Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Strawberry Picking

My little strawberry picker Posted by Picasa


Look how many strawberries I picked! Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 29, 2006

Too hot too fast

The weather seems to have gone from cool to boiling hot overnight. I transplanted the rest of my plants on Saturday morning and planted some more carrots and lettuce and then the weather turned hot. Yesterday (Sunday) it was 97 degrees - that is 4th of July weather, not Memorial Day weekend weather! I am now worried that my new transplants and small seedlings will dry out too fast and not make it. It will be in the 90s again today.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Raspberry Meringue Pie Posted by Picasa
I made this with seedless raspberries that I canned from last year's garden. My son loves meringue, so I kind of made up my own recipe. The pie crust is a mix from the gluten free pantry.

Fresh Organic Lettuce Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another Good Weekend

The rain finally stopped and it was cool enough to work in the garden without getting too overheated. On Friday night Andy helped me dig up the hostas from the south side of the house and divide them. They hadn't been divided in years and they really needed it. They look so much neater now. Andy enjoyed showing off his muscles carrying the extras to the curb. He wanted to make a sign that said FREE and put it on them, but I kept assuring him that wasn't necessary - that someone will take them - it's a universal code of gardeners - put your perennials on the curb and they will get taken. He was very concerned the plants could die and when he woke up on Saturday the first thing he did was look outside and was amazed to find them gone!

On Saturday I dug up the strip of garden along the North Side of the house, put down red plastic mulch, put up tomato cages and planted the tomatoes. I have never tried the red plastic under the tomatoes before but I have been reading about it for years - it is supposed to boost production. I forgot as I planted the tomatoes that I had started two different kinds and mixed them up as I planted them - I now have no idea which ones are the celebrity and which are the Wisconsin. Should be interesting to see if I can tell later.

On Sunday I layed some bark mulch down on the edges of the red plastic to hold it down a little better - but I did not cover it, the red needs to show through to benefit the tomatoes. I also planted most of the rest of the plants in the basement - I only have peppers left down there now and they like it hot, so next weekend will not be too late. I planted some more basil, some flowers and Brussels Sprouts. I also planted cucumbers.

Many things are sprouting and coming up in the garden. The radishes are up as well as the parsnips and beets. The potatoes are trying to poke through the mulch and I spotted a few things that I didn't plant. A rouge red sails lettuce plant is in the middle of the garden, no where near the other lettuce and I have several dill plants coming up (as I did last year as well - I haven't planted dill intentionally in two years!).

And the best is that I picked the first lettuce from the garden and we had it for dinner on Sunday. I don't pick full heads of lettuce - I pick the outer leaves and let it keep growing. I think I get more lettuce that way - and it tastes so young and fresh.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day. I have asked for a glass gazing ball for my garden for Mother's Day for the last two years - I finally got one! The currant bushes are to the right of the ball. Posted by Picasa


The lettuce is growing nicely and also loves this cool and rainy weather we have been having. This is a close up of one of the Buttercrunch heads. I will be eating fresh lettuce from the garden in no time. Posted by Picasa

Pole Beans

You can't see it very good, but I strung the string on my bean poles today. I also planted the beans at the base. I planted green beans around one and yellow around the other. I just love fresh green beans (even if half of them are yellow - I still call them green!). Posted by Picasa


The cauliflower is loving this cold and rainy weather. Posted by Picasa


5 Quarts of fresh Rhubarb ready for the freezer Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cold and Rainy

It was such a nice weekend last weekend, but then it turned cold and rainy all week. It is only going to be a high of 48 today! God's way of reminding us we live in Minnesota. It looks like the cold and rain will continue through the weekend, so I don't think there will be much gardening this weekend. The plants that have been planted are thriving in this weather - the lettuce and cauliflower are especially thriving. And the wet ground is good for germinating the seeds that I planted last week - by the time I am able to get out there again, I will probably find some sprouts. Have a great Mother's Day everyone!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Another Good Gardening Day

Sunday was another beautiful day. We have a built in gardening box by the front door and Andy (with really very little assistance) planted Pansies there.

He wanted to help me plant seeds in the garden, but Jack was outside and he wanted to play with Jack instead so I started planting alone while the boys played in Andy's climber which is right by the garden. Jack's mom called him home after just a half hour and Andy helped me finish planting.

We planted radishes, 3 kinds of carrots including a new variety that is yellow in color instead of orange - we can't wait to see if it tastes any different, parsnips and beets. We put the bean towers in place in the garden, although I did not put the string on them yet or plant the beans - Andy is pretty obssesed with string (part of his autism) and he always gets upset every year when I string the string on them and he can't help (he is way too short) so I prefer to do the stringing when he is not around so I don't have to deal with the whinning. I buy a new ball of string every year and I placate him at the end by giving him the left over string. Sometimes I think I should get one of those wooden bean towers that are all in one piece, but I like that the ones I have come apart for easy storage over winter - and they are still in good working order, so why should I replace them? It is a pain to cut the string off in the fall and untangle the vines from them since the string does not compost very well, but not so much of a pain to consider replacing them.

I still have pepper plants and tomato plants in the basement along with brussels sprouts. I think I will probably put the tomatoes out next weekend, which is still a little early (and I may change my mind), but it has been pretty warm this year. I bought some red plastic film to put down under the tomatoes as a mulch - the red is supposed to boost production. The peppers probably won't go out for two more weeks or even later - they really like it hot. The Brussels Sprouts could go out now, but they are still pretty little since they were late germinating and not all of them did germinate, I think I ended up with just 4 plants. I may put them out sometime this week.

The garden is coming along nicely. We will see how it actually turns out. The rhubarb is up and ready for a first harvest (I never did use all of it from the freezer - I guess that will go in the compost now), the lilacs are in full bloom, the peach blossoms have fallen off and the currant bushes are loaded with what will be currant blossoms. But the Apple Tree that should be in full bloom has none. The strawberries are blooming as well as the Blackberries. The Raspberries are coming up as are all of my perennials. And my seasonal allergies are also in full bloom, but I don't care - I love being able to be outdoors more and in my garden!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Good Gardening Day

It was a beautiful day, clear and warm and I am sore as the result of gardening.

The raspberries and strawberries were not respecting each other's territory. As I dug all of the weeds out of both patches, I also dug up errant plants and planted them back in there own areas.

Last night after work I planted potatoes, garlic and some perennials. I also put zuchinni, pumpkin and basil plants out to "harden off". I planted them today. I hauled the hose out of the basement and watered the strawberries and raspberries that I transplanted. It doesn't sound like I got a lot done, but the raspberries and strawberries were pretty bad.

I did not get much solitary time in the garden, but it worked out OK. Andy has been into collecting rocks lately, so he quietly collected rocks from the garden while I dug. He was so immersed in his rocks that I was able to get lost in my own thoughts. He is a good kid and I do love him dearly. His recent testing showed him to be more delayed than I had thought. I have come to terms with it - he is who is. It is OK. And the testing could be inaccurate - even the testers said that in their report. It was hard to tell if he didn't know something or simply didn't want to answer. I still think he is a very bright kid. After dinner, we went for a bike ride on our bicycle built for two (a tag along bike that attaches to mine) and had a great time. Tomorrow should be another good gardening day.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I need some solitary gardening time

It is supposed to be a nice weekend. I sure hope it is. It is not just that I have lots to do in the garden after last weekend's rain - my soul needs to process information and it does that best when I am alone in the garden. We had an IEP meeting yesterday with Andy's teachers at school. All special ed kids need to be re-tested every three years to make sure that they still qualify for services. Andy just finished the re-testing and the meeting was to go over the test results. I need time to process what they mean. Everyone tells me that Andy is bright and doing so well. If I had a dime for every time someone told me that Andy couldn't have autism, I would be rich. The testing clearly showed that he does have autism. What else the testing showed I still need to process. I will post more about that after I have processed it. Let's just say that he is not at risk of losing any services anytime soon. People ask me with my busy schedule how I find time to garden - my answer is that I make the time because I need it - otherwise I could not deal with my life - it is my way of coping.