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Monday, March 29, 2010

New *Improved* Berry Bed

It is so nice out today I decided to do some clean up and mess around in the garden.  the soil is still too cold for most things, but worse still, it is too wet to even touch!

I cleared out bed #2, to let the soil warm up a little and dry out.  I left the straw for later use in compost or mulch if it isn't too soggy.

I planted some mint in the "cabbage patch" so to speak, where the broccoli and Brussels Sprouts will be soon.  It is supposed to help deter the cabbage moth, which was a real pain picking caterpillars last year.  hopefully it helps.  I brought out the seedlings, and put them in the prop box.  I have been keeping an eye on them, and will have to watch the nighttime temperature and cover them if it gets too cool.  They are a hardy group of crops though, so I am hoping this sturdies them up and gets them ready to transplant.  I know that their growth will improve drastically once they can stretch out their roots.  I also took the lettuce that I seeded and put in the prop box as well, in hopes that it will improve germination.  I am trying ot use up all the old seeds I have and get use of them, while at the same time, not holding on to valueless goods!

So...I have also been coming up with clever ways to recycle trash from the yard, and just general ideas to make the yard look nice.
  • I decided to use Mickey's old holey work boots as a flower pot. {why not? they'll just go to a landfill anyways, why not let them be fully rotten by the time they get there?}
  • I took an old broken chair of the kids and sunk a flower pot into it, and added a gimpy trellis.  I plan to find something to plant in it, just as soon as I decide where I want it.
  • I decided that I am definitely interested in vining hops up to the treehouse.  It is the perfect height and would give some much needed shade for the gardeners and skate boarders below.  I may do grapes up one side and hops on the other and put some garden furniture under the decking. Sounds pretty.
  • I would love to make a hammock.  Or two, or four.
  • I would love to make garden furniture from saplings, and stumps, etc. Then plant with vines!
  • I want to put a Tee Pee up in my garden (not just the ones for my pole beans).  My mom gave me one made with treated 1x2 and muslin cloth.  It just needs to be set up.  I was thinking that by the end of the week, it should be less soggy out and we can do that!
  • When I plant my corn, I want to make a maze. {Maize?  Anyone? tee hee}                               Granted, it will be a rather small maze, but who cares? Not my kids!  So, instead of just planting blocks of rows, I will have to make up a design, and incorporate that into my succession sowing plan.  It may complicate it a bit, but that seems to be the way I like things!
  • Help Chas plant a real garden.  Since I stole his blocks.....well, I feel like he needs a small domain to master.  We will figure out what stuff he would like and get him growing, too.  Audrey gets the area around the swingset, until we decide to move it, and I am also going to occupy much of the space below his treehouse. (but hey, he gets a sweet treehouse, so fair is fair!) So he gets to decide.  Either that or he can take over the soon to be herb garden, that seems to be his favorite thing, MINT TEA!!!!
  • Planting of Elderberries and Jerusalem Artichokes.....hmmm...this one is trickier for me.  First, I just read in the Wiki that elderberry plants contain cyanide.  Although the flowers and berries are safe to eat, the leaves, twigs and roots can build up to be toxic.  {I DID NOT KNOW THAT!!!}.  And honestly, from the talk of the Perennial sunflowers being 'like' potatoes, I thought the tubers were larger and/or perhaps the  plant would be larger.  HMMMM.....I just don't know which would be better in the garden area, if either.  I thought I preferred the elderberry because of it's ability to spread and fill quickly, it has a nice perfume to the flowers, the berries are adored by many native birds, as well as native people, and has been consumed, as such for centuries.  Not to mention making wines an jams....but I did not, however, know that the rest of the plant was a natural (aren't they all?) source of cyanide.  *I think I will have to think about it*
Yep, I thought all that up, today! And, I also got something done from my summer list!

I took away the old compost bin from between the Asparagus, and the Blueberries! YAY! =)
It worked out pretty well, with the "core samples" I "borrowed/stole" from Chas' garden of last year.  
The concrete tubes fit about right as the back of the bed, and they are officially "full sun" now....not that they were in dense shade before, but they are no longer sheltered at all.  I really like it and it is a real improvement aesthetically.  
I am sure that my round-up spraying neighbors, who have the most direct view of my lovely garden, will appreciate any changes in that department.  I am pretty sure that they do not value my pallet compost bins nearly as much as I (and my veggies) do! =)  But hey, all in good time. All in good time!

It is improving.  And I am designating directives left and right. this will be this, and that will be that.  Later this is that and that is this.....it's a fun daydream for me, to decide what is best for a given situation....and trial and error, as always! Like my Ajuga....a failure in the Box elder Bed out front...but success in the side yard to the east.  Same for tulips and other bulbs...they need to head east as well...it is all just a try and see how it goes adventure.  Sometimes it is all gravy....and sometimes it's a rock-hard biscuit! But it is just how you learn why things work and why they don't or how to trick them into growing anyways! Fun stuff.....and today is no different!

Oh, and speaking of today.....PEA SPROUTERS!!!  Audrey was so excited to hear that they sprouted! and from what I could tell, they have grown since this morning! Seriously! When I first saw them up, I brushed the straw away and they had just broken the surface and they are at least 1/2 " now, and probably taller later.  It is just amazing! If you actually had the patience to ( and I do) you could literally watch them grow.  And I have heard of Hops being even faster growing, and can, on a good day, gain a foot in one day! Awesome!

No carrot sprouts, as of yet.  I plan to plant out another patch in succession and pray that the first still sprouts.  If not, I will get back around to their turn again.  I put in a few more spinach in a little cellpack, as well....just keep sowing, sowing, sowing.....OH! I am so excited Spring is finally here! =)

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