Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A couple more links to bookmark...

This is a nice site with cute and clean graphics. They have seed sowing and transplanting times in neat little graphic charts.

I printed them out and put them in my 3-ring binder.  I'm a visual person so i really like these comprehensive little images:

The rest of the site is nicely organised and illustrated.  There are tips and suggestions as well as season-spanning photos of their garden's growth.

This site is to a garden planner software. I am seriously considering using this, i think it will eliminate some guesswork and i could easily make multiple orientations to mull over.  I plan on beginning the free 30 day trial tomorrow when i have time to sit down and play with it.  They ask $25 for subscription, and i don't think that is a bad thing.  I watched the little demo and it looks like it has all the little details i need.
You can plot your garden or bed size, place your crops, and the crops have a little shaded halo to show how much space the plant needs. They apparently have a database for Square Foot method as well.  I am hoping to see if they will let you do a hybrid garden- by that i mean classic spacing and square foot spacing in the same chart.

Since reading Steve Solomon's  "Gardening When it Counts" i have gone a bit skeptical on the SFG method.  According to Mr Solomon, just because you can grow 60 lettuces in so many square inches, your lettuce might look pretty and provide a lot of food, the available nutrient level won't be very impressive.  He stresses the idea that your home grown veggies should  provide maximum nutrition, especially if you intend to go 'off grid' when it comes to veggies. Nutritionally deficient home-grown veggies are worse than less fresh store-bought and worse than none at all.  I think i agree with this.  The majority of his book is dedicated to explaining and teaching how to achieve the proper fertile balance of the garden soil, not to make the veggies grown in it as healthy looking as possible, but to make sure the veggies have every opportunity to become as highly nutritious and productive as possible.
So to help maximize the nutrient value of each plant, that recently maligned "old fashioned" wide spacing of plants, is actually the best way after all.  As if the farmers of old didn't know what they were doing all along.

But there are some items that i am not really looking to maximize the nutrient potential, i just want to snack on them.  Things like radishes, or things that don't mind being in poor soil, but do very well when intensively planted in extra fertile soil.
I do want to try intensive plantings of corn. With a small garden, there isn't any other method that will give you more than a couple dozen ears in a season besides intensive.  And if we aren't subsisting on corn, i'm not worried that it won't be as nutrient rich... i don't think corn is all that good for anyone anyhow.

But my cole crops, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens and green beans... they must be as nutritious as possible because i want those to make up the bulk of our summer and fall eating.  The squashes also need to be up there nutrient-wise to have over the winter months when we won't have as much fresh veggies to choose from.
Anyway, fascinating book.  And great websites with good info.

I'm going to have to make an entry of just Bookmarks one day. That way if i ever have another destroyed laptop scare, i at least won't lose my Bookmarks permanently. I know there is a way to savy the bookmark list to my external drive, but i would have to update it often. Here i can just mention the new bookmarks every few days when i come across one.

I need to not worry so much about this blog being dull. Its really just a journal after all... mainly for myself since i have such a bad memory.  Blogs have more bells and whistles than any of the free journal programs i have tried.  This blog site is very easy to use and i won't lose it like i did the last time my computer crashed...  i lost the journal entries i kept during my pregnancy.   That was really upsetting.  Had i blogged it, they  would still be safe and sound.

Oh well, off to find something constructive to do...

Yay, then...not yay... ha ha

Yay-  my laptop survived!
Not sure how it lived, but so far it is back to normal and no sticky keys (i don't sweeten my coffee) even.
Hubby thinks i may have saved it by flipping it over to drain and yanking the battery as  soon as i could. I also put the blow dryer on cool and set it up against it for a few minutes.  WHile that was working, i got out mini box fan and set the laptop up so the air blew into the keyboard so i could put away the blow dryer.  Another thing that helped is thta keyboards have this  failsafe sort of thing, kind of like GFCI....  if there is a sudden voltage change it shuts down automatically.  So when the spill happened, the computer got itself shutting down and i just had to clean it up and wait for it to dry.

So there ends the drama of the day for Tuesday.

One thing i did do to change my laptop's settings to hopefully protect it was to go into the energy settings and tell it to do nothing when the cover of the laptop is closed.  This way when i leave the room for a few seconds, i can close the cover and this will protect the keys and screen from tiny, nosy,  little fingers---and spills.
I keep my laptop on all day and i check something on it a number of times a day. Shutting it down after each lookup  is not going to happen, so this might be the next best thing.

But i am grateful that i don't need to get a new one at this point.  I have been very good at archiving things into my external hard drive, so i would only have lost my huge bookmarks list and a few inconsequential things.

So, all is well that ends well... hubby said just to watch for overheating.

Last night large regions got snow. Our mountains up here got as much as 2 feet. Some spots a few miles East of us got some freezing rain, but i don't think we got any of it.  I think our night time low temperature got down to 38 degrees. I have not been out to see the mini greenhouses yet this morning. I haven't even been over to the window that has the indoor/outdoor remote thermometer in it.  I have the wire of the outdoor thermometer inside one of the greenhouses and then i have the 'indoor' part on the shelf of the gas grill where i can see it through the window (and it won't get rained on).

So there isn't much to report on sprouty things or gardeny things since it just raining out and its not a weekend, so nothing is being done.  Hopefully there won't be too much rain and my dad will be willing to get the compost over here for us.
I hope to have it get tilled in so i can put  clear plastic over the soil to wake up the weeds then run the Mantis over it a week later, then black plastic to warm the soil faster. 
According to the Johnny's blog and according to the book by Eliot Coleman (that i am reading now) i should be able to plant out the hardies within a week or two- and possibly as much as a couple weeks ago-  under the hoops of course.

The little citrus trees seem to be doing fine so far. The venous orange still has those rolled leaves, but there isn't any real info on this plant online. Some posts about them that result from searching, seem to imply that 'venous' is a made-up name by Gurney's/Henry Fields.  There was one suggestion that it might be Madame Vinous orange...which is a known type.  But its hart to tell because people are in general so dismissive to HF and their products, that nobody will say much even if they did know.

I don't know myself right yet,  i just want to get some nice smelling flowers. It doesn't even have to set fruit, but if it does i would love to see some fruit with at least an orange blush.
 I do want a variegated pink Eureka lemon soon.  I saw it first at Springhill's website... but i don't remember their reputation so i'd check in on that before i would consider them .  Territorial also sells it and they have the Kaffir lime that i want to replace the one i accidentally murdered.  They also have the Kumquat plant i want.
They also have one of the better reputations, so i might go there for "all my citrus needs"...  since hubby was kind of freaked out by my idea of turning the front garden into a Milkweed festival, i may have to console myself with a collection of a different sort.

The Goji seedlings are taking off like crazy, and i did manage to find the charger for my camera after an hour of searching the other day.

I also think that  my Hoya shephardi is setting a penduncle.  This is pretty exciting since this can take years to happen... of course it can still take years to bud and then bloom from this point i guess. But the fact that it seems to be starting something after less than 2 years from being a rooted cutting...  its pretty cool.  One out of 6 of my Hoyas might bloom within the next three years.  Yay!

 I forgot two of my Passiflora outside, i'm going to leave them out until it warms up cause i think if i bring them back in they might go into shock if they aren't there already. But i did repot the P. lavender Lady the other day, it looks happier in a bigger pot.

Well, i guess that is all.