Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Little Behind

I've been so behind on this blog. I have so many pictures of the garden to post but it has not been a priority so it has not been happening. My spare time has been focused on digital scrapbooking, reading, running and working in the garden. I've built new garden boxes and two trellises and added several planters. I'm still working on another trellis for the pumpkins. More to come when I get the pictures organized.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome Spring!

Spring officially started about a week ago and we were welcomed with about 6" of snow. My kids were so disappointed that they had to be stuck inside the house on their first day of spring break. Luckily, the snow melted away and we had a pretty decent week.

Last week, the weather was so nice and warm for early spring. We had Emily's two little friends over for a playdate and they spent most of the day in the backyard. I gave them each a plastic bag and they ran around the backyard picking wildflowers and weeds. If only we could appreciate the simple things of life like these little friends.

While weeding the large garden bed, I noticed that the spinach seeds I planted last fall had actually germinated. I was suprised with three bunches of spinach plants. I have not been in the backyard since the blast of snow and rainfall so we'll see if they are still there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Closed for Winter

I finally gave into the cold weather and cleaned up my fall garden today. With single digit temperatures and snow coming soon, I decided to hang up the gardening gloves and take a break. I harvested the last of the collard greens, radishes, cabbage leaves, and mustard greens. All the other vegetables did not mature enough to eat so I'll just let it sit for the winter and maybe fertilize the dirt.

Next year, I'll be more prepared for the frost and snow since I already have all the materials needed to build a nice cold frame. According to the Farmer's almanac, the average last frost date is early April and first frost date is late October. Hopefully, I can get the cold frame built between now and April so I can get an early start on spring planting.

So for the next couple of months, I will work on creating a planting calendar specifically for this area so I can get the most out of the next season.

See you in the spring!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter Update

It's been really cold the past two weeks so I have been trying to protect the garden from the frost and freezy wind. However, the plastic cover keeps blowing off. It's been so cold, I've only been out a couple of times to check on the garden. The last time I went out, some of the Brussell sprouts and collard greens had not survived the frost. I had to pull them out.

The seeds I planted will probably not mature enough to survive the frozen ground coming in January so next year I will have to start earlier!

I've been researching a better method to protect the plants and came across a couple of ways. The best one I found was a hoop cold frame built by the people who run this website called They have some videos on that were pretty helpful.

I will probably modify the method a little bit to fit my garden for this year.
  • Use rebar staked into the ground to give the PVC pipes extra support for the frame.
  • For a 4' wide garden, use at least 6-10 ft PVC pipes.
Lesson Learned: Don't plant the fall garden in the 8'X8'. Use the 4'X8', it's easier to cover during the frosty nights. Do a thorough clean up before the weather gets too cold.

Enough for now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fall Garden Update

My garden is doing really well despite the blast of cold weather in the past week. We had really nice mild fall weather for about 3 weeks straight then this week it's back to cold and frost. I have not covered my garden yet and it's still doing well. The frost hit really hard last night and I thought it was a goner but the plants managed to bounce back. I'm still trying to figure out the best design for my 8'x8' garden. I have the plastic but need to build the frame. Here's a picture of the garden on one of those nice fall days.

The mustard greens are so yummy. We usually eat it with a Lao chicken salad dish. Very nice minty and peppery taste. It seems like the plants that I started from seed are coming up way faster than during the spring. Hopefully, everything will be well established before the hard freezes hits in December. You can see the radishes on the top part of the second picture.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fall Clean Up and Garden

I got some free plants from a local discount store and decided to go ahead with the fall garden. First, I had to do some major clean up. I cleaned out the dead sunflower plants, tomatoes, gourds, and marigolds. There were still tons of cherry tomatoes left unfortunately, most of them had already fallen onto the ground. I'll probably have a million tomatoe seedlings come up next Spring.

At first, I planted mustard greens, collard greens, green peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. The green peppers died when frost came so I moved it and planted some other things from seed. I planted radishes, carrots, lettuce, and cilantro. I checked on the it today and the radishes have already come up. Hopefully, the other plants will follow through. I moved the herbs from the 8'x8' to the flower garden after I removed the sunflowers. The plants are doing well even though I have not protected them from the frost. Building a frost protector will be the next project.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gourds, Peas, and One Giant Spider

The gourds did a good job of taking over most of the garden. The harvest however was meager. My mother-in-law came and harvested most of it. My plan was to use it for Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations but she cooked most of it. The gourds were bitter and tasted horrible. Next year, I think we will probably do pumpkins.

Sugar-snap peas are yummy but they have not been producing as much as I had expected. My girls eat them like candy. Next year, I will try to grow more and maybe add more fertilizer. More research to come on how to help them produce more peas.

Finally, we found a BIG surprise next to the peach tree on a lovely summer day. This huge spider was building a giant web from the peach tree to our clothes line. I didn't know if it was friendly or venomous so I killed it. After doing some researching online I found that it's called an Orb Weaver. They are not suppose to be aggressive but I was not taking any chances.