Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting Started

I thought about blogging our progress AFTER we started the project so, I figured I would get you caught up on what we have done to prepare for our backyard project.

We are actually trying to start most of our produce from seed. We built a table with all the wood scraps we had left over and from a door that was scrapped at an old job for the seedling green houses. The house came with a nice dual bulb fluorescent fixture in the basement, of course it needed new bulbs. We purchased one cool white and one warm white bulb to make the seedlings happy. We tried our hand at growing seedlings last year; it did not go so well. Reading about what you should do actually helps. This year we're ready for a successful beginning and started more than 100 seeds last Wednesday. The tomatoes (better boy, super sweet cherry 100, and yellow pear), basil (genovese), dill (bouquet), and marigolds (disco mix and sugar & spice) have already sprouted! Others we've started include eggplant (black beauty), peppers (sweet yolo wonder), and cilantro. More to be planted this weekend. We directly sowed seeds into the salad table Sunday: arugula, lettuce mix, and spinach.

As you know we are building raised beds for all our veggies. We purchased 18 untreated 2" x 10" x 8' boards which are now the frames for our 6 beds which are 3' x 8' x 10". It was hard to find straight boards for the job, we picked through them with more boards behind us than the ones we actually picked, we did put the rejects back on the rack. We also built a salad table for our leafy greens (www.hgic.umd.edu/_media/documents/hg601.pdf ) using untreated 2" x 4" which were also picked through carefully. This may not have been the greenest way to build the beds and table, but it was very hard to find second hand boards that were straight enough. The compost bin? Well it's a compost bin. Not much to say about it, there's really no mystery to what's inside. I wish it would heat up again as things are decomposing way to slowly for my liking.

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