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.

Bucket Success

Yesterday I went to Lowes and got some buckets. You can also see the bags of composted cow manure. I spent $60 which was more than I'd like. But I got the buckets, the manure and two large bags of potting soil. The white bucket is one I already had and has some Russian kale growing in it.

 These are the large bags of potting soil. These bags are about twice as big as the manure bags so I may have to get more manure bags if I plan on doing 50/50 like I'd wanted. That's ok though. The manure bags are only $5 each. The small bag is some of our rabbit's used bedding with the little nuggets of bunny manure gold.

This morning I drilled drainage hole. I didn't drill them on the bottom because this way it creates a bit of a reservoir. I will fill the buckets with the soil and manure later after the sun has moved behind the building. Hopefully we'll be getting a canopy back there soon and I won't have to wait for the sun to move to play in my garden.

I also discovered the other day that my tablet can do panoramic pictures. So here's a picture of our patio. Right now I have most of my plants to the right so they will be shaded by the building. You can click on the pictures for a bigger image.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bucket Search Fail, Sort Of

So we went to BJ's yesterday and I forgot to ask about buckets. *facepalm* I was so bummed today that hubby said we could go to the Waffle House near BJ's and swing by BJ's while we were there. Awesome! I think this was mostly because he was craving waffles. But it still worked for me.

Turns out the bakery at BJ's does have buckets I could have. But the only size they had was about a gallon. = (

So instead of continuing to fail in my bucket search, I'm going to go to Lowes tomorrow and just buy some buckets. I'm going to cut down on the cost by doing just single buckets instead of the double wicking buckets. Besides, it seems to rain here enough that I don't have to water my plants at all. So wicking buckets, at the moment, aren't really necessary.

I do still plan on doing the wicking buckets later on, though, as part of my aquaponics setup. I may still do the idea I originally had. But I think I will do a post soon describing my idea for the aquaponic wicking buckets.

I'm going to get potting soil at Lowes also and a big bag of composted cow manure. The cow manure is a lot cheaper than the potting soil so adding that 50/50 with the potting soil should cut down on costs also. Besides, the cow manure will continue feeding the plants long after the chemical fertilizer runs out. I really don't like having to buy soil with the chemical fertilizers but there doesn't seem to be any without it. Or none I know of.

I'll also be top dressing the pots with our bunny's manure. We use the recycled newspaper type stuff for his bedding and that will act as a kind of mulch on top of the buckets. The manure will slowly seep into the soil and feed the plants.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buckets, Growing and Blooming July 2014

So I went to Walmart and they didn't have any buckets. So Saturday hubby and I are going to go to a BJ's (like a Sam's Club or Costco) to look around and see if they're about the same prices as a Sam's Club. But I figure while I'm there, I can ask about buckets since they have a bakery.

In other news, I managed to get this blog connected to my Google + profile which is also attached to my youtube channel. So now everything should update automatically.

I promised you guys pics, so here you go.

Some more baby spider plants developing.

Dahlias still blooming away.

French asparagus getting too big for it's pot. This is one reason I seriously need to get more buckets. The plant in the container with it is something I've always known as clover. I love to pinch off leaves and nibble on them. Really sweet and I'm sure would go lovely in a salad. If I can ever get some salad greens to grow without bolting.

Speaking of salad greens. I've started my cool season crops by putting some romaine lettuce seedlings (center bottom and the second is up and just to the left) in the big container. In the wicking bucket from the video, I've planted some red russian kale (tap on any pic for a bigger image) that are just coming up.

Speaking of the big container. Here it is with radishes growing around the edges, swish giant peas growing next to the tree, and the spots that look empty is where the romaine lettuce seedlings are. Still no signs of life from the peach tree.

I haven't posted many pics of my banana plants. But here's one of them with some nice coloring showing up on the leaves. The other plant has a couple pups that I'm not sure if I should repot or leave be.

That's pretty much it for now. So I'll leave you guys again with some pretty flowers to look at. The first is a canna that should bloom in the next couple days. The second is my daughter's petunias which sending out flowers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another Late Update

So I know I've gotten lax on updating this again. But not really much to update about. Most of my plans are limited to when we get our own place. We are in North Carolina now. The move went smoothly. Thank God. The place we're in is really nice. We also really like the area. But a house with land in this town is really expensive so that's not going to happen. But there are still plenty of properties with land that are still within a decent distance of my husband's job.

I've been trying to find a Walmart or any place that has a bakery so I can get the 5 gal buckets they get their icing in. The one closest to us is a Walmart Neighborhood Marketplace which basically means it only has groceries. I've never seen a Walmart that just has groceries but apparently it's common in this area. But even though they have groceries, they don't have a regular bakery where they make the cakes and such so they don't have the icing buckets. The next closest one is about 20 minutes in the opposite direction but, other than the buckets, I have no other reason to go there right now.

I'm weird like that. I hate going anywhere for just one thing. I'd rather wait until I have a definite reason to go somewhere. Like the kids need new clothes or something. Which they do but that can wait until closer to the start of school. So the buckets are on hold for now.

There is a Lowe's literally right down the street but I'm going to need lots of buckets so buying buckets can add up real quick. The soil is going to add up quick enough, so I'd rather try to get the free buckets if I can. There is also a Sam's club not too far away and I used to get buckets from them as well so that's another option.

Anyway, I've done a video about putting together a wicking planter in one of the big 30 gal containers. Don't think I'm going to do any more of those containers right now because it's REALLY friggin heavy and is going to be a pain to move when we will hopefully be moving into our own place next spring.

I also did a slideshow of me making just a wicking bucket. Super easy. I'll be making many more of these once I get the buckets.

Other than that, not much going on. But I did take some pics of things growing and blooming which I will probably post tomorrow. I'll at least try to keep this blog updated with pics of things going on and of the area around here. This area has lots of sculptures that are carved out of bricks and I'd love to take pictures of them and other artsy things and post them here.

But for now, I have a headache so I'm going to go take something for that and then maybe watch some videos while I do a bit of crochet. See ya's soon.