Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fun in the Raised Beds

I knew I would have a ball with the new beds, but I had no idea Lily would enjoy them so much. The first morning after the work party she went out, sat her cute buns down and started digging with her digger and filling her buckets with dirt saying, “Look, look at my new raised beds.” She planted some old pea seeds, which was super cute to watch because she meticulously digs the hole with her finger, drops the seed in, covers it with dirt and does her pat pat pat on the dirt to cover it up. Who cares if she planted them all within the same two inches of each other, right?
A few weeks ago I gave her some leftover seeds to play with so she planted an egg carton full of bush beans and lettuce mix. She helped me transfer those starts into one of the beds. Okay, she helped me with one plant and then got bored so I planted the rest. We’ll see if they have time to develop into anything before it turns too cold. Our friend, Ingrid helped us plant some broccoli and kale starts in one of the beds and another friend gave us more broccoli starts to plant. For now, we’ll probably just fill the rest of the space with more lettuce, arugula, kale, carrots and spinach. Oh and I’m going to try to plant garlic and onions in October. It’s like having my very own room to do whatever kind of decorating I want. I will have to figure out how to keep the dog out and how to encourage Lily to leave the plants planted.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raised Beds Work Party

Yeah! We now have raised beds in our front yard. Our front yard faces south and gets tons of good sunlight, unlike the backyard where the old raised beds are. The first Saturday in August we had a Transition Port Gardner, (formerly Transition Everett,) work party, the first ever! So instead of turning the yard into raised beds by ourselves, we had tons of help, which not only made the work go faster, but also made it more fun. Of course it was raining, because we’ve been having the weirdest summer, and to have a nice day might have been asking too much. But really the rain was great because it kept us all cool. I actually got to help do some of the work too, because a few of the people who showed up to help, including my mom, watched the kids so I could dig in the mud.
Greg had already rotor-tilled the yard, (not fun) which was a huge help. So when everyone arrived we worked on building the beds, ripping out old dead lilacs, pruning the wild rose bush, and bringing in loads of compost from Cedar Grove. We still have some work to do like lining the paths with mulch, planting a winter garden and deciding what to plant along the east fence line, but Lily and I have already started playing in the raised beds and boy are we having fun!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Garden Full of Slugs

In my last post when I said, “I’d rather have a garden full of slugs,” that’s pretty much what we’ve had in the backyard this year. In early May I remember thinking we had a peculiar absence of slugs. Well that didn’t last long, especially with all the rain and chilly weather we’ve had since May. I guess it’s partly my fault because I have done absolutely nothing back there this year.
One of the beds is overgrown with oregano, chives and weird cilantro that came back from self-sown seeds from last year. Two beds are empty, and one is full of two-year old strawberry plants. The plants look amazing, but if you look closely the strawberries themselves haven’t been doing well. They’re growing in weird deformed shapes, but that doesn’t really matter because the slugs are devouring any that even try to ripen.A girl could go broke trying to lure this family of slugs into beer, so I sort of let the strawberry patch do its own thing. Lily and I still go out and pick a few every morning, but it’s not nearly as much fun when you stick your hand into the lush green leaves and, instead of strawberry, you grab some fingers full of smushy slugness. And although Lily loves wormies, she DOES NOT love slugs. Truly a girl after my own heart.