Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Cultivate

This weekend was a planting weekend.  The raised beds were weeded and turned and ready for some more compost and cow manure (also ‘C’ words, stinky though they are) and plants.  Last year it took forever to get Hubs moving on making the raised beds.  Most people who know Hubs know that he is a slower than molasses on a cold day methodical in thought and action.  This being the case, we were somewhat late in planting.  I started all our plants last year from seed and my little plants were more than ready to go in the beds.  I planted onions, carrots, green beans, eggplant, broccoli, hot peppers, sweet peppers, bucket squash (I planted squash in 5 gallon buckets and then, later, we fenced in a section of yard and planted there…but none of it grew), tomatoes, beets, and spinach.  How did my garden grow?  The sweet peppers and tomatoes were fabulous.  Yep.  That’s it.  That’s all we got after all my harassment bitching tender urging to get Hubs to make those raised beds.  I guess you could call that a backfire?  Or Karma.  And then there was the fact that I begged brow-beat asked Hubs to take the 100 gallon barrels he had and convert them into rain barrels.  I very nicely explained to him that, after researching gardening in raised beds, that drip irrigation was the best way to keep the garden sufficiently watered.  Everything I read put in plain words that, in order to thoroughly water raised beds, one would have to spend at least one full hour hand watering…in our case, that would be at least 3 hours of standing there with a hose watering the beds.  That was NOT going to happen.  Guess what else did NOT happen?  That’s right.  Hubs did NOT convert the barrels into rain barrels.  My garden was not very productive last year. 
This year is going to be different.  MUCH different.  This year I am using starter plants in the garden (because I told Hubs that until he gets the greenhouse up--another of his spectacular ideas that has yet to see fruition-- I would not be starting our plants from seeds) AND Hubs has actually started converting the rain barrels.  Why?  Because this year, he thinks it is HIS idea to make them (to those of you who have already heard this story, sorry).  “We need to set up a couple of rain barrels and get some sort of irrigation going for the raised beds.”  (Really?  What a freaking cleverashell idea.).   "How about looking up on the internet what I need to set up some drip irrigation for the garden.  The raised beds aren't even getting wet three inches down and it takes hours to get them wet all the way through."   (Gosh I would swear I’ve heard that somewhere before).  I must give him credit though- this only took him ONE YEAR.  It usually takes him AT LEAST 3 YEARS if not longer to act on an idea/plan/chore/remodel of the bathroom (has yet to occur even though the steam shower is has been sitting on the porch in the shipping crate for over 2 years).  

I am also incorporating a plan in the raised beds- square foot gardening.  Square foot gardening was developed by an engineering dude named Mel Bartholomew who retired at the age of 42 and started gardening as a hobby.  He is now quite wealthy from applying his engineering brain to his gardening hobby.  I am giving it a shot.  Not in an effort to become wealthy, but just so I can get some darn veggies out of my veggie garden this year.  I skimmed a few sites here and there carefully read as much as I could about Mel’s method and developed a plan.  Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the vast amounts of premium veggies that are sure to emerge (that’s part of my plan anyway).         

Hubs did mention that the next big project will be the greenhouse.  Don’t worry.  I am NOT holding my breath.    

The first bed that I divided into 16 1'x1' squares.

The first plants of the season!

A second bed completed!

OMG! What is THAT?  Yep. A rain barrel with the spout thingy and a timer!  Yay!

The third bed before it was planted.  But see the irrigation thingys running around the perimeter? Awesome!

Hubs working diligently on the second bed's irrigation....isn't he cute?

This is the 3rd day of the A-Z Blog Challenge for the month of April.  I decided to try this challenge in the hopes of keeping some momentum going; getting my brain to stay warmed-up; and trytrytry to improve my writing--well, really, to find my voice.  Just click the badge on my sidebar to join in the challenge!  

OH, and don't forget to go visit The LG Report and cast your vote for TUCKER in the cutest pet contest if you haven't already!  Tucker says, "Woof! Woofy, woofin!"  Which translates to: Please vote for me I really want to win that bag of treats!  And a GREAT BIG Thank you and HUGS galore and a slobbery kiss to those of you who already have voted for me!


  1. I'm trying not to cry. I want so much to get out in the garden, but it's covered in snow..yes, still!! But your post is beautiful, the square foot gardening and the rain barrels especially are brilliant, and I wish you the best with your garden! Raised beds are a good idea with Tucker in mind. Does he dig?

  2. Judy- I will try and send some of our 70 and 80 degree days up your way to melt that snow off of your garden! Tucker does not dig, but he does love to lie down in the beds--the wild life netting goes up this week. LOL

  3. What a great post! Your poor hubby had better not read it! When he does get going on a project, he seems to do a good job, so give that poor man of yours some credit! :)

    Hi Tucker. Yes, you're a real cutie, but I HAD to vote for do know I love you too, though, don't you? Who wouldn't love you with that sweet little beard! You look just like your Dad! :)

  4. Oh gosh I am jealous! We can't garden here for at least another month, ugh! It looks like you and hubs got a good start so far!

    Have a great day!


  5. I'm sure there's an obvious answer, but if your square foot bed is irrigated around the edging squares, how do the middle ones get watered?

    I have raised beds and take the idle route to watering - I set the bar sprinkler to length and width of sprinkle and leave it going for a couple of hours.

  6. Desiree- Your comment has me literally LOLing! LOL Hubs really does do a completely wonderful job...when he finally gets moving on it. He does read the blog and I have to say that some things are starting to get done around here. I may have to change the things I write about him! LOL

    Jacalyn-I am hearing from several others that it'll be at least another month before they can garden---pretty sure I need to stop complaining about the heat here and just enjoy not having snow!

  7. Jane- He has these little feeder (I don't know what else to call them) tubes coming off the perimeter tubing that go to the middle plants. I'll put another picture up as soon as he's finished!

  8. I love reading about other people's gardening efforts! Someday....maybe....

  9. Betty- It was someday for us to. And that day finally came when our youngest went off to college. Had to fill that time with something! LOL

  10. Isn't if funny how men have to think something is their idea before they will do it....

  11. My dad is a master gardener and after really helping him for the first time last year, I now realize the love and care and effort he puts into it.

  12. Betty- His cuteness is the reason I keep him around here. LOL My thumb proved to have zero green to it last year. But I am hopeful for this year!

    Michelle-It's so true, isn't it?! LOL

    Carmie-My FIL was like your dad. Any plant he touched produced greatly! This year, I talked to each plant as I put it in the dirt. I'm hoping that will make a difference.

  13. I'm totally impressed by your green thumb. I consider myself a success if I manage not to kill the whopping 2 houseplants that we have. I've never tried a garden.

  14. Michele- It just looks green...last year, practically NOTHING. This year, we'll see. It looks good now because they just got planted. LOL

  15. People are very funny. I think that there are some people who have to come up with an idea themselves in order to embrace it. Others have to hear it from a specific person or a group of specific persons in order to believe it is ia good idea. And some people just recognize a good idea when they hear it, whatever the source. Like I said, people are funny. Congrats on getting your irrigation barrels up and running. It looks like this might be your year for a producing garden.

  16. Robin- I sure hope so! And you are so right about people and ideas. Around here I guess I should just be glad that it does get done...eventually. LOL

  17. Great looking raised beds, and I think your Hubs is brilliant to do that irrigation system.
    Last year, i thought I'd try some veggie plants, but few were successful- purple sprouting broccolli didn't sprout, and the leaves were no fun to eat, mangetout was sparse, and celeriac seemed to have only leaves, no bulb!
    This year, I think I'll stick to lettuce and fruit, which never let me down.

  18. Mimi- We have yet to see how we'll do this year but our fingers are crossed! Hubs has the know how he just lacks the motivation most of the time! I'll put up more pictures when it's all done!

  19. I want you to come here and do my garden...actually i just want you to come here:)
    Well done it will look amazing when it all grows. I have too many rabbits (wild variety) to plant anything as they are eating it all...that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
    Just to let you know dear twin I am now off line until Sunday (boo hoo). The taxi is on it's way but I had to come and say bye bye.
    'C' is also for charismatic, crazy, coquetish, cool, and Carol!
    Don't be good while I'm away.XX
    ps Good luck Toby (hope Desiree and Karen didn't see that!)

  20. Awwwwwwwwwww, sweet. You got your rain barrel!! And of course, he's cute. I'd give both my ovaries for a rain barrel...if I had my ovaries. I'm going to enjoy all the updates of your gardening. It'll be fun to see what the progress is.

    Now, I gotta go get some lysol spray...seems there is this odd odor seeping through the monitor...oh, ya...cow manure.

    My Tuesday Link:
    Cute Easter Egg Cup

    Have a super day!! And thanks for stopping by yesterday with such a wonderful comment.

  21. That looks ambitious--yet inspiring. We want to do raised beds, too, though all we've grown in the past are tomatoes--and didn't do too great at that. Your hubby must be related to mine. I've been waiting for rain barrels for years--so I'm not holding my breath on the beds. I'll live vicariously through yours!

  22. Bloody hell! Is that a professional Garden Centre that you are trying to create?

    I always dig random holes, bung in the seeds, and then try and remember where they are planted so I can water them.

    Maybe that it why I have a lot of crispy plants......

  23. Carol- Just saw this today. I am so glad that you are back! I really miss seeing you when you're gone. Can't wait to read your posts about the trip though!

    Anni-You won't believe it but those plants are growing so much already that it's actually noticeable!

    Beverly-It takes Hubs forever but, when he does get to it- it's absolutely perfect!

    Annie-Right, wouldn't that be nice?! We gotta do something to fill in these empty nest hours of not a damn thing to do! LOL


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