Posts tagged ‘container gardening’

Laboring for my veggies – part 2

I had hoped to do this as a slide show, but I don’t have a photo-editing software that lets me add captions, so I get to insert all these pix with the caption I want one at a time 🙂

To (almost) quote Bocephus, “Country girl can survive” – enjoy!

My onion “bed”. Okay, so I know they’re not quite planted at 4″ x 12″ spacing, but this fits more in. Not tremendously visible in this pic, but this a re-purposed wheelbarrow (plastic) that the wheels quit spinning on, and it was just sitting under the shed. My wonderful helper did a great job planting all those onions, didn’t he! (And this was after working at the 4-H thing for an hour, then piano lesson, AND helping me to get a load of dirt!)

My butter crunch bibb lettuce. Notice the re-used plastic nursery buckets (1 plant each), and the re-purposed old dish washing tub (2 plants) – they’re sitting on top of an old heavy duty Rubbermaid-type storage tub.

My spearmint! (re-used planter)

Orange mint (re-used gardening container)

Lemonbalm! (Didn’t realize until after I bought it just how useful and wonderful it is; I just knew it was an herb and smelled good 😉 reused clay pot)

My broccoli plants (at least the 9 that are planted….) Don’t know what really the 2 big galvanized? stainless? tubs are, but there 2 laying around, and I knew Daddy used them for gardening, too.  The biggest container on top of the dog crate (inventive re-purposing for getting stuff up off the ground, don’t ya think? the other plants are the previously shown mints and lemonbalm) also has broccoli. These are the same 9 plants that I showed in the part 1 post all planted in one of those big metal tubs. The two metal tubs are top of another heavy-duty Rubbermaid bin.

Using a wooden planter box? that was under the shed to plant 3 more butter crunch in. And yes, that’s a handicap shower chair they’re sitting on (that shed is yielding more and more wonderful finds….)

The last 2 butter crunch (in case you were counting to 9 to make sure I got them all), in a hanging metal pot/bucket of some sort. It is on the ground, but is light enough I can pick it up. Also hope to get something else out there to put more stuff on top of. Also on top of the massively rusted 55-gallon drum, are the herbs I talked about planting here)

The oregano planted in a re-used dish garden

My sweet basil, planted in the “Puppy Pot” I received from my wonderful friends Wendy and Mama-2 (Wendy’s Mom, I call her Mama-2 because she’s, well, like a 2nd mother to me :-)) It’s a bit rusted and “dog-eared” where the paint has started peeling, but I love it just the same, and am glad to finally have something to plant in it. (The planter was new 18 months ago when I got it, btw, but it’s sat out in the rain and weather, simply because I enjoy looking at it.)

My rosemary 🙂 The only other thing in a real clay pot; the rest are plastic look-a-likes….

The wonderful yellow wheeled buggy I couldn’t be doing this without. I’ve discovered I can 1/2-fill it with dirt and comfortably pull it without straining my back. Then there’s the big shovel (I use that one), and the Teddy-sized shovel (we both use that one 😉 It’s easier to get dirt out of the buggy and into the smaller pots with the smaller shovel. I haven’t managed to find a trowel yet, but actually planting the starts has been easy since shoveling the dirt has loosened it, and it’s mostly sand, so digging it by hand isn’t a big deal.

(I know, it’s a smidge blurry….) My garden from what I think of as the “front.” Note my raised-bed pallet garden frame in the background.

And the back view 🙂

One tired helper! (Whom I suspected was and know now to be sick.) The sweatshirt he’s wearing (Go Dawgs!) is just one of the many reasons I love Goodwill – $2.50 for a college-brand good condition sweatshirt 😀 I’m not one who has to have brand name labels (the brand name in most of my stuff is Faded Glory…), but I’ve gotten him Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, Ralph Lauren, etc, all for $2.50 each!

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Done did and to do ;-)

Ok, top priority on my to do list: make myself a sweat band! I’ve got gobs of cotton yarn, it shouldn’t be too hard to crochet a strip then connect the edges, but I am SO tired of having to wipe the sweat off my face (when my hands are free), having it drip down my face, or worst of all – into my eyes and/or onto my glasses (if I’m not wearing my contacts). Don’t know if I’m just a heavy sweater, or if it’s because I’ve been so sedentary for so long that I’ve got a lot of toxins that need sweating out (if you know me in real life, you know that it really is God that has me out gardening and interested in a more sustainable lifestyle), or what, but I’m especially tired of the sweat dripping into my eyes. I can solve this problem here in a bit while waiting in the pick-up line at school to get Teddy 🙂 (All the teachers are surprised if they open the door to put him in and I’m NOT crocheting something ;-))

Next on to-do list is PLAN B. I’ve decided for my broccoli starts that (as with my pallet raised bed frame) just to re-do it. It won’t kill my poor little broccoli plants to be dug back up – specially since I’ve got to do it with at least 1/2 of them anyway and replant them, and then transfer the dirt to another container that’s ALREADY at the height I want it. This determined redneck, err, country girl  😉 is ready to get the rest the broccoli, the lettuce, the onions, and the herbs planted, and I’ve GOT to have the wheeled buggy to haul dirt.

Now on to the done did list: (okay, so redneck might be the more appropriate term, I like to let my roots show every now and again :D) Tried all kinds of ways to get that container up to where I want it by myself – levering it with a piece of wood, walking it up a wood bridge, and since you know PLAN B is on my to do list, I obviously wasn’t successful.

I DID get the sweet basil planted (single 8″ metal pot in a stand shaped like a dog – gift from wonderful friends), and the Italian oregano planted (recycling a plastic dish garden container received when Daddy died). I didn’t realize until today that I actually got TWO of the oregano plants, so they’re planted together. For my herbs, that leaves my rosemary, and my mints – spearmint, and orange mint. I THINK from something I read on Mother Earth News that the lemon balm (which my sister-in-law assures me REALLY does work against skeeters – when they would go out at night, they would just bruise a few leaves, and be left alone) is in the mint family too. And I also learned that (don’t have time to re-check it now or I would) that either the spearmint or the basil will keep the deer from enjoying MY veggies!

Last, but not least, on this done did list – get this post done!

Have a blessed day, y’all 😀

Wednesday Morning pix

Just a quick little post this morning 🙂 I think my broccoli starts look better already just after spending the night in real dirt! (Yes, I do realize I need to thin the container out; I have 9 starts in there, and realistically should only have 4 max. I’m gonna be hauling a LOT of dirt….)

Yes, it’s the same container, but from a different angle

And just for fun, here’s a pic of JUST the cedar tree in all it’s glory. I’m literally standing right beside my raised bed garden frame.

And this is a tung oil tree; not very pretty now that most of it’s leaves are gone, but I wanted to put a pic of it in here. Daddy had planted it (there’s 2 of them, actually) in hopes of selling the worms that like these trees for fishing, but so far (and much to Mama’s delight), there’s no fishing worms. This one is under the oak tree (see yesterday’s post) that’s in front of the wood pile.

And that’s it for now, I reckon. I’m working on a post I’m going to call “Critters in the Country” aka the-first-of-many -obligatory-posts-about-the-kitty-cats 😉 They finally cooperated this morning and gave me some good (as opposed to just decent or usable) pix!

God bless 🙂

Labors for my fruits… err, vegetables

So I’ve realized my raised bed garden will be waiting until spring before it actually gets used (post on this later, maybe today, most likely tomorrow). But I want home-grown veggies NOW, and I’m running out of time to do it. Solution: container gardening! What you see in the picture above, my friends, is the same dirt that is qualified to grow Vidalia onions. I live close enough that – if I planted the right seeds – I really could grow sweet Vidalia’s, sell and market them as such.  We actually have “the onion farm” a mile or so up the road. “But, but, but,” I hear you sputtering, “it’s SAND!?!” Yep. That it is. Sandy loam to be exact, and it’s some good growing dirt. But in order to please Mama, I had to work for it. Can’t have any holes near the house.

Where I’m standing is where my container garden is. See the thing WA-A-AY in the background of the picture partially covered (it’s a boat)? It’s mostly between the uprights of the lean-to shed gizmo, cover is gray, back end is a pinkish/coral color. STRAIGHT behind that thru the woods (but of course, I have to go around cuz the buggy won’t go thru…) is where I have to go dig for dirt. On the other side of the bare tree it opens up into a path back thru the woods which leads to the dirt spot.  And on the way there, I took the long route, around the edge of the field and the trees, b/c it’s the least grown up. Teddy was a big helper; he helped pull the buggy out there (with the empty container in the buggy; well, nearly empty, bottom 3-4″ is “au natural” tree bark mulch from Daddy’s wood splitting spot), and helped shovel the dirt in, too. But on the way BACK (why is the course with the full load the uphill route?), we took the shortcut through the tall grass. Yep, straight through “watch where you put your feet b/c ya don’t wanna step on a snake country”. I was not about to pull that heavy load ANY farther than I had to (and there were still a couple spots Teddy had to help push from behind too)!  And believe you me, I was a huffing, and puffing (woulda put the big bad wolf to shame!), and came in the house and guzzled 3 or 4 glasses of water and laid on the sofa for about 10-15 minutes before I could continue in my efforts. I had to’ve sweated off 5 lbs… And I LOVED every second of it 😀

These are my el cheapo veggies 😀 Teddy and I went to The General Store (yes, we’re rural enough that we actually have one of those and that IS it’s name…) after I picked him up for school; scouting out pumpkins for carving, but again that’s a post for another day. While Teddy was looking at pumpkins, I was looking at the veggies. I noticed the broccoli, but they were all out of romaine and spinach 😦 So we go in (Teddy’s in Sunday School with the owners’ daughter, and likes to talk to her when we go, and sometimes there’s chickens and/or ducks and/or turkeys – ya just never know because it’s The General Store!), and I’m asking if/when they’ll be getting any more of the romaine or spinach, and ask about pansies for Mama. The pansies are a no, and the leaf veggies are a “check back next week, but if not, it’s a no-go, b/c the companies aren’t wanting to pot too much more this late in the year.” NUTS! I knew I should’ve done this at least a week ago….

So I ask how much the broccoli starts are, and he says “99 cents each, for the 9-plant flats.”

“Reasonable,” I’m thinking. “What about the onions?”

“Those would be free,” he says. “I was gonna throw those away today or tomorrow.”

Well now, free is ALWAYS in my budget. “Okay,” as I’m digging in my wallet, “I’ve got $7. What will that get me?”

“Anything from the veggies out there; they’re all just about to go bad anyway.”

“Teddy, come on, let’s go pick out some plants! I’ll be back next week to buy a couple pumpkins!”

So I loaded up 5 of the 9-pack broccoli starts (all he had left), the last 9-pack of butter crunch bibb lettuce (the only lettuce they had I like; don’t care for any cabbage or kale), and THEN I notice the herbs. “Teddy, go ask if the herbs are included,” as I’m looking through, setting aside one of each, and Teddy comes back out – “he says some.”

So I DIDN’T get any dill (HATE IT!), but I got one each sweet basil (is it okay that’s its started flowering?), oregano, orange mint (never heard of it, the thingy with the runners, but I like mint, so I grabbed it ;-)), spearmint, lemonbalm (don’t know what to do with it – anybody? just know it smells kinda lemony edit: I done GOOD! http://www.motherearthnews.com/Natural-Health/2007-08-01/Grow-Mosquito-Repellent.aspx), and rosemary. Mama got in the car and said “Don’t know what else, but you got oregano – it smells like spaghetti sauce!” And don’t forget my 5 free bunches of onion starts 🙂

I LOVE living rural, where everybody knows everybody 😀

Oh! The above 2 pix are what did NOT get planted today; my back was NOT willing to lift the container of dirt out of the buggy by itself. And I kinda-sorta need the buggy to go get more dirt. But, I leave you with the 9 broccoli starts that DID get planted in good South Georgia dirt (little bit of moo-nure stirred in, that’s the mulch looking stuff on top that didn’t stay mixed in well when I watered).

Thank you God, for dirt, hard work, sweat, and the yummy wonderful broccoli I WON’T have to buy at the store this winter 😀