Friday, April 3, 2009

Slim Pickin's Day

Not a lot to show you today. We've had really gusty high winds the last two days, and I've learned that many critters don't feel safe moving freely in the woods when they can't hear what's going on around them...and these have been bring-down-limbs kind of winds. (Winds that have also made it impossible to plant those tiny lettuce, kohlrabi and radish seeds I've wanted to get in the ground.)


  1. You still managed to get a good variety of shots with all the wind. Speaking of planting, I started weeding my garden boxes Saturday. Last year I made 10 of them and filled them with topsoil but they don't hold water very good. Any suggestions on what I might be able to do to help retain water? I thought maybe mixing compost to the topsoil or mulching around the plants. I'm not much of a gardener but willing to learn from the experts.


  2. My raised beds are made of a mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 COARSE vermiculite. Raised beds do tend to dry out quicker, that's for sure. Once plants are growing well, especially things like tomatoes and peppers, I mulch them with either shredded straw/newspaper mix or shredded hay, whatever I have on hand. I see lots of gardeners use straw without running it through a chipper-shredder like I do, and it seems to stay in place just fine...but if you have a shredder, shred, but as coarse as you can, not as fine as you can. Throwing some sheets of newspaper into the shredder along with the straw makes it serve sort of as a paper-mache binder, keeping the straw from blowing away (once the mix has been wetted.)

    Coarse vermiculite is sometimes tough to find at garden centers - where they usually carry a fine version - but the larger pieces in the coarse bags hold water a little better.

    Finally, if you plant rather intensively in raised beds or garden boxes, you DO use up a lot of nutrients in the soil every year, so adding compost (or well-aged manure) can be a real plus.