Saturday, February 28, 2009

weed whacking

I spent a few hours outside while the kids napped with the weed hacker and tried to 'scalp' it off as close to the ground as I could. I managed to get the whole perimeter before it started to smoke and the motor, I guess I killed the weed whacker. whops.

The hill is so- holey! Those gophers have a freaking city there. And while I was working I saw one of those big bushy tailed red squirels in the trees. Dangit, another rodent that could eat my veggies. I'm hoping to use a liberal amount of well fastened row floating row covers, between the birds and the critters I'm hoping I can minimize as much damage as I can, but still planning on 'overplanting' to account for some loss.

I'm still kinda iffy on the garden layout, I really liked having 3 x 25 foot beds instead of a bunch of 4 x 8 boxes, but the boxes make it easier to work around and 'customize' the bed for the veggies planted there.

We went out earlier today and went to a local lumberyard, but at .53 a ft Lowes is def cheaper for the wood. However this place did have 4 ft x 100 ft rolls of 1/2 in poultry mesh for $96, which is way cheaper then anywhere else I've found. I still need to price out the planting mix for the raised beds. So the wood, mesh, pvc, row covers and drip irrigation stuff should bring my garden total up to around $400. My planned budget was 500, looks like I will be over. I spent about $200 in seeds, lights, the shelf, starting mix, containers for 5 SWCs and bareroot plants.

I'm hoping to be up at 5:30 am (ouch) to rake up all that cut grass and get it into the 'green barrels' for green waste pickup. I was going to just make a huge compost pile with it, but I dont have a large enough space thats readily accessable and theres SO MUCH GRASS I dont have enough 'browns' to add to those greens. I may save some to put in the bottom of each raised bed as a sort of slow rotting amendment, but right now I need all this grass out of there pronto so I can see, dig, and level.

This was my last free Saturday for the next 3 months. LA county master gardeners classes start next sat, 9 am - 4pm. So I'm trying to take advantage of hubby being here to watch the kids while I try to work my ass off to get it plantable by mid-March.

1 comment:

Sinfonian said...

Good work on clearing the garden. Oops on the weed whacker. Electric motors need to rest after about 45 minutes. That's why I don't have an electric lawn mower. My lawn takes 2 hours to mow. Hehe.

I don't know that 3x25 will be any easier to work around, or build. Walking 50 feet to get to the other side of the bed is a pain. Besides, 8 foot wood is standard. Longer means more money. Just some thoughts.

As for the chicken wire, is it strong enough for your needs? Chicken wire rusts out in contact with soil within 2 years. Galvinized is a bit better.

For the compost, sure you don't have newspaper, cardboard, dryer lint, used paper towels, tissues, etc? My research into storing grass clippings is that all the nitrogen will turn to gas and smell. Not only does it smell like amonia, but the left over product is no longer a gree, but a brown. Get your kids to rip up newspaper, shred bills, and dump with your napkins etc. and you'll be golden. Mix well and lightly moisten.

Good news about your garden budget. Most of it is a one-time investment. It really pays off next year when it's basically free!

Good luck with your classes. You can still work around the time, hehe. I know how busy it is this time of year. Good luck!