Aug 22, 2008
Dug up a TON of daffodil bulbs. I'll get those around in the next week or so. I hate having the bug with no fundage. I spent $10 on mums today and put them out front. I hope they'll get enough sun.
The front garden looked great for a few years, now there's just too much shade. The whiskey barrel finally rotted so much I had to take it out. There is a big empty spot in the garden now. Everything just looks... blah. All the same height.. etc. I need a perennial that is tall and colorful that will last the entire season and thrive in shade to part sun. I'm dreaming right?
Aug 20, 2008
I was neglecting the garden a bit over the last month. The pests, the heat, my empty weed whacker were all depressing me. I helped a friend move some things around his new garden (ok, so I pulled weeds and watched him do the hard work), that in combination with the nice weather I had the itch to get out in my own.
I cut the grass, did some weeding and moved a few things around along the patio. I pulled out the tall, purple, spiky things (how's that for technical?) and moved the canna from the front yard to a spot next to the strawberry grass and moved the ones already along the patio between the roses and the daylilies. Finally moved that calla lily and those other leafy things (again, technical?) into their own spots next to the canna. I also moved the Asian lilies into a clump near the strawberry grass in hopes of having some color there all season. Once the lilies are done the canna should be coming up and flowering in late summer. Hopefully it wasn't too early to move everything, my plan was to wait for fall. I dug up some dayliies, cut the fans and put them bare root in a flower pot with damp newspaper.. dropped them in the shed. Hopefully I'll get them in the ground along the side fence (front yard) by Friday. I've a huge box of bulbs that have to go in the ground... I hope the weather stays nice.
I mulched along the patio where I planted the new stuff. I had one bag in the shed. Damn... now I've got the itch and no supplies and no spare dough. Maybe next week I'll buy a few bags of mulch and some mums and daffodil bulbs... maybe.
Vegetable wise, The diamond eggplant look great but last time we picked those they had black, mushy spots inside and a little worm. I've seen squash borers on the flowers so I guess that's what happened to that plant. The others seem to be OK though. We cooked the white, the black beauty and the japanese for dinner a few nights ago just to compare tastes. The white were nice and firm and not bitter, but the Japanese were our favorite.
I'm getting lots of peppers, no complaints there. If you've read before (or chatted with me, or passed me on the street and made eye contact) you know the story with my tomatoes. We're getting an OK yield, but not like last year. We can pretty much eat what we pick but there's not a huge surplus that we're freezing or giving away by the bagful like last year.
We've picked about 5 cucumbers total and the plants look like they're dying. They have lots of yellow leaves and vines and a few of the cucumbers out there are yellow and deformed. Bummer.
Aug 12, 2008
Here's my after vacation harvest. Unfortunately my tomato plants look like they looked in late Sept last year. I don't think I'll be getting many tomatoes after this.
The plants are dry.. they're yellow... my tomatoes are rotting. I really think blight is killing them. I'll have to move them to the other bed next year and I don't think I'm planting nearly as many. It's just too depressing to see them like this! I was gone five days visiting with friends. I told Joe to water everything every night, to pick anything that was ripe.. etc etc, so they weren't negelected. It HAS to be blight.
The cucumbers are doing OK. I've got two ready to pick and one that is a little retarded looking. Lots of flowers but not many females. They're still doing better than last year so I shouldn't complain.
On the other hand, my eggplants and peppers are doing wonderfully. Nothing pickable just yet (other than ONE chocolate beauty), but they're coming along and look healthy unlike the tomatoes that seem to be rotting before they're ready to pick. I had an awesome suprise waiting for me when I came home... one of my white eggplants DID survive! I picked it tonight! I can't wait to cook it up for dinner tomorrow!
Jul 24, 2008
Four little diamond eggplant... They're about 7 inches long. We fried them for dinner and the boys ate them up. They were nice and small, firm and not bitter. I may have picked them a little early but they're small anyway.
One retarded black krim tomato... it was stuck between vines, hence the retardedness. It was our first of that variety, it was nice and sweeet. Of course the boys ate the majority of it after J and I had only a taste.
One Silvery Tree Fir tomato.
J and the boys did a pretty good check of the tomato plants for more hornworms. Looks like our little parasite infected friend is the only one out there at this point and he's not looking so hot. Lets hope there aren't any more. My neighbor lost a tomato plant.. it died within a few days. No clue what happened to it. I hope whatever killed it stays on her side of the fence. I told her about the hornworm... she didn't seem phased. She grew up on a farm and always gives me little tips about growing veggies. I'm convinced she can grow anything, which is why her dead tomato plant concerns me a bit.
Jul 23, 2008
Apparently these giant things can kill a plant within days once they're moths. They also can over winter in the soil! The one I have on my plants is parasitized (which is a good thing). The white thigns are eggs from a kind of wasp. The website says to save it in a jar and feed it till they hatch.. but what do I do then? Leave the lil wasps go in the garden?
I also read they can attack peppers and eggplants... if this gets out of hand I'm screwed.
Today while I was tying up the tomatoes I spotted this not-so-lil caterpillar.
I'm not sure:
A. What it is
B. What is on it
C. If I should worry it's on my tomato plants
It was very cool to look at though. I guess I'll have to do some googling and asking around. The white things look like eggs, not sure how one would lay eggs on oneself but I guess that's possible right?
I think my tomatoes have early blight. I'm really on the fence about using a fungicide but I might have to. All that work only to be lost to a fungus! Not really what I was hoping for. I've started watering specifically at the ground level (in order to keep the leaves dry) and I think I may purchase a soaker hose in the next week. I've also tried to clip off most of the infected leaves in hopes it wont spread too much. I read that this fungus can stay in the soil for about 3 years so I guess I'll have to rotate the beds next year. A lot of those black spots all over the place makes for an unhealthy plant.
We've harvested 3 lil Silvery Tree Fir tomatoes and they were SO yummy! We've got lots of green ones all around, but none ready to pick. Hmmm.. come to think of it, when will I know when the Green Zebras are ready to pick if they're green when they're ripe? I guess I'll know when I see it.
Everything seems to be chugging along pretty well otherwise. The eggplants are producing regardless of the flea beatles. These are Diamond Eggplants. They stay thin and grow to be abuot 6-9 inches long. I've got a few around that size I may cut for dinner one night this week. I have a Black Beauty plant out there (the big eggplants) and another variety I'm not sure of. The vines are purple and the fruits are long and thin and a little pointy looking. I can't even remember WHERE I bought it let alone what variety it is.
No white eggplant this year, but mom has one that's doing well so I might be able to sample hers.
The cucumbers have blossoms and are growing like crazy, peppers are everywhere.. so far I'd say everything is doing very well despite the heat and leaf spot (damn those tomatoes!). I think it'll be only a few weeks before we're really harvesting good bunches of veggies! I can't wait!
Jul 2, 2008
Jul 1, 2008
Jun 30, 2008
We have blossoms... and tomatoes! They're burried deep in the mess but they're in there. It always amazes me how quickly they grow... hell it amazes me that these plants were once teeny lil sprouts in my bedroom... and now they have fruit. So far I've only spotted Silvery Tree Fur tomatoes but all the other plants are loaded with blossoms. The Rutgers plants look especially wonderful, very strong and healthy. They're the tallest of the bunch.
Here's a little insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme- of-the-world success story for ya. See that little, lone clamatis? I've been trying for two years now to get that thing to climb my mailbox. Notice it has CLIMED THE MAILBOX (ignore the broken fence behind it). Sigh.. it's the little things that make me happy (unless we're talking about that fence). Now only if I could really get it going next year... move that one by the front fence being smothered by ivy and they'll be two of them. Imagine the vinage! Ok, I'll stop.
I just grabbed this lil tidbit from the web:
Read the whole thing here
"Medical evidence exists to confirm uses as an alternative medicine for asthma, emphysema, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension, rheumatism and blood sugar control. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, dysentery, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, coughs, asthma and hay fever. It also causes a natural aversion to tobacco and is currently being used in stop smoking preparations. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity, it is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly stops blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings and swellings and said to promote healing without scars. Poultice of hot leaves is bound onto cuts and wounds to draw out thorns, splinters and inflammation. The root is said to be used as an anti-venom for rattlesnakes bites. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion. "
... what exactly is eye lotion?
Jun 23, 2008
Neither did I but I'm sure glad it did.
I've been slacking off a bit in the garden since the swim season started. For instance, I should be out there watering right now but I'm inside finishing up entering meet results.
The flowers beds actually look just fine. A few weeds here and there but nothing to clutch your pearls about. The window boxes are alive so I must not be slacking off too badly.
Speaking of window boxes... I don't just overcrowd tomato plants. Look at that thing! I would have liked to put some purple queen in the middle and the bright green sweet potato vine on the outsides but I had to work with what I could find. Next year I'm sticking to purple on the inside regardless of what plants are available.
One more shot of part of the front flower bed. I love this lambs ear. It comes back nicely every year and I've been able to separate and plant it all over the place. Soft, fuzzy leaves. :)
The petunias I bought were %75 off because every one in the flat looked just about dead... Not one bright bloom. I dead headed them, kept watering them and viola! Teri gets a steal from the giant home improvement store!
Vegetable wise, the cucumbers died. I'm not even going to speculate what happened there (ahem... water). The tomato plants look absolutely wonderful and are starting to get tall and bushy. I've got two tiny tomatoes on a silvery fir tree plant already! The rest all have blooms. I'll take pictures soon enough. I've staked most of the peppers. For some reason my peppers and tomatoes grew a lil crooked this year. No matter I guess, they seem to be doing well.
I'm confident the eggplant are going to survive the flea beatles. I've got a few plants that look wonderful, a few that look so so. I'm sure most of my failures this year are because I'm not tending the garden like I should. It's just so hard to find the time to get out there during the swim season.
Jun 9, 2008
My eggplants are fighting flea beatles. I read that most healthy, strong plants will be able to fight them off but sheesh.. look at them! I've just about lost my Rosa Blancas. I only had two left and they're just pathetic. I'll have to read a bit more on what to do about them, I'm not a fan of pesticides since I've got two little ones playing in the yard. I didn't have this problem last year and my eggplants did very well. They're a big staple for us and we were looking forward to a few different variety this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed they make it.
Lets talk (or view, rather) overcrowding shall we? 5 varieteies of tomatoes... I'm sort of looking forward to untangling the mess come July/Aug. I'll build some bamboo cages... cages, who am I kidding.. they're more like something you'd see on Gilligan's Island.
Since I'm posting my failures... check out my broccoli. Note, broccoli doesn't do well in containers. Not sure if I'll try this again next year or not, even directly in the soil.
The lettuce is still doing OK. I took an entire head of redleaf to my parents house yesterday for burgers and I thought it was a little tough. I'm not sure when to harvest them (hellooooo ever hear of google?). The romaine is still kind of tiny and I haven't even pulled a leaf yet. I planted a windowbox of romaine for my mom and it really took off. They looked wonderful but had a little white, fuzzy insect on them (aphid?). Needless to say they're not doing very well now. She did take one and said it wasn't up to par. I'm drenching mine with water at this point because it's so hot out there.. I really hope they can hold on a bit longer. If they start to go south, it looks like a salad of baby romaine for dinner in the next few days!
I broke down and bought a few cucumber plants from home depot. I have some room next to the tomato bed that I'm considering turning into a lil cuke haven. More to come.
Lastly... here's a success (ok, two). I moved all these daylilies from various places in the yard last year and planted them along the patio to make a little garden room. Ok, so it's not a real garden room bit it's as close as I can get in my little teeny yard. They looked really sad last year, this year they're taller than Joey! He's standing right up against them believe it or not. I threw some other lilies in there and I think I'll clump them together in the fall.
This sounds like a pity party I know, but overall I'm very pleased, just annoyed with the heat and the pests.
May 29, 2008
Little Vermont Family Garden
Now go read.
Something is eating my roses. I asked around and was told to look for aphids, but didn't see any. I really have no desire to get lost in the depths of rose gardening (I DO have other plants to take care of), so unless it gets really bad I'll leave it alone. The rose photo was taken on May 16th, and I realized that doesn't look any worse today so maybe I'm in luck.
And a few just for fun. :)
The Chocolate Beauty peppers look better than the Garden Sunshine ones and he Diamond Eggplant look better than the Rosa Blanca. I didn't harden them off, which is probably why. Secretely I'm hoping I lose one of each plant so I can go buy some from the nursery. I saw some pretty neat stuff out there... shhhh. ;)
The Rutgers sprouts were by far the hardest of all the tomatoes. They also grew a little (ok a lot) crooked, I'll have to look into that for next year if I can find the seeds. A friend of my dad's, ordered theses heriloom seeds for us online (thanks Mary!), I'll have to get dad to ask just where she ordered them from as I haven't seen them anywhere. From what I understand, Rutgers tomatoes aren't very disease resistant... lets keep our fingers crossed that the four I put in the ground survive. I planted a full tray of 36 and another half tray for a full 54 plants. By the time I transplanted to peat pots there were about half of them worthy of keeping (more likely that I didn't kill).
They hatched on March 17th, the same day as Matthew's 3rd birthday party. There are only two hatched at this point, but the 3rd survived just fine. The boys have been really good about staying away from the nest. They watch from the window and can point out the mommy and daddy robins easily. What I always thought was really cool (really cool?) about robins is that they keep their nests very clean. They remove feces, the eggshells.. anything that isn't supposed to be there.
As of today (May 29th) they're doing well and getting very big. I snuck this photo yesterday. Pretty soon I'll have to start to take them from the window so I don't scare them out of the nest before they're able to fly. I really wanted to try to catch one of the parents feeding them but I don't think it's going to happen without a giant lens.
Finally things are starting to come together. Over the past two years I've been freecycling, ordering, and sharing perennials. Moving them around, seperating them and creating new flower beds. I'm still stuck on a few places. There's a spot by the front door that is half shade/half sun and I can't seem to get the right combination of things there. I'll see what I can do there this fall. There's also a place under the window box by the front door that gets full sun but I've just got it crowded with junk. I even threw some herbs in there (parsely, and basil). There is some purple and white Aster there and I think I'm going to take it out. They're not that pretty, they don't stand up well and they sure don't last long. Not to mention their mess just takes up space after May.
There is some sage there that came back from last year (rightwith purple flowers). I didn't realize sage came back but I guess it's because we've had such a mild winter. My lavender is back as well, although I don't know if that's naturally a perennial or not. The strawberry grass looks wonderful as do the hosta. I seem to get more and more shade every year. My guess is the previous owners of the house would cut back the front tree every year or few years. Since that isn't in my budget, I'll just learn to love shade plants. :)
I put purple, green, and varigated sweet potato vine, dusty miller (oh! which also survived the winter in the flower beds), and petunias in the window boxes. No photos of those just yet, I'd like to wait for them to really grow in and start to hang before I show them off.
The photo above shows tomato sprouts, not sure which variety though. For some reason I'm leaning toward Black Krim or Green Zebra. Next year I'll post everything as it happens and I wont have to rely on my poor memory. To the right, is a Chocolate Beauty pepper sprout.
- Black Krim tomatoes
- Green Zebra tomatoes
- Silvery Fur Tree tomatoes
- Rutgers tomatoes
- Chocolate Beauty peppers
- Sunshine Garden peppers
- Diamond eggplant
- Rosa Blanca eggplant
- Outhouse Hollyhock (ok, not a veggie)
- Snow Peas
Not from seed:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red Leaf Lettuce
The kids helped and had a great time. They planted some of their own in little plastic cups with holes cracked in the bottom. Sure, it made a mess of the dining room but they dug it (no pun intended). Matthew decided to eat dirt and Joey, in true Joey form was 100% completely organized and VERY careful to place one seed in each hole.
All the peat pellets and cups went upstairs into my bedroom next to a sunny, east facing window. I don't remember how many cups, but there were six trays of 36 pellets.