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So glad to be apart of this new community.
My goal is to create the most amazing meals with the freshest ingredients! I love to cook even though I am just starting out, and using the best of the best fruits, veggies, greens and plants to start is the best way. I am eager to learn from all your experiences. Would love to share and explore new recipes, so please don't hesitate to ask or share!
Really excited to get started!
The heat index has been over 100 for 2 months and you are in your third trimester of your third pregnancy??? If you are me, you revisit and old hobby - one that is done sitting down and in the air conditioning...KNITTING! My mother taught me how to knit in my early 20's and thanks to you tube, I have been able to revisit the craft and have really enjoyed learning new techniques. Not to completely abandon my love of gardening...one of my first projects was a blanket for my oldest daughter complete with floral decorations:
I so enjoyed working on this for her! Many days were spent watching them play in the pool as I was busy with the needles in hand. Funny enough, the garden does go on with or without me! In this season of life, the lawn gets a little longer and the weeds are more plenty, but I am blessed to be at home with my kiddos and let them enjoy the outside while I attempt to survive the heat. The one place my lack of diligence is showing in my garden is the veggie bed. I am really finding out this year which crops are drought tolerant! LOL! Despite the lack of watering on my part, the cucumbers, beans, patty pan squash and hot peppers keep on keepin on! The tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchinni - not so much!
Only a few more weeks until we welcome another little one to our family and then we can look forward to some cooler weather and a mommy who can once again reach down far enough to pull a weed :)
I LOVE my new trimmer/edger for the garden. It's just awesome. I can't believe I was trimming along the edges of the garden beds with dull scissors last year. Willow and I played out there for 3 hours, and I got to play with the trimmer and make everything look really nice. The weather today is just amazing. I'm so grateful that we got to play outside together on this beautiful day for so long.
Chris was supposed to have the day off today, but he got called in because they really needed him. He had yesterday off, which was strange because he always has Friday and Sundays off, not Thursdays. The weather was off and on rainy and windy yesterday. Not a good planting, digging, or mulching day. :( Today is BEAUTIFUL and he has to work! Blech.
I'm crossing my fingers that he will be interested in tilling my veggie beds for me when he gets home at 4:30! Then we can spread the manure, turn it in, and get ready to plant. Woo-hoo! I'm ready to plop these seeds in the ground. Let's do this!
As always, I reviewed my previous years Installations (2008, 2009, 2010) and successes and failures (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010). Last year’s garden was a huge failure, so I am hoping for a better season this go around. So helpful to have these records!
Hubby was a big help as my pregger self tires out a bit more quickly.
Before we headed out to the nursery, I sketched out this little plan and list:
I kept things pretty simple this go around and the things I learned the most from last year was don’t plant too many varieties of things, because there won’t be a successful yield from one single thing. So, instead of doing all heirloom tomatoes, and having to wait until November for a tomato, I opted for 2 varieties of heirlooms and 2 varieties of hybrids.
Here is the layout, with Bed #1 being the top left:
3 Ichiban Eggplants
1 German Queen Heirloom Tom
2 Zucchinni Plants
Zinnias from Seeds
1 Better Boy Tom
1 Cherry Tom
1 Summer Squach
Bush Beans from seed
My perennial bed with strawberries, bee balm and purple asparagus
1 Fairytale striped Ichiban Eggplant
Lemon Cucumber from Seeds
Burpless Cucumber from Seeds
1 Early Girl Tom
1 Sweet Basil
1 mammoth Basil
Marigolds from seeds
Zinnias from seeds
White Patty Pan Squash from Seeds
1 Black Beauty Heirloom Tom
Marigolds from Seeds
We also planted Big mammoth sunflower seeds in pots around the beds for the kiddos. I could not find any nastursum seeds in the color that I wanted, so I substituted zinnias. Also, there were no Edamame seeds, so that bed got extra squash.
The girls had such a good time helping and my oldest daughter made her own little garden complete with stick surrounds:
Here is the veggie plot all ready for the season:
And, of course I couldn’t just buy veggies!
I also came home with this Rocket Ligularia and well as 3 caladiums for the hydrangea bed.
01/19/11 - Day 5
Seeds started this round:
1. Detroit Red Beets (seed tray)
2. Golden Beets (seed tray)
Sowed 1/2" deep in standard mix. 1 seed per cell, 6 cells per variety. Seeing as it's only 55 - 59 days to maturity with these, they should pop up in a few days. . .day 5 for these guys and still nothing. . .
3. Yomogi (seed tray)
These seeds are totally new and I happened across them in a random trip to Uwajimaya in Redmond with my mother, so i figured why not? Following the directions on the packet, it said to sow them 1/2" deep, but the seeds are super tiny, so I'm not quick sure how that is supposed to work. I put them in 6 cells with the standard mix, but not sure how many seeds per cell since they were so small. The packet also says that it's 45 days to maturity, so I should be seeing something pop up out of those cells soon. . .
4. Dill (seed tray)
Sowed 1/8" deep in standard mix. 2 seeds per cell, 6 cells. The packet says I should see sprouts in about 2 weeks, depending on weather & soil. Being that it' sitting in a seed tray on the kitchen sill that gets about 10 hours of light a day, it should be sooner rather than later. . .
5. Celery (seed tray)
Sowed 1/8" deep in standard mix in cell packs. 2 seeds per cell, 6 cells. These guys shoud pop up around the same time as the Dill (or so says Mr. Ed Hume).
6. Italian Basil (seed tray)
Sowed seeds in 1/8" deep in cell packs with standard mix. 1 seed per cell, 6 cells. Not sure when it's supposed to sprout, but I'm not expecting to see anything going on in these cells for a while. . .
7. Husk Tomatoes (3" jiffy pots)
Sowed in 3" jiffy pots with standard mix. 4 seeds per pot, 7 pots. Put these behind the Sun gold tomatoes in my insulated light box in the garage. The packet says they should sprout in about 2 weeks, so right along with the Dill and basil. . .
8. Garlic Chives (4" nursery pot)
Sowed 1/8" deep in the nursery pot in standard mix. located outside insulated lightbox, but near the heat lamp. The packet says they should sprout in 7-14 days. Keeping my fingers crossed as this is another I've never grown from seed.
9. Red Kale (re-purposed 20 oz. water bottles)
Sowed 1/2" deep in standard mix. 2 seeds per bottle, 4 bottles. I placed these next to the garlic chives, outside of the light box since they are more cold hardy. . .not too sure when these are supposed to come up, either. . .another new addition this year.
Since I'm running out of room and containers in the garage, I'm starting to improvise. . .
Everyone likes to see different plants than those they've grown to love. Sometimes, having the same plants can get to be a bit of a bore. So to get rid of the duldrums, we created a bunch of groups for doing plantswaps all over NY. Our swap last month ( June 2010 ) was a great success. We were invited to join the Broome County Rabbit Breeders Club, at their annual national rabbit show. This event took place at the Ithaca, NY 4H Club, where camping could be had for just $5.00 per night. They had food vendors available all day, and the weather was perfect. All told, from 13 sign ins, we had well over 300 plants to share. When we were all done, we gave about 50 plants to anyone who wanted them, and gladly we had plenty of takers.
We are having another swap with a dish to pass lunch in Newfield in July (2010), and another in Syracuse in August (2010). If you would like to keep posted and up to date of where and when our swaps are taking place please visit my site at http://www.7valleyplantcycle.
I am also a member of many other Yahoo Plant Groups, and one of my favorites to date is http://groups.yahoo.com/group
/americangardener with over 650 members.
Since we were forced to abandon our great gardens of years past, we are not doing so well to date this year. Our raised beds are nearly empty, do to the lack of materials to fill them. Out of 5 beds, we are growing in 2 and a half. To make up for lost space we decided to till up a section of the yard for a conventional garden, but the soil quality is poor, and we have our work cut out for us to make these beds anywhere near as good as our all organic beds were.
Thankfully, we have lots of trees to collect leaves in the fall from, and we have some great neighbors who contribute to our composting efforts to get these beds back up to par. By next year we should be back to full operational status, and have plenty of fresh veggies to share amongst all of our community.
Time for my end of summer update! I am ready for fall and have been thinking back on yet another growing season - successes and failures.
g July and August, we enjoyed many harvests from our garden and spent the rest of the time inside and out of the heat. The girls are growing up fast and keeping us super busy! They are both getting into helping mommy in the garden and we have discoverd that the little one LOVES getting dirty! Her favorite place this summer has been smack in the middle of the tomato bed, picking them right off the plant and smooshing them all over her face!
We planted 9 varieties of tomatoes, 10 basil plants and 4 eggplants.
Here is a nice shot of some of the results:
It was great fun to try so many different varietes! Our favorites were the heirloom tomatoes, of course; and the japanese eggplants. We have had so much, that we have also been doing some different methods of preservation for use through the winter. I have dehydrated tomatoes, eggplants and figs. I am excited to use the dehydrated eggplants to make pasta sauces and babagunish (sp?) I also pureed tomatoes in the blender and put them in ice cube trays to freeze for making sauces later. I also did a pesto with 5 varieties of basil that I froze in ice cube trays too - now all of our ice tastes like basil!- HAH!
Funny thing about the veggies; I always plant more than I should of every seed and it is just survival of the fittest. Well, this year, I put in a few different kinds of bean seeds and then forgot which kinds i put in - until a few months later, noticed that what had won out was the "yard bean":
So bizarre! and actually not that tastey...but fun and the kids thought they made great necklaces!
Next year, I will give more thought to the beans...we did miss having them this year.
SO..here is the list:
Heirloom tomatoes, will plant more varieties next year, perhaps will order some plants online for even more variety.
Cherry tomoates, love them...will only plant one plant next year....we had way more than we knew what do do with.
Artichokes, they germinated successfully and I am looking forward to them producing in seasons to come.
Asparagus, continues to do very well and next year, we should be able to harvest continually throughout the season.
Sunflowers, the "king kong" did great and next year, I may devote 1 entire bed to just sunflowers...I would like some for cutting.
Nastursums, did great. I just love them and they are so pretty!
Green Eggplant, it did well, but is quite prickly and tough...not all that tasty.
Beans, need to give them more thought...missed having big harvests of them this year.
Wished I had planted:
Cucumbers: hubby hates them, but they are so easy and I love em'
Carrots: the kids would have had fun with them,and they are super easy too!
Squash: I always have trouble with them, but I am always trying some weird variety, so next year I will plant to standby summer squash and hope for the best. These will be great to pre-cook and freeze too!
For the Fall Garden:
Poppies: I put out some in the spring, but still dont have any signs...will try again (i don't know why I can't seem to get these going to save my live-they are suuposed to be easy!)
Cabbage: I have never tried growing this, but I think it will be fun.
Garlic - have always wanted to try this
The rest of the garden has been just truckin along. It is nice that we are somewhat out of major project mode (other than the deck) and the garden is down to just routine work. I am enjoying watching the beds in the back fill in. I noticed today that the purple beautyberry that was just a few inches tall when I planted it - is now doing its thing:
I am really liking the textures that are happening in this bed. Here is a nice shot with the deck in the background:
Close up of solidago and miscanthus:
d...bumble bee having some fun on the autumn joy sedum:
We really had a bad time of spider mites early this spring. They really set up camp in a big oak in the back yard and they migrated their way over quite a few of my plants. The fruit tress suffered a great deal and I am not sure that they will bounce back - but hey, if they don't then I have a chance to buy more plants! A failure in the garden always presents another opportunity, doesn't it???
I finally killed all the grass around the veggie beds and fruit trees and have been slowly spreading wood chips there. I want to make that area more path-like and tuck plants in nooks and crannies.
I also plan to put in some encore azaleas in the front porch bed this fall. I would like another shot of color in there and some evergreen interests when the autumn ferns aren't looking their best during the winter.
All in all, we have had a great growing season and I am ready for fall and all the cool temps to come!
I want to thank everyone who has been commenting on my posts lately. I have been slacking in my regular chit-chat responses I normally do and don't quite know why. I think I have just been so busy trying to keep up with the housework and get my share of "playing" out in the garden. My husband will be home in a few weeks and I want to be done with my "spring" cleaning and organizing by the time he gets home. There is still a ton to do, then we'll have my daughter's eye surgery on the 17th to add. So, I will be busy, but I will be sure to keep writing!
I felt better later on in the day after having that terrible headache. Thank you all for the "feel betters"!!
Now, on to gardening....
many of my seeds are coming up! I am so excited! I planted so many
seeds I can't remember where I planted them all. I marked most of the
seed with sprinkles of peat moss over the areas and that has helped.
Some of them I didn't think to do that with so I have to be careful
Most of the seed that is coming up is the
smaller seed like Alyssum, Brachycome (Swan River Daisy), Matthiola
(Night Scented Stocks), and Baby's Breath.
I planted a ton of Morning Glory seeds that I soaked for the recommended 24 hours, but they haven't come through the soil yet and I am wondering if somehow they dried up. It's strange that they haven't, but I will have to be patient.
My "stump planters" have quite a bit of seed coming.
My sweet peas are coming in nice as well as what I believe to be
sunflower seeds (the ones I sprinkled in from last years seed head this
spring). I can't wait to see how nice turn out.
I made a new
flower bed (well, sort of) to spread my cut flower mixes, Shasta Daisy,
Delphinium, Baby's Breath, Bachelor Buttons, the rest of my Black-Eyed
Susan's, extra Phlox, and mixed Poppy seeds. I raked out an area,
pulled out the loose rocks, used all those rocks I pulled out to line
the perimeter. After pulling out the bits of grass and natural bushes I
spread the seed mixed with sand around the area. Covered it all with a
thin layer of dirt and watered it all in. I hope the seed grows in
since it will look really cute with the "Gnome Home" and the two little
Gnomes admiring the flower area (see below). I will post some pictures
later if/when the seeds start to come in. (Click on any of the images to enlarge and see closer up!)
I planted the two Zucchini plants from the nursery today but decided to place a clear plastic tub over them for the night to keep the cold off of them. They were kept under a greenhouse style roof/area that protected them, so I figured it wouldn't hurt (I just have to make sure they don't overheat in the morning). I spotted the Zucchini seeds sprouting that I planted and I am so excited. I do hope they grow! I love fried Zucchini and seasoning salt as well as Zucchini bread! Any suggestions on how to eat Zucchini?
I also planted some Broccoli seeds, but don't know if it will make it before it get's too cold. We'll just have to see.
My peas and radishes have come through the soil which is good too.
also decided to plant some Cosmos and Zinnias for the first time and
they are coming in nicely too. I chose to plant them in my wild rose
area since the wild roses I transplanted are not doing to well yet (if
at all). My daughter helped me plant them and it was so cute. She would
squat down and tip her hand attempting to spread the seed around, but
really just dropping them on top of each other so I had to spread them
I love letting her help me, it makes me so happy to see her learning and enjoying nature. I show her any bug I come across, frogs and toads and especially birds. We listen to cricketts and frogs at night. She knows what Woodpeckers do and can explain it (she's only 2.5 years old). She says "they peck, peck, peck....", "The trees", "Looking for bugs and going slurp, slurp, slurp!" and "using their beeks". It's so cute! She's so bright and retains so much. I want her to be able to look at the little things around her, to be able to step back and see things in a simple way, enjoy it and value it. Kids these days are so wrapped up in materialistic things, video games, t.v and computers. None of those things nurtures the soul, none of those things can do what mother nature does for a person. I believe those things can enjoyed in a healthy amount but that other things need to be taught and learned. Simple things. How many kids go through school having the only experiance with nature be the "plant unit" taught to them by their teacher? Sad.
Above: The tags from my new Clematis. I really like them, but now am not sure where I want to put them. When I bought them I figured I could find a place, but now I am getting pickier and re-thinking where they should go. When I really like a certain flower I take forever finding a place for it to go since I am scared of killing it...lol.
Above: My Mother-In-Laws Gazinia (? I am guessing the name because I can't think of it off the top of my head right now...) Really pretty.
Above: A really pretty purple/blue flower in my Mother-In-Law's garden with her Columbine. Really pretty, I will have to ask her what it is. Do you know what it is?
A GIANT moth my little Brother-In-Law caught today to show my daughter
and I. It was huge! He said that it looked like Nike swooshes on it's
wings and feathers for antennas.
Above: My blue/purple Bell Flower blooming! I just LOVE IT!
One of my favorite flowers in my garden. It's a succulent (I believe),
supposidly flowers but has wonderful green/red colors and grows in so
nicely in my garden. I don't know what it is though. It's easy to
transplant and spread, you just have to clip pieces off and stick them
into the soil. It's great!
Well, today was a truly beautiful day! It was so warm out, and just a really enjoyable day.
My daughter and I played out in the garden in the late afternoon after the storm clouds rolled in. It didn't storm - only a bit of wind, and was still pretty warm, but the clouds were definitely the kind that some with storms.
I decided to try and get some of my seeds into the back flower garden since I was thinking it was going to rain tonight (not happening yet...). I have a few interesting things popping up in the back garden. I think I have spotted 2 morning glories (from last years seed) and some sort of other flower from seed. It is a big leafed sprout (like the size of a bean, cucumber, zucchini, etc.) and is possibly a sunflower but I am not sure and have no idea how it got there, unless I planted some out there and I don't remember (which is possible).
Sweet Pea - Royal Family Mixed
Four O'Clocks - Marvel of Peru
Nasturtium - Jewel Mixed
Stocks - Giant Imperial Mixed
Cosmos - Sensation
Zinnia - Giant Dahlia
Sunflower - Lemon Queen
Sunflower - Velvet Queen
Sunflower - Helianthus Mixed Varieties
I still have a TON to get into the ground and am starting to feel way behind the eight ball now. Before I felt I was way ahead of the game so much so that I had planted some seeds inside way too early, but now it's getting down to the wire and I HAVE to get them in for their fullest potential! Especially the vegetables!
Vegetables I have to plan out and get in include:
Bush beans (Green Pod Stringless)
Zucchini (oh how I want these to grow this year, I LOVE fried zucchini!)
Peas (Lincoln Homesteader)
Pumpkin (NO idea where I will be putting these, probably closer to my daughters "play area")
Tomato (4 different kinds, I don't know if any of them will successfully grow since I am planting them directly outdoors and not planting indoor starts because I am so behind, but it's a learning experience isn't it? If they don't work out I will buy some extra tomato plants to fill the void...lol)
Dill (will probably plant it in with my mint, lavender, and lemon balm area, but not positive since it tends to look "messy" compared to flowers.)
The good news is that the vegetable patch is pretty much finished with soil amendments. I think I want to mix in another load of horse manure (yeah, that is what I am trying this year, I will have to see how bad the weeds are and learn accordingly).
When I "draw" out my basic layout in the vegetable patch (tomorrow hopefully), I will post a picture up of it. I hope to start planting seed tomorrow though, so I should have a layout planned by then. Fingers crossed for me, I have to get this done!!
Anyway, more tomorrow I am sure. It is supposed to be warmer than today even! Oh-what fun! I love spring/summer! Sorry, no pictures today....
Have a wonderful week!!
P.S. Thank you to everyone how commented on my last post about Wildflowers! I just love sharing my pictures and love hearing back from you all! Thank you! I will look up the "Solomon's Seal" to see if it looks like it. Also I will post another picture once it flowers (I think it flowers...).
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.
Famous last words...I've made my last trip to Lowe's! As good as those words sound, I know all too well that I'll be back there...again...sometim
e next week. And why not? I've got to make sure that there aren't any new plants I haven't seen or touched or lusted after! I made a promise to myself that I'd have everything planted in the garden by Sunday...so I had to get the last of my veggies...I just had to!
I ran off to Lowe's and left my hubby and a friend of his from North Carolina working on the truck...they're doing a heart transplant...so keep your fingers crossed that it works because my hubby is jonesing for his truck...he has a new car but it's just not the same...or so he says. To me it's...car...truck...four wheels...all the same...still drinks gas!
As soon as I pulled into the parking lot at Lowe's, I knew I was in for a treat...only because I found an up-front parking spot...right in front of the Garden Center. And low and behold...there were all the veggies you could wish for...all brand new...just delivered. I knew I was in heaven...you could almost hear an angelic choir singing "hal-lay-lu-yah". I know I checked out each and every plant in the Garden Center at Lowe's...and wouldn't you know it, while I was there they were off-loading their Friday shipment of new plants from a local nursery! Oh joy...new plants...pretty plants...calling my name and asking me to take them home. I stood firm...I only looked at them, all the while explaining to them that although they were really pretty...really...really pretty...and they would look absolutely lovely in my garden...I just couldn't bring them home...not this time...maybe later...once my hubby goes back out of town to work! How sneaky is that...I'm an undercover plant purchaser!
I headed straight for the veggies and I found all the colors of the rainbow in bell peppers...yellow ones...orange ones...red ones...and the old standby...green ones. So I thought...okay...I'll get one of each...the color will look really pretty in the garden of green! I couldn't resist the poblano pepper plants...only because I know how good they're going to taste filled with ground beef, spices, and cheese! And since I already have nine tomato plants, I couldn't say no to the Roma tomato that somehow found it's way into my shopping cart...I only work with even numbers..that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
On my garden spreadsheet, I have a mass of squash and zuchinni plants...well upon really checking out the available garden space...I've found that I can put in atleast double the number I originally planned on. This means I'll have plenty for cooking up fresh...and canning...and giving away...and of course...pickling. My sister-in-law Tish, gave me a jar of squash pickles and I've fallen in love with them...so much so that I wrestled the recipe from her so I can put them up myself...just another joy in my life! Since I now have a large number of both the squash and zuchinni plants, if I plant them close enough, the shade from their leaves should keep the weeds down in that area...atleast that's what I'm hoping for. I really hate weeding...
I found a nine flat of cucumber plants...they're vining so I'll have to run a trellis through them. Not a problem, if I'm going to put in a trellis or two or three for my beans then while I'm at it, I'll run one for the cukes too. Thank goodness I'm crafty and like to build stuff! Like my watering station that I came up with. I sunk an eight foot piece of 4" PVC pipe in the middle of my garden. On top of it, I put a flange that fits nicely in the hole. On the flange, I'm going to attach my water sprinkler...and attach my garden hose to it. This way, I should be able to water the entire garden area and it'll be tall enough to reach the corn in the back. Fingers crossed that this will work out.
I put in my strawberry plants today before I headed off shopping. I planted twenty of them...unfortunately I didn't read the package first and planted them all wrong. So I had to dig them back up and plant them even with the ground. I definitely had a "duh" moment! I can't wait for them to start producing...I was given a great recipe for jam that I'm dying to make...I can almost taste it now...Mmmm!
So far it's all good with my herb/lettuce garden. A couple of weeks ago, I planted nine head-type lettuces and they are all doing really well. Along with those, I planted my loose-leaf lettuce and my mesclun. If all goes as planned, I'm going to be up to my eyeballs in lettuce. It's a good thing I love salads. They dodged a bullet with my dog Badger...she loves to run. Well she decided to take a run through the bed and all she did was leave giant footyprints in the soil...didn't touch not one plant. Her doggie angel was watching over her that time!
I am so excited that we are going to have one more nice day. I along with my plants are rejoicing in the sun and warmth. It is pure amazement how quickly plants grow with a little of sun.
I guess a little cooler weather and moisture is welcome...only because this weekend I was able to plant some seeds...peas, kolorabi, and squash. They join the parsnips, lettuce, broccoli, garlic, and shallots planted last November. I still need to get in carrots, potatoes and cauliflower. Then when it gets warmer, hot peppers and tomatoes.
After growing up with a garden as a child, it is nice to be able to plant a garden and have my own fresh veggies. I also got the herb garden cleaned out, the rosemary didn't like all the snow that sat on them this winter and they needed some pruning, but I think they should be fine.
Oh the joy of spring...it makes all other worries seem more manageable.
Well, most of our summer trips and parties have past and I was able to spend some much overdue time in the garden this weekend! I so enjoyed it, despite the heat. Because of the lack of recent attention, some extreme measures needed to be taken, so I spent most of my time using loud and aggressive power tools.
I first started out to mow the back by the veggies, but it was so long that the mower just wasn't holding up its end of the bargain...so after a few adjustment by my helpful hubby, I got to mowing...just in time to be chased indoors by a ginormous thunder storm. So, the next day it was back to it and i got most of the back yard done when the mower quit again, so I opted to do some weedeating. After 3 tanks of gas, I had done the entire creek area, around all the veggie beds, edged the lawn and cut the front yard using the weedeater (since I still couldn't get the mower started.) Somehow EVERYTHING gets harder when you go from one child to two HAH!
While I was back by the creek I did some more investigating as to why there is still no growth from the great gunnera....the bulb was as mushy as can be, so I called the company and they issued me a credit. so, i just have to decide if i am going to try another gunnera or something else...
Then, hubby came home, got the lawnmower fixed, and finished up the back yard for me :)
The other thing i worked on this weekend was some veggie bed clean up. We harvested some corn and had some for dinner, but it was not the least bit tasty....I don't know if maybe I left it on the stalk to long, and what was left was so buggy, so I just pulled the remainder of it out and took it to the curb for yard pickup. I don't think i will do corn again...
I also pulled out the spent bush bean plants and okra. This left a lot of room to add more compost and get ready for fall plantings...HOORAY!
The veggie garden has taught me quite a bit this year. I tried my hand at companion planting this season and have been very pleased for the most part. i do think that next year i will plant a smaller variety of things, but more of each thing that i plant.
I have also learned what i don't want to grow again:
corn-takes too much space and is a bit messy and buggy, plus i can buy it pretty cheap at the store
carrots-hubby doesn't like them and i never seem to get them thinned out quite right
okra- i have trouble picking them before they get tough
broccoli-i just never have luck with this :(
Here is what i am for sure going to grow lots of:
And, here is what i want to try that i didn't this year:
garlic, onions and artichokes
I will continue with the companion planting focusing on the use of marigolds, sunflowers, and nastursuims. these are what seemed to germinate and perform the best. I really had trouble getting a lot of my flower seeds to germinate this year. it is so hard to keep them evenly moist when you have watering restrictions. The whole bed I had planned around the back porch was a total flop. nothing germinated :(. I was going to have 3 kinds of sunflowers, bells of ireland, sweet pea vines and sweet alyssum. But, nothing....oh well, thats the best way to learn as a gardener :) Trial and error...sometimes LOTS of error LOL!
This was not my first harvest, but the first one that I thought was big enough to be deserving of a pic. As you can see, it really isn't all that big. I harvest daily, and we've been pretty much been eating everything as soon as it gets picked, so I can't show in pictures the amounts that I've really collected, which are still quite modest. ;)
Here are a couple of pics of what I call my veggie garden, though much of the yard has become a veggie garden. ;)
On the one side--
On the other--
This is what I call my blueberry patch, though I've planted many other things in there this year. The black-eyed Susans have since bloomed, the petunias are filling out, and are looking much better now.
Coleus. I've added more, and they've grown, so they look better now. :)
And, of course, tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes.
More pics later. :)
I'm growing increasingly frustrated as I thought I would have an overabundance of everything daily by now. So far though, I've only gotten a trickling of various things here and there every day or every other day. A little bit of lettuce, a handful of sugar snap peas, a few zucchinis and yellow squashes, a bit of spinach and swiss chard, 7 cherry tomatoes (not all at once), a pinch of cilantro, and a lot of parsley. Parsley is just about the most useless edible that I planted. And when you cut it, it grows back bigger and better. Why can't everything else grow like that? I was seriously hoping to have enough that I might have to freeze and can things, after giving much away. But most of it so far hasn't even made it to the fridge. ;) My pepper plants are just beginning to flower NOW. I'm thinking that if I had something that more truly resembled full sun, the gardens would be much further along by now. As it is, my gardens probably really only get about 4 hours of direct sunlight during the day and a bit of dappled light throughout other parts of the day. I guess I should be grateful to get the growth that I do. Those darn trees! Oh well. Maybe in a few weeks I'll have the giant harvest that I was hoping for, but I hate waiting. I've already picked 3 carrots way too soon, because I thought for sure they should be ready by now. And I hope onions re-plant well. I know they're supposed to pop out of the ground when they're ready, but the stem seemed so big and it had been so long that I figured I'd just better check. Now, if only my scallions were so slow to bulb! ;) It isn't all bad, I'm just waiting for that BIG harvest where I have more than I know what to do with and all of my ornamentals are flowering like crazy.
My blueberry bushes have put on a little growth-- about 6-12 inches. So that's one step closer to becoming the big beautiful hedge that I envision.
I've been working on digging out a hole for the peach tree and replacing/amending the soil. About 6 ft. in diameter and 1- 1 1/2 ft. deep. There's a couple of inches of topsoil and all rocks and clay underneath that, so as arduous as it seems, it really is necessary so that the tree won't drown and somewhere to spread its roots.
My strawberries are blooming here and there and I'm not pinching them off anymore. I'm not expecting too much this year since I just planted them this spring, so at least I won't be disappointed. ;)
My fig twig is beginning to put out a few leaves. I had planted it directly in the ground so it could grow well, but now I'm thinking that unless it makes some miraculous growth between now and frost, it might be best to pot it up and bring it in for the winter.
My Hansen's cherry bushes are leafing out and growing AMAZINGLY well. I just planted them 3 weeks ago and they've already put on several inches of new growth. I got those and the fig twig from Direct Gardening, believe it or not. I guess they can manage to do a few things right.
So, that's all for now. I'll post pics later.
Well, things keep moving right along here in the garden...with or without my help - :) It has been very hot here with not a lot of rain fall - but luckily we are allowed to water at certain times...so I have been keeping up with that. I am still enjoying the results of all my hard work over the fall and winter (with things being somewhat more low maintenance) I have decided that that is definitely the way to go!
During a good session in the garden the other afternoon, I was able to capture these picts:
y bush is looking great!
Daylilies doing their thing:
forward to my canna blooms!
rn Mountain Oats that I ordered on line last year are doing well and I look forward to them naturalizing a bit:
Oak Leaf Blooms turning pink:
Here is a view of the veggies from the back of the back yard:
I just love the shot of color that the marigold give...makes a great view from the kitchen window:
gh, I did have to pull out all the broccolli due to that yucky wormy thing they got...just like last year! I guess I am just not cut out for broccolli growing :(
The corn is doing its thing:
But, has some yuck on it! This is my first time to grow corn, so I am not sure what to do about this or if it will effect production:
I am loving the purple pole beans! They are SO pretty and yummy too!
And, the spaghetti squash is jumping out of its bed!
Here is a good shot as you come around to the front yard:
The turks cap lilies are just starting to bloom. I can always count on these guys!
Getting ready for my hibiscus blooms!
The little knockouts that i planted at the base of the sculpture are blooming and i know they will fill in nicely!:Here is the view as of late as i sit on my front porch:
And finally...the view of the front yard from across the street:
Can you tell most of what i have planted along the street was to block off the view of the rental house across the street from us - HAH! Guess its working :)