May 25, 2012

Growing Fast, Straight, and Tall

The snappy stakes are working like a charm with the tomatoes:
tomato plant
tomato stake

As the plant grows, I can pull the stake out little by little to match the height.

The biodegradable planters aren't biodegrading just yet. They were so smooshy as stand-alones, I'm surprised they are hanging in there.

I attached the side pieces and they can swing up and over for weeding and (eventually!) harvesting:
small garden fence
The rain barrel filled up just past the spout this week, so I used our first watering can full of rainwater for watering today! WINNING!

This holiday weekend, I'm going to be sealing up some compost tea bags to use in my watering can- and stay tuned...this may result in an actual product for Lilliworm!

Testing begins this weekend- not only for the compost tea bags, but also for my design and PayPal setup skills!

May 19, 2012

Rounding Up The Rain

We finally installed the rain barrel this past week.  The barrel itself and the two pavers we used to set it on totaled around $115.

Even though it's pretty spiffy, we put it on the side of the house in the back, kind of behind the air conditioner and close to the new garden.  Set up didn't take long, but the pavers weighed about 60 pounds each and were awkward to carry.  We set them on some gravel and used a level to make sure it was even.

It came with the pieces to tie into the downspout and the discharge valve.  I have no idea why the designer would need these to be black and break up the earthy look of the barrel, but how many rain barrels have I designed in my life? Zero point zero.

Here's the finished product:
rain barrel

rain barrel

I wanted to get it installed quickly because EVERYTHING I planted is GROWING and needs watered!  The worm compost is working its MAGIC!  The only thing that's slacking a little are my baby strawberry plants, but they ARE growing. 

Take a peek:
small garden fence

I bought some of the sweetest plant props ever made for the tomatoes- they are coated metal stakes with a little loop at the top to put the plant through. 

The great part is you can push them as far in the ground as you need to, and as the plants grow you can pull out the stake gradually to grow with it and they stay in the loop all propped up.

Any advice? Do tell!

I also sifted worm castings today for some friends, and I'm going to start making compost tea bags for watering cans.

Lilliworm revival for sure!

May 8, 2012

Planting and Fencing and Raining...Oh My!

This weekend was a productivity high! I completed the half in the Pittsburgh Marathon and planted my very first official garden.

Using Smart Gardener, I planned the layout and knew just when to do what (grow seeds inside/outside,plant, replant, etc)- and kept adding and mixing in the vermicompost little by little each week as my organic fertilizer.

I asked around for guidance on what vegetables should be planted near each other, but didn't get any clear advice. I went with my gut:

Lower level- Strawberries, spinach, red peppers, and onions.
Upper level- Cucumbers, tomatoes, and spinach.

We started creative fencing around the lower box, using some flexible PVC pipe cut into 6 foot long pieces and bent like arches to the inside of the box.  Then, we ran some wire fencing over the pipe and attached it with little pieces of wire. Here's what it looks like so far (in the rain):
small garden fence
Next steps this week are to add two arched sides that flip open. Hopefully, this will protect the berries from bunnies and a certain cockapoo that ate all the strawberries at our last house.  He looks something like this:
We did a little tree-hugging last night and bought a rain barrel so I can water my new garden the earth-friendly way.  Pics of installation coming right up when the deluge finally passes.