Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Day of March, First Seeds Sown (GTS Sunday 4)

It wasn't the best day for it: chilly and windy and cloudy. BUT--I got some stuff planted! Woohoo! I'm going to keep track of moon signs--it totally wasn't the right time to plant anything I planted. But it's just going to have to be okay. Hopefully Mother Moon and Father Sun will hook me up.

Anyway, today I...
  1. Sowed a mesclun patch in the herb bed. The herb bed will be permanent--the sorrel, chives, marjoram, thyme, bay, catnip and lemon balm already there will stay there. I believe I'll keep the leeks there as well. I'll fill in with mesclun (check!) and other annual herbs. Oh, and I need to get sage.
  2. Sowed three rows of "Amarillo Yellow" carrots between the lettuce. Tomorrow I'll add two more short rows between the broccoli. I'll also put some Swiss chard in that bed and sow some sweet peas. Jeffrey helped me sow the seeds (he was meticulous in his seed placement) and wrote out the markers for the rows. Growing up, helping Daddy in the garden was a requirement and a pleasure and I have no doubt that that's why I love veggies and gardening so much today. I hope my kiddies will be the same way.

  3. Set out the Quinalt strawberries I finally found. Quinalts do fine here, Divine Ms. K, but they need to be kept nice and healthy. They aren't particularly big; I'll use them for fresh fruit and to keep Jeffrey's attention. (I'll get most of the strawberries for putting up--freezing and jam and drying--at the farm down the road.) Between the strawberries, I set out four rows of red onions. This, clearly, is about a bajillion onions, and if they all make, then I'll have far more onions than I'll use fresh. More drying and freezing in store for those babies. I'll put in some Swiss chard and some "Little Finger" carrots in that bed tomorrow.

  4. Also on tap for tomorrow: see about potatoes. It might be too late to plant and I'm not sure where to get them. I might put out some Blue Lake bush beans as well, although I'm going to wait on the Trail of Tear pole beans because I want to get the corn in first for my Three Sisters bed and the soil needs to be a bit warmer. Besides, I sort of feel like I need to go all the way native with that, and as the dogwood leaves aren't the size of squirrel ears yet, I think I'll wait a while.

  5. Realized that the container/companion plant method I'm using is forcing me to make wise gardening decisions. Before this year, I've just sort of put things in randomly. Some plants did well, some didn't, some sort of chilled in the garden reading the newspapers I spread out to stop the weeds. Few things started from seeds thrived, the weeds were horrendous, and my fennel managed to kill as many plants around it as possible. But now, I'm thinking so carefully about where to place each seed and seedling and cutting. I'm worrying about fitting things in and making sure they can support their neighbors. I still don't know where I'm going to put the French melon or how to avoid crossing the two varieties of cucumbers. I'm careful with seeds and I follow recomendations for depths and watering that I never have before.
I couldn't decide which of the below to use as my GTS pic, so I'm using one. The first is Jeffrey's handiwork in the carrot row. The second is a bedewed (okay, behosed) broccoli plant. The clouds and shivering made for weird pictures. Better pics next week, I hope.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I'm actually so glad that I didn't get my garden planted as planned, as we had a freeze on Monday night and a frost last night. It's not the right time according to the signs, but I'm going to be a planting fiend today and finish out another bed. I hope. I'll post pictures when I do and probably update this post.

In non-garden news, I am in the midst of a huge digging out and reorganization process in the office. I'm setting up day planners on both computers and reconfiguring my email to be more efficient. And I am tossing out a whole bunch of mess. Lots and lots and lots of mess.

Also, we're in the middle of having our house painted and reroofed. Ugh at the fumes and the sploshes and pools of paint all over my gardens. But it looks good. I'll post pictures of that, as well.

ALSO, I've added a review section to the blog for "green" products--if you have something handmade, organic, or otherwise earth-friendly that you'd like me to review, let me know.

Anything else? "bug guy" told me yesterday that getting brown widows around our house this year was probably "inevitable." Awesome. Blech.

OH YEAH! It's SPRING--run out and frolic, my loves.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday 3

Things have been slow in the garden this week; the moon has been waning and the weather has been rainy and/or cold. But we're waxing next week and I'm going to start getting my cool weather veggies in. I'm a bit behind, but wanted to wait on the moon (plus, we had a hard freeze this week.)

In the meantime, here's a pic from last week's visit to Cowtown. This is a field thistle that found its home nestled in the lea of a hay bale. Not to sound like a photo nerd, but I really like the contrast of textures in this photo.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Green Thumb Sunday Two

The first picture owes absolutely nothing to my personal green thumb, unless you count "not hacking the bush into bits" as gardening. It's a blossom from one of the gajillion azaleas in our yard. We figure they must be as old as our house--which was built in the early 1970s. The bushes themselves are around ten feet tall and they form veritable thickets of pink and fushia and white blossoms in the spring. It's all very lovely and every spring, I think to say "thank you" to the folks who had the good sense to plant so many of them.

The second picture owes even less to my intervention. These daffodils were planted well before my birth by the wife of the caretaker of the farm where my father (and I) grew up. Big Jim and his wife (whose name I'm not sure I ever knew) are long gone from the farm and might, for all I know, be gone from the earth, as well. But their daffodils still bloom in a rectangular drift along the fence line and have the sweetest scent of any daffodil I've ever sniffed. They bloom earlier, too: these have been blooming since Valentine's Day. If you look close, you might see the brown stippling caused by a frost that caught them unaware.

I'm labeling this post "Spring," even though the weatherman says the temperature will dip back below freezing by the end of the week and the solstice is still days away. I'm doing it honor of those folks from the past who seemed to know that I needed a bit of hopeful color after the past week.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.