Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Yesterday I had a couple of things to fix. The first was two tears in my row cover. I'm using Agribon 15. In the past I've always used 19 which is much sturdier. The 19 would last years. But the 15 is very fragile. We had a very intense wind storm last week and two of the spots that had clips on them ripped.

I played tag with the intermittent rain to get the row cover fixed. I'd go out and start getting rained on then I'd come back in and it would stop. Eventually I fixed both holes by just ignoring the almost nonexistant rain. I wonder if I'm going to be doing this all summer long. The fabric is very light and won't heat up the plants as much, but the fragility might be an issue.

As I was walking through the garden I noticed that some weeds were growing up between the beds and that paths. I figured big weeds would be hard to get out so I'd better clean them out fast. I swept the paths and especially the edges where bricks meet bricks. I got out all the little germinated weeds. I'm going to have to buy one of those thin weed control tools for when I do let the weeds get out of control. I'm sure it will happen. It always does. Maybe not this year, but some year it will.

Then it was the compost pile. The pile was distinctly smelly. It had gone anaerobic. I needed to turn the pile to get some air in it and add some dry leaves to dry it out a bit. I'm shocked it was so wet. We put in kitchen waste and leaves. The leaves that were put in were mostly dry. I would have expected the pile to be too dry and not too wet. This is a covered compost pile so it doesn't get any rain. But blech! Turning over a compost pile that has gone anaerobic is disgusting. But it ought to have solved the problem. I'll have to keep on top of the issue more.

I also found a pack of cheese in the pile. Cheese does not belong in a compost pile. It won't break down and just gets disgusting. So I fished it out and tossed it. Then sent an email off to all the others that use the pile to remind them what doesn't go in it. I'm guessing they already knew that and it was just a mistake or some guest tossed it in, but the email was just to make sure.

Once that disgusting chore was done I got a nice surprise. The UPS man - who is now my friend again - delivered my rose. It is Zephirne Drouhin an old rose that grows on its own rootstock. This rose ought to be perfect for the spot. It is a climber but is mostly thornless, which is good for the entrance to the garden. I don't want to be stabbed too many times. In addition it is a fragrant rose. I hate roses that aren't fragrant. I'll be planting one, but still it is so wrong fro a rose not to smell like a rose. It was in a pot so I didn't have to get to it immediately. I watered the pot and put it outside with my transplants. It will have to go in sometime this week when it isn't raining on me.


  1. I need to turn my piles of compost this weekend. I have been kind of ignoring them recently. The smell of a pile that has gone rank is a bit overpowering but luckily some air and more browns added should make things right again.

    That rose plant looks like a really healthy start.

  2. I don't know why I have haven't been making much use of my fabric row cover lately, which is is a shame because I'm sure my greens would grow faster if I did. I think it's out of sure laziness.

    I love climbing roses and am hoping to plant a few this year.

  3. I never really thought to sew on patches for rips, that's a great idea for extending the life of the row cover! I know you use pvc pipes to hold up the cover but how to you anchor the pipes to the ground. Last year I let the row cover drape over the plants but this year I would like to get a tunnel system going.

  4. Based on your blog, I've thrown a row cover over my spinach as well, though not nearly as pretty as yours. I've been trying to find a way to work a post on that into my blog schedule, so much is going on, but I will, if only to show off your lovely cover.

    I don't have a clue what material you used, but I used whatever came with my couches to cover them in shipping. They're very fragile. One of the three I saved already has a tear. Never thought of repairing it.

    Just yesterday I was out and rigged up a way to keep the cover off the plants. Later I thought of using my hoop covers, but I doubt it's big enough.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I tried Agribon 15 first and it was way to fragile. I keep Agribon 19 on my beds throughout the whole season here in Montana and it works great for me! Reduces leaf miner, better moisture retention and faster growth here. The plants don't get too hot and in fact seem to grow much faster. I used to use 6mil plastic at night but would have to be sure so remove it right away in the morning and the Agribon fabric is so much better, I only remove it to weed, harvest and water. Ugly yes, but works so well.

  6. Of course I bought a bulk roll of Agribon 15 from Johnny's this spring so I have way more than I need. Yes, it's fragile, as the many tears can attest to. I may bite the bullet next year and purchase the 19. In the meantime I have plenty to make repairs with.

    Elizabeth, I use a Mr. Landscaper emitter system (available at Lowes) to water my beds so I don't need to remove the row covers except to weed occasionally. Some photos here - http://www.media-organic.com/a-3-zone-irrigation-system

    (BTW - the system is now 4 zones)

  7. I looked up that rose, very nice!