Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle..then PLANT!

Squash Planters!

Hey Everyone! It's Spring time! And here in the Great White North, that means Clean up and prepare your gardens! 
 Last year as you know..I dedicated a section of my garden to a Three Sisters plot..BUT..I planted to many squash and pumpkins..and..well..they took over MOST of the garden...MORE is not always better!! It has been a few years since I put in a PROPER sized garden..so my mistake and enthusiasm was forgivable. THIS year..I am planning things a little more strategic!  My Garden space is going to be slightly enlarged...Probably an extra 80-100 square feet...In this I will ( or am hoping) to plant Cabbage ( the sauerkraut turned out FAB) Broccoli, Bush beans, Turnip, Pickling cucumbers and a row of corn.  I have 8 Topsy Turvy tomato planters which my husband is going to build me a frame to hang them from in front of the deck..this will allow me to walk across the deck and water them ..rather than climbing a stool to do so!! And My son and I are building  SQUASH planters! So in reality..My garden is going to be almost doubled in size..just more spread out!!

The Barn was Mucked out this weekend..and the stack of old tires is now going to have a new life as planters.  Here is how it is going so far!

Squash and pumpkins will grow DIRECTLY out of a compost heap..so my guess is they LOVE compost...So we took out tires..and lined up four of them..my planters are going to be two deep. but you need to start with one high.In the bottom Tire..Pack your compost ( in this case..hay straw and goat poop) TIGHTLY into the tire..stuff the sidewalls so tight that they plump up..then fill the centre and pack it down!
As you can see by my sons hands..he is lifting the side wall and STUFFING them tight. Then He stomped on the centre and was able to add more.
After that add you second tire and repeat.

If you look at the empty tires..they seem almost flat compared to these well stuffed ones...Stomping down the compost until you have JUST enough of a hollow to add dirt..about a 20 L bag.  No matter how well you stuff..there should still be a settling process after a couple weeks in the weather..
SPEAKING of which..this was as far as we got due to SNOW...

But rest assured..this will be..

OK Folks!
As Promised here is the continuation of the squash Planters. Today is May 6th..a Little early..but I hope my added protection will help!
I really have no idea what TYPE of squash these are..probably pumpkin..but I planted 3 or four different kinds and forgot to mark them..but I LIKE surprises!  I have planted 4 here and watered them to close the soil around the roots...I then inverted a tomato cage over top.
I then wrapped the tomato cage in FROST BLANKET..you can pick this up at any Garden centre..about a 25 foot sheet by 42 inches wide for about $10.
Once wrapped I secured the blanket to the cage with clothes pegs..and the edges down with rocks..NOW..It took me to the fourth cage to realise..If I had just cut the blanket a little LONGER I could have tucked the edges under the edge of the tire rim..DUH..better late than never!

The frost Blanket is supposed to protect against Frost and bugs..but allow sunlight and rain in...However..I will water when needed until the May long weekend when the blanket comes off!
Stay tuned!!

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