Saturday, May 23, 2009

finally done and ready to plant

Can you believe I mixed all this planting soil myself.

1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 5 different types of compost.

Now what to plant?

Long ago I learned to garden with the French intensive method. In reading up on this style of gardening I find that the only reason I might have learned this is because I lived in Northern California in the early 1970's where it was popular. The French love fresh food, who doesn't, and in town gardening space was very limited. So by preparing the soil intensively and planting closely you can have a larger than normal harvest for the space used. This Month I have headed back into this method of gardening. I am excited and can't wait to plant. It took two week-ends of good weather to build, make the soil mix and place the garden boxes in place. The easiest way to think of these gardens is to use 4x4 feet boxes, 6 inches deep. Remember I said big yield in small spaces. Each square is a foot and it keeps your garden organized to work in squares and not rows. If you want to know more go to the web site below. You can find a nice video and the links tell you just how to do it. I saw Mel in the 1980's on PBS. I think they need to bring his advice back we could all use some gardening questions answered.

The next fun thing is my salad table. My sister always tells me when something good comes on Martha Stewart and she gave me a head up on a table you can grow your daily salad on. Bleach Boy took apart a very old redwood picnic table and turned it into a beautiful salad table!

The best directions for making one of these is here:

Be sure you click on the green links on the left. They will give you great directions, hints on what to plant, the soil needs etc. I found the directions so good I could have made this myself easily, But bleach boy really did want to refresh that Redwood table!

I planted this salad table a week ago and I await little sprouts. I put in several salad mixes, a good way to get a variety of lettuces. There are some rows of onions and chives. This should be a tasty spot in my garden and I can roll it around for sun and move it right to my door for harvesting.

I guess the fun here would be to show you the very old table this was made from. A dear friend surprised us with a nice picnic table he made this was back in the 70's or so. I think it will last forever now!

This was a few years ago and the table was too rickety to sit on so the kids did some 4Th of July snakes on the table. Amazing how a trim on the saw brought out the beautiful healthy wood that was left hiding inside this old table. Oh how I love Redwood. Our first home was built out of Redwood! Here is the salad table the end of June, I've just planted the third area and I should have continuous salad until the first freeze and because this is on wheels I will move it to the rabbit barn which has windows and see if I can grow salad (albeit slowly) though some of the winter. Here is the square foot garden the end of June. Some bad weather, as in hail, and hard rains hit a couple of weeks ago and we were ready with our PVC pipe covers! works perfect!

So what did I plant, everything I love! Onions, broccoli, Asian veggies (which by the way grow really well and late into the season here in the Pacific Northwest) carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, kale, leeks, spinach, cabbage, two kinds of string beans, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet peas, Basil, beets and a lot of other tasty foods. The slugs finally found us and we have defeated that with a nightly collection and a 6 inch wide line of wood turning saw dust. So far so good. I lost a lot of plants in one night! SLUGS!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Great idea from daughter in law

Ever forget something you wanted to do? Then the time for doing it passed and You could no longer do it? It happens all the time, but my daughter in law has a simple way not to forget.

We visited the family down in southern California last week. So did a lot of other far away family members. New babies will cause that to happen. Darling daughter in law didn't want to miss out on doing some fun things with everyone that came so she made a wall size calender. She wrote sticky notes of options and ideas of things to do during that time. As we arrived we were reminded to look at the wall calender. Took us a bit to get the hang of it but all you had to do was move a sticky note of something you'd like to do with the family to the day you'd like to do it. Amazing. Everyone would check the days to see what was happening and it went smoothly and not once was there a conversation about "should we do......or should we do......."

I asked for more information on this wall calender and was told they use it on a normal basis so as a family they won't forget some of the things they'd like to do.

Click on the photos and see how this might work for you. Very clever!