Monday, September 29, 2008

Planning the butterfly garden

I've decided that I want all of the flowers in my new bed to attract and harbor butterflies. I started doing some research and boy, it isn't easy to design a new butterfly garden! You have to have a combination of nectar and larvae plants (meaning a place for butterflies to eat, and a place to lay eggs) and you need to make sure you have planted varieties that bloom at different times, so you have someplace for them to go from Spring until Fall. I'm using the Ohio Extension office Web site.

I'm glad I decided to wait until Spring to plant, so I have time to work this out.

Also, I've decided I'm renting a sod cutter in the spring, to build the rest of the beds. No more hand digging for me. I'd be old and gray before I got all the beds dug and planted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

yard finished

After about 8-9 hours of actual digging, the sod is finally removed and the outline of the new flower bed is complete. Yay! It was hard work, but didn't take as long as I had anticipated. Last night, I added peat moss and mulch soil conditioners.

My plan to do the rock wall around it this year is scrapped. We can't afford it, especially now that we have to pay $307 to get a tree branch removed. One of our silver maples was significantly damaged in the recent windstorm that knocked out our power and it's dangling over the Bean's room, so it's got to go. That was about half of what I budgeted for the rock wall, so it'll just have to wait until spring.

The beds will be planted with a butterfly garden and flowers, as well as secret hidden veggie plants in the spring. So for this season, my work is done...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike blew out our power, 1000 miles from the coast!

Well, we just got power back at our house. The remains of Ike blew through here at 75 miles per hour plus Sunday night, and knocked out power to all of central Ohio. Even I was surprised. Our power just came on this morning.

I'm upset because I had just stocked the freezer with homemade pasta sauce from my garden, shredded fresh garden veggies, a whole lasagna I was planning to make later. Basically, my grocery budget and grocery challenge are blown this month because of this storm.

We had to drive 40 miles south to find an open restaurant yesterday, then we camped out at our sister's, who has power, for dinner. I have been living on bananas and peanut butter with crackers and water since Sunday. I'm over it.

It reminds me that I either need to get a generator OR I need to get a gas stove so I can still cook when the power is out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DAy three of digging

This is what 3 days and $90 worth of peat moss and sod looks like. I have about 50 percent of the main bed de-sodded, turned and mulched. Not too bad. It may take less time than I thought. Then again, I am SOOO tired of shoveling. It really is hard work.

Removing sod sucks

Now I understand why the neighbors looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was digging the new flowerbeds myself. Digging up sod is hard work. And it kind of sucks. Phew. Good thing I am dedicated. I really want new flowerbeds (aka sneaky secret garden veggie patches hidden behind flowers), and frankly I am too cheap and too broke to pay someone to dig them for me. So yeah. My MO is to just do a small patch at a time every single night. I remove the sod on the patch, turn it and then mulch and peat moss it. And little by little, it's getting done. If I thought about the entire project, I'd just get overwhelmed and stop. Only the front beds need to be done this fall, then I will implement the garden plan little by little each year until it's done, probably in two years total, including the new patios in the back.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Started on the garden plan yesterday

Phew. removing sod and digging new flowerbeds is A LOT of work. Geesh. I did manage to get one existing bed cleaned up, turned and mulched. I also expanded that bed one foot and turned and mulched the strawberry patch. All of this took about 2 and a half hours. I think if I work on digging the new beds about an hour a day, I'll have it all done by the end of the month.

I'm not sure if I'll get the stone done. I'm not sure we can afford it right now. This month is already shaping up to be pretty tight money wise, so the stone may have to wait until spring. I really want to paint the house in October, so that is number one priority. I have to do it when the weather is right, and when I don't have veggies and flowers growing by the side of the house, so it'd be harder to do that in the spring than the flower bed stone walls.