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MadMom's picture

Went today on an Urban Farming tour sponsored by Sustainable Sandhills, which is a local group pushing urban farming and "green" living.  I ended up buying a rain barrel, which is a beautiful thing.  I'm going to put it on the patio so I can use the water for my plants and my Earthboxes.  Might as well use rain water.  I'm not quite ready for the worm composting, though.  I can just see DH if I put a big herd of worms under the sink, LOL.  Small steps, right?  Bought some more asparagus root crowns.  I figure that if it takes another year to even attempt to harvest them, I should have more.  DH says I tend to go overboard.  I think he's got a point, but who cares?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!


Edited 4/11/2009 9:34 pm ET by MadMom

Canuck's picture

(post #52215, reply #15 of 36)

I think the idea is that collected rainwater has a chance to start collecting fungusy things etc. Rainwater from the sky is "fresher." I think in your climate you could start peas in the ground. I remember Martha doing that in her area--and you're a lot warmer.

MadMom's picture

(post #52215, reply #16 of 36)

Your explanation makes sense.  I will plant the beans and pea seeds in the new gardens as soon as they are dug.  Haven't decided yet what to do about the rosemary.  I dug up a huge rosemary plant which had partially died over the winter. 
Pulled the green stems off and put them in a glass of water in the kitchen.  Decided it was easier to buy a new one than to try to trim the old one.


Moved the rain barrel around and set it up, because we have off and on rain today.  Cut off the downspout from the corner of the eaves, so it should fill up okay.  Planted another 25 carrots (well, probably about 75, but will thin them).  I'm really enjoying this.  Now if I can get my DSIL and his brother up here with shovels to dig up the other gardens, I will be a true urban farmer!  Right now am taking DGS to Old Navy to buy clothes for school.  Fortunately, the younger boy can wear his older brother's old clothes, which means he doesn't get much new stuff, but it helps.  Both boys are growing like weeds! Speaking of weeds, I'm pulling them out as I find them.  DH thinks I will get over this soon, and maybe I will, but right now I'm having a grand time.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Canuck's picture

(post #52215, reply #19 of 36)

I'm envious. I've seen huge rosemary bushes in France and would love that. Never gonna happen though.


You mentioned a filter, I think, for the top of the barrel? Have you installed that? I think it keeps twigs and shingle bits out. The City of Toronto sells subsidized rain barrels, and I sometimes see a few hooked up together to catch the overflow. Haven't got around to it yet. Also, keep an eye out for mosquitoes; they shouldn't be able to get int, but if they do, I understand that a drop or two of detergent affects the surface tension and messes up their laying. Can't swear to the truth of it, but you don't want to be creating your own swamp :) 

Heather's picture

(post #52215, reply #17 of 36)

Canuck is right, start your beans and peas right in the ground. They will be much happier. Here, I plant my peas in February and the beans in March. The ground can't be soggy or the seeds will rot.

BonnieinHolland's picture

(post #52215, reply #35 of 36)

I don't make these things up.  I am a dedicated gardener.  Damping off is a common problem for gardeners starting seeds in pots indoors or such warmer environment.  The warmer environment, created by being indoors or in a cold frame that warms up, and the pots usually being in those trays with plastic covers, allow the fungus in the rainwater a good chance of growing and spreading through all the pots.  Outdoors, in the natural environment with its cooler temperatures and wind, the fungus doesn't have the necessary conditions to grow and do its damage.  cheers, Bonnie

Edited 4/14/2009 12:24 am ET by BonnieinHolland


Edited 4/14/2009 12:24 am ET by BonnieinHolland

MadMom's picture

(post #52215, reply #36 of 36)

I never thought you made it up, and honestly meant it just sounded "crazy" to me, who as everyone surely knows, is NOT a dedicated gardener.  I thought you meant using rainwater on seedlings outdoors and could not understand the difference between using collected rainwater or the rain which just falls on them.  If you mean seedlings started indoors, I always just use water from the tap, which comes from our well. 


I sincerely apologize if you took offense at my post.  Rereading it, I can certainly see where you would, but that was not the intent at all.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!