4.17.2013

The Pallet Garden and Finishing Up~Outside Improvements pt5

Ack! I'm so late getting my garden in this year. By a month, but given how our winter went this year, I probably could have started in February. I could be sitting here, writing to you and chomping on a fried green tomato right now. Instead, I've got dirt under my nails, mud on my clothes, and did I really just find a pile of dead grass in my ponytail? With everything going on with the Outside Improvements, wrist surgery and breaking my ankle, the garden kept getting pushed back. But I just couldn't push it back anymore. I got the best seeds this year and have to try them out...so, cast on the hand, boot on the foot  and sweat on my brow, I got busy with the Pallet Garden.

I got my seeds from this place. Doesn't this just scream 'Buy your seeds from me!!??'


This is in the entry to Homestead Heritage. A group of fundamentalist Christians that have a literal homestead here in Waco. They make award winning cheeses, have classes on doing everything from having your own bee hives to canning and cheese making, and mill their own grain. They have a Sorghum Festival each year and all kinds of stuff going on. They also grow their own food, so the seeds are from their crops.

I love how they have it set up. You just pick what you want and scoop into a bag. The scoops are labeled by size and the size gives you the price.






Now, I actually started my seedlings back at the end of February thinking I would have them in the ground by mid March. But up until today, they were still in their little seed starting tray...looking sad as can be.




This is mid planting today. See how sad?



Our ground is a fight. Thick Texas clay that is perfect for Bermuda Grass and weeds is a back-breaking labor of love to tame for a garden every year. We probably spend about $300 a year to get it prepped...between renting a tiller, buying compost and top soil, and all the bags upon bags of Miracle Grow and mulch. After everything we do, I'm still spending half my growing season fighting weeds. I wasn't having it this year. This year, I've decided I'm tired.

I've been doing a lot of skimming over research about pallet gardens and decided to give it a shot. I've got nothing to lose except the cost of the seeds, so why not.

I started by putting a double layer of landscaping fabric along the bottom side of the pallet. I stapled about every inch, and completely forgot to get a picture. I put a layer of corrugated paper on the ground, and set it in place. I stapled up over the sides to keep the dirt in place on the ends.


For those of you with a disability or just can't lift heavy things, this is how I got the dirt across the yard. I just drag it along on top of a drop cloth.



I filled it about half way and then added my seedlings. As they grow over the next few weeks, I will add more dirt to give the roots room to grow.


They say to make sure you are not using chemically treated pallets as to reduce risk of the chemicals leeching into your food. I'm not sure how you tell. It's probably by the neon green and blue paint strewn across it. Eh, I'm exposed to a lot worse than what these pallets can throw at me. I'll take my chances because guess who's not pullin' weeds this year? This girl!

From right to left: Tomatoes, habeneroes, artichoke, tomatoes, tomatoes, artichoke, collards, spinach, pole beans, cabbage. We don't need a whole lot of the last few, thus they got small spaces. I have a plain, large pallet I might try to get done and throw the rest of the seeds at to see what sticks.

As for the rest of the yard, it's pretty much done. When Mark gets home from work today I will have him help me clean up the last few projects and I'll snap some pics. These are the things we've been working on the last couple of days...

Mark finished up the never-ending cobble stones around the deck addition:









By the pool, there was this bucket of concrete stuck in the ground with a pole and wire sticking out of it. It looks like they maybe had a light here at one time.



Who wants to dig up a bucket of concrete? Not me. So, ya work with what the Good Lord gave ya. Or, with what you've picked up at yard sales and Lowe's. Either one.






This is the first time I used this Gorilla brand epoxy. I love, looove, lurve it! I'm already looking for my next thing to glue. We got a stand for a garden gazing ball at Lowe's, along with some LED decorative lights. I put the stand over this pole and used foaming Gorilla Glue on the bottom to attach it to the concrete, then spread rocks over it.





These lights were green, so I turned them off and added push button type LED lights to the bottom, inside.


After I took these pics, I decided that the large light would serve better over by the small deck stairs.


You can't really see these steps at night, so I think I like it better here.

After we were done, we sat outside enjoying the evening. There was a little bit of thunder, and Daisy forgot she wasn't a lap dog. But she made it work!



While I was working on this light project, I also worked on painting our old patio chairs.




The color is Hammered Bronze by Rustolium.

The next day, I painted the deck. It was kind of a tan color that we used last year. We used Restore Brand deck paint that we got at Home Depot. It has sand in it for texture. Eh, it works ok...but it gets pretty dingy looking, so I just went over it with gray deck paint.



I couldn't find the paint roller extender sticks, so bamboo rod and duct tape to the rescue!






I was going for darker...and the color did look darker in the store. Oh well, it will do for this year. And Daisy seems to like it. :)

All I can do is breath a big sigh of relief! I love the feeling of accomplishment and just being done. And right now, I'm going to enjoy the feeling of a shower!

Y'all come back soon for the big reveal! Just in time for our crawfish boil and our vacation starts right after that. You don't want to miss Blogger Road Trip! We are driving to Gettysburg...hitting every big ball of yarn and giant rocking chair along the way...and ending with the Ghosts of Gettysburg. 

Cheers!
Jodi

2 comments:

  1. it all looks so good, Jodi! great job! we're having to wait until fall rolls back around to start our garden, but i think we're gonna go the pallet route, too. can't wait to see how yours goes so you can give me invaluable tips! bees by next spring? *fingers crossed!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you have bees next spring. I want some Rockin' H honey!

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