Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Back to work.

After a good tournament weekend in Alabama, it's good to be home. 
Put me in, Coach!!  I'm ready to play!

Team picture.  They took second place out of the 12 teams competing.

For a quick catch up.... I made more homemade laundry detergent at the end of last week.  It takes washing soda, borax, and soap.  I use the Fels Naptha.  I like the scent it has.  You can use just about any soap.  I know some people who used the Zest citrus flavored soaps, and they loved it.

After melting down the soap in a pot of boiling water, I add it to the soda and borax in a 5-gal pail, then fill the whole bucket with hot water.  Let it sit for a couple of days to gel up, go after it with a stick blender, and it's ready to go!
Soap is almost melted.  It doesn't take long at all if you grate it first.

Half a cup of Borax, one cup of Washing Soda.

Today was a busy day for me.
We have a large water fountain just outside the sun room door on the patio.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out if it worked, or even how to turn it on, so.... I turned it into a salad garden.  I LOVE water features, but the idea of a salad garden was irresistible!  I DID cover the holes where the water would go into the pump so if I ever wanted to reverse it, the pump wouldn't be full of dirt.  (Like that's gonna happen, LOL!)  I filled the bottom half way up  with wood mulch to act as a water sponge and reduce the amount of dirt I had to bring in.  I added about 2 inches of mushroom compost, then bought a bunch of Miracle Grow garden soil.  Here's where I got a bit weird. 

Do you know what that is?  Nope.  You don't.  It's diaper lining, scraped out of a clean diaper and thrown into water.  You've seen those products that you add to dirt that swell and hold water, right?  Well, diaper lining is the same stuff and no nasty ingredients.  Did you know your toddler's diaper can hold approximately 6 cups of water??  Well, they can.  That's how much water I used per diaper lining!

After scraping the diaper lining into a bucket of water and letting it sit for a few minutes, it becomes a clear gel.  This pic has some not-totally-saturated bits in it, but it was almost clear after adding more water and massaging it in.  I added a bunch of this to the soil I added to the salad garden, partly to make my soil go farther, but mostly because this is located in the hottest part of the patio, and the sun is brutal here.  I'm counting on this stuff keeping my crops alive!  I'm afraid without it, I'd have to water about 4 times a day in the summer.  With it, I'm thinking a good soaking in the morning, and maybe again in the evening during the hottest part of the season should do it.

Yes, that's a diaper sitting on the second tier.
Here it is almost finished.  I had to mix up one more bag of the soil to finish filling the bottom.  That's when my phone ran out of battery, so no more pics.  After getting that done, I grabbed some deer netting and cut lengths to fit from the very top of the structure to the patio floor and shrouded it from top to bottom.  I have an outdoor kitty and I didn't want him to think this was a new luxury litter box!  I actually had to chase him out of the third tier to apply the netting!  Cheeky little bugger.  I was excited about my salad garden, and I went ahead and planted some bibb lettuce into the second and third tiers. They will be stinkin' adorable when they are sweet little heads of butter-crunch lettuce, ready to be plucked whole and used as individual salads!!  I will plant new ones between the growing ones after about 2 weeks so we can have a continuing crop.  I'll probably plant the bottom tomorrow with radishes, onions, carrots, kale, lettuces, spinach, mustard greens, cabbage.... OH!  Can't wait! "Hi!  Welcome to our home for a grilled dinner!  Your salad is over in the dirt, help yourself!!"  LOL!


  1. Oy, good luck with that! Lettuce is a cool-weather crop, so I don't think any amount of water is going to help in the heat of summer. The plants will bolt (set seed). You MIGHT be able to coax them a little further along if you give them shade, but realistically, things like Swiss chard will fare better for leafy greens when the weather warms up.

  2. Cindy, Remember, it's still February! I'm hoping to get several harvests before the summer heat kills it all off. I'll put something else in there for July-Sept, then I'll replant the salad stuff for the cooler Fall season!