Thursday, April 16, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I had a lovely day with my family, yummy food, roses, and two trips to the bookstore! I picked up a little inspiration with a giftcard from my friend Lauri. And my parents gave me an ice cream maker -- which kept the boys busy for a while yesterday!

They also spent a long time counting change from their piggy banks and sorting into bank rolls, which I found at the Dollar Tree last week. I was grateful for the distraction since the weather was wild outside, and I had a headache from a nasty fall on Monday. (I'm fine, but the stool for getting onto the trampoline is not! Yes, it's true, I'm officially too old for jumping... haha!)

Today we started our Disappearing Eggshell experiment -- but I realized my camera was dead too late to charge it! Maybe I'll get some pics of the final result tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to finally post about how our garden is doing!

This was the view from my kitchen window a couple weeks ago. The Chinese elm had just leafed out, and it was so peaceful outside.

Later, the wind picked up, and it became a little tricky to get out and garden since the dust and pollen gave us all the sneezes and sniffles. On Palm Sunday we stayed home from church so as not to gross everyone out, and spent some time catching up on our neglected garden.

My Eldest and Littlest helped plant potatoes next to the onions and garlic.

My seedlings have not done as well as I'd hoped, though I knew I was taking a chance to start them outside. The lettuces did fine, and three out of four green beans came up, but only one squash and one tomato sprouted. No peppers.

I'm hoping it's not to late to try again, this time in the ground directly. I gave in and bought a 6-pack of tomatoes just to have some. Then, a few days ago, I found a volunteer tomato plant sprouted in last season's compost pile! I carefully moved it to a safer place, so I hope the transfer doesn't kill it.

We weeded the peas and blackberry vines, which are doing great. Blooms on the berry vines already!

I planted cilantro with the tomatoes, but I need to clear out the winter patch to make room for more herbs. I will probably add some store-bought eggplant and peppers when this crazy weather is over. It's been in the 60s and very windy this week, but it's supposed to be in the 90s by the weekend!

The 20-foot stretch of ground below gave me the most trouble this spring. I spent hours and hours over the last three months combing through the soil with my gloved hands, filling buckets with broken glass, and digging up piles of tuberous roots.

A nasty, invasive tall grass has thrived in that spot since before we bought the house 11 years ago. My friend who gardened in our yard for 5 years had just ignored it. He dug up 90 years worth of broken glass from all over our yard, but after one or two attempts to get rid of the grass, decided it was too much trouble! But its time was up. I REALLY wanted to use that space.

Last week I finished amending the soil with the huge mound of compost Scott brought home for me. Into the ground went my corn and green beans!! Now we'll see if my trouble pays off, or if the grass takes over again!

We also planted our climbing summer squash. See how the Bibb lettuce self-seeded behind the trellis? I've been thinning the volunteers for weeks! They're doing way better than the lettuce I started myself even though they sprouted days apart.

We're also just enjoying the blooms of spring...

How is your garden growing?


Lift Up Your Hearts said...

This was a very fun post to read! Your garden looks gorgeous and so promising. We have been planting some flower seeds and one little tomato plant. We have pepper seeds to plant and I will maybe plant some zucchini and squash next week.

ChristyACB said...

That looks like a load of work you did there! Congrats on it! And your garden looks fab too :)

HausFrau said...

That's beautiful! I can't wait until we can close on our house so we can figure out what what we will do with it, garden-wise.

Ali said...

oops, happy belated birthday! Your garden looks wonderful, my little seedlings are doing pretty good, now just have to wait till after the last frost to move them out... Beautiful roses btw =)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, I am not sure that I will show this blog entry to your gardener friend. He will be jealous. We thought of you on Wednesday as we awoke to snow on the ground. Yes, the snow that they said we would get on Easter showed on Wed. It was sunny and melted by end of day so didn't call to come and have some fun. No gardening outside for your gardener friend yet. He spent this last weekend setting up the garage in the hopes of starting some seedlings under the lamp. We were down in your neck of the woods Tuesday having fun (yeah right) deep cleaning at the dentist. It was windy-perhaps more wind than where we live. Hope spring comes soon! Oh yeah...happy belated and fun wishes for the year. Love, Christina

Jocelyn said...

It will be so wonderful to finally see your house and garden (and of course you guys!) this September after Jasper's wedding! :) It will have 6 1/2 years!!?? EEK!!

mandi said...

what a sweet picture of your youngest there, taking it all in!

we're busy out in our yard as well. i'm like you, my seedlings didn't do well so i bought some tomatoes from our csa farm. i am so impressed with your corn row. man- that was a lot of work! we are the same way with glass- always finding it...
another thought- can you use a weed tarp around your corn to keep the grass from coming up. maybe just for this season to kill it all?

Toni said...

looks like your going to have lots of yummy veggies this summer/fall.

My sunflowers just sprouted, I have also started lavender, rosemary, and mustard plants i my window ready to go out this weekend.

I will probably just go pick up a tomatoe and pepper plants. and a squash too.

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Although I've never before commented on your blog, I've certainly enjoyed it.

I've left a little gift for you on my blog. I pray it blesses your day!


Iris said...

Wow! The boys have a lot of penny's!
And Baby fish is too cute in the last photo!

Ali said...

Oh, thats great! Did you see my post about the reusable bags and the Green Bag Lady blog? She has a free produce bag pattern and I think it is a drawstring type, that might be better and/or easier. Here is a link to a zippered pouch tutorial I found, it uses a lining, but you can just take that out I am sure.

Have fun!

Olive Oyl said...

Oh, I'm so jealous that you have potatoes and garlic! I have NO CLUE about those, how much room they take, when to plant, etc. So you'll have to clue me in! :)

That horrid wind on Monday and Tuesday damaged some of my poor onions, but everything else seemed to do okay. Then today it was so hot that by the time we got home from church and lunch, my peppers were SCORCHED and in need of some serious TLC. Hopefully they can be revived!

I am going to attempt to start some/all my plants from seed next year. I have no clue where I'll put all the seeds since I have a tiny kitchen with like no counter space for large amounts of seed starts, but I guess I'll figure it out when I get to it!

Can't wait to see more garden posts! :)

kathy said...

The gardening is inspiring. We have started our seedlings indoors due to the high winds here and they are looking good. The boys are very excited to see new shoots every day peeking out. Sorry to hear of your fall - hope you are recovering quickly. Do the blackberries need anything special done to them - to the dirt? I love the ice cream maker!

Wendy said...

Don't give up on your tomatoes, yet. Tomatoes like it hot. Lettuce likes it cold. You probably still have a lot of time to get those tomato plants growing.

Maureen said...

May I ask what kind of blackberry vines you are growing? I wasn't sure how they would do with our wonderful summer weather :)

Also, have you always planted potatoes in the spring? Again, I wasn't sure how they would handle the heat. I thought they needed to go in the ground in the I planted some in Nov. and another crop in Feb. This is my first year growing potatoes tho, so I may be all wrong here.

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Kathy -- We don't usually have high winds, but we sure did this spring! I'll be starting indoors again next time. And I'm not sure what the blackberries need -- they were my hubby's project.

Wendy -- well, we've had cold AND hot here this week. :) It went from low 60s to mid90s in two days.

Maureen -- I'm sorry I don't know what variety of blackberries we have! My husband planted them, and they're protected from the strongest sun. The potatoes, well, they were an experiment. We'll see how they do. Nothing's coming up yet.

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