We continued marching down the list of gardening chores. We put some Goodwin Creek Lavender and Blue Fescue along the mow strip last year. One of the lavender was the unfortunate victim of (I believe) dog pee and half succumbed. The other half of it has been slowly making a recovery but it looks withered and sad next to the rest of our lavender which simply exploded over the last year. We went to the nursery looking for its replacement but they weren't in stock so they'll be ordering some for us. The Trident Maple we put in have likewise taken hold. Travis was like an anxious new parent fretting over these maples earlier this year until they finally budded and put out new growth. Some pictures to illustrate what a difference a year makes.
One of our chores last weekend was to add some edging around this mow strip. The
We also laid down some fresh cocoa shell mulch. I must say, the smell is just as intoxicating as it was last year. It almost made the work enjoyable just to be able to smell sweet sweet chocolate while you're spreading mulch. The manufacturer recommends spraying it down with water to help the shells curl and lock together which also has the side effect of releasing extra chocolately-goodness.
The final thing on our list was to put the summer vegetables into the ground. Travis offered to build me tomato cages this year as the ones I bought last year gave in about half-way through the season and I declared I was done with cheap metal cages. Being the engineer that he is, Travis set out to make me tomato cages to last a lifetime.
The previous owner had bequeathed us some scrap wood in the garage rafters. Travis made use of these so the measurements were chosen to waste as little of the boards as possible. I'm sure you can fudge most of them without problems.
|Travis found concrete reinforcement mesh to be installed inside each frame -- it's a 10-gauge, steel, 6"-by-6" mesh. For each panel, you want to trim out 3 by 6 holes making about 1-1/2'-by-3'. He picked up some small bolt cutters for this job.|
|In my garden, we're using a diamond/double-triangle formation for each pair of tomato plants. We planted one pair this last weekend and will put in another pair in a month to stagger harvests. We're doing a lean-to for the cucumber plants. We'll be adding some finer mesh to the panels for the cucumber plants as we're aiming for a this kind of trellis.|
|Close up of threading the stakes through the eye hooks to secure and support the structure.|
|For the lean-to, Travis used pipe clamps as stoppers for the eye hooks. The pipe clamps are easily positionable and can be removed when you don't need them on the stake.|
There's some finishing tasks left to be done. One is spray-painting the steel wire to help ward off corrosion. Travis also thought of filling the bottom channel where the steel wire slipped into the notch with some expanding glue or 2-part-epoxy to prevent water from collecting and corroding things.