On The Road Again–New Garden Thoughts

Just missed a powerful tropical rain storm coming in off the Atlantic near Jacksonville. Went through there yesterday about noon. Glad to have missed most of that. Now in North Carolina near Statesville (just southwest of Winston-Salem). Having a little coffee thinking about what will be in my Ohio garden, which, as  noted earlier the month in this blog, will be mostly from seed. I’ll plant beets, carrots, a few kinds of lettuce, bush beans and my usual basil, dill and other spices. I may be able to stop at a nursery today and get a few plants that already have a good start.

I  have some big pots and a left over pile of soil in which to plant some cherry tomatoes, perhaps a few cucumber plants, and maybe a few zucchini squash that will run up a trellis.That should be about enough as I am restricted to what I can get from a few raised  beds and odd pots. As always I have protected against an early expected critter invasion with a chicken wire covering of the beds. The coverings come off and on in sections and I am able to work the beds.

In my other nearby garden (part of last year’s first community garden). I’ll just plant a few bush beans and throw in some leaf mulch and additional compost as the season continues. It will be interesting to see how the Community Garden Group composter performs as the season moves along. When I left town last September folks were loading in leaves and all sorts of other organic matter.

I’m expecting better yields this year as I should have more sunlight during the best part of the day. Several very large Ash trees just to the south of my planting beds have been removed due to the a borer beetle disease which seems now endemic in the area and all but untreatable.

So it seems the sun will persist a little later into the early afternoon and, in addition, my solar oven will produce an early afternoon tea with less moving around to catch the sun’s rays that I had to do last year.

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5 responses to “On The Road Again–New Garden Thoughts

  1. Did you build your own solar oven?

  2. Yes–with cardboard and aluminum foil. Works very well–just focus sun’s rays off the aluminum onto the tea pot. Get’s pretty hot in about an hour–depending on air temperature and sun’s intensity. Lot’s of options for simple solar ovens on the Internet.

  3. I am going to build one this summer. Have loads of plans but never met anyone who tried it themselves before. Just wondering if they really worked. Thanks!

    • They are actually quite simple to make–cost is only aluminum foil and some cardboard. I actually built several over a 2 hour period. Just cut up pieces of boxes and tape the pieces together to the right size. Use enough tape to make the cardboard framework stable. Then cover everything with aluminum foil–as flat as possible. You want the aluminum foil to concentrate the light all back to one point.

      There are lots of variations. Don’t build anything sophisticated until you are through experimenting and have something that works reasonably well and quickly. I built one that concentrated a lot of light and was insulated with saran wrap–it heated up the vegetables and held the heat well. But so far everything cooks slower that a conventional oven. I’m hopeful I can do better this summer. I’ll let you know the design if I get something I really like.

      • thebeadden

        Thanks, Rich Lynne. I have about 10 different designs. I’ll start with the cardboard and go from there. I’ll be posting the results on my garden blog. It’s great to know someone who had tested them! I have read the cooking times are much longer. Mother Earth News has some great tips about them on-line. I can’t wait to hear your results.

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