Garden

bale’d up.

Row cover, Burien, straw bale gardening - cultivatedrambler.com
We’re getting a little cray cray up in here! Officially planted round no. 1 in the main garden over the weekend with the help of my sis, Liz. Stuff that went in the ground: snap peas, snow peas, sweet peas, two kinds of carrots, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce and arugula. Phew.She also joined me in my trek out to Burien to pick up three straw bales for my attempt at straw bale gardening. I’ve got about two weeks of conditioning with these bad boys then they’ll also be ready to plant. For those of you who think I’m nuts…..straw bale gardening is a way to garden if you have crappy or no soil. My plan was to build a nice stone walled bed in this location, but other things took precedent this year. My plan is to build that bed next year then transplant my raspberries there so they’ll be nice and contained.
In the meantime, I’m doing my own little garden experiment with these. From what I’ve read you 1) need straw NOT hay bales 2) they need to be “conditioned” ie. hit with lots of water and fertilizer to get them to start composting 3) sprinkled with some good soil 4) and then planted directly into. Seems easy enough. Stay tuned to see how this works out for me!
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yard werk.

Pacific Northwest Gardening, Organic, Springtime prep - cultivatedrambler.com

Top: A work in progress. Bottom (left to right): Every gardener needs a machete!, Stella checking out our new pear tree, I have a seed hording problem.

Well it’s that time again! Though this time seems to be earlier than most years – hello warmest February ever. Sheesh. This sunny weather has been putting me into yard/garden overdrive these days. Every weekend has had at least one full day of yard work. I even got sun burned the other day – WTF Seattle? I thought I would have a few more weeks of hibernation, guess not. So in preparation of growing season 2015, here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

Here’s what’s been done:

  • Pruned fig tree and grape vines
  • Pruned and re-strung raspberries
  • Pruned camellia, hydrangeas, pine tree and rhodies (thanks Aunt Susan!
  • Cleaned up peony bed and added two more bushes (yay!)
  • Added strawberries to the herb bed
  • Planted 3 apple trees along fence line
  • Planted 1 three-in-one pear tree on east side of house (how genius is that! self-pollinating.)
  • Planted round 1 of seeds near herb bed
  • Made a bad ass hippie stick art thing
  • Added landscape rocks to end of herb bed to make it look more finished
  • Picked up 10 bags of moo doo for veggies – highly recommend Sayers Fuel on Rainier

Here’s what’s left to do:

  • Buy blueberries for the blueberry patch – getting these bad boys at the Seattle Tilth Edible Plant Sale on March 14!
  • Straw bale garden alongside the shed – too lazy to make a real garden bed this year, so this will do
  • Figure out where to plant my 3 new dahlias
  • Prune plum tree
  • Finish veggie garden layout
  • Plant more seeds!
  • Make more fun hippie stick art!

Phew! That’s it for now. What have you been up to in your yard these days?

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the forest folks.

 

Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, WA - cultivatedrambler.com
Beacon Food Forest Celebration - cultivatedrambler.com
Beacon Food Forest painted rocks - cultivatedrambler.com
Acrobatics at the Beacon Food Forest - cultivatedrambler.com

I recently volunteered with the Beacon Food Forest as part of the planning committee of their Opening Celebration. As an event planner, I like to continue to hone my skills and learn new things. It’s easy to get into the same route again and again when working for a single organization – gotta mix things up now and again!

I thought this organization might be a good fit because 1) it’s right in our neighborhood 2) it centers around food and community and 3) it’s a grassroots movement, which I dig.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into – no real meeting notes or agendas, tons of ideas but unclear follow through, making things more difficult that they really need to be – basically a planner’s nightmare. BUT the folks who were are part of this were so welcoming, friendly and funny that I pushed aside my uber organization skills and went with the flow.

We ended up with a really warm, funky event and I was really pleased to see it do so well. Music jammed throughout the afternoon, kids painted rocks for the garden, educational tours showcased the forest…..all under a sunny Seattle sky!

Of course, there were a few things that I would have done differently, but hey, such is life! If you are ever in North Beacon Hill, be sure to stop by the BFF and take a self guided tour. Cool things are happening there!

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2015 planning.

Seattle spring garden plan - cultivatedrambler.com

I know my fiance will just shake his head at this post – planning for something that’s 6 months down the road?! I’ve officially entered the nut house as far as he is concerned šŸ™‚

Above, is my rendition of my 2015 veggie garden plan (the red star burst things are flowers). I’ve taken what I’ve learned this year and made adjustments accordingly with a lil crop rotation. I’ve read that you should move plants around every year as to not strip the soil of it’s nutrients since different plants need different things. I’m so scientific, I know…

I also plan on adding a small, raised bed by our shed which will give me more growing room. Not sure what’s going to go there quite yet – such important decisions to make I know! It’s North/South facing, but is on the side of the building so it won’t get the morning sun, but will stay nice and toasty in the afternoon. Open to suggestions if you have ’em! I’m also trying to figure out other potential garden add on space. This girl can’t get enough!

Other goals I have for the upcoming gardening season:

  • figure out our stupid gutters – add 2 rain barrels to our house
  • add dwarf apple and pear trees along the fence line
  • add blueberries – not sure where these will go…
  • build a raised bed next to shed
  • add WAY more flowers for pollinators plus create a mason bee house
  • work on patio garden – add stuff ie. perennials that are purdy
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this dog.

 I don’t know whose more excited, Stella or myself! We had a good haul this week. The green beans are on their tail end, but bringing up the rear are plums, tomatoes and squash. It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of our garden. You have tender peas and baby lettuce in the early spring, raspberries in early summer, then come zucchini by the truckload and green beans. Tomatoes pop up right when you think there’s nothing exciting left and peeping through the leaves are starts of delicata and acorn squash right in time for a September harvest. It’s almost, do I dare say? Romantic. I know, I’m strange. Sigh. It’s just such a cool ebb and flow to witness day after day.
I’m not much of a plum fan so hit me up if you want to come and grab some! Speaking of grabbing, am I the only one that steals fruit off of their neighborhood trees? I just hate seeing good fruit go to waste!
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