Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Expansion

Below is the picture of the garden on the main side of the house. As you can see, there is a section that is newly covered in newspaper and mulch. The future site for my onion bunches and annuals. This solves my husband's line trimming problems. My lack of garden space problems. Two birds. One stone. Sweet. You can see in the picture all of the new space that this expansion has afforded me. The bricks are still lining the original bed.

Problem Solved!

I solved the pea and onion problem. My son and I spent a part of this morning smothering grass. There was an annoying one foot grassy section between the garden around the house and sidewalk. The mower never could handle the small space. Now my dear husband won't have to get out the line trimmer for this area ever again. Next season it will be filled with impatiens, nasturtium and ONIONS! Problem solved.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2010 Garden Design

Lately I've been having fun sketching out next year's garden layout. I thought I had it perfect. That was until I read the onions should not be planted near peas! Ugh. Now I have to figure out what to change around. I have five small raised beds that measure 3'x3'. Four of which will be used to tomatoes. The other for garlic, carrots, and celery. So the raised beds are full. Where am I going to put these peas...or onions?
My other planting area is below. Following is the plan for that section of the garden. The stone wall extends another 20 feet or so to the right. There are two roses along the uncharted section. Beyond that is where I will be placing a PVC trellis about 10 feet long to grow my Baby Bear pumpkins and beans. How am I going to separate peas and onions? I'm going to have to do some research and look into this. If you have experiences to share they are very welcome. Suggestions as well.

Back to the drawing board. At least I have a few months to play around with the design. I'm actually enjoying the design part quite a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

If April showers bring May flowers then what do May flowers bring?

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


In mid-October the garlic cloves went in the ground. They are planted 9 per square foot about 2 inches deep. That spacing worked great last year, so why mess with what works. I have 54 cloves in the ground. Last season I had a terrible time keeping the cloves buried. Squirrels were constantly digging them up for months. Somehow, after being replanted several times, almost all survived. Garlic is pretty tough I guess. As you can see they are covered in chopped leaves from my leaf blower/mulcher. As soon as planted the cloves and watered them in I covered them up. Not once have the squirrels dug into this raised bed. I can't say the same for the other beds. They are full of squirrel holes. The two or three inches of leaves doesn't appear to be having an adverse effect on the garlic. I would have waited to mulch, despite the squirrels, if these beds weren't so well drained. I wouldn't want them to rot, but that isn't an issue with these well-draining beds.

Next year I will have to watch how much I cook with, so I have more to share with friends. It goes pretty quickly, and I had just barely enough for planting stock by mid-October. I planted 81 cloves this past season. I don't have the room for that much anymore, so I'll just have to enjoy and appreciate what I can fit in the garden.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Don't Forget Your Free Seeds!

Free seeds. Get your free seeds. It takes nothing more than a few minutes and a few steps out your door.

Although I miss having crops to harvest the fun doesn't come to an end. There is always the fun of seed-saving. Below are seeds from my beans that are dry and ready to store until next season.
Scarlet Runner Beans and Blue Lake Pole Beans

Even if you don't have the time to prepare them ideally, it's still worth saving them. For example, these Jack Be Little pumpkin seeds. Before composting the rest of the pumpkin I cut out some seeds and tossed them on a plate. Since the are just for me I can get away with that. Germination rates aren't a huge concern when you only have room for one or two plants a season.

So don't forget to get your free seeds!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Catalog Time!

Seed catalogs have just started rolling in, and if you're anything like me you already started your 2010 wish list. Let's see. Oh, 'Green Arrow' peas sound great. 'Spirit Bush' hybrid pumpkins would be perfect for Halloween. Small mixed gourds....the kids would love those. I never grew 'Paprika' peppers. Well, there's always a first for everything. I'll have to get a pack of seeds for those too. Hey. Look at this. Onion bunches. A sampler bunch. Even better! Now something for the butterflies. How about 'Fiesta Del Sol' tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)? Two of those would fit along the stone ledge perfectly.

I can't wait until the mail arrives tomorrow. I just love this time of year! Happy catalog browsing everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Squirrels and Birthdays

Give me a few days of rainy, cool weather, and what do I do? Daydream. I've been daydreaming about next season. What I would change. Where I will plant things. But most of all what would I like to add. This daydreaming has led me to pre-order some items for next year. First it started with strawberries. I bought some last season, but the squirrels managed to pull them out of my new strawberry pots....OVER and OVER!!! I had to resort to covering them with netting. Did that work? No. Those little buggers would still pull them out and leave them sitting inside the netting. Pure FRUSTRATION! I then moved them into our screened in porch. Did that work? No. Those little buggers found the openings by the roof and scurried their way in to those remaining, poor strawberry plants. My new plan of attack is to use flower pouches. I ordered those as well. I'll hang them from the ceiling to see if I can thwart their attacks.

Ordering the strawberry plants and pouches didn't stop my daydreaming. I was reading through old catalogs that I kept from last season. Flipping through the pages I saw different seeds that I would love to try. Making a wishlist. Then I grab another catalog. My David Austin Roses catalog. Here we go again. Picture after picture of the most beautiful roses you have ever seen. What do I go and do? I order myself three rose bushes. Do I have room for three rose bushes? No. So what does that mean? There goes some more grass. When my dear husband sees what I'm doing to the yard I just tell him that it is one less area that will need mowed.

Ordinarily I wouldn't order so much stuff. My dear husband doesn't know it yet, but he no longer has to worry about what to get me for my birthday. Although these plants won't arrive until Spring, I have to admit he has such great taste in presents!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Seeds

What a fun discovery I made yesterday. My asclepia tuberosa has finally gone to seed. I started this plant two years ago from seed. I missed this event last year, so it was a treat to get a chance to save a few seeds...just in case. I also plan on starting more of these Monarch host plants for next season.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Frost

I awoke this morning to the site of shimmering frost. This is our first frost of the season here. Summer is officially over.

The 'Coral Nymph' salvia on the left was a volunteer from the salvia I had in a container just above this spot. I found another volunteer 'Coral Nymph' in another container about 4 feet away. Goldfinches were feasting on the seeds in the original container a few months ago. I guess they spread them around a bit. Both were a pleasant surprise.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Although we have danced with temperatures in the mid-30s, these strawberries are still hanging on. I have only been able to enjoy two of these Florian strawberries that I started from seed (Thompson and Morgan). The squirrels seem to enjoy them as much as I do. Not to mention how much they love to dig them out as well. Ugh...
The foliage has seen better days, but they are still producing. They are very tasty and have beautiful, pink flowers. You can still see some of the dark pink petals in the middle of the picture.


Halloween started out very rainy, but ended much drier than it began. I haven't dressed up for Halloween in years, but I'm glad I did. My vampire costume scared a few small children, so it was a great success. :) This picture doesn't do the makeup justice. In dimmer light, I even gave myself the creeps.