Expanding my compost condos

I topped off another compost pile this weekend, so I made another "redneck composter". With all the leaves coming down now, it didn't stay this empty for long!
What you need:
Chicken wire
Wire cutter
Work gloves
Tape measure

I borrowed the wire cutters from my husband's fire gear, who warned me that if I didn't return them, he might end up stuck in a burning house unable to cut himself free from electric wire. Dramatic, huh? In his defense, I do have a habit of walking off with tools. I do have some of my own gadgets, like this awesome promotional tape measure .
Step 1. For a 5' diameter bin, you need to cut about 15 feet of wire. Cut so that you leave the wires poking out at the end (leaving a smooth edge on the roll).
[Note: If you want a different size, length of wire = 3.14 (pi) x desired diameter. ]
Step 2. Shape the wire into a large circle. Use the wires poking out on the end to wind around the smooth end, securing your circle.
Step 3. Jam into place on the ground, using a post to secure if desired.
So simple! I managed to complete this while my 3-year-old was watching, and her attention span is rather short.


Geometery in the Garden!

I never thought I'd be contemplating pi in the garden. No, that's not a typo: get your head out of the pumpkin pie!

I was wondering the length of chickenwire I'd need for a circular compost pile so that it'd fit in a 5' x 5' area. There's a formula for that! Circumfrance (length of chicken wire)
= diameter x pi.

Wow, maybe higher math is useful afterall. Well, somewhat. If calculus has come in handy in your day to day life, let me know.


Merlot Ivy Geranium

Although I never look forward to my basil becoming black and crunchy or the impatiens withering with the first freeze, one nice thing about annual plants dying each year is that you get to start fresh again. By the end of the summer I'm ready for a change of pace.

Once in while, though, you find an annual that you don't want to lose! I was pleasantly surprised by the Global 'Merlot' Ivy Geranium provided by the Garden Harvest Supply. I'm usually not a geranium person. When I think of geraniums, I think of the much over-planted bright red version that I've gotten bored with over the years. But these were different! The flowers were smaller and a deep velvety red.

This plant did great with minimal care in a container. (I had a newborn baby so I wasn't that diligent with my watering this summer.) I put it in a sunny spot and it just thrived and grew from a tiny transplant to a fairly large plant that sprawled nicely in the container.

So this is one plant I might try to rescue from the first frost!


Woolly worms

I found several of these guys in the garden recently. We used to call them woolly worms, but they are not worms at all, rather they are catepillars of a moth species, perhaps the Virginia Tiger Moth.

I came up with this identification on a really cool website where you can search by color and other aspects of the caterpillar.
Caterpillar identification made simple!




Fried Green Tomatoes

I'm "growing Southern" a bit more tonight as I'm about to fry up some green tomatoes. I've got all the key ingredients: lots of green tomatoes and my husband has a dinner meeting so he won't be around to complain about my "experiments."