Saturday, April 21, 2012

There are some thirsty plants out there.  Lots of rain should be heading our way in the next couple of hours.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Strawberries and Champagne

We finally have some decent rain in the forecast.  3 inches over the next couple of days to be precise!  Okay, that's more than I really wanted, but with such dry soil, I'll take what I can get.
Earliglow Strawberry blooms are already forming berries.  These are growing outside their alloted spot, so they don't have any straw beneath them.  The rest of the plants are nestled with straw to keep soil from splashing on the berries.  Last Spring was extremely wet and rot became a problem with berries that touched the soil. 
My favorite clematis is in full bloom.  Cheers to Pink Champagne.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Seedling Updates

Post #2 of the day.
We are having yet another above-average warm stretch. With the potential of record-breaking heat today, I decided that it's time to start hardening off my plants. They are now outside on a covered porch. The slight breeze will help sturdy up their stems, but they will be protected from the most intense hours sun.
Above are three of my five trays. The other two trays include one with seeds waiting to germinate (cukes, cardinal climber, nicotiana, carrots, lettuce) and another tray with small seedlings that have already germinated but are still small (petunias, cukes, more tomatoes, more peppers). Here they are up close.
Left to right:
There are two Salad Bush cucumbers that just germinated that are in the back, left corner.
Tomatoes ( just a couple of the ones started)
Fat N' Sassy (now called King Arthur) peppers in the front center.
Tango Celery tucked into the middle back.
Tropical Milkweed for the monarch cats to munch on.
In the front, Snow Crystals Sweet Alyssum that started blooming when it was quite small. It has a lovely fragrance which is what I was hoping for. Nicotiana sylvestris in the back...also for fragrance and moth appeal.
Dwarf Janie Deep Orange Marigolds. Just the other day I had to pick the first blooms off of most of them. They are nice and sturdy so far. Behind them in the tray are Oklahoma red zinnia and Fruit Smoothie Orange and Purple zinnia. It's funny. I used to look down on marigolds. That somehow, since they are easy to grow, that they aren't as impressive as other flowers. It wasn't until last season when I saw my daughter picking marigolds to place in vases that I saw them as something special again. Now my gardens will be filled with deep orange marigolds, so my daughter can make bouquets to her hearts content.

Hummingbirds and Natives

Last season I purchased two pots of Little Lanterns Columbine at Lowes while it they were on sale. Another step in the journey to add more natives to my garden. I hope the hummers find these soon. They are in full bloom right now, and I have yet to see a hummingbird this season.Check out these lovely blooms.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finally! After a period of no rain since the end of March, we got a bit of rain. Not enough to penetrate down into the soil enough to reach all spots effected by drought, but it's a welcome start. Hoping for a little bit more before the morning is over.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Prairiefire Crabapple tree is in full bloom. The other night we reached 27 degrees with a Real Feel of 19. I was worried about the blossoms that were waiting to open. They must be tougher than I thought. What gorgeous pink blossoms against burgundy and green foliage. I love this tree.
Last year I cut back the laterals on my blackberry bushes. Tossed them in a pile to be taken up to back to decompose. After an hour I thought, why don't I try to plant some and see what happens. So I decided to take 1 foot cuttings and cram them upright into a container of soil. I tossed some plastic wrap over the top to keep the humidity up a bit since it was still quite hot and dry outside. I gave them a quick drink of water and ignored them. Darned if those cuttings didn't survive over the winter unprotected. Just sitting in this container out front. Wow. Blackberries are tough. The cuttings are putting out new growth. A friend of mine is now the proud owner of a few blackberry plants. Plant propagation is cool.
My Copra onions from Dixondale Farms arrived this weekend! This variety (along with Red Zeppelin) did very well for me last season. I still have some in the fridge from last season! This year I gave them approximately 4 inches of space rather than just the 3 I usually give. Curious to see if there is a significant difference.
They were just planted this morning. Above them are some Scarlet Nantes carrots that have germinated (too small to see in the photo). I direct sowed some a couple of weeks ago and tossed down a few more seeds to fill in some bare spots while I was working on the onions. I direct sowed some more Jericho lettuce in one of the raised beds as well.