Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

Wow, nearly a month has gone by.  You wouldn't have known it from the shape of the garden though.  The weather's been more like late fall than late spring.  Cool, wet and windy.  I haven't planted cukes yet but I'm fairly certain they wouldn't germinate in this weather anyway. 

Other things I haven't done include planting my tomatoes in my Self Watering Containers.  The containers still sit there ready to go, but there appears to be no hurry to get them in the ground.  They're not growing much anyway.  I have picked off a few flower buds to encourage more green growth.  Last year I didn't do that with my first flowers and the plant size suffered tremendously.  This year I've been more cautious. 

I also haven't weeded my Bed 1.  The overwintered carrots there had gone straight to seed rather than form good roots.  Shame as my kids don't have carrots for a while.  My new plantings are about 2 inches tall.  Let's see, my trellis is still in the shed.  The only thing that would need it now are my peas, which are about a foot tall now.  I think that will go up soon to give them something to grab hold of. 

Lastly, I haven't hooked up my rain barrels.  I need to build the platforms for them, nor found the right way to hook it up.  I am still considering the Gutter Adaptor here though I am not sure how well they work or how long they'll hold up.  However, considering the deluge of rain we've been getting of late, I'm in no hurry to store water.

Speaking of all the rain, look what I found on the way back from running my eldest to the bus stop... Note the paper is just for comparison, though it is really good that folks are trying to figure out how to improve the park behind our house.

Oh, and I haven't had a chance to mow with all the wet grass, but here is the composting action from my last mowing.

First I mix and dig a trench while I'm fluffing the aging compost. Then, while I'm mowing I occasionally throw down a sheet of news paper in front of the mower to mix in some shredded browns.  Tis the season of all greens and no browns.

Then I simply dump the new stuff into the trench, wetting the layers and adding heaps of the old compost for variety. It still needs to age and cook more.  Doing this creates a heaping pile of hot compost in action...

Speaking of the lack of browns, I have been adding small amounts of cat hair, lint from the dryer and the like.  I don't like to have too much of those, but they do help out and create a great diverse compost.  And while we're on the compost subject, if you've seen the Sun Chips commercial, I'm trying out to see if their chip bags are really compostable.  We got them for an outing as they're a healthier alternative to potato chips or Doritos.  When finished, I cut the bag into little pieces and put it in my home compost bin.  Give it a chance to cook a bit inside before being added to the bottom of my next compost build.

Oh yeah, I was also planning on bagging up the remaining finished compost and doing a two-bin system.  That hasn't happened.  Too busy playing with the kids and doing the job search.

Lastly, the kids have been getting in the action.  One warmish day my eldest took some discarded peat pot egg cartons and trying to grow cut flowers... Cuter than all get-out, but not going to work.

I hope you all have had better weather than I and have been more active in your gardens!


  1. Shredded junk mail makes great compost (and counts as browns!).

  2. I love your solution. I tear newspaper up also. A great browny solution to my too many food scraps issue.

  3. Unfortunately I am experiencing the same weather you are - the pits isnt' it?! All the warm weather crops are pouting over the cool and wet. I do have a tomato formed (two actually!) on the greenhouse tomatoes. Everything else is a little overwhelmed by the constant cool and heavy rains.

  4. Well, since we live so nearby, I'm having the exact same weather. At this point, I'd be happy if the clouds even just thinned a bit.

  5. My nearly drowned Siletz tomatoes are wilting and gray. Actually gray...its so wet they are waterlogged. Today dried out a bit though. I have another round in seed trays that are roughly 2" tall. Maybe in another two weeks I'll try transplanting them.

    The zuchinni that I direct sowed on 4-25 was dead. Not rotting, just still dead. I have since started 3 of these indoors as well.

    This Spring is, well, a total and complete stinker thus far.

  6. I came across your blog about two-three months ago, and have been watching it since. Seems like there were some server issues, and your blog (and Judy's blog) were nowhere to be found for a long while. Are you back online? I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like an update, or at least to know you and yours are doing well.

  7. Well, seems in the months since I've been here my blog has changed themes without my knowledge. Unfortunately I can't change it back or even add to it since this theme doesn't include a way to get to the tools. Grrr. I was looking forward to posting again. /sigh.

  8. Finally, wish you thank you have a good time!