Saturday, October 18, 2014

New Project - Building a strawberry planter bed from reclaimed deck wood


So I have all these pieces of wood from the deck that aren't suitable for much because most have dry rot pretty bad and while I am good with letting them just rot some were slightly usable. I put some on the hillside to use as steps but I decided to make a cheap strawberry bed with the others. I eat a lot of strawberries as part of my daily diet and they can be pricey..I have room in the veggie garden so I decided to build one.

Strawberry beds are a different size than my other planter beds. My normal planters are 4 feet by 8 feet to fit a lot of plants. I made the strawberry beds only 2 feet wide by 8 feet long. That way I can put 2 strawberry plants across and get to them as I need. I started off by picking some of the better boards and cutting them to size with a circular saw. 
Easy cutting with a circular saw
 Not all of the boards were perfect and there was a long one that had a crack in it. So I used a shorter board and screwed that board to the longer board to repair the break.
Left board is cracked - using a smaller piece and screwing them together.

Making the patch
 Next I screwed the boards together at the corner and used one of the old stiles from the deck railing as the corner support piece. At first I tried nails but they didn't hold so I had to resort to screws which is okay because they are less work for me!
Screwing the corner post to one side board

Finished the corner

Framing is finished! Long narrow bed is perfect for strawberries.

Next I used a roll of gopher guard that I had leftover in my garage and the width of the bed fit the gopher wire perfectly

Staple the wire into place

To hold the dirt in a bit better I put a layer of cardboard down first.

Filled it up with compost and soil

The 3 beds - I put straw back over the strawberry one to keep the soil from blowing off. The other 2 beds will be for onions and garlic this winter.
The bare root strawberry plants and the onion sets are not in yet at the nursery but should be in a couple of weeks. 
I am planting garlic now from one of the best garlic heads from last years crop.
The prettiest and largest garlic head from last years crop! I hope it grows as well this year!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Have you ever seen bees do this?


Because the drought has been so bad, I have been putting out bird seed to try and help the birds out a little bit. It is helping a lot of birds except quail, which I haven't seen all summer and hope they can come back if we get some rain. I put it out on my rock wall in the front yard area..
I walked out in the morning and heard lots of buzzing and saw in the piles of birdseed that the bees were there, digging around in it. There were so many in the piles that the birds were afraid of them. 
About 10 bees digging in the seed pile!
I decided to film them because I hadn't seen this before, and the only thing I can come up with is that the seeds have pollen on them and the bees were grabbing that from them. You know a bee colony is desperate when they do that!