in the garden

sowing…growing…harvesting

Mista’s Update

Well, I haven’t posted in a while so I have much to tell.

First and for most, the Damn Hipster Rats continue to eat my garden. They think I am running a salad bar over here. It is very disheartening to see months of work get eaten by unseen critters. They have completely destroyed all my salad greens. I have set traps, plugged in one of those sonic devices, installed a motion sensor light. I caught a couple of the little thieves in my traps, but now the seem to just avoid the traps and go straight for the lettuce. I will try a different bait in the traps, I was using peanut butter at first, and then switched to raisins as they are easier to use. I don’t think the raisins are tempting enough, so back to peanut butter. I would rather not have to kill the little critters, but I can not let them eat all my greens.

So on a better note, my nursery is doing great, tomatoes and peppers are thriving. The Roma’s are not very happy since being potted up, but they may bounce back. The Cherokee Purple and Brown Berry are doing well, I just potted them up yesterday. The peppers had a bout of unhappiness, but they are thriving now.

I will be starting the basil soon, maybe even today. I am excited to have basil back in my life. I am not sure if you know, but I really enjoy growing basil. It is a very rewarding plant, and so very tasty. I grew enough last year to be in constant supply of pesto over the summer, and I froze enough to last well into winter. I plan to grow more this year, I would like to have enough in the freezer to last until next years fresh basil is ready. We shall see.

All the herbs are doing well, and being left alone by those damn rats. So that is a bonus. I am going to grow more parsley this year as my mother wants to drink parsley tea for her health. I will also ramp up the oregano and rosemary I think. We have lots of thyme so I will just stick with the established plantings there. Cilantro is being slow to grow, the first quadrant of my milk crate bed has sprouted, but has not done much else. I planted the second quadrant last week. We love cilantro around here, so I am crossing my fingers that it does well. I didn’t have much luck with it last year, but I belive that had to do with not giving it enough depth. They have long tap roots, and need some space. So we wait and see.

The Allium Clan is doing well. Garlic is strong and thriving, both here on the porch, and at the 12th and clark plot. The leeks are doing well, and I will be planting a second round of leeks very soon. I should have done so already, but that’s ok. The rescued onions and the multiplier onions are doing great, and last but not least, the chives are thriving. The rats are staying away from the alliums so I am happy about that.

Oh and I built a strawberry tower, I am now just waiting for my plugs to arrive. There is 50 holes, I will grow 25 June bearing and 25 Everbearing. I am looking forward to those sweet nuggets. My two little blueberries are doing well I believe, they did not produce at all last year, but that was to be expected, maybe this year I will get a few. I was hoping to get some raspberries this year, but it didn’t happen, I was going to try them in buckets. Maybe next year.

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You Dirty Rat!

organic ratThose Hipster Rats have eaten my vegi’s yet again!

Little rodents with rolled up jeans and a jaunty hat is what I picture when I find my garden has been invaded.

Or maybe something like this guy!

I prefer to deter pests as opposed to more going for a killing approach, but having tried peppermint oil, hardware cloth collars, and other deterrents in the past, to no avail. I now set traps for these little thieves, but they are getting wise. I really don’t want to use poison, it just seems to cowardly, and potentially dangerous to innocent bystanders. I will try more traps and get a movement controlled light on the patio.

These thieving rats won’t get the best of Me!

Categories: in the garden, meanderings | 1 Comment

Green Onion Rescue

20130226-182143.jpg So I forgot to mention my onion rescue.

Wait… I have to fill you in on the background here. I am a big fan of regrowing any organic green onions I buy from grocery stores and markets. I use the greens in my cooking and plant the little bulbs, and those little guys just move right in and start growing me more green onion tops.

So, now back to the rescue mission. In my compost foraging last week, I was able to pick out some really nice green onions. Still bunched and ready for sale. So, I cut off the bulbs as you see here. Usually when I am doing this with onions I have purchased I cut them a little closer to the bulb. I still want a nice bit of that in my cooking you see. In this case tho the greens were just going into the compost.

20130226-182120.jpgThe next step is to put them in some water overnight. I throw a little rooting powder in with the water as well. This is completely unnecessary, but I have the powder, so why not give those little guys some booster juice. The next day those little guys are ready to stick into some dirt.

To tell you a little secret, you could leave out all the fussy stuff and just stick those guys straight into some dirt. Take them straight from the cutting board and stick them into your garden. They will have a great time I am sure.

I just like to go the extra mile.20130226-182131.jpg

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Compost Foraging Again

20130226-182414.jpgSo as you may remember I still needed to find an abundance of green material for my tomato soil composting project. M had the jeep again, so I jumped into a car2go, and went off in search of green material.

My first stop actually was at my friend SL’s place, not for green material but to bring him some poly for his little greenhouse project. He is going to build “greenhouse” shelf similar to the one I have. Great minds think alike, and fools seldom differ. I like to think of SL and myself as Great Minds, but maybe we are Great Fools. Either way I’m fine with it.

After talking about the Pallet Bed garden we are building in his back yard some, we tromped off to grab some leaves I saw in a pile at the school near his house. We could have just drove over in his jeep, but as we needed to take the dog for a stroll we rigged up a little wagon of sorts and headed off.

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After that little detour I got back into the car2go and headed of in search of green materials. I did a tour of a number of different grocery stores, and was able to get two buckets from Nesters, and two buckets from Organic Acres Market. Most of what I found was leafy greens and other small items, so it was perfect. Some of the bigger items I cut up as I want this pile to decompose quickly. I need finished compost by the beginning of June remember.

So that new composter is now about half full already. Mister Frank’s compost area is looking good. Today I will get some coffee grounds from Bean Around The World to add to the mix, and most likely take my buckets for a walk up to Organic Acres and East West Market, and see if I can get any more greens.

20130226-182308.jpgI’m feeling good about the tomato project now, I was not happy about the prospect of having to buy compost.

In fact very soon I will be able to start those tomatoes in the “Nursery”. As you may know I only have one shelf in a closet for starting my seeds. I have a lot of seeds to start this year, but with careful planning I think it can be done.

Happy Gardening To All!

Categories: adventures in urban agriculture, Compost, in the garden | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Pets

20130226-092914.jpgYup, worms make the best pets.

They never make noise, the don’t need to be walked,

and best of all instead of cleaning up after them,

they clean up after you.

Go Wrigglers!

Here are a couple of links to learn more about these great pets, who turn your waste into one of  the best plant nutrient you will find.

http://www.cityfarmer.org/wormcomp61.html

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/

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Vancouver Moment

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M had the Jeep, so I took the car2go for my gardening errands.

-Give the garlic some worm tea and fish fertilizer.

-Forage for leaves.

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Happy Garlic :0)

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Compost Foraging

20130225-164309.jpgWell I was lax in the fall. I did not collect any leaves. I thought about it, but I didn’t act. You see I was not really composting in bulk. I have the worm bin, and the rest of my compost goes to the green bins. For the amount of space I have had , it’s been enough.

This year though I have more space! I currently have two Pallets Beds on the go and two more planned. One of which will be tomatoes in Global Buckets. The first two pallet beds were filled with top soil that was already on site. I amended them with worm castings, bone meal, kelp meal, a balanced granular mix, liquid fish fertilizer, and of course worm tea.

Now the problem arises that I am going to need to build soil for my global buckets. I have a dozen planned so far. I will be using coconut coir as the base, but I need a large amount of compost.

Luckily, tomatoes do not go into the ground for some time. So… I must make some compost. Enter the need for leaves. Alas it is not so easy to find leaves in early spring. Ok it’s technically late winter, but lets be optimistic here. So a few days ago G and I were lamenting about the need for leaves, he did collect lots, but being G, he needs more. Well just yesterday he called to give the locale of this awesome pile.

20130225-183626.jpgToday I jumped in the car2go and grabbed seven bags full. Oh Ya! Now i need to make the round of a few grocery stores for some green waste, and we are off to the races.

Now I bet you thought this tale was done, oh no. So when I got home from the leave adventure, I ambled over to Welks to see if they were carrying any large garbage containers to turn into a composter, when I bumped in to J, the proprietor, and we got to chatting as usual, and when he heard I was going to be making a composter, he gave me one he had in the basement. Awesome!

I’ll keep you all posted on my further foraging endeavours

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Compost2Go

20130225-183626.jpgYes sir,

yes sir,

seven bags full sir.

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Sowed Spinach

Unknown variety from Seedy Saturday seed swap. Calling it Mistery Spinach.

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