Sunday, September 18, 2011

The September garden

The leaves are starting to change color and the smells have changed in the air. School has started and most of us gardeners are planting our fall veggies. Some of us have unsightly tomato plants with green tomatoes hanging all over them wondering when and if they're going to turn red. It was a pretty cool summer here and only now with the recent heat the tomatoes starting to turn red. Here is an article I read this morning regarding this subject. Looks like I wasn't the only one disappointed this year with our crop.

Maggie's Chinese cabbage is growing beautifully and we have lots of red onions & walla walla onions in the ground. Carrots and lettuce are sprouting and any day the beet seeds I planted should will too.  Here are some recent happenings from out back..

Finally red

Green zebras

Rows of Chinese cabbage
Herbs galore
Colin's huckleberries
Poblano peppers

Friday, August 12, 2011

Perfect rows of lettuce

I don't necessarily buy into the whole astrological sign thing but I am a Virgo and I do happen to like most things "just so" I'm also a fanatic about things being straight and even. I know, I need to relax and undoubtedly having 3 kids is bound to cure me at some point :) When it comes to gardening though, I admire full, lush, out of rhyme & reason gardens but I do love the look of perfect rows of lettuce and I find it easy to care for the lettuce this way. My method of planting lettuce seeds has always been using a straight piece of wood to mark where I dig. This year though I am trying a technique I saw online using flour to mark the rows. I unfortunately can't remember the site where I saw this but thought is was a great idea. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Goodbye July

Hard to believe that summer is almost over. The fall school clothing and Halloween items are already well stocked in the stores. We are anticipating the new school year and are in denial that Maggie is going into 4th grade and Sam 1st and that little Amelia is already 4 months old. Crazy. I gave up hope on our tomatoes this year. The plants are tall and leggy. We have had a few ripe tomatoes so far and we're not impressed. Thank God for farmer's market. The herbs however are enjoying this cool summer and we have enjoyed making homemade pesto a lot. The beans look like they're doing well and we should be picking a bunch any day now. I love the way the vines are up against the fence, creating a green wall. The sunflowers are tall and happy. Never a favorite of mine but I am enjoying them more and more every year. They happen to face our 90 year old neighbor's house and she looks forward to seeing them. They bring her so much pleasure. We now plant them for her. The bright light cosmos are indeed bright orange, beautiful and wild. All of them reseeded from last year. They even managed to reseed over the fence along the creek. Beautiful. looking forward to our first acorn squash, Sam's plant is amazing! Our vacation away with family will happen soon and when we return, I will be mapping out the winter garden. I already know that one bed will be full of onions and another with garlic and of course we'll have plenty of lettuce. For now though, I'll enjoy these last few days of summer and those sunflowers.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our First Potatoes

We harvested our first potatoes yesterday. We planted the seeds in early Feb and didn't know what to expect. Amelia was born in March and needless to say, the potatoes fell victim to neglect. Not a good thing with container gardening. The plants never bloomed and actually withered away altogether. Yesterday we dumped the container expecting to see nothing and we found a handful of potatoes from each container. It was pretty exciting! We are definitely going to grow them again and I imagine with more attention and care, we will have even more to harvest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome Summer

The cosmos in Maggie's garden are quite charming right now and the nasturtiums have happily found it's place in our yard once again. The mint is relentless as always, popping up everywhere and there's a rumor that we will be drinking some yummy mojitos this summer. The squash is rambling about in Sam's bed and volunteer tomatillos are popping up everywhere! The tomato plants are on the small, leggy side but that's not all that surprising considering the low temperatures and record rain we've had this month. We do however have blooms and fruit and of course lots of hope for plenty of bruchetta. I started off the morning today contacting Farmer Fred , our local Master Gardener via Facebook (how great is that?) inquiring about planting tomatoes this late. Hopefully I can get at least one more in the ground. Other than that, I am planning on pulling out some climbing roses that aren't doing so well and replacing them with something else. Something bright! I am thinking about the black eyed Susan vine but heard they are frost sensitive. I plan to pop in the garden center today and see if I can find them. I have only seen them available in seeds.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rhododendrons & Red Onions

I love our rhododendrons. They bloom for only a few short weeks out of the year but it's well worth waiting for. Not knowing what a rhododendron was, these were the only plants that I saved on our property after we moved in. Everything else was cactus and shrubs that were pruned wrong and covered in cobwebs and they had to go.

Last weekend I caught my first glimpse of summer. I think a lot of people did. Our local garden centers were busy. I bought some red onion starts to add to the red onions that I planted by seed weeks ago. These 6 packs hold a lot of onions. Each plug is a bulb. It's hard to see in the picture below, but the onions are filling up the right side of the bed. I also managed to get in 8 tomato plants, 3 squash, 6 bell peppers and herbs. It's great to be working in the yard again!  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Finding my way back to the garden

Blame it on winter or perhaps the new addition in our family but either way, it's been awhile since I've found myself out in the garden. With baby Amelia being almost 1 month old and the weather warming up, I'm slowly finding my way back to the garden. The zinnia & cosmo seeds are planted & the beds are prepped and waiting to be filled with tomato plants, squash, cucumbers and more. I recently added soil to the potato pots and my husband helped me with the wire on our fence for the climbing pink jasmine. The jasmine is ready to bloom and this will be the year that we'll start to see significant growth from it I'm sure. Here are some recent pictures.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Growing Potatoes in Containers

Every year, I mention to someone how much I'd love to grow potatoes. I remember harvesting them once, when I was a teenager, out of a neighbor's garden. I couldn't stop digging. It was so exciting to find potato after potato! It wasn't until a year ago, or so, when I discovered they could be grown in containers. I thought this was great because I heard potatoes can attract insects to the garden and also I heard that they are a pretty cumbersome plant taking up lots of real estate and that they are difficult to get rid of if you don't manage to pull all the potatoes up. I also thought this would be a great gardening project to do with the kids. I surfed the web a bit looking for good tutorials and found a great article here from Love Apple Farm. Our seed potatoes were on the small size so we planted them whole. It was a fun project to do with my daughter and we enjoyed our afternoon in the garden on one of the first sunny and warm days of the new year. We can't wait to see how they do.