Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Just Eat It.

It turns out the flowers on bolted greens are quite delicious.  My dog seems to know this already.
I took an herb class last night, and tried all sorts of tasty things that often get overlooked in the garden.  

Mizuna blossoms were my favorite, and I tried some kale flowers just now (above).  Do you have anything going to seed out in your garden?  Pinch off some blooms and see how they taste....at the very least they make a gorgeous addition to a green salad.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The gardening season is off to a great start.  As mentioned months ago in my last blog post, we have a community plot added to the mix this year!! YEAH!  Our plot is 10x20, and we put in 4 raised beds, topped them off with compost, and threw in some fencing to (hopefully) keep the deer out.  Here are some photos of the progress:

The garden holds greens, herbs, and broccoli seedlings to date.  
I hope to put the tomatoes in soon.....

Update on the home garden coming next.  I am going to try REALLY hard to journal the garden season again, it is always so much fun to see what you all are up to, and to have the garden season documented for reference.  So.........What  are you all up to in your gardens?  We are eating asparagus, herbs, and greens from ours.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I spent yesterday evening doing the seed orders, and today we went for a short drive to the location of my community garden plot.  That will be fantastic addition to what have growing here on the home front.  Being the worrisome, neurotic person that I am there are about 30 random thoughts going through my head (well, concerns really) about how this community garden thing will get from where it is now to where we have harvestable vegetables growing.   It will be an adventure for all involved, one I am looking forward to recording here on the blog.  Seed list coming soon- keep warm and have a peaceful, healthy, fulfilling 2013.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

We have had some heat in my parts of late, and things are finally starting to grow and ripen.  Cucumbers and zucchini are coming out of the garden at a steady pace this week.  Tomatoes are coming along nicely.....the anticipation of a sun-warmed garden tomato is growing by the day!

I am diggin' these Baby Persian Cukes ("Green Fingers"), growing on a small A-frame trellis, so far they are behaving and staying within their designated area.

Another new variety in the garden this year is a crinkly leaved basil.  The flavor is more mild than your standard sweet basil making it wonderful to put on just about anything, especially a grilled cheese or ham sandwich.  YUM!  (There is also Thai, Pistou, and Sweet Basil out in the garden to keep it company.)

Salad Leaf Basil from Renee's Garden

I am ready to start digging for new potatoes any day now, not sure if I will find anything worth robbing though.  Raspberries will be next harvest list, can't wait.  HAPPY GARDENING!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Whoopsy, seems as though I have been neglecting the garden blog again.  Not good for record keeping purposes!  Truthfully it has been quite rainy in these parts and until this past weekend I had not been out there much.  It has been an interesting season so far. This year the tomatoes are separated into three beds- no "tomato alley".  Asparagus beetles have been wicked this year, along with the caterpillars that de-foliated the beach plums, apples, and low-bush blueberries to the point that there will be no fruit production.  It was an abnormally bad spring for insects in my yard.  My theory is that with the warmer than normal weather we experienced early in the season the asparagus beetle larva emerged earlier than normal, so last years fronds were still in the asparagus bed (rather than in the woods) when the bugs came a  calling.  I have been cutting and bagging spears in an effort to reduce next year's population, though doing so will also decrease next year's spear production.  Small price to pay if I can stop the beetle cycle going forth.  Here is an arial view of the garden, much greener than the last time I took one back in April:

Excuse the toys and mess in the garden, I ran to take a photo before it did not happen, so stuff is everywhere.  Today I put in some peppers, eggplant, and summer squash seedlings.  My beloved Magda would not germinate for me, and something got to the stem of my Sungold plant, so I went to the nursery and picked up some Eight Ball squash and Sun Sugar tomato to try instead.  I also stocked up on herbs I did not start from seed and threw in a pimento pepper for good luck.  This year I finally got it together and tried to house *most* of the herbs in one bed:

The basil overflow is stuck amongst the tomatoes (salad leaf, sweet, pistou, and thai).  In the herb bed I have thyme, lemon thyme, orange thyme, sage, oregano, chives, garlic chives, bulbing fennel, lavender, rosemary, basil, summer savory, parcel, cilantro and alpine strawberries.  YUM- lots of great flavors to be had in there!

I did something else that has been on my wish list for years as well, which was to use wire fencing to make an A-frame trellis for the cukes:

I find cukes in my garden want to spread out more than up, so I am curious to see if this will be a good system (the trellis is taller than it appears in the photo); the variety is Persian Baby, a first-timer for us.

As an experiemnt I put strawberries on the perimeter of one bed tomatoes were going into.  So far it has worked quite well though I am curious to see if the berries become unhappy later in the season when tomatoes are shading them out.  At least fruit production will be done by then as they are june-bearing varieties:

Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are flowering like mad which is fabulous.  A few tomatoes and pepper plants are beginning to blossom so things will be coming along in no time.  Mostly we have been harvesting pea greens, strawberries, herbs, and asparagus (before the beetles began munching).


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Live! Red-tailed Hawk Nest at Cornell University

Live! Red-tailed Hawk Nest at Cornell University - should be two chicks by the morning if anyone is interested.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gardening Marathon

We put in a solid 18 hours in the yard this weekend.  Transplanting shrubs, mulching beds, weeding, fertilizing, and planting.  The garden is finally recognizable again now that the weeds are dwindling in numbers.

Those blue things are grow bags for peppers and eggplant.

This is the new blueberry bed, 14 lowbush and 4 low-high crosses are in there. 
 I left a few feet on one end for the musk strawberries when they arrive.  The lowbush blueberries are not the 2 year old transplants they are supposed to be, so since they are barely visible the company sent 18 instead of ten.  I was not planning on this number, and it will now be years before they supply any type of decent harvest so that was a disappointment.  I had to put sticks is so we know where their rows are in the bed- they are that small.

I decided to lay out the tomato cages, then stick a plant marker in to mark the plant's spot while fine tuning the garden layout today.
  Going to try growing strawberries as ground cover in one of the tomato beds for kicks.  At the very least it will serve as a source for new plants via runners.

Until this week I had herbs scattered around the entirety of the garden.  I finally dug them up and put them in one place.  This is a lousy picture, I manages to not even capture the entire bed.....there is room to put in basil, cilantro, and parsley when the time is right.  The bed currently houses lavender, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, fennel, chives, and garlic chives.

The chipmunk damage in all of our planting beds is extensive, they ate 80% of our hostas amongst other things.  I fear the vegetable garden may be doomed again this year as the little buggers are still everywhere, it seems the mild winter did nothing to bring their population back down to 'normal'.

  • Sowed (2) Fairytale Eggplant, and (1) Little Prince Eggplant.
  • Sowed one each of Magda and Romanesco Squash.
  • Sowed (3) Baby Cukes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Building track in our pajamas.....

Egg hunt time.....

The irony of a child pouting because he can not find an egg (look above his head).

All found!


Saturday, April 7, 2012


It really is beginning to look like spring- the fig is fruiting, daffodils are blooming, and asparagus spears are rising from the earth.
CLAYTONIA- almost ready for cutting.

  • Sowed Salad Leaf and Pistou Basil.
  • Sowed Lacinato and Tronchuda Beira Kale

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Live Bird Cams

These are certainly worth checking out, if you hit it right you can catch a view of the eggs and some Mom and Dad activity:

Live! Red-tailed Hawk Nest at Cornell University

Live! Great Blue Heron Nest at Cornell Lab of Ornithology  ** I should add that the Mama Heron is expected to possibly lay her 4th egg around 6 p.m. EDT this evening.  Very cool stuff!**