Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm beat. On this lovely afternoon, I planted my tomatoes, peppers, celery, zinnia, asclepias curassavica, fennel, cosmos, and marigolds. I still have a few more leftovers and other plants that need to get planted, but I'm exhausted. That's hard work. Sure feels good though.

Today's Garden

Post number 2 of the morning.
Unknown iris.Atropurpurea barberry in bloom.Magnifica honeysuckle just starting to bloom. I'm hoping the hummers will find it soon! Reliance grape leafing out.
Scarlet Nantes carrot seedlings. I was worried that my first sowing might not be germinating, so I bought fresh, 20 cent Walmart seed. Now I have a lot of thinning to do.
Stella de Oro daylilies, Green Spice heuchera, Little Lanterns columbine (tucked in behind the heuchera).Three Golden Acre cabbage overwintered in my raised bed without protection. I was wondering if they were going to produce a good head since the spring growth has been so good. Turns out this one is bolting. Am I disappointed? No way. Free seed!
When the Lowes Garden Center employees recognize you, perhaps you visit too much. :) Hey! Wait a minute! I resemble that remark! For instance, yesterday I went back there to pick up this Kiwi Gold raspberry plant since my Fall Gold didn't make it through the winter. I also saw some hardy Arctic kiwis, but decided against spending $10 each on plants I've never grown or researched before. All I knew was that you need a male and female for pollination.I then drove over to the store to buy groceries. The entire time all I could think about was where can I could put two kiwis in my yard? How will I support the vines? Will they taste like regular kiwis? What will the hubby say when there is one more obstacle to mow around? So I drove home. Groceries in the back....and two hardy kiwis next to me in my car. Here is Meader, the male. The female, Anna, is planted about ten feet away and looks the same.This morning I went out and pruned it down to one central leader. I'll keep training it up to the top of the trellis which is about 5 feet high.
I went to a local orchard last summer that was growing these on high wires.
I was intrigued.
Then a few weeks ago a family member said she had planted several hardy kiwis.
I was
I think my mind was made up before I even left Lowes the first time.
I was
coming home with two hardy kiwis!
Important facts about hardy kiwis:
1. They need super strong support.
2. Don't let them twine around the trellis, because it could hurt the plant and the support once it takes off.
3. You need a male and female for pollination.
4. Spring frosts can kill your entire harvest for a season if it happens when the plants are developing their blossoms.
5. Interesting fact...Protect these from cats. I hear it's as attractive as catnip!

Friday, April 29, 2011

My desperate attempt to attract hummingbirds. How can they miss this? I did it last season, and I think it worked. But so far...nothing.Irises are now blooming.
My seedlings and indoor plants are hardening off on my front porch after spending about a week on the more sheltered back porch.
The new, expanded front garden. The future home to lots of marigolds, snapdragon, milkweed, a tithonia, a pentas, and fennel to attract butterflies. I also started some carrot seed in the lower left portion along the sidewalk. Not for me to eat, but for the black swallowtails. They LOVE their leaves...A LOT.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Propagating Zinnia From Cuttings

On April 13th, I wrote about propagating zinnia with their cuttings. I told you I would keep you posted, so here are the results.I love that I used a cheap popsicle container from Walmart. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be sure if it was working or not. Now I can see that it's working. Roots! Four more Oklahoma red zinnia for the garden!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


It's a lovely, mild morning. Just sitting out back with the kids waiting for my first hummer of the season to arrive. I might be here a while...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Straw, Berries, and More.

Tulips and daffodils brighten the yard on a cloudy, rainy day.My peas are finally coming up. Mixed in is an onion that was missed last season and overwintered. In the back are the freshly planted onions. They are off to a good start.
Some of the potatoes are finally coming up. This year I planted Yukon Gold and Red Norland again.
I can't get a picture that does justice to the bleeding hearts. They are so much more beautiful in person.
I bought two bales of straw from a local nursery. Turns out one bale goes a VERY long way. I used it beneath my strawberries to keep the berries and foliage clean. I will also place it around my potatoes once they get taller and tomatoes when they go in the ground.
I also potted up some of my taller tomato plants. I planted them in large, red tumbler cups deeper than they were originally. That way they can develop more roots along the stem. I removed as much of the peat pots as I could without disturbing their roots too much. The roots had already begun to penetrate the peat walls.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring and My Latest Additions

Tulips in bloom.Purchased yesterday at Lowes: Two Tricolor Sedum to act as a ground cover for a large bare patch in the back. I tore of some chunks to fill in some empty spots on a steep slope out front as well.

Also purchased yesterday from Lowes: Two Little Lanterns Columbine plants. I wanted to add more natives and I know the hummingbirds will love these if they find them. The best part is that I hear they self sow!
One columbine is in the lower left. The other in the middle of the photo.
Then I went to a nearby greenhouse for seed potatoes. They weren't out yet, but I still came home with two new additions. This Homestead Purple verbena. It is showing a bit of new growth.
Plus I purchased a quart-sized Hens and Chicks. It had LOTS of babies on it, so I detached a bunch and placed them in potting mix until they get a better root system. These will help fill in my two large strawberry planters this season.
Did you add any fun plants lately?
Happy gardening!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hummingbirds and Seedlings

It's that time of year again. Time to put out the hummingbird feeders. Two years ago I saw a hummingbird nectaring on one of my tulips. Now the feeders go out when they are about to open. This is my Jewel window feeder. Pricey and never used. I still put it up...wishful thinking. The little hummers prefer the cheap $4 Walmart feeders. I have three hanging on the clothesline. One in the center as the "beckon" to hopefully draw their attention. The other two are close to the holly branches. They seem to prefer the safety of the branches nearby. You can also seem my new mini-orchard planted over the Fall. I added the new strawberry bed, the center circle, just a few weeks ago. Planted with Winona strawberries.
I started my seedlings later this season. Here are my zinnia and cosmos (on the back left). I decided to pinch (cut) back the zinnia to just above a set of leaves to promote branching. They were growing into the lights and getting pretty tall on a single stem. I've never pinched them before, but it only took a few days to see the new branches starting. These are red Oklahoma zinnia.
From left to right, here are my Citrus Mix marigolds from Burpee, a Sungold tomato in the front (started 3/22), and a taller Fat 'N Sassy pepper on the right (started 2/14). The tomatoes are much smaller than this time last season, but the three week later start makes them much more manageable. My smaller tomatoes caught up in no time in previous seasons, so I don't feel the need for a really early start with these fast growers.
I'm not one to waste anything, so I took my zinnia cuttings and planted them in my seed starter mix. They are inside a popsicle container place within a Ziploc to keep up the humidity. I couldn't find my rooting hormone, so we'll see what happens. I love experimenting with my plants. I'll keep you posted on the results.
Happy gardening!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Things are starting to show signs of life again. Here is a Heritage raspberry plant that was added last season. Off to the right is a Caroline raspberry added last fall that I ordered from Stark Bros. So far those are still dormant...I hope.I planted peas back on the 6th of March. They are finally starting to come up. I was really worried about these. Especially after seeing my resident mockingbird eating away at the peas on one very cold, frosty morning.
Below is my Frances Williams hosta. The first hosta to emerge this season.
Chives that I left out in this pot, unprotected, all winter. They didn't miss a beat.
My biggest disappointment. I really wanted this one to work out. :( I ordered this Black and Blue salvia last season. It got off to a slow start and then took off. It was absolutely gorgeous. The hummingbirds and bumble bees loved it too. I have a bad feeling about its survival. We're right on the border of hardiness. Although it was well mulched......
Hyacinths are in full bloom right now.
A Golden Acre cabbage that I planted last fall. I planted it too late and it didn't have time to produce a head. It survived unprotected in one of my raised beds...along with two others. I have doubts that it will produce a head of cabbage, but I wouldn't mind some free seed for next season from it.
German Extra Hardy and Musik garlic that was planted in mid-October. It is off to a great start. Very strong and healthy.
I just planted my onion plants from Dixondale Farms. Red Zeppelin and Copra again this season. They stored well into January...when I ran out. This time I ordered a full bunch of each. The only downside about growing onions is that the squirrels like to pull them out, so I have to replant quite a few of them each season. They tug them out. I put them back in.
Karl Rosenfeld peony coming up.
My Alberta Spruce appears happy. It is just starting to put on some new growth. That's a good sign.
One of my absolute favorite spring bulbs. My Tete-a-Tete daffodils. The cutest miniature flowers I have ever seen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Potatoes and Carrots

Yukon Gold potatoes and Scarlet Nantes carrots are now planted!