Sunday, July 4, 2010

Things will need watering....

The forecasters are telling us we may see temps in the 90's before midweek.  High 80's until then. Its going to be dry until Tuesday when they are saying the humidity will be heavy and there is a chance of thunder storms.
I made some "beer fertilizer" a while ago. Its a home made fertilizer i learned about on an exotic houseplant forum a few years ago.

Beer Fertilizer

1 12oz beer (something medium bodied, light beer isn't worth anything)
1/2 cup of household ammonia, non scented
1 cup epsom salts
2 cups of water

Mix one tablespoon per gallon of water.  Its mild enough to not damage leaves.  I think i will feed the garden with it when i do some watering  tomorrow.  I got one of those Miracle Gro feeder-waterer sprayers, so if i put the fertilizer in there it should mix about right, and if its stronger i think it won't be too strong. 

I gave my tomatoes some calcium the other day too,  i read that about 3 capsules per plant is about right. I had a couple bottles of a calcium & magnesium supplement that had expiry dates from 2005, but i didn't want to throw them out because i knew i could use them in the garden some day. I never remember to take supplements and it takes me 5 years to remember to use things i have saved for other purposes.  At any rate, it finally got done the other day.   I simply scratched them into the soil surface at the base of each plant and will let watering and rain take over the rest.  I had enough to put around every plant in the garden.  So calcium should not be a problem in the garden this year.

I tried to go yardsailing today, but i guess i stink at it. We followed a couple posterboard signs around town, but they were small sales. A couple tables full of used Walmart glassware and little wall hangings from the 1980's, you know, the ones that are made to look handmade but are just factory prints from China.. We checked out the local flea market too, but nothing worth paying for there either. A few genuinely interesting things, but sellers wanted too much for what was essentially  dust collecting agents.  Lots of cassette movies and romance novels though. Gag.

Sooo....  we ended up going to Good Will. And i found a a few good things. I got a waffle iron, i have been trying to catch up with one for about a year. Found a good Oster for $4,  its a round one. I can make my low carb waffles in it, the divots make wonderful butter-catchers.
I found a really nice roaster pan with a lift out rack and domed lid.  I have needed one of those for quite a while as well. That was only $15.  I'm tired of trying to cook turkeys and chickens with roasted vegetables on sheet pans.

The really cool thing i picked up was a new Food Saver vacuum sealer that was only $25.  It came with a roll of bags and an unopened stack of pre-cut bags. It was immaculate looking, even still had the permanent freezer marker clipped to the inside of the lid.  I looked it up online and direct from the Foodsaver website it is a $170 machine!  Its really great because yesterday i was using my old, smaller Foodsaver and i was thinking i'd really like to have a new one. It can be finicky and since my hands were feeling terribly achy  that day (from who knows what) it was more difficult to use than it should have been.  I was planning on researching the cost of a new one so i'm glad i found this one right away.  Hubby was even impressed.
This one is all automatic. You put the food in the bag set it in place and push a button. You don't have to press down and lock the lid and it has settings for  wet or dry foods and a gentle setting for stuff you don't want smashed. It will also seal without vacuuming out any air so i can reseal things like potato chip or cereal bags.  I am so thrilled.  I hope to dehydrate a lot of herbs, fruits and greens this year, i really hope that i can use this Foodsaver to seal and store them. 

I also got the beta a new home,  his vase was too small and i didn't like how it looked.  I got him one of those vases that look like a very large brandy snifter.  It holds just under a gallon of water, which is way more fair than the tiny vase he was in, even though i changed his water regularly. I washed it well with vinegar and hot water and he looks much happier in that. He gets more attention now too, i'm sure he appreciates that.

 I got a few other odds and ends, some clothes for the kids, a fascinating little tea bell shaped like a tiny house that i really shouldn't have bought cause i am trying desperately hard to not acquire any more knick-nacks....  It would make a great Christmas ornament with a cotton ball soaked in pine needle extract tucked inside it.

It was a really good day, i am  sore and achy from walking but the sun was out, it was almost too warm, but nothing has raided my garden in the last couple days, things appear to be on the mend or growing well.  The kids are happy and healthy and i had some hot jalapeno cheese for a snack.  Things are good!


Mal's Allotment said...

Beer? I'd make a comfrey soup and strain it, water the plants - then drink the beer!

icebear said...

lol, there are *cough-cough* a number of American beers that are more suited to use as fertilizer than a refreshing drink. :o) One of the reasons i prefer to brew my own.

I'd like to use comfrey, but it does seem to be scarce around here, i've found mixed info in the bit of research i have done. Finding a seed source hasn't been easy and i found one place that said the type of comfrey used for fert tea is self sterile, so you have to buy plantlets or cuttings. (!) I was a little put off by the whole thing so i gave up for a while. I'll look harder over the winter and then come up with some space to plant it which is another consideration.

Of course, something icy cold will be enjoyed after today's watering session! :o)

Mal's Allotment said...

Once you have your comfrey you'll never be without it. Grow it on a patch of wasteland out of harms way. I chop it right down to ground level every year (when I'm planting potatoes) and it just keeps coming back! This year I landed about 40 bricks on top of one patch and the comfrey just grew its way around them! But its reputation as a wonder fertilizer means I tolerate it growing a bit wild and unruly.

LadyJ said...

You need to come to my yard and see if you can manage to do something with it! lol! All the work you put into yours makes me feel soooooo lazy!

LadyJ said...

BTW I stole your bookshelf if your looking for it!

Leah Rachelle said...

I've never heard of that fertilizer mix, then again, I'm excessively new to the gardening side of life!

You spoke of using calcium supplements on your tomatoes, so do you crush them into powder first or just stick them in the dirt in pill form?

icebear said...

Mal- I'll look for a decent source of comfrey and a spot to plant some in. I have read good things about the compost tea that can be made form those plants. I guess its one of those things i will have to plan for, seems worth it. :o)

Jady J- Great to see you again! I read your post about the gophers, wish i had a suggestion for you. I have a feeling that gardening in Arizona might be out of my league even if i do read as much as i can. It looks like you have tried everything though. There's a reason why gardening outside of Eden was such a grave directive. I get a glimpse of it each year when my garden gets trashed by groundhogs! Perhaps in Heaven we get to use the varmints as footballs!

Hi Leah- Well i don't know what is the best way, but what i read said to use the capsules, it didn't instruct to grind or break them. I just sort of scraped the dirt away a bit, mushed them in and covered. It would probably work faster if i powdered them, but then the calcium might wash away faster. So for a slow release effect, whole might be the correct way after all. I'll get to see if it does anything for the tomatoes as time goes on. :o)