Saturday, April 10, 2010

Finishing raised beds, and planting

© 2010 Joshua Stark

The backyard is looking less like it was hit by a bomb, and more like a garden-in-waiting.  Here it is, with the latest raised bed (about $25 in materials).  Note the new pond liner, too.


I should explain the strange-looking structures in the back, I suppose.  On the left is my 'cleanin' tub', for cleaning fish and game, but that isn't it's permanent location.  The tower of crates to the right in the background is my worm-bin, high enough for the ducks not to raid it, and with a rock on it to keep other animals out.

Speaking of the worm-bin, we looked in it today, and although it had become home to a crowd of ants (which I will hopefully take care of by just moving stuff around a bit more), it had also shown good worm activity.  I'm hoping my two tiny contributions of worms (100 worms, total, give or take) will start to reap benefits, as they reproduce.  In researching worms, (those of you who know me don't blink at that statement), I found out that their eggs hatch in 21 days.  Hopefully, they've been laying a lot of eggs.

The bed on the right in the back has been planted with corn, cucumbers, gourds, radishes, bok choy, and lettuce.  I'm hoping to plant the next bed with onions, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and other friendlies.

The big front bed, just behind the pond, will get some nice perennial flowers, along with some herbs and a few other plants (not sure yet).  The pond edges will get some waterplants, mostly horsetails and tules and sedges - things that the ducks won't eat.  We hope.

Immediately to the left of the pond will be a higher water feature, where I hope to keep duckweed to supplement the ducks.  I had an interesting encounter trying to get duckweed at a local nursery... they accidentally gave me water fern, and neither of us were smart enough to know the difference.  But, the ducks sure did.  Water fern is as invasive as duckweed, but ducks don't like to eat it, so I don't want it. 

We also found a surprise under our giant redwood tree when we came home one day:


Yes, that's a graphic description of a half-eaten striper on our lawn.  Judging from the bite marks, I agree with my brother-in-law's suggestion that it was dropped by an osprey.  Pretty cool!  And gross, too, I suppose.  Also, it probably would have just barely been legal, (18 inches), so it was a good-sized fish.

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