Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ebay Addiction

Ok, I need to stay away from ebay. I bought some shampoo ginger tubers about a week ago but then had to have the person hold the shipment because I realized 'duh, I might not be here when it gets shipped'. I bought them because I used to have some but they died in the arctic winter we had last year. But I loved the plants and little flower spikes so I decided to replace them with these. Then last night I saw the camera I wanted and bought it. Should get here some time next week. Then just now I ordered some moringa seeds. If you don't know what moringa is, go look it up. Very nutrient dense plant. But that's it. I'm not buying anything else until we get into the house......... Oh, look at that.

Talking About the Property and My Plans

So we sent a bunch of stuff to the lender today so he can get our mortgage loan started. (squeeeeeel!) Won't be much longer now and we'll be getting into the nitty gritty of things here. Like the land being surveyed, etc. Speaking of the land, I thought I would post some pics of it here. They're not the best pics since they're just screenshots from google maps. But next time we're at the property I'll be sure to get actual pics. If you're extra good, I might even get video.

This is the overhead of the property. Nothing has been done to this land except it's been cleared. I.E, no trees. Our property is from the road all the way almost to the pond. The pond isn't ours. But you never know what the future might bring. The trees on either side of the property are as far as it goes in those directions. The big line going through the property is a runoff from the pond. Some people might see that as a bad thing. I see it as a decorative water feature.

This is a street view image. It's taken from the road and right about in front of were the runoff meets the road.

Um, I think that's all I can say about it now until the building and such starts. I got some Christmas money from my parents and inlaws. I'll be saving that for an IBC tote, some 55 gallon plastic drums and some soil. So my aquaponics project will be getting off to a quick start once we move in. 

I also want to build some raised beds but soil might get expensive quick. So I'm thinking of filling them with free horse manure and just planting straight into it. A friend of mine does that and she's had horses almost her whole life so I trust her opinion. I can always mix in a couple bags of cheap garden soil if things don't seem to be going well.

I'm kind of torn about if I want to buy the IBC tote right away or not. There's a camera I'd really like to get that's about the same price. It's got HD video, it's waterproof(fishy cam anyone?) and you can stream over wifi. The only thing I don't like is that the audio isn't the best. But from what I've on youtube, it's best to record the audio separately anyway.  Especially if you're not going to be close to the camera the whole time.

Do I NEED this camera right now? No. Will I be able to do some really neat things in the future with it? Hell yeah! But the question of, is the IBC tote more important or is the camera? I can use the camera now for videos and pics. But I still have my tablet and regular camera that I can do those with. So the IBC tote might be better for my aquaponics. But then again, I can get by just fine by using the 55 gallon barrels to start out with.

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below or comment on my google plus page. Nevermind. I found the camera on ebay for a pretty good price so I went ahead and got it. And it will leave me plenty of money to get several of those 55 gallon barrels. I'm a sucker for plants and animals. But I'm also a sucker for gadgets.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Indoor Greens Container Update

So here are the results so far of my indoor greens container.

Things are growing. At first I didn't put in the aluminum foil because I wanted to see if it would work without it. But, as you can see, things got leggy. They improved when I put in the foil so, yes, you definitely do need the foil in this project.

As you can see below, some of the leaves have gotten singed. That is because I had the lights hanging straight down and the leaves touched them. Even though cfl bulbs don't get hot like regular incandescent bulbs, they are still too hot to touch with hands or leaves.

So I've changed the bulbs to a horizontal orientation.

 Since this brings the bulbs just a little farther away from the bulbs, I've put aluminum foil on the underside of the lid to direct as much light back down to the plants as possible. I didn't take a picture of that though.

Early on I also noticed that the plants seemed a little limp even though they had plenty of water. I don't know if that was because of extra heat being held in by the lid (it's not air tight but it does snap on at each end where the handles are) or if they weren't getting enough air current or just air itself. So I drilled some holes in the top for ventilation. This seemed to solve that problem as the leaves perked up pretty well.

My next step is to either harvest all the plants I've got in there now and start over, or just harvest the most leggy ones and leave anything that looks ok. So far the pac choi (bottom right in the top picture) seems to be doing the best. But I put in the foil shortly after they sprouted. So that might be why. The red russian kale is the most leggy because it sprouted first and was my indicator that I needed more light. There are a couple spinach sprouts but they're kind of small and weak looking. I think the seeds were a little old. But I'll try them again in case it was because of the lights or ventilation.

I also plan on starting some purslane in here. I think these conditions will be just about right for them. Not yet sure what else I want to try. I'll have to look through my seed stash. But if anybody has any ideas or suggestions. Bring 'em on! I'm always open to suggestions and ideas. The sharing of ideas is one of the best ways we expand our knowledge and learn new things.

Friday, December 19, 2014

We're Going for It!

So they called us back and said they could give us a loan for most, but not all, of the down payment. That works for me! Gets us a lot closer than we are right now. But since hubby was at work, he wasn't able to call them back today. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day! Can you tell I'm excited? Then as soon as we have that money in the bank account, we'll call the lender and tell him so he can get the loan started. Then we'll call the builder so they can get the house started. 6.32 acres! Here I come!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Big News!....... Maybe

So I can't keep quiet any longer. I've got to say it. The big news I mentioned before. The still only POSSIBLE big news. But big news none the less.

For the past month or so we've been looking into getting a modular house built. Not a very big house. 4 bedroom/2 bath. 1600sqft in total. I say looking into because we're still working on getting the mortgage loan and until that happens, nothing's been built yet. The only thing that's holding the mortgage back is the down payment. We would need about $6,000. But we have nothing saved up. Hard to save when you have bills to pay. But according to the lender, North Carolina has a thing that helps you specifically with the down payment. Only trouble with that is that you have to have a credit score of 640 or higher. Hubby's credit score is almost there so we need something that will push us up just that little bit. So we've got some credit cards we're trying to pay down that have gotten a bit more than 50% full. Seems that under 30% is a lot better place to be. And doing that would cost us a lot less than trying to save $6,000. (I actually wrote this post yesterday but we also applied for a personal loan at our credit union today. They said we should know by tomorrow if we're approved.)

We're really excited but since we don't yet have the mortgage loan, we're still trying to stay realistic that it could possibly fall through. One of the things we're excited about most is that this will be a brand new house. Not something used and abused by somebody else. It will only get abused by us and us alone. It's like buying a used car. You never know how the previous owner treated it or what problems it might have. It's brand new! Even the septic and well will be new.

We have already been back to the dealer's and picked out all the colors and such. I say colors loosely though. We ended up picking out a lot of greys. Light grey siding on the house, black shutters, black roof (more like dark grey). Grey laminate wood flooring in the main rooms, light grey carpet in the bedrooms, beige paint on the walls(this is actually standard but we can always repaint later if we want), dark wood cabinets in the kitchen, beige counter tops and back splash. I think that's pretty much everything. Walls, floors, kitchen, outside.

We actually like the grey and beige combination. But I realized the other day that we may occasionally have difficulty finding cat. The thing I'm holding is a sample of the wood laminate flooring we picked out.

There will also be a fireplace in the den. That's where we'll probably spend most of our time. I love a wood fireplace and have always wanted a house with one. So there we go. We also opted for the kitchen upgrade that gets us all black kitchen appliance. Big fridge, dishwasher, glass top stove, microwave above the stove. I think the standard kitchen was just a basic off white fridge and coil burner stove. Off white appliances wouldn't have gone well with the dark cabinets.

Even though I'm really excited about the house, the cherry on top for me is that we found a 6.32 acre piece of land for a really really good price. I will finally be able to have the mini farm I've wanted for years. I will finally be able to provide healthy, unprocessed food for my family by growing a big garden and raising livestock. We've already been to the property a couple times. Once to make sure we liked it, then with their contractor to discuss placement of the house and such. I didn't want to leave. I think the next time will be after we get the loan and we go look at it again with a property appraiser so he can mark the exact layout of the property and other such things.

The only other possible problem is that our lease is up here at the end of March. So we need to get this loan quick so they can start building the house. They can have the house built in a month. But getting the foundation wall put in and actually placing the house and such could be held up if the weather starts to get bad. Like snow and ice bad. They can't dig a place for the foundation or put in the septic and well if the ground is frozen. So far this winter has been really mild so hopefully that holds out. If all goes to plan, they should have the house placed in plenty of time. But since there are still lots of things that can go awry, we're still nervous.

We've already spoken with the landlords here and they said they would work with us if the house wasn't done on time. The details of 'working with us' aren't ironed out, but at least we know we're not going to be kicked out if we don't renew our lease.

Anyway, that's pretty much it. I'll post again once we know if we got the loan or not. Cross your fingers, toes and eyes for us. Or maybe not. Fingers and toes can get cramped and crossing your eyes isn't supposed to be good for them. Instead, wish us luck and keep us in your prayers.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Air Lift Pump for Aquaponics

I keep forgetting to post this here. My mind is all over the place lately. Working on garden type stuff, learning the new sensor for my daughter's insulin pump, trying to get a mortgage for the house..... Oops, did I say that last part? Maybe I did. But I'll hold off on the details until we're sure we can get the mortgage. But here's the video I recorded the other day about my air lift pump I made for my future aquaponics idea.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Growing Greens Indoors

So remember those projects I promised to update you on? Well, this isn't those. I'm still working on those to get them to work the way I want. Also, I've been distracted by something that might bring big changes for our family. But I'll say nothing further because I don't want to jinx things. I'm not usually a superstitious person. But, like I said, this is a big change and I don't want to take any chances.

Anyway, you might be asking what is this blog about then? (Or maybe not if you read the title.) This blog is about salad. More specifically, growing salad greens indoors. I've tried growing greens in windows, I've tried growing greens in windows with cfl bulbs for added light. Neither turned out as well as I would have liked and the bottles hanging in the windows looked a bit unsightly and the lights were a bit bright shining out my windows.

So I got an idea inspired by something I'd seen in some videos. The people took cardboard boxes and lined them with tin foil or mylar. Inside they put a daylight bulb and some plants. The foil helped to bounce as much light as possible around the plants. I didn't have any cardboard boxes but I do have these big 30 gal containers.

I drilled a hole in the top and then three more around it, spaced evenly. I stuck the sharp part of my little pruners in the middle hole and turned. This broke the plastic between the middle hole and the ones around it. (I didn't have a big enough drill bit to make a big enough hole.) I then took the wire at the top of the lamp and looped it over and stuck it through the enlarged hole.

The thing I have holding the wire is just the clip that attaches the lamp to the clamp.

Here's an inside view at the lamps. They're hanging close to the lids because I'm holding the lid up. They hang directly down when the lid is closed. You can also see some of the little pots. I used butter tubs, large yogurt containers and cottage cheese containers.

Here's another picture of the inside with the lid almost closed. The daughter and I planted four pots of pak choi, four pots of Bloomsdale long standing spinach, and six pots of red Russian kale.

Anyway, this project was really easy and I threw it together in one afternoon. I will probably do the tin foil tomorrow. I won't take a pic of that though because it will probably be too bright and end up as a white blur. I didn't take a picture of the inside of the other container because I just have my succulents and a tropical in it for now. If things go really well in the first container, I may find some place else for the tropical and succulents and put more greens in the second container.

And that's it for now. I will update you all when I have more info on this and other various projects. And hopefully a big announcement! Have a good day/night!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I'm Doing

Nothing really much going on right now. I did build a sort of greenhouse thing to protect my more tender plants. It's not the best built contraption in the world and I think I need to do a bit more work to it. But that will have to wait until next week. After I get it more stable I will post some pics and maybe even a video.

I'm also working on an idea for an aquaponics system. Right now I'm working on some of the plumbing details before I start filling up containers with soil. Yes, I said soil. I'm going to attempt an aquaponics setup with soil. I know. Soil is supposed to be a big no no in aquaponics. But I think my ideas for my setup are pretty sound. Most of that is going to have to wait until next spring. I don't want to deal with working the kinks out of the system and getting the nitrogen cycle locked in while having to deal with possible freezing in the winter weather. So spring it is.

But that's basically what I've been up to. Just working on projects in my spare time. But nothing really to show yet. Once I have things worked out that I can show, I'll post it here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Good Deal on Fruit Trees

So Lowe's is having a sale on a lot of their trees and I was able to get two more fruit trees. A Santa Rosa semi-dwarf plum and a Red Delicious semi-dwarf apple. And they were 75% off, so I only paid $5 for them.

Unfortunately I then realized that all these trees need pollinators. Meaning you need more than one variety for each one to pollinate with. I already have the other apple. But I need a partner for the peach and the plum. But this Lowe's doesn't have anything left except a couple apples. I'll have to make a trip to another Lowe's not far away to see what they have available. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

We Made a Shelf

So this weekend I made a shelf for my daughter. She's artistic so I wanted something creative. So Friday I went to Lowes and got some wood. Three particle board about 4ft long and four 1x1(I think) pieces of wood for the legs.

To attach it all together I got these little brackets. They came in a package of four with the screws. I used three packages.

Put all together, this is what it looks like. It's just slightly wobbly so I'd like to find a way to stabilize it. But until then, it will definitely work.

Then Sunday we went and got some paint. A dark purple for the base and some little bottles of acrylic craft paint for color. I think it turned out rather well.

As you can see, each shelf got it's own pattern. Top shelf got splatter.

Second shelf got rainbows.

And third shelf got splotches.

Anyway. That's all I've got for now. Have a good one.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pac choi, Rooting and Coppertone Sedum

So the pac choi has been doing fairly well in their little protective domes. But they're getting a little big for them so I decided to uncover one of the buckets to see if the birds will still bother them at this size.

The leaves are the perfect size for baby salad greens. But I think I'll let them grow a bit bigger and see how they do.

When I was putting the fruit trees in the car when I got them Saturday, apparently I damaged a small branch on the peach tree. So instead of just cutting it off and throwing it away, I decided to try to root it. I know raw honey is supposed to be a good rooting hormone. But all I had was store bought so that's what I used. I still haven't had much luck with rooting things. (Except succulent. But you basically lay those on the soil or in it just a little and then leave it alone.) But I will eventually find a rooting method that works for me. Hopefully this will be it and I'll have at least one more peach tree.

This succulent is called Coppertone or serum nussbaumerianum. It likes full sun which makes it turn a lovely copper color. I think this one likes where I have it, apparently, because it's color is starting to develop. I can't wait to see it completely colored out.

K. It's bed time. Have a good one folks.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm Fruity!

More than one meaning to that title. But let's concentrate on something that's doesn't have anything to do with my mental health. Like fruit trees!

The three plants in the picture are (left to right) an Elberta peach tree, a  lake emerald grape vine, and a golden delicious apple tree. Lowes decided to be evil and offer several types of fruit trees and bushes. I would have liked to get more than this but, yet again, I didn't want to spend too much. Also, an update of the pear tree that I got from Biglots about a month back, its dead. I broke off the branches and it had no green in it what so ever. Oh well. I thought I would give it a chance but I guess it was too far gone.

I've had another bit of a disappointment with my succulent.

See the dead thing in the top right corner of this container? That's one of my split rock succulents. It used to look like the one in the bottom left. But I think a couple nights of heavy rain blew in on it. These like to stay very dry. So I think it just rotted from getting too wet. The other one is doing fine and hopefully it'll bloom in the spring and just maybe I'll get some viable seeds.

Everything else is doing well also. Since the echeveria in the middle lost so many leaves around it's stem, I'm thinking of cutting the top part off and rooting it. Then the stem will resprout some more leaves and I'll have two plants. I also want to paint this container and put something decorative on the soil. But I don't want to use gravel or anything because I'm afraid the weight of it will compact the soil. I'll have to research options and give it some thought.

And here's a succulent leaf I found that had fallen off of it's original plant. I've had it sitting on it's side for about two weeks and it's starting to grow some roots. Next it'll start growing little plantlets.

And the last update for this post will be my sprouting red Russian kale. I have the bottles over them mostly to protect them from the birds. (I swear, in Ohio it was the squirrels digging in my buckets. Here it's the birds eating my salad greens.) I planted two more buckets with the kale and every seed I planted is coming up. This stuff just grows so good for me. I love it.

I also made this bucket with vermiculite in the bottom to about where I drilled the drainage holes in each sides. Then I put the landscape fabric to keep the soil separate. And then, of course, the soil. With my other buckets the soil goes all the way to the bottom. But with the soil/manure and reservoir in the bottom, that area is always wet and anaerobic bacteria can grow and sore the soil. Kind of how a bog smells because it's always wet. So this bucket is also an experiment to see if the plants do better with a neutral based medium in the reservoir.

Anyway. That's it for now. Have a good one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I've figured out what I'm going to grow in the big container. Carrots. It'll take advantage of, at least, some of the depth of the container. And we'll definitely eat them. I had a bucket that I'd started some carrots but the birds got those too. But I'll have to protect them from the birds with cut off jugs and such. I'll also be able to grow more carrots in the big container. Now what should I grow in the bucket that no longer has carrots in it?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Continue to Wait

Hi. I know. I'm slacking on updates lately. But not really anything to report about. Pulled the radishes but I waited too long so they had started going woody. Gotten some peas off my plants but not really much to mention. Very tasty though. Many of the greens I planted have been getting eaten by birds so I've had to put cut off juice bottles over them for protection. I've also found caterpillars on several.

The one thing the birds or bugs haven't really touched is the mustard spinach. And I can understand why. It's pretty bitter. I'm going to let it stay for a while longer to see how it does during the cooler weather. If it's still bitter than I'll just pull it. I prefer my salad greens to not be bitter. I have to use less dressing that way.

One salad green that I'm still really pleased with is the red russian kale. It has a lovely flavor, seems to do well in the summer (I keep it in mostly shade), and has just grown really well the two years I've grown it. I've planted some more in a couple of buckets that didn't survive the birds. I might also put some in the big container where the radishes were.

Or I might put my raspberry and blackberry plant in it. Then again, don't think I'll put the berries in there. That container is way too heavy to move so I'll have to empty it when we finally do get our own place and I'll have to find something else to put them in. Maybe I'll put the asparagus in it since they don't have any room in the small containers they're in. A year of growth in the big container will do them some good. But asparagus roots don't go very deep so the depth of that big container might go to waste. Aaahhh! I don't know. I'll figure out something to put in there. I need my own friggin place to actually plant a garden in the ground!

With the realization of how difficult it's going to be to save about 5k for a down payment, I've been kind of down in the dumps. Besides the fact that with winter coming, any potential projects are on hold. Also the fact I can't make a whole lot of plans for projects since it's going to be a while before I can put anything into practice. Like the greenhouse for example. Not enough room in our little patio to put a 10x20 foot greenhouse. Can't even think of livestock yet. Still plan on doing a small scale aquaponics idea with barrels if I can get them. But that can't start until the spring because I don't want to make my first attempts at aquaponics while trying to keep the fish and the rest of the system from freezing.

I may have to severely cut down my 'wants' for our future house. Like I would 'like' at least 5 acres. But most of the places I've found with that kind of land are either farther away then we want, have houses that are run down, or are mobile homes which are a lot harder to get a mortgage for. Or they're WAY out of our price range. I want to keep our mortgage to something very manageable. I want our new place to be a pleasure. Not a financial burden.

But right now I'm pretty much back to waiting and maintaining what I do have. Maybe in the spring I'll be able to get some more buckets and grow some summer veggies like zucchini, tomatoes and beans. But for now, I'm just waiting. Like always.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ummmm, I've Got an Addiction

So yesterday I was supposed to go to Lowes and buy one succulent plant. Ummmmmmm... Oops. I bought 6 and two mum plants. But they were all discounted like 50%. So I still got a good deal. I still haven't told hubby that I bought more than one. I'm going to wait and see if he notices.

I don't know why I'm buying things that don't produce food. Normally I try to restrict myself to food items only. Otherwise my spending might get out of control. (Ooops.) But since I can't really grow many food items other than what are in my buckets, I might as well work on my succulent collection.

So first up is sedum nussbaumarianum and portulacaria afra 'variegata'.

Next is pleiospilos nelii (split rock) and crassula arborescens (ripple jade). The succulent above them is an unnamed jade plant that I started from a leaf that came off one of my other jade plants.

The last succulent I bought is about twice the size of the others but is a bit beat up. But that's ok. It'll grow new leaves and get big and beautiful. I've already taken some leaves that fell off and put them in some soil. This one is called echeveria 'perle von nurnberg'.

These are the mums I bought. These are chrysanthemum x morifolium in the red and bronze colors. They were just too hard to resist, being discounted and beautiful.

Now the striped leaves you see in these pics are from my large spider plant with all the babies. Well, I'm finally getting around to getting those baby plants rooted. The stems or whatever the baby plants come from are starting to dry up so they have to get rooted, like now. They're already on the way. They're already putting down new roots into the soil. Their leaves look a bit wilted right now because I waited too long to do this. Procrastination is one of my worse traits. But in my defense, I have had a lot on my mind lately.

In other news, I'm battling to keep my bucket veggies from being eaten by bugs and birds. I've lost a bucket of kohlrabi twice, I think I've completely lost my carrots and one of my pea plants, I've barely saved one of the buckets of beets. Those are from a bird that thinks my patio is a salad bar. I've hung up some old cds to swing in the sunlight because I've read the light that it casts as it turns startles birds. 

Then yesterday I found some tiny little black caterpillars on my mustard spinach and pac choi. Let's just say they've been delt with.

Ok, I've got to make sure the daughter gets ready and walk her up to her school. The school is just a 5 minute walk which is really nice to be so close since she's diabetic and I'll probably have to make trips over there in case something needs to be changed on her pump. But anyway, have fun and take care.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Succulents and Another 9 Months

Finally transplanted all the baby haworthias. Don't they look so cute? It's going to be fun to watch them grow and fill the containers. 

The haworthia has done so well in the original container, that I think I'm going to do this for my other succulents also and put them in window sills. Right now they're outside and it's been raining a lot and their pots have been getting flooded. I think I may lose one of my jade plants completely. The stem started to rot and I cut it off and put the good part of the stem in the soil. But it just kept getting flooded. So I've brought it inside and I'll see how it goes. I've got another succulent that has little babies growing out of the leaf nodes. I think I'll pop one off and see if I can get it to root.

So we decided to stay here another 9 months. We want to save up a really good down payment and we just need more time for that. It will also give us more time to get more of our finances in order and make our credit reports look as nice as we can. The 9 month lease we have now, and then another 9 month lease will take us to December of next year. Much longer than my heart wants to wait. But my head knows it's the better decision. Besides, a new home will be a nice Christmas present for all of us and will be a great start for 2016.

Friday, August 8, 2014

First Harvest and New Shelter

A pretty good day today. Pulled some radishes that were ready.

Then our canopy arrived and the kids helped me put it up. Didn't go up in 60 seconds like advertised. But I think that's partially my fault. But it'll definitely help keep us shaded in the heat of the day. And I can sit outside when it rains. I love the sound of the rain.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Zebra Haworthia and Painting Pots

I have a little succulent plant called a zebra haworthia. I've had it for a couple years now and it's grown some pups or baby haworthias.

I've been meaning to replant the pups for months now (luckily it doesn't grow very fast) and I've finally gotten around to painting some new pots for the babies to go in. The pots are simply 16 oz sour cream containers painted with a terra cotta shade of acrylic craft paint. Simply yet adorable. 

Painting containers is a great way to recycle any plastic containers that people usually just throw away. Sour cream containers, yogurt containers, butter containers. You can even cut the top off a bottle and paint the bottle. I find it easiest to paint a layer, go do something else while it dries and then do another layer. Since it's acrylic paint, it'll dry quickly. 

Use whatever color you like. Paint them all the same color for a themed look or do different colors and make a rainbow collection. Or if you have more artistic skill than me, you can paint pictures on them.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Flowers, Seedlings and Fruit Plants

Let's start out with this, shall we? Absolutely beautiful. I'm not big into flowers but I have to say that dahlias, daylilies and irises are my favorites.

Many of the things are sprouting in the buckets. Thought I would show these in particular because the bucket on the left are the beets. I made two little holes and (I could have sworn) planted two seeds per hole. That's what I do with all my seeds. But there are four seedlings per hole coming up. Same for the other bucket that I planted beets. The other bucket is spinach mustard. Or mustard spinach. One of those.

That reminds me. In the last four buckets I planted spinach mustard (or mustard spinach) in two of the buckets (like the above picture). In the other two I put pac choi like I grew in the window of our previous place. Hopefully I'll have better results this time.

In the big container, some of the radishes are almost ready to harvest.

My ozark beauty strawberries are putting out runners like crazy and I'm trying to give them every bit of soil to take root. At this rate, I might have 15 - 20 new plants just from the two I started with.

Then the other days hubby and I made a deal that if I did something for him then I could get more plants. So today I went to the local farmer's market and bought these for $10 each. I love end of season sales. The plant on the left is a celeste fig. I've wanted a fig tree since last year I think. Even though I've never had a raw fig. Guess I'll find out soon enough. The plant in the middle is a muscadine grape called noble. From what I just read it's a top choice for wine and juice making. Hopefully it's good for just eating also since I have no interest in wine. The last plant is a tifblue blueberry. I just looked it up and it says pollinate with a blueberry called climax. I did see that he had those too. I might have to make another trip. But the tifblue is supposed to be very hardy and makes large tasty berries.

And look! The fig tree already has tiny little figs growing. Hopefully they'll mature before our first frost. Some of you are probably thinking 'They'll be ready way before then.' But I honestly don't know how long it takes them to mature. Guess I should look that up.

Well, that's the updates for today. So I'll leave you with a group photo of the lovely purple dahlias.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Filling Buckets and Planting Seeds

Today was a fairly productive day. Got 7 buckets filled and planted. I was right about needing one more bag of the composted cow manure. I'll get that tomorrow.

One bucket has a grape vine, variety is Reliance seedless. Two have white and purple vienna kohlrabi. They came from the same seed packet so we'll have to see what sprouts. Two more have Detroit red beets seeds. We don't really eat beets but I think we should start.

One has kaleidoscope carrot seeds. My son 'planted' the carrots. Or rather, he took the seeds I put in his palm and sort of dumped them in the bucket. Sort of my fault since I didn't actually tell him to spread them around. Most of them ended up around the center of the top of the bucket. I tried to spread them out a little but carrots seeds are so small and they sort of blended in with whatever they put in the potting soil. But we'll see how they come out. I can always thin them creatively or replant if needed.

I have one bucket that is filled but not planted and three more I'll fill tomorrow. Not sure what I'll put in those. I have some old seeds that I'm testing the viability of in some wet paper towels that I put in baggies and set in the window. One is baby carrots and the other is cabbages.If those sprout, I'll definitely use those. But I have my doubts that they'll sprout at all.

I still have a lot of the potting soil left over. About 2/3 of a bag. The last 3 buckets should take that down to somewhere between 1/2 and 1/3 of a bag. As you can see in the picture, the manure bag is slightly bigger than 1/2 of the bag. That's a 64 quart bag of potting soil. The manure bag says 50lb. But I think the difference is just because the potting soil is lighter.

Here's something interesting. All of these flowers are from the same plant. Love the variety though.

My son and daughter helped me water the buckets and plant the seeds. Here's my daughter hanging around afterwards. (She's not quite as tall as the fence so she's actually hanging on the side.) 

And I love getting dirty, don't you?

Last, but not least, is a panoramic of my current plants sheltering in the shade of the building. Everything is doing well. The radishes, peas and romaine lettuce in particular are growing nicely in the 30 gal container. The dahlias are blooming their crazy little heads off. The white/purple dahlias should bloom soon. Will definitely get a pic of those.

For now, it's past my bedtime. See yas laters.