Still Alive

Okay, it has been well over a month since I posted ANYTHING here. I am sorry about it, since it is kind of the time of year where I have tons of things growing and all the gardening enthusiasm forever. However… I’ve been going pretty non-stop with making things which keeps me away from gardening. (You can check out the Etsy Shop here to see some of the things!) This was a benefit a little earlier, when I didn’t allow myself to start sowing a million seeds. It’s all fine when they are seeds but then they grow and need potting up and then take up triple the space. Space that I do not have. Plus my creative brain gets to be happy and just do as it pleases.

But it meant that I severely neglected my blog. I tried to think of a schedule that I could try and follow for posts here… but I know myself better than that, and would end up apologizing infinitely for not meeting promises of posts because I got distracted. So instead, I’m just going to do what I kind of already do, and just write when the mood strikes. That might mean I write 4 posts in a day and then schedule them, or it might mean (unfortunately) going weeks between posts. I will try to keep it regular, but sometimes it can’t be helped, and me apologising every few weeks is pretty lame.

I wanted to pop in and show you that I legit do have things going on in the garden. So here are some photos:


Rhubarb is taking off! I hope to use more of it this year.


I rescued some raspberries from a garden that was getting a complete makeover. I wish I had grabbed more of them, as I have room for at least 4 more plants. I’m hopeful these fruit on old wood, and I’ll get a harvest this year from them.


Strawberries are looking good. I still need to figure out how to keep the squirrels off of them.


The Sweet Williams that I sowed last year survived winter and I cannot wait to see them this year. They are for my grandpa.


I bought myself a rose for my Birthday. Partly because it is white and I love white roses, and partly because of its name: “Iceberg”. As you can also see, the delphiniums are growing like crazy too. I even divided them and you can hardly tell I took away anything.


Spring onion patch. These just keep coming back so I leave them. I get fresh Spring onion, the bees get a flower they like, and I get fresh seed. Behind them I sowed the Garlic I had left from my crop last year. They are just starting to poke their heads up now. In the back corner of the photo, in front of the orange bag (full of leaves im going to use for mulch and the compost like), are poppies that survived winter! I’m pretty excited for them and hope they are as beautiful as I’ve imagined in my head.


Both my Taragon and Sage survived winter (in ground-not containers)! Possibly the Thyme, and Oregano too, but I’ll wait til June to decide if they legit survived or not.


I sowed this Lupin from seed! I’m glad to see it survived because my big beautiful one was completely destroyed by aphids last year. A second one also survived as well!


And I started digging everything and getting it ready for planting! AND as you can see in the top left, one hollyhock survived the winter, so keep your fingers crossed for me that the flowers are as beautiful as I remember my grandma’s being.

Ps. My clematis died, so if I still have clematis dreams I’ll have to get yet another new plant.

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Greenhouse Garden Update – June 13, 2014

It has been a busy couple weeks since the last update! I would have had this up sooner, but I was having trouble getting my pictures to upload properly, but it is finally here!

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Brandywine Tomato

Let’s start Inside:

TOMATOES
As of Monday, ALL the tomatoes are in their final growing spots. I delivered 5 plants to my Mom on the weekend. She will be growing “Golden Cherry,” “Red Brandywine,” “Box Car Willie,” Marglobe” and “Bonny Best”. Hopefully they work out great for her. After I got home from visiting my parents, I put the final tomatoes into the ground in the greenhouse. Now all they need is plant markers so it is easier to distinguish which variety they are. In case you are curious, there are nearly 40 tomato plants in the greenhouse! Some of which already have flowers. I’m sure by the time I get the next update up, some will have set fruit.

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PEPPERS

These are all at various stages of growth. The Cayenne and Jalapeno that I have been updating you on since I started their seeds in February, all have flowers. The Hungarian Wax hot pepper is also setting some flowers. The Medusa peppers, are small, but since they are a dwarf variety (and I started them much later) I wont hold it against them. They still have lots of time. If you are curious, the Habanero is still living life in my window sill, and will probably remain in my backyard.

Cal also started some Mixed Sweet Bell Peppers, and now we just need to find them a home in the very full greenhouse. They are still tiny, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they catch up.

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Tomato row, with tiny ‘Medusa’ Pepper at the bottom of the photo

EGGPLANTS

These are growing well. I’m not sure what I’m doing with them, so they will be a large learning curve for me. I also found out that some grow thorns on their leaves:

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Spiky Eggplant Leaf

GROUND CHERRIES

These have fruit! And a lot more flowers too! I’m so happy with them. Now hopefully they continue to set fruit and we end up with enough to make some sort of preserves with them.

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‘Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry’

TOMATILLO

This is a little behind everything else, but I remain hopeful that I get some purple tomatillos.

PEAS

These are doing amazing. The first set from April (‘Wando’ and ‘Sugar Snap’) are nearly 5 feet tall. I would expect there will be flowers soon; Then we’ll just need to get some pollinators into the greenhouse. The second set (‘Laxtons Progress’) are also starting to put on a ton of growth. The plan is to keep all their foliage after they are done growing, and then work it into the soil in the greenhouse, so we get more organic matter in the soil there. Basically the same idea as doing a cover crop.  The Nasturtiums I planted at the end of the two pea trellises are doing fantastic:

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HERB GARDEN

This is doing great. I already harvested (and dried) some of the Parsley that was growing. I have some mint drying as I type this as well.

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ZUCCHINI/’SUNBURST’ SQUASH

These are putting on a lot of growth as well, and I’m hoping the tomato cage around them helps them to grow upwards instead of out. I plan to have more outside, but these are my hail-contingency plan.

MELONS

There are ‘Sweet & Early’ Cantaloupe and ‘Crimson Sugar’ Watermelon here. They seem to be settling in now, and hopefully we will get some fruit.

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‘Crimson Sugar’ Watermelon

PICKLING CUCUMBERS

We ended up sowing the entire seed packet, and in hindsight, we really didn’t need to. I expected a much lower germination rate, since they were old seeds. After these put on more growth, I’ll thin them out, so there will be less competition between them all.

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SWEET POTATOES

I’m trying again this year. I’ve been a little tight lipped about it, after last years failure to even get them into some dirt. But now the slips are in dirt officially, and now we just wait and see if they produce some potatoes.

THE REST

I’ll keep the Birdhouse Gourds in their own update… which will happen soon. The Turnips are putting on some growth. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they start to bulb up before trying to bolt. Which is what happened with the radishes. There were a few edible bulbs, but the rest used the energy to try and flower. So they are in the compost pile. I also harvested all the Spinach. It was starting to bolt too. Hopefully the carrots, Kohlrabi and Pickling onions can stay where they are, and make some edible vegetables instead of seeds.

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OUTSIDE is where most of the action has been happening. As you know, ALL the potatoes are finally in the ground. The Garlic, Shallots and Onions are all doing well. The red onions have finally gone in, as well as another mixed row of all three (Spanish, White and Red).  Some of the the Shallots are going to seed. I thought about pulling the ones that are right now, or snapping off the seed head, but then I decided to just let them flower if they really want to. I’m sure the bees will love them, and I wouldn’t mind too much either. Allium flowers are very cool.

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On June 3rd, I put in the Leeks and some Parsnips. Keep your fingers crossed for me, because I have never grown either and just planted according to all the YouTube allotment gardening shows that I watch.

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On June 4th, All the Bush Beans went into the ground. Two rows of ‘Contender’; One of ‘Amethyst Purple Stringless Fillet’; One row of ‘Tendergreen Improved’; Two rows of ‘Greencrop’; and then one and a half of ‘ Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco’. The last half row is finished off with more ‘Tendergreen Improved’

On Saturday, June 7th, Cal put in a lot of work and dug the whole area where the carrots are going, and part of the next section. Together we constructed a Pea trellis of sticks and chicken wire. We sowed the peas: ‘Sugar Sprint’, ‘Mr. Big’, ‘Lincoln Homesteader’, ‘Sugar Snap’ and a mixed area of ‘Wando’ and ‘Laxton’s Progress’. We will do a succession planting of the first 3 in a couple weeks. The later three I mentioned are also planted inside the greenhouse, so hopefully we will have a fantastic pea crop this year. Later that afternoon, I planted the carrots (and a tiny flower area at the end of the row, just because). We have a row of ‘Red Cored Chantenay’; one of ‘Purple Haze’; one of ‘Scarlet Nantes’ (seed tape); one of ‘Kaleidoscope Mix’; and one of ‘Little Finger’. Then I slipped in two mini rows of ‘Atlas’ and a mini row of ‘Viking’ Spinach.

On June 10th, I finished digging the summer squash area. Pinto Beans (Pole-type) are also planted in this section. Summer Squash I sowed include: Dark Green Zucchini, Gold Rush Zucchini, ‘Sunburst’ Squash (Pattypan), and White Scallop.  I also tucked in a little row of ‘Watermelon’ Radish.

June 11th, I dug and planted the Beet area. There is a row of ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard; then one row of each: ‘Detroit Dark Red’, ‘Cylindra Formanova’, ‘Golden Detroit’, and ‘Chioggia’.

June 12th, I finished the turnip bed. It has one row of ‘Early White Vienna’ Kohl Rabi, two rows of ‘American Purple Top’ Rutabaga, and two rows of ‘Purple Top White Globe’ Turnips.

Needless to say it is starting to really take shape. There is just a little more weed-covered area to take out (even less now, than in the picture below)

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The Corn is doing surprisingly well, and has surpassed ANY expectation I had… Imagine how happy I will be if I get a harvest from it! The variety is: ‘Canadian Early Supersweet Hybrid’. I am loving not having to worry about weeding around it, even though planting it with the landscape fabric was very fiddly and fussy.

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The Broad Beans are flowering!!!!!!!! And as you can see, the Ants love hanging out on them too. Their variety is ‘Windsor’.

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And the Scarlet Runner Beans, and Kentucky Wonder Wax Pole Beans have finally broken through the surface! There are two rows of radish in between the bean poles as well.   Also, I picked up a couple other pole/runner bean seeds, so I will have to find some more room somewhere to stick them in the ground. This may be the year of Beans.

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Well, that is all for now. Here is the link to the previous update. I will try and update again sooner, especially now that everything is flying along. I hope your garden is growing well too! Thanks for all the follows, likes and comments, It means so much to me!

 

Greenhouse Update – April 20/2014

Our Spring weather has been sticking around this time. Most of the snow has melted and the weather forecast looks promising for an early-ish Spring. I won’t hold my breath that we won’t see snow again, but for now I am excited for this reprieve from the white stuff. (Just a quick note, as I was writing the draft of this post, it started hailing outside, which then turned to snow… Mother Nature thinks she is funny)

Despite the on and off again snow, and bi-polar weather from Mother Nature, we are using our spring fever to get the Greenhouse all ready and prepped.

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We started our big push of the season, on April 9, by digging compost into the dirt. We are trying to work on developing our soil… This should pay off when we have a bounty of tomatoes to harvest later in summer and fall, and in the coming years.

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On April 13, because I couldn’t handle it any longer, I planted some peas (‘Wando’ and ‘Sugar Snap’), some ‘Atlas’ Carrots and some ‘Scarlet Globe’ Radishes. The radishes should be ready by this time in May, so that should give us another little push to keep planting and growing things.

On April 15, I added some small areas of Turnips, Kohl-rabi, Spinach, and Silverskin Pickling Onions. Partly because of spring fever, partly because I wanted to stick more seeds in the dirt, but mostly because I want some early harvests to keep us inspired.

Between the rows of “trellis”, we have dug  trenches under where the board paths go. Into the trench goes a muck tub worth of llama poo and some leaves, and then everything gets covered with dirt and watered well. I am hoping that this adds some organic matter to our soil that the plants can use now, and that we can mix throughout the greenhouse come fall.

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Throughout the week leading up to today (April 20) I have been doing small bursts of digging in organic matter and just keeping the soil watered, light and airy. It is much less daunting of a task when you are taking tiny bites out of it here and there. Once I had the majority of the tomato area ready for planting, I bit the bullet and planted out the earliest sown tomatoes. They are happy and thriving in their new home already. Hopefully our little measures of keeping the plants safe and warm though the chilly nights continues to work, and if so, the next round of tomatoes will be joining them. I will hold off on putting the peppers and eggplants out until it is actually warmer at night.

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Today, we finished putting the llama poo trenches and board paths in, moved some of the tables and other accessories around to where they will live for the year, and broke up the last area of packed dirt. Now we just need to work in one last load of compost into this last area, finish our little rock path, and everything will be completely ready for planting… In the Greenhouse anyway.

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Well, that is the greenhouse as of today. Just a few finishing touches before actual planting can commence… AND then work on the outdoor garden at the greenhouse begins in earnest. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I have had muddy hands most days I have been working out there and haven’t wanted to touch my camera or my phone with them.

Two things I forgot to mention: The little herb garden we put in at the front of the greenhouse, and the rock path we are putting in. The rock path serves 2 purposes; to retain heat at night (thermal mass); and to help keep us from walking all over mud. We are just putting the rocks on top of the dirt, so we are able to move it easily if required.

 

 

 

 

The Fall Dig (and some plans for the future)

January is a weird time to be writing about Fall. I will be the first to admit that. I have had versions of this post, just sitting in my draft folder, and I really just wanted to write about my gardening again. And I really didn’t want to wait until next fall to post about it.

As I have mentioned before, we have an amazing new place for next year’s garden. But it needs a lot of hard work and effort to get it back to good growing ground. This is essentially the first chapter at this new place, and so, without further ado, this is my post about Fall in January…

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Continue reading “The Fall Dig (and some plans for the future)”