Monday, March 3, 2014

The Big Cardboard Box

Folks at the sculpture garden knew that I was interested in a big, thick box that was hanging around in storage.  It had been saved for some important purpose, but no one could seem to remember what it was, so they offered it to me.  It is for my garden, of course.  The weather having been dry and moderately cold, but not too cold, so I decided to attempt a garden expansion on Saturday.
The box, folded in half.
Cardboard is cheaper than weed cloth and will biodegrade into the soil, and it is so thick that it will last a long time. I unfolded the box and overlapped the edge with the raised bed I created last year.  The chickens have removed most of the straw mulch in their search for bugs and seeds.
The girls helped me line it up with last year's garden bed.

I then headed over to the horse rescue to get the necessary materials to make the raised bed. 
XB all loaded.
  To answer the question you are thinking, it smells like soil, it looks like soil...   A car load of manure doesn't look like all that much, but it is heavy.  The hood of the car points a bit higher once it is all loaded and I joke about driving a low rider.  (a song that my daughter plays in band)
One carload dumped onto the cardboard.
It took two loads to cover it reasonably well and a little bit more might be needed.
The girls inspected the two loads of manure.
All of it is now (Monday) coated with two inches of snow and a bit of ice, with lots more snow expected in the next few hours.
The seedlings are doing well under the lights, when the winter decides that it is done, they will be ready.
It is time to thin and fertilize them with a little fish emulsion, it is a good thing they are in the garage, that stuff is much more pungent than the manure ever is.

The trees  and bushes we ordered will be arriving within a few weeks!
My stress over the Bay Bridge was unnecessary, there were about three cars on the bridge and virtually no wind.  It was the easiest ride over that thing ever, despite the snowflakes!

Fruit School (that's what the Extension office calls it) was interesting, it was great to find out more about the stink bugs, especially since there is supposedly some news of a bit of a die off due to the cold temperatures, but we will find out for sure in September, their boom season.  The frustrating part  of the lectures was one speaker had  a slide presentation that included material he had presented to the group the previous year, which he flicked through to get to this year's materials, but I really was more interested in the presentation he did last year than this year.  I hear that they are all posted on-line, I'm going to have to find it.

One thing I had never thought about was brought up, conventional farmers spray antibiotics on plants to kill certain diseases, I always thought about animals with  antibiotics, not plants.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

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