March 26, 2012

Mapping new seedling locations

written by Yvonne

Lots of seedlings are coming up quick so I moved forward and began transplanting them into the beds.  Each seedling (in its marked newspaper pot) was placed where it will be planted. Then, before I planted them, and was no longer able to determine what's what, I pulled out the garden layout and noted where each item was to be planted. Olive helped, of course.

I'd read a tip on transplanting seedlings. If using a biodegradable pot (like newspaper or peat), you don't need to take the plant out of the pot, you just stick the whole thing in the ground.  This is one reason I LOVE using  newspaper: It uses up newspaper already on hand, no extra money spent on pots, and you get to plant the whole thing!  Simply pull off the bottom of the pot so the roots can grow, and set the whole thing in the ground.  The bottom peals back real easy since it's been sitting in water.

Seedlings that found a home in the beds this weekend included:
  • Black beauty squash
  • Straight neck squash
  • Muncher cucumbers
  • Beets
  • Red sails lettuce
  • Mesclun lettuce
  • Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Marjoram
  • Basil
  • Oregano (given to me by Pam - we'll try it again and see what happens)
  • Chamomile

March 19, 2012

It's official; Spring is here

written by Yvonne

Although there wasn't much of a winter to speak of, there were a handful of some very cold nights and the hoop houses Tom built for the garden kept the winter produce warm and toasty.  But, the cold days and nights appear to be over so it's time to pack them up until late fall.

Our out building and carport storage closets are full so we got creative on where to store these long pieces of PVC and wood.  To the attic!

Weeds have overtaken the berry bushes so it was time to uncover the brambles.  Our fingers are crossed that we'll have berries this year.

Two items have graduated from the mini-greenhouse to the boxes: Batch 1 of radishes and butter crunch lettuce. Aren't they cute!

This cabbage was used in a crock-pot dinner I made for Tom - Russian Brisket. Reviewers of the meal gave it four stars.

If you want to be notified when honey is available for sale, don't forget to fill out the Contact T's Bee form at

March 14, 2012

Lots and lots of seeds in pots

written by Yvonne

Last weekend I opted to sew instead of garden. But, alas, there is much work to be done if we are to have a bountiful harvest. According to the 10-day forecast, the lowest evening temperature we're lookin' at is 48.  (Guess we're not going to get a real winter this year.)  Therefore it's time to take the row covers off and prep the soil for Spring/Summer.  A Jerry Baker Spring Soil Booster was made with beer, mouthwash, dish soap, corn syrup and instant tea. I applied that to all four beds.

Here's what poppin' up: Buttercrunch lettuce, radishes...

Beets, red sails lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and mesclun (I can't seem to find a consistent spelling of this word... sort of like hummus/houmous/humus)...

and basil, chamomile, and marjoram.

Out in the boxes, both types of peas have sprouted - well more than sprouted actually. This cowpea was planted two weeks ago. The cowpeas that wee planted two weeks prior to that, have not come up.

These snow peas are taking off.  It isn't visible in this photo, but two of them have runners.  Gotta get the stakes out so they'll have something to grab on to.

The arugula has fed us well, but it has flowered and thus needed to be removed to make space for something else.

I think coleslaw is on the menu for this weekend!

Swiss chard, collards and spinach (which you can't see very well - it's between the collards and the cabbage) are producing quite a bit.  We ate Swiss chard this week and we'll have collards tonight and this weekend. Now that it's getting warmer, we'll be pulling the collards out in the not too distant future.  In the meantime, I'm going to use as many of these greens over the next few weeks as possible.

Garlic - 'nough said.

March 6, 2012

No snow this winter, but darn cold

written by Yvonne

Germination of seeds planted two weeks ago has occurred. Namely butter crunch lettuce, radishes, and onions.  Here you can mostly see the lettuce.

This week I planted batch #2 of the butter crunch lettuce, radishes and onions in pots.  Also started were beets, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mesculm lettuce, red sails lettuce, and all of our herbs including basil, cilantro, rosemary, marjoram, chamomile, chives, bergamont, and oregano (I think that was everything.)

A friend of ours gave us this handy seed sorter. It worked for some seeds, but not all.

Everything was put into the mini-greenhouse with the hope that it's warm enough in there to encourage growth.

Olive and I also planted batch #2 of the carrots and peas (hee hee).

Two of the snow peas from batch #1 have already come up.  They just can't wait to push through and start producing!

Tom finally got to feeding his worms.  He said they're doing great and producing lots of castings. Now that we're starting the majority of our seeds in pots, we'll be using more worm casting than ever.  Once it gets a little warmer outside, and once he's taken care of whatever is pressing with the bees, he'll do another harvest of castings which I'll mix into the potting soil used to plant our seeds.

This sure does look like a lot of green stuff growing, doesn't it?  Well it is, but only some of it is what I want.  The dark green, fuzzy stuff on the left is dill and the two patch to the front-center and right are thyme. Everything else is weeds which I pulled out.  (Guess I should have taken an after picture to show the difference.)

Cabbage plants EVERYWHERE but only a few developing heads. A certain someone advised another certain someone that it was too many to be planted in one area.  I, er, uh, that someone was right.  So that same someone went though and pulled out any plants that were small, crowding another plant, or didn't have a head.  This is the before...

And this is the after.  Some actually did have heads forming which is great because I didn't think any were.  Now THIS looks like the right amount, wouldn't you say?

Here the collards, dog head, and Swiss chard are all doing well.

This item perplexed us. It's at the end of the of the Swiss chard row.  Both of us agreed it looks more like arugula than chard... and yet there are leaves that look like chard too.

Upon further investigation, it was both. There was an arugula plant (right) growing super close to the chard (left) and they had become intertwined.

I preformed a little open chard surgery (Tom came up with that one) and did my best to gently separate the chard from the arugula.

The surgery seems to be a success but we'll need to keep a close eye on it to see if the chard makes a full recovery.

With the large arugula successfully removed...

it was time to commence eating!