Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finally got the berries in

Tonight I got the berries planted. I have been agonizing over where to put them. One is a Raspberry Meeker and the other Thornless Blackberry Chester. It was the worry over runners that paralyzed me. I just made a decision and started digging. No fear!!

Hung out in the greenhouse for a while. My muscles are feeling much better today, and it was fabulous to go in and hang around in the clean, organized greenhouse. I'm in love.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This grasshopper needs a master

I stopped by to say hello to my sister tonight. Her landlord, and urban homesteader, Jim was working in his amazing garden. I often look out my sisters window and admire Jim's garlic. I asked Jim if after harvesting he would give me a plant to break up and start my own garlic patch. He said yes. Jim is a very giving guy and great sharer of knowledge. He doesn't seem to mind all my questions, so I hope to have some good gardening conversations with him. I must say, as well, he has the most beautiful compost I've ever seen. Compost is an art that I have never mastered. I think this 'grasshopper' needs to watch the master and learn.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My butt hurts

Just to update today's posting. My butt hurts. I had my foot up on the raised bed in the greenhouse bent over to get the hose behind the three foot deep bed. I had to hold that position for about an hour. Garden yoga!! My butt, back and arms hurt. I'm definately NOT 30 anymore.

Now I'm convinced time really is speeding up.

Today I met my sister for 'lunch'. I asked her if we could do a run to our local feed store Buckerfields first. I hadn't been there in at least ten years. We had chickens back in the early 80's in our backyard, so we were there a lot. My purpose for this little journey, was diatomaceous earth for slug prevention. My neighbor Barb told me that they have it in bulk much cheaper then the packaged stuff. She was right. I can't find the receipt, but I think it was $3.99 a kilo? I also found a healthy little variegated lemon thyme. I meant to get a half bale of straw for $8.99 but I got into a conversation with Travis who is a beekeeper. They just installed two nucs in the back area of the warehouse. I have been wondering where to get local info on beekeeping. He said he'd help me get started. Oh yeah, BEES. I Love them.

I stopped at Marigold Nursery to get more of the plant labels Mom got me and I couldn't resist getting another strawberry plant. I found a Berries Galore that was covered with berries and had three good sized runners.

I thought I'd killed my rhubarb. I lifted the only leaf to see if there were anymore coming up and I snapped it off. A friend had offered me a division of hers, but this morning I saw two little new leaves coming up.

So, back to the Disruption of the time-space continuum. I was certain we got home about three o'clock. My sister had turned down a coffee at White Spot. She said 'I have to go to bed in a few hours.' I thought that was one of the oddest/funniest things she's ever said. Still not cluing in. We left shortly after and I got home at 5:30. Now I know something is happening to time. People who come to the store tell me time is speeding up. I'm a believer!!

My big project for the weekend was cleaning out the greenhouse. My poor neglected, sad little greenhouse. I had NO idea how much work it was going to be. It took me almost three hours to clean out the channels around the edge and hose out all the 'crap'. Slugs. Blech. I am so happy it's done. It looks wonderful. Everything is wet, so all my tools etc are lying on the bench drying. I now have two plants I need to find homes for. They basically took up about half, or more, of the greenhouse. A Norfolk Pine about five by five feet. The Jade Plant from the old store. It was for our feng shui. I have severely cut it back so once it grows back (about six weeks) I may even take it into the store and sell it. I have a large baby I took from it that I have taken in for the store's feng shui.

Planted the thyme and strawberry. Life is good.

Lost track of time yet again

Cinderella Pumpkin
It is amazing to me that when one is in the garden, it seems the laws of physics do not apply. I think Einstein was right. Time really doesn't exist. It is what humans need to make our world make sense. Let me explain. I exited my house at about noon. Worked in the yard for a couple of hours. It was so beautiful. I started getting a bit hungry and went in the house for lunch. I had toast. Lunch of champions. Got my shoes back on after a bathroom break, and glanced at the clock on my way out the door. It was almost five o'clock. So you tell me!! Where did the missing hours go?

Moved pots out of the greenhouse to allow room for Allan and/or Noel to move the huge jade out of there tomorrow so I can clean up the floor. The tomatoes in there have outpaced the garden tomatoes by about 150%. It's amazing. It occurred to me today, that I can grow lettuce and spinach in the greenhouse all winter. So cool. I need to come up with something better for the benches. Allan put this funny plastic grid on the frame. It seems so flimsy that I am afraid to put pots on it unless they are at the edges where the frame is. So let's fix it.

Broke apart one of my garlics for the cloves and planted them in the greenhouse beds and the garden. Mom swears they keep plants from getting bugs, so I thought I'd give it a try.

My Cinderella pumpkin is about a foot across now. Is it ever growing fast. I'm in love with it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wow, the time really got away from me

I left work early today. It was a nice treat. I came home, changed and went right outside. I watered all the little plants in the garden with, get this, my newly routed second backyard hose. Allan put a splitter on the tap and took an old shorter but lovely rubber hose, wound it under the deck and over to the garden. I don't have to clearcut the blueberries with the hose anymore and it reaches the furthest herbs. I was about eight feet short, so I would blast water at the plants from afar. Ahhhh, little things, little things.

I went into my greenhouse to fetch a tool and really took a look around. I had several oversized plants that basically took up 3/4 of the greenhouse. It hit me, I am so lucky to have a greenhouse, I have a few plants I really am not in love with in there and it could be so much better. I pulled out alot of stuff for the garbage, some to send to a thrift shop and some to relocate. I organized the pots I'm collecting for bedding plants in spring and for potting. Clay here, plastic there. Huge plastic pots from the Japanese Maples that made up my meditation area are now neatly piled in a stack by size.

I'm about two hours away from having a great working greenhouse and a much cleaner one. It just occurred to me that I should have taken a picture. Darn. Oh well, I'll post the after anyway. So I sit here after about five hours of work outside and feel like I could have done another five hours if only there was light. I wonder how the neighbours would feel about flood lights in the middle of the night??

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I love labelling plants

When Mom and I were at Marigold Nursery the other day, she snuck a package of white plastic labels and a black sharpie into my box of plants. A little present. So this morning before I went to the store, I labelled the veggie rows. Then I did about half of the herbs. I thought...if I labelled the herbs, then Allan could use them in his cooking as well. He doesn't have a clue what a Thyme plant looks like. Now he doesn't have to! What I also love about it, is that now it looks like a working garden.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Arctic wind, but a wonderful day of gardening

Okay, not this cold, but...
It was another of those days with a cold, cold breeze. In spite of it, I spent the whole day in the yard. My Mom gave me her large potted thyme plant when I couldn't find one. I got it planted in the herb border. I moved the newly potted mints from semi-shade to the sunny herb border. The pineapple mint has some rust and I think I've overwatered it. The asparagus has quite a few nice shoots in full frond. I filled the trench in with a combination of steer manure and compost. I used this combination to plant the chocolate mint in a two gallon pot.

I hung the netting over the blueberries as they are starting to look ever so slightly blue.
I hammered one stake into the greenhouse bed for the tomato, but couldn't get the other one in, so I mocked up a cage out of bamboo. In the process of trying to hammer in the stake, in spite of trying not to hit the glass roof, I managed to anyway. Thank goodness it didn't break. Gardening can be very dangerous!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

After work gardening

It was lightly misting out, but I had to go outside as soon as I got home from the store. I planted my French Tarragon and my marigolds. I put the tarragon in my perennial border.
Today I picked out a cute little journal that we have at the store, for gardening notes. I thought if it were smaller, I'd use it more. I think to be a proper gardener, I need to record what I'm doing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I love a morning at marigold nursery

I had every intention of buying one lemon thyme.

I asked my mother if she wanted to join me for a little plant run to Marigold to buy a lemon thyme. I was told they would be in yesterday. I got there and they had none. So we strolled. By the end of the stroll I had a cart full. Four bags of composted steer manure, a package of marigolds to underplant the tomatoes, one raspberry Meeker, one thornless blackberry Chester, a French Tarragon, a little round watermelon Sugar Baby and two stakes for the tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Karen brought me some fireplace ash, which I've spread liberally around my basil and veggies. Thank you Karen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oh so sad...

Each morning I tear outside to check on all of the new plantings. Everything looked great. I uncovered the pumpkin plant. I had placed a large clay pot over it last night as we had that arctic frigid wind that this spring is getting famous for. It looked great and thankful.

I moved on to the greenhouse. I have been watching my baby basil plants poking out in three nice straight rows. I looked. Closer, closer..then I backed up. Back, back... I'm 55 and can't see close up, but for some strange reason I continue to try on occasion. No matter which distance I chose it came out the same. They were gone. I found four little plants huddled together behind a dirt lump. I was mortified. I immediately logged on the iPad and started googling "natural slug remedies". I came up with two. Vinegar sprayed around the border and corn meal. It's supposed to kill them. Also, a border of ash, but I don't have any. So I did the vinegar and corn meal. Karen is going to give me some ashes, so I'll give it all I've got!!! I have replanted.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ruthless in Sidney

French Sorrel
One of my newly planted tomatoes had a bit of leaf curl and funny colored leaves. It could actually be that it was hit with some vinegar while I was killing weeds. It was in close proximity to some buttercups I was attacking. Oh by the way, buttercups are really easy to kill with vinegar. Grass, not so much. Excellent. I digress. I wasn't taking any chances with my other tomatoes, so....yanked it right out. My mother brought me a nice big Early Girl yesterday as a gift for the BBQ we were throwing for the family birthdays this month. So...
I dug up the last plants in my Hawaii garden in the greenhouse and topped up the garden with compost. Early Girl has a beautiful spot in the greenhouse.

I am still trying to sort out which of my tomatoes are Determinate and which are Indeterminate. Until I bought Zero-Mile Diet by Carolyn Herriot, I had no idea there was any difference. You plucked the side shoots off tomatoes...period. I stand corrected.

I noticed that there were a lot of snowberry bushes growing right up against the back of the greenhouse onto the roof creating shade. My loppers came out and I ventured into the thicket and started hacking. Wow did that make a difference. I'm going to get Allan to borrow a chainsaw and take the bushes down to about 4 feet and let them start again. They are at about 8-10 feet right now.

I planted the French Sorrel in a hole with compost. I can't wait to have some in sandwiches. It is a wonderful herb that lasts long into the fall. I'm going to try Sorrel soup when I have lots of it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rouge vif d'etamps aka Cinderella pumpkin

A very dear friend dropped off a healthy gorgeous specimen of this wonderful pumpkin. I left the store a bit early to run to Marigold Nursery to buy several bags of compost. Tomorrow I'm going to build a hill of compost for this pumpkin. Just so you know, I braved the new interchange at the Pat Bay and Mctavish for this pumpkin. It is crazy confusing and the whole town is talking about what a nightmare it is. Not to go on about it, but I got lost in it last week and a wonderful woman in a huge excavator of some sort, whose way I was blocking, pointed me in the right direction. That's how devoted I am to this pumpkin's well-being.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

La Roma tomato

I went grocery shopping today and spotted a small La Roma Tomato. Had to have it. Day before yesterday Allan helped me take four panes of glass out of the greenhouse, to pull some volunteer ferns out of the edge. One had sent roots into the large garden bed in the greenhouse. It took a lot of muscle, but he got the job done. The soil in the greenhouse bed had sunk about six inches. I filled them up with compost. I planted about 6x3 feet of the bed in basil. I want to have a lot. A years supply of pesto for me. Today I put the new little La Roma Tomato in the part of the greenhouse bed that isn't basil.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Guava and jasmine

Today was the day to move the Chilean Guava from the greenhouse to the glass paneled deck. It gets little guavas on it in the fall. We were picking them and eating them last fall. We were eating the red ones. They were so sour, but it was fun to have our own fruit. As fall wore on they turned almost white. They were super sweet. we know. I also brought out the ornamental orange and newly transplanted jasmine. The jasmine was a gift last mothers day from my sons fiancé Amanda. There is a parking lot in Kona Hawaii just off the main drag. It is about a block up a narrow lane. It isn't the nicest walk, but the lot is huge, free and has no time limit so you can relax in town. When you go up the concrete stairs to the lot, there is a chain link fence. Our first time using this lot, we all stopped and said 'where is that sweet smell coming from?' we tracked it down to what we now know is a jasmine, twined in the chain link. That is the long story version of why Amanda gave me the plant. I love it. In the winter it went into full bloom and the smell was amazing!!

Last night a seed was planted

Last night I was writing in my personal blog. My day had been filled with gardening and was the first really hot day of the year. I was excited. I mentioned that I did not mean for my blog to turn into a gardening blog. So, the seed was planted. This new blog will contain information and tips about Urban Farming/Gardening.

I'm sure it has been a real nuisance for my neighbors, but I've never bothered with dandelions. They didn't bother me much. The lawn is really full of them now, and with the newly planted vegetable garden, I suddenly find my self caring. I snap off the seed puffs and put them in my pants pockets to throw out later.

I filled a spray bottle with vinegar and headed out to try to kill dandelions with it. I am astounded at how fast it worked. Within a half hour the dandelions and clover were shriveling. As advised you do have to be really careful with spray drift. It is like pouring acid on plants. I have a idea to try to control it. I'll keep you posted.