Sunday, April 27, 2008


I started various lettuce seeds today. Some of my seeds are up to three years old, so I am not sure as to how successful I will be. When I went through my seed, I found that I have a ton of lettuce seeds! I did not even plant all of them. Rather than plant them in the garden directly, even though I could. I chose to start them in a flat and see what my success rate is. I am hoping for some yummy salads! My camera does not take the best pictures, so you have to click on the picture to see it better.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today's planting

Today my husband and I planted our potatoes. We bought seed potatoes from Wal Mart. Nothing fancy. This is the first year that we actually let them "cure" after cutting them before planting them in the dirt. I was reading on on of my favorite blogs, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, that she uses supermarket potatoes with good success. I have done that before, and will probably try that again. I like the thriftiness of it. I have read that some supermarket potatoes are treated with a chemical that retards the sprouting. I must never buy those potatoes.
Our onions that we planted are starting to sprout a bit.
My broccoli seedlings came out from under the lights today and are on the back porch to harden off for a couple days. I was so tempted just to plant them, but I would hate to see what would happen.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Start of raised bed planting

Well, the planting in raised beds has started! Bless my husband's heart, he moved quite a bit of compost and soil for me so that I could get some plants going. I sure hope that this method of gardening pans out well. We are really hoping for the benefit of no/less weeds as well as less compaction of soil.
Yesterday I planted Candy onion plants, super sweet onion sets, and red onion sets. There is so much to plant already. I was a bit under the weather yesterday with respiratory crud, that I did not have the "umph" to get much accomplished. There is a slight chance of rain tonight and tomorrow.
Good night.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Raised beds and etc.

Three of my new raised beds went out today. Now I just have to get them filled up with both dirt and plants! I hope that this works well. I am really hoping to not have to till the soil and be able to keep it less compacted this way. It was a dreary day here today with rain and drizzle. Tomorrow promises to be nicer with warmer temps and sunny skies. That will help dry the soil so that I can start working in the garden and move some soil.

Lots of birds out today. I was able to get a couple pics of the chickadees. A cardinal was chewing out one of the other birds in the lilacs. I was hoping that it was going to try and nest. I try to keep out plenty of food even in the summer as well as water to keep them around and happy.

Here is a picture of the robin outside my window where my computer is. The blue jays have been bothering them as they build a nest. One robin was being extremely careful. He (or was it a she??) was watching all around with a mouth full of nesting material. It was as if he did not want anyone seeing where the nest is. I guess you have to be secretive when there are so many predators!

Here is a picture of what my oldest daughter calls her Dad's "man cave". I think that it would make a heck of a garden shed. What do you think? :) I am hoping for great things out of this shed!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Garden lore

I found these bits of garden lore that I found to be interesting. This type of information is fascinating to me. Just when I think that I cannot garden without the internet, a reference book, or a magazine!

*Plant beets and carrots when dandelions are blooming
*Plant potatoes when the shadbush (Amelanchier arborea) bloom. Which is a phenologism itself since shadbush is named so because it blooms in time with the Shad runs. Are there any shad running anywhere anymore?
*Plant lettuce, spinach, and peas when the lilacs show their first true leaves or when the daffodils bloom
*Plant beans when lilacs are in full bloom
*Plant cucumbers and squash when the lilacs fade
*Grasshopper eggs hatch when the lilac blooms
*Plant tomatoes, peppers, and early corn when the dogwoods are full blown or when daylilies start to bloom
*Plant corn when elm leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear or when oak leaves are the size of a mouse's.
*Plant perennials when maple leaves begin to unfurl
*Prune roses when the forsythia blooms
*Plant pansies, snapdragons, and other hardy annuals after the aspens and chokecherry trees are leafed out. This indicates no more hard frosts.
*Or, when you see new growth on green ash, grapes, and bur oaks, it's safe to plant annuals
Or, when peaches and plums are in full bloom
*Plant morning glory seeds when maples are fully leafed out
*When Morning Glories start to climb, Japanese Beetles arrive
*When Foxgloves open, Mexican bean beetles appear
*Plant aboveground crop vegetables on a waxing moon (from new to full)
*Plant underground crop vegetables and flowering bulbs on a waning moon (from full to new)
*Cut down trees on a waning moon
*When wasps build their nests in exposed areas, it will be a dry year
*When the locusts bloom in May, it will turn cold and rainy (this happens every year, I swear)
*When the sun goes to bed red, 'twill rain tomorrow tis said...same as red sky at night, sailor's delight, red sky at dawn, sailors take warn
*And of course, fond to me, since I'm surrounded by corn "Knee high by the Fourth of July"

It is rainy today with only a slight chance of showers tomorrow. The raised beds might go out to the garden tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Raised bed gardening

Bill and I measured the garden tonight so I can plan for raised beds. I was surprised to find out that the garden actually measures 35x40 ft. My other bed that we added last year is 9x19 ft. And to think that I want more garden!!
I have been online tonight looking for information of raised bed gardening. I am a researcher by fault. Nothing can be done without it.
I'm off to plan my beds!
Good night!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Well, I did not get any gardening accomplished today. Slept in too late, missed church, and the rest of the day went after that. We did go to Wal Mart and I got some more potting soil, small dixie cups, and 16 oz. cups. Many of my seedlings are ready to pot up into other containers which is why I got the 16 oz. cups. I am running low on small dixies, so I got 200 more of those. I saw a blog the other day that was saying how much they liked using the wood form that makes the newspaper pots. That would certainly be more environmentally friendly.
Back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I will have some time to work in the shed a little. The temps are supposed to start warming back up and be around 70 by Wednesday.
I am trying to talk my husband into making a raised bed type of garden this year instead of regular rows. He is not in favor of the idea. He wanted to know how he would till the beds. I told him that the idea would be that after a period of time, the soil would not have to be worked like that anymore and would not get compacted. Maybe I can just start with a couple beds this year. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dreary cold day today

My vegetable garden just waiting for me to get

My yellow columbine has some volunteer

The flowers of the grape hyacinth are just
starting to come up. They are a bit hard to see

The flower bed on the south side of the house
is in need of some redesign this year

If you look very closely, you can see the new
asparagus coming up as well as how badly I
need to weed!

Today is cold and dreary. The temperature is only 44 degrees and the winds are up to 20 mph. I went out to take some more pictures of what is going on in the yard. While I was out there, I saw a goldfinch that was the prettiest yellow! I was surprised to see him so colorful at this time of the year (even if it is nearly mid April, it sure does not feel like it today!).

I have been watching a robin outside my kitchen window this morning. There has been a lot of activity in the large blue spruce outside the window. The birds must be getting ready to nest. It has been preening and fluffing its feathers. Probable because of the cold! The fluffing part anyway.

After I get some things done in the house, I would like to get out to my shed and pot up some more seeds and transplant some seedlings.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What's blooming today??

My daffodils bloomed today! It is so nice to see that bit of color in the landscape. They just scream spring to me. The other picture is of another crocus variety that is starting to bloom.
While cleaning out the flower beds this past weekend, I noticed that just about everything is coming up. My knock out roses have some dead that needs trimmed back, but not as bad a last year when I nearly had to trim them back to the ground. Everything that is not green is budding. This is the time of year that I am glad that I do not live further north. Ask me in July when it is a sauna outside, and I might tell you differently. The forecast is for heavy rains today. Everything will get a good soaking.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Home for a Frog

I am hoping that a frog or toad makes a home in my new container. I purchased it for a steal at Hobby Lobby for $4.
Has anyone had any success with frog/toad houses? Is there a particular way that they should face? I currently have it on the west side of the house, but think that may get a bit too warm.

Visitors to my blog!!

I just checked the sitemeter on my blog and found that people are actually looking at my blog! I am thrilled! I hope that the interest continues. Since I have just started, there probably is not that much for people to look at yet.
Leave me a comment when you are here or let me know how you found me...

These pictures did not turn out as well as I had hoped. Maybe I should have been closer up. I did notice that if I click on the picture that the picture becomes full size, and the plants are more easily seen.
Out of the seeds that I just planted April 2, I have broccoli, tomatoes, alyssum, and one pepper coming up.
I have started all of my seeds this year with my heat mat, and that seems of made quite a difference with my germination times.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


My crocuses are in full bloom this morning. I have yellow crocus that are just starting to bloom.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting more seeds planted

Tonight I got quite a few seeds planted in my shed. I am later than usual getting them going, but better late than never...

Here is a listing of the seeds that I started tonight:

Vegetables -
Red Lightning - 2
Jelly bean - 2
Roma - 15 (I like to can these!)
Caspian pink - 2
Marcellino - 1
Yellow Pear - 1
Early big red - 2
California wonder - 2
False alarm hybrid - 2
Jalapeno - 1
Sweet Long - 2
Broccoli - 15 I forgot to write down the variety. I will have to add it later.
Red rubin - 2
Purple ruffles - 2
Delphinium Pacific Giants - 5
English daisy - 7
Alyssum - 10

These are all under the lights and on the warming pad. Some of the seeds are one to two years old, so I did over plant each of my cups. I like to start my seeds in small dixie cups with 3 holes in the bottom that I make with a woodburning tool. My great grandmother used to start her seeds in dixie cups that she would make holes in the bottom with a hot nail. This is my way of continuing her legacy.

I tried using jiffy mix this year for the first time, so I will need to pot up a little earlier than I usually do. In the past, I have used a potting mix from the start with good results. I thought that I would try something different this year.