Sunday, September 28, 2014

A beautiful weekend at the end of September

It is a real treat having a hot weekend to winterize the garden. Unheard of at the end of September here on the coast. 

I am crazy about asters. The bees just love them and they are super easy to propagate. It goes like this. Grab a stem or two down low. Pull. You will end up with lots of roots. Pot them up or plant them right in the ground. Done!!

Emptied out the bean pot..washed and put away. Next spring I am going to put my black bamboo in the pot and beans will go in the garden.

I emptied out the pot that contained the potatoes my brother gave me. They are teeny, but there are 13. I will plant and try to get some seed stock for the following year. 

Brought daughter-in-law Amanda's outdoor plants into the yard to keep them until they can go into the new BTE (back to eden) garden in their back yard. They are tucked back by my own potted plants.
Spoiler alert....The BTE garden should be beginning next week.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our garden will look much like this. The greenhouse is perfect.

Sadly, this is not my yard. I cannot remember where this picture came from, but I love it. It is inspirational. 

It is what I have in mind for the garden next door. We want a greenhouse in the middle like this and that is taller than most. It will be a citrus house. The citrus, currently a Meyer Lemon, Bearrs lime and a Owari Satsuma mandarin, will be planted in the ground and there will be a heater for winter. I won't be getting a greenhouse for a while, so in the blueprint I'm working on, I will only plan for annuals where it will be eventually. There will also be a small orchard. I see they have a fig in a large pot. Funny, so do I. I love gardening.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Garlic planted...with great care.

This years garlic was 'so so' at best. There were maybe a dozen lovely full size gorgeous heads. Also a lot of small heads. There were many that didn't grow at all and were totally gone. I know that I did plant a few with the exposed clove where the skin had pulled off. Etc etc. Then we had a very mild winter. All in all it made me a lot more careful this year. 

Laying out the cloves. I am giving them a lot more room this year. 

There are only three rows in this 4 x 8 bed. 

Beamer the garden cat was close by for the whole planting. Honestly, isn't he the cutest thing.

I then covered the top with two wheel barrows of wood chips. And yes, I wore my mask. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The mother of all Kombucha mothers!

Through no fault of the Kombucha, it had turned completely to vinegar. It took about three cups of sugar to get it sweetened up enough to call it Kombucha and not vinegar. I had neglected it completely for a few months. I won't even try to justify that neglect. So, I was trying to move the SCOBY and it felt pretty large. When I turned it on its side I was shocked to see it was about three inches thick. I decided to take off a wafer of SCOBY and put the rest in my compost. (I have lots of spares) I did not realize that it weighed at least five pounds. It was not easy to get it out of the crock. Isn't that amazing!! Just look how beautiful it is. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

How to get rid of weeds in cracks...organically

Our house is 35 years old and there are more cracks in the driveway and sidewalks than there used to be. Here is my technique for cleaning those up.

After pulling out the easy to remove weeds, get your landscaping weed whacker. Okay, there is no such thing, but that is what I use mine for. Landscaping and gardening. So first take your weed whacker. Put on safety goggles. Turn your WW on its side and clean out the crack as best you can. Part two will only work on a sunny day. The hotter and sunnier the better. Now that there are just really short stubs of weeds in the crack, if anything at all, spray pickling vinegar in the crack. Don't skimp. I use a sprayer that you can get at a garden centre or even Walmart. They range from about $10. to $30. The sun will fry the stubs that are left. Go out once or twice a week and see if there is anything green. If there is...pickling vinegar. The secret is to get them when they regrow slightly and when they are tiny. Blast them again with the vinegar and I can pretty much guarantee they will NOT come back. This is exactly how I kill dandelions!! 

...there are lots of vinegar based weed killer recipes out there. I've tried all of them and nothing works any better than straight old pickling vinegar...