Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Butterfly garden, garden updates, and Chia Cat!

We are excited & anxiously awaiting our butterfly garden plants! We ordered native plants that are all butterfly attraction from a local garden center. They benefit from the sale of the plants, so it makes it even better. The lady at the garden center said to also plant things the caterpillars like to eat, so they will stick around. Dill was one of the things she mentioned, so i'll be planting dill among the flowers. I started the seeds, and they're starting to grow. They have a way to go.

My spinach is growing wonderfully, and I will plant it in a pot in a shady area off the porch soon. My raised garden is in full sun, so it wouldn't do well there.

We couldn't pass up this Chia Cat we found at a garage sale for a quarter. We put the seeds on 3 days ago, and are patiently waiting. I may grow edible chia seeds on this later, if I can ever find out if the clay is food safe or not.
ETA: They said it's ok!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mud race!

I saw this for the first time last night, and will be signing up myself for the 5k, and my son for the kid's run. It's a race, but with obstacle courses & mud! I'm so excited, and i'm hoping I can talk someone into running it with me!

Garden Markers

I'm out of garden markers and I need more. Looks like i'll have to eat more ice cream bars! ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The raised garden is ready!

I decided on tan split face cinder blocks with pavers on top, and i'm glad I did! It looks so much nicer than plain cinder blocks. First I laid them out, leveling them as best as I could as I went. It isn't a giant sized garden... that shovel & wheelbarrow are my son's ;)

I sprinkled cinnamon all around the cinder blocks & garden area to prevent ants. Then I laid down newspaper to prevent any weeds that were below from coming up. A farmer I met at a nutrition seminar gave me that tip. Thanks, Farmer Jim!

After that I had the newspaper in place, and wet it so the breeze wouldn't blow it away, I added the pavers to the top of the cinder blocks.

Since the cinder blocks are 16" long, and the pavers were 15 1/4, I ended up with some smaller spaces to fill, and used bricks & paver pieces I had in the yard. It won't win any awards, but I don't think it looks too bad!

I added the soil, then my helpers helped me get get the compost in from our composter. Thanks helpers!

One helper was nice enough to stick around & help me spread it out.

I can't wait to plant!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cinder block raised garden

After much thought, I have decided to make my raised garden with cinder blocks. I originally wanted wood, but if I use treated wood it will have chemicals. If I use untreated wood, it will eventually rot, and need to be replaced. I also read that "cinder block raised beds have the added advantage of creating thermal mass which stores heat and warms the soil longer". The down side is that they are ugly, but there are some solutions.

This creative recyclist used mosaic tiles to decorate her cinder blocks:

There's cement stain, and split faced cider blocks, that are more visually appealing like these:

My husband likes the look of the flat pavers on top like this person did...

I kinda like the idea of using the holes to plant things in, like this person did:

I am currently waiting to see if anyone on Freecycle has some cinder blocks that they don't want. If not, I may go with the split face cider blocks. I figure it's worth the extra few cents a block, since it will be a permanent fixture in the yard.