Sunday, April 11, 2010

New, Re-used, and Updates

Veggie Garden Makeover
Considering I wasn't expecting to be able to accomplish much this weekend (I worked Saturday morning and then went to a friend's wedding Saturday afternoon/evening) we did in fact accomplish a LOT! Not a whole lot happened Saturday, beyond the aforementioned plans. But today, Sunday, we made up for lost time. While Zoë complained bitterly every 5 seconds (I don't know what she wanted, I don't think she knew what she wanted) and Zoë's Dad (Branden) was asleep I weeded the veggie garden, laid down some extra compost on top of all the rows, and then laid down newspaper. I felt extremely satisfied, I'd finally accomplished my long standing goal of setting down a weed barrier/newspaper. No more weeding, yay! Sadly, when Branden woke up and I showed off my handy work I came to realize most of my morning work was for naught. Yeah, newspaper dries and when it does it goes back to being lightweight and flying away with the wind. Instead of rows with newspaper looking amazing (to me at least) I showed off rows with newspaper randomly strewn around. 
 In 24 hours there were some dramatic changes:

On the left the garden on 4/10 
On the right the garden on 4/11

I quickly fixed this, with Branden's assistance. While I fixed the newspaper Branden racked the leaves in the front of the house: hello free/natural easily degradable mulch! 
"Leaves are my favorite!" -Zoë (The puppy that frequently finds a leaf, carries it around like it's the most awesome toy ever, and tries to hide said leaf from Mommy and Daddy.)
It looks rather messy and I'll have to monitor it closely over the next few days, but we may have made huge progress in creating a bountiful/healthy veggie garden!

Tire Planter Garden
Once that was done I felt the need to finish as many of my garden tasks as possible today. Now to clarify the "garden tasks" I speak of are projects I have in my head but never know if they'll get done in real life until I finish them. Today I tackled my tire planters and the area around them. Last year Branden made them for me and I was in awe. They're still just as amazing but I felt since they were only full of dirt (as my annuals are no longer) it was time to paint them, like I'd originally wanted. Last year we bought several cans of spray paint. When we tried painting the first planter and the spray paint wasn't really sticking we gave up. This year the same thing happened, and I don't want to paint a tire with regular spray paint any time soon! A happy accident did occur though, a random latex can was found that not only had a pretty color but also sprayed on smoothly to my tire planters! So we now have one rather pretty colored green planter (latex spray paint) and a splotchy yellow planter (regular spray paint). Of our 4 tire planters 2 are now painted.

One has a Black-eyed Susan already in it (no paint for that one) and the other only just got emptied today. So some time in the next few days/weeks I'll clean that planter out, buy a can of pretty latex spray paint, and finish that one off too. My only real complaint: we ran out of spray paint in both cans from just painting the outside. I'd really have loved being able to paint a bit on the inside. Though one of them had white walls and now has funky white rings on the "petals" so I doubt I'd have painted that even if I could have. After laying down some weed liner for the surrounding area under/around our deck we sowed/sprinkled some perennial wildflower seeds. If I'm truly lucky I'll have some funky tire planters full of pretty wild flowers!
Amazingly all of the planters in this "tire planter garden" are recycled/being reused by us instead of heading to the dump!

More Updates
The strawberries seem to be simultaneously doing great and not so great: the leaves are wilting a bit/discolored a bit BUT they've grown tons. So much so that some of the tendrils have gone from the top of the strawberry pot and are peeking out from the lip/opening beneath it. In this picture you can see a bit of green in the second lip/hole, those are the tendrils I'm talking about!

Now there's one more update I'm just bursting with pride/happiness to share: we officially have our very first tomato!!!! I'm not sure how I missed this, I've been checking on things just about every day. I was happy that both plants had buds, that meant I'd done something right (or hadn't done enough wrong to kill it yet). While walking back inside the house something caught my eye: a quarter sized green ball (aka a baby tomato)! So I will leave you with this parting update photo: My Silver Fir Tree Tomato plant's first baby tomato (and the first I've ever had, ever, and of any of the 3 tomato plants this year).

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