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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Notes from The Homestead April 27, 2014


The chicken tractor worked so well I made a cover from funny pipe and bird netting for the cabbage bed.  That's straw along one side creating new soil.  The rest of the top of the bed was filled with home grown compost.  I'm expecting stellar cabbages this summer.


So when I noticed tomatoes sprouting all by themselves in the Long Bed, I figured that must be a good place to sprout the rest of my solanums (tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers), so I popped six one-foot pieces of rebar into the bed, stuck short (maybe one and a half-foot) lengths of funny pipe over the rebar, and draped a folded piece of Agribon over the funny pipe, which I have gathered together and held down by rocks.  Last I checked, everybody's coming up fine under there.  This may be how I sprout them going forward, it's working that well.  The volunteer tomatoes are Mortgage Lifters, in case you're wondering.


Hmmm. That funny pipe is really easy to work with and useful. I wonder if I could use it to shade lettuces?  I chose a spot that had the green beans in it last year, figuring it would have better nitrogen in the soil.  Then I thrust five pieces of rebar into the soil-  one-foot pieces for the ends of the funny pipe, and one and a half-foot pieces for the PVC pipe.  Each of the pieces of PVC are capped with a tee, through which I threaded the funny pipe.


Then I stretched a length of Agribon over the funny pipe and clipped it all down with clips made of short pieces of funny pipe into which I cut a long slit with a pair of scissors.  Cutting across the funny pipe is a lot easier with a PVC cutter, but cutting length-wise through a single thickness is fairly simple with a pair of scissors.  That's a lettuce mix of my own devising and Fenburg romaine from Johnny's under there.


Otherwise, spring is blooming right along.  These are Honeycrisp blossoms.  The Honeycrisp is blooming for the first time this year, along with the rest of the original eight apple trees I planted, except the Golden Russet.  The Golden Russet was flush last year, but is taking this year off.  But yay! The rest of the apples are finally blooming!!  I am not counting on fruit this year because they may not be getting pollinated what with all the rain and everything.


The grapes are putting out leaves as well. Go grapes!

All of this is brought to you by Last Weekend, because This Weekend has been preempted by rain.  But this is what I get for living in Oregon.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello, your blog is very helpful, but what is funny pipe? what is it called at the garden store? Thank you!

Paula said...

Ah. Sorry about that. I thought I'd mentioned funny pipe before but it occurs to me that was in a comment on Starving Off The Land.

Funny pipe is a trademarked name by Toro for 1/2" black tubing. If you do a search at Home Depot's website it comes right up.

However, do not buy it online; the prices are horribly inflated. It inaccurately describes it as being only available online, which is a crock. 50' of it online runs you around $20- if you go into the store you'll find it on the bottom shelf in the sprinkler area of the plumbing department for, hold onto your hat, $9.99. Really.