Friday, June 24, 2011

A Good New Home For The Hostas

The left side of our shed, what I call our Hosta row is doing great. 
I had some concerns with 3 of the Hosta plants that were transferred last Summer
to make room for the Pink and White Oriental/Asiatic Lily Garden on the left side of our shed. 
I am so happy they are thriving.  
They are just as big as the original Hostas this year. 
The lighter green on the right is the transplanted plant. 

Introducing Our 2011 Garden

We Todd finished planting our garden.  I have to give him the credit because he planted everything but one row of pole beans.

I loved the fact that he used my guide I drew up for planting.  He told me he was going to use it but I did not realize he was going to take the piece of paper that had the plan drawn and stick it in his pocket.  He would pull it out to use as a reference every now and then to plant more.  I love the fact that he let me have a say in it.

This year we are trying something different.  Last year we let the garden go and the weeds grew well.  We figured there would be more weeds this year then ever.  We also did not prepare the soil like we have in the past for Winter.  Todd does a lot of research in the Winter on how to improve for the next growing season.  We also attended a Gardening 101 Class at the Pioneer Coop.  I thought it was funny because most of the facts he told us, I had heard from Todd this past Winter.  We saved pizza boxes and any type of box that is corrugated to add to the garden this year.  We placed the cardboard down where ever we did not plant.  This will have two purposes.  First it will act as a weed barrier and second it will decompose and become wonderful compost to enrich the soil.  We are also hoping it will help some diseases since the soil will be more enriched.
On top of the cardboard boxes we then placed top soil mixed with compost.
Here is the completed garden.
Far left next to the fence are sugar peas and shuck peas.  The front two rows to our entrance is more peas.
Directly left of the peas on the left side are 3 celery plants, next to this we tried Chinese Cabbage.  Not a good thing for us, since we did not research it first.  We did not plant during the right part of the season.  The hot weather made it mature way too soon and it did not grow very big.  Next to the Chinese Cabbage are several pepper plants. The back part are several tomato plants, we have Beef Steak Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, and Large Red Juicy Tomatoes.  The last row next to the fence is a row of pole beans.
The area far left side of the garden near the fence in the front we have bush beans as well as long the fence line farthest in the garden.  The area with no compost or boxes we are trying the 3 sister crop planting.  It will be corn and pole beans that will use the corn stalks as poles.  Down below the corn and beans will be squash.  The squash will act as a weed barrier for this sections.  The three crops will provide each other important nutrients that the plants should thrive.  On the back side of this section of the garden we have 6 broccoli plants and 6 cabbage plants.  Next to the fence in the back we have cucumbers and zucchinis. Todd needs to build a trellis for them, the fencing we use for the peas and beans will not be sturdy enough for the cucumbers and zucchinis.
 A close up of the 3 sister crops.  All are coming in, sweet corn, pole beans, and squash.
 A close up of the pole beans I planted and the broccoli and cabbage plants.
 One of our new items this year...Eggplant. (The tall plant in the center.)
 Sections of the Shuck Peas that were planted some time ago. We actually have some peas on the vine.
 Typically in the tractor tire garden we have planted squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.  
Due to the pesty bugs they did not thrive. 
Todd thought it would be a good idea to try something different in them.
3 of the 4 we planted our onions in them.
They are doing great.

Our Deck Garden

Baby Spinach is not happening the beginning of our garden season.
Too hot to start over now after the squirrels did their damage.
We will have to start over near the fall.

On the left is Romaine lettuce is sparse but what we do have is doing well. 
The other was planted about 3 weeks after the Romaine.  It is a blend.

My herbal garden is not doing as well.
Once again, the squirrels are the reason.
Only half of the box is growing.
This is my Cilantro.

The Chives in the back did not take at all.  
The squirrels went to town in that box.
The front left side, some Sweet Basil is growing.
The right is my Parsley.
I think only 1 plant is coming up.  
The rain is the reason for this one.
I made the mistake and did not drill holes for drainage in the containers.

After this weekend we plan to put our inside greenhouse
together inside our porch.
We then will start over with herbs, lettuce, and baby spinach.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bottled Vinegar

Less then a week later and here are the results of the bottled vinegar...It is NOT successful.  This weekend I will replant my chives and cilantro and place a fence over it.  Darn squirrels. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Planting 2011

Typically we are harvesting lettuce by now but the squirrels keep digging into our lettuce bed and baby spinach.  Our crop is small at this time.  We typically have this container full.

Last Year~ One of our Lettuce beds (5/13/10)

What we have as of today
This is all we have this year so far. The past years we are typically starting our second tub in order to keep a cycle of lettuce growing.  Todd is trying this method to keep the squirrels out for now (he just placed our tomato cage over the tub last Wednesday.) but as you can see we do not have even one tub nearly half full. 

We love keeping the lettuce and baby spinach on our deck.  It is so great to walk out onto our deck cut the lettuce or baby spinach at dinner time, wash it. Nothing taste better then fresh picked veggies.  NOTHING.  We really do not want to move this garden area, 
Last summer's garden on the deck (5/23/10)
Notice the nice tub of lettuce on the far right.  Center is the tub of baby spinach and the far left the beginning of the second tub of lettuce. 
One of my planters I planted last year.

I also have beautiful flower containers and fear the little pest will do damage to these as well.  I planned all winter to start an herbal garden on the deck as well.  I have not planted my flowers yet, plan to this week or next weekend.  I did start with the herbs.  I tried to start some by seeds inside but most of my seeds did not take.  I plan to read over the winter this year to better our odds next year for our seedlings.  I read that putting a container such as a tube of Mini M&Ms with holes in the lid buried in the garden with vinegar in it will discourage the squirrels.  Instead of tubes of Mini M&Ms I thought I would use the 3 oz tubes one can buy at the store for vacationing, holes are already in it.  I took the lids off of the bottles.  I read that you are to bury the container in the garden up to the lids, however my smaller tubes even were too big for the window seal boxes I was going to use for my herbal garden.  I did bury them as deep as I could, I hope it works.

I planted Cilantro in this box.  I am hoping we have fresh Cilantro to add to our salsa we make this fall.  I would love to have fresh salsa with all the products from grown by us.
In the back container with the blue lid I have just planted Chives, none of my seedlings took of my chives.  The front container on the left is where I planted a few more Basil seeds.  I had 4 seedlings that took and are doing well.  On the right side of the container I planted more seeds of parsley.  I only had one seedling that took but did not make it into the picture.

Todd was concern that we would not be able to get everything in our garden this year.  We are trying a few new things and plan on putting all the squash, zucchini, and cucumbers this year.  I worked on a plan with checking out the sites listed prior and I am thrilled that Todd is going by my planting plan.  Our main garden is nearly planted. We have started so late this year with planting.  I do not think that our corn will be knee high by the 4th of July since none of the seeds are in the soil as of yet. We still need to plant the corn, pole beans, squash, and peppers as well as the Diva Cucumbers in one of the tire gardens.  Todd has all the tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, some sort of other type of cabbage, peas are in the main garden as of this weekend.  We still need to plant the peppers and tomatoes in the containers and hanging containers.

Our onions are thriving in their new home.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wascally Wabbits Hit Again

I lost my oriental lilies and Asiatic lilies again this year.  They did not multiply from last year because the rabbits are eating them quicker then they can bloom.  I picked up Alyssum to plant outside but the weather has not been cooperating for me to plant.  The weather has not stopped the rabbits though.  They now have devoured 7 of my lilies.  I only have 2 left to see as of last night.  No Star Gazers this year!  No Casa Blanca!  No Star Fighter!  No Tiny Todd!  No Lollipop!  No Elide!  Errrr !   I did not want to put a little fencing around the area but I have come to the conclusion, I am.  I think I am going to watch for it to go on sale at the end of the season and pick some up. I do not want the white kind I am sure of that. 

The rabbits leave my day lilies alone and my other Asiatic lilies however in that garden there is lamb's ear as well, maybe they don't like lamb's ear.  In the front they ate on my Tulips but left the daffodils alone.  We have such an abundance too. 

Those darn wascally wabbits...please go away!