Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Looking Forward

This time of year when the weather is so changeable, and the seedlings are so small and vulnerable, and the soil looks so bare, it is hard to believe that anything will ever come of it.  To keep my gardening spirits up, I read through old blogs and look at all the pretty pictures and remind myself that there will be food and flowers in my future.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Cucumbers 2014

Cantaloupes 2014

Dunja Zucchini 2014

Lettuce 2015


Lettuce and Cucumbers 2017

Blue Lake Bush Beans 2018

Toad House and Portulacac

Black Krim Tomatoes 


Broccoli 2008


It Will Happen

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Lettuce Babies

I have 3 trays of lettuce babies started outdoors, 
and 1 indoors to maybe give them a head start

The peas are loving this rain.  I'm going to plant my next batch 
Good Friday which will be 4 weeks instead of my usual 3

There are some Primrose blooming.  I have to keep them 
covered or the deer or rabbits will eat them

And it's Daffodil time at last!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

April Showers Bring May Cauliflowers

The Cauliflower and Broccoli had been out for an hour or so a day for several days. The next step would be to put them out in the cold frame under the 50% shade cloth.  Or... I could just plant them in the ground under the shade cloth.  So that's what I did.

A row cover and a shade cloth.  They are doing well.
They had been seeded five weeks earlier so it was time.  Everything I've read about them says they get transplant shock and don't wait more than five weeks to put them out.  So out they went.

I also have teeny tiny baby pea plants
Two and a half weeks after being seeded.  Right on schedule.
This weekend I will put in the second half.

The tomato seedlings and eggplant seedlings have been put into pots.  They won't do much for about a week, but then I expect them to take off.   I don't want them to get too leggy anyway.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Waiting Game

This is the time of year when there seems to be a load of work to be done but you have to wait to do it.  Is it spring yet or not?  Will we get a foot of snow?  Is it going to be mild and we will regret not planting lettuce early?  Isn't there something that I should be doing?

Last Sunday I planted the first set of peas.  With peas, timing isn't as critical as say tomato plants.  If the soil isn't the right temperature, or the weather isn't optimal they just hang out waiting to sprout until they know it's time.  They can even be snowed on a little.  Peas are very self-sufficient.  Now I have to get the pea fence out of storage which is the biggest chore of planting peas.  The more peas I plant, the bigger chore it is!

This is where my gardening year begins - the basement workbench

This is my first time for starting broccoli and cauliflower seeds and it is going well.  The reason I am going to try them this year is that I evicted the strawberries from the caged bed and I knew it would be the perfect place for cole crops because the hardware cloth will keep the butterflies out of it and if that doesn't work I can easily pin a floating row cover over it.  Worm free broccoli!  Sign me up!  I have tried both broccoli and cauliflower in the past with marginal results.  This year I am making a concentrated effort to grow some really nice ones.  In addition to the strawberry bed, which will only hold about a dozen plants, I plan to put 4-6 plants under hoops in the main garden.

Broccoli and Cauliflower starts that will
be ready to begin hardening off next weekend
In addition to the broccoli, cauliflower and a 6 pack off eggplants, I have just seeded tomatoes a couple of days ago.  They are under a dome and on a heat mat with their own light set up waiting.

We've already gone through and done our late winter cleanup.  We've removed the oak leaves that built up over winter, turned the compost pile, loosened the mulch in the landscape beds, added mulch around the daffodils and peonies and just generally gone around and picked up sticks and raked. 

This clematis vine had overwhelmed it's small store bought trellis.
We stapled this extra cattle panel up behind it.  Rather than cut the panel,
we left it whole so we haven't wasted a whole panel if we get another idea

Now is the time to make sure we completed winter-downtime projects like organizing the garden shed and contemplate which of the spring projects we are going to tackle first.  While we enjoy doing things ourselves, some of our projects are really tough to figure out, plan and source.  It would be nice if we could just picture it in our head and wave a wand over it.  Even better would be computer functions like Undo, Redo, Delete and Revert to Saved.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day

I thought I'd do a winter update with vintage Valentines.  

It's been COLD!  I hope this is killing all the bad bugs.
We've been happily hibernating.

We're still enjoying apple pies from our over-achieving little tree.
Every apple it produced went int a pie and the pies went into the freezer.
All we have to do is take one out and pop it into the oven.

We've been making our own Korv (Swedish sausage).
We've gotten so good at grinding meat that instead of paying higher prices for ground beef,
we buy roasts on sale and grind our own.
I'm working on my seed orders.
I'm making silly decisions and planning to grow things I've sworn I wouldn't plant again.
I'm going to plant sweet corn and pumpkins and winter squash.
And Broccoli.  Silly me.

I will probably end up with loads of surplus veggies

Peas.  I've ordered way too many peas.  Several new varieties.
I just love peas!  We will run out of peas before we run out of anything else
so it makes sense to plant as many as possible

So that's what we've been up to.  Since I am planting eggplants and bell peppers this year, my seeding will start in a few weeks.  I'm also going to seed my own broccoli and several varieties of cauliflower.  I've never tried that before and have rarely grown either one so that will be a learning process.  They are cool weather crops so need to go in early.  I'll start them in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Ready for Spring

We are ready for spring.  40 tons (and that's no joke) of rocks 
are staged and ready for mud management.

Two loads of boulders and two loads of washed oversize.

The plan is to do away with a portion of  (very, very soggy, muddy, swampy) lawn, create an area for a greenhouse, a fire pit, an herb garden and a dry creek bed to drain it all.
There will be french drains, shade trees, fruit trees shrubs and grasses.

It will be waiting for us when the snow melts away in spring.
And it looks like a lot of work.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Big Apple

I did it.  I grew a one pound apple.