Gardening in the Blind


Over watering
July 31, 2009, 9:07 pm
Filed under: outdoor gardening, Outdoor lawn care, pests, Uncategorized
My make shift frog pond

My make shift frog pond

I have a problem.  My backyard is slowly flooding.  I have been told that in the early 70’s there was a natural spring that ran through my backyard to the street.  It was not there the last two summers.  It is here with a vengeance this summer.  Due to the abundance of rain I have found myself battling with water and mosquitoes and flies.  I created a “pond” in order for the water to pool somewhere.  This was a great idea until it out grew my pond and spread.  I increased the size and again it spread.  So I did what any normal person would do, I threw a fit.

My running stream of water

My running stream of water

I then went closer to the source of the water and dug a trench to allow for drainage to occur.  This lasted two days and it is back to the same over flowing.  Tomorrow I am going to dig a larger trench and watch it over take it.  We are suppose to get rain every day!  The thing is it is not just a little sprinkle or two that we have been getting.  It is freaky flash flood type of thing. 

So, I am totally open to suggestions if you have any for how to deal with this.  It is unfortunately over flowing and pooling around my raised beds.  My bean bed is getting the worst of it!  Not to mention my legs and arms from the steroidal mosquitoes.



Harvesting some tomatillos
July 23, 2009, 1:38 pm
Filed under: outdoor gardening, Uncategorized
Growing tomatillo

Growing tomatillo

This is my first time ever growing tomatillos.  I have always ate them when I found them, but never did grow them.  So this year I decided it was about time for me to grow them.  It has been a pretty painless growing experience.  I am hooked.

Tomatillos have a paper-like husk that the fruit itself grows into.  As it matures, it fills the husk and can be split open by harvest.  The fruit should be bright green when harvesting. (unless you have purple tomatillos which will have some purple shading)

The tomatillo plant needs to be planted with more then one plant.  They are highly self-incompatible requiring two or more plants for proper pollination.  I have planted 4 plants each able to touch another.

They will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  I have also heard that they freeze well, although I have never tried it.



Potato Harvest
July 23, 2009, 8:12 am
Filed under: Cantainer Gardening, outdoor gardening, Pest control, Uncategorized
The first two potatoes I found

The first two potatoes I found

Not everything turns out great.  I had to harvest a container of potatoes – the one that was wilting.  I found the potato beetle attacking it and I was afraid it would spread to the rest of the containers.  So, I put a tarp out on the ground and I dumped the container out.  As I sifted through the soil, killing the beetle larva as I found them, I pulled out a few potatoes.  Now when I say a few, I mean a handful out of the soil.  It was too early to harvest really, but I didn’t want to put chemicals on it in order for it to survive.  I can’t tell you the type of potatoes these are – it was one that a friend gave me.  But it looks cute!  I got a whole 5 potatoes.  I rinsed them off carefully and placed them in a brown bag.  Being exposed to light might make them green which would mean toxic and inedible where the green as occurred.  Although this was not very heavy on the potatoes, I am sure that my other pots will be hopefully.

In the picture is the first two potatoes that I gathered out of the container before I dumped it out to harvest.  I was alert to the fact that it looks like something had been eating them.  The rest of the harvest didn’t have this.  In hindsight, I think it was the plastic drainage placed in the bottom of the container that caused it.  But that is how I found the beetle, so I guess it was a good thing!



Going Local
July 22, 2009, 10:19 am
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, Green, local eating, Uncategorized
Some of the Blackberry Chocolate Chip ice cream

Some of the Blackberry Chocolate Chip ice cream

I am proud to say that we try to eat with local items.  It is a bit hard, but the pay-off is great.  Take Saturday, I went to two farmer’s markets and the local health food store.  I was excited yet disappointed in the fact that I needed less at the farmer’s market due to the fact that my garden has kicked in.  It is kind of fun supporting the local farms, but I need to support my “farm” as well.  After all the errands I decided that we needed to go to the local dairy farm.  It is here that the cows roam around and eat grass and get milked.  I have never seen any heavy cream to compare to the cream I get there.  I got home and made a blackberry/chocolate chip ice cream.  I served it with the brownie from the lady at the farmer’s market to Deron for dessert.  I think he enjoyed it although all he repeatedly said was that it was sweet.  It was sweet, but that ice cream contained fresh milk/heavy cream from the dairy, local fresh eggs, and organic local just picked blackberries in it.  Am I proud?  I have to admit that yes I am!



Beans are in the house!
July 21, 2009, 10:23 am
Filed under: outdoor gardening
A bowl full of beans

A bowl full of beans

I was excited to see that the flowers were on the bean plants.  I was excited to see the pole beans growing up so fast and tall.  But nothing would compare to the fact that I picked a canning jar full of beans this past weekend.  The one thing about beans is that the more you pick the more you will get.  It encourages them to be productive.  So even the beans I want to use for dried beans needed to be picked right now.  (and yes, they taste just as good.  I make it my mission to taste everyone before I continue picking.)  So, sometime this week, I will be canning my first jar of dilly beans or maybe just eating them – YUM!



My first carrot
July 20, 2009, 9:16 pm
Filed under: outdoor gardening
My first carrot

My first carrot

Here it is.  My first very own carrot.  Just when I was convinced that I would never get a carrot, I was able to pick my first Pymex carrot.  I washed it with tender loving care noting how perfect it was.  I took a couple of pictures – different angles to capture the lovely carrot.  It’s perfect little shape and color.  Then I showed it to Deron.  And he said thanks and ate it in one loud crunchy bite.  Then it was no more.

So all the research I did this winter seems to have paid off a little bit.  In order to “confuse” the carrot fly I planted them mixed in with my onions.  I also planted some mixed in with my beans.  I have been soaking onions in water and watering the carrots with the onion water to more “confuse” the smell and I lay down bits of onion around it in order continue the smell.  Good trick so far.



My produce is growing
July 17, 2009, 8:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It has turned into a nice few days with weather that is DRY!  I even had to water a little yesterday.  But I have even more excitement in the air.  Deron called my attention to baby cucumbers growing.  I started looking around and found that a lot of my tomato plants have finally decided to grow tomatoes and not to be out done, I have a very little baby eggplant just starting.  It is truly amazing what a little sun can do for not only the garden but everyone’s mood.

I have picked three tomatillo’s now – 2 purple and 1 green.  Today I am planning on picking the entire row of arugula that was the first row mainly of transplants and reseed it.  But I have to do this after my dentist and farmer’s market.  I am looking forward to having a relaxing afternoon with the dogs.  I will try to get some pictures posted this weekend of the beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.