May wrap up

This week the sun finally made an appearance after what has seem like a month of overcast and rainy days. I’ve got most of this years plantings in with the exception of our sweet corn.

When I heard that my source for round bales of straw lost his wheat crop to flooding last year I was dreading the thought of using hay for mulching. With the price of straw around here well over 3$ and all the weed seed in hay can make for a mess in the garden and leave my wallet in ruin. Fortunately for me Chet came through with two old quarter rotten 4×5 net wrapped bales that were below his barn and only retrievable with a crawler. He pulled them out and dropped them, one per trip, in the bed of my truck. Each round bale is equal to about 15 or so square bales so I end up with enough to liberally apply a mat around our garden that just about melts into the soil by next season. I use sheets of cardboard that I pick up at the feed store and our empty feed sacks under the straw as a weed block. The worms are just thick under last years sheets of cardboard. I did find that some of the feed sacks had a plastic sheeting between the paper. Those sacks will be used as starters for the fire pit from now on.

I ordered a channel and spring tie down system for the greenhouse plastic. The days of me bragging about only having $206 into it are over. The tack ran me around $150 with shipping. It will be much easier to replace the plastic now than with the old batten boards I was wrapping the sheets ends in and screwing to the frame. It has been warm enough to open up the side panels to help keep the temperature more moderate. 100F isn’t too uncommon now with spikes around 110F. Soon all the greens will be coming out of the house and I’ll put in some more eggplant and peppers.

So far the greenhouse tomato plants are just making me giggle. I have never had fruit at this point of development EVER.

The plastic has seen better days. Not to bad a track record for off the shelf 6mil. When duct tape starts to become a major surface area of the greenhouse roof there is a pretty good chance that the plastic needs to be replaced. I was thinking about trying to sell advertising spelled out in tape but I would think that it wouldn’t pay real well since slow, low flying aircraft would be all that could see it. What do you think…See Rock City?

It finally has dried up enough that I could haul a couple of loads of manure up the hill. This pile will be next seasons. The smaller dwindling pile in the background is this years gold. I almost hate to see it shrink as quickly as it has this year but I’m opening up a new block of the garden that had only been used for hilled vines. I moved at least 20 loader buckets into the block for corn this year.

The garden is starting to explode with all the rain and warm nights. It has officially become weedin’ season!

Strawberries are coming in by the basket. As I’m posting this Theresa is making a strawberry pie.

My favorite flower in the garden!

Our peaches and blackberries are beginning to develop wonderfully.

Very soon I’ll be making myself into one of these…



  1. Ed Abbey said,

    May 25, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    Your garden looks fabulous. One of these days I hope to have the time and more space to do something like that. Until then, my tiny garden and living through others blogs will have to do.P.S. I would owe you a big favor someday if you could send me an email with a recipe for a strawberry pie. It is my favorite pie but darn if I can make one that isn’t just strawberry soup.

  2. karl said,

    May 25, 2009 at 8:19 PM

    beautiful, very enviable garden. thanks for the update.. your peaches are much further along than ours. what zone are you? we are 6b

  3. Ron said,

    May 25, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    The growth is incredible! That straw sure makes your garden look so neat… mulch is a wonderful thing. The greenhouse is so cool… I am still in disbelief that you have tomatoes that large… May 25th? Good lord… you’ll be canning in June. :)It’s been overcast and rainy here too. Man, I’m ready for the sunshine and some dry weather for a change. All the vine crops are just hanging out, waiting for the temps to soar.Great garden, my friend, I look forward to more photos! A few of the hogs would really make my day. We’re gonna look for a couple in about a month. :)Ron

  4. Woody said,

    May 25, 2009 at 10:41 PM

    Ed..Thanks so much. There are many days I get home from work and look at the garden without enthusiasm. It takes much of our time but we fell it is worth it.I will get Theresa to write out the recipe for me to send to you asap.Karl..Thanks. I feel the same about yours. We are in 5 or 6 depending on who’s map you look at. I’ve always thought it was 5 but as a lot of us know things are getting different.Ron..Mulch is cool. Remember that I only have the two big plants. I wish I had a whole bed full in the greenhouse.So you’re getting swine fever..porcine withdrawal? If the run ever dries up enough for me to get in and sit down for a glamor shots session with the mess of them I’ll be happy to fill your request.

  5. Danielle said,

    May 26, 2009 at 6:29 AM

    Gorgeous photos. Everything looks so neat and perfect—makes me envious when I think about my weedy mess here. Not to mention my peaches that are shot through with holes already—grrrrrr.

  6. May 27, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    oh wow, everything looks so great. i loved getting a virtual tour around your yard. next year one of my main goals is getting a strawberry patch going. have fun!

  7. Woody said,

    May 27, 2009 at 5:02 PM

    Danielle…thanks. We've got a ton of weeding to do but the cardboard and straw do make a huge difference in our efforts.PB&D..thank you. I'm so happy the strawberries are finally coming in. I could pull up a milk crate and have a meal before making it to the house.

  8. May 27, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    Beautiful, and do I have to add that I am extremely JEALOUS!!! I just planted my tomatoes tonight! Simply gorgeous – and I promised myself I would stay away from southern blogs 🙂

  9. edifice rex said,

    May 28, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    Your place looks so great! So neat and well kept and productive! I know it’s a result of hard work but your real lucky to have all that.

  10. Woody said,

    May 28, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    Nita..Thank youuu from a southern blogger..feels more like Seattle here though. Lots of rain and cooler nights have been on our menu.Annie…Thanks. I do feel very fortunate indeed.

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