Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sláinte Slugs!

While my wife was picking lettuce this afternoon in the garden, she found a few slugs. We have had a very wet year, in fact we have surpassed our yearly average already. So, I decided to toast the little buggers and give 'em a drink. I have read about beer traps, but never needed to use one. So, I buried a dish up to an inch from the top and put some Keystone in it. We'll see if I catch any.

After finishing the rest of the 'stone, I had to take a picture of the beans. They have completely outgrown their allotted space. If you look closely you can see a few ticked off pepper plants getting caught up in the mix.

I reached a personal record in my compost pile, 150 degrees. Yes, I have a compost thermometer (pause for snickering). The science of compost fascinates me to no end. I have been experimenting with composting coffee grounds obtained from a local coffee shop. I have been mixing them in with a little wood ash (to counteract any extra acidity) and then buried with last fall's leaves (and of course kitchen and garden scraps).

We are saving peas as next year's seeds for the first time. These are snap peas. I ended up saving way more than will fit in my garden, but they won't go to waste.

This tiny little guy is an alpine strawberry, we started them indoors this winter for funs and we finally got to eat one. Although they don't get much bigger than this, I picked it a bit too early and it didn't taste that great. I picked it in my zeal to win the harvest over the birds. I won, they lost, it was very tart.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Random Updates

I haven't had much time to blog lately so I thought I would lump a few brief entries into one ball o' randomness. This first picture is a pretty decent sized harvest of snap peas and broccoli. We ate some and froze the rest. The broccoli was two years in the making since the rabbits ate it before we could last year.

This is one of the poplars. It is doing well, most are not. The weather this spring was not great for these guys. The guy I bought them from said the heavy rains we received likely caused them to rot before they grew. Even though they could be considered a failure this year, I am still optimistic for next year. You can click the tag at the bottom for the rest of the story.

We were so excited about the broccoli that I decided to grow a second round of it as a fall crop. The seeds were planted in peat pellets that we received as a gift one year. They work just fine, but I still like soil blocks much better for moisture retention and size.

This is one lonely maple that lived from the maple experiment. It is the only tree standing from the 15 seeds planted. About 4 seeds germinated, but only this one is still going. One out of fifteen doesn't sound very good, but for free seeds I gathered in the neighborhood I think it is encouraging. I will try again next year with a lot more seeds. I also plan to harvest some acorns to plant this fall.

That's what's going on in brevity at our household. Hopefully I can keep up and dedicate enough time to certain topics in future entries.