Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I found these adorable rain boots on Amazon for my grandson. He's a big fan of Cars, so I thought they were perfect. They have gloves and a little shovel to match, lol. He wants to plant seeds while he's here, so I thought we could plant a few sunflowers. I like to go out to the garden early morning or in the evenings, so I thought I better get him a pair of boots to keep his feet dry. He wakes promptly at 7:30 AM, and tells Mama he's ready, meaning he's ready to start the day. He wants his pancakes by 8:00 AM and by 9:00 AM it's on!
Now that you know more about me, I'll get back to the reason for me doing this post. My agenda for the day:
- Fight groundhogs, i.e. put up chicken wire to keep groundhogs from burrowing under the rabbit fence.
- Cut back shrubs
- Lay mulch
- Spend my gift card at Lowes. Looking forward to this errand.
- Pick up fresh flowers from Wal-Mart.
- Order garden boots for my grandson. (He will be visiting this week and helping Mama in the garden or wrecking it).
- Work on shade garden.
- Browse e-Bay. I forgot to mention, I'm an e-Bay addict too.
What's on your agenda today?
Sunday, June 26, 2011
A family has burrowed under one of my storage buildings and I need to come up with a plan to rid these creatures from my property or least my garden. I thought we could share space since they haven't done damage to the structure of my building, but they don't understand my garden is off limits. Until I came up with another plan, I googled my problem and a temporary solution is to sprinkle crushed pepper flakes or cayenne pepper around the perimeter of the garden. The groundhogs aka woodchucks will remember the experience once they encounter it and stay away. So far it's working. The cayenne pepper washes away, but the crushed flakes has remained even through rain. Looks like I'll be heading to Costco or Sam's today for an industrial size container of each. I found a site that gave a tip on sprinkling a little dirt or sand with the pepper to keep it from washing away.
It appears the intruder nibbled on my cucumbers too. Thankfully the cukes still have their blooms. I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper on the leaves, hopefully the pepper will ward them off. It seems the groundhogs have an acquired taste, they didn't seem to be interested in the squash, peppers, tomatoes or herbs.
These cucumbers are suppose to be bush; however, they seem to be sprawling. I'm wondering if they were mislabeled. That seems to be the story of my life, lol. I end up with the wrong color shrub and now it looks like I'll be dealing with mislabeled items in the veggie garden.
Oh well, it looks like my adventures in gardening will not be boring. Thankfully all was not lost with my pole beans, a few of the plants have new growth. I pulled up the few plants that seemed hopeless, and in the process planted a few more seeds. I've learned to turn negatives into positives. I'll keep you posted on the new war! If you have a remedy, please leave me a comment on how you conquered the groundhog in your garden.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Do you remember my surprise petunia seedlings? Here they are, blooming profusely. I planted the seedlings in 4 window box planters and added a few vinca, the deck railing looks great. I love the deep purple and red together. There's also a little pink peeping through. What surprises have you found in your garden this year? Leave me a comment, I'll come over and check it out.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
All and all, the garden is looking good. This is a shot of my Celebrity tomato plant (below). It's blooming and has a few tomatoes. I can't wait to slice this baby and smother a little mayo and pepper on it. Yum Yum! The thought of fresh veggies on a plate excites me.
The Crook Neck Squash has really taken off. I have 2 plants, I love fried squash and I have a great recipe for a Squash and Zucchini Casserole. I'll be sure to post it just in case you're looking for a new, tasty recipe to try this summer.
The bush cucumber plants (below) were a little slow in producing blooms, but they are progressing nicely now. I companion planted them with dill, which I will use in potato chip dip this summer. The kids love the dip. I have 3 plants, so I'm hoping for a nice yield. I love cucumbers with onions and vinegar on the side of a nice T-bone steak. I'm a big pasta person and use them a lot in spaghetti and pasta salads. I also discovered Cucumber Water in Las Vegas a few years ago. The lobby of the resort I was staying in had gallons of it. It was 100 degrees there at 8:00 in the morning, lol, so I decided to try it. It's just thinly sliced cucumbers in ice water, but it is so refreshing. I've been drinking it at home ever since. It helps in getting those 8 glasses of water a day down too.
My Chili and Jalapeno peppers are off to a slow start. The Chili Pepper is being quite stubborn, it has grown very little. The Banana Pepper is producing, I have 3 peppers on that plant now. Maybe my expectations are too high. They have bearly been in the ground a month. I would love to hear from you seasoned gardeners on whether or not I need to exhibit a little more patience. I've been working on this virtue over the course of the years, I may need more work.
Check out the Zucchini plant above. It exploded this week-end. I'm going to grill and fry these babies all summer. I love grilled squash and zucchini brushed with olive oil. Nothing like a plate of fried squash, zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, eggplant, and cauliflower. Do you deep fry any of your veggies? Not the most healthy means of cooking, but it sure is good. I was visiting a blog, that sauteed radishes. I would have never thought of it. The dish reminded me of fried potatoes.
I decided to plant Blue Lake pole beans. They weren't on my list, but I want to can a few jars for homemade vegetable soup this winter and my green beans and corn are a big hit at family gatherings. If I can hit a home run with store brought green beans, I'll know their socks with fresh beans from the garden. The beans germinated pretty quickly after a few good waterings. I'm hoping my homemade trellis will hold them. I should end up with 12 vines of beans.
I'm enjoying my time in the garden. I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of my labor. Since this is my first garden, I visited my favorite nurseries for starters in the garden. I decided to expand my garden a few feet next year and try starting my plants from seed next spring. I've been looking for a pop-up greenhouse or cold frame to use. I don't have a basement, so I don't have room for a lot of containers sitting around my house for months. Besides, I think I have OCD. I wouldn't be able to stand having containers all over my house. Organization is a must for me. Do you have a green house? How do you start your seeds?
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Many stores are clearancing their seeds. I'm picking up a few packs here and there. How do you store your seeds and where do you store them. I'm also wondering if I should wait until next year to purchase. Any suggestions for this newbie would be appreciated.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
This garden is trial and error for me. I'm continually studying and making adjustments that won't disturb the plants. I mulched the tomato plants with dried grass from the lawn this morning. As I was doing research last night, I learned that I needed to cage my eggplants and peppers. I'm heading out shortly to purchase a few cheap cages for them. Ching, ching, 5 more cages.
Eggplant 2 weeks ago.
The tomatoes are doing great. Below is a shot of the Sweet 100. Can't wait to pop a few of these babies in my mouth. I eat them like grapes. I had to add a tie to the stake this morning. This means it's heading up the pole as Mama wants it to.
This is a shot of my Roma tomato plant. I'm going to can these to use in my vegetable soup and chili during the winter. I planted an Amish Paste as well. I'm a big fan of Amish anything, so I'm looking forward to seeing which of the two I like best for sauce.