Robotic Wheel Barrow

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If you ever have spent a day hauling soil/gravel you know this can cause some serious pains in your back.  Now with the Lawnbot 400 you can save some pain and let the evil robots do the hard labor for you.

The project started as an arduino powered lawn mower with a custom PCB motor driver powered by a couple of wheel chair motors, which mike many projects he just couldn’t stop improving.  Great work…

Solar Powered automated Rain Barrel watering system

This is a very cool project, grab a few rain barrels, timer, water pump, and a solar panel and have automated the tedious task of watering.  With all the rain we get (especially this week) in WA could fill up a dozen barrels in a short time.  My only suggestion would be to add a moisture sensor to only water when it has not rained lately.

Might be another project to add to my ever growing list…

Successive Pea Planting

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Last year by 5 year old learned she likes to pick and eat fresh pea pods and was very diligent on harvesting new peas as she found them.  Unfortunately this meant less peas for me.  This year I am using successive planting to ensure I get my fill this year but also do not get overwhelmed with one big harvest all at once.

I started the process about a month ago by soaking my sugar snap peas in water overnight…then forgetting about them and ended up planting them by flashlight in the rain the following day.  I couple weeks later I did the same for my snow peas in a separate part of my garden. 

If everything goes as planned I should get some early snap peas and followed by some snow peas 2-3 weeks later.  Even if my plants do not cooperate and I get overwhelmed with too many peas I can always leave a few on the plants and harvest the pea seeds for next year.

Attack of the garlic

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I either forgot to harvest a couple bulbs of garlic, or the mild winter we had in the Northwest may have allowed the garlic I planted last fall to slowly develop some bulbs.  Thinking the first option is more likely, but did present me with a problem of some very tightly grouped garlic.

Fortunately the solution to this problem was very simple.  I pulled up the garlic bunches and gently separated the individual garlic plants.  Finally I carefully replanted at much better spacing and followed up with a little watering.  The unfortunate side effect is now I have 75% of my cold weather plot growing garlic.  On the positively side with proper preparation garlic stores well and I can definitely feel less guilty harvesting some of my garlic before they start developing bulbs.

Also provided that garlic does not require a lot of root space I should be able to plant some random veggies between them.

Hydroponic Grow box update

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Currently in the grow box I have some basil and more recently strawberries added as I was “weeding” my garden I found a bunch more starts.  Though I have seen basil do well in hydroponic systems mine is turning pretty leggy and quickly loosing lower leaves.  The strawberries on the other hand and thriving in the environment.  Probably will let them stay in there a little longer until the peppers get too big and make me move the hydroponic system outdoors. 

I also tried some peppers but unfortunately they got a little too much of a freeze from a previous machine failure and didn’t quite make it.

For those who can’t get enough of time lapse videos here is some interesting growth going on in the grow box.

Cheap Homemade Cold Frame

When we bought our house we found a screen door in the garage.  Not wanting to have or install the screen door we tried many times to get rid of it without success. 

Finally  I decided to use the parts to create a cold frame.  I did consider using the whole door and hinges as a cold frame but decided I could make something that looked a little better by taking it apart.

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The construction was very simple, by taking measurements of the windows I made the box out of cedar with similar dimensions.  Wanting to try out my new circular saw I decided to make the cuts at 45 degrees for a more finished look.  Last I simply screwed the sides into a length of 2” by 2” I placed at each corner

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I have two squares of glass and a screen of the same size so I should be able to switch these in/out to make sure I am not frying the plants when it is time to harden them from the nice warm garage.

Later I plan on making a more secure (from the wind) hinged top but wanted to see what I could create with a small budget and I could not resist the 3 pack of seedling trays which took a decent chunk of my budget from this project which was sponsored by my Lowes Gift card winning from Rob’s World.

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