Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall is in the air

I love the changing seasons. Up here on California's north coast we have a very temperate climate. Occasionally we see temps in the low 70's or low 30's, but usually it's somewhere between 55 and 65 all year round. Without much temperature variation time has the tendency to run together. I mean how can it be winter without snow or summer without sweltering heat. It took this southern California transplant a while to figure out that up here the signs of the seasons come in the form of wind, rain, fog, daylight, and food. I'm always sure Fall is on it's way when I look outside and it's dusk at 8pm. Another sure sign is the abundance of blackberries, apples, and zucchini that start popping up everywhere. Suddenly everyone has a jar of jam or applesauce and a loaf of zucchini bread to gift. This year I had such a great time in the garden myself that I decided to increase our vegetable area and put in new raised bed for a fall garden.

Bare bones of the raised bed

This 9.5' x 3.5' x 11" bed was created using 24, 3.5 to 4' salvaged redwood fence boards (not treated) and took a couple of hours. I am by no means a woodworker, but with a little imagination and a few choice words mumbled under my breath I got the job done! I put down a layer of window screen followed by a layer of weed guard and finally a layer of cardboard boxes under the frame. This may have been overkill, but we have some seriously hungry gophers as well as a very tenacious "lawn" that somehow made it's way UP through our 2' high raised beds. So while some may call this overkill, I am going with determined.

Mixing soil

After doing the math on how much soil I would need to fill this monster I decided to start with a 4-6" layer of straw. Our local farm store had a lovely bale for just $8.99. I only used about a third of it and set the remainder on it's side to try my hand at strawbale gardening as well. Why not?

The beginning of a strawbale garden

I filled the rest of the bed with a 1:1:1 mixture of perlite, peat moss, and compost. It took about 4 cu feet of each to top off the bed.

Prepped raised bed

Now all that's left is to wait for the starts to mature. I've got a nice variety of cool weather veggies sprouting in our tiny pop up greenhouse including kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, leeks, and cucumber. I'm a little skeptical about the cucumber, but we will see. All of my seeds came from and they even sent me an extra Kale starter kit with my order!

Kale and spinach starts

Fingers crossed that this venture yields some yummy veggies!

Meanwhile, on the bench this week I'm working on big hoop earrings. The perfect fall accessory to pair with layers, sweaters, and jackets. I love sweater weather! You can get your hands on a pair of hoops in my Etsy shop and use the coupon code FALL20 so save 20% shop wide through the end of August 2014. 

Copper and Silver Hoop Earrings

Happy planting and thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment