March 10, 2017

Weather: Snow Flurries, followed by snow pellets and now rain.

Has winter come at last? I mean we have had a mild winter so far and we are currently 18 inches beneath our normal snowfall. Hopefully the northeasterly storm heading our way will arrive and give us some snow, otherwise, we will need a very rainy spring or our growing season will be brutal.

My mother was complaining that the old saying isn’t true any more. March Winds, bring April Showers for May Flowers. May flowers show up in June, July is scorching and August starts the fall instead of September. She is in her 70s and unable to do intensive gardening during the hotter months in North Carolina. This is one reason why I was mentioning hydro gardening. Unfortunately,  that is not ideal for a lot of veggies. I am hoping to figure some way to move her garden indoors so that it would work for her, but that would involve a lot of money and planning to set up.  Perhaps something like the Zipgrow farm wall. You can look at it here…https://brightagrotech.com/vertical-gardening/  When we lived in Taiwan, almost a decade ago, I saw walls like those made from reclaimed wood placed on bus stop shelters, the sides of garages, and even some road walls. From what I was told (and what I could understand since I had a 1st grader’s understanding of the language) was that it was free for the whole community to snack on, as long as one did not take too much. The laws are different in that country and  I am not sure if that would work here. BUT I do think a lot of people could build a wall like that in their home or on their house or shed or fence.  Considering the price for the commercially made ones, this would not be a frugal garden. UNLESS……..

Wood pallets. You see them sometimes broken by the stores. If you ask, you might be able to get them. Amazingly enough, they can make great planters with only a few additional supplies. There are many tutorials available online. Here is one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPcXoOuDA-I       Yes, you will have to water these yourself, but if you have another garden, would it really be an inconvenience?

But I digress.

Thanks to the possibility of a storm I have had to do a lot of storm prep. I have taken strips of newspaper and surrounded my composter and put the plastic back on. Hopefully,  this will maintain the semi warm temperature to allow decompt occur while surrounded by snow.  Otherwise, I will have a slimy mess when spring finally gets here. I have burnt the last of the deer bones and buried them in the Edibles Garden while they were warm. I have sprinkled three weeks of used coffee grounds over the Bee & Spiders garden and filled in the planters of The Area that Must be NEAT. I have put ground eggshells in every planter under a thin layer of dirt and I have hauled in all of my seed starter pots from my shed. Mind you I still need some dirt to go in there, but I will get to that soon.

Eggshells, coffee grounds, and orange peels were something I saw in container gardens while in Taiwan. I’ve noticed that my orange peels never dry enough to grind into a powder in my climate zone, but the tomato plants love having egg shells in the soil and the coffee grounds keep away ants.  Worth a try if you use them.

One thing I had heard about was planting tomatoes in the egg shells. Crack the egg so you have at least half of the shell, crumble the rest of the shell into the shell, add soil and the seeds and leave on a plate to sprout. Once they form leaves, plant the whole thing into a planter, or in the ground that has more egg shells in the hole.  This will give it the nutrients it will need.

Utilizing what you have is frugal and will help you save or at least optimize your spending. So what else is around the house that could possibly be used in the garden? I am not sure, but I will post some ideas later. And now it is time for a Math lesson. Fractions. Since when have fractions been part of Third Grade math???

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