More containers ready to plant. Vinegar spray and crazy Idaho weather

May 31, 2021

I have been buying some nice sized planters from Fred Meyers for the last month.  The planters are 28 inches long and about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep.  This a good size for many garden plants from herbs to lettuce and even some root crops like radishes that don’t need  a lot depth for root crop production.  I have added a small fence in the middle of the pots in hope that the cats won’t have enough room to scratch/poo in these pots as well as protect the plants as they grow. The planters are placed along the sidewalk area that gets more sun since I cut down the dead cherry tree but the area is still somewhat protected from full overhead sun. If the plants don’t do well in this spot I can always move the planters to a different spot in the yard for optimal growing conditions.

I cleaned up two of the large party buckets and filled them up for a couple of Raspberry plants.  It seems the Heritage raspberries can be grown in large containers of 5 gallon size or larger.  Ever since I cut out the overgrown section of grape vines I have been looking for a plant to add to that fence line that loves the sun but can get buy with watering 2-3 times a week and does not climb or spread like crazy.  The Heritage raspberries look like a good a fit for this spot and if I’m wrong I can move the containers.

Container gardening seems to many people as not “REAL” gardening.  Like if you don’t have rows of crops in a big garden or in raised beds you are not really gardening.  Thank goodness for the square foot garden movement as that has encouraged more people to start small scale gardening that can be very productive. Using large planters is very similar to the raised bed garden concept and you can easily move the ” raised beds” if you guess wrong about the about sunlight levels or how easy it is to water the beds.  No matter how you do YOUR garden you will pay in sweat or money and most likely a little bit of both but I think the payoff is worth the effort.

I got another four gallons of 30% vinegar delivered from Home Depot.  While the stuff ain’t cheap I much prefer using this vinegar as a weed killer compared to Round up that kills the soil.  I sprayed the weeds in the alley way and I noticed my sun chokes are starting new growth and filling in again since I started using the 30% vinegar.  I still haven’t found any puncture vine/goatheads in my alley way area that is sprayed with vinegar.  Morning glory has come back but another spray with the vinegar gets that plant under control if not eliminated.

I kept one gallon of the vinegar as a cleaning agent I can dilute for cleaning water marks on my windows and lime scale deposits because of  the hard water in this area.  The results I get using this diluted vinegar is better than I have gotten using products like CLR and vinegar is safer to use and much less toxic.

The weather is warming up to 100 degree F. for the next few days and then back into the mid 70’s over the weekend.  Summer heat is here so it is time to get some protective covers ready for the planting boxes.  I did not get the Agriborn cover that I like in February and missed out so I’ll use some canvas tarps and cotton sheets to block the sun during the hottest part of the day.  I love having the PVC pipe frames that I have for the raised garden bed. Those frames make adding any sort of protective cloth over the beds super easy and you don’t put any weight on young plants covering them up.

My Japanese radishes have bolted but the pink beauties seem to have handled the weird weather.  The Rocky Mt. mixed greens are dong great in both the patio bed and the raised bed with no sign of bolting.  The Baby Bok choy is doing okay in the patio bed but less than stellar in the raised bed.  My pets disturbed the early plantings of starter plants and some of the direct sown plants with digging.  I’m adding more barriers but I’m playing catchup this Spring planting season.

The melon’s bed looks like a total bust.  I’m going to add a few greenhouse plants to the garden to fill in the places my starter plants failed. Some of the problems were my fault and some were Mama Nature getting a little freaky with hail storms, rain down pours and random short term heat waves.  That is gardening!


Mowed the back yard and finished kindling rack roof.

May 29, 2021

I had planned to let my back yard lawn are get a little over grown to encourage the grass to start filling in bare patches in the lawn. It worked a little bit but I’ll need to reseed the lawn to get it filled in with grass.  Over all I think seeding grass in the fall was a good idea. While I have a few bare patches seeding in the fall has been more effective compared to grass seeding in the spring.  Dog poo will kill grass. so you need to remove it if you want the grass to grow.  I’ve not used a poo picker upper tool.  I use a large dust pan, a small rake or kitty litter scoop.  I don’t want to spend $25.00 for a popper scooper that won’t work on a lawn. 

The weather has been wild here in SW Idaho.  We had a dry Spring and here in may it was 60 degrees highs with a hard rain for several days and next week it is forecasted to be over 95 degrees + with no rain, next week.  My melons and corn took a beating with the rain and the Japanese radishes look like a bust as the bolted already in MAY.  I got my first Pink Beauty radish out of the patio garden box and it was great!  A little bite of heat but very mild, not at all “woody” in texture and the radish did not bolt like the other radish seeds.   So far the Rocky Mountain mix of lettuces looks good and has handled the extra rain and the wonky temps of this year.  The starter melons are a bust but I did not “harden” the plants before planting in the garden beds.  I have set back a little cash to buy plants from a nursery just in case my starter plants failed.  I’m not displeased with my starter plants failing.  I’m just learning more about gardening.  

I finished up the roof over the kindling box using the Cedar fencing. While I wouldn’t use the Cedar fencing for building a home, it seems quite adequate for garden bed side walls or walls and roofing for a kindling box. If you use good lumber for the “bones” of the structure. Cedar fencing can be sand to a nice smooth finish if you are looking for a material to line a closet.

Inflation is happening and some thing you must buy to do your the things you want to get done. I bought battery power tools to help do the work I needed to get done. With my simple drill, impact drill and pin nailer and saw. I finished up a good size kindling box in under an hour. Tools are cheap, energy both physical and produced can be expensive.

The 3 sisters bed is looking sad. Shopping!

May 26, 2021

Not looking good for the 3 sisters bed got planted just in time for lots of rain to overwhelm the corn stalks.  It was timing of the rain rather than the amount of rain though we got a lot of rain.  I will add some more of the fast growing Bantam sweet corn in hopes that I’ll have corn stalks for the pole beans to climb. Adjusting to what Mama nature throws at you is part of having a garden.  I’m a little disappointed but I’m adapting the garden beds to work with the weather when the weather gets “wonky”.

I had a good shopping day getting plenty of hamburger and butter to add to the freezer.  Do not use a Food saver bag to freeze Bread products.  Even with pre-freezing all of the air is sucked out of the bread product and you end up with a compressed disc of baked dough that is not good for eating.  I tried the food saver with store bought bagels and got the same result.  The Foodsaver bins might work for freezing bread products as the walls protect the product while sucking out the air that can encourage mold.  At this time I recommend zip lock freezer bags for any backed goods that can’t stand up to a good smashing out of all air.

I got a few good sales this week on some beef hamburger, steaks and butter.   While the Food saver are less than optimal for bagging and freezing bread.  Food saver vacuum packaging is great for freezing meats.  I’m seeing shortages and rising prices at my local grocery stores.  It’s not that you can afford to buy an item. That item may not be available to buy for any price.  Brazil is in a drought and agricultural products like coffee are in short supply.  If you prefer tea to coffee look at where tea grows and it not the USA.

Don’t freak out as the USA still grows a lot of grains and animals though timing to get good buys will be a thing.  Look to buy Items/products that can’t be grown in the USA but you would like to have in your pantry.  The USA can’t grow coffee at a large scale.  Hawaii might as well be another country as it is dependent on shipping.  Tea, nope not a lot of large scale tea growing happening in the USA.  Chocolate,  nope not much growing in the USA.  Sugar is doable as the USA can grow sugar cane and sugar beets.  I can’t say the price will be cheap, but sugar of some sort should be available.

I have lived on the beans and rice diet for 6 weeks and while filling it was not fun.  I spent several months not buying beef in 2011 because it was to expensive and I craved hamburger and not steak for just a taste of beef.  I missed salty snacks even saltine crackers.  While your food storage might sustain you in calories and a good mix of carbo/proteins. I think you will want a few snacks stored,  like buttery popcorn, chips and cracker that will help food fatigue.

Food for pets and stocking up.  I can make a good “wet” dog food via my pantry.  I’m a little iffy about making “wet” cat food.  I figure if I store a high quality dry dog and cat food the critters should be make up my lack of nutrients.  Don’t forget your pets when you are prepping.

Finally the 3 sister beds are planted!

May 20, 2021

I’m a little late getting the 3 sisters beds started but the corn was started indoor and have a few weeks of growth for the pole beans to climb as the beans and squash were direct sown. I  tested out the soaker hoses for these beds and I need to do some adjustments but I think the soaker hoses will do a better job watering these beds compared to using a sprinkler. 

I was a little late getting my tomatoes and peppers started properly as I had a couple of failures, not starting the plants in large enough pots for the plant to grow to a proper size before transplanting the plant in the garden bed. The 2-4 inch pots seem to work best for me starting plants.  I also need to start plants earlier for strong plants that have a better chance surviving transplant shock.  The honeydew and sugar baby water melon are in their bed but I need to clean up more of the grape vines in order to keep those spreaders from getting entangled with each other. 

I still have to add the starting peppers and tomatoes in the last raised bed.  I had to restart the tomato and pepper seeds in larger pots indoors as the small plant cells created root bound plants that did not survive replanting into larger pots.  Lessoned learned to use larger pots rather than just fill small cells with seeds and then transplant twice increases the chances of transplant shock to young plants. 

I really like the Black gold potting soil compared to the Miracle grow soil. I think a couple of years back the Black Gold potting soil was not good,  but the potting soil I got this  year was outstanding and the Miracle grow potting soil seemed very woody like a fine wood mulch rather than a light soil for starting seeds. 

Onto Mom’s Garden beds:  Mom and I built a large 6 Ft. x 4 ft. garden bed that is 1.5 foot deep this week.  A bunch of middle school kids came to Mom’s house and cleaned out the weeds of the garden area, added soil to the raised beds and spread out the mulch that Mom had on hand for the garden.  Mom says the kids did a great job and in about an hour of those kids working the garden area looked great!  I like to give those kids a “virtual” Pat on the back for helping out my Mom and making short work of what would have been a big job for me and Mom. 

I know it can be a bit tough to feel charitable about some people that seem hell bent on destroying you.  Never be afraid to commit a random act of kindness or create senseless beauty. I added some hanging baskets of petunias to my patio cover.  Not a big deal but it makes me feel happy. That is a good enough reason to add a plant or whatever around your home. 

Some times when you let the Moron enough space to cut you off or slowdown and let someone ahead of you in any sort of line. You become the nice guy and in a way I think you take power away from the assholes that always want to be “first”. Even if it is first in line at a stoplight.  We have all been there waiting to turn left or merge on a freeway and no one will let you in. Be the person that lets some one into traffic. Let the idiot/moron go and get ahead of you because those are the people that cause accidents.  You are allowed to rant and rave at the stupidity. But you having nothing to prove out on the highways except getting from A to B without getting into a crash.  Who cares if you are correct when your vehicle is totaled and some moron that made crash happen has no insurance?  You care! so don’t b aggressive driving, don’t think you will teach them a lesson. Those people are assholes and should be avoided at all times. 

I literally saw a kid park his bike in an handicap car parking spot and block people from that spot.  This was not a handicapped kid though an idiot because he could have parked the bike in zone for a wheel chair, on a sidewalk while he search/played with his cell phone. Nope this 18-20 year old kid parked his bike in a handicap parking spot.  Don’t be this person! 

Front yard clean up and dealing with Spring time in Idaho.

May 18, 2021

Between getting in the fire wood stacked and the backyard garden beds cleaned up and planted the front yard has been on the back burner. I have been doing the minimum to keep the grass mowed and the weeds under a little bit of control. But the front yard needs a little bit of TLC.

I pulled out the short border fence around my beds as the fence was so overgrown with grass and weeds the fence itself was stopping me from cutting down the grass around the border of the planting beds. I can use this short border fencing in some different areas for flowering plants and in the alley way planting beds where it will be easier to weed-wack without having grass growing in and around the fence.

The planting beds that I’m doing in the front yard is going okay. A few of the peas survived transplanting and the decorative kale is starting to come up. My garlic is doing great but that bed needs a lot of weeding and cleaning up as it is a bit of a mess right now. I think these beds would make a great place for fall plantings as it gets a lot of sun but the area is somewhat protected from harsh weather by the house.

I got started cleaning up the holly shrubs. This not a true holly and I think the plant is commonly known as Oregon grape. It has year round shiny green leaves with stickers at the point of the leaves. It puts out a berry/seed that is green is spring that turn to purple through the summer. It can grow 14-16 feet tall but can be pruned back to 18 inches in. tall in the fall and fill in again by the next spring. This is a very tough plant that puts down deep roots and seems to be very drought tolerant. This shrub makes a great bird habitat as every spring I hear the little birds chirping though I never see them as the are so well protected by the leaves. I think this is a great shrub to plant for a wind break, a barrier as it is prickly and if you trim it once a year it is easy to control the growth. This plant is very drought tolerant and seems to do well in sandy/poor soil. I’m not sure if I have the correct name for the plant but hopefully I have described it well enough that some one can correct me it I got the name wrong.

May has been both hot and cold. It got up to the mid 80’s F. and in a couple of days it will 60 degrees F. for a high and rainy. I’m not complaining as we need the water as it has been a dry spring in SW Idaho. I have got most of my fans setup to pull cool air in via the windows and setup some sort of breeze ways in a house that does not have an open floor plan. The new windows and siding with a little bit of insulation that was added helps keep the house cooler but I lost some cooling/shade affect cutting down some trees in the yard. I think if I could make a wish from the Home improvement fairy it would be to install a small 2 unit Mini split system in my small home. I figure it would cost at least $6-8 grand and that is not a bad price for a new heating and cooling system. I just don’t have a few grand sitting around to pay for that system. So I’ll make do with a couple of window Ac units in summer and my wood stove in winter as all those items are paid for and my electrical costs in summer is not that bad even with using window units.

Boomer the dog seems to be fully potty trained as we have not found any “accidents” for a few weeks. I could see how a person that had a job could get a peeved having a dog that chewed on everything in an 8 hour + workday. I go shopping and I occasionally find a slipper or shoe out in the yard. At least I have not found any chewed up shoes.

I’m giving him raw marrow bones and searching for toys that stand up to his chewing thing. Boomer has had a few walks but I need to get more consistent about his daily walks as that seems to calm him, as well as use up some of his excess energy. I’m almost sure that Boomer never had a yard to roam and patrol. We are all settling into the new normal but after about a month everything is working and all that is left is some fine-tuning.

Great day shopping though I did not anticipate the parade

May 15, 2021

It was a bit crowded and crazy at the Albertsons parking lot but I got a good parking spot despite the parade going right by the store.  I wanted to hit Albertsons as they had the dog food I buy on sale plus I had coupons and a 10% military discount for all groceries. I buy the Beniful grain free dry dog food and Boomer loves it but he has not gotten fat this last month I think he is putting on muscle with all of the yard to romp in. I bought some pork chops at $1.49 per pound and some chicken thighs at $.99 per pound before the military discount. I’m no “Coupon Queen” that can get a lot of groceries for minimal cost.  But I think I did great getting several bags of groceries for about $60.00.

It look likes inflation is really increasing  the price of basic items found in shopping carts.  I shop sales items but the items not on sale increased 33-50% in less than 2 weeks. That is not even counting Items that sell for a higher price for less product. I don’t use a lot of paper towels but I like having them around for some jobs. I bought a 6 pak of so called “jumbo rolls” of paper towels and I could fit 4 rolls of paper towels in a space that a year ago would barely fit 2  of the old rolls. I’m sure many of us who have watched coffee cans shrink from 48 oz. per can to about 28 oz. per can or a simple roll of 240 sheets of Toilet paper a couple years ago now has become a double roll at almost twice the price.

Good news on the starrer beds. The new larger pots are growing the peppers and tomatoes indoors.  The patio raised beds are now sprouting the Rocky Mt. lettuce mix and the weeds are growing in the raised beds.  But I’m watering every other day with the soaker hoses for about 2 hours and the water is getting deep into the raised beds.  The melons and corn are ready to plant.  I have a little bit of weeding to do but overall I think my raised bed garden are doing okay.

Boomer and I took a walk around the neighbor hood and saw some great ideas about planting.  We also saw a lawn with no grass and nothing but goatheads/puncture vines.  It is frustrating When you don’t know a person needs some help or they just don’t care. While growing grass and plants can be hit or miss at times.  You see the neglect and you are never sure if it is because of laziness or physical limitations.

We have seen all to many people that default to “I can’t” when what they mean is “I won’t” expend any effort to make my life better.  These people are everywhere but I don’t think they are the majority of people.

The corn starter plants are looking good!

May 13, 2021

I’m going to get the corn starts into the ground this weekend. I’ll plant the pole beans and squash seeds at the same time now that the corn has a head start to provide the structure for the pole beans to climb.  I need some winter squash beans to go with the summer squash.  Most of my peppers and Tomato plants have not done very well in my starter boxes. I think the fault was me but I have found the very small plants cells hard to use and I think the plants suffered from “transplant shock” when I moved the plants to larger pots.  This is an easy fix as the starting boxes have done a great job with plants in larger pots.  But I may have to buy a few pepper and tomato plants to fill up the last garden bed. 

I’m not concerned about trying some direct sown tomato and pepper plants or even buying plants from a greenhouse as I have almost 180 days until the Oct.10 frost date for this area.  Most plants that can grow in this climate need at most 120 days from seed to production so I have time to practice starting seeds for plants even if I screw up or it takes a bit of time to learn what works best for my garden. 

I doubt I’m alone in feeling like I’m behind with my garden if I don’t see growing plants in the earliest month possible for plants to survive and miss the frost date.  I have planted plants late in the season and have had a great crop because I did not get caught in an early frost or some other little challenge Mama Nature decided to throw my way. 

To the things that seem to be working.  Covering the raised beds with the plastic fencing is working out great as a pet barrier. The little PVC pipe fence seems to be working to discourage the cats and has blocked the dog from digging in the 3 sisters beds so far.  We will see how everything works after the plants are in the ground but I am hopeful that this will keep the animal destruction to a minimum. 

I have a few big shopping days coming up. Albertsons is having having a 10% off for military/veterans on the 15th of May and I have coupons for several items I buy like dogfood, meat and paper towels.  I know a lot of people buy the same things every week as their shopping is a “habit” rather than trying to get the best price possible for things they will need/want in the future. Even though the items are on sale, people don’t but the item because they don’t NEED the item this/next week. 

With inflation jumping up so fast you should rethink how you shop. Once you have built your basic pantry of foods you need for a couple of weeks.  You can buy stuff on sale or that you have a coupon for saving on things you will need in the future. This way you are building your stockpile of items at the lowest possible cost every time you shop. 

Fred Meyers is having a good sale on meat, 80/20 hamburger for $1.97 per pound in 3 pound chubs. I want to pick up at least 3 of those chubs and freeze them for the future. I have no idea why Food saver products have went on sale and some items are half the price of the recent past.  But I’m going to buy up those vacuum packagers deals as they preserve food and minimize tossing out food due to rot or freezer burn. 

You will be pay higher prices with this inflation.  At best you can shop and somewhat mitigate the rising costs for a few months until prices stabilize and you make a new budget. 

Seeds are in two of the garden beds.

May 11, 2021

These beds are direct sown seeds rather than starter plants. I have one more long bed that will be for the peppers and tomato starts.  The big square bed I moved will be for the sugar baby watermelon and honey dew melon starting plants and then there are 3 mounded beds for the 3 sisters garden. The melons and Corn plant starts are doing great in the starting boxes. I used larger pots for these plants and I can’t believe how fast they are growing!  The tomatoes and peppers are taking a little longer in the big pots but I should have all the plants in the beds in a couple of weeks.

I’m trying out a lot of new seed crops in the 2 long beds.  I have never tried growing parsnips, turnips, beets or leeks in these beds.  I have added some radishes, several types of lettuce greens including one lettuce that is supposed to be slow to bolt in the heat.  I added Nasturtiums to one bed for some pretty edible flowers for salads.  The plan for these beds as the faster glowing crops finish up in mid summer I will have room to replace those areas with a fall harvest crop of Brussel Sprouts, broccoli, cabbages and cauliflower.  I have never tried succession planting or trying to get 2 different crops from the same garden beds through the growing season so we will see how it works out.

The plastic fencing place on top of the garden beds seems to be working well at keeping the cats and the dog from digging in and pooing in the garden beds.  The PVC pipe and plastic fence that blocks off the 3 sisters bed  section has been built and installed. So far it is keeping the dog out of the beds and I have not seen any of the cats digging in the beds but I’m not sure how effective the fence will work long term against the cats.

I am using soaker hoses rather than a drip irrigation system and it took about 2 hours to get the bed a good deep soaking of water.  This seems to work much better than a sprinkler system that would create  puddles of water after a short time of watering rather than slowly water the soil with the soaker hose.  If you go with a drip system that is great but if you want a faster/less wasted water for your garden beds I think soaker hoses are a good compromise.

I cleaned up the alley area and the Sun chokes are still growing.  I want to add some Sunflowers and decorative grasses that will start crowding out some of the weeds and help break up some of the poor soil areas for more plants in the future.  Finding ground cover plants that do all those things and be run over or parked on by cars or covered by a wood delivery occasionally is a challenge.  I can plant some items that grow tall rather than spread out.

I’m watching the sales for garden items right now looking to buy for next year.  I know I want more of the plastic fencing and PVC pipe along with all those angles and t- fixtures because it is so handy to put up a light weight barrier when you see the what is needed to protect your garden beds.  Things like seeds, potting soil, plant markers, planting boxes or even kiddie polls you can use as raised beds might not be available to buy as we learned during last year via the Government response to the Covid.  I know I sure did not see a fuel pipeline being “Hacked” and cutting off fuel supplies to a lot of the east coast.  I have read that truckers won’t haul stuff into the east coast areas if there is no fuel for them.  That will really screw up the supply chain for stores that do “Just in Time” Delivery or about 3 days worth of stock on hand.

Time to get creative boys and girls because supplies are limited and you need to repair, reuse and recycle more than ever, just to to keep a few more dollars in your pocket.

Fire wood is stacked. Huzzah!

May 8, 2021

It sure feels good to have all of this years firewood stacked!  I need to buy a few more tarps to cover some of the stacks but it won’t hurt this unseasoned wood to be exposed to the hot/dry summer of SW Idaho for the next few months.  I never thought about the space required  for firewood when I bought this house but I knew I wanted enough ground to put in a garden, a nice little lawn and having trees to keep the backyard cool in the summer was a huge bonus.  Well I have stacked this years wood in a few unused areas to make sure I have access to well seasoned wood.  That is not an easy task for people that have small lots with limited storage space.  It is easy to tell a person to store 2-3 years worth of wood and it is cheaper to buy multiple cords of wood in bulk.  If your wood storage space is limited to a couple of small wood racks. That is what that person must deal with despite all the wishes and  a person might want to have for heating.

I use firewood as my primary heat source in cold weather.  There are other options that have lower start up costs and can be at least as safe as using a firewood stove.  I like the Mr. Buddy heaters and most propane/natural  gas stoves/fireplaces.  Yes, there are safety issues storing fuel or gas lines getting cut during some disasters but I think this fuel has some upsides as far as the storage space required compared to several cords of wood.

I’m not a big fan of kerosene heaters as the fuel puts out some very dangerous gasses that are in an enclosed space.  Since most homes tend to be insulated. Those gasses will get trapped indoors without proper air flow.  In cold weather the last thing you want to do is open a window or door to let the gasses as well as heat escape.

Every type of alternative heating will have positives and negatives for short term and long term heating needs.  I recommend you only heat using propane or kerosene while you are awake and active.  Yes it can suck to wake up to a cold house.  Not dying in your sleep to carbon monoxide poisoning would NOT be considered a positive move for survival!

I have started making a new anti- pet fence for the 3 sisters garden using a PVC pipe frame and the left over plastic fencing material.  I think this pvc framed fencing might work to keep most of the critters out of the 3 sister garden beds but still be easy to access to do weeding, watering and other garden chores.  I doubt I can stop all critters. Hopefully I can at least keep any damage to a minimum.  In the elevated raised bed the radishes are doing great, the lettuce was was spread by the kitties (don’t ask) and I have 3 mini Bok choy plants coming up

Lesson learned staring plants:  Use larger pots to hold plants started early or they get root bound.  I’m sure more experienced gardeners are thinking to themselves “well duh”. Speaking for myself all those little cells of dirt are so tempting to plant at least a seed in in Feb/March and by the time May arrives the poor plant is root bound and not prone to grow.  The reason you start plants early indoors is to have a healthy and vigorous plant ready to grow after any frost danger passes.  I’d say you should use pots equivalent to the average “pony pack” that most garden stores/nurseries use for starter plants. I really love the heat pads, the new grow lights and staring boxes.  I just thing the 72 cell starter tray would be better for me as 36 size starter tray as the plants might need more time to grow and have strong growth for a May 10th planting, is along time from starting seeds in March.

Embrace “failure” as learning, don’t use it as excuse nor to to try or make yourself a victim. Be honest with yourself about what you do.  Is it I can’t or I won’t put in the effort?  Any answer is valid but you have live with the results.   Do what works for you. I have read many prepper blogs and I went in a different direction for many of my preps.  If it seems dumb but it works it isn’t dumb.

Busy Days

May 6, 2021

Boomer the Dog has not had a “potty” accident indoor in over a week.  I think the two things that made a difference is Boomer feeling safe and that this is his place, #2 (no pun intended) was teaching him the difference between going indoors and out doors. Once the little guy figured that out, the potty training was easy.  We did have a few issues about what was appropriate chew items in the house such doggie bones are okay to chew but shoes gloves and knobs of cabinets are not chew toys.  I’m beginning to think Boomer could have been a destructive dog in a home by himself. Especially if the previous owner did not know how to deal with a high energy terrier that needs to go out and do terrier stuff.  It’s fun to see Boomer become an out going, high energy,  friendly dog. Compared to the the timid and fearful pup that I picked up at the pound about a month ago. 

I worked very hard getting plants started indoors and spent a few bucks getting some good plant starting boxes, heat mats and led lights and I did much better compared to other attempts but I don’t have for the small plant cell/pots for starting my plants as the plants got root bound before they were strong enough to go into the garden beds. I was able to transfer some of the plants to larger pots and give Mom some starter plants but I’m going to use larger pots in my starting boxes because getting 72 very small root bound plants does not work for me. I’d rather have plants in larger pots and get more growth before I transfer them into the garden.  It is getting to late in the year to try and transfer my Broccoli, Cauliflower into the garden as we are getting occasional 80 degree F. + days and the temp will just keep going up into summer. I’m going to direct sow the lettuce, chard. and spinaches along with root crops that should be okay even though the temperatures are getting warmer. 

Protecting the garden from critters. I have my cats as well as neighborhood cats that roam through my yard along with a small terrier that absolutely love fresh dirt to leave deposits in and that does not even consider the squirrels that love eating young plants as well as planting nuts in your garden beds.  I used some plastic mesh fencing to lay directly over the garden bed I have planted and used a few screws in the wood of the raised bed  to hook the fencing but I can still weed or thin the garden bed. The plants are small and have not reached the fencing yet, but the cats and the dog mostly ignore that bed for digging so far. Of course they have other beds that they dig in but I think the garden fencing mesh is a cost effective start if you need to protect a raised bed from critters but still need easy access to the beds. 

I moved the one of my squared big raised beds to make room for the green house and I need to block off the new bed area from the critters but I’m using a 3 sisters mounded bed and laying the fence material won’t work for this area.  I have some PVC pipe so I think I’ll use the the PVC pipe and the plastic fencing to make a temp. gate and block off the the small 19 ft.  section to the 3 sisters garden.  Lumber has become so expensive it is hard to justify making any sort of lumber fence if all you are trying to stop is a small dog and a few cats. 

I’m going to try starting indoors Cole crops like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and some cabbages in July for an August planting for a fall harvest.  This is new to me so results will probably be less than optimal but I’m doing new stuff and learning from both results.  There is nothing wrong with getting your plants from a nursery/big box store if that is how you garden. Goodness know I would buy those plants if my “project” to start my own plants fails.   If you make a garden and only rely on planting young plants you buy for $1.99-$4.99 you will still save a ton of money compared to paying $1.00-$2.00 per pound for veggies in a store and the price of most fresh herbs in a store costs a lot more than a dollar per pound! 

You do what you can with what you have to work with as far as time, physical energy and the space you have for your garden.  Raised bed gardens are nothing more than a big container garden.  If the only space you have is for few pots then maximize the plants grown in those pots.  Start growing something! It will be both harder and easier than you think, but as you learn you will get better at it.  Trust me, I though I was the definition of a “black thumb” and if you could package my gardening prowess in a bottle.  I’d put Round up to shame as a plant killer!  Last year I had a hard time just keeping up with all the garden produced. 

Onto the stacking of the wood. I filled up the “Kennel firewood” walk way area with some of the new fire wood. I can reach the Dry/seasoned wood in the first two accessible wood racks.  A little inconvenient but workable to burn the older seasoned wood. I remembered a spot I stacked “mill ends” and just cleaned up a plant debris and laid down a couple of less than building quality boards to elevate the wood to dry.  It’s probably 4-8 hours of work so for me 2-3 days at my worst.  But I figure I’ll have all the wood stacked by this weekend.  It is amazing to me  how much easier it is to stack 2 cords of wood compared to 3 cords of wood as that big pile of wood is a lot more intimidating. 

I was surprised I was not physically worn out. I slathered on the essential oil pain cream before going to bed and I slept great and woke up with nothing more than very minor muscle soreness from physical work.  My hope is I’m rebuilding some muscular endurance.  I don’t expect a 100% recovery or no pain but it is nice to be able to get to work and not spend 1-2 days in recovery.  Overall I did not work very hard, just enough to warm up the muscles and joints.  But compared to me thinking I’d be down for 1-2 days the work I got done was a surprise and a good feeling.