16 comments on “Construction Projects

  1. I had no idea they made tomato tenting material like that. I love that you helped your partner have his tomatoes. Mine is setting up a patch this season too.

    My first thought when I saw the nest on the cactus was, smart bird! No predatory little rodent is going to climb up there and get those eggs. Even the people she chose to build near were a good choice. You’ll help keep the varmint and snake population away, too. Plus it sounds like she’s got your number, you caring neighbor. 😉

  2. Nice to see you are the butch one here taking on the construction aspects around your Palazzo.
    While the Spo person is busy polishing the silverware.
    In Italy where summers are also very hot they would build awnings like you have using a thin bamboo screen, like the ones used on windows. Sometimes also they wet it so that while it is drying it creates humidity for the plants below. Wishing you good luck with the plants.

    Love little birds, I am sure mama bird will be fine as long as you keep your distance from said chicks.

  3. those tomato plants are larger than my spouse’s; spo should be happy! miracle-gro for tomatoes should help them nicely.

    what type of bird is building a nest (bluejay, cardinal, etc.)?

    • No idea of the kind of bird. I have not seen it yetp; just its handiwork. There are a number of desert birds in the area. I look forward to seeing what it is. I have never seen a jay here and precious few cardinals. Actually what I see most are quail and hummingbirds but the nest to too small of the former and too large for the latter. We’ll see soon enough

  4. Tomato plants do tend to love the heat. But I guess where you guys live not so much. That said I would have approached it from another direction.

    Hydration is pretty easy – a micro-controller, some wire, a couple spikes, and assorted electronics to open a valve and presto – auto watering. Better yet it can sense thing like temperature, soil moisture, etc.

    • We have a watering system which helps. Perhaps it is the dryness of the air they hate more than the heat itself. All I know is the plants seem to do well until it goes over 100-105*F and then they just seem to stop growing and they don’t produce. I am hoping the partial shade will help. We have yet to meet anyone who has been successful in growing tomatoes here unless they have green houses and plant in the fall for holiday harvest

      • Ah ok – the watering system probably is time based instead of sensor based. That’s what I was proposing in my message. You could also have an automated system periodically mist the plants too.

  5. Interesting. A tent for tomatoes. What will they think of next?
    We found a bird nest on the tailboard of a rescue truck right outside the rescue squad building – 2 feet off the ground, in plain sight, people coming and going constantly (the truck was no longer used), and a dumpster within 10 feet. Sometimes I think birds have bird brains!

    Peace ❤

  6. Wow. 15 degrees cooler. That she keep summer temps down to… what… 120? No, really, that should make a major difference. Looking forward to seeing photos of Spo’s rewards.

    What kind of bird?

  7. I hope someone advises Harper’s Other Dad to investigate mulching the tomatoes. It won’t help with the overall heat, but it could help keep the ground cool and moist so you don’t have to water as frequently.

  8. We have gentle mourning doves in abundance. Lovely as they are, they’re also kinda dim looking, and they show barely any signs of alarm when approached -– I do not know how they survive the cats lurking around our yard, a yard that offers plenty of plant cover for nasty cats to hide. Have you ever seen a dove nest? They are essentially a couple of sticks thrown together, and doves will sling a nest just any old place. Your bird and the cactus? Seems pretty smart to me; the spines, or needles might make a cat think twice.

  9. All I can say regarding the birdnest is….location, location,location…..

  10. I’ve heard that you must have cool nights for blossoms to set fruit, so I looked it up on the internet and found some not very good news. Maybe you should place ice cubes around the plants while they are blooming in the evening . . .

    One is that high temperatures can cause “tomato blossom drop.” In a posting of that title, about.com describes the problem as where tomato blossoms “dry up and fall off the plant before a fruit is formed.” The posting explains: “Tomatoes grow best if daytime temperatures range between 70 F / 21 C and 85 F / 29 C. While tomato plants can tolerate more extreme temperatures for short periods, several days or nights with temps outside the ideal range will cause the plant to abort fruit set and focus on survival. … High nighttime temps are even worse than high daytime temperatures because the tomato plant never gets to rest.”

    Perhaps there’s not a specific temperature at which blossom drop begins. Online postings state general figures, like the about.com statement above, ranging from 85 to 95 degrees. The point is that high temperatures can interfere with tomato fruit production. Since our local temperature reached 106°F on Friday, I’ll mention that a University of Nevada website said a 104°F temperature for as little as four hours will cause blossom drop.


  11. It seems once a bird has decided it wants a nest at a certain spot it is very hard to make them change their mind. I’ve tried that over the years when sparrows insist on making a nest in my Purple Martin house. We also have the problem with swallows insisting on making a nest right by our front door. I don’t have a problem with them making a nest there but Bill thinks all that bird poop by our front door sends the wrong message to any visitors. Tis an ongoing challenge and the birdies usually win. Good luck! 🙂

    • We have the same problem near our front door. Once a nest is established I won’t tamper with it but I cringe every time I see I need to clean up the poop below it.

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