Saturday, July 7, 2012
It's been a lazy year for gardening. I'll really need to work on my starts next year so I'm not just guessing at what I'm growing.
I've also been lax in my feeding schedule and I can taste it (or rather, not), things haven't been quite right. I pulled my first tomato out of the garden and it was a bit blah. I found that rather disappointing.
Monday, July 2, 2012
I managed to feed the strawberry plants at the appropriate time this year and lo and behold! They were sweet and perfect. Amazing what a little fertilizer will do. ;^)
Flowers to attract the bees. I guess it worked because I put these under our apple tree this year and this is the first year we've had apples develop!
Red scallions that I'm really looking forward to having for breakfast tomorrow. (Sautéed in a tofu scramble)
The nasturtiums have taken over everything except these two plants: cone flower and bee balm. I've really got to get in there and hack them back. I did a little today but I'm afraid I'll have to do more if I don't want them to choke out the other flowers. The bee balm smells divine! (It smells just like earl gray tea)
The pretty flowers from our pole beans (to come). Mmm!
I some how managed to take a picture of a few of the raspberries before they were all snarfed up. Both DH and DD are berry *junkies*. Really for all the squealing and laughing from the two of them you'd think they'd discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow instead of a cup or two of berries. lol
Since it's not officially summer in Oregon until July 5th, the sun flowers are poised to open but aren't quite there yet. However compared to the rest of the country's record breaking heat, I'm not complaining (too much) about our cool wet weather.
Pretty but evil.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
On the other hand I'm also seeing clusters of aphid/ant "nests". Besides the fact that aphids suck (haha) does anyone know what's going on here and how to prevent this? I wound up cutting off the offending bit but would hate to see it spread.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
I couldn't imagine not having a garden just because I was having a baby (never mind that touching my toes became nearly impossible toward the end there). I gave up trying to take care of the seedlings I'd started and just went with starts I could buy at the nursery. Oh my. That was rather expensive for someone used to just having to shell out a few bucks for a pack of seeds. But hey, it's been nice now running out to the garden for salad greens and other goodies, so yup, worth it.
The veggie garden got a bit of a late start this year as you can imagine. I did finally get my tomatoes planted a few weeks late but at least they made it in (and are hiding under the plastic water cloches to protect them from cold evenings). Garlic went in last fall (the one thing I managed to do with my horrendous morning sickness) that's on the left and cilantro was planted on the right. Carrots were seeded and germinating under the board right in front of the toms.
Brassicas, lettuce, peas, spinach, radish and beets all went in this bed. I was pretty disappointed with the peas as nearly all of them failed to sprout. I think I must have exceeded the expiration date - either that or some critter was enjoying a snack of pea seeds... more on that later. I'm also not sure what I did but I actually had my spinach sprout this year. It's the same spot that sprouted a few years ago. It's the only place in my whole garden that it will apparently grow. Such a persnickety plant!
Chives, asparagus, parsley, carrots, leeks and potatoes. The chives are looking a little sparse this year, I'm not sure why. I didn't do a fall clean up last year so maybe not having been covered with straw mulch they suffered from the cold? I mean, they're fine and healthy and all just not a large and vigorous as they've been in years past. We also got to harvest the asparagus for the first time this year. Woo! It was delish. Can hardly wait for next year as this years harvest was so very small. Sadly the carrots failed to come up at all. Not sure what happened... maybe not enough sun? Leeks were transplants from another area in the garden and this was my attempt to overwinter them. They didn't like being moved but are hanging in there. Potatoes are always happy in my garden, more on them later.
The nice thing about April is the garden is full of flowers. Mostly I'm lazy (shhh, don't tell anyone) and enjoy the ease of bulbs. They're pretty and very easy to grow. I pretty much just sprinkle a bit of fertilizer on them just before they bloom, cut off the dead bits after they bloom and divid them once every four years if they need it. Easy peasy.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Take for example, the apple trees. I had yet to touch my three year old Honeycrisp tree with pruners but knew it was time to take a few snips here and there in order to get the structure correct for future growth. So I grabbed my grubby old pruners and took them inside where they were washed, disinfected (with bleach), oiled, and sharpened. Good clean sharp tools are always a must. ;^)
Since it's been a long while that I've had to prune an apple tree, and never one as young as this, I hit up YouTube for advice. I really like the clear directions of the following video.
Now my Honeycrisp has a lovely new haircut and is ready for the growing season. There is only one branch that I'll need to pull down to increase the angle at which it grows, but that can be done later this summer. My Spitzenburg apple is still a stick with buds on it, so not much point in pruning it this year. It can easily wait another year or two.
Now to stop neglecting my blueberry bushes.... they're up next! (I'm edging out of the appropriate time to have pruned these... it should've been done last week at the latest.) Of course I'm huge-ish now and bending over the baby belly to prune bushes doesn't sound like fun. Of course missing out on blueberries in June and July sounds like less fun!
To Do This Week in Zone 8a:
Harden off: broccoli, cauliflower, head cabbage, and kale.
Transplant: onion sets and parsley.
Direct sew outdoors: potatoes (the traditional day is St. Patties), radishes and spinach.
Lawns: Apply corn gluten (to keep the weeds down) to lawns around the time the forsythia blooms.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower.
Lettuce on the other hand isn't doing so hot. Hum. That's never happened before. I only had two sprout. I think it's likely due to the age of the seeds though, they're pushing 4 years old. I really need to buy some more but for now I'll just plunk in a few more old seeds and see if I can't get them to go. It was also pretty wet in that tray as well. I removed the lid a few days ago to let the whole thing dry out a bit. That should help as well.
Happily I'd started a few lettuce seeds in the garden last fall (though ignored them throughly due to health so they're a bit paltry) and still, nature finds a way. They're little now but I think they'll pull though the rest of the winter and be fine in the spring so happily I'll have some garden noshes early.
My poor garden beds were, as I've mentioned, sorely neglected last summer/fall. So here's the state they're in. Ugly! I've got a bunch of old onions that weren't harvested. I'm afraid to get down there and take a closer look. I figure my big ol pregnancy belly will really be in the way soon enough then I won't have to deal with it. lol Well, maybe the leeks will be okay? The weeds look good though don't they?! Nice and healthy. Bah!
Lots of onions and a few leeks
At least the collard greens look perky.
The last thing I did (besides pull a few weeds while I was out there) was take a small root nodule with a bit of greenery on it from my chocolate peppermint plant. I've got the thing contained in a nice pot but the best mint always comes from the outside edges once it warms up and really gets busy with the growing. Ideally I'd start a new plant from cuttings every year and repot the whole thing but it's been a couple of years and last years mint harvest was awful. So! I had to be sure to get on this early. Since this bit had a bit of root I just took it and put it in a pot with starting medium and stuck it under the lights with the rest of the seed starts. Once it establishes and I can plant it outside I'll be sure to rip all the other mint out the pot and plant just this one. It'll give me a nice bright green harvestable mint plant all season long. Looking forward to a mojito or two this summer. ;^) (It's also excellent chopped up and tossed with cubed watermelon)
Chocolate peppermint "cutting".
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sadly, however I didn't manage to take any other pictures. I also finished planning out the 2012 garden and it looks like I will have to buy a few see packs but nothing I need to worry about currently.
I was thinking about planting horseradish this year. Anyone have experience with that? I heard that they help with warding off pests that bother potatoes. I thought I might try them as a companion planting this year.
I would've tried to get out and prune the fruit trees and blueberry bushes this past week but we've been getting deluged with icy-cold winter rain. I have no desire to go out there in goggles and flippers and turn blue. I'll wait a while till things dry out and warm up - even marginally before I make the attempt.
To Do this Week in Zone 8a:
Prune apple trees
Prune blueberry bushes
Sew seeds indoors: Broccoli, Cabbage (head), Cauliflower, Kale, Lettuce (head), Onion, and Parsley.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Yay collard greens!
I will apologize for dropping off last summer but we accidentally planted a seed of a different type 'round here. I'm expecting a baby boy in mid April! I also wound up having the most debilitating morning sickness to the point of pretty much being bed ridden for four months right at the end of the growing season and never even harvested half my crops. It was a real shame. Happily, that's all water under the bridge now.
The witch hazel is always so pretty in January.
This afternoon it's trying to snow and I've pulled out my garden binder and have started contemplating where I shall plant what, when the time comes. It's nearly time to start seeds (next week!) so this needs to be done.
A rough draft.
I'm making a list of what seeds need to be purchased and while I'm dreading it (because it's a complete mess) I need to also clean up the seed starting area in my house this week too. Of course some of this is complicated by my big belly. 0.o I'm still wondering how I'm going to actually get things planted outside with a big ol' baby bump in the way but I'll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. Perhaps I can coerce my sister into helping?
See? Here I am being brave and just showing you *some* of the disaster that is my seed starting area. I still need to wash all the trays and lids which are stacked rather precariously by the utility sink and go through all the messy pile of seed packs I left out last fall. Shame on me! (Not the best seed storage method - lol!) I also need to dump out the old batches of fert I made up last year and look into the bottles of "magic plant potions" that I have laying around to see what needs to be replaced or replenished.
To Do this Week in Zone 8a:
Prune apple trees
Prune blueberry bushes