Welcome to My Garden

We may walk on different paths, but we follow the same footprints.

This year I'm focusing on improving my running and overall health by taking the 2017 Mile Challenge and seeing where the journey takes me. I'm also revisiting the Monthly Challenge started by Nephew Jason in 2009.

I'll try to post something every day. It may be a short inspirational quote or a longer narrative. Please join me......

"If you don't try, you won't know you can."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time to Wake Up The Lawn

With temperatures expected to reach mid 70s this comming week, Gary thought it a good time to start dethatching the lawn before it really starts growing. He prefers to use a dethatcher attachment on a small Honda roto tiller. He runs the dethatcher lengthwise, rakes up the thatch then runs the dethatcher crosswise. The dead grass will be put to good use as mulch in the garden. It takes a bit of time, but the results are worth the effort.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Transplant Time

Transplanted 200 geranium seedlings today... whew!!! A good drink of water and I think they're off to a good start. The petunias are not growing quite as fast as I expected. They are germinated for the most part, but not setting their true leaves yet. Patience ... patience ... patience ...

geranium transplants in their recycled paper pots

Friday, March 19, 2010

Last Hurrah ?

Winter is breaking its icy grasp but not without a fight. Tomorrow is the first day of spring - you wouldn't know it by looking at the 3" of fresh snow. The geraniums are starting to put out their 2nd set of true leaves - big enough to transplant into their paper pots.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Started Peppers Today

What a beautiful day. We're about 8 weeks from planting outdoors so thought it was a good time to start pepper seeds. Planted about 2 seeds per cell and will thin to the strongest plant after they start growing their first set of true leaves. Planted some jalapeno, sweet banana, a giant red and an orange pepper. Should be a colorful mix.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Used Office Paper Makes Good Seed Starting Pot

We are in the process of making paper planting pots out of used office paper. So far, we've made about 300 pots. We experimented with several plans and came up with this one. Once you get the hang of it, the process goes pretty fast. We found several postings on youtube, but decided to do our own.

In case the video doesn't work, here are the directions:

Take 2 pieces of used office paper and fold them together length wise

On the open end, take two of the sheets and fold them up about 1". Turn over and repeat

Roll the folded paper on the edge of the table to make it easier to bend

Bring the ends together and tuck the 1 " folds into each other.

Staple the 1" fold on the outside - make sure you DO NOT CATCH the inside 1 " fold or it will be difficult to form the bottom.

Fold out the inside 1 " fold and place the cylinder over a plastic cup

Form the bottom of the pot by folding the 1" flap over the cup.

You can staple the top to help keep it together.

You now have a paper pot ready for use!!!

Fill the pot with your favorite seed starting medium and start growing.
We mix shredded cardboard with potting soil. Adding the cardboard reduces the amount of potting soil we need (reduce $$) and helps maintain critical soil moisture. We did performed several unscientific experiments to see if the cardboard had any ill effects on growing plants. No ill effects were noted. We decided to use about a 50-50 shredded cardboard to potting soil mixture.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Raining

I love days like this!!! There is nothing like rain to wash off the dirt that accumulated over the winter. Clean...fresh...renewing...joyous rain

Today would be a good day to take stock of seeds I have. I need to find a much better method of storing and organizing seeds rather than in an empty coffee can. I tried envelopes, they get damp and fall apart (bad idea). I tried ziplock baggies which kept the seeds dry, but didn't help much with organization. Sounds like a great project for a rainy day - which today just happens to be.

Red-Wing Blackbirds and more

Red-wing blackbirds are back. This morning is the first time I hear their gurgling o-ka-leeeee songs filling the air. I found a great sight that has an audio list and explanation about what different calls mean Red-Wing Blackbird

After further exploration of the site, I discovered it was just a small link to a much larger project sponsored by Annenberg media. The Journey North a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Definitely worth exploring. Especially great for teachers!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

First Robin

Saw my first robin this morning. Ice is melting off the trees. Life is good!