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This post on continuing our organic gardening project and starting new outdoor projects was written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.
It has only been about a week since we were able to start planting in our garden. The herb planters and my pepper pot have been spending time in our greenhouse. And, we finally got the potatoes and broccoli we purchased into the ground. Now it is time for maintenance and patiently waiting for things to grow for a plentiful harvest.
Soon, the remaining plants and seeds will be planted. We are putting together a small raised bed to contain the lettuce and spinach seeds we purchased and are so eager to have for salads. But, otherwise, we are in maintenance mode.
Organic Gardening Maintenance
Gardens are NOT maintenance free. While I have the herbs in pots that have a water reservoir at the bottom which means less frequent watering, the other plants need to be checked on a regular basis. We have a few old milk jugs to hold water near the plants for easier watering without the garden hose being moved a great distance.
As I’ve mentioned, we erected an inexpensive plastic sheet style of greenhouse. Alaskan nights can get rather cool, even in the middle of summer.
This has been wonderful for keeping plants nice and warm. However, I discovered that I need to schedule a set time in the morning to open the flaps to let heat escape when we have a warm summer day. I realized this when going out in the afternoon yesterday and seeing our tomato plants (a big experiment in Alaska for us) having some leaves turning brown. I’d forgotten to open the flap and it was a warm for Alaska kind of day. Beyond needing to keep the temperature down inside the greenhouse, the open flap should allow insects to come ‘help’ pollination.
Another aspect of gardening that is continual is to amend the soil with organic matter. Because of the bear population in our area, we are hesitant to have a compost pile or even a compost bin. So, for us, it is more about working in addition soil like the Miracle Gro Organic Soil I bought to get us started.
Related to the soil is taking an approach to prevent weeds. In years past, we’ve used black plastic sheeting to do this. However, it can also be done with different forms of mulch.
Inspiration for Future Outdoor Projects
Now that we’ve invested more time in our yard with the garden, I am noticing all the things that need doing. This yard has more of a ‘natural’ look to it…as in things mostly just grow where they grow and that’s that. However, with the sun shining at the moment, I am longing to spend more time outdoors and want to have it be a pleasant experience.
I’ve been poking around the Home Depot Garden Club site a bit more to see which projects are calling my name. I know that I can not tackle them all, but a gal can dream and file ideas away for the future.
One project that hubby says HAS to be done this summer is to refinish our deck. This is going to be a ‘time hog’ as there are several steps to get it accomplished. I plan to put the boys to work with the paint scraping and sanding. Our big decision will be whether to repaint it the same red it is or go for a more natural look with a stain.
Another that I am considering has to do with making things visually appealing. As I’ve mentioned, the ground is naturally rocky here. While we do not have a lot of flat areas for a seating area, I do have a few spots that could work. Envirotile is a product that looks promising to define a great seating area.
Finally, when summer is coming to a close, I will look at building a grow light space for the herb planter and pepper pot. Depending upon how adventurous I feel, I might even try to grow potatoes and lettuce indoors. I just heard about a way to do potatoes in a burlap sack inside and would love fresh potatoes all year round.
What outdoor projects are you doing now or planning to do this year?
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