Archive for August, 2007

Death of a veggie garden

August 30th, 2007 Comments off

it is with a tear in my eye that I must report that the veggie garden that i have so happily reported
on over the last few months is well.. Quite ill..

First there were the horned tomato worms.. Then they got killed off by the some wasps that use
their bodies as vessels for reproduction.. I thought the worst was over and I could be enjoying salsa, tomato sauces, etc.. Sadly I was wrong..

First the zucchini plants got weird.. This had been happening for a while, and I am not sure really what went wrong.. It could be the normal end
of their life, but I suspect not.. I removed them from the ground a week ago..

You can see the roots look pretty weird.. They stopped
producing fruit a month ago, and so I figured it was better to pull em out and hope whatever they had didn’t spread to other plants..

When I pulled
the roots out the insides had rotted..

So that’s not the worst of it.. Looks like the
Tomato plants all have Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus.. The tomato’s I have gotten
that weren’t previously eaten by the worms, have the spots on them.. The yellow lines / spots..

I didn’t see anything wrong with the leaves
earlier, but now it’s very obvious..

The only solution to the problem is to remove the
affected plants and hope that it hasn’t spread to the rest of the crop..

It is with a heavy heart I am about to head outside and start my mercy
killing of pants.. Hoping to remove the infected and save the rest..

Categories: Gardening Tags:

This Old House Part 10 of 63453 – Electrical

August 19th, 2007 Comments off

Since I am in a blog posting mood…

I finished most of the wiring I have left to do from the
underside of the house.. I put outlets in the basement so I can move the washer/dryer into the basement from the kitchen.. This is a major thing.. See
this house has no dish washer, and well it sucks ass.. I hadn’t been dishwasher-less since 1996, and well I am addicted.. The kitchen is perpetually a
wreck without one.. Once I get the washer/dryer into the basement I can install a dishwasher where they were.. I am planing on re-doing the kitchen, so
I’ll just pickup some old cabinets and a used dishwasher at habitat or wherever to use for a while until I get to the kitchen..

So here are the outlets I installed in the basement..
I already have the mini-fridge hooked up to store white wine, and who knows what else.. I also am going to put a chest freezer down there soon..

did find some scary wiring in the attic, but i won’t fix that until it cools off.. The attic is normally 20 degrees hotter than outside, so when it’s 100
I won’t be going up there.. I value my life..

If this picture means nothing to you, it’s bad
in so many ways.. For starters all wire connections are supposed to be inside that box with a lid covering it, second there are too many wires in that
box, and well.. It’s just a disaster waiting to happen.. Good thing is it’s easy to fix with a few new boxes, but like I said I am going to wait until it
cools off.. I figure it’s been like that at least 15 years, so what’s another month or two..

I also need to re-wire the shed, but that too will
wait until it’s cooled off..

Sadly most of the wiring is done, and I am stuck with the task I have been putting off for forever.. Plaster repair..
I found a post on matching textured plaster online suggesting adding corn meal to paint/primer.. I am going to make a test repair somewhere and see how
that works.. if it looks decent it might just be the motivation I need..

Until next time, this is Taylor for This Old House..

Categories: Grayland House Tags:

Garden enemies and why I love wasps

August 19th, 2007 Comments off

A week ago or so I was going to post a blog about tomato hornworms eating about 20 tomatoes.. I just
got lazy since it was the last week without classes (school starts Monday)..

So Sheila went outside a little bit ago to check out the hornworm
infestation, and low and behold nature had taken it’s course..

Well to start off let me show you what the little bastards did to the tomato

You can see the results of the hornworms snacking..
They ruined about 10-15 other tomatoes in the last 4-5 days.. Those bastards!

If you look closer you can see one of the
bastards having a snack on a tomato that was originally destined to be made into salsa or something tasty..

So it turns out the hornworm has a
natural predator.. Some wasp that feeds off of the hornworms.. Sweet sweet parasites..

They will soon use that lovely hornworm as a
snack, kill him off, hatch, and eat the remaining hornworms.. How sweet is that?

On to other garden reporting..

The cantaloupes are
finally growing.. I thought we got dud seeds at first, but about 3 weeks ago they started growing.. They aren’t very large yet, but at least there is
fruit that might be edible.

We also got some Jalepenos growing..

Categories: Gardening Tags:

This old house part 8 of 63453 – New Electrical Panel

August 4th, 2007 Comments off

So I had been putting it off for most of the year.. My homeowners insurance wasn’t going to get
renewed if I didn’t get a new breaker panel and get rid of the old fuse panels and assorted ancient electrical crap in the house.. I finally got off my
ass, and hired some contractors to install a new panel, and then once they were done I started replacing the old wiring in the house.. I didn’t feel like
dealing with trying to install a main breaker panel.. It took the 3 guys a day, and if I tried I bet I would have been without power for over a week
considering my pace..

I went from this slew of panels..

To this one new breaker panel inside the

Once the inspector signed off on all of the
contractors work and no more inspectors would be sticking their heads around I started removed the old non grounded wiring and put in new 3 prong outlets
and modern wiring.. I am not sure what a contractor would charge but it’s usually ~100 bucks an outlet and I’ve replaced about 15 so far in the house, not
to mention adding some decent lighting in the basement finally..

If you think it looks messy now you should have seen it before..

Check out the pile of old wiring I have removed in
2 days.. I still have a bit more to remove too..

I still have to install some more outlets in the
basement for when I move the washer/dryer down there, but that can wait..

Categories: Grayland House Tags: