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.