Friday, June 4, 2010

My Garden, a Recycling Center

It's late but it has been a very busy day and so after a trip to the corals, one to the playground for the grand kids, baths, teeth, tucking little ones into bed, I'm finally getting around to the blog. You young mothers and fathers know the routine but tonight maybe your kid's bedtime didn't include a rainbow, a leprechaun, and a frog who spoke to a little girl waring a magic necklace. No, it isn't a story book but a tale the girls and I made up taking turns to moving the story along. The youngest was extremely tired and I wasn't going to be able to allowed to hold a book and a grouchy baby at the same time. Hence, the story without the story book.

After dropping off the kids at their mothers early this morning we put the pedal to the metal so to speak and hurried before they were back again. We moved chickens, put up a temporary fence to put the goats in and another fenced in area for the horse and beef. We could mow the grass next to our pen but we'd rather spend a hour and a half doing fence and letting them do the mowing. It's a pretty good sized area. Besides, it's free feed, always a plus.
The timing is critical as the area is covered with cheat grass. A miserable thing which when it is green is edible but after it turns a burgundy color it pokes in the animal mouths.

Then I put in a little time in the garden while Kirk mowed the lawn. Planted peas and revamped a few more tomato cages. Some of the tomatoes look a bit nipped by the colder nights but alas they aren't going to get coddled with wall a waters because I simply don't have time. cold Tomorrow after I hopefully get rid of a couple goats, I'll get to work on it once more before Kirk's families get together. It is taking forever to get this garden in.What I realized as I photographed the garden tonight was that it is has become a recycling center. The tomato cages I've already told you I cut and built from cow panels. They are held together with baling twine recycled off of hays bales already fed to stock. So far I'm really liking the revamping I did on them since they are holding in the ground well.

The black plastic pipe you see was a cast off from my parents. I still have a little bit on a roll I need to cut and poke holes in.

It takes quite a bit of time to do it but it saves me hours of labor and money. Labor because I'm not watering anything but the plant so weeds are not encouraged to grow. I save money by lowering our water bill since I'm only watering the plants. The things I dislike are that the pipe has been on a roll so the initial unrolling of it meant I didn't get the hole drilled in exact alignment just spaced correctly. For example most of my pipe has holes every two feet but its on the left side and two or three down the line it is on the right side. Not a big deal unless your real neat and tidy. I haven't the time or energy to be that fussy but I do appreciate those that are. Also it isn't real neat to store come winter.

On this project I've got lots more work to do since there are quite a few rows that need the pipe especially since my garden just keeps getting bigger and bigger. That does mean the lawn is shrinking though. Hopefully, that compensates on the water bill. I'm running out of pipe on my roll from my parents but I see the neighbor has had some sitting unused strung across the prairie behind his house. It has sat there for several years. I think I'll ask if he wants it or if he'd be glad if I hauled it off. Right now mine doesn't look too neat because I have to tip the ends up to keep the water from pouring the opposite end as the hose. What I love about this plastic size is that the hose fits snuggly into one end. Eventually, I want to buy caps to place on the opposite end as the hose but alas there is just too little money to go around for all my wants.

My sister has put in a PVC pipe system where they drilled holes with a hand drill in appropriate spacing. Much more neat looking I'm sure and there are connections saving them a great deal of time over my row by row method. I'd like to see her set up sometime.The other recycle product I use in the garden is the hay twine. Once again there is a neater looking product called string but it costs and my twine works just fine. Stretches a bit like string does and needs tightened but after the plants come up, I remove it so the less neat recycled product doesn't remain for long.

So you can see when why when I was photographing the garden area I thought of it as my own little recycling center for is comprised of the following things:

1.Manure brought from the corrals to add nutrients and humus to the soil.

2.Old railroad ties to elevate one end of the garden for now making it more level.

3. Old used cow panels scrounged from a methane service company.

4.Cut up pieces of old metal rod pounded in the ground to hold the plastic pipe up.

5.Plastic pipe from where ever my folks scrounged it from.

6. Baling twine used as row markers.

7. Egg shells to add calcium to the soil.

8. Lawn clippings to mulch under the plants and lower my weeding time by suppressing weeds.

9. Old newspaper will be going down the rows between the tomato rows.. I've some from the chick cages. It should add nutrients to the soil and it is great for the worms since it encourages them to reproduce. Nothing is better for a garden than worms and worms poop. With grass clippings on top the newspaper it should break down quickly releasing the nutrients it gained in the chicken cages. I'll let you know how well it works.

Well, its past time for me to be going to bed and if all goes well I'll get to sleep the whole night through. I'm just too tired tonight to play musical beds with the grand kids. Lets hope as wore out as they were from the park that their zonkered out for the night. Sweet dreams.

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