Monday, February 27, 2017

Gardening in a bucket...............

This has been a very fast paced and worthwhile past few days. 10 days that is. I have been busy looking through seed catalogs ordering seeds and plants, gardening gadgets and purchasing soil, containers, plus making a planograph for the upcoming planting extravaganza that will begin this week. I love this obsessive/compulsive part of any project. "Get out the graph paper and start the measuring".
the flowers blooming in my garden are dish flowers
As so many others are doing, Casa de Cuckoo will be attempting to grow more of our own fruits and veggies. I know that in the long run, it will cost us more than if we just go to the grocery for our produce but I will know where it came from and what went into the growing of said produce. Besides that, I will be able to feed my family unusual and almost forgotten heirloom veggies with a whole different taste profile than the bland we get from the store.

I know we will continue to attend and support the growers market but whose to say that in a couple of years, we too will have some varietals to sell to folks, knowing that we are helping the planet. It's a warm and fuzzy thought on a cold and windy day.

Jameson checking out the area

Ellie Mae making sure Jameson did it right
It is so scary to think what we have been ingesting based on the market research and also the scare tactics of some of the "health" gurus. I don't believe everything at face value anymore. I research and ask questions. It just makes sense to trust ourselves and make the best of what we have and use it for our own well being.

I know my family trusts my judgment and tenacity, but they can never not use the sarcasm gene that I bestowed upon them.  When I brought the idea of a container garden up to them, they reminded me of the "great failed straw bale garden of 2014". Nothing like an experiment gone wrong to arm teenagers with facts. But I persevered and went on with my research and licked my salty wounds.


We will be gardening in the backyard, on part of our back porch slab, with twenty four, white, 5 gallon, food grade plastic buckets (Lowe's $3.45 ea.), ten, white, 2 gallon buckets ($2.95 ea) for crops that don't require as much root space and 10 after Valentine (red) clearance buckets ($.25 ea) for the companion flowers to keep the bees coming around to pollinate, the other harmful bugs at bay and my continued happiness with viewing the riotous colors. The same volume pots would be so much more expensive and would make the garden adventure cost prohibitive. And because these buckets will not biodegrade, these are forever planters (or at least pretty indestructible). I also purchased some potato bags. They really aren't bags per se. They are garden cloth stand up containers that have a "trap door" so that you can go in from the bottom and harvest potatoes and not disturb the whole plant. I also purchased white plastic colanders to hang above the garden from the gutters to have more flowers growing as well. More bee and butterfly attractors.

potato bucket along with my number one pest control, peppermint juice from dried plants. spiders and mice neither one come around with this great smelling concoction
Each of the buckets will have holes drilled on the sides, 1 inch from the bottom to allow drainage, the bottom of the bucket will be filled with 4 inches of packing peanuts, you know the things that never go away but are inert and non toxic. I have begun the mixing of the soils for each of the crops. Some are acid lovers, others not so much.

Our rescue of the back porch has helped us all to be enthusiastic about being in the backyard again and so this weekend the grands and Shelley thatched the lawn, cleaned up the area around the shrubs and bushes and I worked on the patio slab cleaning up the area. When we were all finished it looked so amazing. Funny how hard work always shines brightly when you reach your goal.

my much loved "collection of memory stuff" on the back porch
Then we went shopping for the dirt. You know it always seems strange to know that for all my life, I have been buying soil in which to plant. Why do I not live on a hill? Where has all the soil gone to? I still am walking on the same sidewalks and they aren't buried in the ground. Just a side note observation.

I won't even go into the exact seeds and plants that we are planting because this is long enough already. But we will be planting 22 fruits and vegetables, 9 herbs and medicinal plants and 15 flower varieties (some of which are also edible) both in the garden containers and in the flower beds. Whew. Can you tell I have a plan? And that implementation of said plan will be taking many hours of work and hopefully, with measured steps we will be eating lots of safe, great home grown veggies in the months to come.

I will not even entertain the thought that the grands will have yet another salty bit to rub in an olde ladies, failed, wounds.

So there.
saucer magnolia "fixing to bloom out"
Happy Spring to come, my lovelies,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

17 comments:

  1. My, aren't those potato bags a clever idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. clever yes, I just hope they work as advertized

      Delete
  2. Growing almost ANYthing is good for the soul; growing food is extra rewarding. Some intimation that naysayers may not enjoy the fruits & vegs of the buckets may quiet the snickers (though I understand the kids are 'just funnin' ya', as my Dad might have said).
    I grow 24 tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets every year, as well as 2 large raised beds that are trellised together, one smaller raised bed, & a few flower patches around the house for the 'pretty factor' as well.
    I got my buckets from (bakery section) a grocery store free (inside connection), but my SIL had to pay $1 for them when she asked.
    Restaurants often have those big pails too, for anyone who might be looking for cheaper (possibly free); pails make gardening a venture that almost anyone can try, jmho.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tried to get some but I just have the right timing, but we'll keep trying. Sounds like you have the tomato garden market cornered. Thanks for the suggestions

      Delete
  3. I've been shoveling dirt. got a yard but not enough. have to go back for more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. work is never done when gardening....thank goodness

      Delete
  4. I bet every item on your memory shelf has a story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you know, every item not only has a story for me but since we've spent time with them on the backporch ever since the grands got back here....I have doubts the stories and memories belong to them, as it should be

      Delete
  5. If you have a Rural King store around or something similar look for a bag of gypsum as a soil additive for your gardening. Also good for doggy burned grass. Rural King has it for $4.99 for a 40 lb bag, way more than you need, but when Denny added it to his father's garden we couldn't give away the tomatoes that it produced fast enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for the tip. I have put gypsum on the lawn forever, now I'll add it to the tomatoes too

      Delete
  6. Your post has me grabbing my notebook and going outside. Hopefully we are done with all this rain. Many Green Blessings to you, can't wait to see your crops as they emerge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope the rain goes away for awhile for you so you can play in the dirt too. Thanks for the Green Blessings

      Delete
  7. Know how it feels to get excited with the first seed catalog. You really have some solid plans and trust me, home grown veggies taste so much better than the store bought stuff. No comparison. Isn't it weird, we now buy drinking water and soil with out batting an eye. In Florida all we had was sand so we had to build our soil. Here it is all clay so again we build. Good luck with all your plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for the wish of good luck, I'll take it.

      Delete
  8. It might cost more money, but your spirit will get so much out of it that the price won't matter. The weather is still too wild for planning here, but in a week or three I shall be joining your delight (on a much tinier scale, of course). :-D

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is a lot of work you have in front of you...plus all summer keeping things watered and fertilized...then comes reaping your harvest...such fun...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow Oma Linda, you are rocking it girl! This is amazing! It's a lot of work, but so worth it! I can't wait to see all the treasures that come out of this!! Usually for us, everything starts in May! Happy Spring!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.