Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snow Falling On Onions

Sure, not near as poetic as Snow Falling On Cedars but I don't grow cedars. At least not yet.

That's one of my baby onions poking through the snow.

Here's what my garden looked like this afternoon:

Here are more images of SPRING from my yard:

My poor baby pear tree will drop all of its foliage:

I don't know if it was the excitement of all the snow or what but my puppy Lexie decided to snack on one of the potato bags. I don't know how she untied the chicken wire. Smart girl...

And now, let's look at how my chiltepin plant is doing. She has spent some time outside and has done well, even in a very windy day. She is nice and safe inside until it warms up again.

Last but not least is my potato experiment. I saw on a video that potatoes don't transplant well. I had a few pieces of my seed potatoes left after I planted the potatoe bags and I did not want to waste them so I put them in peat pots. When I checked on them yesterday this is what I saw:

According to, we have a few more nights of sub-freezing lows. My peppers are all outgrowing their peat pots and they need to be put on their self-watering containers soon.
Here's to Spring!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My tablescape

Gina, over at My Skinny Garden blog has a post about tablescapes. I did not know there was a term for your dinner table setup, or maybe it only applies to table setups for special occasions. Anyway, here is a description of my tablescape. (i know, a picture would have been better but my camera is not available at the moment).

  • This week's bills.
  • Daycare art from my two boys (3 and 5)
  • Some magazines.
  • Our checkbook. It never leaves the table as we seem to pay bills all the time.
  • Wet Wipes. For my 3 year old (he eats like a Viking barbarian)
  • Tissues
  • Napkin holder. Empty at least twice a week.
  • Somewhere under all that, a scented candle for ambiance. I know it's there because I can smell it.
Maybe later this season, I can replace some of this stuff with a floral arrangement from my yard.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Short soapbox speech

Clover is not a weed. I repeat, Clover IS NOT a weed.
Clover is a nitrogen fixer. It grabs nitrogen from the air and the bacteria in its roots processes it, thus making it a self-fertilizing plant.
Clover does not need to be watered as often as grass because it grows deeper roots.
So far, clover takes care of: Water Conservation and the Reduction In The Use Of Artificial Fertilizers Which Minimizes The Pollution of Rivers And Streams Due To Run Off.
As a child, I played in parks with Clover/grass lawns and I remember them as the softest, coolest lawns.

Second, I am reading a book called Ultra-Metabolism, and if I believe the things in this book, then I have to declare:
Dandelions ARE NOT weeds either!
Who do I have to call/write incessantly to change the Dandelion's reputation?

In summary, Clover is good and Dandelions are great.

Over and out.

When I grow up...

...I want to be a Gardener.

How do you define a garden?

The answer to this question is important to me because depending on what it is, then it defines me, or at least part of me.

These days I hesitate to tell people that one of my favorite things to do is gardening. I am afraid that people get this idea that I tend beautifully designed English gardens with flowers and bushes placed in strategic locations to maximize the colors and scents.
Nothing could farther from the truth.
My garden is definitely blue collar and the most important issue to me these days is sunlight, specifically where it falls the longest in my yard.
So I tell people I grow plants instead. I figure that is the most accurate description of my activities.
It could be that I am just insecure. I do the same thing with my drawings. I don't tell people I am an artist either. I draw, with pencil and ink. That's all.
I am not a writer. I blog.
Or I suppose I could say that I am a gardener, just not a good one; but then that opens a whole new discussion on what "good" means. When I eat my first delicious salad made from stuff I grew myself, I may come to a different definition of "good" than when I am talking about how pretty my garden looks.
And really, Landscaping and Gardening can be mutually exclusive. I mean, a landscaper doesn't have to grow a thing. He can simply get the plants from someone who grew them.
Does it really matter?
Why do I worry about stuff like this I will never know.
Maybe it is because we have a cold front running through the area and all my plant growing is at a standstill and all I can do is talk about growing plants instead of actually tending to my plants.

All my Irish Eyes sunflowers have real leaves now and I have radishes and lettuce in my square foot gardening beds now. It hit 31 degrees around 5 am this morning and when I left the house the thermometer was reporting 33 degrees. I'll see this afternoon what effect the weather last night had on my seedlings.
I brought in my 5 tomato plants that are in containers. So far, my tomato plan is working as expected.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Catch the gardening wave!

He asked, "What are you doing these days?"
I answered: "I am growing vegetables and flowers"
He said, "I buy my vegetables at the grocery store and my flowers at the flower shop"
I thought, "He doesn't get it"

I read more and more about how people are tuning in to gardening these days. It's like we sense something.
Is it the ailing economy? We've been through bad economic times before, but I don't remember reading that gardening as an activity took off then.
Is it the end of the world in 2012? Are we sensing that soon we will have to survive without the modern infrastructure of roads and supermarkets?
Are we all just getting older? I read tons of blogs by young people who garden.

What is it?

Speaking as a relatively new gardener, I can say this: It is not to save money. If you are new to gardening, you won't really save money on produce. Not at first. At first, you get taken by all the beautiful and glossy gardening catalogs and you buy. You buy everything that may make you into a better gardener. This in spite of all the wonderful web sites and blogs out there telling you how to grow plants on the cheap:
and many, many more.

Also, for a good, entertaining story about how quickly and surreptitiously your costs can get out of control, read the book by William Alexander, The 64 dollar tomato .
Eventually, once you get your gardening legs, you will begin to incorporate the money saving techniques you've read and heard about, but at first, you will pay.

So if saving money is not it, then what? Well, for one, taste.
It is no secret that farmers today grow food that can be shipped thousands of miles away and last a long time in storage. Tomatoes and strawberries get picked green, long before they develop their deliciousness. Tomatoes, at least, are bred to withstand a beating during shipment and taste is not the number one factor during their cultivation. You are more likely to grow delicious produce in your yard, especially if you grow heirlooms.

Nutrition. It is now known that the vegetables and fruits grown by giant farm monstrosities like Monsanto and others, contain much less nutrition than produce from the past. Agribusiness is just that, a business and their concern is making money, not nutritious food. The reasons as to why food is less nutritious today are related to their growing methods. The produce from your yard will be more nutritious, especially if you practice natural, organic gardening.

Health. By growing your own food, you know what's in it. No more salmonella or pesticides in your food, as long as you use organic methods. Period.

Exercise and the joy of doing SOMETHING. Get off the couch and turn the t.v. off. Go fight aphids. Go make compost (I am told is addictive). Then go and show off the beautiful stuff you've grown.

Nothing in this post is original. I am simply saying that after 6 years of growing plants, I can attest to the truth of what it's been said about gardening.

Grow and Tell!