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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Beginning...2010 Growing Season

March 11, 2010

Todd started seedlings today. In the pellets: seeds were planted for Cabbage, Early Snowball Cauliflower. This year the container is being kept in the Kitchen. On the back porch, two tub gardens have been started with Baby's Leaf Spinach, Space Spinach and a variety Leaf Lettuce.

March 14, 2010
Sprouts have started in some of the pellets. Today Todd started more seedlings in the pellets for Iceberg Lettuce and Calabrese Broccoli.

Last Summer some of the flowers I started from seeds took longer then the package stated, so I am experimenting and planting some of them early. Today I started seedlings for Petunias, Impatience, Sweet Williams, and Snap Dragons. I need to pick up more Petunias and Impatience seeds.

March 16, 2010
Today we checked on the seedlings. No sprouting for the flowers, all the vegetables have sprouts now. The first rows of cabbage and cauliflower has some nice starts.

March 20, 2010

Today I planted more flower seeds for seedlings. Petunias, Pansies, and Impatience. I started my flower bulbs for 5 assorted Day Lilies, 2 Calla Lilies, and 5 Stargaze Lilies. I wasn't sure for the Stargaze which side of the bulb was up or down, so I planted 3 of them the way I thought it was up and two the other way so I am hopefully guaranteed at least 2 plants.

We checked the seedlings prior planted. The Sweet Williams and Snap Dragons had sprouts starting; Petunias and Impatience nothing. As for the veggies seedlings, all have great starts with exception of a few cabbage. The loose leaf lettuce is doing great in the tub. The tubs were placed outside on our deck.

March 24, 2010

Today the vegetable seedlings were placed out on the 3 seasonal porch for more direct sunlight. I noticed some starts on a few Petunias that were planted the first round.

April 3, 2010

Today Todd planted more seedlings. All seedlings have been in the pellets this year with exception of the tomatoes. Seeds planted today are: 6 Diva Cucumbers, 3 Butter Squash, 3 Spaghetti Squash, 3 Summer Squash, 3 Zucchini, 6 Green Peppers, 6 Hot Peppers, 6 Sweet Banana Peppers, 6 Bell Pepper Mixed, 6 Broccoli, 6 Cauliflower, 6 Cabbage. The tomatoes were planted in biodegradable pot; 4 Cherry Tomatoes, 8 Beef Steak Tomatoes, 10 Roma Tomatoes.
The prior vegetable seedlings were placed outdoors with the Spinach and Loose Leaf Lettuce. 5 Ice Berg Lettuce, 3 Broccoli, 2 Cauliflower, and 1 Cabbage made it out of 6 each from the seeds.

Flowers: All the seedlings were placed on the back porch today. The Sweet Williams and Impatience are doing great. The Snapdragons are very puny and the Petunias are barely sprouting. I planted the Alyssums today, white, rose, and royal (purple). I placed the Calla Lilies planter outdoors today. I will have to keep my eye on the weather, if we get a freeze warning, I will have to bring the pot indoors.

April 17, 2010

Todd covered the vegetable garden with black plastic, to help warm up the earth.
April 27, 2010
First set of planting of vegetables, did not make it. The second set of plantings of vegetables were transplanted into small containers. Todd also planted the next planter of lettuce.

None of the flowers made it from seed except the pansies but they are not doing well. This year we didn't have the spare bedroom where we could apply the laps to create some heat, I think this is why it didn't work as well this time.

May 2, 2010
Todd ended up deciding not to enlarge the vegetable garden this year, so we chose to work on the front yard landscaping. In a few years we plan to build a small retaining wall and level the yard some by adding more dirt. The dirt is needed for our tree, the roots are showing and the tree doesn't look as healthy.
Todd started a second container of loose leaf lettuce today.

Joshua assisted me with moving all the hostas on the side of the shed near the house. They were transplanted to the front and to the opposite side of the shed.

Ethan and Noah, dug the weeds out of the flower bed in front of the shed and I sprinkled Preveen on it and the Hosta flower bed.
The side where we had some Hostas, I planted a variety of lilies, Casa Blanca Oriential, Stargazer Oriental, Starfighter Oriental , Strawberry and Cream Asiatic, Elodie Asiatic, and Lollypop Asiatic.

The back of the shed Joshua helped me plant my different varieties of day lilies.

I can't wait to see all the new flowers bloom, it may not be until next year but my project is done with exception of adding the Alyssums.

May 4, 2010

A lot of our seedlings just didn't make it this year for veggies as well, again I think it was lack of warmth and lighting. We had to purchase our plants this year with a few exceptions that the seedlings made it, Diva Cucumber, Yellow Squash, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Spaghetti Squash, a few Big Boys, Hot Pepper, a Mixed Pepper.

Todd planted 6 Roma Tomato, 6 Big Boy Tomato plants today as well as seeds for 2 rows of radishes and 1 row of onions. The tomato plants , we placed plastic jugs over to create more warmth if the temperatures drop and to add a little protection from the winds. The border of our garden he planted seeds for sugar snap peas, green beans, Lima beans, and yellow wax beans.

In our containers Todd planted carrot seeds in 2 - 32 gallon totes.

May 6, 2010

Todd placed the fencing around the garden to keep out the high population of rabbits. He planted 6 broccoli, 6 cabbage, and 4 cauliflower plants. He staked off the area where the sweet corn will be planted.

May 9, 2010

We went to Lowe's and picked up my Mother's day gift. I wanted another lilac bush, this year it is a pink flowering bush and it was planted on the corner of the shed in the back. I am in hopes it may draw more butterflies to our yard.

We worked on the landscape in the front yard. We used the hostas that Joshua dug up in the back and worked it in as well as 2 new day lilies. It was just the beginning of the front landscaping. We need to finish the large tree in the front. Plans are to add more hostas around the trunk. I also plan to add a few more plants in the landscape next Summer as well as this Fall, trying to have a variety of flowers blooming through out the seasons.


May 15, 2010

Our first container of lettuce is ready to start harvesting.

May 16, 2010

Todd planted 4 rows of sweet corn and in two weeks the last 4 rows of sweet corn will go in, about the same time the peppers will be planted in the garden. At this time, our planting will be complete. Todd also planted the pickling cucumber, diva cucumber (this is a cucumber beetle disease resistant cucumber), yellow squash, summer squash, zucchini, and spaghetti squash. Radishes are coming in great and we are starting to see some onions now.

I planted my flower pots today. 6 were completed and the wash tub, I placed a butterfly garden seeds. This will be a temporary home this Summer for the flowers, next year we plan to build the butterfly garden. I have 3 more pots to plant but ran out of flowers.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Prologue

Last Summer we both did a lot of planning for both our vegetable garden and flower gardens. We both would like the front yard landscaping to be a little more, however I don't think this Summer will be the time we tackle this project. Todd has been contemplating on make the garden bigger again. We started our actual garden Summer of 2008. It started out the size of 8x16. We had a successful year of tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. Our poor broccoli was overtaken by the rabbits as well as what we thought was cauliflower. Wal-Mart had mislabeled the plant and it was actually cabbage. We had too much rain for the peppers to grow. It was a nice first garden.

Summer of 2009, Todd expanded the garden, it now became 16x24. We tried so many new things in our garden. We kept what we had prior but we also added different types of peppers, we still had our green peppers, but we also had a red pepper plant as well as banana peppers. We also tried our hand at pole beans, a type of sugar peas, 3 different varieties of lettuce, baby spinach, radish, carrots, zucchini, summer squash, watermelon, corn, as well as one attempt of a pumpkin plant that Mother Nature ripped out of our garden. Our garden wasn't just contained to the 16x24, we also had 4 tractor tires filled with dirt and several containers filled. We tried 2 Topsy Turvy planters and attempted strawberries in one of them. This we will not try again. We did not have any success with keeping the birds away from the strawberries.

We found the carrots did better in the containers, so this year that will be the only place we plant the carrots. Our lose leaf lettuce will also be in containers to free up space for more plants in the garden. Towards the end of Summer, Todd felt that he would like to expand the garden one last time, if we do the size will be 24x24 and we probably will not have the tractor tires as a garden. He planned to take the wooden swing set that the children do not use and place it into the garden as a trellis.

This sent my imagination in overdrive with what I can do in the area where the swing set is currently. I talked about a butterfly garden to him, however he wasn't keen on it due to the fact that he didn't want the caterpillars interfering with our vegetable garden. I agreed with him, the vegetable garden is very important to both of us and I wouldn't want to jeopardize that. However things changed.

We went on vacation to a house we rented off of Lake Rock in Minnesota. It was the perfect vacation, so relaxing. While we were there we would sit on the deck, the neighboring house had a beautiful garden and several bird feeders, one was a hummingbird feeder. I sat there listening to Kera and Todd talk about their memories at his Grandmother's house, watching the hummingbirds eat from her feeders. I loved listening to this memory and wanted so much to have this at home, to keep their memory of that time and start new with my boys and possibly grandchildren in the future. I shared my idea with Todd and he loved the idea that once we came home, we would get a couple of bird feeders going.

On vacation we also went to the Minnesota Zoo. They had a Butterfly Garden Exhibit. Everyone that went enjoyed our time in the Butterfly Garden Exhibit. We enjoyed trying to find the different species as well as the beautiful flowers that this exhibit had on display. We all got a kick how one butterfly hitch hiked a ride on Todd's hat. This butterfly stayed on his hat just about the entire time we were in there. It was a calming setting and we loved seeing how the kids were getting into it as well. We each had a different favorite species. Todd's was one that looked like a rock.

On our drive home, Todd told me that he thought I should do more research on the butterfly garden because he thought that it would be a nice addition to our back yard. I was excited to hear this, so the day after we arrived home I started searching the Internet and found the perfect place in our backyard for our butterfly garden. Todd shared a garden forum that he belonged to because it had great forums for flower gardens as well. He found a design that someone made for one of their gardens and suggested it for one of my flower gardens I was thinking about. This design I thought would be nice for the butterfly garden. By the end of Fall, I noticed we did not have any hummingbirds so now my butterfly garden will also be a garden for hummingbirds as well to attract them to our yard.

My plan for the garden where our swing set is at this time, a shade garden due to our trees. I want to have an arbor with ornamental grass behind it. I found a climbing plant to climb the sides of the arbor( Serotina Florida). On both sides of the arbor, I plan to plant some hosta plants mixed with variety of Astilbe plants. Under the arbor will be pebble rocks and for now there will be 3 garden stones, one that the girls will design, one for the boys to design, and the 3rd one will welcome everyone to our garden. I also would like a bench. I am have not completely made up my mind if this will be a bench that I will buy or design and make myself.

Introduction to our Blog Site.

We decided to create a blog of our garden this year. We both enjoy gardening and love to share our excitement with family and friends. We also thought it would be a good idea for us to keep a log when we started things in order for us to track what worked and what we need to improve upon next year because we all know there definitely will be a next year.

Todd has not decided if we are going to expand the vegetable garden. This is his baby but we both work on it. Yes, he does most of the planning and caring during the day while I am at work but I try to help with some of the planting, weeding, and harvesting. He also keeps is eyes out on our pest in the garden. I definitely help with the canning and freezing. This year our goal is to stay on top of our harvest and not waste as much as we did last year. I am in hopes that we can get a new canning pressure to jar some of our vegetables instead of freezing all of them.

I have plans for all 4 of the sides of the shed. Last Spring I worked mainly on the front side of the shed, this year I will put Todd's hopes into action and have each side with a flower bed of some sort. We will also make a new flower bed with an arbor and hopefully begin our butterfly and hummingbird garden. I do most of the planning with the flowers and the boys do assist me with the weeding.


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