Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ch-ch-changes

After putting it off for a while I finally cleared out my tomatoes to get the other bed ready for fall. I had been putting it off for a while because I was still getting some tomatoes.

They looked like this

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All cracked from the good amount of rain we had.

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This is what that bed looked like when I started.

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This is after the tomatoes were gone, and I was debating what got to stay. There was a good size oregano, and parsley that had split into 2 bunches. I also discovered my jalapeƱo and Greek pepper plants were in fact still alive. The tomatoes smothered them. I decided to harvest the herbs, I have some in pots on the porch. I left the chard, and peppers. The zucchini is still giving me enough squash to stay.

Here it is all cleared out…

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Lots of room for new plants! I’m going to make a PVC grid for this bed as well as start to put in drip irrigation while it’s all open.

DIY Seed Tape

Finally something I’m early for in the garden. Seed tapes!

Huh? Seed tape?

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Ok so maybe toilet paper seed squares is a better term since I broke them up.

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You need:
– cheap dye free toilet paper
– glue that is water dissolvable.
– seeds
Optional: food coloring.

I chose to use food coloring so I would know where the glue dot was, and so later I know the seed spacing.

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As an FYI mixing food coloring into a whole bottle of glue is not easy, and is downright annoying. But, I don’t have to mix glue and color every time I make seed tapes (and I have less red fingers). The color does not matter, but I got red so I can use it later for red velvet cake.

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Determine the seed spacing then add seeds.

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I used tweezers. Yeah the nails don’t help. You should hear me type!

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Once all the seeds are in place, place a sheet of toilet paper on the top. Let dry.
Then place seed tapes in a bag with the seed packet (you were wondering how to tell them apart huh?).

I also over seeded each one. You’re never going to get 100% germination. If you do, please tell me how.

Finally I broke the sheets apart to allow succession planting. These ‘tapes’ work for carrots, beets, parsnips, or any other small seed that can easily be washed away, or just need to be barely covered and birds like to steal them.

Aquarium Seed Starter

This has been a super busy weekend for me in the garden and yard. So much it’s going to be more than one post.

First up is using an aquarium as a seed starter.

This idea goes back a while and involves a few weird twists.
1. I am horrible at starting seeds. They always end up all leggy, and then die.

2. I had a groupon for a garden center that was about to expire a while ago, after being ignored by the staff I grabbed a seed starting mat and thermometer.

3. My pet mouse died. Leaving me an empty aquarium. (Yes. I had a pet mouse, the aquarium has a lid)

So after a trip to target I snagged a lamp, and assembled the tank.

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The foil is to reflect the light around the tank.

So far it’s working wonderfully. I wish I had this back in July. Because I’m late starting these seeds.

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I used small jiffy pots, seed starting mix, and snack size baggies to create mini green houses. This allows them to stay moist, breathe a little. They are easy to watch and portable.

Next step? A timer for the light so all I have to do is water.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make your own seed tape!

Garden clearance

On a store stop on the way home today my local grocery store HEB, in a smaller store had garden things on clearance. Namely peat pots, and *gasp* miracle grow on serious discount. The peat pots were $0.24-$0.35 per package.

While many of you are not thinking of spring gardens right now be on the lookout for garden supplies on the cheap. This time of year many big box retailers put garden stuff on clearance. Which can be a huge money saver.

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4 packs less than a dollar. Score!

Drip Irrigation

FINALLY!

We knew when the beds were put in that drip irrigation was ultimately where we wanted to end up. Here in central Texas we are still in a drought, and while currently not under water restrictions, I’ve tried to act like we were to see if I could garden in a drought.

The thing is there are so many options with drip irrigation. Too many. I needed a starter kit, something to be able to look at and go from there. Alas, I could not justify the $60 price tag at my usual big box garden store. Amazon was sold out on the kit I liked there. I wanted to get the irrigation in place for my fall garden. Knowing this is my learning curve for spring garden 2.0.

Well, google led me to Raised bed irrigation which then led to DIG corp drip irrigation kit. Available at Home Depot for 1/3 the cost of a different brand starter kit at another garden retailer ( I’m not advocating a certain store, or a certain brand drip irrigation. I will say that the Home Depot mobile site does tell you what aisle to look in).

It was not only simple to set up, it had a great guide included. And at about $20 I figured it would at least be a good start.

We did a central line the width of the box with the drip line running the length.

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I like this way because I can change the length lines to solid tubing with emitters for things like tomatoes when I can only get 2 per length of the bed, or squash. While I can put in different for carrots, radishes, or parsnips.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get my fall garden plants in.