Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby broccoli and berries!

Nope this guy is not looking for broccoli and berries through those binoculars.

He's just taking a break from gardening and observing this red-bellied woodpecker enjoy our suet cake across the yard. I can't do a garden update without showing what's blooming in the flower garden. Right below this feeder is a new columbine my mom gave me for Mother's Day. I had to put it near the bird feeder and under the red bud. The beauty of these flowers amazes me. I have some solid pale pink and some white, but nothing as fancy as this bloom.

Here's a rhodedendron we've had for 17 years. It's one of three we planted, and still blooms it's little heart out for our enjoyment.

Here's Maggie, the Queen of the deck! She's 13 years old and spend most of her days sleeping in the garage in her crate. This is her choice. We crate trained here when she was a puppy and she still likes the comfort of her own space in the crate. She's moving slowly as arthritis is settling in her hind quarters, but she still dances when my husband comes home as he's the one who feeds her. This dog lives for food.

The mastermind behind the garden is my husband. He's been great about doing all the heavy lifting when needed, and is just like a little kid in his enthusiasm. He's enjoying a rest in the hammock swing while petting Shadow.

The potatoes are growing quicker than we can keep the straw and grass cuttings piled up under them. We'll put a some kind of enclosure around the outside of the box so we can continue to fill and cover the plants to encourage vertical potatoes.

The onions, carrots, lettuce and corn are doing well. We'll replace the lettuce with other crops as soon as it gets hot. Probably peppers seedlings I have ready and waiting. The spinach has already bolted and I miss adding it to my salads.

Our blueberry and strawberry plants are covered to protect them from the cat birds and others who like berries. My husband built this lightweight covering out of chicken wire and a four-sided bottom. He lashed it together with plastic trash ties. It's easy to lift off to access the berries. Ooooh, I can't wait to pick these lucious blueberries some morning in June and enjoy them with some yogurt.

Above are the tomato plants we put in May 14. We've planted Celebrity, Old German, Brandywine, and Better Boys. There's one more yellow variety in there also.

Below is the tomato box with the broccoli/cabbage/cauliflower box in the foreground. These three vegetables were bought as plants in tiny six packs from our local Farmer's Coop. We planted them on a cold rainy day in March.

" .......but God gave the growth." Look at them now! Big healthy plants. Some didn't make it, so we immediately filled those available squares with extra beets and swiss chard.

This past week we began seeing the baby broccoli heads.

We're amazed at how easy square foot gardening has been for us. No digging and no weeding has been the best part. Looking forward to a boutiful harvest! I'd love to see other gardens, so if you've got one tell me what's growing in your corner of the world.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. 1 Cor. 3: 6-9

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Table Runner Giveaway

One of my favorite places to dream about decorating is The Lettered Cottage. I love Layla's style and wish I could bring her to my home for a week and help me finish my basement decorating.

The photo above shows a cool burlap table runner she's giving away on her blog. Here's the info. about who made it and how you could win it for your home. http://theletteredcottage.blogspot.com/2009/05/coastline-contest.html

The woman who makes these Grace has an etsy shop which can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7044601
If you win Grace will put whatever letter you want on yours. Love it!
You can read more about Grace here on her blog, and she's even having a giveaway, too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recession Garden update

See this empty bed? We're impatiently awaiting May 15 to transplant our tomato plants into neat rows. We'll plant them deep as tomatoes send out more roots when planted this way. Below are the tomatoes waiting to be snugged into their new bed. Today we added more composted cow manure and vermiculite along with crushed egg shells to add calcium to the tomato bed. I've been saving egg shells since before Easter, and today I crushed my collection into a powder before dusting the bed.

Here is our potato bed. We've planted Klondike Gold, Russets, Redskin, and sweet potatoes into this bed. As they come up we'll continue adding more straw and dry grass clippings so the plant will become a vertical producer of more potatoes.

Here are the strawberry plants surrounding the blueberry bush. I was checking today and there are lots of strawberry blossoms promising sweet red berries. Mmmm......

The red, yellow and white onion sets are coming up nicely. We've lost a few cauliflower and broccoli plants perhaps due to too much rain this spring; or it could be we set them out a bit too early. Yep there's Maggie watching the broccoli grow. We're wondering if she'll live much longer.

We've picked enough baby spinach and lettuce leaves for a few salads and some added crunch to our sandwiches. Some days we snack on it as soon as we bring it in and wash off the dirt.
This photo shows the layout of six plants in the square foot.

It's amazing to me how a big head of cabbage will grow from this lowly plant.

This Friday I'll be planting tomatoes, peppers and eggplant into the garden. My neighbor has planted his tomatoes and placed large cardboard boxes over them to keep them protected from any chance of late spring frost and to keep the deer from snacking on the tender leaves. He's cut windows in the boxes for light. Each year we're neck and neck in the first red tomato race. Stayed tuned!

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