Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Woe is my beans...

So, I have asked at few different places how to get rid of rolly pollies.  I planted my Kentucky Wonders in the same pots and place that I had them last year, and one of the pots was overrun with rolly pollies who were demolishing my tender new bean plants!  I was furious!  Those little buggers can eat a lot of things in my yard, but not my veggies!

This has posed quite a problem for me since I hate using chemicals on my garden, which is why I don't even try to grow broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage any longer.

Any way, I read that I should sink a little jelly jar into the dirt there, and fill it with stale beer and make sure the dirt goes right up to the edge.  The idea is that the little buggers will go up for a drink, fall in, and drown.

Guess what?  It worked.  I no longer have a heard of rolly pollies devouring my beans!  YAY!

Next problem to fix

Now, I need to come up with an inexpensive way to disguise the unsightly storage area next to the house.  We rent, so there is not a lot I can do, and I have to keep the garbage cans and the grill here.

See what I mean, it's UG-LEE!

I also would like to have a cheap way to fix the atrocity that the landlord calls a storage shed.  It is a structure with four sides, a roof and a floor; however, the roof leaks horribly and the floor is rotting out.  This is a problem too, since that is where we keep the weed eater and the lawn mower.

Good news though, I think the majority of my flowers will be here tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


So, today I got a lot more done in the gardens outside!  I finished cleaning out the bed i made last year, and I finished putting down the landscaping fabric and edging the new bed along the back of the house.  I also built the frame for my hot pepper bed.

I was quite please with myself building the bed.  A friend donated the lumber for it, and let me borrow a circular saw so I could cut the boards to length.  I pretended not to notice when the older gentleman in Lowe's was trying not to laugh at the idea of lil ole me building anything with a hammer, nails and a power saw.  I didn't cut myself any and I only smashed my thumb once!  YAY ME!

View from the front.
So this is the new hot pepper bed.  Now I just need to get raven to dig up the grass from under it, and flip the whole thing over, driving the little corner posts into the ground.  That will hold the bed still and keep it from getting bumped and moved around.

This is the new bed along the back of the house.  You can see the two new Heirloom Beefsteak tomato plants already in the ground.  I am also planning on putting my sweet pepper plants in this bed.  I had originally wanted to put some peas and a cucumber plant in there too and let them climb frames.  I just don't know if I have the room there or not now that it's done.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Before" pics of the yard.

Well, sort of before, LOL.  I did make the bed in front of the wooden fence today, and all the other stuff is more or less, left over from last year.  

The flower bed I put in today

This picture was made from the front of our place.  The rain barrel sits on the corner of the porch directly to the right, the driveway is right there also.  This bed has 2 roses in it currently, though I have some things ordered for it. I can't wait until they get here.  The things included for this bed are :  a zebra grass for the back corner, a passion flower clematis to climb the fencing, some balloon flowers, Ithuriel's spears,a purple d'Oro lily, poppy anemones, some lewisia, and a sedum border.  Some of the items came in a larger amount that I will use, so I may end up giving some of the extra plants away if I don't find a spot for them all in the other spots. 

Future location of raised bed.
This photo shows the side yard of the house and the lumber that a friend donated to me so that I can build a raised bed to keep my hot peppers away from everything else.   Incidentally, this is where I am going to put that raised bed. 

You can kind of see the side area here.  That big pot on the right of the frame has Sugar Daddy peas in it.  There are some smaller pots that you can sort of see to the left that have Kentucky wonder pole beans in them.  

In this picture, you can see one of the pots that has beans in it.  The window box planter on the ground has spinach in it, the two on the table have 2 kinds of lettuce in them.  There is a small pot next to the house on that table that has oregano in it.   The bed to the left of this picture still needs some work coming out of the spring.  The 3 pots in the front of it have 3 kinds of mint: mint julep, chocolate mint, and pineapple mint.  There is also a basil plant there, as well as a citronella with marigolds planted all around it in the big pot (back right of the bed) and the big pot to the left has evening primrose, the beige pot in front of that has white sage planted in it.   Immediately next to this bed, you can see the bamboo stakes where my tomatoes go.  

Now, you can see the back of the apartment.  I plan on closing in a narrow bed around the tomatoes and running it along the back of the apartment and I have sweet peppers to go in there, and a cucumber, some dill and super snappy peas.  

i think I have my hands full this year, but it sure does feel good!

Rain barrel and spring gardening

So, the little bit of gardening that I did last year reminded me of how much I love it and how badly I was missing it.  With that said, to benefit my mental and spiritual health (not to mention that it's great exercise!), I have decided to invest in gardening this year.

I should say that I really don't know how to do anything half way, so I am transforming the little yard around my duplex and making it a lush. crop yielding oasis.  I took lots of pictures today after I was pretty sure I'd finished for the evening, so that there can be some measure of what all I have done.

The first thing I am going to post is about the rain barrel.  Since my water is included in my rent, the last thing I needed was for the landlord to start complaining about me running up the water bill, even though I am improving his property value. So, I have created a rain barrel.  I'm just going to give you all a link to the article I used to make mine.

I bought a cheap plastic garbage can with a lid from Lowe's along with the other supplies.

I have less that $20 in it all told, and I am sitting it on some upside down Pepsi crates so that it is above ground level (water can't run uphill).  I've uploaded some pics of it via the blogger app on my phone, so you guys can see them.

Rain barrel

Here is an up close look at the spigot I put on the rain barrel, and the Pepsi crates I have it sitting on.

And a picture that shows the whole thing. It is sitting underneath where the downspout from the gutter is supposed to be.  Last time it rained, it filled up the barrel in about 20 minutes.

My neighbor tells me that her husband is always throwing out food grade barrels at work.  I told her to have him bring me one and I will have a big one and an overflow so when we hit the dry part of the season, it won't be a big deal to water.

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