Archive for May, 2008

I harvested some mustard in bulk finally. My oldest row now looks the same as the 2 week younger row as I kept the smallest leaves intact. Chestnut will be pleased.
I had to and did plant the first seedlings in the ground! The salsa tomatoes, 6 of them are now deeply planted in the earth. I set up a deep watering system using old juice bottles. And each are covered with a 2-liter bottle with the bottom cut off as a mini greenhouse. Not really needed for temps, but for wind. It is really windy these past few days.
The rest of the seedlings are going to stay outside, except in cases of bad weather like last night. The UV grow light gave my seedlings sunscald or sun burn, because one leaf that was half covered by another leaf only had damage where it had received direct light. For future reference, I guess 5 or 6 weeks is all the plants could take of that light spectrum.

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I found a slug on the mustard leaf this morning. It must not have been motivated to leave as it was still wet from the rain from last night.

Here is a list of remedies:

  • fermented orange juice (no beer in house) in a sunken cup—nada.
  • sprinkling oats on the ground hoping the slugs will eat the oats and not the leaves–in progress.
  • diamatecus earth,
  • sprinkling salt on and around the plants,
  • real beer in a sunken cup,
  • a trap of a flat board that they’ll crawl under,
  • a spray of pureed garlic, or
  • commercially prepared hot pepper wax spray
  • picking them off by hand–eww, seriously?

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Is it silly to be proud of my compost pile? I am trying to keep a regular schedule for turning the pile and adding waste to it. My usual day is Monday, but I did it today, Tuesday, because of Memorial Day. I really should stop adding to it now and just let it decompose but it’s so tempting to just add my stuff cause it’s only 2 buckets worth. Kitchen scraps, Chestnut’s litter inc. poop and shredded paper, and old hay. When I turned the pile today, I felt it as usual and it was warm!!! Hooray! It was also teeming with life: fat and happy worms, ants, and some other bugs. Aside from clumps of sod and some hay and paper, you can’t tell what each ingredient was, which is great. I was very happy cause I was able to garbage pick two big bags of straw. One had tipped over so I was able to see what it was. I really needed it to add more brown and it decomposes faster than leaves.
I took out the sod for my second plot, as I mentioned, and underneath was a black double cable. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough slack on the line to move it to the edge of my plot, so I was forced to bury it deeper. I’ll have to make a note about it’s exact location. Just remember to never till deeper than one pitch fork deep, or the cable will come loose. I used landscape staples to tie it to the ground. I guess that discovery threw me off because I had to stop my inertia to go buy the staples and haven’t gotten back to it again yet. It’s always something, like a family get together, or the lawn needs mowed, etc that keeps me from finishing the final tilling, but I must get it done this week because I want to plant my seedlings already.
.     My flower seedlings started wilting bad in the flat, so I figured they wouldn’t do worse outside, so I went ahead and planted those yesterday. I did 12 out of 13 plants in our front planting box. That dirt was so terrible! The landscape rocks, or what was left of them, were all over the surface and they were under the soil too, which made digging holes hard. I don’t know what those roots are going to have to do. And the soil was about half clay and half sand. I know they’re going to die. And the low tonight is near 35F, so they’ll probably freeze too. Oh well, I never wanted those seeds anyway.
I planted the sunflowers one day when it rained. More than half of them have sprouted already, so we might get some beautiful sunflowers in a few months!
I’ve got three sets of lettuce rows planted and doing good. Except something is munching on my lettuce leaves, especially the mustard. I think it’s slugs, but as it’s for Chestnut, I haven’t been motivated to do anything about it. The plants are doing good despite the holes, so I’ll get around to finding the culprit one of these days.
I noticed a rabbit eating its way across our patio, so I was worried it would discover my lettuce patch and eat it all. So we got an inexpensive low fence at Big Lots. I don’t know if it would actually keep a motivated rabbit out of the garden, but it looks good anyway.

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