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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dehydrating Potatoes (Hashbrowns) and Yogurt

Look at this lovely sheet of yogurt to go into the dehydrator.  Yum! So tasty.  I made four trays of yogurt like this, and when dried, it makes a delicious snack!

Also the hashbrowns were made by boiling the potatoes as if for potato salad, then shredding them, and placing them on the drying trays.  A few hours later they were very crisp and dry and ready to be put into Food Saver bags.

Yum!

Garden Framing


In what I hope is our final effort to keep the neighbor cat out of our yard, we built these frames today and put chicken wire on them.  It was a fun project for my husband and I, and now they are done and looking great.  Each frame is 4 x 4, and can be easily removed for gardening.

Our hope is that tomorrow we won't see any other cat digging!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weed X and the Garden's New Idea

Well I worked so hard yesterday putting down the Weed X paper on the soil in the second planter box (4 x 16) and then painstakingly planted through it...sometimes having to create holes about one inch by 24 inches to plant carrots and the like.  I knew it simply could not work as a cat deterrent but had no idea what to do next.

Today I went to the temple and as I worked all I could think about was that cat.  I prayed again and remembered verses such as James 1:5. If anyone lacked knowledge on what to do next, it was me.

I wanted to create some kind of row cover that would keep the cat from getting into the box at all.  When we were out at Home Depot, my husband asked me if I wanted to try to frame in the box with PVC pipe and chicken wire.  Hey, sounds good to me.  So we got all the stuff we needed and we will be creating 4 x 4 lids for the box.  It wasn't cheap, but it should work.  I will take photos tomorrow when we are done. 

That means, if this works the way it should, that I can remove all the Weed X paper product and just have my plants there. 

I also bought more tomato plants...as the heirloom seeds I started will simply not be ready in time for this year's crop.  I only have two that are still alive, and they are still only 3 inches tall.  There are others I planted in an effort to get them going, but they have yet to break the soil surface and here it is almost April.  Good thing we have a long growing season here, but still!

So this is definitely a learning experience this year!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Second Planter Box

I planted some of the two boxes today.  I put in a couple tomato plants (the ones I am growing inside the house are nowhere near ready), winter squash, zucchini, radishes, pole beans, green and multi colored bell peppers, cabbage, lettuce, beets, carrots, peas, cucumber...

To keep the cat out of it, I put down Weed X, a double fabric/black plastic product that is "tied down".  The problem is that there are things I could plant, like radishes, where instead of planting the whole square, I am reduced to planting a strip through the Weed X because if I give the cat a whole square it will become his potty.

I have also been spraying vinegar on the plastic.

If none of these help and he is still very much using the boxes as his toilet, I'll lhave to break down and buy the automatic sprinkler thingie.  It's expensive, but if it works it would be worth it.

At any rate, I planted some hybrids, but tried to stick with non-hybrids as I'd like to glean the seeds this year for them.  Next week I'm going to get a growlight set up in the garage for the rest of the tomatoes and maybe  cantelope.

Many more things to plant, but it's a start.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The New Garden Box

We had our garden box put together by our lawn guy, who did a great job.  Because the wood is pressure treated, it has chemicals in it, so we used the garden soil bags as a liner for the box.  These photos show the various stages of the soil being put inside, noting the 3 types of soil that we used.

Right now I also have a weed controlling fabric laid on it, after I watered the new soil down.  I will probably add the rest of the bags (3) on Monday, water it down again, then begin planting the first week in April, if not sooner.

Still having limited luck keeping the cat out.  Such is life, I guess.  I'm trying vinegar next.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Transplants

Well, ever since I moved my little tiny tomato seedlings from their original little seed container to a larger container, they went into shock and I'm losing all of them! I'll start them all over again and use the Ott light as a growing light along with the windowsill and try again.  Meanwhile, I'll start more seed in the two boxes I have outside (of other veggies) and try not to be upset about these tomatoes. I'll keep trying.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Potatoes and Tomatoes, Lettuce and Broccoli

Here are the latest photos of my potato plants in the containers (lookin' good!), my little heirloom tomatoes that I've transplanted into larger containers made out of newspaper so they can go directly into the soil when ready (they do not look good though, and are not growing quickly at all.  I'm concerned they will not be anywhere near ready to plant in 3 weeks and I'll revert back to getting seedlings at the nursery). 

My lettuce plants are still giving us enough lettuce to have two salads a week, and I planted more lettuce plants.

My intention is to eventually get grow lights (which is my problem now, I'm sure) so the seeds will get enough light, and to grow ALL my vegetables with seeds so that in a crisis I won't depend upon nurseries to grow them for me.

Broccoli plants are pretty much done, although I still get enough baby heads to use in salads. I planted more seed but not sure they will grow...but then, I've never tried the seeds before. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Broccoli Flowers

The broccoli appears, despite the rain and cool weather, to be bolting to seed.  The flowers are starting up and I can't seem to pick the broccoli before they flower.  It's lovely though. 

I decided to throw in a few broccoli seeds in the ground after removing one of the established plants...although it's in the "back" of the box, so it might not get enough sun.  Either that, or the local cat may get into it.  Sigh.  But I'll give it a shot.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Potatoes

Three weeks ago I planted seed potatoes, and they are coming up! I'm so excited to see it working, again!

We hope to have our second planter box in in a couple of weeks.  Lots of seeds to plant!