Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My front yard

I've been spending so much time getting the garden in the backyard started, that I'd been neglecting my front yard. Finally this weekend I cleaned up and pruned the perennial bed next to the walkway up to my front door. It really is amazing what a difference a new layer of mulch can make.

Most of the perennial flowers aren't in bloom yet. But here's one that is (Bleeding Heart):

Today's local weather:
High temp: 55 F
Low temp: 38 F
Partly cloudy and cold, chance of frost tonight (covering plants with straw)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Filled with potential

Here's what my garden looks like this morning:

This view is from the southwest corner of our backyard (our house is behind me). On the left side is the berry patch which is largely Jeff's domain. In the foreground of the berry patch are our prayer flags as this undertaking is largely a spiritual experience for us both. We are honoring the resurrection of life. Directly behind the prayer flags are strawberry plants. I believe he said there are thirty something strawberry plants in all. Here's a close up view of part of them:

Behind the strawberry patch are two trellis systems Jeff built to support our brambles. We have two raspberry bushes, two blackberry bushes, and four blueberry bushes. Jeff likes berries.

Meanwhile, to the right of the berry garden is "my" vegetable garden. I'm the one who tends it the most. So far I've planted the first succession of salad veggies (spinach, carrots, green onions, and two kinds of lettuce). I will continue every 2-3 weeks to plant a bit of each one so that we have them ready to harvest at intervals instead of all at once. Here is where my salad seedlings lie, not yet germinated having been planted only three days ago:

I've also planted two kinds of potatoes (Red Norland and Irish Cobbler), one spaghetti squash seedling, one small sugar pumpkin seedling, and one large (Halloween) pumpkin seedling. Here's how the large pumpkin seedling looked this morning after its first night in the ground:

Today's local weather:
High temp 76 F
Low temp 54 F

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prepping the beds

I've been busy with work since I last posted, but things have been moving right along with the garden. We had the guy come and plow our 20' X 24' garden plot. Then we bought materials and made a two-foot fence around the perimeter to keep the neighborhood wild rabbits out. Then I marked off my garden design using tent stakes and twine.

Today I bought 16 40-lb. bags of composted cow manure (that's 640 lbs.). While that sounds like a lot (and felt like a lot trying to carry the bags myself while everyone else was at school/work) it really barely covers the space I have intended for plants. I may end up sending Jeff back for more. I've opened all the bags, spread them out and have been using our garden claw to work the manure into the soil. I'm far from done, but my body is starting to give out. I'm in bad shape and I've definitely burnt some calories today. Here's how the garden looks right now:

Today's local weather:
High temp: 75 F
Low temp: 47 F

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Outdoor workday

Today is another beautiful day so we were able to do a few things on our garden "to do" list. First of all, because we are starting a new garden, we need to have someone come and till up the land for us. Jeff contacted a local guy who had an ad in our newspaper. He came today to take a look and give us an estimate on what it will cost us. The plot is 20' X 24'. Here's a picture:

If you look closely, you can see the twine and stakes that mark off the rectangular plot. Anyway, he wanted to charge us $120 for the job. Jeff talked him down to $90. It still seems high. My dad had his garden plot tilled a few years ago for just $40. Oh well, it is still cheaper than buying a $200 tiller ourselves.

Of course creating this new garden plot meant that we had to move a baby pine tree that Jeff had planted with our 11yo son a year ago. We just couldn't get rid of it, so we found a new home for it at the side of our yard. My 16yo moved it for us. Here it is in its new location.

And finally, Jeff and the 16yo set up this new birdhouse for the birds attracted to our new birdbath and feeders located at various locations around our yard.

Today's local weather:
High temp: 63 F
Low temp: 37 F

Thursday, April 3, 2008

They're sprouting!

My seeds are sprouting already! Yippee! We have them set up in covered trays on the kitchen counter under a special light. All of the sprouts in this picture are marigolds. But my zinnias and bell peppers have also sprouted. This is so exciting!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Berry trellis system

Here is one of two trellis systems Jeff built yesterday and today to support our berry bushes. You can see we still haven't removed the straw mulch. It's still cold outside. But we're slowly getting things ready. Yesterday I started three trays of seeds inside to transplant outside later.

Today's local weather:
High temp: 54 F
Low temp: 30 F
Thunderstorms last night, overcast and windy today