Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

Garden 2011-Phase II

About a week ago I took these pictures of my veggies and realized that it was time for Phase Two of the garden:

This part of the garden adventure requires the most work.  I began the work on Thursday and today my whole body is protesting any energy output.  My hands are sore and a bit dry.  My back is painful.  And I’m not finished yet.  When I am done I will hold my breath and begin the waiting.  Will these plants grow or will they stay the same size they were the day I planted them and eventually wither away?  Some will.  Some will grow amazingly well.

In the ground I have corn, butterhead lettuce, mesclun, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, summer squash and butternut squash.

The squashes are going to have to work hard this year. I started to dig an area for my squash garden (’cause these puppies need their own area to sprawl or they will take over everything else in the garden.  Lesson learned.) but my back was not cooperating and I had to stop.   I threw some garden soil on top of the grass and planted away.  So, they may have some weeds to contend with this summer.  Not that it’s a problem for them. Ever.  In fact,  in the winter of 2009 I tossed butternut squash remains over the backyard fence for the birds.  In the summer of 2010 I had the most beautiful squash plants growing among the weeds, right there on my fence line.  In fact, it was so thick I had trouble finding the squash and, since this area of our yard tends to get a lot of run-off water and mud, most of them rotted before I could harvest them.  (It also took me a while before I noticed what I had growing there!)  I have no doubt my little squashes will grow well despite my lack of ground prep before planting them.

So far I have two separate garden beds.  One for squash and one for everything else.  Eventually I will add a third for pumpkins and watermelons.  Here is garden number two:

And some of the plants:

Strawberries

carrots

herbs, eggplant, watermelon, and a pumpkin or two . . . still growing slowly

precious peppers, hanging in there, waiting for warmer weather

more watermelon

My experiment this year.  Will the lettuce and mesclun grow better in the ground or in containers?

container lettuce

container mesclun

container tomatoes

Ds5’s radishes from preschool.  They are doing very well.

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Garden–3-22-11

Peppers! They finally sprouted!

My sweet little baby veggies are doing so well.  I’m quite proud of them.  It’s funny how maternal I feel toward my plants.  I think it gives me an outlet for my ever-present ‘baby fever’.  I enjoy pregnancy (after the first trimester) and love babies (and dislike the ages of 2-5 just as much as I love 0-2!) but I am all done with that stage of life.  Watching my garden grow feeds the need to nurture tiny growing things.  🙂

Watermelon, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, mesclun, tomatoes, peppers, butternut and summer squash and probably something else I've forgotten

Herbs and pumpkins (which are being eaten by birds, I believe.)

The seed that won't let go. (Cucumber)

Garden 3-8-11

 

Mesclun

 

Cucumber

Corn

Broccoli (I think)

 

So far everything is growing well except the tomatoes and peppers.  😦  I’ve never planted tomato or pepper seeds.  I always buy the plants some time in May and grow them in my container garden.  Silly me, I thought that tomatoes and peppers were among the easiest veggies (okay, fruits!) to grow.  I really, really want these multicolored peppers, though, so I’m going back to buy more seeds and I will baby these peppers until they produce.  I am determined!  I will likely buy tomato plants, though.

Garden–3-1-11

Let there be life!

These were a beautiful site this morning:

Baby mesclun

Cucumber sprouts

Garden–2-26-11

I started phase one of my veggie garden today.  Nothing quite like the peace I feel when planting tiny seeds.  They nourish my spirit now and later, my body.

This year I’m planting:

Carrots (Kaleidoscope Mix)
Peppers (Sweet Carnival Hybrid Mix)
Mesclun (Salad Mix)
Lettuce (All Season Butterhead Mix)
Pumpkin (Jack-of-All-Trades Hybrid)
Watermelon (Sugar Baby and Sugar Bowl Hybrid)
Squash (Butternut)
Squash (Butterstick Hybrid)
Broccoli (Majestic Crown Hybrid)
Tomato (Bistro Hybrid)
Corn (Ruby Queen Hybrid)
Eggplant (Black Beauty)
Cucumber (Tendergreen)

I’ll be putting straight into the ground:
Strawberries and Asparagus

I’m restarting my herb garden as well with:
Cilantro
Rosemary
Chives
Parsley
Basil
Oregano
Thyme
Sage

Flowers this year are:
Daffodils (planted late, so we’ll see.)
Canterbury Bells (Cup and Saucer Mix)
Aster (Ocean Star Mix)
SnapDragon (First Ladies, Mixed)
Sweet Pea (Jet-Set, Mixed)
Salvia (Blue Bedder)

After picking my seeds, I would usually purchase several Jiffy Trays.

This year I decided it was cheaper to save soup cans and yogurt containers for my seeds, but I had three Jiffy Trays left over from last year.

The next step is to put a sticker on the bottom left-hand corner of the Jiffy Tray so that I can tell which side is which and which tray is which.

Add water and wait . . .

Using a small stick, I made a little hole in which to tuck the seed(s).

Then, I found some sweet little fingers to help me out with these cute little seeds.  *melt*

After planting as many of one type of seeds as I wanted to plant, I recorded what seeds went in which space on this handy little chart I made in Excel (notice the name of the sticker on the tray at the bottom left so that I know what’s in each tray!):

And now, the waiting for germination begins!

As I mentioned before, I also used soup cans and yogurt containers to plant some seeds.  Now, I’m no artist, so my soup cans are plain.  But, a soup can herb garden has the potential to be really cute for those who have time and patience for art.  I’m all science, baby.  Except for music (piano, specifically), that’s my art (and my therapy).  I loved music theory, though.  A lot.

So, if you use soup cans you’ll want to hammer holes in the bottom for drainage.  Use a hammer and a sharp nail or screw.  The yogurt containers can be punctured quickly without the help of a hammer if you are using a sharp screw.

The finished product:

I still have to plant the strawberries,asparagus and flowers, but I’m taking a lunch break!  I cannot wait to get back outside on this beautiful day!  I promised myself this morning I would do nothing inside during the day that could be done once it is dark.  I’ve already given in by posting this before dark.  I must get back to playing, er, working with my seeds!