Saturday, April 30, 2011

A long over due day of gardening

It was a beautiful day to spend outside. Intermittently cloudy and a high of maybe 70? I had no other plans besides just gardening today and it was lovely. I didn't feel terrible (finally getting over being sick), it was lovely weather, I got to hang out with my daughter, get some sunshine and work out a little in the green gym.

Basil - Transplant
Chamomile - Transplant (one down, one to go)
edge lawn
weed gravel paths
Summer Squash - direct sew
feed lawn: sift older compost with food and worm castings (Did the back lawn, need to do the front still)
Dill - Harden Off / Transplant
turn and water compost
Dig up asparagus and chives
weed blueberry bed
add bark mulch to blue berry bed
Fill end bed w/ more compost and sand
Corn - Sew Seeds Direct
Replant asparaus and chives
Blueberries - Fertilize: 0.8 oz of N per plant using 21-0-0
buy peppers and basil starts
Melons - Sew Seeds Direct

Apple Tree - feed
Fertilize first two years (2010/2011) top of ground w/ calcium nitrate. Then not again till leaves are pale or growth abates to 4"-6" a year. Work lime (calcium carbonate) in yearly till soil PH is 6.4 to 6.7. In 2nd/3rd years tie down branches at an angle of no more then 45* to help induce early fruiting (does not apply to columnar apples).
Onions - Fertilize Lightly
plant more radishes (new to me variety, French breakfast radishes - sounds interesting!)
Tomatoes - Transplant & use cloche (Fertilize + small amounts of lime & ground egg shell)
dig out old dirt in pots and refresh with potting soil and compost
transplant marigold starts (still have a few left to get in the ground but I need to clear out a bed to do it)
Leeks - Transplant
take out peach tree
Cilantro - Transplant
Parsley - Fertilize
plant potatoes
Flowers - Sew all seeds direct outdoors
Peas - Fertilize
Collard Greens - Sew Seeds Direct
Flowers - till bed
Spinach - fertilize

Potato pots with little starts in them. As they grow up I'll add more compost/potting soil to cover till the pots are full.

Those red cones? They're water wells and help keep plants warm until the weather cooperates. Right now they're sheltering tomatoes and artichokes. I've still got one more tomato to plant but it's a baby still and can wait another week or two before going outside. Otherwise the garlic and onions are doing well. I got cilantro transplanted out today in this bed too. The parsley is coming along and even though it's *really* late, I put the leeks out. Maybe they'll be okay. This bed still needs peppers and basil but it's still too cold at night for them so we're on hold there.

I think I've given up trying to grow spinach. What's up? Only ONE year have I ever gotten it to sprout and grow and for the life of me I can't remember what I did get it to "go". So that back right corner? It should be spinach but now it's a marigold and another square foot of radish. Radish variety is new to me, French Breakfast Radish. I am intrigued! Maybe in the last square foot I'll try the spinach again. Tips? Tricks? Anyone... Also planted the last little bit in the front left - collared greens. It's a little late but should be fine with the extra cool weather we've been having.

This is the so sad peach tree. It should be green and leafed out by now but it's a mess. I cut it down a moment or two after taking this picture.

I felt bad about doing it and then my daughter says to me, "Mama, it's like stabbing a baby tree!" Yeah, thanks kid. That makes this SO much easier! X^P Ah well. Having a peach tree was not meant to be. I'll stick to what does well in the PNW, apples. I'll replace this soon with a Spitzenburg. So here is the tree-free garden bed. Hopefully before spring has come and gone I'll get the apple in and try to get its roots established before the heat of summer. Otherwise I'll have to wait till fall.

Death Day - Good Bye Sweet Peach

I haven't done a Death Day in a while and boy, this one is a doozy. I'm very, very sorry to report that the peach tree is pretty well in done for. Normally I'm a vigorous researcher when it comes to what kinds of plants go in the garden especially long term things like trees. However, several years ago I was at Home Depot of all places and saw this sweet little peach tree with the name "sugar princess" and just couldn't resist. Guess I should have! It already had evidence of peach leaf curl but I ignored that with the promise of sweet peaches in my near future.

I planted it two years ago. Last year it struggled though the peach leaf curl. I helped by covering it from rain, picking off the infected bits and doing what I could. I really needed to pick up all the leaves in the fall when they dropped but we were on vacation for over two weeks when it happened. I tried to rake up what I could when we got back but there wasn't much left. I sprayed the tree this spring but was either too late or I didn't apply enough spray and when it leafed out every single leaf was infected. All of them. I also noticed evidence of borer activity. I could try to hang on one more year but honestly I don't think there would be any improvement. I'm sad but the reality is, I think this one is done. Since there will now be a lot of peach leaf curl infecting the soil below I won't be able to replace it with another peach. I'm planning on replacing with an apple tree which is more more appropriate to our climate anyway.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weedy Wednesday

It's not all just watering and planting and enjoying the sunshine. Oh no! This here is a five gallon bucket of dandelion whine. Ha!

Somedays it's about pulling a LOT of weeds

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Bed

After my last post you'd think it was all doom and gloom around here - not so! See? Healthy happy plants! (And a few replacements for those starts that went south). We have had another cold wet spring so I've been slow to put too many things out yet, lest they freeze to death. However, the brassica's are in, along with the lettuce, peas, radish, spinach, etc.


Happy little cauliflower


Lettuce is doing very well


Keeping the "tenders" (cilantro, tomatoes, basil, etc) in the cold frame until our nights warm up a bit. Even though we're after our average last frost date (4/15) we've had two nights of hard freezes so I'm playing cautious this year and might even wait till May to put anything temperamental out.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Can't win 'em all

Normally plants do pretty well around here... especially when I pay attention to them. However, for the past month (yes 30 days) I've had a house full of company and my attention has been rather divided. Sadly, my seedlings were on the very bottom of the priority list. Poor, poor tomatoes! Not only did I not cull, but I never up potted and barely watered, never mind fed. It's shameful really.


Sad to say that many of my other starts look in much the same condition. Peppers, basil, cilantro, etc. So today I went to the nursery where they're nice to baby plants and bought some new one's to take home with me. I promise to be much kinder to them! (It will be much easier to do now that things are back to normal around here)

Not to say that I've killed everything - hardly! All the plants outside that were already in the ground look lovely and healthy and happy.... I will have to make a post here soon about the veg garden in general. In the meantime how about some pretty pictures of all the spring flowers? That should cheer you up after seeing my half dead baby plants.

Parrot Tulip

Chocolate Mint just starting to come up



More tulips, not sure the variety


Jack Frost in front of Yellow Tulips

Pink tulip and spirea

Parrot Tulip about to bloom