One Big Planter Box

It's Enormous!

So we've finally got our raised bed installed, thanks to a lot of sweat equity from my husband, family, and friends. It looks lovely, and since it's made of cedar, it smells great and will last forever without imparting any arsenic or BPAs into our food.

Once my current crop of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beets, and tomatoes is done, we'll be planting some more root vegetables, like potatoes, so we can benefit from the nice depth of the box. It's about 20 inches deep.

It's got strong brackets at each corner and 10 inch timber screws, so we don't have to worry about it blowing away in Hurricane Sandy.

In other news, I think I've almost resolved our inchworm infestation - I'm only finding one a day now. This is probably because we're officially out of cauliflower.

Also, now that it's getting colder, we're enjoying how nice and warm it is in there, and looking forward to some tasty veggies.

So, what are you up to in the garden today? 

Post your updates in the comments.

Hungry Inchworms

We're being invaded!

One of the wonderful things about having our garden inside is that the birds don't spread seeds for weeds all over it, and they don't eat our fruits and veggies.

BUT (and this is a big one), since they can't get into the greenhouse, they can't eat all the bugs off my plants either. This means we've got a bit of an inchworm infestation.

So, I've spent the last few days picking inchworms off my plants. They seemed to find my remaining cauliflower especially delicious.

At this point, it's clear we're going to have to re-plant, or we aren't going to get any cauliflower this year. I hope those nice, fat inchworms enjoyed themselves.

Our Brussels sprouts got some of the same treatment, and the little green guys even made it as far as my arugula. It seems like they don't like green beans too much, so those are safe so far. I've been taking them outside and moving them into the hedge, where they can winter over in comfort - away from all of my tasty veggies.

In other news, our tomatoes, cabbage, beets, and herbs are doing just fine - I'm checking them daily for inchworms and don't see any yet.

So, what's growing in your garden? Have you ever dealt with inchworms? How did you get rid of them?

Bunnies Break into the Greenhouse

We've Been Robbed!

There are a lot of wild bunnies living in our neighborhood, which makes it a cute, but risky, place to garden. I've tried any number of bunny-go-away remedies - they tend to just jump right over the bunny fence, and I've never been entirely comfortable spraying cayenne pepper all over my veggies because I know it hurts them.

So, in my outdoor garden, I do three things:

1) I leave a little clover in between the plants. It grows wild in our yard, adds nitrogen to the soil, and sates bunny hunger.
2) I pick tomatoes just as they start to ripen, or something (bunny, bird, or other) eats them.
3) I grow greens they don't like - like arugula.

I had given up on growing things like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower because rabbits just like them sooooo much. But now that I have a greenhouse, I should be able to grow those, right?

Well, right. Sort of.

The other day, we came home and the door the greenhouse was wide open. It's latched, but not locked. Nothing seemed to be missing so we shut it and then went to run some errands. We came back and hour or two later, and the door was ominously hanging open, again, and you can see in the photo above what the furry culprit did to our cauliflower. I'm hoping I can save it, but I might just need to plant more.

In the mean time, my husband has installed four barrel latches (two in front, two in back), so that the doors stay closed no matter what. This will also help keep the heat in, which we  need since it's getting cooler.

Here's a mug shot so we can identify the criminal if we see them again....

Setting Up (Green)housekeeping

It's time for a little interior decorating.

 We got a lot done this weekend. First, we went on a lumberyard adventure. After pricing out all of the options, we decided to do the raised beds in cedar, rather than composite lumber. We're actually happier with this choice - it's more expensive than regular pressure-treated lumber, but won't leach arsenic into our plants.

Cedar also turned out to be cheaper than composite, is all-natural and will pretty much last forever. Regular, non-pressure-treated lumber from most other wood won't work either - pine, for example, would rot and have to be replaced every year.

So, we got the lumber, rebar, and other supplies for the raised beds, and set the lumber in the greenhouse to season a bit while we go back to our regular jobs this week.

Then, it was time to move the rest of my plants into the greenhouse, as well as some other creature comforts. It was also time to move my green beans into a roomier pot. They seemed a little traumatized, but I'm hoping they'll perk up again in a few days. Our greens, cauliflower,  and Brussels sprouts seem to be enjoying the nice weather in there, and the tomato, beet, and cabbage seedlings are small, but hanging in there until I have more room for them.

We took a well-deserved break in our sunny, warm space. We're still amazed at the temperature difference between inside and outside.

Next weekend, we'll be taking a stab at getting the raised beds together. My husband will be the star of the show - this kind of building project is his specialty and he's got it all planned out.

So, what's growing with you? Please leave a note in the comments.