Monthly Archives: April 2015

No time for blogging, too busy gardening. The plot cultivating tasks were:

  • Leveling out the high spots and moving around dirt
  • Straightening plot borders
  • Raking off winter's weeds
  • Spreading composted manure
  • Tilling with my Nuclear Powered Tiller
  • Surveying the planting spots for the trays of transplants
  • Excavating and conditioning with potting soil the transplant sites
  • Transplanting the seedlings
  • Watering
  • Thinning
  • Sowing second spring seeds

All the first transplanting and seed sowing (not the late spring planting) were complete on April 26th.

Starter Tray w/ thermometer
Starter Tray w/ thermometer

We had our last frost April 24th, three days after the average last frost, still, the last frost is May 15th. It was not a hard frost, froze over the birdbath but no harm done in the greenhouse. The greenhouse's bottom shelf is full of bottles of water to hold the heat in times like this.

Everything went together like it was planned. Well, my new GrowVeg.com Garden Planner helped out a lot, still learning the tricks, it is very rich in features. It is classic, I wish I had bought it months earlier.

Online Garden Planning Tool

Starting to fix the fence. Last year the fence was not tight enough, that is how the bunnies got in to the garden, it was a disaster, destroyed the Beet crop.

Big plans this year, I have got a bolt cutter and I am cutting up the broken cone shaped tomato support cages and using them it is raw material to make fence stakes to reinforce the fence.  Previous years I just used the sticks from the bushes to strengthen the fence line but sticks wind up rotting in about a year.

The Tools of Fence Mending. Also support cages to be cut up into fence stakes.
The Tools of Fence Mending. Also suport cages to be cut up into fence stakes.

Update: The thought was that it will only take a few hours has proved wrong, maybe as much as six hours.
 


 

the Artisanal Triple Hooked Fence Stake
the Artisanal Triple Hooked Fence Stake

Update(2): Yes, took 3.5 hours more of bending, scrunching, kneeling and sitting on the ground to work on the foot of the fence. Also cut up several more support cages, all had broken bits but one. The cutting up the cages is just a few snips for the bolt cutters. I then bent the cut T or Cross shaped scraps with pliers into two or three hooks spread about for the resulting fence stakes. This Hand Crafted, Artisanal Tiple Hooked Fence Stake™ works well with chicken wire fencing.

The actual mending of the fence is the replacing the sticks with the 3 hooked stake twice between each fence post. Now, the foot of the fence can't just be "nosed" under by an Evil Bunny.

I would like to think I have gone all Roman with the fence, but, Bunnies. ...continue reading

Transplanted two Prelude Raspberries and a Triple Crown Blackberry. Put several shovels of composted manure at the bottom of the hole, removed the temp pot and dropped them in the holes. No hassle, looks great.

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two new Prelude Raspberry plants
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the Triple Crown Blackberry plant



Stripped off the landscaping fabric, ran the Nuclear Powered Tiller and planted a double row of snap/snow peas with some room left for some radishes later. Also planted 6 rows of beets. There remains about half the plot.

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Peas at the end, Beets between the two strings. As much space to left of string out of sight


The greenhouse is  doing great, plan to plant last weekend in April.

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Three Starter Trays

 

The rhubarb is first this year, both plants, can't wait for the pies.

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first Rhubarb

 

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the other rhubarb

 

Nothing yet from the fennel or the asparagus. The blackberries and raspberries look ready to start.

The Rosemary didn't survive the winter, second year in a row.  The fig tree looks iffy. Global warming?

Placed more germinating seeds in starter trays, used potting soil instead of vermiculite. All the seeds transfered were put in the filter paper as described in the post "Gardening Around Real Life". The plants, each marked 'b' put in the trays are:

This winter was also a hard winter, where is Global Warming? The Rosemary again did not survive the winter, that is two years in a row, after several good years. The fig tree again looks like it did not survive above ground. Last year it put new shoots out from the roots, but yielded no figs, looks that way again this year. It seems the line where the Rosemary and Figs survive the winter has moved South. Where is my Global Warming?

Gardening around real life. The gardening books presume that you are doing nothing else but gardening, in real life, there are vacations, business trips, etc and gardening is done around these events. What follows is a trip right in the middle of Spring Seed Starting.

4/3, Okay, got back from Vegas and 90% of the seedlings survived in the greenhouse. The weather was gray and cool so the seedlings did not overheat or dry out. I will put germinated seeds in a starter tray for the seedlings that look iffy.

3/27, This will be published after returning from a short trip to Vegas.  We are traveling for five days and are leaving the starter trays at a tricky moment. The green house is up and there is not forecast any hot days, so the seedlings may survive only getting watered before leaving. The coldest bit of the forecast is the morning of leaving, I will bring the seedlings out to the greenhouse at the worst time.

So the response to this constraint is to start germinating a whole new set of seeds to eliminate the germinating time from the critical of having seedlings safely in the ground.

On Monday March 23rd I set more seeds to germinate these are the ones that took longer, the were marked with a 'b':

Today, March 28th I will start the quick germinating seeds also marked 'b':

Also starting some:

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Fran's Victory Garden is evaluating Web Based Garden Planning Packages. I have started out Binging & Googleing "web based vegetable garden planner", learned right away to specify "vegetable ". With the responding wealth in websites I realized I might have a difficult time, there were a good number of planning packages. Where to start? By adding "reviews" to the query resulted with a starting point to enumerating the features of each package. As I read the Review websites, I will add to the following Features list. Later when I visit the sites, I will create a grid of Features.

Features:

  1. Web based. - required
  2. Vegetable focused. - required
  3. Shareable. - required
  4. Odd shaped plots. +
  5. App available.
  6. Succession Planting.
  7. Track Varieties.
  8. Garden Journal or Log.
  9. Ease of use.
  10. Help and Tutorials.
  11. Free Trial.
  12. Annual Fee
  13. Membership roles.
  14. Affiliate program.

The list of Review Websites is where I'll start familiarizing myself with the possibilities. I will work thru the list alphabeticly foot noting which web based sites are are being reviewed. When all the data is collected, I will look at each of the sites in desending order of number of time reviewed.

Review webpages:

  1. TreeHugger's "7 High-Tech Online Gardening Tools to Plan the Perfect Garden". reviews 1,2,3
  2. Dave's Garden. reviews 3
  3. Small Footprint Family. reviews 1,2,3
  4. Top Ten Reviews' Vegetable Garden Software Review. reviews 3,1

Web Based Garden Planning packages:

  1. GrowVeg.com reviewed by 1,3,4
  2. Gardener's Supply reviewed by 1,3
  3. PlanGarden.com reviewed by 1,2,3,4

The next step is comparison shopping.