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Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Rain Barrels

Rain Barrels My husband created this wonderful solution. Catches rain off the “Love Shack” roof, into these barrels. My veggie patch is spread out in front of this photo.

Rain Barrel closeupDetail image of the rain barrel. Note the spigot. We attach soaker hoses to the barrels and drip irrigate the veggie patch.

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Using a pencil to create platning holes in a seedling tray - how high tech!

Using a pencil to create planting holes in a seedling tray - how high tech! Planting zinnia seedlings on a cool spring morning.

I like to use simple tools to help me plant. Take the lowly #2 pencil. What a great gardening tool. Truly. Here I am using it create planting holes for small, pre-sprouting seedlings. I also use the sharpened tip to nudge the tiny seedling roots into the holes, and then use the eraser end to firm up the soil around it.

Can a human finger do that? Don’t think so!

And how about old, rusty cookie sheets? Great for one thing – recycling! I use them to move groups of seedlings, to hold water for newly planted seedlings, or simply hold up floppy seed heating mats on a too-short shelf. Yes, the rust will leave marks on any surface. I combat that with newspaper wraps, or simply put up with the marks.

Last – but not least – is re-using plastic grocery bags. Top uses?

  1. Seedling tents
  2. Under pot protection – obvious, but often forgotten at my house, hence the drips on carpeting!
  3. Pre-sprouting tents – wrap tightly around trays, then loosen after they have sprouted
  4. Transporting divisions – protect my poor Subaru’s floor carpet!
  5. Temporary plant pots (if desperate and root ball is too large for available pots.)
Does this count as planting if I'm in my jammies and planting indoors?

Does this count as planting if I'm in my jammies and planting indoors? Planting Broccoli seedlings.

Here I am planting more (ever more) sprouts. In earlier posts I’ve discussed how to do this, but the actual grabbing of sprouts and planting them into trays is challenging. I love this technique, because I love seeing sprouts – short attention span plus I hate waiting for seeds to break through the soil. BUT this technique means I have hand-plant each tiny sprout. Sigh.

That said, there is a Zen to this, you get into a rhythm – thank God – and just plant. Tease a seedling out. Poke a hole. Nudge the seedling in. Firm it down. Tease a seedling out. Poke a hole…

It Takes a Village

I’ve shared with friends that one of my goals this spring is to Plant a Row for the Hungry, wonderful program introduced years ago at the National Gardening Association. I never did it – time, etc, etc. – but this year, I’m trying it.

There’s a local food shelf that accepts fresh veggies. Wonder how they feel about Tomatoes? I encourage you all to try it too!

Today’s thought: “Thank you God, I can now see that thorns have roses.”

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