April 26, 2015

Yep... Still Green

written by Yvonne

Honey and Olive wanted to make sure everyone knows how much they help in all of our gardening endeavors.  They did a good job of making sure these bales of straw didn't blow away.


And yes, you guessed it. We are still (happily) eating spinach and lettuce!  Baskets full!


And there is still plenty more growing!  Actually, after harvesting a good amount of the spinach pictured here, we started pulling up the plants because they've begun to bolt.


This is the other end of the lettuce/spinach bed. Tom tilled it and planted (from left to right) snap peas, Provider bush beans, Maxibell bush beans.  In the background you can see new rows of spinach coming up in bed #3.


The collards, Swiss chard and kale are just about ready to eat.  Next weekend I'll likely make something with the Swiss chard. Upon further inspection, Tom determined that the large plant in the right foreground is a couple of turnips, not collards.  Still good eatin' either way.


Only a few of the peas have come up so far (center).


This volunteer cucumber showed up out of nowhere. It's a little early for cucumbers but if it wants to come up now, fine by us.


Still plucking off the strawberry flowers and it seems to be working because the plants are really growing nicely.


We are a behind in starting summer seeds. We should have started melons, squash, peppers and tomatoes a few weeks ago, but there are only so many hours in a weekend.  Tom filled up the pots I made with dirt and tomorrow I'll get some squash, melons, and pumpkin seed started.


Tom also tilled the garden annex area. Ya know, I think we just like having this as potential so we get it ready every year and think we're going to find just the right thing to make it work. Yes, a few squashes materialized last year, but for the most part, it's been a dud. Well NO MORE! Boy do we have plans for it now!  You may recall we purchased rosemary and two kinds of mint plants in early Spring. This is where they are going to reside and we have high hopes they will 'take' since both are aggressive and hearty. We've managed to keep the plants alive through some really cold weather. Now that the bed is ready, they'll get planted tomorrow.  THEN, we're going to take chicken wire previously used for compost bins and hang it on the outside of the carport.  We'll secure it down at the bottom of this of brick wall with stakes.  Then we'll transplant some jasmine at the back of this bed and let it grow up the chicken wire.  We'll have a nice beautiful natural wall blocking off the ugly carport. It'll make for a much nicer view from the back patio.  We did the same thing several years ago on one end of the front porch and it's worked great.


Whew!  It's finally done! And what a job it was. It took two weekends, many hours, 3 broken tools, and MANY loads of brush wheeled to the front yard for pick up.  But the back fence line has now been completely cleared out. We cleared a third of it together two weekends ago then Tom finished the last 2/3 by himself.

Here's what it looked like before....


and here it is after!


Before...


after!


This is before mostly shows the overgrown compost bins. Nonetheless, here is before...


and after!  Doesn't even look like the same yard, does it? Now that it's a nice open, accessible space Tom was able to get to the trees to hang some bee boxes. (Read more about that later this week at www.tsbeeshoney.com.)  Our neighbors told us numerous times over the weekend how great it looked. Guess it was worse than we thought.


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