Thursday, May 17, 2012

Early Morning Watering and Garden Puttering

This isn't garden or puttering, but you can never have too many cute baby pictures... Baby E playing on his "computer".  We train them young around here.

I *think* this is a cucumber.  There are so many weeds that look similar that it's hard to know for sure- so I'm not pulling anything until they get a little bigger and I can better distinguish weed from plant.

The transplanted raspberries seem to be doing pretty well- we only lost a couple.

Beans are up, and I'm happy to report that the saved seeds appear to be coming up at the same rate as the purchased seed.

Finally, potatoes!  There are only three plants up, so hopefully the others pop up soon, so I can bury them all again...

Some of these are weeds, but most of them are sunflowers.  It's going to be fun to have the long row of them edging the garden.

Blackcaps.  Even without the bees, they seem to be thriving and there are lots of buds where fruit will form.


I didn't take a picture, but the tomatoes and peppers are being hardened off, so we'll get them planted on saturday.  Also, there are three cracked eggs on the garage floor that I've been putting off cleaning up... I put them in the pocket of the stroller canopy to bring to the house, and when we got to the garage, baby E pulled the canopy down, dumping the eggs.  I about cried because we have two or three broody hens and eggs aren't as abundant as they have been.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Garden Progress and a DIY Wasp Trap

My Mister and CP worked on digging a trench to run the sprinkler line to our new smaller "big" garden.  Since the house is going to be under construction this year, we'll have trucks driving over our regular garden spot.  My Mister plowed up an area further south, leaving room for trucks to get through where they'll need to.  It makes the big garden smaller than we'd like it, but we'll survive.  Originally he was going to run a line all the way up the side of the garden, but the side by the sheds is so rocky that we decided to run the line just next to the sheds, and from there, just do some sort of above-ground line.  We don't know if we'll need to use this garden again next year or can move back to our regular location which will soon be my back yard.  (Imagine- gardening in my own garden in my own back yard....sigh...)

12 rows of green beans.

3 rows of potatoes.

One peach tree.  This replaced the peach tree we planted with my dad two years ago that died over the winter.  It's a little taller than I like for a new fruit tree, but it had the best shape of all the trees at the nursery.  I can't remember the name, but it's a mid to late producer (which means it's safer from frosts), freestone, and very sweet. 

One Bartlett Pear.

This is my potato tower.  I plated 12 or so seed potatoes in the bottom.  Once they sprout, we'll screw the first round of slats around the bottom of the tower and fill it in with soil or something... It will end up being a lot of soil, so I'm not totally sure about what I'm going to use.  I have a big bag of peat moss, so I may use that.  I also have a lot of old potting soil, which I may use.  The idea is that as the plants grow, you build up the sides of the tower.  I'll be able to harvest early potatoes by unscrewing the bottom slat and pulling the little potatoes out- all without disturbing the rest of the tower.  I've posted the link before, but I got the idea from pinterest, and this website.

The strings are to deter Inti dog from romping through my newly planted garden.  This is the bean side.

The potato side (well there are more beans over there too..).  My Mister says I need to work on my straight rows.  Whoops.

These are the raspberries we got from my cousin.  We were going to plant them somewhere else, but it was filled with weeds, and we didn't have time to get it ready, since the raspberries were a last minute trade for some of our tomato plants.  This will be a fine place for raspberries.  I'm just happy to have a year head start from when I thought I'd be planting raspberries in my yard.

The far end that isn't planted yet will hold squash and as many tomato plants as we can fit in.  Along the right side of the picture I planted a row of giant sunflowers.  

Gratuitous chicken pic.  I have two broody hens, and they weren't tempted out by the greens I tossed in.

I saw a tutorial on pinterest for a homemade wasp trap.  We had several crawling around in the chicken coop, so I cut the top off of a 2-liter bottle, inverted the top inside the bottle, and filled the bottom with vinegar and sugar.  I caught three wasps and several flies the first couple of days, but haven't caught anything since.  I think it needs to be refreshed regularly.  

Hello Egg.  No reason for this picture, other than to express my joy that it is spring, and the grass is green, and the eggs are aplenty.  

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Spring Garden Update

The new bean seeds arrived.  I was hoping I'd have enough from what I saved last year, but I decided those needed supplementing.  The saved seeds are "Provider" while these new seeds are "Bountiful".  Maybe next year I can call the cross-pollinated seeds Bountiful Provider.  I like the sound of that, and unless Bountiful is not, the cross pollinated seed ought to live up to it's name. Especially considering we still have some 2010 jars of canned beans.  That was the year I was pregnant and wishing that picking beans would send me into labor.   Now I just have to scrape all the saved seeds out of the pods.  I was lazy last year and just stuck them all in a bucket in the garage.

The seed potatoes arrived a little while back, and I finally got around to slicing them up.  Potatoes are my experiment for this year.  I don't expect to get a years supply off of this crop, but we'll see how they do.  I'm trying Sangre and Desiree.  We're building something along these lines...  It's a potato tower, that will sit in our raised bed, so hopefully keeping them watered won't be a problem.  That was my issue several years ago when I tried growing potatoes in buckets.  My elaborate watering system (using a stick to divert water dripping from the faucet every time the soaker hoses watered the garden) stopped working while we were gone for the week, and my plants died.  Some plants will have to go in the big garden since the potato tower isn't going to hold more than 12-16 seeds.  

My experiment from last year is actually more of this years' experiment, the garlic (Music) looks great, and I'm hopeful that this will actually be enough to last a year and have some to plant in the fall.  My goal is to work up to a years supply plus seed.  We'll see.  

Peas.  One of these years I'm going to plant enough that I can freeze some.  This patch won't produce enough for any to even make it in the door.  The kids will eat them as fast as they are ready.  

Asparagus.  I planted the roots three years ago, so this is the first year I've been able to harvest anything.  We went on vacation for a weekend and came home to some majorly overgrown asparagus, so I picked everything that was tender enough to eat, and we had it for dinner, and everything else is waiting to be turned into soup.  Currently there are only two stalks coming up, so the next picking might be more of a snack than part of dinner...