case the coons come back I want something to connect chicken wire or something to.  I may remove them and store them, but I do want to drill the holes for the cross beams.  I didn't do that today.

Finally, I had an opportunity to stop by my brother's today.  Recall that yesterday he was going to prep his expansion area for some new raised beds.  I wanted to share what he's up to becaus he won't, hehe, and I think it's very cool what he's doing.

Here is the side of his driveway essentially looking north.  The fence will provide morning shade.  What he plans on doing is to put 3 or 4 4x4 beds in here since the dirt area is 4 foot wide.  Using 4x4s with paths between will allow him to get to the backs without reaching so much.  Oh, and you should have seen the tam he had to remove in the front, the root ball doesn't do it justice!

Not sure why I took this picture, but if he wants to use this soil, even in part, to fill his beds, he's got a lot of work cut out for him, hehe.  I couldn't convince him to use Mel's Mix, despite the fact I proved it works last year and it's not just for seedlings anymore, hehe.

Oh, and as I was driving way, I decided to take some pictures of his future expansion area.  He wants to put 4 4x8 beds in his useless side yard.  It's where we laid 8 cubic yards of river rock a year or two ago.  My back still hurts just looking at it.

His goal is to have six 4x8 beds and 5 4x4 beds.  Eventually he'd like to get some chickens and build a Patti-style chicken tractor to fit the 4x8 beds.  I'd love him to have chickens so he could supply all three families with fresh eggs.  My wife will never let me get any.

Oh, and to give perspective to the area, here is the other half of the space for the future beds.

It's a very nice space with great southern exposure.

Anyway, that's it for me. Long weekend and it's still 75 in the house, so I'm cranky and tired.  Night all.  Hope you enjoyed your garden this weekend!


  1. engineeredgardenMay 18, 2009 at 12:27 AM

    Your brother has a nice (potential) spot for expansion...Hopefully, when your boys get older - they can tend to everything when you're not able to. My stepson has been rooting all kinds of stuff lately, and I'm really surprised at his interest so far.

  2. The secret to not neglecting your garden is to call it a farm! Also, if you don't want to mow, your lawn is a pasture! And you can explain that all of the weeds are part of a trial to maximize labor efficiency by determining at what point weeds affect crop yields. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  3. "the weeds are part of a trial to maximize labor efficiency by determining at what point weeds affect crop yields. " I'm TOTALLY going to use that. ;)

    Hey, if you want some great farm-fresh eggs, Ken gets them from his coworker every Tuesday. We'd be glad to order you a dozen. :)

  4. So much potential gardening to be done at your brother's house! :D

    Glad you did not have to replant the potatoes. If yours are anything like mine - the couple of warm days this past weekend sent them into hyper growth drive. I had to pulls dirt down and around the plants twice in as many days!

  5. 8 yards of gravel, I can understand that you still feel it in your back. Looks like when you fill up your garden you can just move on to your bothers garden, lots of space for sure.