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Discussion in 'Community Center' started by annr, Jan 19, 2020.
I know, as usual my eyes were bigger than my belly when I placed my seed order. What you are looking at translates into a lot more sod busting this spring - what, kill more grass? Definitely.
Getting chilly here in the van right now, heading out to pick up grocery essentials and then back home to a cozy fire ...
On the cedar round are my cochise and dragonfly, daily users in winter ... beside are hatchet and hardwood piece for batoning.
They'll show up. Everyone is in a bit of a panic about the covid 19 virus right now. Things will settle down a bit (I hope).
We need to do some indoor painting as well. The snow depth decrease is significant, but I suspect you may get a little in the next few days based on the weather report.
I finally got my little gasoline powered mini-tiller out to use. Of course it wouldn't start..... petered around with it and noticed the gasoline line from the tank was cracked and I touched it and it just broke off. The next day I found the same size of vinyl line at Ace Hardware to replace. Did that except the outside diameter of the line is less than the original and it leaks where it enters the fuel tank. Still wouldn't start even with the leak..... Decided to order a small corded electric tiller/cultivator from Home Depot. Amazon was a little cheaper but they were saying delivery in about a month. So, I went with Home Depot where I have had extremely good service ordering online and picking up at a local store. Been looking at the electric tillers and the reports seem to be favorable for small gardens if you can deal with the cord. Hopefully I will get it in a few days and assuming the soil is dry enough as we are again getting a bunch of rain, I'll till things up. Really interested how this little thing functions in my little gardening world. If the tiller works for me, no more fooling around with gasoline engines! If not, I'll fix the old one or replace it.
It has been very wet here so far since January 1st. We are running about 52% of normal YEARLY precipitation after almost three calendar months. Normal is about 28% of annual precipitation. So, it has been wet. I hope this rainfall is not predictive of a drought later on in the year like last year. Last year started out much the same and we had the drought in the summer. Nature has a way of evening things out. But I'll deal with it regardless. The lawn is growing like crazy and appears to need mowing after only a couple days after I mowed on Thursday. Tulips are blooming and I planted a few geraniums in containers on the front porch and a couple petunias in another container. Will need more a bit later, but for now, I have those planted from little pots from the home center.
This sounds more like an undercover surveillance operation to me—you failed to mention the parabolic listening device. ( But that’s top secret. )
Well it finally quit raining for a couple days and actually got above 50, so things really opened up this weekend. (Raining again today though.)
Lilies are breaking ground:
Camillia's are blooming.
and the wild currant is blooming too:
Bees are out in force when it's dry, the early ones, yellow headed bumblebees and Mason bees too. We really need a week or so of warn dry weather though. Moss is everywhere.
We haven’t had many honey bees this year, but the bumble bees are taking up the slack.
Tried out the new electric tiller/cultivator today. Soil is still a bit on the wet side, but I tilled it up anyway without problem. You just have more clumping and it is a little muddy on the shoes. I wear boots. Anyway, the little beast worked like a charm. It has a fairly high rpm and digs and digs. It bounces around a good bit as is common with a tiller with tines on the front versus the back. It is supposed to reach 8 inch tilling depth and I believe it does. The width is 16 inches versus the 12 inches on my little gasoline tiller. You do have to pay attention to the cord. These heavy gauge cords are fairly expensive to just get eaten up by a tiller. (Cost approaches $100 just for the 100 ft cord. But I already have several 12 ga cords 50 and 100 feet in length.) The manual says no more than a 100 foot cord. I could see using a generator for a space away from electricity. 100 feet is plenty for me. I don't know about durability, but it has a limited 2 year warranty. So, we'll see.
So, I'm going to let things dry some more, probably go over it again with the tiller and then begin planting stuff in the regular garden. I already have all the tomato plants for the containers at this point, but have not planted them. It is quite warm here today.
Working picture of the tilled garden below. I have very few rocks. Have to rake it to level things out (✔ done). As you can see, one of these little tillers is enough for my little garden. Probably spent an hour max doing this. My big tomato containers are going to get moved up onto my deck (✔ done). They were sitting in the garden before I tilled the soil. I think one of these electric tillers would work okay for up to about a 20x20 foot garden. That assumes that they prove durable with use.
My onions are growing well in the City Pickers container. Will thin as we use them, but I tried for about a 2-3 inch spacing overall. The biggest stalk was the only one that came up from my batch last fall that didn't work out for reasons I do not understand.
Checked the hummingbird migration map and they are about here (SE TN). One Ruby Throated male was sighted yesterday in my area. So, I put out my feeder. The males migrate first as I understand it. With the virus, I almost completely forgot about the hummingbird migration.
Tulip picture below. Took it about a week ago.
Added Stuff: Been looking at this tulip photo. Turned out really nice which in this case was mostly luck with my little Canon point & shoot camera that I use for work stuff mostly. I have been adding edits/comments since nobody has posted after me to this point.
Monday, 3/30/20: One local internet provider (rated the fastest in the country) are creating free wifi hot spots around the area. They are mostly at schools at the moment. I think this is a good thing.
Planted a new batch of celery as well as a few things in my regular garden. Just about ready to plant my tomatoes. Need to look at the forecast, but this year our last frost (so far) was March 8th which is really early.
Newsy post . Tiller looks like a great solution. I've been thinking again about starting that bee balm garden in the lower field and may move on it if the field doesn't flood this year - an 'industrial strength' tiller would help - perhaps a rental.
Yes, tulip pic - just enough depth of field to feature blooms plus setting - nice.
Re: wifi - lots of ingenuity coming out of these times as well as tragedy.
Brief note here - laptop balanced on steering wheel - great ergos
I don't believe the dish installers are essential service providers so not holding breath for high speed at home ... stay safe world.
Seedlings are up and taking all south facing windows - nasturtiums, tomatoes, peppers, pansies, gaillardia, sweet pea, hummingbird mix (capsules), climbing petunias ... still have a bunch of planting to do but a lot of that is direct seeding or bulbs which will wait until close to the end of May (last frost).
They make travel desks that are designed to be used while sitting in your vehicle. I have one, but honestly have never used it as I very seldomly use a computer inside my vehicle or access the internet driving other than to make a hotel reservation, check a map, occasionally email, or verify my gps directions in big cities (like Atlanta where I have little idea the better routes, especially downtown). My tablet gets the most use inside my vehicle and the laptop gets used at hotels. When I first started out with my little business, I needed a hotspot (or believed I did) that was portable. I think I used it once in a remote location. But I did use it inside motels that did not have wifi at the time, or for security reasons. I used to carry a printer with me if I was staying at hotels.... lots of baggage. I believe that I have three ink jet printers that I bought when traveling just to be able to print from my computer. They are probably all ruined by now due to dried up ink. I generally only use laser printers.
Tilling up sod is difficult even with the heaviest tiller. In the past, I hand dug the sod, let dry out, then went over it with a tiller. I would really consider hiring a farmer type that has a tractor mounted tiller. They also have that attachment for Bobcat loaders. I would look at a rental of a tracked "Bobcat" as a possibility. They are easy to operate after a few minutes of practice. Landscapers might have such a thing also.
Things are moving forward from a seedling point of view for you. I am starting to think we will not get another freeze, but it is still very possible. However, it is supposed to get colder after this latest batch of rain moves through tomorrow sometime.
I just realized that I effectively have doubled the size of my garden simply by growing most of my tomatoes in containers now. They take up a lot of space.
I planted red beets today (probably a couple weeks late). This time I will be quite ruthless in my thinning of the plants to about 4 inch spacing. I tried to plant the seeds at two inch intervals. Also planted 6 new broccoli plants. I try to plant stuff that we might use rather than stuff that I just want to grow.
We ended the month with 10.79 inches of rain versus 4.96 inches considered normal for March.
With the electric tiller.... I really like that all I have to do is push a button and it runs. Basically it works or it doesn't for the most part. You could say the same thing about gasoline powered tillers, but there is a much greater fiddling quotient with a gasoline motor. I only use a tiller a couple times a year. So the use is very limited and short termed. I think this electric tiller is going to work out real well. @taldesta You might consider one for your garden as they aren't real expensive. They would seem good for tilling up selected portions of a garden or a bed of some sort.
Added: April 2, 2020 > We had a light frost this morning. There was a little scattered frost on certain portions of people's house roofs. No damage that I could see from a plant point of view. I believe it got down to about 35*F.
Last year, I tried growing potatoes in four 5 gallon pails. Although the foliage was robust, healthy looking, and grew like mad, the harvested potatoes were woefully small: most around pea-sized and the few larger ones the size of a nickel. I emptied my pails when the top plants withered and drooped like they were dying, as recommended by many of the YouTube vids I watched. I am going to try again this season, but I'm looking for any tips or tricks to increase my yield.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Here’s a shot of some of my pineapple crop.
Bought some seeds but haven't started planting yet .
Keeping myself busy during the ECQ.
I wonder how the laundry is going…
A little irrigation going on in the picture above... Is it necessary this early?
I put up my small cages as soon as I plant. It keeps animals from messing with the plants. I have all my peppers planted (some containers and some regular ground), herbs, red beets, onions, celery, tomatoes in containers, and planting a few flowers. Some crooked neck squash may be next.
Looks like discharge water from a washing machine. As a kid, during the drier parts of the year, we would capture the washing machine water and use it to water the garden. The washing machine was in the basement and as a result easy to access the discharge. It is a bit more difficult in my house although it is possible with a garden hose attached to the discharge inside the house and run out the door to the lawn or garden.
I could never understand why building codes require the washing machine water to go into the sewer or a septic tank. Seems a waste to me. But on the other hand, it would be a matter of degree.... family of six and young would be using their washing machine much more than a two person household. In the house I grew up in, we had a separate discharge point for the kitchen sink and I know it was always wet there and sometimes a little "stinky". We lived out in the country, so this was not a problem for us.
@timberweasel I don't have any suggestions on the potatoes. I know that they seem to like very porous soil. My thought is that for some reason the tops died off before they should have?? I assume that you had holes cut in the bottom of the buckets for drainage....
I had fair luck last year and I planted potatoes in plain green garbage bags and raised the 'hills' with earth as needed with growth of the plants - another of my experimental attempts at gardening The potatoes were palm sized mostly - so a success I felt. Your experience has me wondering if the plant roots need the hilling - don't know if you could do that in the buckets. Also drainage - were the small potatoes at the top of the roots, away from where water might have pooled? Fertilizers - some favour foliage while discouraging blooms - not sure what works for root crops. I did use some compost last year. @22-rimfire might have something more to say about potatoes.
Am parked in the shade of the building adjacent to the Laundromat (wifi hotspot for dial-upers with crashed modems for those unfamiliar) as we speak Reflection off the screen is the issue - I can still see myself and don't look too bright - duh! Also miss the ease of wireless keyboard/mouse.
Rather nice not to be on the business end of a long handled shovel for a little bit. My gardens enlarge with every day I stay home. More grass sod is wheel-barrowed to a stockpile that has become a cold compost. My tiny front lawn gets smaller (huge grin). In future this stockpile will be a fine source of good rich soil.
Happy gardening and stay well, all.
I started each pail at about 1/3 soil and hilled each twice. Maybe this year I'll try starting around 1/4 soil and maybe hill each an extra time or two. Good point about drainage. I had drilled several drainage holes in each pail but perhaps I'll add a few more.
Thanks for posting!
@taldesta Is the snow gone now?
@timberweasel Perhaps consider a large store bought container (big one) and then compare to the bucket growth pattern.?? Nurseries sell the really big container for about $10-$12. Growing up we didn't do anything special with potatoes in terms of "hilling" and they always did well.... good drainage I think is very important.
Thanks 22! I have a family of raccoons that like to visit my yard. Maybe my improvised anti-raccoon cage is too small for my plants to do well? I added some pics above...