People who are unfamiliar with the blogosphere often wonder, "What's the point? Why do some people upload so much of their life's minutiae for public consumption?"
The point is that some of those minutiae are invaluable to others. If some suburbanite is trying to develop backyard gardens on the upper Texas coast, I want to hear from them, and I don't care how trivial their observations are. If someone is attempting to garden in unconventional ways, such as in livestock tanks, I want to hear from them, too.
What I DON'T want is to have to get a degree in horticulture just so that I can grow a friggin' head of broccoli in my back yard. I have other interests and other responsibilities in my life, and only so much time available for the gardening thing. Taking a class was a very useful start, but it's not the same as getting out there and digging.
Whatever is on someone's blog is also available to come directly out of their mouths but, again, I don't have time to go to a bunch of group meetings. Furthermore, when words come out of peoples' mouths, there are no pictures available, so the visual learning element is lost. Plus I am limited in my ability to later refer back to words that entered my ears; stuff gets lost in translation. As a newbie, I need step-by-step illustrations.
Besides, I don't have time to track down these people in real life. With Google and a cuppa, I can find them before I have to drive Cayley to school in the morning.
A lady in Houston provided me with the jackpot moment of learning on choosing a soil vendor, courtesy of her own expensive mistake which she chronicled in this invaluable post.
A guy in El Segundo California sent me an email and generously educated me on the issue of zinc. Initially I wasn't planning to line my stock tanks with heavy-gauge plastic; yes, the stock tanks are galvanized, but zinc is not particularly toxic to humans (it's listed as a "nuisance" pollutant in EPA's drinking water standards, rather than as a toxin per se - think about it: livestock drinks out of these tanks, directly ingesting zinc, no big deal) so I wasn't worried about it.
He set me straight by explaining that, while zinc may not cause humans and animals much concern, it inhibits woody growth.
Can you imagine? If I hadn't found this guy, I would not have lined my tanks, zinc would have leached into the soil to some degree, and the gardens would probably have underperformed, or perhaps outright-failed, and I NEVER WOULD HAVE FIGURED OUT WHY!!
Invaluable, I tell you. Blog content is like rocket fuel for the climb up the learning curve. At the end of this post, I'm going to put a bunch of search strings, just in case they help anybody else who is parsing threads pertaining to this type of stock tank gardening.
Meanwhile, back at the neo-suburban ranch, I figured out quite quickly that we need to build an outdoor work bench, like, yesterday. But Lawrence is out of town this weekend, so that little project could not get swiftly done; I had to build a temporary bench myself out of found objects. In this manner I finally identified a productive use for that damned pile of excess bricks left over from the construction of our house.
|Camo-bench: slightly freakish-looking as it blends into the side of the house, the bench-equivalent of the many anoles we've got running around here.|
|Three broccoli starts, one Swiss chard, two varieties of oregano (I used a LOT of that stuff our cooking), a lemon mint, a sage, and a purple and green garden ornamental of the salvia family; close up below.|
|My favorite color combination, especially when the green is rich and dark like this.|
stock tank gardening
livestock tank vegetable gardens
zinc in stock tanks
using stock tanks as gardens
Houston soil yards
Houston garden soil