Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A whole lotta work!

I have been a busy, busy girl since I last posted! Whew! It was sunny and gorgeous out this whole weekend! DH and I worked our butts off in the backyard both gardening and continuing the hardscaping project. It was so nice to get to be around him too. Seems so often we trade off kid duty so that one or the other can take care of some errand or project or whatever that we wind up not hanging out together as a family as much as I'd like. It was good that we were all working and playing together. It was the best way to get vitamin D too - tank top, shorts and a whole lotta sun.

Now I will have no weeds to pull between my beds! We laid down 1/4" minus pathways. Wet rock is *heavy*. I'm really sore and we only got it half done but still, so satisfying. It's a long slow work in progress...




In other news I moved my languishing sweet peppers from the lights downstairs to the windows upstairs where it's not as bright (just natural sunlight) but a whole lot warmer. They seem to be doing much better. Their leaves are turning from a palish yellow/green to a deep rich green color. I'm so glad I moved them! Our warm temps are supposed to start to fade beginning tomorrow but I think I'll keep leaving them in the windows to see how they do.

I'm so excited! We mowed the law for the first time this weekend and I added all the clippings to my languishing (60°) compost pile on Saturday and turned the whole thing. I stuck the thermometer in the pile tonight and it looks like I've got a hot active pile now! ::g:: It's up to 100° I'm sure the warm dry weather didn't hurt matters either. It just makes me happy. Yes I'm a decomposition dork. Heh.

I'm still pretty worried about the tomatoes. The edges are brown and crisp on some of the leaves. I don't know what's going on but I really hope they pull through. I planted them in the garden this weekend using the trench method. (Cut off all but the top two sets of leaves and bend and bury the stem and root system so it's only a few inches below the soil level. This keeps the roots much warmer as they're closer to the surface.) I've not tried this method before so we'll see how it goes. The starts weren't in the greatest condition to begin with so I hope they weather the shock of being transplanted. My other concern is that the designated spot for them is turning out to be the driest place in the whole garden.*

The second round of peas that I started are all germinating pretty well - a much better rate then before! I'm so happy to see some of their little heads poke up. The one's I planted from the first round are also getting just big enough to start to grab onto the twine. I was able to wrap two of them to give them a start in the right direction.

All of the squash went into the bed this weekend too. The cucs and corn might have been started a *wee* bit early but I'm just impatient that way. We'll see how they do and if need be start them again later. Pumpkin, yellow crook neck and my winter fairy squash are all nestled in place now too.

It was a pretty nice compliment to have the neighbor visit my yard and tell me my blueberry bushes have more blossoms on just one bush then she's ever had on any of hers. They are pretty laden. Now I just need to figure out if I should pick them all off or not. Of course I don't want to, but they're only two years old and it was suggested that fruiting should be nipped so the plant can put its energy into making a strong root system. Oh could I make myself wait a whole 'nother year?! I do loves me the blueberry preserves. Hum.... (will have to read up on that one)

I somehow managed to go though my entire 65 gallon rain barrel worth of water this weekend. (Granted it was hot - 90° out today) but it was nice to get a feel for how much water I might use this summer. I also was watering a bit excessively because I had a lot of tender new starts in the garden that weren't going to handle the heat without some sort protection. I wound up losing four of the tiny parsley starts that I germinated a bit too late I think. I might replace them with nursery starts when I get around to it.

I was also able to get my nasturtiums in the ground, some from starts and some I tried direct seeding - we'll see how they both do. I also put the morning glory in. I was hesitant about this for several reasons - it's poisonous and I have a toddler + it's potentially invasive. I might be crazy. I guess I can rip it out if it starts to get out of hand or if my daughter gets it in her head that she can eat it. My marigolds didn't germinate as well as I was hoping but I don't have alot of room for them anyway so I guess I can find a spot or two for the two that did come up. I might have to seed some more and leave them in pots for the buggies to find. Also does anyone know if Zinnia's are a good companion plant?

I've also noticed that the flowers in the front are a bit more neglected with all the attention the veggie garden is getting, poor dears. The good news is that the Sluggo I picked up is helping a lot with the slug and snail damage that is usually so evident at this time already. My hosta's have big fat leaves! Who knew? And the Iris and other bulb leaves are nearly untouched too. How delightful. =)

I know I had more I wanted to say but it's late and DH is bugging me to turn off the computer - I'll be sure to get caught up with everyone tomorrow. Night!

*In case you don't know we had no garden last year - all the beds and everything we've done was pretty much started last fall except for the retaining wall for the blueberry bed which I started last summer. Before that our yard had pretty much been a weed patch for four years.


Randy Emmitt said...


Yes it look like you did a ton of work! Out tomatoes I transplanted have looked terrible for the past two weeks, none have died though.

I worked my butterfly bed and got 1/3 done realized I'm getting old as it seemed like too much work.

Engineeredgarden said...

Jenn - Ya know....I really like the coldframes at the ends of your boxes. What a cool idea! It's good that you and hubs can garden together.

Annie's Granny said...

Your garden is becoming a thing of beauty! The pathways are really going to look nice. Having built my entire garden from scratch last summer, I know what you are going through. Maybe next season we'll be at that point where we can just enjoy the gardening!

Liisa said...

Wow Jenn it really looks great! You are going to have a wonderful garden! I enjoy having hubby in the garden work with me as well.


Dan said...

The improvements look great. I've been busy landscaping too, I keep thinking one of these years I will be done with improvements... Then I will probably move to the country and start all over.

Your tomatoes probably just have a little shock or sun burn, they will pick up fast.

Just Jenn said...

Randy, Glad your tomatoes are hangin' in there! I've got to pop over and see what you've done to the bed.

EG, Thanks! I like them too. Well, I did. My kid threw a rake though one and shattered the glass this past weekend. One more project on the list now: replace window pane! (Maybe I should spell that pain?)

Annie, Oh thank you! I can hardly wait to just sit back and watch stuff grow. Too bad it never really quite works like that, eh?

Liisa, It's nice when the boys want to play in the dirt too. =)

Dan, you sound like my mom... lol. "It looks great but you know as soon as you finish you'll wind up moving right?!" I believe was her exact quote. Of course I'd be willing to trade it for a bit more space in the country too. We both have such little areas to work in - the bane of the urban gardener. Thanks for the sunburn idea on the toms... I'm really hoping that's all that it is. They look a little crisp so I've been keeping them watered and did notice today that at least the Oregon Star has shot up a little bit despite the poor looking leaf quality. It was pretty hot out when I planted them, even though they had a week + to harden off I don't think they took it well.