Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happenings for the weekend

I actually got to spend some time working in the yard this weekend instead of just shopping and doing family stuff.  I got the first raised bed built for the side yard salsa garden; the following photos show some of the steps involved:

I used 5.5" x 6' cedar fencing for the bed frames and 1" x 2" pine for support,  The pine was cut into 18" lengths and one end was cut into a point to make stakes.  The frames were made by cutting 4 pieces of cedar down to 5'5" for the sides and 1 piece into 4 18" lengths for the ends. The cut pieces were then assembled using corner braces and 3 screws to strengthen each butt joint.

I placed a frame where the bed was to go and leveled it front-to-back and side-to-side, then the second frame was stacked on top of the first to get the desired 11" height.  I then pounded the pine stakes into the ground to keep the sides from bulging and screwed the stakes to the frame to fix it in place.  Next, I lined the frame with weed blocker cloth, using a staple gun to secure it to the frame.

I filled the frame with 2 wagon loads of dirt left over from the bulb bed and 3 cubic feet of compost, mixing them together to get the perfect growing medium for the seedlings that are growing in my greenhouse.

Until the others are all built and ready for planting, I covered the frame with weed blocker fabric to keep the cats out.

Next, I took a tour of the yard and found the following blooms:

The Grape Hyacinths are finally blooming, though they're not very conspicuous; not sure if it's due to the source of the bulbs (99 cent store) or if I didn't feed them enough.

The nectarine tree is beginning to blossom and hopefully this year I'll actually get some edible fruit; wonder if it knows this is its' last chance before the chainsaw cometh?

The Anna apple has been blooming for a few weeks, but as usual, the first blooms don't produce fruit, yet today I noticed the first swellings at the base of some buds, so soon I'll be thinning down to 1 or 2 apples per bunch so that I get a  better, larger harvest.  I usually wait until the apples are at least 1/2" in diameter, as sometimes what looks like a viable apple doesn't turn out that way.

Finally, I spent about 2 hours weeding the front yard, until dusk made it impossible to continue.

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