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Disliking the Rain
So this is the second time typing up this blog. I must make a note to myself to always save the draft or copy and paste it from Word otherwise the long entry you just typed out will vanish and never come back.
So to that, I’m a bit exhausted to retype the entire story of this week and the rain.
Main point – I went to Santa Cruz, which varies from a 1.5 – 2 hour drive depending on traffic, to take a class on starting transplant tomatoes from seeds. Why take a class about growing tomatoes? I grew them when I was younger at my parent’s house –sometimes in 5 gal pots. They were ok. However, this class sparked my interest because not only is Love Apple Farm known to grow over 100 heirloom varieties of the fruit every year, but hugely because the farm provides almost 100% of its produce to the renowned Manresa Restaurant.
This was a pretty awesome class. We learned about heirlooms, different shapes, size, and color of tomatoes as well as how to transplant you your seedling once its large enough. Bonus – you get to take home a tray with up to 48 different varieties. Below is my tray. Each cell contains 3 seeds of the selected variety. As you may have guessed, if all goes right, I will have 144 tomato plants….what to do with all those tomatoes?
about the rain…well I guess the only part I like about it is that I don’t have to water my garden. Other than that, I’m happy with dry socks on ^_^
I was a little afraid the garden would suffer while I was gone from lack of care and lack of rain. I don't think I needed to worry about that at all. What do you think?
31 cucumbers and one fully ripe tomato! There are 2 more tomatoes that will be ripe either tomorrow or monday. I didn't have any more zucchini, but I did pick two just before I left.
Sunbury Chic, we got gas in your town on our way to Niagara! I thought you were closer to Cincinnati for some reason. Imagine my surprise when I saw your town on the sign!
I'll post more vacation pics in my blog tomorrow. Its been a long day driving home from Port Huron this morning. But the laundry has been started, suitcases and clean clothes put away, the dog picked up and loved on a lot, and the flowers and garden watered! I'm pooped!!
I hope everyone has fun plans for the long weekend, with family and friends!
We're getting ready to go on vacation in another week and I found out a good friend is flying in from New Mexico to travel to Niagara with us! I'm so excited. I'm getting to meet a whole group of great friends in Niagara, then the hubby and I are traveling on further north in Canada.
Before that I have lots to get done!
In the meantime I thought I would share a few current photos of the flowers and garden.
I bought this lilly on clearance for $1.00 several weeks ago. I wasn't sure it would even make it, but it bloomed! It's not yellow like I thought it would be, but I do like the peach color.
I have lots of these baby cucumbers. LOTS of them. If they all grow at once I could open a cucumber market :o)
I have two, yes TWO baby zuccini so far! Lots of blooms, but only two zuccini so far.....SO FAR :o)
Tomatoes galore. That is a GOOD thing!
>And last but not least. I have lots of baby yellow bell peppers. That aren't yellow yet :o) These are cute!
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Been transplanting my beans, think I have left them too long, some have become a bit rootbound! Ah its all experience though! Gently untangled as much as I can, decided to plant them into Big pots and bring them inside as to give them a bit of TLC - whether has not been on my side much lately, giving them releave from the wind - hopefully they will be ok, over the next few days I will be creating their new home outside. Fingers crossed they will be ok!
Also had the hard task of turing my compost heap! OMG was that hard work, very happy with its progress though. Already have some ready for use which is excellent, I can use it for when I plant out my Beans, Tomatoes and cucumbers over the reast of the bank holiday. Going to bribe my brother to come help me :-P
Yesterday I did not venture out but instead cooked up my crockpot stewed tomatoes. I had just enough celery and green peppers for that. Cooked for 9 hours on low. It tastes great, it is the first time I have made this receipe and it is a keeper. It reminded me of another soup that I make, stuffed cabbage soup. So I decided to cook up some cabbage and added it to some of the stewed tomatoes and will then add rice and whatever else I think it needs. The rest I will give away to family members. That was fun, I love cooking. I also baked some fruit/nut muffins, using dried fruits, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries (mix). I plumped them up a little in boiling water. These muffins are great, I can't stop eating them so giving some of them away too. Today I did go out to see if anything needed watering. This year I planted moss roses in a pot along with petuinas and they are doing fabulous. I always planted moss roses in the ground, but in the pot they look great. I am going to plant those next year too. Totally worry free and no work at all, that's what I love. I am usually working or not home at night, so it works for me, that is they close up at night and don't look that great. The Joe Pye needs to be deadheaded, it is flopping all over the aster so that needs to be done. The hot pink pentas are blooming quite well now, they seem to take a long time to take off in zone 5B unless you plant a larger, more established plant. About a month ago I picked up a hanging basket of impatiens at a fruit market. All the baskets were marked down to 3.99. Brought it home, pinched it back, and gave it Bloom Plus. It is now very full. Usually the impatiens are slowing down by now, but I guess the pinching was the trick. I have learned so many things by trial and error in gardening, that's what I love. Tomorrow will be the watering day. I plant on going to our community garden to do some work too. Will let you know how everything is doing there.
The latest picture of my planter. We've been feasting on tomatoes daily. In other news the beans are still producing, I've frozen some and eaten lots. I'm trying for a late planting of lettuce. This next picture shows that third time's the charm is right. I've been trying to root clippings from an old climbing rose of a neighbor. The ones I started last year seemed to be growing this spring until we had a new roof put on. I told the guys to be careful and they put boards up but when they were done so were the plants. I went up and got three more and they took hold and one of them had buds when I stuck it in the ground with the jar over them.
The clematis that I posted last year was in the same spot and I thought it had been killed. After our wet June a new sprout appeared and is now about 2 feet high.
I thought I would share a photo of the best tomatoes I have picked this year.
The orange colored one in the back is a Nebraska Wedding Tomato and the red one in the front is a Red Brandywine Tomato. Happy Gardening!
The time has come to stop neglecting my blog again. I have been working in the yard for a few weeks already and am happy to say that lots of things have come back. It was rainy today and looks like it will be that way for a few days. I will be uploading some photos later of my returning perennials.
Wanted to document some of the seeds I started inside. Here are the tomatoes:
Nebraska Wedding Tomato ~
Reliable producer of beautiful 3-4" round fruits with shiny orange skin and orange flesh, very meaty. Shoulders are always smooth and almost never crack. Well-balanced flavor. Plants require staking, but typically are less than 36" tall. Determinate, 90-100 days from transplant.
Red Brandywine Tomato ~
First introduced in 1885 by Amish farmers in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the large vines produce fruit that are 8-12 ounces and deep red color. Very productive, excellent taste. Indeterminate, 80 days.
Czech's Bush Tomato ~
Sent to Ben Quisenberry in 1976 by Milan Sodomka from Czechoslovakia. Stocky plants produce heavy yields of round 4-6 oz. red fruits early in the season. May need a small stake for support. Good flavor, great for containers. Determinate, 70 days from transplant.
Blondkopfchen Tomato ~
Small golden-yellow fruits with excellent sweet taste. Fruits are borne in giant clusters, enormous yields and never cracked fruit. Bears until frost; seed originated from Germany. Indeterminate, 75-80 days from transplant.
Yellow Pear Tomato ~
Clusters of brilliant-yellow fruits dangle from sturdy, bushy plants. Unique, 1 1/2-inch, pear-shaped fruits have a delightfully fresh, mild flavor. Indeterminate. Harvest in 78 days.
Well, gardening is lots of hard work but is very rewarding. Lots of weeding today, cutting back suckers on tomatoes, cutting dead zuchinni leaves.
My tomatoes are finally turning colour. I've got at least 5 different varieties so I am anxious to see what I get first. Got more zuchinni and apparently a yellow squash got into the mix of my zuchinni seed because what I thought was a zuchinni plant is growing a baby yellow squash. How interesting.
This has been a good week. Hubby and I did the yard on Thursday night. He used the riding mower and weed wacker, I used the push mower and did around the house and flower beds. Also, under the pines. The kids disappeared for a while..how convenient...Pulled weeds around the flowers and got poison on my arm again...comes and goes... planted a few more freebies from a friend. Watered everything even the veggie garden. The tomato plants are doing better since started watering this week... Then my daughter came out to swim for a while and I sat with a cup of coffee and relaxed for a while. She didn't get out until around 8:30.
Onions are almost big enough to pull. Pulled a few to use with the potatoes we dug up.. Good Eats!!! Our potatoes didn't do so well this year. Not enough sun. We had to remove a few small trees to get more sun to the veggie garden...My oldest helped with that on Wed night...He will use the wood to heat with this winter, so no complete loss....
Then it rained yesterday about 1/2 inch but enough to wet everything. I cleaned house yesterday and got a few things caught up..Decided to work on my baby quilt last evening and I was up until 3 this morning. Time flies when I am sewing...finished the front patches and now need to put the lace on, then the backing...I am using quilted material on the back, not so good with putting the batting in myself...Next project is to make a patch quilted tote bag...My biggest problem is to never finish what I start and have too many projects unfinished. I have a few other crafts to finish and one is for a GG friend. She is waiting, patiently I hope....I am determined to finish the baby quilt before I start anything else... except maybe something in the garden, LOL!!!
Daughter made a great big mess in the kitchen this morning..Something to do with a science project from school this past year...She had water, cornstarch and food coloring...it is in a bowl in the refrigerator. But the floor was powdered and pink..she tried to clean it up and made the most beautiful pink powder all over the kitchen floor and lower cabinet doors...Her punishment was to clean the bathroom..she did a perfect job in there while I cleaned up the pink powder...she is better with a toilet brush than a dish cloth...
Well that is all for now, need to work on that quilt before I come up with a new idea.....
Out in the garden tonight planting a few saved tomato plants from the local grower. Real cheap (4 packs less than a dollar). Some are Roma and the others are Golden Girl. I now have about 40 tomato plants in the garden.. I definately will be making alot of spaghetti sauce this year. Mixing all the tomatoes together will make the perfect color and flavor. The Roma are best for thickening the sauce. My husband used to buy Prego before I was here and now he won't eat any sauce but mine... The only problem is that I cook to taste and I really can give the recipe to anyone. My mother-in-law doesn't understand how I can cook without recipes... A lot of experience over the years and I guess it is stuck in my head. I cook more home made than she does.....
My daughter helped a little in between her adventures with a planter, seeds and the last of my potting soil. She planted lettuce and parsley. Sat it in the garden so it could get watered with the rest of it. She wants to make a rabbit trap so our bunny can have a friend..Cute!!!!
I had to remove a few branches from the tree behind the garden for the sprinkler to hit all the veggies...It has grown over the garden and next week when I am off work on Tuesday my son is coming out to cut a few branches around the garden so the sun can get in better...We didn't have a good spot that gets sun all day to put our garden in...
Well, then it started to get dark and I had to get her out of the pool and clean up my garden tools. Turned on the sprinkler and now need to remember to turn it off before I go to bed. Everyone have a good night and keep gardening... Veggie
I heard that we got about 6" of rain in that last storm and everything is soggy, soggy, soggy. The grass needs to be mowed and all my plants are really waterlogged. Hubby tried mowing some today; the grass is dry enough, but the ground is just too saturated and he was tearing up the yard. He got about maybe 1/4 of the front yard done, but all of the back. It looks terrible! Thursday is supposed to be HOT and DRY, so maybe I can finish it then.
We've had two new calves born next door in the last few days and another one due any minute. Having never lived in the country before this is all very interesting to me. I love the little calves, they frolic around like little lambs, kicking up their heels and head butting their mothers like little goats. So doggone cute.
My next door neighbor is putting in a vegetable garden in a fenced off area of the cow pasture. I've never done a vegie garden, but most everyone here seems to grow one. And it seems like just everyone I know is doing one of those topsy turvey tomato thingees. I do love tomatoes - maybe I will try one of those. My grandfather was a farmer - he was a German from Russia and farmed his whole life - seems like I'd know a little about growing veggies, but I don't.
This past Sunday I planted up all the veggie beds! I learned a lot from last year's garden. The main thing I learned was that we could not get enough of certain crops. So, instead of planting a lot of different things, we decided to plant more of our favorites. Also, I am still using the companion planting system - primarily with marigolds, onions and nastursiums. I had to go to 4 different stores to find all the varieties. While at Lowe's, I found a Fireworks Clematis (Clematis Fuegos Artficiales) for $5 that I could not pass up, it looks to be purple and red striped and I planted it by some knockouts in the front window seat bed. I also picked up 2 annual potato vines. One went in the back sun bed in progress to act as a ground cover and the other one went in a container by the front steps.
So, I planted 10 tomatoes:
And, one token Mammoth Giant Jalepeno ( I love to make stuffed jalepenos)
I spread this all out between 3 beds and in the center of each bed I planted Mammoth Sunflowers and then planted a variety of items to grow up the sun flowers: sugar snap peas, Yard Long Asparagus Beans, Burpee's Tenderpod Garden Bean, Peas, Sequoia Purple Bean and Golden Wax Bean. I also sprinkled around marigold (crackerjack) and nastursium seeds (alaska mix).
In one bed I also started Emerald Green Artichokes. I interplanted them with Oriental Poppies and Lady Bird Poppies. Since these are perennial/self seeding items, this bed will be a permanent planting.
In my asparagus and strawberry bed, I stuck in someStuttgarter Onion Bulbs.
One of the three beds that got the tomatoes still have kale, lettuce and parsley that we have been enjoying since spring. I think they will die back as the tomatoes are ready to take over.
It was a fun day in the garden for all the ladies!
We are excited for our veggies!
Thanks to those of you who helped with my seedling crisis! I'm happy to say, the transplanted seedlings looked very happy this morning, so I transplanted the rest. I think they are going to be okay. Next time I'll know they need to go out in the greenhouse much sooner!
I ended up with 62 plants. I'll be giving them away, because even with expanding the garden area, there won't be room for all of them.
Some of the seedlings inside are poking through the soil. In a few days I'll be putting those out in the gh.
I went to the greenhouse to check on my little ones, and was sad to find a few of them had perished!
According to package directions, the seedlings shouldn't be moved from the propagation trays until they have "two sets" of leaves. These only have one, but they've gotten so tall, they've begun to fall over, and the stems are breaking. I repotted half, and left half in the trays in an attempt to see which do better.
This is my first year to grow tomatoes from seed. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears! I don't want to lose any more!
Well, our results have been dismall! BER is still dominating both tub plants. The physical set-up has worked well, but we believe we have some serious nutriant block. The plants are not doing well and they are not growing out of it. Here is a shot of the netting and plant weave that has worked well. The tomatoes are hanging below the net is a perfect fashion. Just like my favorite move, " the Worlds Fastest Indian" there are some horrible failures along the way to pushing the envelope. Look at our unfortinate red tomatoes in this pic.
u can clearly see the big roma hybrids failing at a small size, but hanging nicely below the net. The overall plants are not hat much better.
The peppers has a serious Beastie infestation but I have my first bell pepper showing up.
The spinach and basil are OK and i have a few seedlings for a friend that wants to start plants early in some Wall of Waters.
That's about it for now, maybe some better results as the weeks progress.
Just an introduction to start-- I am a midwest girl that grew up as an only child. Now I am a mom of seven children trying to figure out how to feed my family in an affordable way, and at the same time provide nourishment and goofy memories. So far... not so good. Well, I have certainly created enough goofy gardening memories for my seven, but have yet to yield a garden that feeds us. My first year was...well...my first year. I planted too much and had no idea what I was doing. I got in over my head by starting garden in a yard that wasn't ready. I had just moved in the winter before and the house had been bought on auction, having set for a very long time empty, not mowed, etc. I was very excited about gardening however, and so I pressed on. Imagine my horror to find an over-load of toads and frogs! I nearly retreated and gave up---but still, pressed on. Our corn was in 6 rows and I thought I had planted it right. But noticed it grew fine until one day it all decided to point North. Why? I still never figured that out. But our neighbor said his did the same thing. The following year (last year) I did better, but ended up with blight taking over my entire garden except for my herbs. I know that I planted things too close, and watered over head. But this year, I plan to above ground garden, and hopefully get some kind of a soaker system in. It all depends on my creativity in this area as well as my pocket book :)
I also home school so as I grow these plants, I hope to teach my children a few gardening lessons as well as patience. They will each have a section to nurture. With the exception of my oldest. She's 17 and absolutely hates to be outside. She has offered to remain in and wash and put away veggies as well as help with the major work of canning, which I have yet to try.
Where I live right now, we are having a few warm days, then snow, then warm, usual for Indiana. What I hope to do is start some seeds indoors and get a good start on my tomato plants. I am hoping for advice on when to start these seeds. I have purchased Burpee Organic Beefsteak. I thought about starting right away in my laundry room...but it gets warm and I am wondering if it gets too warm. the windows however seem perfect. They face the east and can plenty of light after the sun clears the top of our pines in our back yard. If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear about when to start these seeds!
Nice to be here, to find a place to collect my "growing" thoughts!