Monday, March 30, 2009

More Garden Work

This weekend I finally finished the major sanding of the kitchen. Next will be a touch up coat, a final sand, and then I can finally move on to some trim work and paint in the kitchen - I can almost taste it.... nevermind, that's just from sanding dust in my mouth.

Sunday turned out nice outside so I worked on the garden beds. I wanted to add an irrigation system which is much more efficient and better for the plants. But, I didn't want to pay the hefty investment of one. Then I found a plan online to make your own using standard PVC piping.

I built the main header on one end feeding all four beds. At each end is a shutoff valve and quick disconnect to attach a garden hose. I can run domestic water from the house, or from the other end I can run saved water from rain barrels when I get that system set up next year. They will be behind the garage. Each side of the bed gets a feed from the header with another valve to regulate the drip rate. Then branches feed off of these to the plants. The main header is glued, but the bed piping is dry fitted so is can be disassembled for the winter.

A 1/16 inch bit is used to make the holes. Recommended is every 6 inches, or for bush plants, 2 to 3 holes spaced 5 inches apart. Looks pretty good and price was at least half of a normal bought system. A layer of mulch will cover everything up. and help retain moisture. Next step is building some structures for cucumbers and tomato cages. The seedlings are doing good, especially for my first try!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Reason To Post Again

A little motivation and some warm weather got me workin on the house again finally. The kitchen is half sanded and looks like it will be a while before I sand the rest.

In the meantime last weekend I decided to rent a jackhammer and bust up the section of driveway that will become yard again. A large section of yard was made into parking when the place was apartments. But now it's much more than I will ever need and prefer to have some more yard back. I did decide to leave one lane around the side of the garage to park the truck when that retires from everday use to just a weekend hauler. A little intimidating at first, I managed to bust everything up in alittle over 3 hours. Then was the fun job of removing the concrete into a pile, which I've yet to work out the details of where it will go next. I was lucky to get a little help with this chore.

After raking the stones up a bit, I started construction on the raised beds for the new and improved veggie garden. I'm building four beds out of cedar - three will be 12ft x 4ft and one 10ft x 4ft. After plenty of research, raised beds are the way to go. After the initial setup, this style yields better results and is easier to maintain. I filled them with a bottom layer of leaves and compost, then the rest with topsoil. I'll add a few more goodies and mulch the top after planting.

I also started plants from seed indoors for the first time. This is far cheaper and can get an earlier jump on things than store bought plants. Plus you can get a better variety than the limited selection at the garden center. Just a plaine shelf with flourescent lights and using peat pots. We'll see how this works out.

So I had 7 yards deilivered of topsoil. About half went into the beds and half will go on the yard after I get a delivery from my dad. He had to replace his main sewer line so I got about a yard from that. He is also getting sidewalks redone, so I'll be getting a few more yards that I'll use to fill where the concrete came out before I add the topsoil.

Once I get the spring yard work done it'll be back in the kitchen.