Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Last Pics 2012

Barring anything unforeseen, this is the last post until signs of Spring.  Have a good Winter.
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Nice Day For Finishing Fall Clean-Up

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Yesterday was beautiful, sunny and in the mid-sixties.  We got several things done outside, including cleaning up the yard and garden.  We did not get to the east garden, there are just dead strawberry plants to pull, that can wait until Spring.

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What is left is the thyme in the lower left and parsley atop and oregano below more toward the middle in the 'after' pic below.   All around them are garlic sprouts that will probably get covered for winter.  We have a little bit of usable hay left, the bottom of the package is rotting so that hay I will probably use to cover the earth in the right side of the compost bin, the side we aren't using yet.  If you take a closer look, you will see a strawberry plant that is growing in the middle of the right side here.  My guess is maybe a critter left part of a berry behind the trellis that was there all summer, and it actually grew?  I shouldn't be too surprised, the chives pop up in odd places all the time.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Before October Leaves...

I'm a week late in my bi-monthly posts, but I wanted to document how it looks now because Kate is planning on some garden cleanup this weekend.  I expect that she will remove the pea plants and pepper plants toward the right and harvest what herbs she can.  The garlic that was planted for Spring is coming up already, but what can we do now?  I'll try to do a more detailed post this weekend, but for now, it has been relatively untouched since the last post other than I used the sweeper to blow all the leaves I could out of the garden area before I took this pic.

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The side of the garden facing the camera has been losing dirt between the boards, especially when it rains.  Either this Fall still, or early next Spring I will have to seal that up.  What you see here and just the top inside of the east garden (not pictured) are the only areas where this is happening.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October, And Fall Has Arrived

Ah, yes, same old place.  A bit dusty around here, time to knock down some cobwebs and tidy up the place...  It has been a month since I've posted, it has been more than a month since there has been a visitor.  No matter, this has always been primarily just for us to refer to and not of interest to anyone else.  Hmm, that means I'm writing this to myself.  Hey Dude, you're the best!  Keep being you!

20121003 011Last weekend Kate harvested the lettuce that grew and 4 radishes that managed to form, she thinks the soil is not good for root vegetables and she may be right.  We shall add nutrients in Spring and, eventually, our own compost.  Also, the tomato plants have been removed, almost a total bust this year with the temperatures and drought.  We have had to cover the pepper plants once, but the next few nights there will be frost.  I'm not sure yet if Kate wants to cover them to keep them a bit longer or not.

Here's the rundown:  Thyme is in the lower left, a couple rows of newly planted garlic are above it.  then there are chives by the thyme, oregano to the right of the chives, and cilantro and italian parsley above those.  Next, right down the middle of the pic is another row of newly planted garlic.  Then there are the pepper plants, jalapeno up top, sweet cherry peppers below, and bare dirt at the bottom.  Atop the garden, the attempt at a second run of peas did not take.  In the east garden, the strawberry bed, there are still only three small plants that survived.  There is a new plan needed for this side next year, I think.

20121003 014The compost bin is nestled in the back corner of the yard, beyond the gardens.  The plan is to fill up the left side this year, right side the next, and get usable compost from one side every year thereafter.  It may take two years per side, we don't know, we've never done this before.

Well, enough for now.  I will try to be good about the 'twice a month at least' posting in the future, though there may not be much more this season.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Garden Update 2012

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Happy Labor Day weekend!  These pics were taken Saturday morning, before Kate harvested much of the herbs.  The pepper plants have rebounded well from the odd summer, the jalapeno plant is small, but producing.  The tomato plants are a near total loss this year.  We still have a chance at some fall peas and lettuce, though.  The weather has been very dry again recently.  The lawn is turning brown again and the garden should get daily waterings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pics and a Mid-August Update

Pics are possible once again!  I wrote about it over here if you care to read about it.  Otherwise, let's get this garden blog back up to speed, especially after that two month drought that tried to cook everything and the much more seasonable weather and rainfall we've had lately.  Hell, a month ago we were ready to give up!

I guess we did give up on the strawberry bed.  It is fried.  There are a handfull of plants still struggling but most are dead.  I'm sure we'll develop a plan for that area next year by this Fall.  Kate is interested in berry bushes up top and maybe the surviving strawberry plants at the bottom, left in the pic.  For the rest of the year I may only post the view shown below.

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Everything left in the west garden survived thanks to almost daily watering for two months.  And the morning after my last post, on August 3, Kate even planted some more seeds!  There is a row of new pea plants coming up along the bottom of the trellis at the right, lettuce in the top left and another try at radishes in the middle left.  The tomatoes are no longer cooking on the vine and the peppers are no longer getting stolen by the local wildlife.  The squirrels must have been pretty desperate to steal the peppers!

Well, posting here should return to normal now.  This is just for us, anyway.  I get no visitors here and they are not necessary.  This site is for my wife and I to keep track of all things garden and to be able to refer back as needed.  If someone else reads this, then all the better.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pics Not Available

It is the beginning of August and an update is due, however I seem to have reached my limit for photos so I will have to remedy that this weekend.  I can say, at least, that we have been getting some rain now for the last two weeks or so.  Finally.  The lawn has mostly come back and the plants in the garden should be out of danger.  We are still expecting some hot temperatures, still two digits only and hopefully no more 100F degree days.
Not much else to say except I'll post pics as soon as I'm able.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No Rain Yet...

After only getting .31 inches of rain in June, we have received only a trace so far this month. Any thoughts of planting anything else this year have been long laughed off. What we have left may or may not survive well. The squirrels have been getting the tomatoes and peppers -even the jalepenos- before they have a chance to get to full size. Besides having to find water, their food supply is probably drying up as well.

The strawberry bed is a wasteland.
I don't think they can survive the cooking they have had the last two months.  We'll have to have a new plan next year, and hope for a seasonable summer - for a change.

I am on vacation this week and have gotten some small yard projects done so far.  You can see the pics here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Very Dry Going Into July

The month of June recorded less that a half inch of rainfall in our area to go along with very high temperatures.

In the west garden we have been watering every evening and still can't keep up.  The peas were looking to start a second bloom, in fact we do have a few growing, but the plants are drying up.  The tomato plants have been cooked by the sun and would surely be a dry shell if we haven't done the watering we have.  I think they'll still make it, but we have to have some rain and milder weather soon.  The peppers and the herbs are doing well enough with our watering.

In the strawberry bed, well, we don't even water it anymore.  Now the question is if they're just dormant or dead.  Dead is fine, actually, we could stand to add some more dirt and nutrients on this side.

We continue to water the thyme and sage, in pots in the upper right, and they seem to be okay.

My lawn, on the other hand, is drying out more and more.  *Sigh*  We need rain!  Somebody do a rain dance!  Anything!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Garlic Harvest

Last Sunday, after my last post, Kate did indeed harvest the garlic.  So, before a regular update is due again, here's a pic of the garlic that was planted last Fall and endured a mild Winter and up and down Spring.  The bulbs are small, but may last us a season hopefully....  Well, maybe not, but there are still a few odd bulbs that were planted this Spring that we'll get in the Fall.

The weather here has been very warm to hot and very, very dry.  We have been watering the garden at least every other day with the hose but the lawn is turning brown.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mid June Update

Atop the west garden, the peas are almost done.  They haven't climbed the trellis as well as we had hoped so next time I may have to figure out a way to keep it more upright rather than leaning against the garage as it is now.  The plants below are coming along nicely.  There are two pepper plants below the peas toward the left, the two tomato plants in front of them, with basil on the right.  Then parsley, cilantro and oregano.  Chives are above thyme in the lower right.  And the garlic at the bottom which was planted last fall has started to lay over so Kate will probably harvest it today.
The strawberries were a disappointment this year, after about 7 quarts last year we got less than 1 this year of mostly small berries.  It's not just us, the odd, mild Spring this year made it bad for strawberries throughout the region.  The netting is no longer needed and will be removed when we get around to it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Garden and Yard Picture Update

I've been a little lazy posting lately.  These pics are actually from yesterday afternoon.

All the new plants are coming along nicely in the west garden.  The peas have flowered and even have pods growing already.  We continue to let the garlic that was planted last fall grow, and the new ones planted a few weeks ago started coming up a while ago.  There is a side view after the break.

The east strawberry bed is confused, I think.  The very warm March, then cool and rainy April has it looking spotty and producing small amount of mostly small berries so far.  We put the net on a couple days after the last post.  There is still time and berries to grow yet, but time is running out.
More pics of the garden and yard after the break.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Plants and Strawberries

Strawberry's are coming!  We've had 2 or three strawberries out of the garden so far, most are still a ways off, though.  We'll be keeping an eye on them so we can get the net over them before they get raided by the birds and squirrels.

In the east garden, Kate's pre-ordered plants arrived and she planted them yesterday. Starting on the top left of this pic is Parsley, Salsa Tomato and a Jalapeno plant.  Middle row is Cilantro, Plum Tomato and a Sweet Cherry Pepper plant.  And the two in the bottom of the pic are Oregano and Basil.  Also, we put in a small chickenwire fence that I used last year in front of the peas to help keep them contained and encourage them to grow up instead of out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Trellis Makeover and Wild Chives

The small pea plants were grabbing for, but not really attaching to, the trellis.  So I had to rethink the design.  I wound up getting some cheap 1x2's to frame it out and some chicken wire to attach to the front.  If they can't climb it now then they can't climb!

We used to have chives at the top of the garden, and this year some just sprang up at the top of the path (which you can see if you look closely at earlier posted pics).  Kate replanted them in the lower right of the west garden, above the thyme plant.  She also planted a few more garlic bulbs in a row above the existing garlic, not pictured here.  There wasn't much as some of the garlic bulbs we had for planting had gone bad.  We should receive the preordered plants this week to start filling out the garden.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Hate Ants

Only 8 days later than the last post (9, actually, but I took these pics last night) and you can see how the recent daily rainshowers have helped the peas grow.  I'm still concerned about them attaching to the trellis.  I may have to add some chicken wire to the front so they have something easier to grab.
The garlic that we thought was ready is not, so it will be left in for the time being.  I think the very mild winter and oddly warm March may have messed up their growth pattern a bit.  Oh well, we'll leave them be for the time being and maybe check them again in a few weeks or so.

The strawberry plants are looking well with many flowers and teeny, tiny, going-to-be berries.  Last year we had an anthill in the upper left of this garden and they have been back even stronger this year.  I try and try but getting rid of them has not been easy.  I did get some to move, but only over to the other garden, it seems.  I will need to get something stronger that won't hurt the soil or plants, if possible.  I'm open to any suggestions in the comments!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Day-After Pics

The west garden has not changed yet, except for a little growth.  The peas are growing at the top, reaching for and almost getting the trellis.  The garlic, along the bottom, is almost ready for harvest,  Kate says the dirt just has to be able to dry out some.  And in the lower right, by the garlic, the thyme plant is coming back nicely.

In the east garden, the strawberry plants have plenty of flowers, even a few very small berries-in-the-making.  There is still the bare area at top right.  We're hoping it fills out more with a regular summer and not the baking we got last year.  With the trees and bushes in the area and the angles of the summer sun that corner gets the most sunlight of the whole garden.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trell Isn't, Trell Is!

Over the weekend I picked up a 2' x 8' trellis (they didn't have any 4' x4'), cut it in half, and now we have a trellis for the peas to attach to and climb.  We still may have to put something in front later on.  Last year I cut a conical tomato cage and spread it open to do this and we may have to use it again this year.

The garlic is looking well.  Some of the bases are pretty thick which should mean big bulbs.  I guess that's the difference between planting it in the Spring versus the previous Fall.

In the east garden, the strawberry plants are getting blooms all over the place.  The plants that Kate transplanted into the upper right are surviving, I just hope that corner doesn't get baked again this year or we may have to find a more sun-friendly vegetable or plant to put up there with the strawberries.

Edit:  Last night we did get some frost here, it doesn't seem to have hurt anything, thankfully.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Strawberry Transplant

Kate transplanted some strawberry plants from the edges to the bare area in the upper right, below in the east garden.  It is strange, but that corner seems to get too much sun.  Last summer was a hot one, though.  Hopefully these will help it fill out some.  We had a frost warning for the last 3 nights and we covered the strawberry plants each night, but I don't think we got frost here.  It was patchy at best in the area, thankfully.  The pea plants and garlic in the west garden are doing very well.  Rain is forecast for every day the next five days or so, then sometime soon we will have more planting to do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Again With The Frost, Kinda

We had a freeze warning for last night, and we have one for tonight.  Like last post, I'm not really convinced we got any frost here, and I get up pretty early.  It was cold, even just below freezing according to the morning news each time, and probably will be again tomorrow morning, before warming up a bit later in the week.  We covered the strawberry plants last night, I removed the sheet after work, and we will cover them again before dark.  Just in case.  No pics, it looks like the last post.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fretting The Frost

There is a frost warning tonight, so as a first for this blog we will have a nighttime post!  We went out just a bit ago to cover the strawberry plants, the garlic and pea sprouts (visible in the west garden, top in this pic) should be okay, my wife says they are hardier plants.  Same with all the hostas, irises, day lillies (lilys?) and lily of the valley early growth and sprouts.  But the lilac has bunches of buds that are days from opening, I hope they weather the cold night.

On a side note, you may have noticed the look of this site has changed.  It needed updating to a wider format, and though this is one of Blogger's canned templates, it does not mess up the old posts too much and will do nicely for now.  Also, a friend of mine from work has started a site for his garden and pond.  I urged him in this direction and I think he will enjoy it as much or more than I like doing my sites.  He already has some great pics up, give him a visit here, or on the link in the right column.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Two posts in two days, it's getting busy around here...
Kate cleaned up and prepared the gardens today before planting the peas at the top of the west garden.

We got the bulk of the hay out of the strawberries, it will have to be enough.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First Spring Post, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's day 2012!  In the green state of mind on my green garden blog let's take a first look at the green in the garden!

Well, there's not much green yet, just some small strawberry plants and some garlic coming up that Kate planted last fall.  Below the garlic is a thyme plant that is expected to come back.  With the early Spring and great weather things may come together sooner than later, however.  We didn't use as much hay to cover the strawberries this year, in fact we may not have needed to use any at all with such a mild winter.  Other people have told me that they don't cover their strawberry plants and have no problems, but we still have about half the bag left so we will probably continue to use it.

Below is the whole thing, pockmarked by the damn squirrels digging around.  They don't like the garlic but that doesn't stop them.