Category Archives: Gardening

March

… er… I should say, the last week of March…

I usually take off a week in March to work in the garden. My father comes down from Canada and gets a breath of spring before spring actually sets in in New Brunswick. The ornamental cherry is looking lovely. There are lots of bees. Yay!

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The seeds are growing well at Jason’s house and some are actually so tall that he is having difficulty dealing with them. I don’t think he thought they would do so well. He keeps telling me is is time to plant them out and I keep telling him, not until mid April. Some came to my house so he could cope…

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On Thursday last, I finally got the last of the Irises out of the bed in the middle. The bed is loaded with Johnson Grass (the bane of my gardening existence) and had to be moved even though it is totally the wrong time of year. The bed is now covered with thick clear poly in hopes of frying the hell out of the roots and finally killing the grass. Wish me luck!!!

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When I was digging the last of the Irises, I found one that I had dug up last year, still alive, growing in the shade under the dogwoods…hmmm… so I planted three between each tree and we will see how they do. Thank you Brandon for your help and encouragement!!! Gizzy approves.

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The next three pics are just the stuff I planted a few weeks ago. Later is another pic and there is quite a difference in only a few days!

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Ok, This is my father…just a young guy at 83 years. Without a word of a lie, SIX days he pruned and hauled out climbing roses, wild raspberries, honeysuckle, and vining poison oak. He wrested with a barbed wire fence a bit too. I can actually see through into the field behind my house now.

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I had another bed that had to be emptied of perennials. I moved as many as I could to this small bed and decided to give it as proper edge. I ran out of room…

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So I had to dig a new bed…

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Meanwhile … he’s still at it…

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I had wanted this bed on the other side of the walk to sink pots into for invasive herbs. It had become totally overgrown with weeds and Johnson Grass. I started digging it out. The first day went ok. Obviously the clay needs some major amending.

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The second day I ran into some major Johnson Grass roots. This is just a small bit. I filled two buckets before I got smart and just dug out all the clay as deep as I could see the roots.

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It’s just a start …

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This is my dad’s arm after 6 days in the hedgerow at the back of my property. I don’t know what kind of immune system he has, but no issues from poison ivy/oak. I would have been covered. The other arm was almost as bad! Let it be known that I did not ask him to do this task. I think he likes the Redbuds and Dogwoods growing wild and can’t stand to see them choked out by the climbers. He also serviced my lawn tractor and mowed the lawn twice.

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All in all a very productive week. I have about a month and a half before the heat and humidity kicks in and I hibernate for the summer.

 

Here we go again …

Every spring I am energized, ready for a new gardening year. By June, when the heat and humidity her in North Carolina has firmly set in, I am toast. I just cannot hack the heat, humidity, clay soil and Johnson Grass!!!

This spring, however, I feel like I have a few things more to my advantage. First of all, the garden is in better shape this spring than last. I only have two raised beds that are totally overgrown with weeds. The others are only slightly overgrown with weeds!

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Of course, there is still the problem with weeds surrounding the beds, but I did get the pre-emergent down last fall and I am determined to do it again when it’s due!

In December I had a perfectly lovely day and found myself out weeding one of the beds. There were three lettuce plants that  had germinated late in the fall. I weeded the bed and thought what the hay! Let’s sow some snow peas! I had a lovely little row germinate in no time.

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Unfortunately, this is all that survived. So tomorrow I will sow some more to fill out the row and I’ll have some early and some later.

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The second reason, I feel I am ahead of the game this year is that my sweety has put together a new grow light stand. I am thrilled. I really missed starting my own seeds.

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There is nothing like picking the varieties you really want and starting them yourself. We set it up at his house since there is almost always someone there to tend them, and I have been getting daily photo updates. I forgot how fast things germinate. Several were up on the second day. Very gratifying!

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The third thing that will help … I am calling in help. Last year, when my yard looked really bad, I came home to find a business card magnet stuck to my mailbox. I laughed out loud. Obviously they thought I needed some serious help. Usually I HATE people leaving flyers and junk on my doorstep, but this was ingenious! It was small and not easily lost. It sat stuck to my fridge where I knew I would find it again. Today I made the call.

Lastly, I have found friends interested in starting their own seeds too. It’s great to bounce ideas off each other and let’s face it, it’s a great motivator! Now, off to get ready for a little seed swap tonight…

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How long will it last?

Not long enough. It says it is going to 28C today with 35% humidity. Unfortunately it will only last a few days.

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I got that last bed weeded this morning. What a relief! Then I planted four packages of cilantro seeds and tomatoes in the bed weeded yesterday. Finally I fixed up some of the irrigation system in those beds. Great morning all around!

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A spring morning in July?

I spent the last few morning weeding the raised beds. Getting up early and out into the garden before it was so hot that I couldn’t do anything. This morning was different though, absolute heaven! A lovely 24C and a light breeze. Really a spring morning in July.

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I have managed to keep most of the beds weeded to the point that I could see the soil. These two had totally missed all my efforts to date. The thought was slightly overwhelming in the heat and so they have been neglected. One down one to go…

 

imageAfter cleaning out the bed I sat in my lounge chair and listened to the quiet … lots of chatty birds, some far off machinery, but basically my little neighbourhood is lovely quiet. My garden isn’t much to look at this year, but I am very happy that with a bit of help from my sweety I have managed to maintain it to this level. I have great plans for next spring when I won’t have all the weeding to do that was necessary this past spring.  Lets hope for more days like today!

Potato Project (2012)

So I really thought my potatoes has died in the heat last summer. Today when I was dumping the bags of soil into the raised beds this is what I found:

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Potato project

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We have blooms on one plant.

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Beans and zucchini and cukes … oh my …squash and tomatoes too

A friend gave me some sweet potato plants. I was away for several days and they sat in a bowl in my friends sink for 5 days…they’re looking a little rough, but I have high hopes …image

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These are the heirloom tomatoes. They are looking a little sparse still, but I am noticing some blooms on them, so maybe I will get a few tomatoes off them.image

Romas are leggy too, but there is fruit on them.image

A few Grape Tomatoes almost ripe.image

This bad boy’s looking fantastic.image

Time to cut more lettuce.image

Loving the red romaineimage

yesterday I picked a cuke twice the size of this one.image

Three little Butternuts sitting in a row… and yesterday I picked 2 lovely Zuccinis.image

In this bed, the onions didn’t do so when, but there are a few. The carrots were scarce in places, but what it there is looking good.image

Potato Project…YES!image

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Garden … early June

I really must find my planting plan… Some combination of zucchini, butternut squash and corn in behind.

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Cukes

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Heirloom and other tomatoes, kale, lemon basil.image

I have cut and dried heaps of parsley, given away heaps of parsley and still there is more. The chives are doing well. I cut cilantro this week also. The purple ruffles basil needs to be cut and dried.

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Unfortunately the sugar snap peas were ready when I was out of town. I came back to a sad sight, but the cleaned out bed holds all kinds of new possibilites. Will it be more corn or peppers?image

I can’t find the tag for this tomato plant, but it is definitely the best one I have.image

 

Can’t wait for the corn, YUM!image

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Potato Project

These potatoes can consider themselves hilled …

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Potato Project

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I planted my potatoes in grow bags. They are only maybe 1/3 full and I will add more soil as they grow.

I even have drip irrigation installed.

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