April 24, 2010

Seed Potatoes

I bought my seed potatoes today! I bought a blue type and yukon gold. I got 5lbs bags of each, I think it will be plenty.

Here's a pic of the radishes growing like mad. I tried to outline where I had planted the carrots. Need to be more precise next time, clearly..

April 18, 2010

Nature Called....

.... and said it wasn't quite done with winter.

So another snow storm for us here in Halifax. It snowed GIANT flakes of fluffy white snow all day. It didn't accumulate until tonight when it started to cool down. Mega-box is being put to the test. There was a lot of condensation on the inside, so I assume its quite warm in there. I don't want to open it to check, for fear of letting too much heat out.

The seedlings are doing well. Once I put the grow light on them they stopped growing so tall and are now working on maturing.  I think Im going to be relying on transplants again this year, not sure how well my little seeds are going to do. I will get better, I will!

April 11, 2010

Hoop Covers

I have done a bit of research and reading online about row covers. Last year I followed the SFG method of two crossed PVC pipes joined by one or two tie wraps. This year, with my 20ft extension, I needed something different. I used PVC pipes again (probably metal is better, but alas, this is what I have) and arranged them parallel and about 3 feet apart. My plan was to use a plastic cover with one side stapled and the other held down by cement blocks. This plan needed some tweaking however.

I realised that I would need something to hold the plastic onto the PVC pipes. I have seen several items online that were specifically made for this purpose, but I wanted to get things going this weekend (one of the few I have free this month). I bought 36 large binder butterfly clamps from staples. They are working fairly well. It has been extremely windy here this weekend and a few times when I was getting things up more than one went flying!

Its all together now (see below) and after discussing things with some local gardeners I decided to put in a few carrots and radishes to get things going.

My main concern now is that the soil I bought is too, well "soil-y". The soil is "garden soil" from Kel-Ann organics in Bedford, and he assured me it was a soil I didn't need to add anything to. But I can't help but feel that its too dense and that the roots will have a hard time getting down into it. There are also a large number of rocks in the soil. This is probably good for drainage, but it certainly seems like a lot. Anyone have experience with soil from Kel-Ann? Worst case scenario I have to take away some of the soil and add peat moss or compost or something like that.

Next project - Potato Bed!

April 7, 2010

Dirt is here!

Today was a big day for our little plot. The soil arrived this morning bright and early. I had the afternoon off so I came home to find two piles waiting to be relocated. I got out my shovel and started into it. About 10 shovels full later I realised that I was in for a LONG afternoon. But I made it and eventually the dirt was put in the right spots and I managed to cover the ugly gravel with bark mulch. Here are some pictures from the day showing the progress.

No sprouts from the seedlings yet, but I am hopeful!

April 6, 2010

Mega-Box Updates!

Great progress has been made this beautiful sunny weekend!

Mega-Box now has a nice copper outer coat and all of its PVC supports. The dirt from Kel-Ann Organics is comming tomorrow. The seeds are in the starter trays! Hurray for the ultimate slow food.

April 5, 2010

Building the Box

Construction on the Mega-Box has begun. I purchased 5 boards of Nova Scotia Spruce that were 1x12ft and had one cut into two 4 foot lengths. The long four would obviously serve as the sides and the shorter boards would be the ends. I added a third board in the middle for stability. I bought a few stainless steel brackets and some screws. Total cost about $100 .

The total time to build was about 1.5 hours. I was worried that with such a long box, it wouldn't sit flat on the irregular surface, but it was really quite fine. I only had to shift a few areas. The box is nice and sturdy. You can see at the end there are two PVC pipes bent into a frame shape. This will serve as a support structure for the plastic covering. More on that later.

I also bought the dirt today. Its going to be delivered in 2 days. I bought 2 yards of bark mulch to put around the box so that ugly gravel would be covered. It might keep the weeds down too. Very exciting times here on the mainland!