Crater Lake

Crater Lake
Crater Lake in May

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Building the Greenhouse and Spring Comes to Rocky Point

Now we have to go buy the soil and compost to fill the bedsI am still learning how to embed a SmugMug slideshow, without much luck.  Yeah, I know I can do it with Picasa, but I am stubborn.  So you can try out this link if you want to see the process  greenhouse slideshow on SmugMug

daffodils at last at Rocky PointSpring has finally come to Rocky Point. Even though we have fits of snow and hail predicted for tonight and tomorrow, the fact that the daffodils are blooming is a sure sign that spring is winning.  Maybe.  Mo actually started up the big mower this week and mowed all the lawns, so that is another good sign.  It has been a long, cold spring most everywhere in the west, I think, with temperatures averaging 10 to 20 degrees lower than normal, and most flowering plants running 2 to 3 weeks behind their normal schedule.

flowers 5-12-2011 10-01-00 AMOne more sure sign of true spring is the bursting of the aspen leaves, and there are huge drifts of aspen along the lowlands bordering Upper Klamath Lake.  I saw a faint hint of green yesterday, just a breath of a cloud of green on the tips of the aspen branches.  Ahhh.  Finally.

I am truly excited about the greenhouse.  The raised beds are 12 inches deep, and I have a good amount of square footage to attempt some close cropped, raised bed gardening.    Because the soil is thick and rich, you can plant veggies much closer together, and that also keeps the weeds down a lot.  I just discovered another lovely little treat, I can sit on a 2x12 bench and have access to just about everything without having to be on my knees all the time.  I’m tickled. 

the primroses are really happy right nowOn another note, a recent commenter thought the greenhouse was a great idea since produce was going to get more and more expensive with the huge increases in fuel costs.  Hmmm.  Wondering just how much my tomatoes will cost this year.  We didn’t build the greenhouse to save money, but so that we could have any kind of veggie garden at all in our cool, forested, animal infested environment.  Did I say infested?  Oops.  Wildlife in the forest is supposed to be one of the benefits, but as a lover of gardens, I am not quite sure about that.

I can still manage a shovel!Back to the cost of the tomato.  The greenhouse cost 699 on sale at Harbor Freight.  (Do I count the gas to drive twice over to Medford to buy it and then pick it up?) The 2x12 untreated fir we used cost 71. (We couldn’t find a local supplier for cedar or redwood and didn’t want to use treated lumber). The gravel was part of the load Mo purchased for our road, so I guess I won’t count that part.  The soil cost a total of 130 for composted dairy waste and topsoil.  Labor?  well, we won’t count that at all, but safe to say it was more than going to the store to buy a tomato. I spent about 23 bucks on some heritage seeds and about ten bucks on starts, and who knows how much more I will spend.  I’m an impulsive crazy spender when it comes to plants and gardens.  But for now, lets just say we are into the greenhouse to the tune of $935.00.  Since I have six tomato plants, and can expect maybe a max of 5 pounds per plant, I am paying about $31.00 per pound for tomatoes, with some lettuce, spinach, herbs and other stuff thrown in.  I really don’t expect to get 30 pounds of tomatoes, but who knows.

Snow is predicted for tonight, but the tomatoes are safeAll I know for sure, is that it is a deal at any price and worth every single penny.  I will have all the stuff for fresh salsa, and basil to my hearts content, one of my most fragrant favorite herbs. I won’t waste a bunch of lettuce because I buy too much because it is too far to town, and that will certainly make Mo happier.  I’m awful about buying too much produce. I haven’t had a real vegetable garden in years, and have no desire to return to the Toro Tiller days when I gardened in a 2 acre plot.  This is just perfect.  Perfect.  Well, at least hopefully it is perfect.  I guess I’ll find out after a summer of trying it out.

yup.  a new camera is needed! Can't get those little birds in focus using the 3x telephoto on my point and shootWhile we worked on the beds yesterday, I also decided it was time to move the bird feeders away from any and all lawn and hung a wire from two big firs out in the National Forest  just beyond our property.  I now have about 6 feeders, with different kinds of food to hopefully attract a few more songbirds.  The blackbirds and squirrels were making quick work of my bird food stash and they loved throwing seed everywhere for the chipmunks and rabbits to find.  Too much scratching going on out there, for sure, and the flowers were suffering.  I keep trying for bird photos, and am embarrassed to put anything up at all, but just so you have an idea, here is the bird feeding station.  Gotta get that camera soon!  So far we have lots of grosbeaks, chickadees, finches, blackbirds, jays, and some other little ones that I haven’t identified yet.  Time to get out the binoculars and the Sibley bird book! After all, we are in the Klamath Basin, one of the birding capitals of the country.

The daffodils are blooming, the birds are singing, and the veggies are growing.  What more could I ask for?  No snow?? hah, not a chance.