Primary Earth-friendly Gardening Tenents:

*Tolerate minimal damage to plants and lawn from pests. *Build and maintain healthy soil by using compost and natural soil amendments. *Use chemicals as a last resort. *Use native plants when possible. They are adapted to the climate, soil and area pests. *Attract Beneficial Insects to increase pollination and decrease harmful pests. *Conserve water by using responsible watering methods.

Monday, May 12, 2008

seedlings, starts, planters and beds - more irrigation lines, and plans develop

Weekend Projects - May 10-11, 2008

After a very strange and cold start to Spring we are starting to pull a few projects together. My last post concentrated on the front butterfly and humminbird garden, but this weekend's projects focused on the backyard seating and new vegetable beds.

Many of the seedlings have germinated and will be ready for transplant soon. In fact, some of the seedlings did make it into the ground this weekend.
A little peek around the corner . . .
The Sugar Snap Peas and Pole Beans took off fast and were placed in the ground around a bamboo support.
We chose to buy starts for some of the vegetables since we are starting so late with the weather. We placed two old wooden ladders near the squash and cucumbers to act as supports as they begin to grow.
We brought some strawberry plants from the old house in pots, but purchased organic starts to expand the amount of strawberries. We also purchased a net and will soon net the berries, including the blueberries to keep them from the birds and squirrels. In this picture you can see part of the drip irrigation system, trenched through the grass to the berries.
The "trailer pad" has been an ongoing discussion. Since WC has an 18' trailer, which is stored elsewhere at the moment, but may need to be parked here at some point - we were looking for a way to convert the space into a usable area for summer without loosing the long term option for parking if necessary.
We settled on 2 yards of cedar chip and placed the table in the pad surrounded by planters. We will most likely add a swing gate for privacy so as to keep the pad open to the back alley.The rest of the back section is lined with cyclone fence and arbor vitae, not my favorite tree but they serve their purpose. Additional planting or architectural elements will fill in the NW corner.Here is a view into the yard from the NE corner at the back alley. This is the view a swing fence will block.
We opted for 2 half barrels for tomatoes. I planted a yellow grape tomato plant and have a variety of heirloom seedlings started, as well as Roma. The two vegetable beds behind the pots are not yet planted. The next big project is to decide how we will border the beds before planting, and then WC will run irrigation lines to the beds.
We took stock of all the transplants and all seem to be making a full recovery. The Phygelius starts that remained in pots over winter were not looking very happy 2 months ago, but seem to be on the mend now.This Phygelius plant made it into the ground last fall and has gone absolutely wild!
The roses were in the yard when we purchased the home. They all seem to be coming back well and several have buds ready to bloom soon.I transplanted my native milkweed somewhere in the yard, but have forgotten now and have not yet seen it pop up. We did purchase 3 additional milkweed for the front butterfly garden.And both WC and I planted a few planters. Last night when the rain forced us indoors I sorted nursery tags and began to list the plants that will need identification tags.