Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Felbridge Garden Club

Alright. The Idiot Gardener has his hand in a community plot called the Felbridge Garden Club which is planned to organically garden, have an orchard, and an apiary. The local primary school is also involved now so it will be a valuable educational resource for them. They are looking for donations to help build a deer fence (instead of shooting Bambi and his cousins) and probably other things that are needed. Your donation will be made in GBP so good luck with the currency conversion! Anyway here's the link to the website. Felbridge Garden Club. Take a look around and if you feel the need, hit the donate button. As long as it's for sustainable horticulture and teacher the youth, I'm for it.

Don't know which one is The Idiot.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Clean Up and Transplants

Got quite a bit done this weekend in cleaning up the debris left over from tearing out the old beds. There was a lot more wood than I remembered in putting them together :). I got them apart last Sunday and took the lumber to the recycling center near us this past Friday afternoon. I then spent the remainder of the day getting the excess dirt dug up and spread out over the rear of the yard in a low area, then seeded like crazy!

The far end used to be somewhat low but I got it filled up pretty good. I even bought some wild flower seed and spread over the area so maybe the next owners will have something to look at. 

Tonight I finally got around to moving the remainder of the tomato plants into their new home for a while. More cups and dirt then! For some odd reason these plants have grown better than the other seedlings, even starting them later. Not sure why but it may have something to do with not using peat pots. I also took this opportunity to fill an order from the Wife's work for some of the plants. I have been offered a 'share cropping' opportunity as I'm not sure I'll have the time to get the plantings done this year and I may take up this offer. There is a community garden in a small town near us but I'm not sure I want to go that route. 

The roots are really showing their stuff. Definitely time to get them moved.

Remember the Dollar Store tomato plant? I checked in on it tonight and low and behold....

We'll definitely track the progress of this plant this year. Tami's blog is 500 dollar tomato, which at times is not far from the truth. I'll call this 1 dollar tomato. Well, a little over a dollar since I have to pay the Governor too. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Should Have Stayed in Hibernation

Wow. That's about all I can say. Started tearing out the raised beds and was going to stop at three and leave the bottom one until later since I have lettuce and radishes going in it but, what the hey! Tore it out too and now have a bunch of lumber to go to the recycling facility this Saturday. It was scrap lumber that the Wife and I scoured through from the new houses they were building in the neighborhood behind us plus some we got real cheap at the Restore. The new beds will be built out of cedar. I considered the Trex decking boards until I saw the price per board. It must be gold inlay-ed or something. After the bed demolition I had to dig the mower out of the garage and mow the yard. We don't have a big one and it takes about 25 minutes to get it done. Surprisingly it started on about the 7th pull. I've had this thing since before we moved to NC and the boys and I (mostly I) mowed neighbor's yards for extra cash during the summer months. I've replaced 3 drive cables, the blade, and a few other small pieces. Used so much the front wheels are bald. Definitely got our money's worth out of it. The next mower will have a beer drink holder and I sit on it.
After all that I planted some Zinnias and cleaned up some brush. THEN shower to look at houses. We're getting to know our agent pretty well now so we all have a good time during the search. We did put in a good offer on the short sale but we'll keep looking just the same. I was thinking that maybe I should ease into this Work thing. I know it was a mild winter but we cooled the jets just the same.
One thing I am considering after the motorcycle is a greenhouse (after the pool too honey :). I have wanted one of these for some time just to piddle around in. Wow, piddle is actually a word. I thought it only native to WV? Just the same, I have cruised several sites and found what I think to be a good one. Not bad priced either.

I don't know too much about them aside from what I've read online so any opinions, experiences would be appreciated.
Off to cruise the blogs for a few, see what was for dinner at my Father-in-law's house on Facebook, then look at more houses emailed by our ever best Realtor.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Red Solo Cup, I Fill You Up

Got most of the tomato seedlings moved yesterday to their new homes until planting. I had purchased about 20 small pots for the Dollar store a while back but after looking at what I had to move, there weren't going to be enough. Back to the Dollar store and I picked up four 12 packs of red Solo cups for the job. They are easy to write on, can be reused time and time again, and you have that handy song playing in your head as you work. I got some good soil (Miracle Grow mix) and just transferred the peat pots to the cups with the mix. I drilled a hole in the bottom of each cup for drainage. I had about 8 to 10 seedlings of each variety but kept about 6 of the healthiest and the others were left to their own devices. Pansies! I still have half of another plat to go but those will have to wait for a few days. Outside work today.

Sing along now.....

I put a little of the good dirt in the bottom, made the transfer of the "chosen one" to it's new home, then filled in around and on top of it. 

I saw this little Tomato kit at the Dollar store and was intrigued. Can you grow a healthy tomato plant with their supplied dirt, container, and seeds for $1.00? Four quarters later I was determined to find out. A compressed dirt pellet, small pack of Beafsteak seeds, and a small pot. First, after you add the water to expand the pellet, you end up with twice as much dirt as you need. They give you about 20 seeds in the pack. So far exceeding my expectations. I got it all planted up so now we'll see if it lives up to it's claim. Hey, for $1.00 you can get a viable, healthy tomato plant, why not. I still have seeds left over so if these sprout good, I'll plant the remaining. Free seeds at that point.

The WOF came outside with me to spend quality time. When I started rustling the dirt bag her first though was "food." So I had to open it and let her take a peak inside to make sure it wasn't for her.

Well the excitement of food was apparently too much for her so she decided to spend time with Mr. Sunshine. Man she's spoiled. 

Off to tear out the beds and 'gasp!', mow. Shoot, got to get grass seed too. And a shovel. Wheel barrow. Power washer. Motorcycle. Blower. Mulch.

Seeing if you were paying attention. Enjoy the day :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Updates

Well, it seems that spring is coming fast so it's time to get going on projects that need done!
I just replaced the counter top in the kitchen that I alone am responsible for torching (just a small part.) That's what happens when you leave a towel on the counter next to the stove!
I just now brought down some of my tomato and flower seedlings, gave them a good drink, and will transfer them to larger pots so they can expand. All pictures are courtesy of the Wife's new lens and flash on her DSLR. The only reason I used it is that she didn't know I had it :)

They look a little spindly so I want to get them in some good growing medium. The other tomatoes that I still have under the lights are going great so will definitely have to move them soon too. 

Did a little walk around outside and realized that I have to start tearing the beds apart and get the water lines out of the ground. I still have a couple of lettuce going and they seem to like the current weather.

The flowers around the front of the house just keep going and going. Pansy? Why is someone that appears not in strength called a pansy? These are the toughest flowers that I know of! The white planter box is a yard sale find that the Wife and I found last year. I think we paid around $3.00 to $5.00 for it.

The house search continues in earnest. We looked at three yesterday afternoon with one being a real possibility. It is a short sale so our Realtor has to find out where they are with the bank so we know how long the process will take. We have four more to look at tomorrow afternoon then we'll make a decision and it will be a fast one! Tired of being outbid. 
Off to get some more small containers and some good dirt so I can get those plants moved. Can't sit around all day blogging!
BTW, my brother in law's wife is wanting to start gardening some. She's in Zone 5b (Brrrrr!) so I tried to point her in the direction that might help her. Hopefully she gets a lot of enjoyment out of it. I know I do. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Road to Nowhere

There's always places that you seem to try to get to. Whether it be in life, destination on the highway, or just internal happiness. We call this the Road. Why I don't know but it seems fitting. Always trying to get somewhere.
Driving into Columbia, SC this evening it hit me, or rather showed me.

There's a road ahead. Why it showed this to me at this point is beyond me. But there's always a road ahead. A road that we take every day wondering what's at the end. We made an offer and lost out on our second house within a matter of 4 hours. This must be the road that's ahead of us. Sure, there's more to see around the corner and it will take time. But we always look for the better road ahead that leads to

I took this in one of my many travels with my phone. You can't pass up a good sunset knowing what may be up the road. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Roof Top Gardening

I was driving back from South Carolina Wednesday afternoon and I caught an interesting discussion on The Story by Dick Gordon on NPR radio. Yes, I'm one of those people. I listen to NPR. Anyway, he was having a discussion with Ben Flanner of Queens, New York and Ben's rooftop garden. This rooftop garden is about an acre in size (40,000 square feet) and they sell the produce to help support the garden itself. It was a good listen about some of the challenges they had and how they overcame them plus people's interest in general. Here's a link to the show and here's a direct link to the garden site.

On the seed front, things seem to be going well. My parsley has finally taken off and everything else is growing more and more each day.

Close up of the parsley. Guess I'm not much of a photographer.

I received some seeds from Territorial Seed Company, romance hybrid carrots. I ordered them some time ago but I think they were on back order and I forgot.

 Going out tomorrow and "pre-look" a few houses. We were outbid on the first one but there's always more out there.