Gardening in the Blind


Reflections
April 30, 2009, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Indoor Gardening, outdoor gardening, Seedlings, Uncategorized

Growing up, I remember going to visit my Aunt Cindy and picking as many little yellow tomatoes as I could hold and eating even more.  But I always thought that gardening was for old people. (Sorry AC)  I think I just needed to gain more patience in my life before I could enjoy it. 

My tomatoes growing like a weed!

My tomatoes growing like a weed!

Now, when I am stressed, there is nothing more calming then tilling the dirt and raking it smooth.  Placing my hands in the damp dirt and smelling it, knowing that when I care for it, it cares for me is the most relaxing I have found.  Not to mention the huge rush I get everytime I plant some seeds and something comes up.  I still can’t believe that I can do that with such basic effort.  And the results are even better with plenty of rewards!

  Last weekend I hit a milestone in the growing season.  I unplugged my heating pad.  No more seeds to start inside.  Just a lot of little seedlings to nurture and grow.  Today I gave away my first of hopfully many little oragano plants.  It was hard for me to decide which to give.  I had to inspect all of them to see which one was the healthiest, the happiest the most likely to survive away from me.  Once I selected one, I decided I would select a catnip plant to give to Lynn.  I figured she would need a few plants as she has a handful of cats in her house.  It is sad to see them go but I hope they will thrive in new homes.

Last night I was bad.  It was a low of 40 degrees and I was going to cover the plants outside because it was going to be 20 degrees cooler in one night.  But one thing led to another and I forgot to.  So this morning I went outside expecting the worse.  But that was not what I saw.  Everything survived just fine without my assistance.  My relief was huge.  Maybe hard knocks is just what some of my plants need.

Plenty of oregano to give away!

Plenty of oregano to give away!

I have contacted many people regarding the red ant issue.  None can give me an answer to what I need to get rid of them.  I have decided to go to Harvey’s Farm and Garden in Westborough and see what they reccommend.  What ever it is, I am going to try it.  As long as no chemicals are involved.  Besides, I could use some fresh asparagus.  They are selling fresh picked, it should be delightful!



Ant Army Two, Me Zero
April 28, 2009, 8:29 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Both soap and boiling water seems to upset them and make even more ant hills. Soap did nothing at all.  Matter of fact, they are still using the piles where I poured it down.  Boiling water has taken place twice now with little to no success. I have new ant hills right next door to the old.  So my ant hunting is going to the next level. I contacted my local cooperative extension office to see if they had any reccommendations.  They did not.  But they gave me the number to Tower Hill Botanical Garden.  I called them to find out that they have a horticulturist on staff to answer questions on Wednesdays between 2-4 pm.  I will try again tomorrow.  Maybe they will have the answer to the ants!

Still growing...My Asian Radishes

Still growing...My Asian Radishes

Pictured are the Asian radishes that I planted the same time as the peas.  After the weekend of growth from the peas, I think that the radishes are losing the fastest growing ribbon!  They should be done before Memorial day which is good considering that they are planted in the tomato bed!



An onion a day keeps the Carrot Fly away
April 27, 2009, 9:16 am
Filed under: Companion Planting, outdoor gardening, Seedlings

Today I received my shallots.  When I get the leeks, it will complete the onion bed except the 4 tomatoes planted at the corners.  I am succession sowing carrots (2 kinds) within the onions.  Apparently onions are a good companion plant for carrots as it keeps the carrot fly away.  The smell of onion confuses the flies and they are unable to sniff out the carrot.  The less pests I get the better!

My peas have doubled in size from last picture!

My peas have doubled in size from last picture!

Tonight I planted the shallots and went ant hunting.  Unfortunately, the ant hunting was a little slow due to the fact that it was dark.  I poured two tea pots full of boiling water over the ant hills.  Tomorrow I will do the same although I am hopeful that it will still be light outside when doing it.

The picture on the left is what my peas currently look like.  They have doubled in size since the last photo.  I just can’t wait until it is time to eat!



Attack of the Ants
April 26, 2009, 5:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Memo to self: Order 2-1/2 pounds of potatoes in lieu of 5 pounds.  I now have 5 large and 1 medium pots full of potatoes.  My containter count is growing!  But the flip side, the temperature is growing as well.  It is over 85 degrees today.  Too Hot for the garden.  It has given me the perfect opportunity to explore how to kill the little red ants that are biting me all over when I am out in the garden.  I believe that Deron and I are going to have a boiling water party tonight to dump it all over the mounds.  They are a pain in the butt literally!  So if you are out there reading this and know of any solution for either the ants or the bites please feel free to comment. I am willing to take any advice.  Just no chemicals as it is all around my garden.



Just a Hobby
April 25, 2009, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I was laying in bed last night complaining that my arms and back hurt, Deron reminded me that this was MY little hobby.  Just a little hobby of mine.  So through countless times asking, it seems my hobby has expanded to the grass as well.  It is only 8:00 am and I have already emptied out my potato bins to get them ready to go, cleaned up more of my spreading mint, went for a jog with the dogs, feed all animals and still waiting for the garden center near me to open up.  One good thing is that Deron is going to fix the water spout outside in the front so I don’t need to drag the hose everywhere.  Now I just need to get another hose!

Taken from the roof of my garage, the raised beds.

Taken from the roof of my garage, the raised beds.

So the garden center opened up and I got the organic composted cow manure for the potatoes and rushed home.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I ordered 5 pounds of Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes, but memo to self – 1/2 would be fine.  I had to go to Home Depot for three more containers for the potatoes and still had some to give to two friends.  I still need to fill the last three containers, but overall it has been a productive day.  I planted dill, 2 types of lettuce, 2 types of arugula and 2 types of carrots.  Next weekend will be the same!  I planted the lettuce and arugula in the ground.  They were way too big for the containers, so if they survive that is terrific otherwise it will be another row or two for seeds.

In the picture shown: the bed to the far right is the bean bed (#1).  Moving to the left, the next one will be for tomatoes however, I have radishes growing in there currently(#2).  Next is bed #3, the root vegetables, #4 the onion bed and lastly #5 the cabbage bed.  I will be placing the three extra potato bins up by the bamboo (still brown in picture, but just starting to come in).  The center where the stairs from my deck will have containers as well.  Lots of work!



Packages of Goodness
April 24, 2009, 10:38 pm
Filed under: outdoor gardening, Seedlings

I don’t know about you, but I get excited when I get home from a lone day of work to see a package delivered with my name on it.  This excitement is sometimes very hard to contain.  The worse is when I find out I have a package waiting for me while I am still at work.  I mean how can anyone concentrate on something else?  My mind wonders fiercely trying to decide just what could be in the package of goodness waiting for me to open.

 

One of the three blueberry plants

One of the three blueberry plants

So, getting onions delivered was exciting.  The next day I was out at 8:00 am planting them.  Then it was the Grape plant.  I was outside planting that in the dark.  My potatoes arrived with only a little fan fair, but is cut up right now drying a bit so I can plant outside tomorrow.  Now, lastly was my long awaited blueberry bushes.  I could not control my excitement.  I was still in my work clothes outside with the shovel preparing the the space for planting.  I followed the directions carefully, working feverishly to accomplish my goal of all three in the ground before it was too dark to see.  I finished in the nick of time.  Not only was it getting a little hard to see, Deron had finished the hamburgers for dinner.  Perfect.  While I cleaned myself up, Deron cleaned a little outside, bringing in the how-to’s of blueberries. 

I think he was a little excited as well.  That was until he read the literature all the way through.  It seems that my 18 month old blueberries will not produce blueberries for two years.  “TWO YEARS” I repeated to Deron as he was confirming this fact.  I don’t know how I am going to be able to wait for that long to even see if they are good blueberry plants or not.  I am so disappointed.  But nonetheless, I have three beautiful plants that will be green for a couple of years.

I am still waiting on the shallots, leeks and horseradish to arrive.  I just got notification that the shallots were shipped so lets hope they arrive soon so I can plant them in the onion bed (bed #4)  But until then I guess I will just have to wait until the next package arrives and maybe Lynn (the dog walker) might see it and email me that something has arrived so I can start the cycle all over again!



The Great Outdoors
April 23, 2009, 12:03 am
Filed under: outdoor gardening, Seedlings

This past weekend while tilling my raised beds, I had to move the crop cover that was over both the peas and radishes.  I was excited, yet shocked to find that the spinach I figured was not coming up, actually had started to come up.  So I now have radishes, onions, peas, strawberries and spinach planted.  I tried to plant carrots as well but none came up.  I double checked after seeing the spinach. 

Pea seedlings

Pea seedlings

As I was changing my plans for the beds again, I have decided that I should be set for beans through the entire winter hopefully.  I have 3 pole beans (one of which is a dried bean) and 2 bush beans (one of which is a dried bean) that will be planted in what I am now calling Bed 1.  Between freezing the fresh and storing the dried I think I will have a chance.  That would be awsome!  I wish I could plant enough of all vegetables to sustain us through the winter.  Just think, no Genetically Modified produce for the entire year!  Well, that is an exaggeration as they do not have to clearly label any products that contains GMOs thus allowing them in anything I eat.

My peas are growing up slowly.  I planted my radishes at the same time and I think the radishes are winning for the fastest growing. I have to say I am more then excited for summer to come.  It doesn’t help that the weather is FANTASTIC here.  On Saturday it is suppose to be 80 degrees.  I am going to try to harden my lettuce this weekend.  This means I will probably be purchasing some lettuce in lieu of what I am growing as I don’t think that mine will survive.  I am also adding some lettuce/arugula seed in the beds.