Friday, February 4, 2011

Long time, no garden

Well, since its been like ten months since I've posted about gardening, I thought I would let you know what has been going on. Life happened for one! lol
We unexpectedly moved for various reasons back in June of 2010, and all of my stuff stayed at our old place, much to my dismay. Nothing like traveling 30 minutes just to garden!
What did you grow in your garden this year?

Anyhoo, I can completely recommend growing the Yellow Pear tomatoes. They are small, but delicious and very prolific! I gave away several pints of fresh ones and at the end of the season I canned ten 1/2 pints, and that's not including all the ones we ate!

My rosemary, several different kinds, was the most enjoyable to grow, for the smell and appearance, plus it tastes wonderful on fish and pork.

I tried sunflowers again, too, and wow! did they ever grow. I have a large bowl full of sunflower seeds from the six heads and they were beautiful! I also found out that once you take all the seeds off of the head, you can break it apart and glue it onto wreaths for a very attractive fall decoration.

My eggplants didn't do as well in 2010, but my basil grew like crazy.

The corn was pitiful, but apparently I got my companion planting wrong on that one, so my bell peppers didn't do well either.
My squash was a late producer, and I did end up with a few in like September.

The Blue Lake stringless did pretty well, but I ended up not caring for the taste so I gave those away.

I can also recommend the Lemon Cucumbers, if you want something a little different and want a milder cucumber.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Planting Some Seeds

In my previous post, I gave a picture tutorial on making newspaper pots. Now that I've a bunch of those made, I thought I would finally plant something in them! I had planned an earlier start, since we are only three weeks away from the earlist frost date here, but oh well. At least I'll have a three week headstart if nothing else!
Pots a Planted!

Here are the things I planted today, April 2nd:

Moss Curled Parsley

Sweet Basil

Long Island Mammoth Dill

Green Bell Pepper

Red Bell Pepper

Grand Rapids Leaf Lettuce

Giant Noble Spinach

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Cauliflower Snowball X

Burpee Golden Beet

Detroit Dark Red Beet

Black Beauty Eggplant

Ghostbuster Eggplant

Bing Cherry Tree

I'm done by any means, but its a start to a hopefully glorious Spring!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paper Pot Tutorial

Its GARDENING TIME! Yahooooo!!!!
So this year, I've actually managed to start on time to grow from seed, even the things that need transplanting. However, I didn't want to spend a fortune on pots, especially since I prefer the kind that decompose. When I heard about Paper Pots, I was intrigued, did a little homework, and took an hour out of my day for both kids and I to make Paper Pots. Below are the instructions in picture form. Enjoy!!!


Monday, February 22, 2010


Okay, so I admit: I am horrible at keeping up with things! I'm great at starting new adventures but so like Julie, from the recent movie " Julie & Julia ", I find it hard to finish things.

So here is an update on what happened in my garden after my last post, oh so long ago.

Of what I planted, I had great success with the sweet basil, which I let go to seed. I also had another variety which showed up in a plant I had bartered for and I transplanted to under my pesky black walnut tree. It was the Purple Ruffles variety and quite aromatic and flavorful! If you like different varieties, I recommend this one! Even now, in the deepness of winter, the dried stalks and seed heads still have that enticing aroma when touched.

I finally, at the very end of the season, obtained three summer squash from the total of six plants I had. My grandfather on the other hand, had mammoth plants that could have fed me and every single one of my neighbors! I am, through this experience, more a fan of the straightneck summer squash because you get more edible volume than with the crookneck.

The lemon cucumber was exceptional in its yield and was a delight to my family. I tried it because it was different for one, but also because when pregnant with my first child I adored cucumbers but had to stop eating them for the horrible indigestion. I have since discovered I no longer enjoy the taste, but I did share them with quite a few family members and they were all consumed with compliments. They are very easy to grow, and a fun plant to watch grow. The vine itself is thick, woody, and prickly, besides being extraordinarily long in length. At one point, one branch of the vine was over eight feet long! After that point, I quit measuring! So, if you plant this variety, make sure you have a way to train it to a trellis.

The two variety of beans didn't grow very well for me, and we found out our family doesn't really care for green bean varieties. Although the Bluelake string beans were very good in a curry stir fry my niece and I tried.

I did have to transplant the green bell peppers to another square in my garden, but even then of the three plants, I only had one deformed, odd pepper the size of my five year old's fist. Hopefully, I have better luck this year!

The eight stalks of corn never grew any taller than five feet, and I'm sure I did not have enough cross pollination, but I had never grown any corn before so it was a learning feat for me! The red corn was beautiful though, even the stalks! I did not know corn stalks could be any different in color than the green I grew up seeing. I did have two small ears from the sweet corn and one from the red corn, and the red corn proved to be a great science experiment for my daughter's K5 lesson.

The most pleasant surprise was the Ghostbuster eggplant. If you like eggplant in the least, I highly recommend this variety. It was very easy to grow, just one stalk in a square (square foot gardening), and once I staked it with a scrap piece of wood, it yielded four good sized eggplants. The skin is oddly smooth, like a baby's skin, and the interior is white and full of seeds. It is less bitter than the normal purple varieties we are used to seeing. It cooks up well, too, especially in curries and stir frys. My dad grew two Japanese varities and they paired well to the Ghostbuster, with even a milder taste than the Ghostbuster. I will grow the Ghostbuster again, but add one of the Japanese varieties to my list as well.

In three of the squares, on the southwestern side of the box, I planted tomatoes with marigolds planted underneath as a natural pest repellant. The tomatoes literally outdid me! I gave and gave and gave them away and canned four quarts and 1 pint worth! Plus all the wonderful, juicy fresh ones I ate! My grandfather gave me the three plants from what he had bought for himself and my dad. Out of those, mine yielded the most. I'm sure with the combination of Mel's mix (for SFG) and the application of the general fertilizer granules my dad gave me to add, the tomatoes were able to become the sweet delicacies they were! They yielded from late June to late October, and were worth growing in my mind. This year I actually want to plant more, believe it or not!

The cauliflower, beets, carrots, winter squash, black beauty eggplant, sunflowers, and pumpkins did not make it, for whatever reasons. A few of these I plan to try again, but won't hold too much hope for them.

Now, I'm counting down the days to start seedlings indoors and planning out what I want to plant this year! Hopefully, this time I will keep up with sharing my happenings with you a little better. Who knows?