Sunday, March 9, 2008

Growing Challenge Week #3 (for us)

Wow, I can't believe it has been three weeks since we joined in Melinda's 'Growing Challenge', for more information check out her blog: http://web.mac.com/elementsintime/creatinglandscape/Grow_Challenge.html
(ok, how do I get a link in here??)

We did several things this week that I think count towards growing:

I hauled nearly one ton of rocks in the trunk of my Buick, over the course of six trips. I have two more to go....

They have to do with growing challenge because I am using them to line the future herb bed, where at least one citrus is slated to go as well. In the top of the picture you see the CRAB and BERMUDA grass I have been pulling out of this area. Its the only spot in my yard that has it (thankfully) but its a pretty big area, the length of the back of the house and from three to 5 feet wide. I HAVE to control it.


We also planted two persimmon trees. I agonized which two to get. I wanted the Nishimura Wase (Coffee Cake) and a Fuyu. But, the former needs a 'Chocolate' persimmon to pollinate it, so it will be crunchy and sweet. Unpollenized it is more like a 'Hachiya': astringent until soft. I understand the 'Chocolate' is like the Hachiya as well. So, only having space right now for two (we removed a Vitex and a Paulownia for them) I went with the Nishimura Wase and the Chocolate, with plans for a Fuyu to be added after building is tore down.



Then we borrowed the truck from my work again (I am so appreciative to the owners...thank you) and made another dump run and picked up wood to build four more raised beds 4 feet by 12 feet, repair the old ones and build new bean supports.


My husband continued weeding in the existing beds, we have two cleared and repaired.

My eleven and nine year old sons accompanied me to a composting class held by the city Thursday night. We could have gotten a free but small composter but we opted to pay twenty dollars and upgrade to a large "Biostack". Our local "worm lady" (expert!) was there with some great (cheap) examples of worm boxes and we got a coupon for some red worms we are going to get. Im going to let each of the kids have their own box to tend to. We will post pictures of all that when we get them together. But in the meantime here is another picture of my four year old who loves wormies!


Seeds: the ones I ordered are here, and I also ordered some more. Somehow I was struck by the heirloom melon bug. I went a little nuts...will take a picture when they arrive. I decided that instead of planting a billion tomatoes ( I always plant too many) that only I will eat (the rest of my family are crazy) I will plant melons for the kids.

Our goals and plans for this week: have the good dirt delivered, see if I can borrow the dump truck from work to get my free load of compost from dump (coupon from class), get one bed filled with bare root strawberries and rhubarb, get the two apples that are STILL heeled in planted, plant rest of blueberries, get rest of rock home, assemble BioStack composter and start using it!!
This will be interesting to see how much we can do as I plan to work a 6 day week. I do this every once in awhile for the extra $$, I usually only work 4 days. I find it easier to just keep pushing through the week and not take a day off, rather than have split days.

3 comments:

Melanie said...

Tina, instead of pulling the grass from places I'm planning on planting I'm going to smother it with newspaper. This has worked well for me in the past. You take a stack of newspaper out and put a big bin near the work area. Fill the bin with water. Then dunk the newspaper so it's wet and lay it down in thick blankets like a mulch. Cover it with compost, chopped leaves and soil and you can plant immediately!

Tina said...

Hi Melanie,

Thank you for your advice, that would be alot easier. Have you tried this on Bermuda grass? Its just so darn tough that Im afraid it will make it through and end up growing up into all my cute thymes and chamomiles etc. I wonder hwo long it takes for the newspapers to break down also...and....ifI don't break up the soil first will the water make it through? (so many questions, huh?)

ferne said...

You live by "the worm lady"! I used her book and even called her and talked to her on the phone way back when my boys were in school doing a science experiment. She was so nice and gave me a lot of information.

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