Here are a couple garden projects we’ve been working on this week. I know some of you are gardeners so I thought I would share them with you.
I know its past time to start seeds for many of you but we got a late start on it this year. Over the years I have used many things to start seeds, some worked better than others and some just plain didn’t work. This year I used something called a Soil Cube. While the seeds haven’t sprouted yet, I am pretty impressed. The soil cube is $19.99 +shipping, which gets you the soil cube maker and a tong to move the cubes with.
The problem I have had and seen with several seed starters is that the roots coil around the inside of a container, and are shocked when you transplant the seedling. The idea behind the Soil Cube is that your potting mix is the container. When the time is right you just put the cube in your garden. There is no root shock. Because the soil cube is the container, the roots stop at the edge of the soil, so there is no root coiling. We made fifty cubes in (maybe) thirty minutes and will transplant them to containers later this spring.
You can learn much more by visiting the Soil Cube Site I’ve also posted the intro video below.
Rain water is better for a garden than city water, so building a rain catchment system has been something on my to-do list for a while. I finally got to it this week. For every inch of rain that falls on a 1000 square foot roof, you can catch approximately 600 gallons of water. Believe it or not catching rain is actually illegal in some states, so check your local laws before building a rain catchment system.
We have two barrels that have holes on the left and right and screened tops. We also purchased a product called a Rain Reserve that you attach to a downspout. It diverts some of the rain water to your barrel. The Rain Reserves are pretty pricey now at $89. But you buy one and get one free. We paid half that at a farmers market a year or two ago.
As you can see from the pictures, we set one barrel up higher than the other. When that one is full, it will then transfer over to the second barrel through the hose. We put them on blocks to add some pressure if we decide to add drip irrigation later.
We’ll use the water for the garden but, if we needed to in a pinch, we could use it to flush the toilet, bathe or even drink. We would need to purify it first if we were going to drink it.
The top right picture shows that the Rain Reserve is pretty low. This is because that is where it was already cut, and I didn’t want to make another one if I could help it. It rained and it turns out I will need to make another cut and raise the rain reserve above the barrel.
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