Sunday, July 10, 2011

Life is good on the Urban Ranch
Hey everyone things have been growing on the Urban Ranch by leaps and bounds. As you can see the trellis is a great success this year. It makes a great difference to grow shade plants on the trellis. The drip watering helps too. It was a great addition. It makes for a great place to just sit and relax after a day working in the yard and garden.
One of the projects that I'm involved with is the swingset that the neighbor gave to Bradley, my grandson. His kids are too old for the swingset and he thought it would be a great idea to tell Bradley that he could have it. Well, it actually was a great addition to the back yard and was is fairly good shape. Here you can see the condition of the cross bars after the boys have climbed and jumped on the bars. Sixty five pounds of active boy on a skinny cross bar doesn't work too well. Ah well what's a grandpa to do?Grandpa's fix was to make cross bars out of the top bar of a chain link fence. The test was to let the neighborhood boys climb on the bar to their heart's content. It passed the test of the sixty five pound boys. The swingset is now concreted into the ground and the horse has been installed back on the swingset. Yesterday Bradley and I went to the home improvement store and bought new swings and a set of rings to hang on. All that's left now is to repair the glider and the slide. That shouldn't take too long. The backyard is already the place to hang out for the boys of the neighborhood. Actually, I kind of like that idea. At least I can see where they are and what they are doing.Mornings are spent in the garden just enjoying the view and morning cup of coffee. It's becoming a morning ritual. It's amazing how the garden changes in just a couple days. This picture is about a week old and already the garden looks quite different. The tomatoes are beginning to grow green tomatoes, the green peppers have buds on them, the potatoes are blooming, and the cucumbers are growing toward the top of the support structure. The spring salad garden is done but the GRIT magazine garden software says that I can replant the lettuce and radishes now for the fall. I am thinking it's a little early and might wait until the end of July before plant the fall salad garden. What do you think?
Here's a full view of garden. The new blue water barrel is in place. It is a 50 gallon barrel that replaced the 35 gallon black barrel. It works better since I can take off the top and clean it when neccessary. The water spigot can be attached much better by being able to get inside to tighten up the nut on the inside of the barrel. I have two more blue barrels for garden expansion. Right now I have five garden beds but plan to expand by one or two more before the summer is over. However, the expansion will require the removal of the bush you can see on the far end. Ah, well, I used to dealing with roots to accomplish projects.
Bradley, my grandson, is leaving to visit his Dad for the month of July. While he is gone I plan on building a fort which will be about 6 feet up in the air. It will be a surprise when he returns home. I figure it will be a good welcome home surprise. That should definitely make the backyard a place for the boys to hang out.
Until the next time have a great day in the garden and keep those projects in progress.


  1. Your yard certainly sounds like the place to be for young boys. How cool to have a grandpa to fix and build fun stuff.
    Your flowers on the trellis look like they're doing good. A great place for the gardener to relax.
    It has been so hot lately, I'm not planning to try and plant any cool season crops yet. They seem to have a hard time sprouting in hot soil. I have read you could water the soil well and put a lot of straw over it to shade the area before trying to plant there. That is suppose to help cool the soil enough for them to sprout. Our horticulture agent has a nice list of when to plant what for our area. Currently, carrots are on the list for another sowing. I may try putting some of them out again after I harvest what is out there now. I'm getting some nice carrots. Hope it's not too hot in your neck of the woods.

  2. Hi Dave
    Expanding the garden? Wonderful. Sounds like the gardening bug has definately struck.
    The house will probably seem pretty quiet the rest of the month, but what a great surprise you have planned-he'll enjoy the fort!

    I'd hold off on radishes for a few more weeks-you still have a long growing season left. Me? I have to put in my fall cauliflower/broccoli now as I'm down to only 8 weeks until the killing frosts hit.