Garden Projects: Springtime on the Urban Ranch

| 4/23/2011 11:20:12 PM

A photo of Nebraska Dave Hey, it's me again.  I've been trying to stay busy around the ranch.  The weather here has been unpredictable to say the least.  Just ask the weather people.  They are certainly depending on percentages to keep their jobs intact this year.  They hardly ever get it correct.  Thank goodness we have not had the extreme weather folks are getting around the country.  It sure has been crazy hasn't it?  I am counting my lucky stars that the rains have been gentle and refreshing here.  How's the weather been in your part of the country?

Here's the first of many pictures of the poor man's patio.  This I guess would be the before anything trellis picture.  I'll be showing the patio in different stages of grow over the year.  As you remember last year I decided to grow pole beans up the sides of the trellis and had visions of luscious viney growth that would cover the trellis.  Ah, well, that really didn't happen.  Not even a little bit.  You see pole beans are a full sun plant and the patio is a full shade area.  The beans were puny, anorexic, and looked terrible.

You can see the black main line for the drip watering.  My plan for this year will be to have containers up both sides with shade loving plants.  The drip watering will keep them well watered even when I'm away on trips during the summer.  I haven't really decided what should go in the containers yet.  I'm going to concentrate on the trellis this year and not so much on the patio retaining wall as in years past.


Daves April patio 

Here's a beginning picture of the garden which will again be taken from the same view every week during the growing season.  The first bed has been planted with onions, radishes, and lettuce.  I will have to cover the bed with netting or the cute little bunny population will think that I've planted it just for their dining delight.  The next bed with the trellis structure will be my cucumber bed this year.  I will be perfecting the pickling process this year as my grandson can consume a gallon of dill pickles every 10 days.  I am going to try to preserve as many as I can.  The next bed will be my Yukon Gold potatoes.  They were a little disappointing last year but the plan is to deep mulch them this year.  The next bed with the upright concrete block will be the green pepper bed and the last bed next to main water tank will be the tomato bed.  Hopefully I can get the potatoes planted this next week.

Carolyn Binder
5/3/2011 4:02:34 PM

Looking good, Dave! Isn't it fun to have multiple projects going at the same time? We always do. It's a wonder when we finish one. Hope all's well in Nebraska!

Nebraska Dave
4/27/2011 6:11:01 PM

Cindy, that's too funny. I just never thought there would be that much water coming off the roof. When I looked at the downspout during a rain, it didn't look like that much. I might have to think about ganging two forties together. With this first rain, I didn't have the connection to the big tank yet so the collection barrel was connected to a secondary tank in the garden area. After the rain was done I decided to look in the barrel and see if my height calculations were correct. The barrel was half full so I trotted down to the other barrel and unscrewed the three inch cap on the barrel and a three inch geyser came gushing out. I quickly screwed the cap on and connected the big tank into the barrel and drained down the water. It was a huge surprise to me that so much water would be collected from such a small rain. I was going to try to catch the water from all four corners of the house but I think just the back two will be quite enough. It appears that until I get this figured out, one will be quite enough. Have a great nursery/garden day.

Cindy Murphy
4/27/2011 10:28:10 AM

Looks like you've got quite a number of spring projects going, Dave, and I wouldn't expect anything less from you than working on more than one thing! Me? Not doing so much right now. Spring here has been too cold and too rainy to get out and do much. Soon though....I hope. I’ve got a been-there/done-that response in regards to your musings to Shannon’s comments….about you wondering what would happen if your tank filled, and you ended up with too much water. Last April, I got the brilliant idea to put the rain barrel under the downspout in the vegetable garden. Right there where you need it most, you know. One good, hard April downpour filled the barrel to overflowing, even with hoses connected to both the main spigots and overflow spigot on the barrel (I can’t see it in your photo, but if your barrel doesn’t have an overflow spigot, put one on!. Once the water from the hoses didn’t drain the barrel fast enough, it collected in that little lip on top, and pretty much created a waterfall in the veggie garden, washing all the seeds I’d just planted away. Learned by lesson the hard way with that one, and moved the barrel to another down spout. With rain nearly every day in the past few weeks, I haven't even thought about hooking up the barrel yet. Enjoy the day!

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