July 14, 2013

Switcheroo

Today, while I was waiting for Adele to dry off outside from a bath, I decided it was time to re-arrange the garden a bit to give some folks some more room.  The summer savory, for instance, seemed to be flourishing while the lavender hasn’t really done much of anything all summer.  I removed one of the two savories for drying and shifted the center lavender over to another box where there was a perfect little spot for it between the purple sage.

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Lastly, I thought I’d give the rosemary a little room.  We have been enjoying the lemon thyme a lot on potatoes, omlettes, chicken, etc. but it was looking weird going straight across in the round container. Here’s the rosemary with more space and the thyme curving around.  For all of these, I just put the spade in about 4 inches out from the center of the plant, went deep, and crossed my fingers that the minor snapping of roots that I heard wasn’t enough to doom the plants to die. We’ll see how it goes.

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June 12, 2013

Adele is an herbivore…

The herbs are doing great and no signs of squirrel interest!  We’ve had a good amount of rain, but on the couple of really hot days the herbs had a growth spurt.  I read that putting red pepper flakes on the soil keeps dogs out… totally didn’t work. We had to just protect the seedlings from her for a few weeks and now that they’re bigger, she mostly leaves them alone (or just wants to eat the dirt).  She does like taking a nip at the lemongrass every now and then though!

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May 4, 2013

Lazy with the seedlings…

So what they say is true. Starting plants from seed is hard!! Even with the fancy heating mat.  While some began to come up quickly, others did not.  I think with so many different kinds of seeds on the mat it was just impossible to give every little plant what they wanted.  So we caved and bought seedlings.  Because we were fairly early in the season, the farmstands had almost everything we wanted: basil, mint, oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, purple sage, bee balm, winter and summer savory, lemongrass. Most came from Wilson Farm and some from Verrill Farm.

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I didn’t find any shiso or hyssop at the farms, so I redoubled my efforts on the heating mat, but focused only on those two.  It worked! Here they are having just been moved to slightly bigger pots (and still under the fluorescent lamp – which was a normal house lamp with a fluorescent bulb in it).

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April 21, 2013

Herbs this year!

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Soooooo, we tried veggies and the squirrels ate them. Then we tried flowering vines and found out they’re toxic to dogs (sorry Adele!!). So this year we’re trying big beautiful herbs. Hopefully neither squirrels nor dogs will want to eat them.

Seeds are from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and we are trying a fancy little seed starter kit – warming mat plus plastic dome. The hyssop which was supposed to germinate in a couple weeks came up in 3 days! Lemongrass, thyme and marjoram are also up.

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July 29, 2012

Flowering vines

With the garlic out, we decided to finally plant the flowers we had planned for this year.  (The battle with the squirrels was just too much, so we skipped the veggies this year.  Kept the mint for salads and cocktails though!)

The climbing vines are morning glory and jasmine.  The morning glory is supposed to be a “fast climber” but only wants to go up; we’re having a hard time getting it to go out wide.  The jasmine is a “moderate climber” and did really well after we tied a few branches wider with twist ties.  Strangely enough, the blooms really went crazy after we tied the branches.  Not sure what happened there, but who’s complaining? It smells amazing.

The garden right after planting (end of June):

The morning glory and jasmine after a month (end of July):

 

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June 25, 2012

Mini garlic is still delicious…

We finally gave up on the garlic.  Only one or two scapes by the end of June, which made me wonder if the winter just wasn’t cold enough.  (We had some annual flowers come up again, which I think means that the ground didn’t freeze and kill the roots).  Though the bulbs were very small, they are still delicious!

November 12, 2011

Vampire-proofing

We kind of skipped fall (or I just was too swamped to notice it pass by) so even though it seemed a little late to do so, I pulled up the remnants of our beans and tomatoes and planted 40 cloves of garlic! Hopefully the garlic will snuggle in for winter as we do, and come spring, we’ll have delicious scapes to eat and enough heads of garlic to last us for the year.  Technically, according to The Google, it’s okay to plant through November, so I guess we just made it.

I got the seed garlic from Allandale Farms, and when I got home and broke up the cloves, half of them seemed a little questionable – rotten perhaps, and some were dusted with a white moldy surface – almost like a brie cheese crust.  Not a problem, though, as when I brought the questionable ones back, they confirmed that they wouldn’t have sprouted and traded them out for new ones.  So we got a full 40 into the planters and will see what happens next year!

    

August 27, 2011

Tomato Conundrum

I’ve been neglecting the blog, but not the garden! There’s some sort of tomato bacteria in the area this year which makes all the tomato plants look pretty sad (yellow and spindly). But I resisted the urge to over-water or pull everything up, and it’s paid off. The Red Cherry tomatoes, though tiny, have been really sweet, delicious, and prolific. And the heirloom has decided to put out a ton of fruit all of a sudden. We had 3 early in the season and then nothing for weeks… but now we have 5 big tomatoes in the making! So though the plants don’t look their best, the fruit is still great.

July 17, 2011

Seeing red (and green)

Our biggest heirloom tomato is finally turning red. We haven’t had many more tomatoes come out on this plant, but at least something good is happening. We also have a lot of yellow leaves, which is a little worrisome, but we’ll wait and see. We also had a great bean harvest! It amounted to this bunch that you see here plus another just as large. Not too shabby for a first pick! The cute little flower tub is on the other side of the deck. We added that a few weeks ago, and she’s doing great!

July 3, 2011

Oh snap!

We finally ate something! One sugar snap pea for each person, and boy, were they amazingly delicious. I L.O.V.E. sugar snap peas, and it’s definitely true that they taste better if you grow them yourself…

There were also some tiny summer squash (about the size of a cornichon/gherkin) that looked like they had a little end rot, so I clipped them to divert more energy to the good squashes.  I’ll try watering less and see if that helps.

Meantime, we sauteed the good parts of the wee ones to put in an omelet. Also delicious, but I did feel like it was kind of cheating because they weren’t fully grown.

Danny’s parents are still here visiting, so they reminded him (and taught me) the Shehecheyanu blessing for the first fruits of the season. All very exciting!