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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Spring Frenzy

After a short hiatus from the blogosphere, I am back, for now anyways.

I've been busy - as usual.

It has been a frenzied spring and I have taken full advantage of the good weather.

I took a risk this year and planted my garden early.  Most folks around here do not plant until Memorial Day (May 25th)

I planted May 9th.  Yes, I worried a bit and I did cover my plants one night when a frost was expected.  We reached 34 degrees, Whew!  In the end it paid off.  My plants are off to a great start.

The irrigation system is tuned and I have a new controller that automatically turns the system on every day.  It has two zones.  One zone begins at 7:45 AM and runs for 18 minutes and the other zone begins at 8:05 and runs for 15 minutes.  Most of the plants have their own little drip emitter which puts water directly at the base of the plant.  This saves water and doesn't water any weeds which may pop up from time to time.  The drippers are set at 1 gallon per hour.  So each plant gets about a 1/4 gallon of water every day.  Some are less, some are more, it depends on the plant and its needs.

A view of Tomato Town

This year I put black plastic on the boxes.  I'm not a fan of plastic but with the blight
I had last year this should help keep it in control.  The blight spores live in the soil and when
 it rains it splashes them up onto the plant where they eventually kill it.  The plastic locks all the spores below.  I put a ring of grass clippings around the base of the plant to cover the hole in the plastic.

This row holds lettuce and celery with broccoli and cauliflower to the left.

This is my red and green cabbage.  The frame around it will be covered in
Tulle, which is what wedding veils are made of.  This will keep the cabbage moths and eventually their larva out of my cabbage.  The tulle is lightweight and still lets all the sun in but keeps the bugs out.  I got 40 cubic yards off Amazon for $18.

My green beans are on a soaker hose.

These are summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers and cantaloupe.
It won't be long and the entire area will be full of growth.

I also took some time to finish the flower bed around to the front porch.  I just need to get it planted now.  You can see the chickens love scratching around in the fresh soil.

My last and final project for this spring is the addition of a pergola to the back deck.
With full western exposure, it can pretty hot back there in the summer.  I wanted to add some shade so I can enjoy the deck all day and not just in the morning while having coffee with the hummingbirds.  A couple years ago I replaced the posts and the decking and have finally now gotten around to the rest of it.

Here is an old shot before the refurb and even before the paver patio.

After the initial refurb of posts, patio, and decking.
The railing and steps were left original due to budget constraints.

With the addition of the pergola, I wanted to add a removable shade sail.  Something to help even more with the brutal mid-afternoon sun.  So I came up with this idea.  Two shade sails attached to cables with clips.  This allows me to slide the sail over the entire deck and retract it when not needed.  It also allows me to remove it completely and store it for winter.

I just finished building the new stairs yesterday and now all I need to do is finish putting up
the railing on the steps and north side of the deck.  

I saved the spindles off the old deck railing and have them in the garage.  I cut them all to length and am in the process of sanding them down on the belt sander.  I will stain them in the garage and then re-install them later.

All of the "older" decking I installed a few years ago will get cleaned with a deck cleaner and the entire thing will be stained/sealed.

So that's what I have been up to, how about you?



  1. Man alive - do you have a clone? Because I don't know how you do it! Awesome, and amazing, spring to mind as words to describe you, and that garden of yours. The deck cover is a great addition. When I had my back deck rebuild a cover was non-negotiable… a must have.

    This morning, I took my coffee and headed down into my back yard - nothing as epic as yours, but under the sun umbrella I sat and did the crossword puzzle from yesterday's rag… it was so nice not having construction junk everywhere - and my new grass looks fabulous; so cushiony.

    Enjoy the weekend - hopefully you make time to sit and enjoy your hard work. :) :)

    Cheers, Jenny

  2. Looks a lot nicer with the garden below it.
    Wow, you have gardening down to a science, don't you? I am very impressed.

  3. Wow, not only a green-thumb guy but an all-around handyman. Anything I manage just seems to have a lot of luck attached if it works. I did plant all the seeds from my A to Z sunflower--probably several hundred I suppose. We'll see if any actually manage to sprout and grow. I do see weeds coming up. At least I guess they're weeds.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

  4. Everything looks fantastic! That's great that you got an early start. I considered doing that, and now I'm glad I haven't. I still haven't put out my garden. It's been hailing and flooding nonstop, even as I type this, and my buddy who DID put out his garden is regretting it because most of his plants have already been destroyed.

  5. Wow, lots of work, but everything looks great! You will definitely enjoy the fruits of your labor when all the plants you planted produce veggies down the road.


  6. Looks fantastic! You've been quite busy.
    I took a risk and planted my garden late.
    Oh, who am I kidding? I'll be shopping for vegetables at the supermarket in August.
    And ripping dried out plants from the ground in October.
    You'd think I'd learn.

  7. Man, I'm exhausted just reading what you've been up to! Fabulous job on the deck. Very creative way to cover it too.
    Looks like you'll be eating some seriously good veggies this year. My favorite would be a tomato sandwich with mayonnaise!!

  8. You've been busy! This post reminds me of the homes my husband and I had in the States and how every spring there'd be such a flurry of activity getting the flower beds cleared out, the vegetable garden planted, the fruit trees pruned or whatever they needed. Memorial Day and Labor Day were our big weekends for yard and home maintenance. Our kids would complain while their friends' families were off camping or boating or visiting Disneyland, they were laboring like slaves with the garden. Well, now those kids of ours are productive adults with jobs and families, while a few of those friends are still living at home with Mom and Dad.

  9. I'm very impressed. You put a lot of detailed, thoughtful work into your garden. I've never known anyone who planted cantalope. That's one of my favorites. I want some of that when it's ready, but I'll settle for the photos.

    I hope it all grows beautifully and deliciously, Jeff.


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