Olemike's Blog

Archive for May, 2012

Where Oh Where Did My Ladybugs Go?

Posted by olemike on 05/31/2012

Has anyone ever wondered what happens to all of the ladybugs they may put out in their garden? They must be real nomads because the next day after we put out about 1500 ladybugs, I couldn’t find hardly any next day.

My story begins with the aphids we saw on our Patty Pan squash.

So, off we go to Green Acres Nursery to get some ladybugs.  We bought this bag of 1500 and dispersed (in the evening just before dark) all 1500 into our 5 raised beds with most going to the squash bed.

Next day, here is one of the few that remained in the garden.

Question is, where do they all go?   I don’t know of many neighbors who have a garden so my garden should seem like a Sunday brunch buffet.

Any ideas out there?

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2012 Spring Garden Update

Posted by olemike on 05/23/2012

I finally have all of my raised beds planted so thought I would do an update for my blog.

The 5 beds you see contain  Yellow Patty Pan Squash, Zucchini, Cucumbers (being grown on a trellis), Pole Beans, Beets, Tomatoes (both determinate for canning and indeterminate for eating). Nothing looks really great right now but many of these were just recently set out.

Bed # 5 still has onions and garlic which we planted in the fall.

We are just now starting to harvest and dry them.

Here is a recent picture of my potato box.  It is still growing quite well.  I do need to add some more soil right away.  This is as tall as I will make the box.

We should start to see some produce in a few weeks.  We are already getting some small Patty Pan squash forming.  It won’t be long now.

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Front Yard Landscaping

Posted by olemike on 05/13/2012

For some time, Leona and I have been wanting to remodel our front yard and exchange the majority of the lawn area for shrubs and other landscaping choices.  We wanted to conserve water and we felt this would achieve that goal.  The first two pictures show what we did to the front yard about 5 years ago shortly after we first moved to this house.

The next stage of the project which we are just finishing was to remove most of the sod in the front yard.  So I’m off to Hertz Tool Rentals to rent a sod cutter.

For those of you who have never done so, please don’t use a sod cutter right after a huge rain.  Take my word for it, sod is heavy when wet.  Thank goodness, I had Leona to roll up and load the sod onto the truck.  Seriously, my son Eric was here to help and we definitely needed his brawn.  Leona advertised “Free Sod” on Craigslist and we had about 10 respondents so we were able to give the sod away and did not have to haul it to the dump.

Next, we brought in some big rocks (Top Rock Landscaping) and placed in the area.

After that, we were off to Green Acres Nursery to select plants.  When we started planting, I dug the holes and Leona did the planting.

After, all the plants were in, I ran the drip lines and then brought in about 4 yards of black bark (from Hastie’s Capitol Sand and Gravel) to spread.   Additionally, I installed edging between us and our neighbors and brought in some small drainage rock for along the sidewalk.   So far, so good.

Next I needed to reroute some sprinkler lines for what little lawn I had left.

And finally, I installed new low voltage lights.

Two final pictures – Of my help-mate and supervisor without whose encouragement and prodding I would not have tackled this project.  She is the counter balance to my procrastination streak.

The last thing I need to do is rebuild the water valve in the back yard and install a flow restrictor and filter and then I can call the city for buy-off of the project.  They provide a $1/sq. ft. rebate if you meet certain requirements.

I can say with surety that we are glad this project is completed.  It’s been a lot of work.

Posted in Gardening | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Potato Box Update

Posted by olemike on 05/03/2012

I thought I would provide an update on how my potato box potatoes are doing.  Here is a before picture

and current.

So far so good – I added some more potting soil a  few days ago.  They are growing quite well.  Here’s hoping for some good potatoes.  Another update will follow in a few weeks.

Additionally, my onions and peas are also faring pretty well.  Take a look.

Posted in Gardening | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Jimtown Store – Northern California Day Trip

Posted by olemike on 05/03/2012

A day trip in the Alexander Valley – what could be better? Recently, my honey and I did just that. We had been in Santa Rosa, CA visiting relatives (Jason, Janaize, Georgia, and Caroline)

and decided to take a short trip to the Jimtown Store just northeast of Healdsburg.

It is a fantastic little place that is great for stopping when you are on a Sunday drive or a weekend wine tour.

It is a good place to have lunch when driving through the area. The thing I like most is the little picnic area in back. There are grape vines covering the patio and in the fall, clumps of grapes hang from the ceiling.

They have a nice lunch counter and various items for sale. In addition, they have antiques in the back of the store. The food is good and the service is great. If you are in the area, I highly recommend a stop at the Jimtown Store.

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