Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring has Sprung 

The outside is delightful.  The birds are chirping and the warm Spring rain is quenching the thirsty earth.  It's time for nature to wake up.  Spring is my favorite time of the year.  Every thing just seems right in the Spring.  New life abounds in plants and animals.  Even old gardeners begin to feel the urge to be more active and have more energy.  The smell of the moist earth; the sounds of the wild life; and the Spring blooming flowers all have an effect on emotions in a positive way.  Filled with new ideas and plans for the garden year, work begins in Terra Nova Gardens. 
The garden expansion continues.  One and a half more raised beds have been built with one more in the plan.  It will make for six beds on this half of the garden.  The inside fences will be constructed in preparation for the electric fence.  I always have high hopes to stay on top of the weeds but alas by August they are a bit out of control.  Hopefully, this year will be that year when I win and weeds lose. 😃😃

 My plant seedlings are busting at the seams to get outside.  The soil temperature is 46 degrees and should reach the 50 degree mark for me to plant by next week.  I'll be hardening off the plants starting tomorrow by putting them outside for a couple hours the first day and increasing the time each day to perhaps all day by Friday.  Then they will be ready to plant out along with sowing radishes.  Salads will be on the way.   Tomatoes, Green pepper, and Eggplant will have to wait another four to six weeks before planting out.  They are all  ready to be transplanted for the first time.  Each of the two transplanting times the plants will get fresh potting mix which gives them a good boost.  By the middle of May they will be nice sturdy plants ready for the real world.

That's pretty much all for this time.  Happy gardening to all.

Nebraska Dave

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Before Planting Projects

Before Planting Projects 

The weather was glorious today.  It got a little cool in the late afternoon but morning and early afternoon was bright sunshine and almost shirt sleeve weather.  One of my blogger friends has a saying that says, "Do a little bit in the garden at one time and do it often."  Today was a garden day but because the weather was s-o-o-o-o-o nice I did a little bit; then another little bit; and, well, then a whole lot.  I had to get re acquainted  with my old friend Ibuprofen.  Yes, I found those muscles that were forgotten over the Winter months.  😇

Perhaps you can remember that last March I worked on building a platform over the top of my natural Spring.  It didn't really get any farther then this.  It was enough for one year and I've learned to only do things until they stop being fun to do so this project was put in retirement until this March.
I thought it best to add some added support for the platform that will sit on top of the bridge supports.  I got the supports free off Craig's list.  It was just what I needed to span the almost ten feet across the spring.
After re engineering a free pallet from my local exercise equipment store, it is in its final resting place.  I pulled up the pallet boards and spaced them closer to each other.  You can see the rear section of the platform is what it looked like before I started working on it.  After the remodeling,  a hole was cut for the stand pipe.  This pipe, with a little help from neighborhood friends, is buried about six foot or better into the heart of the spring.  Before setting the front part of the platform in place, a good coat of moisture repellent sealer was applied.  Hopefully, this platform will still be good long after I'm gone.  Now I just have to do the same with the back section.  Handrails from again free pallets will surround the edges of the platform.  Then a sand pipe hand pump will be put on top of the pipe.  I figure there's about 30 gallons of water that can be used for miscellaneous things that can be pumped out of the pipe.  I'm not sure all that will get done this year but then there's always next year.

OK, on to the next project for the day.
Yes, the expansion of the protected garden space is now under way.  The fence next to the other beds built last year known as the "Sweet Corn Fortress" was removed.  It was five year old chicken wire fencing that had out lived it's useful life.  I'm hopeful to find some chain link fencing on Crag's list to use which basically lasts a life time.  Any way here's the spot for the next new bed.  Those weeds here I call the Velcro weeds.  The mature heads on the stalks are just like Velcro and will grab a hold of clothing with a strong vengeance.  
I finished up one end of the bed and one side.  There's still a few thin spots to fatten up with a few more rocks but it's a good solid line.  When the rocks have been placed around the perimeter of the bed the inside portion will be cut away with a carpet knife and used else where in the garden.  When the soil dries out some the soil will be turned over with a hand space and cultivated several times about three days after a rain.  After every rain, the unsprouted seeds will wake up and try to grow.  It's much better to cultivate sprouting seeds than to have pull or hoe weeds.  Duh, what a novel idea.  I should have used that method a lot more last year.  

I'm really hopeful to get one more bed completed and the fence up before planting time.

What have you been doing in the garden these days?