This is the front yard veggie garden for our community house in Portland, OR. That front box is 24 feet long! If you look closely, you can see my current project: adding herringbone brick in between the boxes ;)
I have to admit: I covet those tidy raised beds almost as much as I do the fishtail shingles, Andrew. Our front (flower) garden is dual raised beds, approximately just-too-wide by as-deep-as-the-space-permitted, assembled from three-high landscaping blocks as time and my middle-aged-fat-broad-with-a-weak-back energies permitted. The only reason the neighbors didn’t torch the place during the several summers while construction was ‘in process’ is that it looked even worse when it was supposed to be a lawn.
So… how’s everybodys’ gardens looking on a Sunday morning?
And who’s got plans, gardening or otherwise, for the day?
Heading out to bike 50 miles with friends this morning. This is our revolt against aging–this this season’s goal is 2500 miles and I am close to halfway there.
Killer crib and garden! I built a pole arbor for the princess’s thrornless roses yesterday. She went to a raised be seminar with this fellow who uses nothing but peat moss, vermiculite and compost. I got a load of compost from the county and we made one. This week she went to another organic seminar and the dude was pretty negative about the compost because it was made from municipal sludge. We’re not freaking out but the google says some people are. It’s always something.
This year I went to a raised bed garden (one is 100×50 [veggies] and another 50×50 [herbs]) for the first time and I love it. Love it. The total price tag, via my research online, came to be a lot more then I expected. But if things keep going as they are going now, I won’t care.
Also glad to know I am not the only person that was thinking about and/or laying brick around them. I mean it is a pain to try to mow around them for starters.
The hot, wet Spring has turned my NJ backyard into an overgrown, swampy jungle. So I’m thinning things out with a pole pruner and chainsaw.
I have a magnificent, 100-foot tall, 4-foot diameter Pin Oak in the backyard that was struck near the top by lightning. Bark was stripped off all the way to the ground and blown around the yard. I’m praying this wonderful tree doesn’t die.
Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen
After a few years of trying, our garden is mostly flowers. This is due to a continuing household debate about the friendly neighborhood groundhogs.
I want to shoot each and every one of the sons of bitches. The S.O. objects because it is cruel, illegal, &c. And for some reason I never see the little bastards when he’s out of town.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
I’m off to church. While I’m not Christian, my 88 year old next door neighbor is a Roman Catholic, who used to go to church with a now departed pal. I offered to take him but he declined, so I quit offering.
Then two weeks ago, he took his walker and walked a mile and a half to the church and sort of collapsed upon arrival. It was about 80 at 8 am, so no real surprise there, only that he got all the way to church before it happened. He was supposed to have a ride with a parishioner last week, but she was a no show, though as he stood waiting someone else happened along and took him.
Thus my morning will include a visit to the local parish – he must really miss it if he walked. Wish me luck.
Re: groundhogs. I’ve been told by animal control officers, long-time gardners, the only way to really get rid of them is to shoot them. The other option is to cage every single thing you grow.
Re: compost from municipal sludge. Our township collects yard waste, mixes it with the sludge from the wastewater treatment plant, and makes wonderful compost. Each resident can take about 2 yards for free, additional is a small fee. My only objection to using it on the plants we intend to eat is that I have no idea what is in it. My own compost is comprised of things I know and understand: leaves and grass from the yard, scraps from the kitchen. That’s what goes on the veggies and herbs. If there was a way to confirm the organic materials in the stuff from the township, I’d feel better about using it. So, caveat emptor? Not worth freaking out about.
Today is planting all the stuff that didn’t get planted on the first two rounds between deluges: a couple of privets, some forsythia, relocate a hasta or three, and various flowering things that are done for the year but will be back next year, or so I am told.
ETA: hip hop artist, bless you, you’re an angel.
OT:Glenn Beck gonna kiss Santorum in the mouf?! Bring it!!
Bella Q, you are a wonderful person. For myself, a fairly quiet Sunday. But, if anyone remembers my talking about my friend and her kids who live in Misawa and were separated by the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, I am happy to report that I got an invitation to the oldest son’s high school graduation party, to be held when they are back in the USA next month. So, a happy ending!
Four days of rain that was at times a deluge will not allow me to go into the “swamp” to check what needs to be done to my 8 flowerbeds. All I can do is go around the deck where I have pots of veggies and herbs.
I would love to have a raised garden. Those pics look awesome. There are too many varmints here who would destroy a raised garden.
Cheryl from Maryland
My garden plans, which are never more elaborate than flowers and herbs in pots, have been derailed this year by animals.
Not deer, but there is a chipmunk that digs up the petunias and, more importantly, there is a pair of wrens which have built a nest in my hanging baskets.
Right now I see the wren parents feeding their two offspring outside my window. No replanting of the old pansies because the wrens use the material for food, no watering because it might destroy the nest.
Signing pledges gets Beck all hot and bothered.
June 25, 2011
Exemptions Were Key to Vote on Gay Marriage
By DANNY HAKIM
ALBANY — It was just a few paragraphs, but they proved to be the most microscopically examined and debated — and the most pivotal — in the battle over same-sex marriage.
Language that Republican senators inserted into the bill legalizing same-sex marriage provided more expansive protections for religious organizations and helped pull the legislation over the finish line Friday night.
The Republicans who insisted on the provision did not only want religious organizations and affiliated groups to be protected from lawsuits if they refused to provide their buildings or services for same-sex marriage ceremonies, they also wanted them to be spared any penalties by state government. That would mean, for example, a church that declined to accommodate same-sex weddings could not be penalized later with the loss of state aid for the social service programs it administers.
Such language is not unheard of; New Hampshire, which also approved a same-sex marriage bill, included similar protections.
Senator Stephen M. Saland, a Republican and a Hudson Valley lawyer known for his cautious and low-profile approach, was one of three senators who negotiated the language changes with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, and his administration, spending days poring over the fine print.
The amendment that was passed stated that barring access to same-sex ceremonies, or failing to provide services for them, would not “result in any state or local government action to penalize, withhold benefits, or discriminate against such religious corporation, benevolent order, a not-for-profit corporation operated, supervised or controlled by a religious corporation.”
The amendment also included protections for “any employee thereof being managed, directed or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious corporation, benevolent order or a not-for-profit corporation.” And it included similar protections for clergy who declined to perform same-sex ceremonies.
Finally, the legislation contained what is known as an inseverability clause. If a court found any part of the act to be invalid, the entire legislation would also be invalid. The clause is an important provision to Republicans because it means that the marriage legislation would be at risk if the religious exemptions were successfully challenged in court.
Before the bill was taken up, the New York Civil Liberties Union said it could live with the exemptions. “We have reviewed the entire bill, including the latest amendments, and we urge the Legislature to pass the Marriage Equality Act immediately,” said Donna Lieberman, the group’s executive director. She said the new legislation “respects the right of clergy, churches and religious organizations to decide for themselves which marriages they will or will not solemnize or celebrate in keeping with our country’s principles of religious freedom.”
*Rachel Maddow will blame President Obama for this in 5…4…3…2…1
Working on a grant narrative-I want to finish getting the bones of it on paper this morning so I can goof off the rest of the day.
In other news, the chicken is butterflied and resting in a buttermilk & seasoning bath in the fridge in prep for grilling for supper. My mouth is watering already.
After a year hiatus I went back to gardening in the raised beds this year, and things are going gangbusters so far, especially the yellow squash which is approaching 4 feet high. I planted them too close together (2 ft) and now they’re locked in mortal competition while pooping out squash at a rate of about 2 per day per all 6 plants. Next year they don’t get put in the raised beds.
My beds are made of 2X8s, but it’s a true 2″ and true 8″ ’cause I got them at the mill. But at this point I’m thinking that 8″ is higher than I need. Then I see Andrew’s that look to be 18″ and read that Anne’s are 3 landscape blocks, which I take as about 16″.
So why so high? My underlying soil is mostly sand, but prior owners gardened there so it’s in pretty good shape, and I fork it down to below ground level.
my ‘garden’ is a small plot in a community garden in bed stuy, a 25 minute walk. or a 25 minute bus ride, cause the bus never comes. either way i almost never get out there and am lucky my plants live from week to week.
snuh. sometimes i hate living in the city. it does make me appreciate my tomatoes, cause i know each one involved about 2 miles of walking, on average. how sustainable.
Good morning, everyone.
Lovely raised gardens! With the herringbone brick!
I’ve been following a couple of blogs of folks who live in South Texas. After a little nudging, they admitted that they actually have two gardens a year, one in the spring, followed by a heat hiatus, and then a fall crop. One guy transplants young tomato plants about mid-September and then hopes for the best.
We’re going to make ricotta calzones with red peppers, spinach, and goat cheese… though at the farmer’s market yesterday they convinced us we could replace the goat cheese with a fresh cow’s milk cheese. I’m a little dubious, but hey they’re local at least… and the cheese tasted awesome.
modo already has a column out about how the NY bill just goes to show that obama’s a chump and can’t do anything right. it’s as if she already had the column in the can, like an old movie star’s obituary.
What a beautiful garden. Enjoy your produce.
For years I’ve been working on a patch of land behind our summer shack in the Catskills, trying to make a low maintenance semi-deerproof rock garden. It’s all about rocks up there. A central feature is a bunch of rocks with thyme growing between them, and right now the thyme is blooming:
My container garden is doing well, especially compared to folks in this area who planted in the ground. I got my garden planted about 3 weeks before my neighbors because of the wet ground. Lots of rain since then. I drain off excess water from my plants several days a week. Hope my neighbors have good drainage in their gardens.
I have several little tomatoes and peppers and the other stuff is growing. Thought I’d lose one tomato plant but it’s hanging in there. Did lose one bean plant. Can you imagine that? Beans are so tough, I thought they could stand anything.
And the lettuce is finally growing.
I accidentally caused our NJ groundhogs to travel to that great vegetable garden in the sky once. The method? Poured the ashes from charcoal briquets (the kind soaked in starter fluid) from our BBQ down the entrance to their underground lodge. The plan was just to irritate them and cause them to vacate and move on to more comfy apartments. However, judging from the powerful stink coming out of the hole a few days later and the noticeable lack of live groundhogs, the ashes were deadly. The garden recovered enough after that that we were able to harvest about 4 tomatoes, 3 okras and 2 pounds of beans. Bastards.
So, not garden related but here’s yet another reason why CNN is dead to me.
Quite the “news” organization, eh?
Pre-buried groundhogs! How convenient!
Speaking of varmints, our new measures seem to have had some effect on the raccoons — no new poops on the deck for 3 days! Drained the pond, then filled it with gravel topped with dirt, planted all the bare areas with ferns and flowers. I may get some herbs for pots, which is very exciting!
So now CNN has become the Enquirer of cable news?
I guess that depends how far south these gardeners live. Where I live, September would be far, far too late. Fall tomatoes go in in late July to mid-August. By September there isn’t enough time for them to get big enough to support fruit prior to the cold weather/fewer hours of sunlight hitting.
But yeah, two gardens is how its done. Right now it’s really hot, so we’re finishing up the spring garden, hoping the few summer crops that will grow, like long beans and okra, make it in this drought, and hanging on until fall. Summer is a distinctly unpleasant time and something just to be endured.
I don’t garden here but yesterday I visited my dad for the annual family barbecue party. He’s so exasperated with the critters from the adjacent undeveloped wetland getting into his garden that he’s resorted to a full chicken wire fence and nylon mesh over the top to keep them out. Various sprays and commercial repellents to ward off the deer. A lot of work, but this year the tomatoes, kale, lettuce and asparagus are doing fine.
I suppose it’s Obama’s fault that poor Gov Cuomo had to make all those concessions…..like “Obummer”, HE CAVED, HE CAPITULATED!! But that’s ok because…..he’s really, really, a true progressive and Obama was against the Bill, per Maddow.
I was thinking though; didn’t Obama tell Patterson to go so Cuomo could run?? There was a big scandal about that in late 2009 as I recall. Rachel owes Obama. heh
Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me yesterday had a bit about the newest technology in TV being smellevision, and Peter Sagal said that odor you smell when you switch to CNN is desperation. Piers Morgan is the lamest of the lame ass bottom of the barrel mess of an interviewer I’ve ever seen.
My garden is a lame ass mess also too. Between the rain, the ground hogs, the climbing weeds, the deer and the squirrels, I’ve given up.
Two season gardener here. I sort of take the heat hiatus but I’ve got enough to grow in that in between before trying to put in the fall garden and keep it alive that I’m not sure I’m on hiatus anymore.
I’m taking out the spring garden slowly and each patch gets replanted with black-eyed peas. The garlic and onion bed I removed last week to cause the rain (damn I wish I had more garlic!) is now just starting to germinate all the lovely black-eyed peas I planted on Monday.
I love your front raised bed garden Andrew. I’ve got all raised beds in my veggie garden since I’m on black gumbo clay.
Seems Prosser’s defenders are now claiming this is what happened.
It’s possible, but I don’t see how ash harmed the groundhogs. Burned material is pretty harmless, and groundhogs are hardy and resourceful. Might just be a coincidence.
Yesterday I saw my grandmother, who is 92 and still lives alone and manages her acre of yard and gardens by herself. She says last fall she accidentally killed a whole family of groundhogs that were gleefully excavating her flower beds. She kept a half full 5 gallon bucket of water by the house for spot watering plants. Apparently this was the only water source available to the critters. On four successive mornings she found a drowned groundhog floating in the bucket and buried it. After that, no more burrowers.
Love the garden threads. I can’t have one where I am now, so I get the vicarious thrills here.
Second day of my three-day weekend. Some chores and puttering around today, then dinner and DVD(s) with a friend tonight. Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky and maybe something else. Perhaps the low-key comedy Zero Effect, which came in the mail this week. Bill Pullman as the “world’s most private detective” and Ben Stiller as his field rep. Ryan O’Neal as the villain and Kim Dickens as the girl. Nice cast. Will be interesting to see if it holds up from when I first saw it.
Following somebody’s recommendation [Anne Laurie’s?] I have kept a water source available for birds and other critters close to my garden and [so far] haven’t had any problems. If that proves effective all season, I’ll report it.
That is one beautiful front garden. I love seeing what real people are doing with their gardens, as opposed to what the crew of gardeners & landscape architects have done which is mostly what you see in garden magazines.
After many years during which my front yard was an intensely planted mostly filtered shade area divided by a path, I am making changes to make it more easily maintainable by my aging self. Actually, the city started the process by cutting down the curbside tree (which was a silver maple & not a great tree but healthy) because they had federal emergency funds to cut down trees in the wake of a storm that caused severe damage to many trees a few years back. My tree wasn’t damaged but, apparently, they still had money so what the hell.They actually told me that their “plan” was to cut down as many trees as possible until the federal money ran out. Some plan. Of course they have not budgeted anything for replanting so the plants that were fine in the shade of an ancient silver maple were now a mess.
This year is stage 1 in which the front part was reduced to a strip on both sides & the rest mulched. What will eventually happen to the mulched area is yet to be determined but I know that today will involve weeding since, with the increased light, they have sprung up in their thousands and with the rain all week, it’s a jungle out there. Well, I’d better stop whining & start weeding.
My herb garden has exploded, especially the 2 basil. The spousal unit wants to harvest some today.
The veggie garden is continuing to recover from the early infestations. Broccoli and brussel sprouts doing well tho some of the brocs have bolted early. The eggplants are finally beginning to appear healthy giving me hope that I will be roasting some on the grill after all. My bell peppers I fear are a wash with the TMV and I think they may take down my banana peppers too.
Lesson learned: Do not plant all your peppers together. My hot peppers are in a different part of the garden and are (so far) unaffected.
The tomatoes are doing well and I even picked the first ripe one this week, a single lonely grape. Most all romas, grape, cherry and yellow pear are bearing fruit now. The beefsteaks and Black Prince are starting to come on too. The heirlooms are running behind tho. The Sripeys finally began to flower even tho the are my tallest plants. All the other heirlooms seem stunted but finally healthy. They will catch up.
Corn is healthy and so are the beans with the burgundy beans flowering. Melons and squash are finally looking like… melon and squash. With the exception of the buttercups. those 2 are a waste of space. I think I will pull them up and put in a couple of crooked neck.
My flower beds continue to evolve. The purple cone flowers are in full bloom and they dance with dozens of flutterby’s. I am concentrating on the sun gardens this year. Not enuf time or money to invest in the shade gardens. They look a mess.
Groundhogs: You can try to live trap them with some fruit. I have an armadillo that likes to dig holes here and there, especially any place I have planted bulbs, and a mole the size of a nuclear sub. Gonna have to kill them.
I’m off to feed my garden and maybe do a little mowing.
My mowing machine died a while back and I purchased a reel mower. Never, even in my younger days, have I ever used a reel mower. Apparently this machine requires muscles in places that have been grossly unused for a long time! I must have been tripping when I bought the torture instrument. I really do like the sound of it, though. Soft, melodic, peaceful, civilized.
I have to say after hearing everyone’s trials and tribulations over gardens being destroyed by animals, I’m very happy I live where we have a healthy population of coyote who take care of them. No groundhogs, dear, rabbits, or squirrels. We do get an occasional mole, but their not too bad. Neighborhood cats seem to keep them in check, mostly.
Anne, thx for the sunday morn garden thread.
They need to be shot and pissed on. I had to cut down four trees to get more sun in the veggie garden 2 weeks ago and it broke my heart, The oak was almost as old as I am (52).
me: It’s the Cheney defense
@Linda Featheringill: I am as far south as you can go in Texas without falling in the Rio Grande. I have always done two gardens. I put my winter tomato starts in around the middle of August. If I am truly diligent, I can keep the okra, eggplants and peppers alive during the summer heat and they start producing again in the fall. If not, I put in new starts with the tomatoes. This year the heat has already done in even the long beans. The weather lately has been strange, and we had two bad (for us) freezes last winter that killed everything. The only things that made it through were two casper eggplant bushes that I covered completely. Covering didn’t save the other stuff. It was so sad, I guess similar to when the deer ate John’s garden. I have a very small yard, so everything is in raised beds and containers.
as long as prosser yelled out ‘she’s comin right for us!!’, it’s all completely legal.
Just finished mowing and trimming the lawn. Our gardens are like Cheryl from Maryland’s; couple nice flower beds in back yard, some potted herbs and a few potted flowers here & there. Heading out for a round of golf with bro-in-law in a few minutes.
The house we bought last fall already had a raised bed in the front yard so that’s the bulk of my garden. Six tomato plants, six bell peppers of various hues, 2 Anaheim chilis, and 8 Blue Lake bush beans. Tomatoes are producing well, peppers are getting big but not fruit (finally saw some flowers last week), and the beans have been a disappointment ( coupla handfuls so far.)
The house also had really long flowerbeds across the front without a whole lotta flowers to I planted one yellow squash, 1 zucchini, and two cucumber plants in one of them. You see, I read somewhere on the internet (perhaps in this very blog maybe? Or not.) that those plants could be tossed in one’s flowerbed and allowed to trail unobtrusively among the flowers. Um, no. Both squash plants are freaking HUGE. And while they’ve both flowered like crazy, only the zucchini is producing. The cukes, otoh, look kinda spindly but are doing well. Getting a cuke or two every day. And between the three, they are climbing over, around, and all through the flowers.
I should say that I am not a committed gardener. I start out strong in the spring and as the southern summer grows more fiercely hot, I tend to lose interest.
Our coyotes are all on the other side of the valley. What I have are foxes… 5 of them in fact. Mama and 4 kits. They have left the den now (it was in the woods right behind the veggie garden under a downed tree) When I was tilling and planting I got to take breaks and watch them play.
I still get to see one or 2 from time to time.
Are your long beans struggling too? Mine came up from seed just fine, but then seemed to just kind of stop growing. Maybe the rain we got this week will help. They look healthy enough, but just weren’t doing much. By this time of year I’d usually expect them to be well up the trellises.
I mulched the long beans with hay last night. In this awful weather I think it works better than other kinds of mulch. Maybe it’s the lighter color repelling the heat more than darker mulch or something. But those beds that I’ve mulched with hay are needing much less water than those I’ve mulched with other types of mulch, even the expensive native mulch.
Thankfully no major animal problems in my little piece of Central Wisconsin.
My tomato plants are nearly 2 feet high. Most of the plants have buds, as do my bell peppers.
My Roma bush beans have germinated for the most part. But the Provider green beans I planted at the same time are germinating much more slowly. I also planted 3 varieties of pole bean: Scarlet Runner, Asian yard long and Kentucky Wonder. The last 2 from seeds that I’ve saved. Yes, I like beans!
My Atomic Red carrots are also just showing themselves.
I need to plant some broccoli raab, Swiss Chard and Lacinato kale. Regarding the Lacinato kale – it was my favorite out of the 4-5 varieties that came from my CSA share last year. It’s a deep green lance-shaped, and heavily savoyed leaf. I also need to get some basil going for when the tomatoes start coming in.
We had a wet, cool spring and a wet cool June so far. The last three days have finally been hot and sunny. I swear the tomatoes have put on a good foot of growth in the last three days. I need to tie the plant to there stakes.
I promise to take some pictures when the light is better.
I’m off to the gym and then to work (2nd shift)…
Too wet to do any gardening today, but the hummers are fun to watch.
I think there was still a fair amount of petroleum distillate (or whatever’s in lighter fluid) in the ashes and unburned bits of briquette that may have poisoned the air for the little suckers.
@violet: That is exactly how my long beans did. Last year they were fine; this year not so much. That is interesting about the hay mulch. I will try it.
I have heard that you have to do something to the wood in a raised garden to keep it from rotting? What? That deal with the boards and the bricks is fabulous.
NE Illinois reporting.
Four of my seven tomato plants have buds! I wasn’t looking for them yet because the plants are still on the short side, but Friday morning as I pondered the deck pots, coffee in hand, I spotted them. Two others sport little gnarls that could be buds, or may just be new leaves.
Very much interested in how the single Siberian tomato performs. I gave the variety a try because I feared a cool, short summer, and Siberians are supposed to do well under those conditions. We’ll see–of the 8 seeds I planted, only one produced a decent seedling. Not impressed. OTOH, this survivor has the largest buds of all my plants.
My other varieties are Aunt Ginny’s Purple (which seems very strong), Mountain Fresh (middlin’) and Tommy Toe cherries (laggard).
The Cubanelle pepper has buds, but that was a storebought and doesn’t really count. The bells that I started from seeds are only a couple of inches tall.
Andrew R–thanks for the pics. Lovely beds.
Outside on the deck w/ coffee at the moment. Pups are resting after having a tear-around. Just rousted Gaby out from under the shrubbery, where she was digging furiously. I now have a hole to fill. Roast chicken planned for dinner, after which I will toss the remains in a pot with veggies and make stock. I absolutely love days like this, and I hope things continue calm.
Treated wood but, of course, some people will freak out.
Let me know if the hay helps your beds. I added more to my cantaloupe yesterday and also am trying it in a pot that has a pomegranate tree in it. The tree was drying out so I’m curious if the hay will help.
Bonus with the hay, one bale goes a long, long way if you’re only using it for mulch and even if hay is expensive this year compared to other years, it’s still cheap by comparison to bagged mulch.
People use treated wood, but they treat it with things that can leach into your soil. It’s better than it used to be (used to leak arsenic) but still not idea. Cedar is a good way to go because it withstands moisture pretty well. You should expect to replace it sooner than you would treated wood, but it should still easily last six or seven years or so. Cedar is not cheap, though, so you need to budget for it.
Weeds, weeds, weeds. I have been skeptical of weed mats because I just don’t know what is really in them. I haven’t done the research so I don’t know if there are any weed suppressing mats that are non-toxic to use in the veggie garden. I have been using non colored newspaper which works fine but I’m always looking for other options.
I seriously don’t know if the efforts in the veggie garden are worth it this year up here in northern MN. Damn cold spring and into June. It was just a few days ago the high for the day was 54 deg. The southern part of the state has been cold too except for a couple of out of the ordinary 100 deg days.
I didn’t grow anything this year in preparation for selling the house and moving back West after almost 30 years in NYC. Have to figure out if I can grow anything in the desert….
But today I am heading back into Manhattan to celebrate at the Gay Pride Parade with my fellow New Yorkers! Was out late last night in Chelsea and the vibe was palpable.
Lovely raised beds! I grow my veggies in some small raised beds out back, and I love them. No herringbone brick though, my paths are covered with wood mulch and bindweed, our own special blend.
I have baby tomatoes, peppers just blooming, spinach and kale and broccoli rabe, and the squash finally sprouted (yellow crookneck and acorn). Roses are blooming, and yarrow too.
We’re actually working on a landscaping project out front, making mulch beds around a couple of big conifers in the yard. Trying desperately to bring some semblance of order to our messy non-lawn.
I think this sort of ridiculous, non-thinking, non-reasoning, no fucking common sense bureaucratic CRAP is one reason people are so quick to buy into all government is bad arguments. And of course, no one wants to see their tax dollars spent like that.
Timothy Trollenschlongen (formerly Tim, Interrupted)
NICE raised beds, Andrew! Your house is beautiful/charming as well.
Damn, I need to post some pics of my garden and join the competition. :D
The sun came out here in Boston a bit ago; first time in three or four days.
Very nice gardens Andrew and everyone else. I especially liked the shared photos of the thyme in bloom and the hummingbirds.
Today, outside Seattle, there is not a cloud in the sky and it’s just incredibly beautiful. Youngest child left for China on Friday (14 month Disney contract) so I have to finish planting out the rest of the flowers we picked up last week.
My plans are to finish sewing a blouse this morning and then to work on the garden this afternoon.
I’ve discovered that no one here seems to know the difference between a mole and a gopher. They call them moles, but I haven’t seen anything but gophers here. I suspect that moles have become pretty scarce, mainly because they’re so easy to kill. Gophers we have and they behave in a very strange manner. My middle child pointed out that whenever she ran a portable rainbird-type sprinkler, later on she’d get a gopher hill right about where the sprinkler had been placed. We saw the same results here last summer when the lawn was dying. (I’m still too much of a SoCal girl to just let it die the way everyone else does but I suppose that will come.)
A few photos of my garden: http://www.flickr.com/photos/snowwhite/sets/72157626927564243/
We have eaten all of the spinach now, so I need to replant the squares where it was.
I love my flowers and have always been meh about lawns.
We have a home now in the mountains of north carolina where the soil is rocks covered by an inch of bad topsoil and have a slope. I would love to replace the grass with something with actual charm. Does anyone have a suggestion for something that is dog tolerant and safe and does not need a lot of maintenance because this is a part time home? I am converting the part that gets shade to a garden and moss lawn. Hauling mulch in by the truckload into raised beds is the only solution to this ground. But the dogs need somewhere they get to romp so it needs to be tough and low growing and not vines so we break no ankles.
Here is the obligatory freak out: Treated wood has been treated with copper arsenic… which will leach into the soil where it will be picked up by the roots of the plants whicn, if vegetable will end up in your gullet, and your loved ones gullets. If you don’t care, go for it.
There is a reason why play ground structures are no longer made with copper arsenic treated wood.
What took you so long?
My raised beds are cedar, 2″x6″. I used to make them deeper but since they are in full Colorado sun and wind the deep beds dried out too fast. The boards are bolted into plastic corners, so can be easily replaced once they eventually wear out. Cedar is definitely not cheap, but I figure I’ll get ~10 years out of a board, so over time it works out.
Cool place Andrew R.
Thanks for sharing.
It seems that after several years of failing, I’m actually going to have japanese cukes this year. No peppers, they failed, no eggplant, that’s… doing something but not growing and producing eggplants. The tomatoes are strangely quiescent and one of them has had 1 green mater for a month, tons of blossoms but they dry up and die instead of making more tomatoes. Not sure how I’m doing wrong there. I also have a ton of squashes rampaging over the boxes and obviously a new strain of dwarf corn that is supposedly early harvest, yet has failed to get any taller than 3 feet and has nothing harvestable-in June. But I usually don’t get squash or cucumbers and I had lettuce that was quite tasty, so I can be happy. It’s rather bittersweet. This is the last 2 months of mortgage payment starting july. Finally getting in my kitchen cabinets, finally fight back the slugs and snails so I can have cukes and I have to say goodbye to the first place I’ve ever had where I could put paint on the walls in whatever colour I wanted. I’m still hopeful, I could get another decent job to add to my current 2 jobs, or another job that actually pays what I’m worth, or win the lottery. I’m just having a hard time today not punching my domestic partner in the face over and over again.
I was in the garden.
As of (I don’t know when) OSHA regs require me to wear a dust mask and gloves when handling treated wood. Why? It is poison. For my ownself? If it can kill every living thing on this planet…. Maybe I don’t want it in my garden? Go ahead SIR, make a lollipop out of this stuff….
and suck on it. No snark intended, just think about it…
And I can still find wood treated with copper arsenic.
I, for one, would not use a piece of wood that has poison laced thru out it.
give it some manure (composted, of course) a ring around the plant. worked for me.
Thanks Everyone! My tomatoes have grown a FOOT since I submitted those photos!
@Poopyman – I’ve been reading the holy bible of veggie gardening for those of us on the west coast. It’s called Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades. The author says to fluff up the ground a good 12-18″ before planting. The benefit for veggies is they have an easier time developing good root systems. You could probably get away with shallower boxes for things like lettuce, but I wouldn’t put squash, cucumber, or tomatoes in a shallow box.
@opie jeanne – love your garden! You have some good space there – jealous! All you need now are some chickens and a stomach to slaughter them and you are homesteading!
Yeah, one of the first things I discovered when I started growing tomatoes in pots is that “deeper” trumps “wider” containers; those roots wanna go down, not sideways.
Our flower beds were started according to the instructions of a certified Master Gardener — multiple layers of newspapers straight over the untilled ‘lawn’ (dense weedpatch), concrete blocks assembled on/around the newspaper, and topsoil dumped in on top. I foolishly let the Spousal Unit re-arrange the first ring of blocks “for symmetry”, and later persuade me to stop at three tiers of blocks instead of four. So the bed that needs the most close work is just a little too wide for me to reach the center easily, and neither bed is quite tall enough to sit on comfortably. But my main grievance is that an extra couple of inches might’ve discouraged the godsforsaken ailanthus from sprouting right up through the newspaper, soil, & top layer of landscape fabric, dammit.
Tomatoes & herbs are in containers instead of raised beds because we’re on two certified Superfund sites. Of course, according to a civil engineer of our acquaintance, when you live in Massachusetts “that means that at least [we] have a list of the toxins in [our] soil, unlike all those blithe fools who think 400 years of industry didn’t happen in their yards.”
We’ve got a couple of voles that are starting to annoy me. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get rid of the critters? Thanks.
Meanwhile, here in Eel River watershed area Humboldt County…Once you’ve gone raised beds, you never go back…My mother has the most amazing garden and I took my cue from her for my new place: 100% raised beds with caged bottoms. The results are amazing. With the hubby soon to be out this fall to “‘git me some venison, duck, and goose [insert Granny Clampett ‘tude here],” weekly experimentation with the dehydrator and canner, and making new friends with some local fishermen, my goal of having 99% of my kitchen needs met without going to Supermegagrocer or Whole Paycheck is within sight!
Now, a question: any miracle cure for peach leaf curl??? It seems to be systemic as I’ve stripped the leaves numerous times, applied the proper citrus fertilizer, they grow back, they curl and drop (repeat, repeat)…
I’m just getting started on ground prep/weed control for a backyard raised bed garden. The main issue so far has been gophers. I’ve drowned, gassed, stabbed, and trapped ’em, and they keep coming back. (And my dear sweet SO thinks there’s got to be a way to get them to leave without killing them.)