July 8

The temperature cooled off just slightly so I spent quite a bit of time in the garden today.

Neil and Alex loved with the wild blueberries we picked in Minnesota while we were on the houseboat so we decided to try growing our own. Andy helped me dig out the sod so I could plant them today. I just need to get some mulch to put around them.

IMG_20170708_195711
I left the tags on the bushes so I can’t remember what the varieties are. 

I am utterly fascinated with the way the spaghetti squash grows. Those tendrils start out sticking straight out and they always find a way to wrap around something to hold on. It’s amazing. Makes me want to set up a time lapse camera just to see it happen.

IMG_20170708_195915
That literally happened between 2 pm and 8 pm today, It wasn’t attached at all before that. On the left, the blossom with the future squash right below it. There have been a lot of male blossoms but this is the first female. 
IMG_20170708_195846
You can see the bit of garden tape at the bottom of the photo. The vine was just above that when I attached it on Thursday morning. It’s now more than 18″ longer. 

I’ve been working on plans to install sprinklers for at least part of the garden to cut down on the the time it takes me to water everyday. I’m also hoping it cuts down on the water bill, which is running about $250 a month now. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on customized lines so I’m using soaker hoses in the raised beds. These will be connected together with a solid hose between each bed. I even learned how to cut hoses to the exact size and add new connectors at the end so they’re truly customized.

IMG_20170708_190941
One of the raised beds with drip hose installed. Four more to go!

For the plants on shelves, I found a drip system that for a decent price on Amazon. Neil helped me cut all of the hose and attach individual fittings going into each pot this afternoon and it works like a charm!

IMG_20170708_190911
I planted the basil in the front today. Can’t wait to make pesto! 

The patio is wet from the hose, not because they’re leaking. 🙂

 

Cold Frame

Since I didn’t post while the cold frame was in progress, we’ll just pretend that I intended to do this as one big post instead of in progress.

I am so excited to have a cold frame. I have wanted one since I started reading gardening blogs, but I wasn’t sure where we would put it in the yard and I didn’t want to spend money on the windows. Since I scored windows from the farmhouse, it finally seemed like the time to convince Neil I “needed” one.

We pulled out some bushes on the south side of the house and the frame fits perfectly between the stoop to the laundry room door and one of the air conditioner units. I have a few things I want to do before it’s 100% finished, but it’s usable as is now. Neil replaced the broken glass in the painted frame so I need to paint the caulk so it matches the other windows because OCD. I’m adding stepping stones in front of it and planting some sort of ground cover. We have to come up with some kind of brace to prop the windows open on warm days.

Anyway, without further ado, the cold frame process…

IMG_20170423_120906
I decided to go with barn red paint just for fun.

 

IMG_20170425_102834
Apparently I didn’t take photos of the frame as Neil was building it, so here it is all painted.
IMG_20170425_170633
The inside is painted white to reflect light back onto the plants growing inside.
IMG_20170425_170640
Unfortunately the wind came up while I was inside and blew over the window as it was drying. Luckily, we have extras. 
IMG_20170514_173621
The final product with the windows installed. It’s on south side of the house so it’s sheltered and gets sun 90% of the day.

Theoretically, I should be able to extend the growing season by a month or two with this. Imagine fresh lettuce and basil for Christmas dinner!