Posts Tagged ‘perlite’

SpRiNg BrEaK!

March 20, 2011

Yes, we are a week late, but for a good reason.  Homeschoolers can take Spring Break whenever they want to!  So we did school all last week while our friends played.  This week, Rick’s brother, wife and daughter are in town to PLAY!  It started yesterday and shall continue for another six days!  WhoOoooo HOoooOOoo!

Today’s business was: street hockey game, dressmaking and container gardening.  Unsurprisingly, I chose container gardening.  (Only because I had half of the soil mixed on the tarp when the trip to the fabric store was announced.)  After much calculating and price shopping, the final mix for the ultimate container vegetable garden turned out to be: 1 cf (cubic foot) each of perlite, peat moss, compost and mulch.  There are so many different mix recipes out there, I had to do my research.  I do like the book The Square Foot Garden, but his mix is very expensive.  So I found all the ingredients and mixed it myself, well, with the help of my two sons and my 7-year-old daughter who LOVES to help!  And I added mulch.  Hey, it’s cheap and adds roughage to the mix.

Funniest thing happened as me and my sister-in-law were leaving the store with a flat-bed cart piled with huge soil bags….. the cart hit the first of the pavement bumps leading to our get-away car and half of the bags fell off onto the ground.  As we were laughing and setting our purses down to pick them up, a lady in a wheel chair pulled up and asked if she could help.  “Sure!”  (I was thinking, what exactly is she planning on doing to help???)  She held the cart still while we piled the bags a bit more securely That was nice!

One thing I did know was NOT to use the soil in the ground in AZ!  It is the same clay that the Hohokam Indians used to make clay pots.  After the sun shines on the clay soil at 120 degrees, it is as hard as a clay pot fresh out of the kiln!

As mentioned before, I was given large plastic barrels that were cut in half long-ways for my containers.  Yes, the hardware store sells cute little wooden fences for a 4’x4′ garden bed, but like I said, these were FREE!  And required next-to-nothing in set up.  I filled six of them today with my miracle mix and will plant tomorrow.  The heat and sunshine are always a concern here for wilting plants in the summer, so I lined the barrels along the west wall of our backyard, so they only get sun until 2:00.  Then they can recover until the next morning sunshine kisses their little leaves again.

(Pictures to follow when plants appear.)