Posts Tagged ‘tree house’

Garden changing weekend ramble

The lettuces are done.  They never made a head…it just got too warm for them and now they are bitter and milky inside.  I pulled all of them out.  We did eat 5 or 6 salads from the garden.

The last bed of radishes did not form bulbs…headless!  All carrots are coming along slowly, very slowly.

The broccoli is definitely done and I pulled all of them, even the small ones that hadn’t made anything to eat yet.  The cauliflower failed completely, so I pulled some of them and will pull the rest tomorrow. Maybe after I raise the beds higher next year I’ll have better luck with those two.

The cucumber vines are starting to grow.  I can see a little baby cucumber once in a while but I can’t find it the next day.  I’m starting to think I’m not going crazy and that a squirrel or bird or slug or something is taking them.

The zucchini is doing great and has quite a few little veggies growing along for me.

The green peppers, jalapenos, etc are still very small, very slow growing.  I hope they start putting on some size soon and maybe setting some veggies too.

The peas look horrible.  They got started too late because the early planting rotted in the ground. This is a strange wet year.

The watermelons and cantaloupe are growing vines slowly.  I’m not too hopeful about them.

The jackolanterns and pumpkin gourds are doing GREAT.  Taking up a lot of space and growing like crazy…bigger every day.

The green beans seem to be doing fine.  I have them planted in three 4×3 foot sections, planted every 10 days or so to stagger the harvest a bit.  I’ll attempt one more planting of green beans in the bed where the broccoli and cauliflower were, probably early this week.

Today I built a trellis for the supposedly smaller tomatoes that I was planning to just stake up with a short stake.  I wish I could show some pictures but our very nice digital camera is broken.  I’ll have to grab a cheapie for the time being.  I wouldn’t want to lose my loyal fans for lack of pictures.

I transplanted a few extra cucumber plants to a container on the back porch.  We have an old aluminum roof/awning and I’m going to let these cucumbers climb the roof legs.  It might even look decorative.

There is a rather big party here on the 4th of July.  I have to get the garage cleaned up nice enough to serve food in (which will include moving the table saw back into the back corner).  I probably need to move the lumber that was/will be the tree house but I don’t know where else to put it.  I could put it outside the fence, but if the creek floods again it will all float away.  It might just have to stay put as an ugly eyesore in the middle of the yard.  Maybe I’ll get started on putting it back up…I do have 2 full weeks and then some.

Tree house downdate

Today I thought I should post a picture of where we are with the tree house project.  Sorry about the blurry pictures…it was a dark and dreary morning and the camera was setting itself on 1/8th second exposure.

No, you haven’t travelled through time.  I took the whole thing apart last night.

Here (both foreground and background by the fence) is the entire tree house.  Not as much fun now. 😦

What happened?

Crack is bad

My father noticed last weekend that the tree was cracked.  Upon closer inspection, it was MAJORLY, HUGELY cracked.  Upon looking down into the crack from above, the tree guys told us that it was well on it’s way to being a completely hollow tree.  A split-in-half-rotten-hollow tree 45 feet tall only 10 feet from my bedroom and literally INSIDE a play area I was making for my children.

So with much sadness, we decided that we should not attempt to simply cable together the top of the tree and save it.  It had to be cut down.  But, the plan was, we should save the trunk so the kids can still have the same kind of tree house.

I decided to thunk my crowbar against the trunk last night to listen for just how hollow it was.  I hit the tree trunk on the house side.  It did sort of thunk, but also kind of squish.  The crowbar sank right in.  I actually made a hole.

Mushrooms grow on DEAD trees.  These grew within the last 7 to 10 days.  They stink.  Even if I did leave the trunk standing here for the tree house, the whole play area would be covered in this stinky toxic fungus by the end of June.

We’re having it cut down to the ground and hauled away, at great expense!  I know, everybody gets paid for their work and it’s going to be a lot of work to haul away the tree.  Ugh!

And now I get to redesign the tree house and salvage as much as I can, hopefully without needing to buy a ton more wood.

My boys are taking it pretty hard. 😦


Excellent tree house books:

More work on tree house

Despite feeling quite sick both Wednesday and Friday, I was perked up a bit today and got out around noon to do some more work on the tree house.

The most important thing I decided on today was the access method.  This set of semi-stairs/semi-ladder will work fine.  I did not route out slots, I just used screws.  I hope they hold for a few years.

All of the wood I used to make the steps was once the four diagonal corner braces that I decided not to use to support the treehouse.

I also got part of the railing put in place today and did more to finish up the floor.

I also hauled out and hung the tire swing that we had brought with us from the old house when we moved.  The boys hadn’t been on it for over a year.  You can see one garden bed at the top of this picture.


Excellent tree house books:

Tree House in progress

I told the boys I would build them a tree house. I said it shortly before we knew we were going to move to a new house last year.  The new house has only one back yard tree, so this is it.

The one-tree design was supposed to use diagonal corner supports that would lead back to the tree.  I wasn’t a good enough woodworker to make this feel sturdy to me, so I opted for legs. I have been referencing a really good treehouse building book. (Amazon link)

Two pairs of perpendicular cross-beams, screwed to the tree, form the main support structure. The plywood floor was a re-use scrounged from a thrown-away mini-golf putting green!  I’ve only installed half the floor and none of the railing or roof parts yet.

The boys love it already!


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