Space .. I Need More Space!

Last year I had 1 4’X8′ raised bed flower garden, along with some extra zinnias planted in beds near the house, totaling approx 40 sq ft.

This year, I’ve upped the ante significantly – added 2 4’X24′ beds and repurposing a 2’X8′ bed, for a new total of approx 250 sq ft of garden space. Wow, just realized, that’s a 600% increase! Let’s hear it for ambition (or at least unbridled optimism) ;)

Over the last 3+ years, I’ve worked gradually toward making this area into something where plants would do well, but I had no idea till last fall that I’d make it into (hopefully!) a working flower garden.

First, when the garage was being added, I asked the excavator to place the good topsoil he was excavating into a 8X25 area in the back yard. It grew a wonderful crop of weeds the next 2 years, which I periodically would cut down or spray with weed killer. Fall of 2011, I had 100% natural wood chips (chipped from trees cut on my property) spread over the entire bed. Fall of 2012, I had 5 bales of old straw spread over the beds.

A few weeks ago, I put in Pex pipes from the back deck out to the two raised bed locations to eliminate the need to move the water supply hoses every time the grass is mowed.

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This past week I added 2 pints (dry) of 10-10-10 fertilizer to each 4’X24′ bed, about 2/3 of a pint to the 4’X8′ bed, and had them tilled.

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This weekend, with a little help from a friend, I set up fencing around the new large beds, along w/ the automatic watering system and planted sunflowers, celosia (2 kinds), sage and oregano.

NOTE to self: NEVER, EVER, ever attempt to plant seedlings in soil that is too dry .. it will be nearly impossible to keep a hole large enough for the seedling open long enough to plant it!

Lesson learned.

Here we are, w/ everything said and done:

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Starting Seedlings and Labeling for Succession Planting

I’m two weeks into starting seedlings for my cut flower market garden and it’s taken be a bit of time to develop a labeling system to keep track of what is planted, in which packs, and when I planted it. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Total Seeds Planted per Succession Planting
Unique Abbreviated Plant Name (e.g. CCM = Celosia Celway Mix)
Planted Date
[Latest Expected Germination Date]
Total Seedlings Required to Plant – circled
Succession Planting #
(Total Seedlings Planted per 6- or 4-pack)

sample:
14 CCM
9 Mar
[19 Mar]
13* SP0 (4)

*NOTE – 13 is circled

Here are some pics from what I’ve started so far:

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I’m happy to report pretty good germination using the setup I’ve put together in my guest bedroom :)

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See the tray on the right, covered with a towel? I’ve got 2 kinds of sunflowers and 2 kinds of Cosmos in there. Oddly enough, *sun*flowers require *dark* for germination :)

Day 1 – Starting Seeds for 2013 Cut Flower Garden

Getting ready to start seeds for my 2013 cut flower garden. It will be 10X bigger than the 2 small raised beds I had last year. Yeah, I know .. nothing like starting out slow ;)

Spent the last couple of months planning (garden layout, plant selection, buying seeds, getting new beds ready, building seed starting set up, building awesome spreadsheet to manage starting, transplanting & harvesting flowers, setting up Calendar alerts,etc.)

I’ll share more info on these items soon. For today, tho, here’s what I’m doing to get my things rolling:

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1) Seed starting stand w/ adjustable height “shop” lights and cool white and warm white fluorescent bulbs, 24-hour timer plugged into the wall, heater.

Dad designed and built the stand (Thanks Dad!!), shop lights and bulbs from local home improvement store – ~$40.

Manual 24-hour timer – ~$6

Don’t remember how much the electric space heater cost, got it in 2005…

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2) Supplies – trays, containers, starting mix, depth measure (yes, that’s a chopstick!), labeling materials*, seeds (of course!),

*More about labeling in a separate post.

Chopstick depth measure – 1/4″, 1/2″ and 1″ lines marked to make it easier to follow planting instructions on seed packages

Trays & containers – ordered from FarmTek, I think…

Starting mix – ~$4

Labeling – full name of plant, start date, need to add latest expected germination date to make it easier to determine if/when something should be happening w/ the seeds.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

Last month I tried out a friend’s Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad and was REALLY impressed – pretty awesome keyboard feel, much more tactile than the screen (duh).

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Works well on a flat surface, but not sure how well it would work on a couch or some other, more comfortable sitting situation.

Overall, it has a nice feel and I can type much more quickly than I can on the screen.

Might have to get me one of these! Even if I don’t use it w/ the iPad mounted into it, the Bluetooth conn rocks.

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Two weeks ago I bought it, and I love it!!!

I’m still figuring out the best way to carry it with me .. the magnetic closure doesn’t hold the cover onto the iPad very well. Also, I can’t live without my awesome Maglus Stylus which oh so conveniently attaches to the regular magnetic cover for the iPad, but doesn’t hold well to the Keyboard cover.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

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This setup allows me to keep my front and back covers on the iPad, attach the stylus and still have a moderately compact carrying size.

Also, here’s how it looks mounted on the keyboard (covers still in place):

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Now I just wish Google Drive worked better on the iPad…

Note for those interested in this product, I got it for $79.99 from Amazon, but when I checked the link today preparing this post, the price was back up to $99.99. Seems like the price is somewhat variable .. my guess is that it will go down again.

Can it really be this easy to paste a pic into native iPhone (iOS 6) email?

Holy cow!

5 minutes (not even) of Googling has yielded up this little gem: how to paste a pic from iPhone Photos into iPhone email.

Specifically, here’s the interesting part, from post #13 “You can copy a photo you are looking at in the photo album by pressing and holding, then tapping copy [the option just pops up under your finger!]. Then, in the email, place the [cursor] where you want to place the photo (best on [its] own line), and [double] tap to paste.”

For some reason, I always thought it wasn’t possible to do this. Maybe it’s b/c my iPhone is now iOS 6, or maybe I just never *really* tried to figure out how to do it.

Regardless, I feel like I won a small victory today – yay me!

Hope you find this useful :)

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Had bfast w/ my nephew Jake at Panera then drove 10 min to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

I had been there a long time ago but didn’t remember much about it. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to see how far I could push the camera in my iPhone 4s.

There were a few shots that I would have been able to capture with my Canon 30D & 70-300 zoom lens – 2 egrets in the water by the pier, 3 egrets munching bugs(?) on the Estate lawn. Otherwise, I got most of the shots I was looking for :)

I’m pleased with the results; used free app Photogene2 to process the shots included below. Pls let me know what you think.

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No liner notes w/ ripped/downloaded CD?

So, I bought Clockwork Angels, the new Rush album, this week. Ripped it to my iPhone for my trip to FL (on the plane as I write this). Listened to it a little yesterday afternoon & realized that I’d really like to have the album liner notes / lyrics on my iPhone to read thru as I give the album its first couple of listens.

So, my question to you (whoever you may be) is why aren’t the liner notes and lyrics included on the CD like album covers are? I’d imagine that the notes & lyrics would take up less total space than a good quality cover art JPG. Feel free to reply with thoughts or theories :)

For now, once I get on the ground, I guess I’ll see if I can find them as a PDF or text file to download & see what Google can tell me about my question.

Here’s a pic I took last week – I’m growing sunflowers for the first time this summer and wanted to capture the first bloom for posterity :).

Hope to post some beach/vaca pics this week. I’m in FL thru Monday visiting my awesome 8 yr old nephew Jake. He’s one of the most amazing ppl I know – smart, funny, kind :)

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