Friday, March 5, 2010

Gardening, Casa de Crazy Style

Spring is being coy here at Casa de Crazy, showing us glimpses of her color and warmth and then withdrawing, only to tease us again another day. We've had our fill of Winter and decided to try starting some plants. You can read about some of that here.

We're trying to be as green as possible around here, and we've gotten pretty good at it in our own way - we make less than one bag of trash a week. The rest we recycle, re-purpose, compost or burn.

We worry about another kind of green, too - money is tight, the economy sucks, and everything we can do to save the Endangered Greenback around here is important.

We checked out little peat-pot greenhouses...but at six and seven bucks a pop, they were well beyond what we wanted to spend...after all, that's six or seven packs of seeds if you know where to shop! The refills for those greenhouses run about two dollars for twenty or so...much better. Now we needed to find a way to get 'em warm and keep 'em moist.

Hey, wait...didn't Someone see some empty Sterlite bins in the garage?

And we have some Chinese take-out containers hanging around, too.

Nifty - they fit nicely in our available window space, help contain heat and moisture (especially with a borrowed heating pad underneath) and they're portable, so we can put them out on the front stoop when the weather's fine, bring 'em in at night.

They work quite well, I think.

What we have in the Sterlites are cucumbers, eggplant, and one or two million tomatoes. We put several seeds in each peat pot, and wouldn't you know most of 'em Someone use some leftover potting soil and Dixie cups to spread 'em out a bit.

In the take-out container are some catnip seeds...have to take care of the furbabies, too! The sort of upper left one is actually sprouting, and you can see it if you look closely.

Because we'll need somewhere to put all these little darling when they're grown, we spent some time preparing a garden bed out front, today.

First, Someone cut sod squares. Rather than just throw them in the compost heap or the woods, I moved most of them to the other side of the driveway, where rain, cars, and a dearth of sunlight made ruts and mud and a sad state of affairs over the Winter.

The sod clods have a chance to take root and amend all that.

I used the opportunity to talk to Bird about sod houses and whatnot...but I think he found the worms more interesting.

Oh, yeah, worms. Lots of them. We rescued as many as we could, because we knew there'd be tilling going on in a bit, and figured the squirmy fellows would rather be transplanted than pureed.

Later, if we want, we can always take up worm farming - the worms are wonderful for the soil and make fine bait, too, for an afternoon's fishing.

Once the grass was removed, Someone had to chop out a few roots before tilling.

It's not all that easy when you mostly have trusty old hand tools to work with.

Luckily, a kind-hearted ex-mother-in-law loaned us her tiller a while back, so the turning of the soil went well enough.

Someone got to thinking about what else we might plant out here...and melons came to mind.

Now why would melons make a man smile?

We all had a hand in the new bed...even Bird got dirty, not that getting dirty is a chore for a seven-year-old.
We're red clay all the way, here... we'll need to till in some soil amendment to get the best growing conditions...compost sure does come in handy!

After tilling, Someone raked the loose soil to even the bed a little.
Now we just have to wait for those seedlings to grow a bit more before putting them out - we don't plant before Ostara/Easter around here because that's right around when we have last frost.

In another post, I'll show you some more of our garden fun - we have things growing indoors, too, both to help feed us and as a sort of science project for Bird!

Have you started your garden, yet? How's it going?


Momlady said...

Great post! Good repurposing ideas, too. Hope you have great success and glad you don't have the deer problem I have.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Dear.. she can be a pain in the arse...

Um, I mean...

Stephanie Ann said...

Wow, that is really red. I have clay too but it's an orange, not a pretty red like that.