fingers in the dirt

Oh boy, I got my fingers in the dirt 2 days in a row! Then it snowed.

But I'm ready and it's time to sow some seeds.

Most of it will be covered on Friday at Modish, but I've been searching for a small batch recipe for seed starting soil that will also work with my new, super fancy soil blocker. All of the mixes I've read use "bucket" as a measurement. Apparently I'm the only person that knows there are all sorts of different sizes of buckets for sale. This site clarified bucket size: a 2 1/2 gallon bucket (aka 10 quarts). Phew! I was thinking they were talkin' 5 gallon buckets and wondered who in the world started that many seeds at once on the home scale!

With Mabel in tow, I've got limited time to get anything done, so my two days in the dirt actually only totalled about 20 minutes, which meant I got my tomato cages and stakes out and piled up, and mixed the following:

1 1/2 cubic feet (approx 2 3-gallon buckets) composed manure
3 3-gallon buckets of peat (leftover from previous years, by fall I'll have a good supply of leaf mold and composted chicken litter/coffee chaff to experiment with replacing the peat)
1 3-gallon bucket garden soil

I'll add 1/2 cup lime (gotta find that bag I already have) and some diatomaceous earth to the mix then in goes the fertilizer mix. For that I'm going to cheat and use 3 parts Espoma's Garden Tone to 1 part greensand as my fertilizer mix.

If you're wondering how it works, you take this dirt concoction and screen it. That's why you see that there mesh desktop file cabinet. The mesh size is a little bigger than what's recommended for screening your soil, but it's what I got for screening worm castings and I like the way it functions. To recap, you've mixed the dirt then screened out all the large bits, then you mix it with water into a muddy little slurry, and block block block til you can't block no mo. {For photo recognition's sake, I got it from the Johnny's site.}

And on the garden-starting note, check out these seriously well-covered basics by Eren, super-mom-inspirer-photographer-crafty-lady-galore!

On a final, sell myself out note, I'm VERY interested in winning a camera (Canon 5D, o! For Real?!?) thanks to this one hot camera bag company. I can't remember all the blogs I've seen having a give-away for these hotties, but there are (were?) quite a few. I'm not too keen on synthetic leather (like all plastics it doesn't decompose like real leather, and natural fabrics can be very sturdy) but hot-doodle-dee-doo they sure look good, don't they? And not at all like those outdoorsy looking, padded, neoprene standard fare we're all so used to.

No comments: