Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In my garden today 5/29/07

The apple tree is loaded with little apples

I transplanted the pepper plants today - now everything is in the ground

Strawberries are ripening

The black raspberries I transplanted in the spring are flowering so maybe I'll get some fruit from them this year - I thought I might lose a year with a transplant.

The pole beans are all up. The green beans on the right came up before the yellow beans on the left even though they were planted at the same time.

I don't know how well you can see with my cheap camera (my nice one died), but the carrots are all up in nice little rows.

The potatoes are looking good

The currant bushes are loaded.

The sunflower fort has been planted, but this year we put mulch in the middle so prickly weeds don't grow - the boys didn't like playing in there much last year because of the weeds!

7 quarts of rhubarb ready for the freezer. Rhubarb is real easy to freeze - just cut up and put in bags and stick in the freezer - nothing to it!

I have some flowers blooming as well. I don't pay attention to the names of the flowers as I do to the veggies - so I can't even think of what kind of flowers they are right now.

The Minnesota peaches are growing bigger. I just hope I can keep the boys from picking them green. Andy and Vinny (the neighbor) picked quite a few green apples over the weekend - I have told them not to touch the peaches, but they don't always listen.

The tomatoes are bouncing back from transplant shock.

The cabbage and brussels sprouts are loving this cool weather.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My first picking of lettuce and radishes

I picked lettuce and pulled a few radishes yesterday morning. There is nothing like the taste of lettuce fresh from the garden - it tastes so alive - not like the stuff you buy in the store that has been sitting there for a week. I am so glad I start my lettuce seeds early indoors under lights. Being able to start harvesting before Memorial Day is just so great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In my garden this morning

Lots to see in my garden this morning.

The tomatoes are starting to bounce back from transplant shock. I do think I lost one or two - but most look like this one. Next week they will be looking good.

The Red Cabbage is loving the cool weather and doing good.

The Brussels Sprouts are also doing good.

The cauliflower was planted out this past weekend the same as the tomatoes and they haven't fully recovered from transplant shock yet either - but give them a week and they'll be looking fine!

The onions are looking great. I could start pulling some for green onions now if I needed to.

The last lettuce that I planted out is recovering mostly from transplant shock (this was the third planting) - but I think I may have lost the red one on the right.

The first lettuce I planted out is looking good. I will start picking the outer leaves for my evening salad in the next few days. I can't wait - nothing tastes better than lettuce you grow yourself!

The lettuce I direct seeded in the garden is also up and doing good. To the right you can see the radishes are also up.

The carrots are up - well, not the Nelson hybrid, but all of the other varieties I planted are up.

You can see baby beets here.

And the potatoes are starting to peek through the ground as well.

So far I am pretty pleased with how the garden is shaping up this year.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lawn Tips that are better for our enviroment

This is from Earth Share a wonderful organization (or should I say group of organizations) that are all about protecting our enviroment for future generations. I saw this on their website and thought it was very appropriate for this time of year. I shudder when I see my neighbors spraying toxins on their lawn - the lawn that their children (along with mine) play on!

Making the Grass Greener
Now that Spring is here, it’s time to begin dreaming about the grass growing beneath your feet. But a lot of lawns aren’t very “green” — at least, not for the environment. Residential lawns can use a lot of toxic chemicals — up to 10 pounds of pesticides per acre. The poisons don’t end at your front door. When it rains, pesticides may be flushed into local streams, rivers, and lakes, harming fish and plants along the way. Here are some tips to make sure your grass looks great — and is safe for pets, children, and other living things.

Use natural fertilizers, which release nutrients slowly throughout the year, won’t leach away, and support the variety of soil organisms that improve fertility and combat diseases.

Water deeply but infrequently. Grasses do best when the whole root zone is wetted, and then dries out between waterings. Avoid frequent shallow watering that causes poor root development. Overwatering also promotes lawn disease.

Aerate in the spring and fall. Use a rented power-aerator, or insert a garden fork six inches deep every four inches and lever back and forth to loosen the soil.

Remove weeds using pincer-type weed pullers, which work great in moist soil and can be used standing up. Or, if you must, spot-spray problem weeds.

Crowd out weeds by growing a dense lawn. Mow higher, leave the clippings, fertilize properly, and improve thin areas with aeration, overseeding, and top dressing.

Create healthy soil. Earthworms and other soil organisms keep the soil healthy. By moving through the soil, they allow water and air to penetrate, and they recycle thatch back into nutrients that the grass can use.

Visit Earth Share for more ideas - and to contribute to organizations that are dedicated to protecting our enviroment: http://www.earthshare.org/

Sunday, May 06, 2007

First Rhubarb of the season

The first rhubarb of the season always tastes the best. The anticipation all winter of freshness from the garden rewarded.
Fresh from the garden.

Rhubarb Crisp fresh from the oven. It tastes as good as it looks!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Me? A Barometer?

I guess I need to get over my insecurities as a gardener. I always think that everyone else has a nicer looking garden and knows more about it than I do. I don't read a ton of books on gardening, I just follow my soul and do what feels right - and a lot of times my plants don't grow or thrive as much as they could. But most of my plants do just fine.

So, yesterday evening I'm out in the garden planting (I planted Beets and 3 varieties of carrots - Nelson Hybrid, Yellowstone and Red Atomic) and the neighbor across the alley yells over - "Are you planting tonight Kathi?" This neighbor has a beautiful garden and yard with beautiful pathways and stepping stones and metal arches - I think they have the most perfect garden so I was taken a little aback and thought maybe he was criticizing me for planting so early. So I responded, "just a few things that like the cold".

He walks over and seems genuinely interested in what I'm doing and comes over to see what I have already planted. I ask him what he has planted so far and he tells me, "nothing - we always wait until you plant and follow your lead - you are the barometer for the whole neighborhood you know. When Kathi plants, we all follow suit." I was speechless - "really, me? a barometer? You've got to me kidding?" But he was dead serious. It seems that while he has this perfect looking garden, he is just as insecure as I am - and he admires that I don't follow a lot of rules and plant my stuff too close together and in odd places - not many people can plop a few veggies in a bed of flowers and get away with it. Well, I didn't know I was getting away with things - just put things where they fit.

Me, a barometer - who knew? I hope I can carry my swelled head around all day!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

May 2, 2007

What a beautiful spring morning!

Red Acre Cabbage - I transplanted this to the garden last evening.

Long Island Improved Brussells Sprouts. Also transplanted last evening. It did fine with the cool overnight temps last night.

The plum tree Dan planted for my birthday last summer is looking very healthy. It not only survived the extreme summer heat and drought when it was planted, but also the cruel winter and now look - it even has a blossom way up on top!

And of course, it wouldn't be spring without strawberries - I can't wait.