Articles by Mark Boyd

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I Anaheimlove spring!

Everything is so full of promise!  My plants are just bursting to get out of the ground and start producing!  And some things happen quick!

I got my first Pluot from my Pluot tree.  I had no idea that they were ready this early in the season.

I’ve also started picking my Anaheim chili peppers and am enjoying them in lots of different foods.  I am picking the Poblano peppers, even if they are still not quite ripe.  They’re quite sweet, almost like Bell Pepper at this stage.  Both are from my South garden.  The peppers in the North garden are not even producing at this point.  I think this is because it only gets half-day sunlight.

The planters are going pretty well.  The front planter has already given us baby spinach, which is very delicious. The rear planter seems to be starting well, but for some reason the plants in it have stunted a little bit, and are slowing down.  This concerns me, and I’m investigating possible pests.  I’ve also added redworms to the rear planter to see if I can learn anything from that.

PluotThe blackberry planter is going quite well.  There’s really only one or two blackberry canes, but they are very leafed out.

And the backyard fruit grove is very interesting.  I’m getting some blueberries already.  The oranges are doing well, but the cherry tree seems to be yellowing a little.  I’m having a hard time figuring out why this is.

I’ve purchased a soil testing kit, and a moisture monitor, and will start testing various sites around my garden to figure it out.

WNectarineThe front yard orange tree is doing quite well.  The oranges right now should be called “greens”.  They are small and hard, but there are quite a lot of them.

The blackberry is in the image with the single blue pot.  My “potted orchard” is in multiple pots.

Enjoy the photos!

blackberry  Orchard planter fplanter

I’ve been using my 12 inch miter saw clamped to a bench, and using a 2×4 clamped to that same bench as a part support.  It worked, but it really sucked.  I needed it all squared away.

I also had a second problem in that I don’t have a lot of shop storage.  So I decided to hit two birds with one stone, and create a great miter bench with built-in storage.

My first step was to design the thing in Sketchup.  Let me take a brief moment to sing the praises of Sketchup.  I really love this program.  I use ViaCad for other 3-D design, but when it comes to woodworking, I keep returning to Sketchup.  It has a short learning curve, it is intuitive, and it is darned easy to use.  It does have problems, it is not as precise as other CAD, y

ou are not going to get tolerances in the thousandths.  It doesn’t offer physics that let you rotate parts together to see how they work.  But for woodworking, or even designing a greenhouse, this program rocks!  If you want to learn more, check out the Sketchup website.

So here’s a snapshot of my Sketchup drawings.  First there is a basic cabinet carcass.  Then, I bolt the carcasses together, and screw on a tabletop frame.  Then I add two layers of 3/4 inch MDF to create a flat surface on top.  (Click on the images to enlarge them)

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