Saturday, July 10, 2010

10 garden days...

Let's see what progress has been made in the biobabbler (exceedingly tardy) garden in the last 10 days. Granted, she's not been gardening every day, and had a big deadline AND had been battling ants, but 'nuf said:

Plot 1 10 days ago, and yesterday:

The tomatoes maybe look a TINY bit bigger, but the reason the upper left one has a cage around it is 'cause the neighboring volunteer tomatillo plant has grown REALLY FAST and it'll drown my tomato if I'm not careful. It's the tallest thing there, by far.

In the back of plot 1, THREE SISTERS HAS BEEN PLANTED!  3 sisters = squash + corn + beans. Planted that Tuesday. Then slung dry grass cuttings (from weed whacking) and scattered it with bamboo sticks 'cause, although I know I just added a bunch of non-native grass seed, if I don't do this, the birds will eat ALL my beans, and that's what I had available THAT DAY.

Onto (head hanging) Plot 2:
Yeah, not much progress there... =)

Plot 3:

Half the plot is planted, with the Phriday-photo-quiz-starring squash and cosmos, and yes, as folks gathered, the cosmos are to lure bees, 'cause squash need a lot of pollination help. Plus, they're cute. =)

Plot 4:

Although it may not LOOK that different, it's HUGELY different. I dug the WHOLE thing out (looked like a grave for a giant), took out the old chicken wire, dug around and sawed through GIANT roots (exhausting for the spindly-armed), then laid out the aviary wire (2 swaths), staked the seams together, put all the soil back and added 2 bags-o-steer poop, turned it over, chopped the big lumps, raked, and watered.


Here's it mid-conversion (from gopher friendly to gopher unfriendly);

All because of a little, hungry gopher (or 12). =) Well, it could be argued that it's because biobabbler is greedy and doesn't want to share her plants...

 ANYhow, plot 5:

Tomatoes and peppers are in, the resurrected basil (3) have FINALLY decided not to give up the ghost; one is blooming pretty lavender flowers. The first shot is the victorious "after" shot when I'd finished doing to it what I just explained more recently got done at plot 4.

And has NOT been done on plot 2, yet...

Oh, and the bee-monitoring-to-be plot:

There is no "before" shot. It was just a mess of aviary wire and weeds. I dug it out, added steer poop, chucked in a log for style and soil gathering (it's on a bit of a slope), then planted the sunflowers, then adjusted the aviary wire to keep birds out, as the sunflower seed packet advises.

SOME day, when the sunflowers grow up and are attracting bees, I can go out between 9 and 10 a.m. and monitor bees for 15 minutes a day. COOL! Hoping to also take pics of the different bee species.

So, 'der ya go, happy garden-making progress. And, on the days that I do garden, I get to eat more, so that's all good. =)


P.S. By the way, esp. for all you GARDENING SMARTIES: what should I use as mulch? I am the WORST compost maker ever (utter failure), and don't want to use things like bark (contain icky substances I don't want in my garden). It's SO DRY here, I really need to use something, but am not super psyched about using cut weeds (for obvious reasons). IDEAS?!? (grovel, grovel) If you use newspaper, does it always look tacky?


  1. We can completely empathize on the gopher front...they're like furry mammals with chainsaws for teeth! All of our raised beds are lined with hardware cloth to help foil the little monsters. For mulch, at least in our vegetable gardens at the moment, we're primarily using straw. It doesn't get as soggy as newspaper (which is better for the strawberries), and as we have chickens, we just tend to have straw laying around as we use it for the nest boxes anyway. It takes longer to break down, but at the end of the season you can just turn it into the beds, and it's gone before spring planting, and helps to aerate the soil.

  2. So, Curbstone (or anyone else who knows): don't know if you'll look here again, but I used straw once and where I'd stored the bale (granted too long 'cause I was lazy) we got a new batch of weeds otherwise unknown on our property. Do you have any problems with weeds from the straw? I know straw is officially hay without the seed parts, but apparently some is in there. You thoughts? bb

  3. We honestly haven't had trouble with extra/different weeds. We do source our straw locally...maybe we already have those weeds here? :P

  4. ohhhhh, there's that whole "buy local" thing again, rearing it's prescient head. GREAT idea. I have a friend around here who's an organic farmer, so I'll see what she knows. She knows EVERYbody. Oh, btw, the next post is pretty much BECAUSE I don't have straw, tho' I might have had to wait until they sprouted up to straw them down.

    THANKS FOR THE ADVICE!! Will do. =)


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