Gardening

May. 19th, 2014 06:31 pm
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The tomatoes and cucumbers I planted in the community garden box did not survive (maybe one tomato, but I'm not sure). The basil is still going though, and I think a few things have started to sprout. I have teeny tiny currants on one of my three/three bushes!  I have been reading about deadheading and dividing my bulbs, so I'll head out in a minute to do that. In the meantime, here's a bit of this year's spring garden:








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I love my community garden plot! Apparently it has been a bad year for thefts, but I lost only a few green peppers and some chives. Because it is threatening frost tonight, I harvested four green peppers, about 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, some chives, oregano, coriander, one onion, and a whack-load of basil.

My crummy little back yard garden has produced a few large tomatoes, some cherry tomatoes, and a green pepper.

I still have onions, carrots, cabbages, stevia, a tiny bit of dill, romaine lettuce, and lots more tomatoes (assuming we don't get frost).

I wish I was better at late season gardening - I'm fairly certain there are things I could sprout now to be eaten as late as November. I also need to learn more about rotating vegetables. I have a feeling that the potato patch can't be used more than two years in a row.

I can't imagine how my sister is managing - she foolishly put in 1/4 acre, and I'm told she has done nothing but weed all summer. I have a huge bucket of her bounty in my front hallway, to be made into pickles as soon as I can find ssome dill seed.


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I have at least 10 potato plants growing this year. I'm hopeful that I will be able to harvest more than the three tiny potatoes I got last year - perhaps enough to pay back the cost of the box of seed potatoes!

I had hoped to build more raised beds this year, but have settled for three rows of large pots against the back wall. So far, there is something growing in every pot. I would have liked more tomatoes, but decided that I would settle for three plants from the garden shop after the disastrous failure of starting seeds indoors this year. Some sort of little bug invaded and killed every one of my seedlings. Instead, I have made a concerted effort to use up the many seeds I keep collecting. I made a small dent, and have promised myself to replant to ensure continuous crops, and to eat lots of lettuce this year. As I recall, I have radishes, carrots, peas, a few kinds of lettuce, onions, possibly garlic and scallions, sorrel, dill, basil, cilantro, cucumbers, and zucchini (or maybe it's a squash - I don't think it's a watermelon, though I planted seeds). Then, of course, I have the lovage, horseradish, rhubarb, and sunchokes.

I'm trying hard to bring the sunchokes under a little control this year. In part it's because I want to plant other interesting things in my front garden. That may continue to be a failure, however, as I have horseradish I can't get rid of (despite transplanting some to the back yard and digging up every scrap I can). In addition, I was given woad seeds that I cheerfully planted in the front garden before discovering that woad is another nearly indestructible perennial.

On a happier note, I found some lupins to replace those that were destroyed when the hydro pole was changed last year. In addition, my globe alliums have decided to propagate; I planted six bulbs about five years ago, and always get six flowers. Suddenly, this year, I have twenty-five. I also have some lovely blue flowers (vaguely bluebell-y or hyacinth-y, but no idea what they are), Sweet Williams that have decided to spread after years of being one tiny patch in the corner, and at least one batch of chives that has returned from last year.

My irises are less happy, but the iris was a giant blossom that always fell over and couldn't be enjoyed, so I'm not sure how much I care. I also have a sad-looking hosta that has been taken hostage by the sunchokes. The next decent and relatively bug-free day, it will get transplanted to the side garden, where it will have less competition.

I don't seem to have as many edible weeds this year, and dog-strangling vine keeps trying to invade, but so far I'm finding the gardening to be fairly satisfying. It is very strange to have a nice lawn, though. I planted the last of my clover in some bare patches and it's actually growing! There are no major dead patches where a dog has relieved himself, and I have already mown the lawn twice. I even bought three new geraniums to supplement those I had successfully nurtured over the winter (a first for me, with experiments in two different ways to do it). The geraniums are now in planters and outside, though not yet hanging from the balcony hooks. I won't be winning any beautiful garden awards, but perhaps this year I can avoid having the ugliest garden on the block.

Gardening

Apr. 28th, 2013 05:25 pm
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I am completely and utterly filthy. The new shed is half built. Most of the yard furniture is assembled and in place. The garlic and onions are planted. The raspberry cans have been pruned and cleaned out. I still need to plant the red currant, potatoes, and shallots. We won't even discuss the planters for herbs and tomatoes...

I need another raised bed. And a bath.


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I am not a very organized gardener. Mostly, I plant what amuses me, and where it amuses me. I'm also terrible at marking what I planted or keeping up with the weeding and harvesting. All this leads to some interesting surprises.

Today I put in the rest of my raised bed, planted my seedlings, and put in as many seeds as I had dirt for. I still need a few more bags of dirt for some planters to put on the balcony, plus some flower seedlings for the window boxes, but so far it's looking pretty good.

I planted dill (possible as seedlings as well as seeds), basil, parsley (I think), cilantro, swiss chard, roquette, nasturtiums, calendula, tomatoes, potatoes, wild flower mix, forget-me-nots, carnations, bachelor's buttons, bok choy, carrots, peas, pumpkin, squash, a watermelon, collard greens, chinese cabbage, beets, radishes, peas, beans, and a mystery plant (I started it indoors but don't remember what it is). I forgot the weld seeds, so they will go in once I get more dirt.

I pulled out a yard waste bag full of sunchokes and wood violets. In so doing, I discovered a leek and several onions planted last year. I did not, however, discover any horseradish. It appears I finally got all of it out of the front garden and only have three plants growing in the back. They are by my composter, where nothing else grows, so it's perfect.



I also discovered my jack-in-the-pulpit, after a two year absence:


Here is the finished bed, complete with all the plants that went into it.



All the bare patches now have something in them. I have added good topsoil to much of the front garden and along the fence in the back - so far this year, I have used 35 bags of dirt! I can now sit back and wat to see what will grow. If a small fraction survives to harvest, I'll be pleased.
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I finally got out all my seeds and little starter pots, and got them together with some dirt. This year, I remembered to cover them with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture. I have no idea how many will germinate, as none of the seeds are fresh except for a few tomatoes. I do know that some seeds are good for up to four years, though I don't remember which ones, or how old some of the seeds may be. I planted cucumber, zucchini, basil, peppers, tomatoes (two kinds), squash (two kinds), dill, and pumpkin. I still have roquette, mesclun, romaine, collards, watermelon, radishes, carrots, sorrel, and many miscellaneous flowers to plant directly in the garden.

The next tasks will be to dig out my little greenhouse and set it up, and finish building my raised bed. Hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow.  I also need to fill a bunch of my big planters so I can start some seeds in them.
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This was the weather a week ago:



The neighbour's house, with its lamp-post and tulips, appeared to be right out of Narnia:



Today, I discovered I have nuthatches:







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We had a good frost last night, and I couldn't stand my messy front garden any more, so decided to harvest the Jerusalem artichokes that had invaded. Here's how it looked when I started:


After two hours of digging, I ended up with some horseradish and a bag of teeny tiny tubers:


I'l have enough for about two small pots of artichoke soup, and horseradish for all my friends! The yard looks much better, I can get at greenery for the bunnies, and I have three bags of yard waste ready to go on Monday:

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