Friday, July 9, 2010

It's not about how big it is but how you use it.

No pictures today, sorry. This is like a diary entry, I've never written in a diary, I find it a little foolish and those Secret gurus that tell you that you need a clear vision and write it down can come over and write it down for me. Yes, the vision, always pristine and very sunny, cart-fulls of carrots, spinach, lettuce and radish. The sun shines through the leaves and illuminates a pot of wonderful beef stew where you gleefully drop your freshly picked veggies in and all the kingdom smells the wonderful aroma and buys bowls and bowls of soup from you. Ahhhh.

Well, the interesting part about this is: Veggies will grow in small and large patches but they like specific company along the way. For example: I planted garlic, onions, carrots, radish, radicchio and swiss chard in a box. The garlic, onion and radicchio love each over very much and will insist growing and being friends. However, the swiss chard does not like to live next to Mr garlic, it will stunt and shy away from any growth. Carrots will germinate very slowly in a half shaded area next to garlic and the beets just don't care who is next to them, they just want to extend out as much as they can.

So, I got an important lesson from this. Plant at least 4 squares of the same crop in the same box. If you have leafy greens, plant with other leafy greens. If you have roots, plant with other roots. Variety is very nice but sometimes the neighbors try to 1-up each other.

So, next planting session, I will have:

- At least 60 strawberry plants in the same boxes, no variety.
- 4 Lettuce, 4 swiss chard and 4 spinach in the same box.
- Radish, beets, carrots in the same box.
- Tomatoes on their own
- Bush beans on their own.
- Flowers are best kept out of the box. They can look nice in the box but they just take space and attract unwanted bugs.

Half-hearted efforts give half-hearted results.

OK, I am NOT a farmer, I'll admit to that right now. I am NOT a farmer. This does not mean that I can be excused for not making an effort in keep my garden working.
Well, it's been over a month since I last posted and I have a lot to review.
Ahem... List form of things that I have learned:
  1. More sunlight = more growth. Less sunlight = crappy growth
  2. Slugs will eat in order; Marigolds, dying parts of plants, bush beans, everything
  3. If you leave the garden to grow and not tend to it for 3 days, everything will go to crap
  4. Thistle can turn into the size of a tree
  5. Slugs like beer, slugs will stink if left dead in beer for more than 3 weeks
  6. Good help is hard to find; Bad advice is easy
  7. When you find the good help, keep them happy with Rhum and Beer.
  8. It's OK to rip out the stuff that is not growing well.
  9. Some seeds are just crap
  10. Trees shade a lot more when they have leafed out.
So it was not a banner start to my gardening experience. I know where I went wrong on some stuff, I know I need to make an effort with others.

One thing is for certain, pests will eat your food. It's all about survival in the gardening world, protect your food and don't be fooled by thinking that the slugs will not eat your crop overnight and that those crows are dumb. Crows will work in teams and there is always a lookout. When you see a crow in a tree close to your garden, there are 4 crows in the garden looking for your tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not happy :(

I left my herbs and tomato seedlings out today so they can get some sunshine. Unfortunately half of all my herbs dried out, all my parsley and 4 of my tomatoes.

Not a happy camper at all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kill it with fire!!!!

Quite the scare last Thursday, someone decided to make a nice forest fire at the back of the hill where I live. They had 2 scout planes circling the area for 5 hours making sure the firefighters knew where the blaze was heading.
Kids got really stressed out about it. :(

This is the scout plane. It was circling a just a few hundred feet up.

And another shot of it just above the tree line.

2nd round of the perfect mix.

So the first time I did the mix for my boxes I only had cow and sheep manure, peat moss and Vermiculite. So this time I searched far and wide and found 6 different mixes.

Check it out:

Left to Right:
  • Vermiculite
  • Mushroom Compost
  • Forest Compost
  • Peat Moss

Marine Compost
Sheep Manure
Cow Manure
/Sheep blend

I managed to fill 2 boxes last weekend. Pictures to come.

Monday, May 10, 2010

To the Poop Mobile!

Who said you can't haul ass in a Smart! LOL!
Here's 490lbs of compost and manure for you.

.... and who needs airbags?

Snakes, why did it have to be snakes....

My daughter found this big guy next to the ex-chicken coop. A garter snake and it's a beauty!

It's the largest I've seen around here and I wish I could have seen it myself.

Checked Wiki and found that it is mildly venomous but their fangs are at the back of their mouth. I like these and I'm expecting to make a home for them in my SFG so they can get the slugs and mice.

Learn more about the Garter Snake here.