Saturday, 24 May 2014

Update - Spring 2014


Spring - 2014

Time to spend a little time on this blog I guess.  Been too long since I posted anything so here goes!

The peas in the greenhouse are growing like crazy and the wire frame they grow up works great.  Seeing as peas don't mind cool weather (probably prefer it to the hot greenhouse) I decided to put up another frame with fence wire, this time in one of the outside raised beds.
I put the plastic strips up as protection as we had some nights that were at or close to the freezing point when I put the seeds in.   The way the plastic is in the closest strip is how it was when the seeds were first planted.  Doing this helps the soil warm up more during the day and slows the cooling overnight.  After the peas were well up I raised the plastic higher which not only protected the peas from cool night air but let sunlight in during the day and also helped to guide the peas onto the wire.

 After the peas grew beyond the plastic strip I removed it and let the air get to the plants.  You will notice there are peas showing only on the side of the wire closest to the greenhouse.  On the opposite side I had planted peas and covered them (top picture) until they were nicely sprouted and through the ground. I then let them have full sunlight and air as the outside temperature has now risen and all the plants are growing well.  Between the peas and the greenhouse you can see 2 tomato plants and between them is one lonely little squash plant.  This year we are trying out "Butternut" squash as they are smaller than the "Sweetmeat" that we grew the last couple of years.  For only 2 people you don't really need a huge harvest!
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The raised beds have really worked well for the raspberries, strawberries and also the pole beans.  (And anything else we planted in them!)  So, it seemed logical to add another one! 
Using 9 landscape ties I made a 4x8 bed, 3 ties high, and the cost was quite reasonable.  Probably $75 +/- ...  including the ties and the galvanized ardox spikes holding them together.  
If you use this method, don't forget to overlap the corners and alternate them to hold it all together.  (see picture below)  I used 6" ardox nails and drilled 1/4" pilot holes so there was no splitting of the ties.

Not sure what we will plant in the new bed but it gave us a place to put all our excess compost.  And we have now covered an area of the lawn that was getting "spongy" due to it being where there used to be a huge tree that had the stump ground up and the grindings left to rot.  Previous owners thought it would just vanish I guess.
Maybe we will try some corn or even sunflowers. 

If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to e-mail me!

Grumpy Gramps

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