Fall preparation for a better garden

The fall is now in full force and the garden is a thing of the past. The only vegetable that produced any amount were the tomatoes. However, the yield was considerably smaller than previous years. The backyard mammals enjoyed the carrots and I actually only got one bunch, barely enough for a meal. The raised garden boxes remained free of unwanted weeds, but my other garden patch produced more weeds than produce. I am going to try to solve this problem by preparing the soil this fall. I will remove all the weeds before putting down some newspapers and cardboard to kill all the roots of the weeds over the long, cold winter. Hopefully, in the spring when it is time to start the garden it will be weed free and I won’t have to deal with as many annoying weeds. I am also preparing a new raised garden for tomatoes by covering the ground with newspaper, cardboard and garden fabric.

My kitten is suddenly consuming all of my time. He is very cute, but also very needy. He is growing and becoming naughtier every day and this has forced me to establish some house rules. He is not allowed on the living room furniture, but he is allowed to sit and relax on an antique chair that I got at a few years ago at a yard sale.

For now he has a section of our office for his house and toys. When he is not driving me insane, he likes to relax behind my laptop on the table (used as a desk).

As soon as he gets a bit bigger, he will move to the basement. He did not catch the unwanted guest, but I caught the two mice. Eventually, I am sure he will take care of any mice attempting to sneak into the basement.

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DIY- Making Soap Instead of Gardening

In an attempt to forget about my lack of gardening success I decided to make another batch of olive oil soap. My first batch a couple of years ago turned out pretty good even though it was quite unattractive. This time around I used a proper soap mold ($6) and cutter ($5) that I bought from  amazon.ca in the winter.  The items were ordered on the same day and shipping was included in the pricing. The cutter arrived within two weeks, but the soap mold was sent on the slow boat from China and landed in my mail box  about three months later.

Silicon soap mold and soap cutter, with a free gift from China.

The batch was too much for the mold, so I used a piece of PVC pipe and cap for the leftover soap.

The PCV pipe with the cap off.

I got this bright idea from a U-tube video. It worked fine on the video – the lady effortlessly removed the cap and gently tapped the soap out of the pipe.  In my case, it took at least twenty minutes to remove the cap and then I couldn’t get the soap out by tapping it. I had to push it out by putting my arm in the pipe and pressing as hard as possible on the soap. Luckily, I didn’t get my arm caught in the pipe. The soap was easy to cut with the cutter, but next time I will use an old juice container for the leftover soap.

If you can remove the soap from the PCV pipe it is easy to cut.

 

Here is the end result – some rectangular and round soap.