Hurricane Season Start

Hurricane season hasn’t started yet, but we already have our first named storm of the year.  Happy hurricane season everyone!  As of writing this it is still subtropical (I guess for specific weather nerd reasons it isn’t called a tropical depression), but expected to become a tropical storm.  As a wise guide once stated, it is never too early to start thinking about getting yourself ready for the storm.

I went around and found a few minor issues that could be a big problem if a storm were to hit.  These are easy to do now when I have free time, but would be stressful to complete when a storm is coming.

First up on the list, my screened in porch is getting old and one of the vertical supports broke loose.  It doesn’t hold the roof up, there are 4×4 posts for that, but buffeting winds would do a lot more damage with this part flapping around.  A few right angle brackets and metal screws secured it in place.


Second, I have a set of areca palms that have gotten too close to the house.  I probably shouldn’t have planted them that close in the first place, and might cut them out completely when they start pushing out the fence.  For now, I like them, but need them to be away from the house.  Again, under normal storms they aren’t a problem, but heavy winds could whip those fronds around enough to do real damage to the corner of the roof.


Last but not least my poor fence had another post shear off.  Not sure why they all happen on just this one side, but they do.  The left picture shows a distinct bend.  As it turns out the most bent post is actually rock solid, just not straight.  The one closer to the camera has broken off at the ground.  I left the broken post in place and sank another one next to it.  Everything is much more solid.  Thats it for now.  Time to enjoy a margarita and hope we have quiet season.

Botanical Fest

Our local university has a botanical fest every year.  It is a wonderful event.  Plant vendors galore and fun people everywhere!

They also usually have fun nature displays and animal groups.  Here is an adorable little bat!

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We started pulling our little wagon around and picking up lovely planties.

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Before we even got home we noticed one of the girls couldn’t wait to snack on our new plant selection.

By the time we finally did get home we had a pretty full wagon.  I traded my old wheelbarrow for this dump wagon a few weeks back and couldn’t be happier, it is really useful.

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With the plants out I used the wagon to mix up a batch of coconut coir.  A small brick of the stuff can soak up a lot of water and help keep it in the soil.  Unfortunately the brick is hard to breakup.

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A bit of sawing and soaking later and I had a big soupy mess.  I was going to toss in a bag of compost and vermiculate with this, mix it and call it potting soil.  I went a little overboard with the vermiculite.

I mixed equal parts of this stuff with compost to make a potting soil.  Some plants needed sprucing up, others were dead and needed complete replacement.

We probably need another 8 or 10 plants to finish out our replacements, but we are off to a good start and we have plenty of diy potting mix material.

 

Raised Garden

Our collection of pepper and tomato plants were starting to have a problem.  The tabasco plant was rapidly declining, and some of the other peppers had a burnt look to them.  After asking around we decided to move them from the front to the back.  Our front receives full sun from mid day on.  The back is filtered by some oak trees early on, full in the mid day, then house sheltered in the afternoon.  The results have been better, the plants look less withered when I go to water every afternoon.

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Honestly our little back garden area doesn’t look great.  We have made a few attempts at growing thins in there, but none have succeeded.  Many of the better gardeners in the area seem to forgo in ground planting for raised beds.  I guess our soil sucks for most things.  Lets try a raised bed.  The brick edgers came out and weed screen went down.  It worked out, we put screen around and behind the AC unit, and poured lava rock on it.  It needs more rock, but this should keep the grass from going too crazy back there.

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Lowe’s had garden soil on sale for 2 bucks a cubic foot, and HD had the cedar raised bed thing for 10 bucks off!  I put in two bags of compost for good measure along with the soil.  After some jockeying we got all our various tomatoes, peppers, and a few new vegetables in.  Any more plants and we will need to build another one of these units.

I am leaving the screen too wide until everything settles.  In retrospect I should have run it up the insides of the cedar.  Oh well, that is what next time is for!  Until then hopefully our plants thrive and we get more of those awesome little tomatoes the one bush was giving us.