Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Compost Unveiling Party!

Mike and Andrea Y. are throwing a Compost Unveiling Party this Saturday from 1-4! The address is 2535 1/2 Summit Street and it will be in their backyard. Please bring a snack or appetizer (they are probably making homemade ice cream!). Any questions give her a call - 464-7904

see you there!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keeping Window Boxes Watered

I have a problem remembering to water my three window boxes. An idea I got recently from the book You Grow Girl is to take plastic bottles, I used plastic tonic water bottles, cut a few holes in the lid and then cut the bottom of the bottle off. You then dig a hole near the plants and shove the bottle, lid down, into the soil. The water drips continuously preventing your plants from drying out-death and you just add more water to the bottle as it empties. This is a mini irrigation system and it has worked wonderfully for me!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

raise those beds!

i serendipitously fell into a solution for deterring rabbits from brunching on my beloved seedlings. I built raised beds with 2x10 lumber. seems for all their bounding and hopping, those offensive Oryctolagus cuniculus cannot vault over a mere 9 3/4 inches!
this becomes a relatively inexpensive way of keeping the peace. or, in my case; keeping the leaves... er, on the plants... get it? cause they don't eat the... ah, forget it.

in constructing these beds, i used angle brackets (the cheaper kind for deck building) to keep the corners together. Once the beds were filled to the brim with dirt the semi-square structure true'd itself up. don't worry about minor undulations in your yard when building your bed, as long as the pits and peaks aren't sufficient to stick your fist through, the filling of the bed will ensure that the frame doesn't move.

for further lepus deterent i planted onions around the perimeter. the green from these isn't sufficient enough to impede my harvesting of inner most plants and the rabbits usually leave onions alone.

I built and filled three raised beds: 4 x 8, 14 x 7 and a 5 x 10 for around 300.00 (cost of corner ties, dirt and lumber). but, for that initial cost, now i don't have to put up chicken wire every year, fiddle with netting enclosures or mesh contraptions. raised beds also easily adopt into the square foot gardening method, become a cold box with ease and can be covered with bird netting (if your soil isn't all the way to the top). overall, this is an easy and attractive way to keep your plants nibble free and just that much easier to weed/ harvest (i mean: hey, 1o inches is ten less inches that i have to stoop down, right?).

one last thing about raised beds; the local cats see a giant box as, well, a giant box. i haven't figured out how to keep felix domesticus from making occational, er, deposits in the garden. luckily this is only an issue before the plants have really taken off with foliage. and, really, is there any way to control a cat?

so i say: good luck and good riddance! (to those herbavoric hare's, i mean...)

Monday, April 27, 2009

All Natural Sprays and Soap Recipes

Sometimes a gardener needs to take it up a notch with pest control, but resist the temptation to buy chemical pesticides from the nursery or home improvement store. Try the following recipes as go-to formulas for knocking out all kinds of unwanted visitors. I'm crossposting this to Sacred Earth

All Natural Insecticide Soap -
The soap in this recipe gets into the skin of the insect, causing dehydration and then extermination. Be careful not to add too much soap or you risk harming your plants. It is particularly helpful for soft bodied insects. Also, use a biodegradable liquid soap such as Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap and 1 quart water. Combine these ingredients then use in a spray bottle as needed. Add this recipe to others for to boost it’s effectiveness.

All Purpose Pesticide Spray -
Gather together some strong scented roots and spices such as cayenne, horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, mint, rhubarb and anything else you can think of. Boil these in enough water to cover them and let the mixture sit overnight to marinate. Strain it out, put it in a spray bottle with some All Natural Insecticide Soap (see above) and you are good to go. This will keep for several weeks unless frozen.

variation - Instead of using all of the other herbs, simply use 1-2 heads of garlic. Deer and rabbits in particular are repelled by this.

Caffeine Spray
While human tend to enjoy the little jittery burst of energy that comes from caffeine insects on the other hand will do well to repel insects - particularly aphids. Gather any or all of the following herbs: yarrow, tansy, pennyroyal, thyme, lavender, rue, catnip and artemisia. Mix at least a cup of this herbal mixture with 2 tbsp used coffee grounds and 2 cups of water. All this to marinade for at least 24 hours before straining and placing into a spray bottle. This can keep for several weeks

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

shepherd's hook?

kind of a longshot but does anyone have any of those shepherd's hooks to hang baskets on lying around they are not using?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First Garden Club Meeting Scheduled!

The first meeting of the season will be held on Sunday, April 26 at 5 pm at Beth Montgomery's home. A hand out will go around church and an announcement will be made. The topic will be square foot gardening!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Helpful Calculator Tool

I found this great website a few weeks ago and it has really helped me! Today while messing around on it's website I found a very handy tool which can help you calculate the space you need for a certain vegetable, the weight generated from that space, the average price and savings if you purchased that amount from a store, farmers market, or if it was organic. im in heaven!