Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring is HERE!

We had a weekend in the 60s and took full advantage of it. Spring has definitely sprung and with the temperatures in the 60s all week, plants will take off this week.
I'm starting some plants using a pretty ghetto grow light setup. Although the 4 bulb t5 seems to really work for the tomatoes, it's supported with a very rough 1x2 frame. I've had the hydrofarm 2ft, 4 bulb t5 setup in my office now for a couple years. I've successfully bloomed lemons and coffee there using it. I moved it home for a time to start vegetable seeds. If I had room I would be buying a 6 or 8 bulb 4 foot setup. There is no comparison of t5 bulbs to t8 and definitely not to t12.
I found out that between not having a garden last year, moving, and random storage conditions, the peppers have a zero percent germination rate this year. Oh well, I will buy some plants to get us through and new seeds next year.
I purchased a bunch of wood for a front door planter at the old house. Since we moved shortly after, that didn't happen and the wood has been in storage. Luckily, the 4 inch cedar boards were just the right size for the new garden. The bed design has changed several times but I've finally settled on a design. The back of the house faces south. Everything from the beds to the house in this picture will end up being a butterfly garden minus space for the cedar of Lebanon to grow.
This is a pretty good shot of our overhang. The lounge has 10 foot windows with no covering. The overhang allows full light at the height of winter and doesn't allow any light through the windows at the height of summer. Pretty neat.
Winston is full on into construction equipment at this point and jumped at the thought of helping me scoop and dump dirt all day.
Since my dirt was delivered in January, it has been more than frozen lately. Today the pile was thawed enough to get all of it to the garden, but some pieces were still frozen. Win had fun smashing the frozen pieces to break them up.
In all I ended up with 8 beds, 3-4ft by 16ft, 1-4ft by 12 ft, and 4-4ft by 4ft. This is represents an 88% increase from the old house. Couple that with a great increase in daylight and we should be in for a huge amount of canning come August. Since the baby is due at the end of June, I guess I'm in for a big canning run. It's ok, I like to can.
 I know they say worms thrive on neglect, but seriously? I pulled 5 gallons of sieved worm casings from the worm inn. During the move the worms just got stuck under a tree out by our hobo camp (see shanty town just beyond the previous picture). They got way too hot and way too dry, and probably way too wet. I gave the worms a big feeding about a year ago and then loaded them up with decomposed leaves somewhere around May. Once the garage went up I moved them there in November. Even yesterday when I checked there was a huge frozen ball in the middle and I figured that was it the worm experiment was coming to a close. Nope, today everything was thawed and I harvested a load of gorgeous casings. Not just that but the inn is crawling with worms of every age. In all the years of having worms I haven't seen so many babies or toddlers (pre-juveniles). I'm going to divert our compost from the nature mill for a while to get things filled back up. Our worms are caffeine addicts and could live on nothing but coffee grounds and cardboard egg cartons. Hey, it seems to work just fine. 

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