It's been a busy month or so.
My neighbor finished building my raised bed, and he also fenced it. It's a 15-foot square area that will nicely fit a second raised bed, which he said he could do this week.
I found a natural wood sealer that is safe to use with raised beds and had to wait a week for the rain to stop before I could use it. You only need to apply it one time. I have plenty left over and plan to use it on the 2nd raised bed. .
So far, I've spent $437 on this. The most expensive item was the cedar wood used for the bed itself. Getting the 2nd raised bed in should cost me another $216, not including soil. I'm hoping that with the sealer, the bed(s) will last at least 4 years, if not longer. I did talk to one person who said her cedar bed only lasted 3 years, but I don't think she used any kind of sealer on it.
I also made a simple compost bin out of a large Rubbermaid storage container. I used my drill to make lots of holes in the side, top and bottom for ventilation. I had a yard of topsoil delivered, but I don't think it's very good soil I should have stopped in to check it before ordering), so I'm working to amend it. Neighbor give me chicken and sheep manure and I bought some organic fertilizer, plus some compost I got for free. You can see the bin inside the fenced area.
We've had an exceptionally chilly spring so the only thing I have actually planted thus far are 2 small kale plants I got from my local organic farm plus some small broccoli which were already flowering. I also planted arugula seed, which has come up but is tiny.
I have lots of veggie seedings in peat pots being nurtured indoors: cherry tomato, beefsteak tomato, and red pepper. They're in the sunniest room in the house, my upstairs bathroom, and so to harden then off in preparation for their going outside next week I hope, I found it easy to open the bathroom window that looks out on my family room roof, which is not that steep. I put the seedlings out there, knowing they're getting lots of sun and are protected from curious chipmunks who go for tender new foliage.
I gave up on some other seeds that require exceptionally warm temps to germinate, like the cucumbers, asparagus bean, eggplant and louffa sponge. I'll try sowing directly outside, but am concerned I'll be way behind schedule, so I bought 2 eggplant from my local farm. The beans grow fast, so they should be okay. I'd like to snag a cucumber seedling somehow; local stores seem to be out of everything. Am getting a free celery plant today from Buy Nothing.
I have red poppies growing in the garage.
I picked up 3 small peppermint plants for free from my local Buy Nothing group. My neighbor said he has lots of extra veggie seedlings so hope to get a few potato plants and maybe basil from him. I'm giving him some perennials.
His work for me was part of a barter arrangement; in return, I'll be writing/editing a set of playing cards, each one to feature one of the characters from his children's fantasy book. I did the first one today. All of the characters are insects.
A pair of gobblers (male/female) has been wandering around my backyard for a while. Or I should say, the female wanders aimlessly (who knows what she is thinking?) while the male follows wherever she goes. Alas, she seems oblivious to his fan displays.
The hummingbird(s) is back, and recently I saw a yellow warbler and a Baltimore oriole in the yard, along with scat I suspect is a fox. Also spotted a very pudgy (pregnant?) opossum trudging along.
Planting season and other excitement
It's been a busy month or so.