Gardening – First Summer Harvest

Ripe cherry tomato
The first ripe cherry tomato in my garden.

Yesterday, I picked the first ripe cherry tomato of the season. Today, I’ll pick the other shown here on the vine. I love gardening. It’s really rewarding gathering vegetables from one’s yard, rather than from the produce section at the grocery store.

Soon, I’ll be harvesting Big Boy tomatoes. I can’t wait! I like sliced tomato with just salt and pepper. MmMm good!

Juicy Big Boy Tomatoes
Coming Soon: Juicy Big Boy Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

I have peppers, rhubarb, and various herbs growing. I’m most excited about the things I started from seed this year. I’ve never been too successful with planting seeds. I usually buy small plants to populate the garden, but this year I have grown from seed: morning glories, basil, cilantro, columbine, and some sort of flower that arose from a seed pod I gathered on a walk.

All of the cats kept me company while I was outside. In this photo, Archie and Stoopy show their appreciation for each other.

two cats in the garden
No garden is complete without a cat or two.

While I was taking their picture, I noticed the world between the rocks on which they sit. There I saw a whole other universe. Fascinating.

Here lies another universe.
Here lies another universe.

The very tiny shells are amazing. I imagine these are the shed exteriors of the creatures nibbling at the leaves of my peppers. Scoundrels. They obviously don’t know who they are up against. They need to inform themselves by reading this post. Also, I thought peppers were immune to insects. What’s up with that? Clearly, I’ve been misinformed.

Well enough of this blogging…I want to go enjoy the rest of this very lovely day outside. I may take a swim.

Gardening – Build Your Own Compost Bin

Composting builds strong plants and lets you recycle food waste!

Early this spring I decided to build my own compost bins for the benefit of my expanding garden. It’s so easy that anyone can do it. You can get the materials at any home improvement store.

Materials to build your own compost bin:

  • (1) 30-gallon plastic garbage can with lid
  • (1) 18″ x 18″ concrete square
  • (2) disposable aluminum drip trays – you can find these in the section of the store where they supply grilling accessories
  • (4) bricks

Tools required:

  • Power drill (use a fairly large drill bit)

Begin your construction by drilling holes throughout the trash can. I’m one who likes pattern, so the holes I drilled are all nicely lined up. You feel free to go at it like a maniac. Not everyone has compulsive tendencies like me. 🙂 Don’t forget to drill holes in the lid and in the bottom of the can. If you’re wondering about how many how holes to drill – the more the better. Compost needs the air to circulate around it.

The tray will catch compost tea which you can feed to your plants.

After you’ve completed drilling, set up the area where you’ll house your bin. I leveled some ground and set my concrete square in place. I then placed four bricks around the aluminum drip pan (I doubled them – you may have something that would work better). After you water your compost, which you’ll want to do regularly (not too soggy though), the pan will catch compost tea which you can feed your plants. Don’t forget that after you water, you’ll need to roll your bin. I just push mine around the yard a few times.

Once you have your bin and tray set-up, you’re ready to add compost.

What can you add to your bin? Lots of stuff! There is a great list of things you can compost here.

By composting, instead of using chemical fertilizers, you’ll ensure that your home eco-system stays healthy, and you’ll be making the planet a greener and safer place.