Don't be distracted by the brown tips. These onions have grown a couple inches since being planted a week ago. I can't tell if it's weeds or tomatoes coming up there in the middle. I'll give it some time.
I ordered some seeds and plants online. The cool thing is that they wait to ship them until it’s time for you to plant. Click the image to the right to embiggen. I ordered the following varieties.
I'm not sure where the garlic is going. After the tomatoes and peppers grow up some I will plant a second planting of squash for ground cover and as a fall crop.
Since I had a rain barrel I wanted to add a little automation to it. The best time to water is early in the morning, before the sun has come up. of course, early in the morning I need to be off to work. To help me out I purchased an Automatic Water Timer and some soaker hose. After hooking it all up I was quite pleased with myself.
It took me a while to realize it, the automatic timer wasn’t working. It never actually came on. The problem was that I was testing it by hooking it to the house water line then, when it worked fine, I put it back on the barrel. Apparently (obviously now), there are two kinds of automatic timers. The kind that use the high pressure of city water lines to actuate and the kind I need for a gravity fed system.
When you get your own make sure it’s one that operates at 0 PSI, not just the kind that works with low pressure soaker hoses.
I ended up ordering a Solar Rain Barrel Timer online, which says it can operate at 0-80 psi. I couldn't find anything similar in any of my local hardware stores and this one seemed the best for the price.
The fence I had previously was not very attractive and didn't do a good job of keeping small critters out. This fence won't be much better for rabbits but it will be more attractive.
I installed the fence, first I dug a small trench around the edge of the garden. Since I try not to walk in the garden the ground isn't very packed and this was relatively simple. I set the fence about 4 inches below finished grade. The fence was pretty easy to fit to corners. I thought it might be troublesome but, no. Even at the seam between the two gardens I was able to slide up one of the slats out of the way. I might trim it at some point.
I filled the dirt back in around the fence and packed it in by stomping the dirt down. It took three rolls for my garden. I want to do something for a gate. I want something that won't be too much trouble to install but will be sturdy enough for use. For now It's not too tall to step over.
I planted Marigolds this year. I'm using them for their deterrent effect. I have planted them at each corner and in the middle, also here along the entry, just cause they look nice. Marigolds are annuals and mounding so they should be a good investment for my garden.
It’s that time of year again. In North Carolina Spring has come pretty early. This year I am expanding my backyard garden space. Doubling in fact. I purchased 6 more 8’ timbers and am adding a section immediately next to the existing garden.
You may recall that when I did the original section I turned over the top foot of soil, tilled and added a garden mix from my local supplier and tilled again. I also had a week off from work which I don’t have this year. This time I cut the grass as low as my mower goes and am covering with a couple layers of newspaper. After I get the timbers cut and in place I will get another load of garden mix.
I’m ditching the metal fencing this time around. I can admit it was pretty ugly, and didn’t do that great a job. It was something nice for plants to grow up though, so it’ll be missed in that regard. I found a nice white picket fence that’s not too expensive, something like this fence.
The lettuce is coming in, but the celery did not. The carrots are coming in, but the spinach is not. The Sugar Snaps are doing great but neither the tomato nor the pepper plant came up. The lettuce came in really well so I thinned by transplanting a dozen or so to where I had planted the celery. I bought a few tomato and pepper plants a week ago and planted them. They are doing well and I look forward to eating them. The watermelons have sprouted.
I weeded my gardens today. It's so much easier to do when the dirt has never been stepped on.
I have taken to a strange practice with my rain barrel. I grow catnip in it. Maybe none of the reasons I do it are any good but here they are anyway. First, because I can. Catnip grows very easily and quickly puts out roots in water. Secondly, I have found the water, if left to it's self, will start to smell bad. With a plant growing in it that usually goes away. I suspect that the catnip feeds off bird droppings and other dead plant life such as algae that sometimes grows.. Thirdly, I found that catnip is a pretty good deterrent to ants. If I can water with a natural ant deterrent then I will. I'll never forget the nightmare of stepping onto the walkway of my garden to find that it woke up the colony. I've since planted some catnip in that spot and I haven't had trouble since, but spreading the love around is OK with me.
Maybe I'm just crazy but I feel like this helps.