Monday, April 25, 2011

Indoor Forest

Here's a couple of photos of our indoor forest, growing in their MAXI blocks.  The tomato plants are growing like crazy, and I have to lift the lights a notch higher every day or two.  I'm thinking that next year I won't plant them quite as early, and may hold off an extra week or so longer for the tallest varieties.  The peppers are also doing well, but not quite as tall.

Today I plan to start my squash and cucumbers, and get them going before I put them outside.  It's about 3 weeks until planting!  Woohoooo!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pathways & Weed Control

 This weekend we finished covering most of our pathways between beds with woodchips.  Last year Tim had found (at a local recycle place) some plastic stuff that's meant to go under cement.  He cut it into widths the size of the walkways and put it down to act as a weed & mud barrier.  It worked well.  After our "trial" period, we finished most of the garden that way.  After we ran out of the plastic, we used leftover roof shingles to act as our weed barrier on the rest of the paths. 

The City of Fort Collins had advertised wood mulch at $5 a load this weekend, so Tim took four trips to pick up four loads of the stuff.  It's nice, and we've got lots of it.  It turned out to be two different batches, and therefore two different colors, but I think that in time they'll all look the same.  The garden will be so much nicer this year with the pathways covered and the weeds easier to control.  There will still be weeds at the edges and in the beds, but they'll be much easier to handle than the ones that took over on the pathways.  Our other experiment with weeds will be a flame weeder we got.  We should be able to use that for weeds outside of the bed areas.

We're still looking for cheap, recycled materials to frame more of the beds.  At this point, it looks like that will have to wait.  If they don't get framed before planting, they won't get framed!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First Harvest

April 20
We've harvested our first lettuce, spinach and cilantro of the year!  The photo at the right shows the cold frame now.  HERE IS A PHOTO that was taken the day I planted, 3/19.  We've got puh-lenty of lettuce and spinach, and had our first spinach souffle!  I need to force myself to make salads every day, which are good, good for us, and using what we're growing ourselves.  I planted lots of it, thinking we would have the ducks now and that they would be eating some of it.  Since their delivery has been delayed, I guess I'll just have to pick it small and early, and eat lots it!  It's just too bad I can't freeze and save lettuce.  Since I planted the lettuces and spinach, I've also planted some beets, leeks and scallions here, which are also coming along nicely.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Updates: Seedlings, Ducks, Grass, Rain

Seedlings: The indoor seedlings are doing well!  This week I transplanted all the peppers and tomatoes from the MINI blocks into their MAXI blocks, and they're taking off.  A few more seeds were sown for basil & other herbs and some marigolds.  The beets I'd started were transplanted to the cold frame about 2.5 weeks after sowing inside.  This is one of the things "not recommended" to start indoors, but as with many things, in the blocks I've found it's fine to give them a quick start inside and saves time and wondering which or how many will germinate.

Ducks:  Our order was delayed due to high volume of orders, and we weren't able to get the ducklings the first week of April as we'd hoped.   We'll be getting the duckling delivery the first week of June.  We're really looking forward to getting the little buggers.  We'll have plenty of time to focus on the garden and other things before we get the ducks, and it'll be warmer more consistently later on, so they may be able to get outside in less time after we get them.

Grass:  We decided to try planting some grass seed in the area where the ducks will live and forage, in hopes it will be better for them.  One advantage in the delay of the ducks is that it may have more time to get established and growing before they to out there.  Tim cleared the area, broke up the soil a bit and planted the seed yesterday.

Rain:  It finally RAINED!  It has been so very, very dry this winter, it was exciting to hear some thunder, see some lightening, and later hear rain on the roof during the night.  Not a lot, but it's something!

Friday, April 1, 2011

W-I-N-D: Wind, Wind, Wind

This time of year I grow tired of the wind!  It blows and blows.  You'd think it would just give up after a time, but when it does, it just starts up again.  It's hard to be outside in the wind, even if it is not particularly cold.  Now that it is warming up a bit, it would be nice to get more done outside, but with the wind blowing there is little motivation.  The forecast for tomorrow was to be nice, and much calmer, but now it is showing "breezy" again.  We had planned to take the horses out for a ride, and maybe we still will, but it's awfully annoying (and a bit nerveracking) in the wind.

Soon we will be getting our ducklings.  We have a brooder all ready for them, and anxiously await notification that they'll be on their way!  The new adventure will begin!