Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
since I've blogged or kept a journal. The past 2 years have been a little tough. I know on this site we are to keep our journal garden related so I won't get into whats been going on during the last couple of years. But I have still been gardening regardless of the ups an downs of life.
Here in the south its been warming up an spring fever has hit hard. My yard is coming alive with blooms. So far my redbuds, crocus, hyacinths and plum trees have bloomed out. But to replace them the Carolina Allspice, Akebia, Buckeye, Azaleas, Heleborus an just one rose Old Blush are blooming. Some daffs are still blooming an some white flag iris. My favorite season has to be spring by far.
I have been harvesting asparagus for 2 to 3 weeks now. Hopefully this year I'll have enough to freeze for later. Been sowing seeds in the greenhouse an everything is doing great. I've seeded enough I think to include in a yard sale the first week end in May down the road from the house. Wanted to do it in April but the lady hosting it will be unavailable til then. I've been dealing with nematodes last fall an of course with the cooler weather I couldn't treat them til it warmed up. So by doing the solarization it should put me around May before I can plant those beds. I hauled a good load of composted manure last week end so now I can amend the veggie garden as soon as some of this rain drys up. I noticed today some of my Golden wax beans are sprouting, my potatoes are up. Although I don't usually have any luck with potatoes I keep trying. This year I'm trying Chires Baby Corn an can't wait for them to grow. Suppose to grow like 40 baby ears per stalk. My 2 an 3 yr old grandsons will enjoy picking those.
DH an SIL finally decided to tear down the old pool deck, so as soon as they can finish hauling off the lumber I plan to make more raised beds an container gardens in that spot. May not be able to get this area ready til fall the way its going. More later.
Today is real hot, 94* but we have been having a breeze all day. I haven't felt real good the last few days, I'm wondering if I'm getting an ulcer. Anyway I did get a few things done, this morning I picked another batch of green beans to add to the gallon bag I already had cleaned an cut. I gave a partial bag to my widow neighbor this morning along with a few new potatoes. Wound up with 14 pints of green beans.
Yesterday coming home from Macon along the roadside I found some yellowish orange ripe wild plums so DD an I stopped an picked a few. These make some pretty jelly. So today I made some plum jelly.We were down to our last jar. Although I did have to add some of my red plums to make a full batch/recipe, it turned out good. I still have enough juice to make another batch but I only had 1 box of pectin. I didn't realize I was so low on pectin or the canning lids. So hopefully sometime over the week end I'll be able to get some more.
I got my garlic cleaned up that I had curing in the greenhouse on the tables. Separated them into large, medium an small heads. I'm so pleased with this years crop, some nice large heads for a change. I usually do ok growing garlic but this time they out did themselves. I will definitely be saving some of those larger heads for planting this fall. I really believe that is key to getting those large heads. I've read about it plenty of times but just never really had ones big enough to matter b4.
I'm still inching away at the Ga. Thumper grasshoppers, they have moved to the veggie garden. I have them down enough now I just step on them when I see one. Getting ready to get the last batch of bean outta the pressure cooker then going brim fishing.
We BBQ'd for Memorial Day yesterday because DD an DH would be on the road taking DD back to school. So my oldest DD an her family came over also. It was a nice day for just relaxing an cooking out. The boys played under the sprinkler for a while an of course we had to ride the 4 wheeler an hunt for huckleberries down the dirt road. For supper we had BB Chicken on the grill, cabbage I had frozen from last season (experiment success), carrots (white, orange, an yellow) made a colorful pretty dish sauteed in some olive oil an real butter, throwed a couple leeks in the last couple minutes of cooking. I've laid off margerine due to the info I found here:
Along with it my first picking of snap beans an fresh dug new potatoes.
Today I have planted Jade Beans after pulling the sugar peas, Turtle Beans an Mayflower Beans. All new to me this year an will be interesting to see how they do an taste. All from trades so there isn't an abundance of them but enough hopefully to at least taste them to see if I want to save enough seeds for next year to plant more. I am also working on a spot at the end of the house to plant some Cream 8 peas. I've been reading an hearing about with the fuel rising in cost that the food is also going to be going up to ridiculous prices. To the point that the average person won't be able to afford food. Its early enough in the growing season that there is plenty of time to still plant a lot of stuff. I dug a lot of my garlic, so pleased with them also. Usually I have a good harvest but the sizes just aren't all that. This time they were nice size heads. I put them in the greenhouse on the wire tables to dry/cure. I still have some yet to dig that aren't quiet ready yet.
My strawbale garden is doing pretty good, I'm having to fertilize it weekly cause they really aren't in enough soil to hold nutrients, but they need watering daily for sure. My red plum tree is loaded with plums this year, gonna make some good jelly this year. Also my Santa Rosa Plum tree is loaded for its size. About a year or two ago a friend of mine an I were talking about her apricot tree an how sickly it looked an wouldn't bear fruit, the Lichen had taken it over. She said she hand picked them off an sprayed a fungicide all over it an by the following season it had put on new growth an was loaded with fruit. I got home after our talk an got to looking at the SR an noticed the lichen was on it an was trying to take it over. I got busy picking them off an gave it a fungicide treatment an it wasn't to long I started seeing new growth. Last year it only had 9 plums on it, the year b4 that only 5. This year it is loaded with delicious, juicy, sweet plums. No bug holes or marks on them. I am so pleased I took the time an gave it the extra attention I did as it has well rewarded me for my efforts.
I am discussed with the Mayhaw Trees though. At $15 a gallon (may be going up to) I really wanted these trees to do right. That isn't gonna happen as long as there are cedar trees within a mile of them. Cutting them all down isn't an option. So I've decide to cut them down an replant some Hybrids that are suppose to be disease resistant an produce larger fruit than the native trees do.
I have just about finished picking strawberries, they are now coming in sporatically now. I have enough to do awhile so I don't mind. Not that it would do me any good, lol. I finally acquired a Tree Dahlia an it is growing good. I had potted it up for awhile til it had some growth on it, I planted in the front flower bed on Saturday. I can't wait for it to get mature an bloom.
Well I've bored yawl long enough, just came in to cool off a bit. Gonna go try an work on the bed for the peas awhile. Later, T
I haven't been around much lately, sorry bout that. I had to do a system restore an I'm still reloading everything. Lost some things but ole well. Its been such a nice spring this year an cooler longer than I remember in the past. No telling how harse this summer will be. My yard has exploded in blooms an smells intoxicating. I haven't really added much new plantings this year but have been busy maintaining what I have. I got the veggie garden planted an did add a few more containers, needed somewhere to plant the extras I seeded out.
I am experimenting again this year with strawbale gardening. I had read where this method really works well with certain veggies an being how I wanted to extend my veggie patch it seemed to be the answer, will see how it goes. I planted zukes, an squashes in them, I only used 9 bales as thats all I had on hand an didn't want to go buying anymore in case it was a failure.
Hopefully this pic will show up, since taking it I have fertilized an they are nice a green. If not you may need to C&P.
I have torn down a raised bed that was next to the side of the house, just gotta finish cleaning it up. It had rotten an was falling apart. I'm thinking about extending that area out but not into a raised bed. I'd like to plant a pea patch there. I've been hearing an reading about how food prices are on the rise along with fuel an how if you have a spot to plant food we'd better get to planting due to the high cost it'll be to purchase in the stores. I hope thats not true, but I think its coming so I'd rather be better prepared if possible.
I have also been fighting those Georgia Thumper grasshoppers, they are babies right now so hopefully I can eliminate them before they become adults. They wil devour everything! Well gott run, time for work! Yawl have a blessed day.
I took a walk around my yard an noticed a few things budding an blooming. Blooming was daffodils, jon quills, daphne shrub, loripedulum, blueberry bushes, some crocus, Lenton Roses an a very few on 1 of the 2 Mayhaw trees. Noticing the buds trying to break on the Mayhaw trees I went ahead an sprayed a fungicide for Cedar Rust. That has been such a problem for me since I planted them over 10 yrs ago. I keep hoping I start my spraying in time. I have threatened to cut them down every year. For just a handful of berries for all the work I put into them is frustrating.
I checked on my seeds I had sown an some more have sprouted, wha whoooo. I sowed a few more mator seeds an repotted a Lemon Tree, A Palm tree an a few other things I can't remember.
After DH an DD left to go back to school I got busy outside. I planted 5 of the six Camillias I had rooted last year. I kept them in pots due to the bad drought we had last summer. Also planted a blueberry bush an American Snowbell tree I had bought last year an held off on planting due to drought. I am hoping they will have enough time to get established before our summer heat. I think they will be ok. I still have other things to plant but will have to wait til another serge of energy hits me.
I also cleaned up the chicken pens (5 total), hope they are happy now. They were'nt that bad, but needed done anyway. As much as I like to be as organic as I can be, I do use round up occasionally around the borders of my flower beds. So I got that done as well. It keeps DH away from my plants with the weed eater.
What a beautiful day it was today. Sun was shining this morning, then stayed cloudy an a slight breeze the rest of the afternoon. I finally got one of my wooden raised beds torn apart due to it rotting away. My FIL had given me a good many cider blocks so I lined them up around the wooden bed, then ripped it apart. I couldn't believe I had the perfect amount of soil. The new block bed is 10 blocks long by 5 blocks wide. I planted the herbs that were in that bed into the holes of the cider blocks. I had thyme, parsley, chives, lemon balm, curry an some leeks. I hope they will survive in them holes, if not I'll just have to move them. I still need to add some amendments to that soil, it has so much sand in it that it seems to repel water.
Then I tore out the frame I had going around the Hamlin Orange tree that had rotten badly an put the red bricks around it an the Prosperity rose. Those came from my FIL as well. I went 3 levels high on the tree just to get them organized an not scattered all over the yard. I will change that later on. I still have one more wooden bed I want to tear down, but I would kinda like to keep that as a raised bed. The grass hasn't taken it over so I know its still usable an not a lot of work like the others were.
Then I decided while I still had some energy left to rip out the Cross Vine I had growing on a post with latice. It had gotten so the runners were wanting to go every direction under the grass, so they couldn't be seen easily. I had debated on that one for a few years now, an just couldn't make up my mind.
We got a really good rain tonight, the storms that were coming from Texas an Louisana. Lost power for about 3 hrs, still raining. But I haven't heard of any tornadoes touching down yet.
Back on the 11th (Feb.) I sowed some seeds, then today the mood hit me again to sow some more in the greenhouse. All so far are either from gardeners sharing there bounty, so thanks in advance to those I've traded with. Or some I had bought here an there an collected/saved myself an participated in round robins. Heres what I've sown so far:
Purple Millet Grass
Short Mixed Marigolds
Pacific Giants Delphinium
Hungarian Paprika Peppers
Black Pearl Hot Peppers
Sweet Banana Peppers
Super Beefsteak Tomato-sown 2/11
Beefmaster, hybrid-sown 2/11
Dr. Carolyn Cherry-sown 2/11
Green Giant=sown 2/11
Mortgage Lifter-sown 2/11
Red Brandywine-sown 2/11
Rosa Bianca Eggplant-sown 2/11
Thai Green Eggplant-sown 2/11 (frost may have gotten these b4 matured)
Romanesco Broccoli-sown 2/11
Chinese Chives (onion)
Tai Jio Garlic Chives
American Flag Leeks
Flat Dutch Cabbage-germinated by the 17th, sown 2/11
Arugula-germinated by the 17th, sown 2/11
When I got to the greenhouse mid morning it was 80*, I cut the heat back so I could stand to be in there for a bit, plus didn't need it on today. I had to spray for ants to so I'm blogging while the smell gets gone. An to eat lunch. Fixin to get back to seeding, will update what else I get sown in a bit. Besides I'd like to keep my list all in one blog if possible. Its way to nice outside to be inside doing anything.
Although all these seeds sounds like a lot they really aren't. I'm only seeding out what I think I can plant in my gardens, then if I have some things left over I will give away to neighbors, friends an such. I just can't see buying seedlings when I can seed out what I want with more choices cheaper, Well cheaper is debatable, lol.
Neem Tree-may not grow here
Zucchetta Rampicante Tromboncino
Bennings Green Tint Squash
Early White Bush Scallop
Early Prolific Straightneck
Goldentender Yellow Squash
6 colors of columbines
??Frit. Lanceocata (don't know this one)
Love in a Puff
Yamoto Cucumbers (Questionable seed viability)
Painted Lady Beans
Exotic Melon Mix: Super Dew Hybrid, Chartenais, Early Silverline, Spanish Moon
Giant Belguim tomato
Narajilla Garden Berry
Well thats it for now, still have a few more mators I want to grow again this season. Just have to find them.
As requested here is my greenhouse built in early spring of 2007. It survived the tornado that come thru my back yard in March 2007. It is mostly recycled material. I got the windows from my cousin who was updating the windows in her home, 7 total with one being a big picture window. The plastic is double layered on the top only, due to tears in the plastic that was given to me when we retopped the greenhouse at work. The lumber an the wire for the shelves were purchased. To see the inside you will have to go to my album, when I tried to add multiple pics I would loose the first one I had already posted. You know I don't know what I'm doing, lol.
We got a really good rain yesterday, couldn't work in it which makes for a long day. So I left work a couple hours early an of course it finally did stop. Gave me the chance to get those 80 onion bulbs in the ground. This time I planted them in the flower beds, I have limited veggie garden space an really wanted to use that space for other veggies come spring. I think I'm caught up for now on my planting, except for that bucket full of Jon Quills to go. I know they are very late getting in the ground, but they should bloom next year anyway.
On the way home though I did notice a Japanese Magnolia almost in full bloom in a ladies front yard. Not sure if thats good or not. Spring very well could be early this year, or are we having another year of false springs? Its almost time for me to get my seeds to germinating, have plans to do that this week end. Will see!
Well I did get some things on my list done today. The red onion seedlings, shallots, asparagus (went with the in ground method this time) all planted. Cut back some of the roses, esp. the one at the front porch. And one bed of lantana, an my grape vines, hibiscus an some of the lavender obiedient plant stems that had gotten bit an cut the suckers off the 2 magnolia trees I had cut down last year, they were in a really bad spot. I am noticing a lot less tree roots where I have some raised beds at by cutting them down.
Got 6 trays filled with some potting soil, now to go thru some seeds an decide what to start seeding out. Added compost to the existing asparagus container beds that didn't get it in the fall. One thing I did notice when I was loosing the soil where the red onion sets were being planted was how rich the soil is looking. Back in the fall I had planted brocolli an cauliflower there an had added composted manure an it has finally paid off, I hope. So far its not looking so sandy, but nice rich soil.
I hauled the cuttings to the woods an burned the other pile while looking around for a place to experiment with the Strawbale Garden method. I think I'll put it either on the side of the house an use a somewhat level area near the garden to grow some corn. I don't ever have much luck with corn, but I keep trying. Thank goodness I have a BIL that farms in case I fail at it once again I can get some from him. Will try an get the red onion bulb babies planted tomorrow if I'm not to tired after work. Now to call it a day!
It turned out to be a nice day today, perfect for digging in the dirt. My 2 yr old gson spent the night with us friday night, which is becoming a wonderful habit here lately that I don't mind. Anyway we got out an planted the elephant garlics, tuberoses, Garden Wonder Dahlia an Mick's Peppermint Dahlia that I had bought from the Atlanta Show, then we had to feed the chickens before I took him home. It was a good day. Tomorrow I need to try an get the red onions, shallots an Jersey Giants planted. Can't decide where I want to put those, in the veggie garden or mix them in some flower beds. I may split them up an put some in both just to see where they do best at, now that I know more about them they may do ok straight in the ground. I'm hoping to work on getting dead out of the roses tomorrow to an cut back the last of the lantana. So much to do out there don't know where to start.
This is the third week end in a row that it has rained, but today so far it hasn't an is suppose to hit near 60* so I'm hoping to get outside an get some things done. My truck is loaded with hay that isn't usable except for compost that I need to unload b4 tomorrow. I have a pile of Jon Quill bulbs that need to go in the ground. And I haven't finished pinestrawing my beds yet. I can't decide if I want to do away with one of my large beds or not an turn it into another veggie bed. Either way I go it'll have to be watered this summer an chances are this summer will be like the others, hot an humid an probably dry.
I still have some lantana to cut back an here I thought I had it all done b4 it got cold. Yesterday we unloaded DH's truck full of crush an run to fill in the holes in the driveway where the water beat a gullly in. Still have a few roses to prune the dead out of. Dang I'm tired just thinking about this, anyone wanna come over a help? I can at least feed you good!
So far this week I have gotten some more kumquat jelly made, the same kumquat tree from my FIL's tree. Had enough to make a double batch. I like the tartness an sweetness going on at the same time. Got a couple deer processed an in the freezer, DH is workng on the last one today. So at least we should have enough meat (beef replacement, other than steaks) til next seasons hunt. Been picking up pecans on halves for an elderly gentleman in town, now just to get them cleaned up an bagged for the freezer.
I got out to the greenhouse an checked on everything, looking good. Watered everything really good, emptied some pots where things had died over the summer. Will reuse the dirt later. Cleaned up some trays so I can get some seeds started about the middle of Feb. Don't want to start some things to early thats for sure.
Today got some of the strawberry plants that are in the pathways replanted into some of the flowerbeds, only about 25 but theres more to go. I came home early today from work due to rain, but it was off an on which in between breaks got those in the ground. Dug up about 50 daylillies for a coworker that wanted some. I feel like I got some things done at least. Now to get rid of this headache I can't shake. Still want to order some seeds for the veggie garden, not enough time in the day sometimes.
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