Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dresser planter

We inherited a dresser turned counter a while back when some family members decided they no longer wanted it. To be honest, the thing was too ugly for us to use so it sat in the garage until today when I decided to turn it into a planter.

As you can see, I cut out most of the top and plan to fill the top drawers with soil and compost. Once set up, we will have herbs in the top and strawberries growing out of the bottom two drawers. Just as with the SFG boxes, I have drilled drainage holes in the bottoms of the drawers to help prevent rain drowning the plants.

To keep from filling the bottom drawers with soil, I will nail some wood, probably from what I took off the top, as new backs to them. It will look pretty cool, and it will at least serve a purpose now rather then to take up space in the garage. I had considered putting it on freecycle but I think this is probably a better use considering the condition it was in anyway.

When it is set up I will post new pics so everyone can admire my handiwork.

By the way, I have written a bit more of a description on making the planter here.

Photos taken with Canon Powershot A570is

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Planting the boxes

Well I finally planted the first stage of my two boxes today. I was putting it off so I could set up a self watering system but was unable to get the things I needed to make it work soon enough. I will keep collecting what I need and set it up for next year. We have also been having some odd days of hail rain and snow that had me worried about it being too cold.

So far I have planted corn, carrots and tomatoes as you can see mapped in the pictures. In about two weeks I will plant peas in with the corn as well as some zucchini or possibly even pumpkins. That is a lot of stuff, but I am confident they will grow. I will just have to be sure to put in some more compost and miracle grow which, according to the label is organic too.

I am direct sowing everything which as far as I can tell is sure to doom the entire garden anyway. The way I figure it, farmers don't plant thousands of corn plants and start them above their fridge, so why should I? This is my lazy square foot garden and I am supposed to let nature do the work with minimal input from me, not the other way around. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, and if Mr. Fukuoka can just toss his seeds out every year, why can't I?

So keep your fingers crossed with me and let's hope for the best.

Photos taken with Canon Powershot A570is

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pruning our trees (first time for everything)

So we finally pruned the trees in our yard. We have been putting it off because we are renters and figured that since we have no experience at this sort of thing, the landlords would rather have a professional take care of it.

No such luck so far so I decided to put some of my reading to use. Last year I read up a bit and figure I learned just enough to know that I probably killed three trees today. Fortunately for these trees it is still too early for them to realize what I have done. My sincere hope is that they have forgotten it was me by the time they start to notice it is too late. All I need is for three relatively large trees to have it in for me when I'm out in the yard later this summer.

For the most part I think I did it right. Or at least close enough to right anyway. The problem is my timing. There are already blooms on all three trees and although I would have liked to remove only dead branches, the severe overgrowth of the trees meant I had to remove a lot of perfectly healthy branches. This at a time when the tree is sending all of its energy to support new growth.

On the plus side, if they do die, I can plant something that will actually produce a fruit.

If they make it, then I will go in again this fall and finish them of...err up. They still have some dead wood, branches growing downward and some overgrowth higher up in the tree.

I used all of the professional tools at my disposal which meant a small discount store hand saw, dresser (my make shift ladder) and an actual pair of pruning shears with handles about 2 feet long. At least I think that's what they are. We found them in the woods last year and they actually worked great. This means everything I removed was at a height up to about 8 feet or so.

Oh well, live or die, the people using the sidewalk already appreciate my efforts and the pruning in the backyard frees up some space to allow for some clothes line drying of laundry this summer. Keeping my fingers crossed I don't live in one of those anti clothes line communities.