Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vegetables Growing

It’s been one month since I planted the raised vegetable garden and I cannot believe how quickly the plants have grown. The combination of ample amounts of water – most of it coming from the garden hose, hot weather and lots of fertilizer have produced plants that will soon be bearing fruits.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Begonias in June

For several years, I have planted tuberous begonias in the pots on the north side of my house and they have performed very well. In fact the large blooms have been perfect as I come and go from my house. This was not the case this year. The plants started out looking great during the month of June, but July took its toll. They developed powdery mildew and some rot caused by the heat. Last night it was time to rip them out and replace them with some ferns. There is still a lot of summer left. If a few of your plants are not looking good as was my case, they can easily been replaced.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Support Your Local Farmer

This is the time of year to support your local farmers by visiting a farmer’s market. During the last week, I have been to several markets – the produce including the sweet corn have been excellent. I love to grill farm fresh sweet corn. Here is my fool proof grilling technique.

Heat your grill as hot as it can get.
Soak the corn – husks and all in water for at least a half hour or longer.
Put the corn on the grill and close the grill for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, turn the corn over. Close the grill and wait another 5 minutes.

After a total of 10 minutes on the grill, put the corn in an insulated cooler. Close the cooler and wait another 5 minutes. The time in the cooler steams the corn and keeps it hot. Take the corn out of the cooler as you need it and enjoy.

Monday, July 16, 2007


This past weekend, I finished the water feature in my backyard. With the help of four friends, the large stone was moved into the backyard and into the pool. No small feat.

These fountains are great to install. The rock has been drilled out and fitted with a pump and all the fittings. The bottom of the rock has a platform attached to it which raises the rock up. The pump is located inside this platform which makes it very easy to install. All you have to do is set it in place. After putting the rock in the pool, I found out that it was sitting lower than I wanted. This was easily fixed by setting the rock on a brick platform that raised it up nearly three inches.

The bottom of the large rock fountain was now just slightly higher than the top of the pool. Once the smaller stones were added, the large stone looked like it was resting on top of a bed of rocks. The smaller stones were placed on some heavy duty mesh that I picked up at a home supply store. To help hold the mesh up, I placed a few bricks inside of the pool for the liner to rest on. Now, I can sit back and enjoy the sound of water in my back yard.
Make your day a good one.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Working on the Fountain

This past weekend, I finished digging the hole for the preformed pool liner that will have my new rock fountain in it. Digging the hole was easy; it was getting the pool level that took lots of time. It is important to have the pool level so that the water level will be even once the fountain is in place and running.

As our hot weather continues, it is important to keep watering your yard and garden. One inch of water per week and do it all at one time which is far better than just a little water multiple times during the week.

Make your day a good one.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Heading West

My summer would not be complete without a trip to Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. I’m very fortunate to have friends who have a cabin near Lake Tahoe. I’ve gone out there for at least the last 15 summers usually right around the 4th of July. This year the days leading up to the trip were filled with reports of the forest fire in the area.

The cabin was about 15 miles away from this devastating fire. The damage in the area was extensive with hundreds of homes destroyed, but contrary to how it was reported it was not all of Lake Tahoe that was burning. It was isolated to what amounts to a small area of the Lake Tahoe area.

Every year, I make a trip from the cabin up the mountain. Here are a few pictures from my climb up the mountain. Last year, the forest service went through the forest and made piles of wood from trees that were dead or dying. These piles of wood will be burned in a control burn during the winter. As you can see, there are hundreds and hundreds of piles of wood to be burned all in an effort to help control a major forest fire. Make your day a good one.