Thursday, June 2, 2016

Spring Progress

Garden life has been busy with hardening off transplants and getting them in the ground while keeping fingers crossed that this hot weather doesn't hurt my cool weather plants.  My spinach has been trying to bolt which is sad to see since my germination rates were so incredibly low with the Bloomsdale Longstanding (less than 10% of what I planted made it to plant phase despite great care).  The peas are all producing beautifully though and my onions, chickpeas, and broccoli are coming along quite well.  The green beans and black beans finally got in the ground on Tuesday.  I'm also finally getting to harvest some yummy items like young garlic, spinach, peas, strawberries, and a random volunteer lettuce plant that popped up!  Yum!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This post is long overdue!!!  I got overambitious and planted a bunch of stuff during the warm streak in January.  Out of that, the peas and onions have done really well but it was pretty much a total replant of the spinach and beets.  I've got a good batch of cabbage and leeks in the starter station that are being hardened off and a weak batch of giant kohlrabi that have been unhappy since day one.  In the basement we've also got tomatoes (3 varieties), peppers (2 varieties), basil, chamomile, lavender, winter squash (4 varieties), and quinoa!  Outside, the garlic is also growing well along with the sunchokes.  I also just seeded (and reseeded a few) broccoli, arugula, sorrel, kale, and carrots.  There is something munching on the few baby spinach that made it through the horrible cold, so I'll probably be putting some row covers back out to shield them.  I need to get some pea trellises rigged up - I'm always late on these!!  Finally, we've managed to find a way to keep the dog out (aka a leash) but the cats have been using my raised beds as a litter box.  I'm testing the chili powder method (sprinkle it on the dirt, they lick their paws and hate it so they avoid it) but any other suggestions would be most welcome!!  Here are some pics!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

First Spring Post

What a day!  I got took a gamble with this nice weather and put the onions, peas, spinach, an sorrel in the ground along with a layer of straw.  I've got kohlrabi, leeks, and cabbage started in the basement on heat mats.  I've started using egg cartons as seed starting trays and they work great so far because I can shut the lid when waiting for them to germinate to trap in moisture and then  cut the lid off and put it under the cells to hold water.  Once the plants get bigger, I'll transplant them to yogurt container.  Reduce, reuse, recycle!  I'm still waiting for my tomatoes from Park Seed, but I have everything else, although I could use some extra peas and spinach so it's off to the Local Matter's Seed Swap next weekend in hopes of stocking up!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


We picked our first strawberry last weekend!!!  To try and thwart the animals that get to my berries every year before me, I decided to rig up some special netting which involved two of my favorite things - rebar and sledgehammers (I only kind of wish I was kidding).  We shall see how this works....
The arugula is coming along best of everything as you can see in our photos but we've also got beets, kohlrabi, peas, red ruffled eggplant, tomatoes, nasturtiums, green beans, and cucumbers coming along nicely.  The lettuces, herbs, strawflowers, zinnias, 3 varieties of the carrots we are trying, pepper (yes only one - I had two transplants and one died and the other one is on the edge), chard, and the spinach are struggling.  Some have at least sprouted but they are really lagging compared to other years.  The cucumbers had really low germination rates but we got 2 and that's what I was shooting for.  It's better than I can say for the basil and other herbs (most of which don't seem to be coming up at all).  The hops and grapes are coming on strong and we got a persimmon tree from Jacob's brother and his brother's girlfriend for Christmas that is happily growing.  Unfortunately, we are still trying to find a permanent home in our small yard.  We've got two options and the "call before you dig" folks have been called in preparation!  Pictures will follow!
I also braved the raspberry/blackberry patch a week or so ago and you can see the before and after shots below of the freshly weeded bushes.  My arms were COVERED in scratches, but it's sooo worth it!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Planting Sunday

Today, we got a majority of the warm weather seeds in the ground and caught up on some weeding and pruning.  In the satellite garden bed, we went through and did some weeding.  The carrots, peas, and spinach are definitely growing but we have yet to spot the arugula, kohlrabi, and beets.  At the house, we planted in the raised beds.   Bed 1 has a 12 ft row of Zinnias, 6 ft row of Red Ruffled Eggplant, and a 6ft row of Strawflowers.  Bed 2 is Chard (a few different varieties I think - the seed packets opened up and got mixed...).  Bed 3 has a row of Cilantro (closest to bed 1), a row of Curly Chervil, and 2 rows of Basil Lettuce Leaf.  Bed 4 is a mix of a few different tomatoes and nasturtiums.  Bed 5 is Bush Bean plants.  Bed 6 is strawberries.  Bed 7 is a row of oregano (closest to bed 5), 2 rows ofThyme, and a row of Italian Oregano.  Bed 8 for the moment is entirely Lettuce Leaf Basil, but I may make some additions.  Bed 9 has a row of Oakleaf lettuce (closest to Bed 7), 2 rows of Red Sails lettuce, and a row of Arugula.  We have 3 5-gallon white buckets that have spearmint seeds.  4 other pots in our main garden area have chive seeds.  4 large pots under our arbor have Kohlrabi seeds that were planted last week.  1 large pot in the front of the house has a mix of lettuce seeds that were planted last week.  2 large pots on the side of the house Japanese cucumber seeds and the 1 smaller pot has a Homemade Pickling Cucumber variety.  We still need to plant some peppers at the satellite site and the few seedlings inside need to be hardened off and transplanted (fingers crossed that works).  We shall see....Also pruned the raspberries and blackberries (the later of which want to take over the planet but were satisfied today to cause substantial pain to me as I cut out the dead pieces from last season).  Ouch!!  Now let's see what grows!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

An Essential Warning and Update

I've been trying to figure out why my seedlings haven't been growing and I think I finally figured it out!  I picked up my seedling flat that's been sitting on the Christmas lights and found that they had burned some of the styrofoam they were sitting on and melted into the plastic flat bottom!  We're lucky the house didn't burn down and I'm thinking the seedlings were too hot.  Hopefully now that they are a little cooler, they will grow a bit faster.    Use caution with those Christmas lights!!
Today, we did a bunch of weeding in our raised beds and planted our remaining Kohlrabi in some of the big pots around the house.  I transplanted the nasturtiums and tomatoes which have been hardening off outside.  I also planted some chard seeds in the old asaparagus bed and lettuce seeds in one of our big pots.
The asaparagus we broke up has a few patches that are producing already!  We harvested our first delicious spear the other day!  Yum!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Getting Outside - FINALLY!!

Last Saturday (April 19) Jacob and I got outside and hand tilled our two 8'x18' plots in a local community garden.  We finally got some seeds in the ground and have our fingers crossed for success.  We put in:

Heirloom Sugar Snap Peas (2 rows)
Chantenay Carrots (2 rows)
Lunar White Carrots (1 row)
Lutz Green Leaf Beets (2 rows)
Heirloom Gourmet Blend of Beets from Botanical Interests (2 rows)
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach (3 rows)
Mammoth Melting Sugar Peas (2 rows)
Scarlet Nantes Carrots (2 rows)
Snow Oregon Giant Sugar Peas (3 rows)
Early White Vienna Kohlrabi (2 rows)
Rainbow Mix Carrots (2 rows)
Heirloom Arugula (2 rows)

This weekend, the goal is to get the Chard, lettuce, and any remaining cold weather seeds that we want in the ground at our house.
Last weekend, we also put the tomatoes and nasturtiums outside to harden off.  The herbs are still in the flat in the basement and are being very slow in their progress.  Hopefully their growth will pick up soon, but they currently seem stuck at the primary leaf stage and am not sure why...

A few weeks ago, we dug up the crowns of asparagus in our square foot garden bed because they haven't produced much of anything for the past 2 years.  They seemed rather cramped under the surface, so we broke them up and planted them all around the house, giving them a lot more room.  We will wait and see if any come back but we figured we had nothing to lose.  It looks like one spear has already popped up by the trash cans, so we have hope!