Monday, November 29, 2010

Trip to St. Louis Zoo

During Jill's Halloween visit we took the girls to zoo. The photo at bottom right is as close as we could get to recreating the urban myth about a kid stealing a baby penguin.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Drying Herbs & Relaxing

The basil is coming on like crazy!  I decided to try drying whole sprigs to store in mason jars and crumble as needed. 

Then I'll take my chair out to my favorite shady nook in the corner of the yard.  Who knew that the coziest spot would be between the compost(right) and the dog pen(left)? 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dog Deterrent Yard Beautification

My little shih tzus love to escape and they love to dig to do it.  That's why we keep pots sitting along the fence...just to make their work a little harder.  I gathered them all up, striped some with masking tape and spray painted them.
Then I planted them with discounted flowers on clearance at the garden center.  I like it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Swiss Chard is Starting

We just started picking the multicolored chard.  It's planted too close but I'm hoping the fact that it is in a raised bed will offset the issues. One hint of a problem is that japanese beetle have begun munching on the tops.  I hung a beetle trap in the hedge row at the back of the yard and am crossing my fingers that it will help distract them as they arrive.  The only plants that were bothered last year were rhubarb and zinnias. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Collage for Jill

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Garden Ready to Bust Loose

Here's a picture of the garden today.  From this end you see tomatoes, then beans, then kale, then broccoli and dill, with the runner bean & cucumber trellis behind.  Beyond that are more tomatoes, basil, popcorn, raspberries, yellow squash and zucchini.  We also have banana peppers, paprika peppers, brown & green cotton, potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots and purple okra. We were lucky to get everything in so early.  And we only had to water once so far. 

The lettuce, spinach, cilantro, tat soi, bok choy, and rapini are already out.

Here is a side pic of our tomato table. We have lattice supported horizontally on cinder blocks through which the tomatoes grew.  Mistake- we used 2' wide lattice instead of 4' wide. The plants are already spilling over.  When the beans come out we'll extend the landscape fabric to widen the path and give then room to spread.

The upside down cherry tomato plant is zooming right along.  Mom is worried that the roots might not be able to handle the weight.  I'm more worried about the fact that if I forget to water even one day it wilts.  It is really loaded with tomatoes. I'm almost tempted to find out what fried green cherry tomatoes are like.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Folklore & Phenology Fun

When I posted this picture on my other blog, , Mom saw it and told me about that visit (she was the photographer). Bernie was Grandpa's farm hand and lived on a house on the farm. In 1966 my parents and grandparents left the farm and moved to California. This was taken about 5 years later when back in Missouri for a visit. Mom said that Bernie had a great big garden at his place with a tree stump set just beside it. In the stump was an ax. He would set the ax with the handle facing into prevailing winds/weather to "split" any storm to miss the garden.

We've had such warm weather so far that everything seems to be coming too early. This past week I transplanted into the garden & raised bed: lettuce, spinach, giant leeks, basil, cilantro, bok choy, tat soi, & endive. The new and 2nd year asparagus is beginning to emerge.

The redbuds have been blooming and now the dogwoods, too. Some gardening folklore says to plant tomatoes and peppers when dogwoods bloom, but other says to plant tomatoes when lily of the valley or daylilies bloom, and my lily of the valley is only just emerging from the ground now and my lilies don't have buds yet. I'm going to fall on the side of better safe than sorry.

The forsythia and dandilions are in full bloom which means the crabgrass is germinating. Now is the time to weed & feed the lawn. Also, we are  in the moon's 4th quarter which is not a time for planting. From the 7th-15th is a time for weeding, fertilizing, making compost, pruning,  and other preparations. The lilac is in early bloom so I can now plant beans (after the 15th).