Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberries are Go!

**Rebecca thanks for following my blog!

I finally got some time to plant my strawberries! It is gorgeous out, and is just going to get better the rest of the week! Unfortunately, I have two night shift days to fulfill this week, so I'll be sleeping during several of these beautiful days.

I read a couple of sites that talked about how to plant strawberries that come in bundles. I read about crown depth, and how you have to plant them even with the soil. I'm hoping I did it right! The plants seem to be in pretty good shape. Lots of them have new growth showing, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes. I am NOT, however, looking forward to having to pinch off 2/3 of the blossoms this year (I have two types that are June-bearing, and one that is everbearing) plus five weeks worth of blossoms for the everbearing type. In retrospect, I wish I would have bought two everbearing, and one June-bearing type, but I can't change that now. It is going to be painful, but I know I'll get a stronger yield if I can just suck it up.

The peas are coming along. I have the first tendril that grabbed onto something, not quite the trellis, but it's still cool. I love seeing the way they do this!
Here are a few pictures of the turtles again :)

This is Nadine. She took off after I took this picture, carrot in tow. She was going to have her carrot, and no giant was going to take it from her!

This is Bernice. This is a VERY rare picture, and will be one of few I'll ever get of her. She is our shyest turtle by far, and we rarely catch a glimpse of her face.

Finally, I just thought I should share this. My only real neighbors are the two 60's ish women who live in the house that ours backs up against. I frequently share my love of gardening with them (and its produce!). One of them brought this to me while I was planting the strawberries, and said, "This is you, I thought you should have this!" I thought it was very sweet of her, and incredibly accurate! :) (You may have to double click on it to read it)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Newsworthy Tomatoes

I know, title is super corny. I couldn't help myself.

I potted up 62 of my tomato plants after making some newspaper pots thanks to Rebecca over at Rebecca's Urban Farm Blog. I modified it a little bit, because I did not want to mess with getting them all wet, so I just taped the side and the bottom with some masking tape. I guess eventually the masking tape will get loose from getting wet, but it's done now.

It was nasty and rainy today, probably the coldest it has been in three weeks. It was a good day for me to get some of these done.
me of these done.
It's kind of intimidating knowing that I still have some 30 tomato plants to pot up, and something like 60 peppers to pot up eventually too! My friends who are getting 2/3 of these peppers and tomatoes are going to have to find some
windowsills for these plants because my homemade shelves can only hold so much!

After I got all of my tomatoes back on the shelves I tried to put my new shop lights back up, but unfortunately I'm still having issues with the lights. They are super touchy, and most of the time I can only get one of the two bulbs to turn on. I haven't figured it out yet, and I probably need to call Home Depot and see if they have any suggestions or see if I can return the lights... I just can't seem to find that receipt.

In other news, my radishes have sprouted! I took a few pictures two days ago where the rest of my outdoor seedlings are too!

And last but not least, here's a picture of Eleanor hanging out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Strawberries, Night Shift, and Turkey

Welcome to my blog EG! EG's and Annie's Granny's blog were the first two garden blogs I started following last year after reading about square foot gardening on a garden forum. It's a privilege to have you follow mine!

I should be sleeping right now, but my strawberry plants just arrived! I worked my first night shift for my preceptorship with nursing school, and sleeping in the day even after 25 hours being up is no easy feat! I was attempting a nap in the yard, just to get outside during the day, and I heard the UPS man drive away. I have been awaiting these strawberry plants and was sure that I would find a note tagged to my door saying I hadn't answered, so they would be back, and I found this little bitty box on my front doorstep. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. I ordered 75 plants, of three different types from Park Seed Co. I've definitely never done this before, and I'm not really sure how to approach it! I have a bed prepared, but I will be splitting the three different types between my two friends who are starting gardens this year, so that we can each have all types of these strawberries.

Sparkle Supreme, Earliglow, and Ozark Beauty Strawberries

I stuck the little bags in the refrigerator for the time being, hoping that I can go back to sleep, but I'm kind of at a loss for how to split these balls of roots and plant these babies!

On a side note, my husband's second turkey attempt on Saturday was a success. He could not have been more proud, and we had a few friends over to enjoy our feast. It was a good day!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday, my husband and I were able to turn the compost piles (after all turtles were accounted for) and there was definitely some of that white good stuff doing its magic, which was exciting.
I planted some radishes yesterday as well, which is a new one for me. I tried to plant some radishes last year from seeds that my grandma gave me. I have absolutely no idea when those seeds were purchased and there wasn't a year on the pack, so I'm pretty sure they were ancient.

I'm not sure if the radishes will even grow in the soil we have because it can get really hard, and I would assume that would make it difficult to form a root, but they're planted, and I'm hoping for the best anyway.

My spinach and snap peas have sprouted!

This is
my third round of peas, though both round one and two were not very successful . Some lessons I've learned in the past year:

#1 Do not let peas vine on your fence when there are bunnies that produce like bunnies all around your yard (Especially when the lovely next door neighbor ladies name and love the bunnies) The bunnies would chew off the bottom of the vine, and I'd come out to find a four foot tall wilted pea vine. No peas. (Same thing happened with melons later in the season)
Solution: Build trellis a few inches from the fence.

#2- Start fall season crops earlier. Not much to say about that, just that our vines got to be about 5 feet tall, and then it snowed. No peas.

Some pictures of the tomato seedlings from today.

Looking good so far! No purple leaves yet this year either! We have been blessed with warm weather this year. Last year, just about all of my tomato plants had a phosphorus deficiency and turned purple because our house is always cold. It's still early... but I'm hoping they stay pretty and green!
Last few days of spring break, and it's going by just a bit too fast... better get to cleaning the house. We're having Thanksgiving for lunch tomorrow. My husband can't get enough turkey, so we celebrate Thanksgiving several times a year!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last year

I found some pictures from our garden from last year. I guess our camera started acting goofy somewhere in June. It's hard to believe that this amount of green will be here in just two months. Our lawn is zoysia, and probably one of the things my husband hates most about our house. He can't stand a yellow lawn in the winter. Anyway, the green gave me something to look forward to, and these pictures make our yard look a LITTLE less blah. Most of these pictures were taken the first and second weeks of May.

This is kind of what I mean by messy garden. I didn't stake my tomatoes from the beginning, and I was really bad at weeding. I ending up having to stake my tomatoes in late July or thereabouts because something was getting in the garden from the bottom, and eating my tomatoes before we could get to them. Letting tomatoes go wild isn't a good idea when you plant so close. I learned that much anyway.

Hopefully I notice the tomato cups laying around all over the place this year when I take pictures. This is the picture that I could really see all of the green in though. This is the view I have from my dining room through the sliding glass door. All of our grass is yellow, and none of those trees have leaves on them yet. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This is my second year gardening.

I should have done this last year. I probably don't have time for it this year. Though I do spend a considerable amount of time reading other peoples' ramblings about their gardens. My camera broke just as many of my seedlings were sprouting last year, and so I just didn't get around to setting one up.My garden was so messy last year that I would have been embarrassed to share pictures of it anyhow.
I suffer from extreme cabin fever in January, and spent gobs of time planning that garden, and starting seedlings, and once June/July rolled around I was outside running, and doing other things, and I pretty much neglected a lot of my garden, even though we were always excited to eat from it!

I'm excited to have a fresh start this year, although I assume not a whole lot will change in the messy aspect. We'll see.

Here are a few pictures from this season.
The two compost piles/turtle pen and Heidi, along with the gross amounts of trash outside our yard from living off of a busy street.
Other end of garden, and new garden bed in the side yard. This is where I'll grow my strawberries which is another first. The dirt came from Christmas presents this year.
The garden, after we dug it, and I planted my peas, spinach, lettuce, and onions. I'm attempting all of these from seeds outside this year.

One of my 90 some tomato seedlings I started. I was pretty ambitious this year in attempting to start lots for friends in hopes that I'll save them some money, and pass off my love for gardening.
Six of our seven box turtles that we had to dig out of the back compost pile so that I could use some of the compost for the garden before I planted.
All of my seeds I ordered. My first year to order seeds and get catalogs. Definitely gets you through those cold months!
The garden in January covered in snow.

One of the compost piles on top of the garden.