Category Archives: Gardening

Saving Our Flowers

Lilies

This is why we were working so feverishly trying to figure out why our irrigation system wasn’t working the way it should. All of these flowers were really thirsty and wilting from the heat. I’m grateful that my husband figured out the problem and FIXED it! :0)

 

Wave petunias

 

 

 

Periwinkles

 

 

 

 

We’ll go out tonight at 7pm when the front part of the irrigation system is supposed to start and make sure all the plants are getting watered, and then we’ll move to the back and check things out.

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, quality of life

A Productive Day

Animal Wallpapers – Desktop Nexus

We got up this morning, intending to start rebuilding the second brick planter, but looked at each other and decided we felt too old and creaky. We agreed to think about it tomorrow – like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. :0)  We went grocery shopping instead and plan to take it much easier today.

Yesterday we accomplished a lot –

  • We figured out why our irrigation system wasn’t working in the back. After my husband looked at the switches and the control box in the well house, he followed the hose from the well house to the ‘tree’ of hoses that go to the back.  He found a “monster” kink in the main hose. We don’t know HOW it became kinked, since that is in the woods and not mowed, but he was able to splice the hose where it was damaged and the water flowed again!
  • Oh!  I have to pat myself on the head a bit. My husband asked me to reprogram the control box. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find the paperwork on how to do it. I finally went out and pushed buttons, hoping a main screen would come up. It did! I was able to reprogram year, month, day, time, and watering durations for the front and back!
  • I mixed up a 2-gallon canister of KilzAll and sprayed all around our garden and around our shop – hopefully murdering lots of weeds.
  • We cleaned up the work area around the first planter we rebuilt. We had extra concrete to shovel, bricks to haul away, etc. I took a chisel and a hammer and cleaned up the front of the planter as much as I could. I have to tell you, it looks pretty bad. It is sturdy and it holds the potting soil, so we’re declaring it a win. We’ll attach the PVC pipe set up for irrigation and then it’s finished. We’ll try to do better on the second planter. AND we keep reminding ourselves that we’re not having to come up with $700!

So – a much more laid-back day – probably with a bit of weed whacking will suffice.

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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

Harvest 5-17-2019

Last of the broccoli, though I left the roots just in case they do something more. I’m planning to make broccoli soup on Sunday when it’s raining. The last radish I’ve planted so far.

5 heads of lettuce. Not as large as the first ones – I think because our weather suddenly got warmer. I’ll take these, plus leaf lettuce, to friends next week.

Last of the leaf lettuce. Guess who is going to have a big ‘main meal’ salad tonight for dinner?  :0)

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Garden Update

One of my sweet spinach plants!

One of several zucchini plants.

One of about 5 remaining head lettuce plants.

My cantaloupe plant for my husband.

One group of tomato plants.

And the second tomato planter.

Things are going well. There is not enough time in the day to get to everything I want to do. I’m busy and happy and grateful for all of it.

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Sharing a Beautiful Day

I just enjoyed walking around the yard, taking stock of what’s what while marveling that it wasn’t raining! Right now it’s 70 degrees F.!  Just gorgeous.  I wanted to show you the results of my trying to create a bit of order from the chaos created by Mother Nature recently. Here is one of our Rio Samba rosebushes. I pruned the three we have so they’ll bloom again in a couple of weeks. You can also see the tarp that is hopefully preserving the potting soil we removed from one of the two planters that collapsed. We are trying to gear up for rebuilding these ourselves, since the only estimate we’ve been able to get from an actual bricklayer was WAAAAAY too high.

Here you see one of the planters I weeded, cleaned out, and pruned.  You can see I need to weed whack next….

The second of the trio planters between our front yard and the driveway.

And this is the third planter. These are end-to-end .

Another.

And another. We have 14 planters we built 30 years ago. We live on top of a ridge line, so what soil there is was trucked in when we had the house built.  With the potting soil and an irrigation system, we are able to grow the flowers we love.

This is one view off the deck. We have lots of wave petunias and periwinkles on the deck this year. You can see our view in one direction. We love to pretend we own all this.

Here’s a view the other direction.

Some Impatiens on the front porch.

and more. You can see this planter needs some work.

And finally, I my travels around the yard I found –

Amber

Molly

Smoke

and Abby, all enjoying the screened porch on this lovely day.

I hope it’s really nice where you are, too!

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Filed under Gardening, Mother Nature

Gardening for Mother’s Day

My husband and I were talking last night about how much he has changed since we married almost 50 years ago. He mentioned that if he were by himself, he ‘wouldn’t have any of it” – referring to the 14 brick planters we built, the raised-bed square foot garden, the greenhouse, the deck…. I asked him if he would miss any of it now. His answer kind of startled me. He said an emphatic, “YES!”

When we had our home built, he started doing all this because it was important to ME. He wanted me to be happy, so he not only went along with, but suggested things to encourage my love of flowers, veggies, and working outside. Now he considers it a quality of life thing. He loves the flowers almost as much as I do. He looks for ways to make my gardening easier, since I’m getting a bit ‘long-in-the-tooth’ now. He WANTS to go shopping for plants and takes a great interest when something blooms.

Yesterday the second part of my Mother’s Day gift to myself was several sessions out in the yard, trying to uncover the flowers in a trio of planters that go between our front yard and our driveway. He not only helped me, he sat and kept me company while I worked.

We only have one red rose bush in our yard, but I brought these in yesterday so we could enjoy them inside.  I pruned the three Rio Samba rose bushes so they’ll hopefully keep blooming. (A wonderful lady at the local nursery taught me how to prune. You take the spent bloom in your hand and find the next group of five leaves on the branch. You cut in a diagonal above that group of leaves.)

I only finished one of the three planters yesterday, so I’ll be out there today, continuing to try to make sense of the huge growth of greenery. Wish me luck? I’ll post pics when they are finished.

 

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Or Amber’s Playtime

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I’ve just come in from hour # 2 weeding in my flower beds. I’m going to try to get out there for one more session, but this may be it for the day.

I’m making reasonable progress out there, but the monsoon season has made for monster weeds. I can’t tell what’s in the planters at the moment, so I’m having to go slowly, pruning everything and then figuring out what is good and what to get rid of. Slow going.

Earlier, after my first session, I discovered that Amber had black, yucky STUFF on various parts – mainly her stomach, legs, and hips. I rushed to get her back outside, too tired to do anything more than that. After I rested, I used a couple of micro-cloths to clean her up.  I felt good that she was now presentable enough to join us inside.

My husband came out for the second session to keep me company while I weeded after he sprayed weeds around the yard and cut back the wisteria which had grown like a weed in all directions. As we were talking, we noticed that Amber quietly walked over to one of the collapsed brick planters and plopped down in the middle of the watery stuff. As she stood, we saw THAT was where all the yucky black stuff had come from. She was covered AGAIN and quite delighted with herself!

I was so tired by that time, we took her around to the back and hooked up the hose. She wasn’t cooperative about turning as we needed her to as we sprayed, but she didn’t freak out, either – a really good thing. My husband changed the washer between the hose and the sprayer and changed out the sprayer because we got as wet as Amber did. :0)  I used a dog towel to get her as dry as possible before letting her back in. Since it continues to rain off and on most every day, I’m not sure what we can do about Amber’s love for ANY type of water….

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Help! I’m Buried!

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Our planters don’t look QUITE this bad, but I just spent an hour going from one flower pot to another, pulling out huge sunflower plants from the seeds we feed the birds – happily overpowering the wave tulips and periwinkles on the deck, then moving from one place to another pulling out TONS of really tall, healthy weeds in the planters around the house. I still have the trio of brick planters to weed that are between our front yard and the driveway.

Since it’s Mother’s Day, I’m going to play some more in my art room and THEN go back out and do another session. I’m having the best time painting two more tees for myself. I’m a slob, getting spots that won’t come out on tees that are perfectly good, otherwise. It makes me happy to give them new life with happy designs. I’ll post pics when they’re finished.

I approach Mother’s Day with mixed emotions. I’m happy that I’m lucky to be a mom. It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding roles that one can have. If you’re very lucky, it’s a gift that keeps on giving your whole lifetime. I had the best chat online with our son this morning. He lives across the world from us, but we can almost forget that since he’s such a wonderful communicator. We chat almost daily, sending music, pics, jokes, etc to each other, plus talking almost as much as we would like. When we can arrange it (there is a 12-hour time difference) we chat on a conference call where we can actually see each other and talk.

I say ‘mixed emotions’ because my own mom, and my husband’s mom, are both gone, as are our dads. We miss them all and wish we could hug their necks and tell them once again how much they have meant to us in our lives. Mother’s Day hurts a bit, too, because my daughter lived two months and one day, and died many years ago now, leaving a hole that never heals. It makes me extra grateful that I have a husband I treasure and a son we are beyond proud of.

Today I feel I am a super lucky lady, with a bright sun shining, warm temperatures, and the gift of having the day to spend working outside AND in my art room – two of my favorite things – PLUS watching “Game of Thrones” tonight! :0)

I hope that you are spending this Mother’s Day doing things you love, too.

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It’s Still ‘Monsoon Season’ In Arkansas

The Guardian

Yesterday I went – armed with my umbrella – to see what is happening in my garden. We have really had an unusual spring here in Arkansas. Cooler than usual, and that is very welcome, but also MUCH more rain than usual.

Some of the trees in the driveway are hanging down toward each other with the weight of the water in their leaves, creating almost a canopy through which we drive. It’s no problem for us, but the UPS and FEDEX drivers may say a few ripe words as they make their way up and down again. I’ve also already told you about the amazing results in my garden. For the first time ever I’ve been able to share the veggie wealth with my friends. It’s a delightful thing and I hope to be able to continue.  I harvested the very first-ever heads of lettuce I’ve been able to grow, plus all the radishes I planted.

Today I wanted to show you what I found yesterday –

This is the celery end I planted a couple of days ago. It seems to be happy. :0)

This is zucchini squash. I planted several plants because I can process this for zucchini noodles, freeze it, or dehydrate it.

My ‘mystery weed’ turned out to indeed, be spinach!  Woo Hooooooo! I have several plants now. :0)

I’ve never had onion tops this tall. They are over my head!  I don’t know what this means in terms of the growth of the actual sweet red onions. Only time will tell.

One head lettuce plant. I’ll get leaf lettuce, too, when I harvest the head.

Another head lettuce plant.

More zucchini.  You can also see that the broccoli is going to blossom – signaling the end of it.

This is cantaloupe!  I have no clue what I’m doing, but the plant seems happy at the moment. I have some plastic ‘bowls’ with legs and lots of drain holes to put under any melon while they grow – assuming I get some. I’m like a kid at Christmas!

The tomato plants on the opposite side of our house are doing fine, too.

It’s raining all day today. The high will only be in the low 60’s. I’m hoping that we can go to the local stores in the coming week to see if there is more we want to try. Otherwise, once I eat my way through a lot of radishes, I’ll plant some more. They can be planted most any time of the year, so I’m hoping I can get at least one more good crop.

I’m planning to get out and weed this week , assuming the weather will cooperate. Looming on the horizon is my husband and I rebuilding our two brick planters which collapsed.

I hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday, too!

 

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Happy Roses!

I cut our three Rio Samba rose bushes, plus a red rose bush WAAAAAAAY back, quite ruthlessly before winter. They were all in sad shape, having some kind of fungus and having grown out of shape, having some branches that died, etc. I figured that either my severe pruning would work, or we would have to start over and get new plants.

Happily, my pruning seems to have given them all new life!

This is the red rose bush and you can also see one of the Rio Samba bushes further back in the trio of planters.

We love Rio Samba roses because they start out bright yellow. Then they develop coral edges on each bloom. Finally they turn coral before it’s time to prune them off to encourage new blooms.

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Ready to Plant More!

This picture gives you a good idea of how our raised bed, square foot garden is set up. You can see the six boxes. Each is 4 foot square. Each has a sprinkler in the center with hose connecting the boxes to one master control that irrigates the garden each morning for 10 minutes. Each box is divided into ‘squares’ by running wire in two directions. You can also see that there is fencing around the garden to keep out large critters. It also has chicken wire running around the bottom for little critters.

The rains lately caused an explosion in the garden. The plants were spilling out of the top over the sides. I couldn’t see the squares anymore. It took me three days to get things harvested, washed, and either put in the fridge or distributed to friends. I finished cleaning up the garden this morning so it’s ready to plant some new things. My husband and I will see what is available in the coming week that looks interesting.

We have about 5 heads of lettuce that might still make. The green part of the onions is over my head. :0)

I think this is zucchini squash. I also have some cantaloupe plants.

The jury is still out on whether sweet little plants like these that are dotted around the garden are weeds or spinach. I’m hoping for spinach. Time will tell.

This sweet little guy is celery, transplanted from sprouting in the kitchen. I cut off the end of some celery I bought at the store and put it in water. It’ll be fun to see what happens.

I keep telling you about Mel’s Mix, the soil alternative I use instead of real dirt in my garden. I buy peat moss, vermiculite, mushroom compost, barnyard compost, and cotton burr compost from the local co-op and put each ingredient in one of the garbage cans. I then put the ingredients in the correct ratio into our portable concrete mixer.

This is easy to use and mixes things SO much better than I was doing before with a shovel in my wheelbarrow. When mixed, the mixer will move down to dump the ingredients into a bucket, the wheelbarrow, or whatever, and I transfer it to the garden boxes.

I’m hoping we’ll find something fun to plant next week. Fingers crossed!

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Day Three of Harvest

I tackled the last of our six 4’x4′ wooden raised boxes in our garden today. I got 4 heads of lettuce, leaf lettuce, and radishes. This finishes the harvest of the food that suddenly grew after all the rains we’ve had. I still have some heads of lettuce and other things in the garden. I’ll clean up the last box after the harvest.

I’m really new at this, not having a clue what I’m doing, but I have so much FUN trying to grow some of our food!  Today, after harvesting, washing, and bagging up the produce, I called several friends and asked them if they would like some of it. I had some extra one other year, but this is the first time I’ve had such good-looking produce, and the first time EVER for actual heads of lettuce! :0) I spent about an hour driving around and spreading the wealth!

This is the last of the radishes I planted. Radishes are wonderful because they produce quickly and can be grown directly from seed in the garden in any season except for the dead of winter.

 

I can’t believe how much leaf lettuce I got! Since I harvested the large heads, I also processed the leaves around the heads.

Usually our weather is too ‘something’ (too hot, too cold, too much water, too little water, too much sun, too little sun) for a nice crop. This year we lucked out and I couldn’t be more delighted.

I’ll try to get pics tomorrow after finishing the cleaning up. I’m hoping we’ll find other interesting things we can try to plant at the local stores tomorrow, too!

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Flowers Add Quality of Life

After the rains I walked around the yard, delighting that so many flowers are happy right now. I wanted to share them with you.

These are Rio Samba roses.  They start bright yellow, then slowly turn to coral.

 

Impatiens like the shade of our front porch.

Camellias

My husband’s clematis.

Wave petunias on the deck.

Periwinkles

A new color of iris blooming that I’ve never seen before!

When we first married – almost 50 years ago now – my husband wasn’t into flowers.  He didn’t mind them, just didn’t care about them one way or the other and tried to make me happy by taking me to the local nurseries to find things to plant.

Now he actively works at getting our wisteria to grow up a tree, weeds his clematis, notices and remarks on the roses, LOVES the deep purple iris – now his favorite flower.

Flowers are a quality of life thing – and we’re rich in them!

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Working in the Garden

We have two planters of tomato plants. We converted the planters from being regular planters – filled with regular and potting soil – to square-foot planters, filled with Mel’s Mix (peat moss, vermiculite, and compost.) The planter above is 8 feet long by about 2 feet wide. Last year I planted six plants in this planter and they soon grew to be a dense ‘jungle.’ This year I’m planting 4, trying to give them more space. I also read that I should prune them more to encourage fruit production, rather than greenery. I have to admit that this scares me a bit, but I’m going to try it, limiting their vertical growth in particular and trying to prune any large sideways branches. We LOVE sliced fresh tomatoes, and could eat our weight in them daily, so I’m HOPING that this experiment is successful…

 

This is the second tomato planter. It is in a ‘nook’ formed by the back of the house and our back porch. It is shielded from the elements more than the other planter, and sometimes results in the only plants that do well. These actually have some yellow blossoms!

 

And THIS – is a really nice weed, or SPINACH!

I am finding several like this, right in the middle of squares of Mel’s Mix in the garden planters – as I harvest and weed around them. I was unable to get the seeds to sprout in the greenhouse for some reason, and I was unable to find ANY spinach plants being sold locally, so in desperation I finally just planted some seeds in the middle of several squares in the garden and kept all of my appendages crossed. As you can see here, I put a popsicle stick in the soil showing ‘spinach.’  Appendages – including my eyes – are still crossed, because I’ve never seen spinach at this early stage, so it looks different from the plants I have purchased.

Since it is not raining right now, I’m planning to get out and tackle the last of the six 4’x4′ wooden box planters in my raised bed, square foot garden today. It’s so full I can’t tell what is there. I’ll report back, and then plan to see what exciting things the locals may have for me to plant to take the place of the things I’ve harvested. I’ll try to get pics of what’s out there now. I’m still stunned that so much needed harvesting already!

I plan to call friends and share the veggie wealth this weekend. :0)

I hope YOUR weekend is fun and productive!

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Day Two of Harvest

Yesterday I harvested a bunch of radishes, two heads of lettuce, and some broccoli. Today I harvested MORE radishes

And FIVE heads of lettuce!

I’m going to call some good friends to see if I can spread the wealth over the weekend.

My husband fixed our new-to-us riding lawn mower this afternoon and got the lawn mowed while I worked in the garden. I just listened to the weather and it sounds like we may have just finished in time for the heavy rains to start. They’re supposed to last all evening into tomorrow morning, so it was good we could take advantage of a break to get some things done outside.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful day, too.

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Today’s Harvest 5-2/2019 – So FAR!

This is actual head lettuce!  I’ve only had one other head form like this is the past several years, being content to enjoy cutting off the outer leaves as long as possible and enjoying them in salads. I think there are several more heads out there NOW!  Woo HOOOOO!

My broccoli isn’t impressive to look at, like the nice heads you see at the grocery store, but it’s nice and tender. Since my husband isn’t overly fond of broccoli, I make soup from it for myself. :0)

 

These are absolutely the best radishes I’ve ever grown. They are large and perfect – no spots or anything, and better than you see at the store! I’m like a kid at Christmas!  I enjoy eating lots of raw veggies and some dip for my lunch, so my mouth is watering in anticipation!

I’ll do another session in the garden after we have some lunch. I have a lot more to harvest, and then there is a LOT of weeding to do. (The weeds love Mel’s Mix, too.) Mel’s Mix is the soil alternative we make to go into the planters. It’s a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and as many different types of compost as you can get (I’m using mushroom, barnyard, and cotton burr, plus compost I make on my own – when it works. :0)

I recently planted some zucchini squash and some cantaloupe. I also tried planting some spinach seeds directly into the garden, since I am still a serial seed killer on the ones I’ve tried in my greenhouse. I’m eager to see what’s what – WHEN I get things thinned out enough to tell!

I certainly don’t save any money trying to grow some of our own veggies, but I LOVE the planning, planting, care, and harvesting – plus I know our food is healthy. Since we eat a lot of raw veggies and salads, this is a truly fun thing to do.

I’ll let you know if any of the spinach seeds have sprouted and will take more pics as I get the garden back in control.

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My Garden Exploded!

I’ve told you we’ve had non-stop rain the past day-after-day-after-day around here. I haven’t been able to even THINK about getting out to the garden. The rain has stopped for a minute, so I went out there, not knowing whether my sweet little plants would have been washed out of their little squares, totally inundated with water and lying sadly dying, or what.

What I found amazed me. My garden is happy, healthy, and has exploded! :0)

This first post is to show you the raised bed, square foot garden as a whole.

My husband and I made six 4’x4′ wooden planter boxes and then mounted them on metal support ‘tables’. We have irrigation hoses that attach to a sprinkler in each box. We have a timer on the main hose so that the garden is watered daily (except for lately – since Mother Nature has no idea when enough is enough!)

I had one lettuce plant in each marked off square. I also planted one broccoli plant in each of other squares. I planted 12 radish seeds in each of several squares, and then I planted a BUNCH of sweet red onion sets in one whole box, since they won’t be harvested until the end of the summer or the fall.

As you can see, it’s hard to tell where one plant ends and another starts!

Apparently, the plants really love the too-much rain (we made drain holes in each square.) and the intermittent sunshine.

 

As you can see here, the broccoli is blooming. That’s bad, and it means the probable end of the broccoli crop. I cut off the blooming part because I have read that sometimes, when the main broccoli head is gone, the side shoots will produce heads.

In the next post I’ll show you what I’ve already harvested today. There is MUCH more out there, plus a LOT of work to do, harvesting more, weeding, etc.

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It Finally Stopped Raining!

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With all the wonderful rain we’ve had lately, our lawn is growing while we watch! After we came home from Lunch Bunch, my husband and I got out to work on the lawn.

A couple of years ago we bought an extremely used riding lawn mower that has made mowing a much more pleasant experience. My husband, the master fixer, got it working well, replacing belts and other parts, wheels, etc. All of a sudden the last time he mowed, it refused to shift into reverse. Since he likes to do a lot of reversing, this is a problem. He looked at things and decided that it would need a new transmission, something that is way too expensive given the value of the mower at this point.

Today is the first day he’s mowing NOT using reverse. It’s possible, and the only downside is that we can’t do as much with the riding mower as we used to. I’m doing a lot more weed whacking now.

 

YouTube

Since I’ve been doing some of this on a daily basis – barring rain – this is no big deal. I’m timing my sessions out there with the battery on the weed whacker. It lasts a little over half an hour – and I’m ready to rest my arms by then. I’m resting a bit now and will go out again in a few minutes, change batteries, and do another session.

We’ll enjoy opening our front and back doors this afternoon to enjoy the breeze.

I hope it’s nice where you are today.

Addendum: the lawn is mowed and my husband is now working with our 94-pound lab puppy, Amber, trying to get her to balance a dog biscuit on her nose until he says, “Okay.” Lot of luck to him…..

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Question: Will the Spreader and Weed Killer Work?

We bought a Scott’s Turf Spreader and it was delivered today.

Scott’s Turf Builder

We had already bought Scott’s Weed Killer granules locally. It rained this morning, and then the sun came out strongly. When it went down a bit, my husband and I headed for the yard armed with our new spreader and two bags of weed killer. It took both bags to do our front, side and back yard, but it was easy to use. It seems sturdy, which is important as wheels fall into holes, we hit rocks, etc. We think we got reasonable coverage.

We’re going to give this a week or so to work and then we’ll decide if we want to do more, move on to the flea and tick granules, or just ignore the weeds and mow…

Fingers crossed!

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Working on Our Irrigation System

DripDepot

Each year my husband does his magic, making our irrigation system work again. This year we’ve had more of a challenge.

It’s been a LOOOOOONG time since we put things together in the well house. We had a really bad leak last night after testing things. My husband changed a hose connection, making the leak much better, but it didn’t solve the problem completely. This morning we found a replacement valve thingie on the net and ordered it.

Our timer for the systems, front and back, was acting wonky, even after we unplugged, rebooted, and changed the backup battery. We bought a new one today that we’ll install this afternoon or evening – weather cooperating. The face of it is backlit, making it much easier to see. Hopefully, we can get it programmed correctly.

We had the inevitable blow-outs that happen because of the system being exposed to our weather. We can’t completely drain everything, though we drain what we can. Most of the front is working, but we have to figure out where the breakdown is and try to fix it so that everything is getting water again.

A couple of places aren’t working the way they should, not allowing us to control the amount of water flowing into a pot. We bought replacement parts for that, plus some end caps for lines we’re not needing this year. We’ll keep testing and reworking things until all is happy.

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Today’s Planting

Michigan State University

We looked for spinach plants at four different places while we were out, ASKING at each place. The consensus seemed to be, “We have seed, but no plants this year.”  I have officially thrown in the towel on getting spinach plants, just hoping that the little sprouts in the middle of several squares in my garden are, indeed, sprouting spinach seeds.

We got zucchini and cantaloupe plants today and I’ll plant them in just a few minutes. I’m not sure how I’ll do this because both of these would rather be on the ground in a place where they can spread their runners wherever they want, but I’ll give it a try. If I’m successful at all, I’ll use my spiralizer gadget to make zucchini noodles for myself.

My husband looks appalled when I mention zucchini or yellow squash ‘noodles,’ cauli ‘rice’ or ‘mashed potatoes,’ or spaghetti squash ‘spaghetti,’ so I’ll make these for myself and make him regular pasta, potatoes, or rice rarely. He does love cantaloupe, though, so I’m especially hopeful I can get some of these to grow well. Fingers crossed.

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Garden Progress 4-21-2019

I now have enough of OUR fresh grown broccoli to make some soup!

 

And this is the lettuce I harvested. I could have brought in lots more. We eat salad each night, but I’m not sure we can keep up with all we’re growing this time.

 

This photo shows many of our lettuce plants, plus you can see the onions in the rear of the picture.

 

This is the second row of planters. You can see the broccoli plants and some of the radish sprouts.

 

I planted several squares of radishes. I eat some raw every day at lunch, along with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery.

I have all appendages crossed that this is one of several sprouts of ‘something’ I HOPE is SPINACH!  Time will tell.

 

Close up of one of the lettuce plants. This is ONE plant taking up a whole square. It’s HUGE.

 

This isn’t a garden plant, but I’m so pleased with it this year. It’s a perennial ‘something, and it has had only weak blooms each spring until now. I just love it!

More work tomorrow, but it’s that time of year! :0)

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Beautiful Day to be Outside

indulgy.com

I just came in from my third session of weed-whacking this afternoon. To say I’m done for the day is an understatement, but I’m glad I made some significant progress on neatening things up. My husband mowed the lawn a couple of days ago, and it was only fair that I get out and do the trimming. He actually came out with me the third time, hooked up the water that will go to the bird bath and then held the cord for me, gathering it up when we finished for the day.

Weed whacking is one of those jobs that is never finished. You know you’ve made some progress, but there are other places all around the yard speaking to me as I get near, saying, “Look at me! Look at me!”

We’re supposed to have several days of good weather, so I’ll plan to get out and do more tomorrow. Next up – around my greenhouse and around the garden.

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First Harvest of Spring 2019

My broccoli is a bit scraggly-looking, but it should be tender and flavorful. I’m going to use it to make soup.

 

Unless something bad happens, it looks like we’ll have the best lettuce ever. This was harvested today – the outer leaves from just three of our plants. This filled two gallon fridge bags. We’ll sure enjoy some of this for our main meal salad dinner tonight!

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Filed under DIET!, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

At Least Partial ‘Outside Day’

Southland SOD Farms

We been outside a couple of times so far today, with more to come. We’re kind of under the gun today, since strong, possibly severe storms are forecast for late tonight and into tomorrow morning.

I showed my husband my cleaner-and-better-organized greenhouse, and he showed me his cleaner-and-better-organized shop, and we each oohed and ahhhed appropriately. :0)

We just came in from a first session on getting our irrigation system for the flowers going. We have a couple of blowouts we’ll need to fix before it’ll be working correctly, but we got a start on it today.  I have a timer on our outside faucet that goes to my veggie garden set up already.

As soon as I catch my breath, I’m going to go out and gather the first lettuce harvest of the spring! We’ll enjoy some of it for our dinner tonight.

I will also do at least one session of weed-whacking. I’ll probably need to do some every day until it looks like someone cares in our yard.

We’re still hoping to find a bricklayer who will rebuild our two collapsed planters in the front yard. Fingers crossed.

I’ll take pics of the harvest and post them later.

Have a great day!

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Wonderful Day

Ecuen Images

We’ve had a good day.

The temperature is 79 and the sun is shining. There is a nice breeze.

My husband mowed the lawn while I cleaned out the greenhouse and started more spinach seed. (Always optimistic!)

Then we changed the tires on the truck from the snow tires to our regular tires. We’re glad we don’t have to do this more than twice each year, but we save money doing it ourselves. When we bought the Honda Ridgeline, we bought 4 extra wheels and snow tires and had them mounted. We keep them in the shop. In late November or early December, depending on the weather, we change from our regular tires to our snow tires. In April, we change them back.

We’re getting a bit long in the tooth for this, but my husband says each time we do it, my help is better and better. :0)

Today we celebrated all the good things we accomplished by splitting a seafood platter at The Deli for lunch!

A truly wonderful day.

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Cleaning Up the Greenhouse

This is the greenhouse we built a couple of years ago. It has withstood all kinds of storms and gusty winds and I’m very grateful.

Lately I’ve tried several times to get spinach seeds to sprout so that I could transplant them into our square foot garden on the opposite side of our property. So far, my moniker, “Serial Seed Killer” remains applicable. All I’ve created in here is a mess.

Today, while my husband mows the lawn using our lovingly refurbished, very old riding mower (WEARING A HAT, I hope!) I’m going to be cleaning things up in the greenhouse, armed with a fly swatter and wasp spray.

 

When he finishes mowing, I’ll string the extension cord across the yard and plug it in at the outdoor receptacle at the house so I can run the exhaust fan. It’s hooked up to a thermostat that turns it off and on depending on the temperature set, to try to cool things off. This works pretty well in the spring, but we give it up in the summer. Even with the exhaust fan and the one on the table going, plus have the door at the opposite end propped open, it gets too hot in here.

I’m basically trying to extend our growing season as much as possible, growing new plants to put in the garden at the proper time.

I have lots of good supplies. I’ll try to get things better organized and ready to plant more seeds.

I try to plant things on this side of the greenhouse, and I keep the water here.

I’ll feel happier when it looks more like someone has a plan in here, rather than everything just being ‘dumped.’ :0)

 

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

After the Storms – New Annuals

Impatiens in two saucer planters and in the side brick planter in the shade of the front porch.

Purslane – Yubi – Portulaca in concrete planters at the end of the garage, by the driveway, and beside the shop door.

Periwinkles all over the place – here on the other side of the driveway –

And four of the “Emu” planters beside the driveway –

And on the back deck

Wave Petunias on the deck

More periwinkles on the deck

Wave petunias.

Impatiens

And more impatiens.

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Veggies After the Storms

We had some really hard rain off and on yesterday, with more this morning, so I was a bit worried about what I might find in our raised bed square foot garden.

We built 6 ‘boxes’ that are each 4 feet by 4 feet, installing them on metal supports about my chest high. This enables me to enjoy adding soil, planting, weeding, and harvesting without having to get down on my hands and knees, or bend over double.  You can see 5 of the 6 boxes in the photo above.

 

I planted one whole box with sweet red onion sets. I’ll leave these alone until harvest, other than weeding and maybe thinning out as the bulbs grow.

 

This is a combination of broccoli plants and radishes that have just sprouted. No sprouts from the spinach yet. :0(

 

Here is some of the lettuce plants and more radishes. I’ll start harvesting some lettuce leaves tomorrow.

This is what I call the NOOK planter, since it is cradled by the back of the house and the end of the back porch. The tomato plants are quite sheltered from the wind here, plus get more shade.

And this is the second tomato planter. It is more exposed than the other. It seems to depend on the year whether the tomatoes produce better in the sun and wind or relative protection and shade.

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Whew!

LifeBuzz

I am really bushed.

After Lunch Bunch today, my husband and I went to a local nursery and bought 1 flat of impatiens, 1 flat of portulaca, 2 flats of periwinkles, and 1 flat of wave petunias.

When I checked the weather website, it said 100% chance of heavy rain all day Saturday, so I got busy, doing three sessions of planting. I just came in a minute ago and I can happily report I’m finished – both planting all the flowers and depleting my energy. :0)

 

Impatiens – Burpee.com

I planted impatiens on our front porch, and to the side of the porch, since this area is on the north side of the house and receives little sunshine.

 

Periwinkles – commons.wikimedia.org

These went in several places – on the back deck, in the ’emu’ planters to the side of the driveway, and dotted around for color otherwise.

portulaca – purslane – yubi

We have four concrete planters that live in places hard to include in our irrigation system, so these flowers will handle getting dry much better than others. We take a sprinkling can around to these. We have two outside our garage, one beside the driveway, and one beside the door to the shop.

 

Wave Petunias – Burpee.com

I planted these in four large matching planters on the deck, hoping they’ll spill over the edges and grow down the sides of the planters.

When the plants have hopefully survived the ‘heavy rain’ tomorrow and possibly Sunday, I’ll try to get around and take some pictures.

I hope you had a great day, too.

 

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Garden Progress-4-11-2019

Planet Natural

The past couple of days I’ve spent a lot of time outside.

 

The radishes are finally sprouting. I have several squares of them, in this and other planter boxes.

The broccoli seems to be doing well so far.

I’ll probably start harvesting (and EATING!) some lettuce leaves next week.

The sweet red onions are looking good.

No spinach sprouts yet, but I’m still hopeful…

Today I’m trying to get some flower planters ready to plant. It used to be that I was the one who loved the flowers, but now we both enjoy them.  We’re going to start with wave petunias, periwinkles, purslane, and impatiens. If we can get them planted, we’ll see if we need more.

My husband says that deep purple iris have become his favorite flower. They’re blooming in several places in the yard right now.

I really love this time of year!

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds