Tag Archives: gardening

Poor Plants

DripDepot

When I went outside to check on the tomatoes and weed a bit in our flower planters, I noticed that everything suddenly looked really wilted.

I got my husband and we turned on each section of the irrigation system, and went around to all the planters, making sure all was getting water. Some weren’t getting anything at all, others were getting too much – it varied all over the place. Once we got the back finished – with a lot of the things you see in the picture above, we switched to the front, where it’s mainly actual hoses and controls.

We think we got everything going. We are inside now, drinking ice water and resting. The heat index this afternoon is between 106 and 110. We’ll stay inside until at least dinner time before trying to do anything more out there.

I hope that YOU and your PLANTS are getting enough water today!

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Good News!!!!!

I told you that two of the 14 brick planters we have built up on top of our ridge line collapsed suddenly. We knocked the rest of the bricks down and tried to prepare ourselves to rebuild them.

We found that 25 years or so makes a huge difference in our stamina and ability to work in the heat. We ended up mixing one bag of mortar each day, laying one layer of bricks with it, then cleaning up for the day. We did this for five days, finally completely the first of the two planters. We put the potting soil we had saved back into the planter. My husband recently redid the plastic PVC pipe irrigation piece for the first planter, so technically it’s ready to plant. With a heat index of 105-110+ degrees, we have ignored the problem.

I’ve been trying to find a real brick layer to rebuild the planters. We had the bricks and the mortar, so it was their time, labor, and expertise we were paying for. The only man who came to give us an estimate knocked our socks off with how much he would charge for the two planters. We told him, ‘no thank you,’ and built the first one ourselves.

 

As you can see, it looks pretty awful.  It DOES hold the potting soil. The picture doesn’t show the new irrigation piece, but it’s ready for planting now.

 

This is the second planter. We have been mowing and weed whacking around this the whole spring and summer, hoping to find a brick layer.

FINALLY, yesterday a wonderful man named Jose Aguirre came up and looked at things. He rejected the mortar we had bought, both the sand version and the one with small pebbles, and gave us an estimate. I was overjoyed that it was reasonable, AND we can do it!!!!

He will come out tomorrow at 8 in the morning to do the job!

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that my husband and I don’t have to do it. I was trying to gear up for it mentally, thinking that when we start getting up at 6am each morning  (trying to adapt for the school year with Alessandro, our 16-year-old soccer playing student from Italy comes to live with us and go to school this year, starting August 6th) – that we could get right out and lay one row of bricks each day while the temperature was still in the 80’s.

If our wonderful luck holds, tomorrow we will have a newly rebuilt, good-looking planter to enjoy!

I’ll take pics. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Whew!

Steemit

I have just finished about an hour and a half of weed whacking in the yard this morning. I have probably one more session of weed whacking and then the leaf blower to clean off the sidewalks and garage pad before I’m finished.

My husband mowed the lawn yesterday, so the grass looks good. All the edges around everything were ragged, though, so I decided to get outside early this morning and see if I could clean things up.

With the heat index, it’s ONLY 95 right now. Since the index is supposed to get to 105 this afternoon, I decided it was best to get out there while it was COOL. :0)

The new-to-us riding mower we got recently from a wonderful friend and neighbor does a really good job. When the civilized part of our yard is freshly mowed, weed whacked and blown, we actually look pretty good!

With all the yard work this morning and bowling with good friends tonight, I’m not even going to feel guilty about not ‘exercising’ today. I’ve learned that the work I do uses different muscles than the ones used for more traditional ‘exercises,’ but when I’ve worked and played this much in a day, I’ll call it good enough.

 

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July 6th Harvest

 

After we got back from relocating the raccoon this morning, I went to check on the tomatoes and the garden. I harvested these from the larger planter – the plants I thought were going to croak earlier because the leaves were turning yellow and falling off. These plants still don’t look ‘healthy,’ but they are producing delicious tomatoes. The nook planter beside the house has only two plants in it and they are HUGE, green, and leafy. I’ve only gotten two ripe tomatoes so far. There are lots of green ones, though, and lots of blossoms. There might be a lesson here somewhere, if I can just figure out what it is. I would appreciate some opinions from people who know what they are doing in the garden.

In the larger square foot garden, I couldn’t do much because the irrigation system was going. I have large, leafy-looking zucchini plants now with large yellow flowers and a few actual zucchini!  I harvested one pregnant-looking one so far. I have several now that might get large enough to harvest.

I also have the cantaloupe plants whose arms are spilling out over everything with lots of blossoms. There is one small cantaloupe that I have supported by a plastic round thingie with legs and holes in it. I have no clue whether we’ll actually get anything worth eating, but it’s great fun to watch the progress. \

The onions are expanding, even though their tops were so damaged in several storms I elected to cut them off.

I need to do some weeding out there and then I’ll take pics to share.

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I Want One of These!

Avantgardens via Marianna Bellantoni

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Feast or Famine

All spring it has either been heavily raining or SUPER hot with strong sun. Nothing in-between. Today I was only out for about half an hour, and came in huffing and puffing, wiping my head and face, and wanting to glug water.

I found these yellow leaves on my tomato plants yesterday. My friend, Laufrain, and I looked up the problem last night. It suggested bone meal and fertilizer. I just added both of those to the planter and watered. Fingers crossed they like it. I have nice green tomatoes and am hoping for a good crop.

 

This is our other tomato planter. As you can see, the plants are good and healthy. I have no clue what’s going on with the longer planter.

 

This is my first trial at growing zucchini. I have several that SEEM to be doing well.

 

Sweet red onions.

 

Radishes I just started a few days ago.

 

And THIS  is the excitement for the day! It is a cantaloupe!  Ta DA!   If it doesn’t croak and continues to grow, I have a plastic bowl thingie with lots of holes for drainage and legs to keep the cantaloupe up off the ground. I’ve never grown one of these before. This was my husband’s choice of what to grow (other than head lettuce), so I’m really hoping we grow at least one and that it’s good.

On my way back in, I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the flowers on the deck. They make my heart soar every time I see them.

Now I’m very thankful that we have air-conditioning!

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

The Tomatoes are Coming!

I’m hoping that we’ll have a good tomato crop this year. We have some good looking green tomatoes now. One of our very favorite things is sliced ripe tomatoes.

With all the rain we’ve had and then some pretty warm weather, the tomato plants in our nook planter really took off. I’ve given up trying to ‘control’ them. I’m just propping them up the best way I can and hoping for the best…

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And the Lilies Bloom!!

We have a really good chance of more severe weather this afternoon and tonight, so I got out and cut some of the lilies that are blooming in one of our planters.

Here are more of the yellow ones in the planter.

 

And I HOPING that this beauty won’t be harmed by the storms.

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

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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Filed under Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

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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Thirsty Veggies are Satisfied for Now

The Living Farm

Can you see the teeny, tiny broccoli spear in the center?   Woo HOOO!

Head lettuce looking happy.

Sweet Red Onions

Due to my bad reaction to the 2nd dose of Shingles vaccine, I haven’t done anything this week in the garden. I’m still looking for spinach plants locally, plan to start spinach seeds (AGAIN) in case none show up, and plan to start several squares of radishes.

In another week or so, we’ll start tomato plants on the other side of the house!

 

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Spring is Finally Springing

Ar Ali – Linkedin

FINALLY, signs of spring are popping up around here!  I’m delighted, though I feel bad for the people still getting more snow, and the awful flooding in the midsection of the country. I just know my spirits are rising with each passing day.

I still haven’t been able to find spinach plants locally (they said call again Wednesday), so I’m going to see if I can get another batch of seeds started, using another technique and keeping all appendages crossed for success. I would really love to shed my moniker of “Serial Seed Killer” some day soon.

That said, the red onions and head lettuce plants in the garden are doing really well. I’ll see what other wonderful things I can find to plant when we go out for errands today.

I finally reached the bricklayer today, who said he was personally covered up with work, but would ask another good person to give us a call for an estimate on rebuilding the two brick planters that failed recently.

I hope you are enjoying some signs of spring, too!

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First Session in the Yard

First thing this morning I was thankful the greenhouse was still up and functional. We’ve had a LOT of wind and rain the past few weeks, so the whole thing could have simple blown over the barbed wire fence and into the next acreage. The top could have torn or blown off, etc. I walked around the outside checking for needed repair and found, to my delight, none was needed!

I cleaned off the tables a bit, throwing out curled and brittle six-pack planters I tried to save, buckled and discolored plastic sheet lids designed to go over young plants, and more.

I hooked up the at least 200 foot extension cord so that the exhaust and second fans would run and propped the door on the opposite side open with a metal chair. The thermostat was down to 90 before I started this. I’m hoping the air circulation will bring that down more.

 

I planted five head iceberg lettuce plants and watered them thoroughly. They’re in a good spot of sun on the table. I wanted to make sure I got those planted, so essentially did that first.

I found a weed growing up through the black weed barrier on the floor, so I pulled it out. When I did, a gazillion little black ants swarmed out. I hurried out of the greenhouse and got the EIGHT spray and 2 gallon sprayer and mixed up a batch. I thoroughly hosed down that spot where the weed was and another spot I found.

I was starting to get hot and tired, so I sprayed my way across the back yard, treating various ant hills with a thorough hosing down with the EIGHT making my way back to the deck. I hosed down all the plants, including the one holding the one weed my husband pulled out. They swarmed out pretty ferociously,  but I kept the spray coming.

The next step on the greenhouse is finding a small broom that can live out there and trying to clean things up as much as possible. Eventually, I want to try to re-purpose bricks from the planters in the front yard that we are going to tear down as soon as the weather gets cooler. I would like to try to make some paths inside the greenhouse – one in front of each line of tables and one going down the middle.  Fingers crossed I can do this.

In the meantime, I’m going to sweep the floor as well as I can, and then prune the rose bushes (an important thing my husband thought had priority.)

I’m glad I can come inside, drink a bottle of water, cool down and relax in-between sessions easily.

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“Earth laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I walked around the yard this morning, taking pictures of what is surviving in our awful heat here in Arkansas. We usually have weather like this in AUGUST – not from May through now – in un-ending record heat.  Even with daily irrigation some of the plants are simply giving up. The trees are shedding their leaves in an effort to sustain life.  As I look at these, I see all the weeds and pruning that are needed – when “I” can survive long enough to work longer outside….

 

Wave Petunias

 

 

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Wisteria

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval

 

Phlox

 

Phlox and Elephant Ear

“Earth is a flower and it’s pollinating.” – Neil Young

 

Lily

“When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.” ~Chinese Proverb

 

Mandevilla

“Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.” ~The Koran

Hydrangea

 

 

Impatiens

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Miguel Angel Ruiz


Salvia

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” ~Lydia M. Child

 

Rio Samba Roses

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” ~Jim Carrey

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Tired, But Clean

Klyker

My husband and I bought two kinds of salvia, 3 six-packs of impatiens, 2 mandevilla, and 15 small pots of wave petunias at the nursery yesterday. Since our weather has been wonky – with a cooler than normal spring followed by hotter than normal summer temperatures – it’s been all I could do to try to keep up with our vegetable garden, our flower planters, and the yard.

I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get ANY of our normal choices, but we did pretty well. Then there was the prospect of getting everything planted. Yesterday I planted the two mandevilla and some of the petunias on the deck. This morning it was already in the high 80s when I started planting. I finished the deck, saving one wave petunia to go in the planter at the entrance to our shop. My husband keeps a jug of water out there so that he can water ‘his’ flowers…. :0)

Then I cleaned out Amber’s kiddie pool. I scrubbed it with the car broom, drained it a bit more than halfway, scrubbed it again, and then dumped out the rest of the water. My husband suggested that we put it on the east side of the house where it gets a bit more shade so the water would stay cooler. I got it into a reasonable spot, sprayed it out again, and then started to fill it. Amber came running around the side of the house, jumped into the filling pool, laid down in it, drank some of the water, then jumped out into the dirt, now made into mud by her dripping body. She loved it. She ran all around like a mad thing, started digging in the dirt, and then, of course, jumped into the pool with the muddy paws. She laid down again, smiled at me, bit at the sprayer hose, jumped out…. You get the picture. The water isn’t pristine, but it’s much better than it was, the pool has been moved to a better spot now, and the dog is ecstatic. Mission accomplished.

I then used another hose to clean up the deck where I had made a mess planting. I used the “less is more” philosophy this time, emptying 4 big pots I usually fill with flowers. We have really nice, bright burgundy wave petunias and mandevillas on the deck now – making a nice spot to sit outside – assuming this abnormally hot weather tames down for a bit before we officially get into the too-hot-to-sit-outside part of the summer.

I took time while the pool was filling to move the nice Joseph’s Coat climbing rose-bush my friend Kay gave me for my birthday in March to a sunnier spot where I think it will be happier.

That’s it for the day on working outside, until this evening before the sun goes down, when I plan to mix up batches of ‘ant-to-elephant’ bug spray that I can use on my veggie garden. I plan to hose everything down, use a stronger spray for the ant hill I discovered, wait a day or so, and then see how things are out there. I still have pink areas up and down my arms from the angry ants that bit/stung me for disrupting their ‘homes’ as I pulled up cool weather plants, but the swelling and itching are finally mostly contained, thank goodness.  I’ve just come down from taking a long shower and putting on clean clothes. Ahhhh!

I hope that you have fun playing in the dirt at your house, too.

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Filed under Arkansas, exercise, Gardening, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Clematis

My husband has been trying to get clematis to grow happily at our place for several years now. The past couple of years it has given us a nice display.

 

We used 4 half-barrels and arranged for something for it to climb on. When you look at the flowers from the house, there isn’t a lot to see.

 

 

But when you look at the flowers from the BACK, this is what you see. We’ll take it.

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Walk Around the Yard

We hurried to mow the grass and blow the debris off the sidewalks and driveway pad, just in case the rains would come swooping in. Tonight we’re supposed to have a chance of rain, but the day has been gorgeous. I took a break and took some pics to share with you. My husband loves clematis, and we’ve been trying to get the vines to grow up over the deck. Failing that, and finally admitting defeat, we planted some in plastic barrel halves on the east side of our property between the house and the greenhouse.

 

 

For a very short time each year my camellias bloom. Usually they are immediately beaten down by a rain storm, showering petals everywhere and giving up for another year. Right now they’re blooming, so fingers are crossed they last for more than a day or so.

 

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Nana’s Iris Plus “Volunteer Rose”

We bought three different colors of iris from Nana’s Iris Garden in Charleston AR about three years ago.  We have several like this blooming now. I think they’re wonderful.

 

And when I was pruning our new Rio Samba rose bushes, I found this ‘volunteer’ right beside the front planter! If it’s a remnant of one of the bushes we had to cut down, we’ll try to nurture it and see what happens.

You probably already know this, but a lady at Sharum’s Nursery in Fort Smith showed me how to prune rose bushes to encourage more blooms. Ever since I learned this, I have SO much better luck with roses! –

PRUNING ROSES

  • Take the spent bloom in one hand, and pull the branch out so that you can see the groupings of leaves. Find the first group of five leaves and prune at a downward angle right ABOVE the five-leaf cluster.

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Believing in Tomorrow

Audrey Hepburn via GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

 

tomato plants

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” ~ Kate Morton

Raised Bed Planters – Row 1

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. ” ~ H. Fred Dale

 

Raised Bed Planters – Row 2

“In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.” ~Robert Brault

We’re due for rain starting this afternoon – going from “Thunderstorms,” to “Heavy Rain,” to “Showers,” to “A.M. Showers,” to “Thunderstorms” through Monday of NEXT WEEK! My biggest concern now is that my sweet plants will come up out of the ground and flow out of the squares and boxes and end up on the ground below…

“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” ~ Author Unknown

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

Researching about the Greenhouse

barbaragroen.nl

I was hoping to find ideas about how to organize my greenhouse on the net. So far, I’ve found pictures that make my mouth water, where people have obviously put more money into the greenhouse than we have in our whole house –

 

 

blog.freepeople.com

 

 

politiken.dk

 

 

wrensgate.tumblr.com

If my mouth will quit watering, I’ll change my search terms and maybe I’ll get some suggestions on good tips for setting up MY greenhouse – not the Taj Mahal! :0)

 

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Digging up Iris

A couple of years ago we bought 3 rhizomes each of 5 different iris than we had in our yard from Nanna’s Iris Garden. All of them were pretty (I never saw an ugly iris) and we particularly liked a large, yellow one.

The planter is now too full of iris for them to bloom well next spring, so I’m trying to dig everything out, separate the rhizomes, replant some in this planter, and replant all the others around the yard.  Doing this is easier said than done!

Today was a perfect day to get started on this.  Amber kept me company while I worked for an hour or so this afternoon on the project. I filled a large plastic bucket quickly, then went to get another one – plus my clippers, so that I could go through what I’d dug up, cutting off too-long roots and leaves. I came in when I got too hot and tired, and am about to go put in another session today. I can tell that cleaning out this planter is going to take at least 3 or 4 sessions.

I found a good article on “When and How to Divide Iris” at MyGardenLife.com if you’re interested.

I think we have large,  bright yellow iris, some quieter yellow, some blue, and some small purple. I think there is a fifth color, but I can’t remember what it is now.

It was really nice outside today. It’s 73 degrees F. and sunny, with a slight breeze. I dig for awhile, then sit on the edge of the brick planter to cut off excess roots and leaves. Amber found a huge stick. She paraded around with it hanging from her mouth down to the ground on both sides, and then sat down to chew on it. She also went exploring a couple of times but stayed close.

I hope the weather where you are is such that you can enjoy being outside, working or resting on this nice Sunday afternoon.

Sun Doll-Nanna’s Garden

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October Trip Around the Yard

On one of my outings with Amber today, I brought my camera. I got only a few pictures before it showed me the battery needed to be charged, but I wanted to share these with you. This is an elephant ear plant my friend Laufrain gave me recently. Part of the time I worry that it will be completely eaten by insects (see leaf on right), broken by mysterious forces (see leaf on right), but it seems to be doing well overall. I plan to move it to the greenhouse for the winter when we have frost warnings and see if I bring it through to the spring for replanting.

 

This plant was also given to me by Laufrain. I don’t know what it is called, but I love the purple leaves. Today I noticed it was blooming! See the sweet, delicate pink flower?

 

I’m just delighted with all the delicate little blooms. I’ll have to ask Laufrain if I need to dig this one up, too, for the winter.

 

I harvested these two tomatoes today. The new tomato plants are still alive. I really don’t know what to expect from them, but I’m keeping an eye on them. I picked another small tomato, but it wasn’t good. I threw it toward the group of evergreen trees toward the back. Amber saw me and went crashing into the trees, retrieving it. She brought it into the front yard, chewing on it. She spit it out onto the ground, then picked it up again running all around the yard. She wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do with it, but she had a great time.

I’ll try to get more pics to share as soon as my camera battery is charged again.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!  I checked on the temperature inside my greenhouse today and it was 70!  I’ll keep an eye on that and see if I can figure out if I can actually start some seeds in there soon…

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Wheelbarrowing Olympics

ack35.wordpress.com

Since we’re supposed to have severe weather this evening with rain, wind, hail, flying hairballs and possibly a tornado, we decided to not only try to clean up where Amber had been digging most recently by emptying out and cleaning up the two brick planters from which we dug out the Rio Samba rose bushes, but also to fill them up again with potting mix so that the planters could start settling.

It took us about another half an hour to empty out the planters as much as we needed to, in order to get the bermuda and roots out. And then it took TEN 40 pound bags of potting mix to fill the planters. When they settle, we’ll probably have to add more when we plant in the spring, but we were happy we got this chore done before the rain comes.

Moving that much soil was a little bit too much exercise for us today. We may end up taking a nap this afternoon…

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Zinnias

Last year I sprinkled some zinnia seeds around in my flower planters when it was really hot and my spring flowers were flagging. Nothing happened, and to be honest, I forgot about it.

This year the zinnias bloomed – volunteers all around the yard, in front of the planters, beside the planters, behind the planters…. It’s been a glorious summer awash in sweet, happy blooms. But – enough is enough and it had gotten to the point we couldn’t get down the sidewalk or around the yard without stepping on them or having the stems grab our legs as we tried to walk by.

Today I’m working on cleaning out, weeding, and pruning the three 8 foot planters that are between our driveway area and our front yard. I’ve already pulled 4 large gardening baskets full and I’m just getting started. (I told you that things had gotten out of hand with all the rain and sun we’ve had this summer. I wasn’t kidding.)

I pulled the zinnias that were outside the planters, bringing in some to enjoy for a few days.

I hate to get rid of anything blooming, so I brought in all that would fit in this vase and dumped the rest over the edge of the civilized part of our front yard. (We have over 8 acres of mostly woods. I’m hoping that the seeds from these will plant themselves and bloom next year along the front of the yard.)

It has been a real delight to have so many decide to bloom on their own this year.

I’ll probably try to do a couple more sessions this afternoon. It’ll probably take me a couple of days to get these three planters cleaned up. I lost most of the cloud cover, though, so it feels hot outside.

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Some Progress

Wild Ammo

This tired big cat looks a lot better than I do right now.

I just came in from

  • planting three celery plants and a head lettuce bottom,
  • weeding the raised square foot garden beds
  • spraying weed killer on the weeds under the raised beds of the garden.

My hair is completely wet – plastered to my head; my face is red; and I’m still breathing hard -BUT I have a large glass of water with ice and I’m in the a/c, sitting comfortably at my computer, feeling nicely spoiled. :0)

My friend Laufrain looked up growing celery while we were bowling last night and discovered that I should be watering my celery more. Mine is greener and a little tough compared to what you find at the store. We also discovered that I should be tying the stalks together. I have some tomato vine tying tape that I think will work well for that.  I also think I’ll harvest the stalks when they’re smaller and younger. If I keep trying this, I may actually be successful!

I discovered the probable reason why celery isn’t included in the square foot gardening book. The online article said that celery was one of the most difficult veggies to grow. So I’m patting myself on the head a bit, having even a small amount of success. :0)

 

This is the new style thermometer my husband put up in the greenhouse yesterday. As you can see, it’s WAAAY too hot to stay out there long, or to plant much at this point. It’s better first thing in the morning or just before sunset in the evening, but it’s still too hot to try to get seedlings to grow. It may be that I need to take the summer off, have things planned and ready to start around beginning of September for the fall garden. I’ll do a lot of reading about greenhouses, as well as when I should be starting the plants I want to grow for the fall. I have a lot of homework to do.

Our friend Dave came over this morning to help my husband figure out how to make the rotor for the ham radio tower antenna to work properly.  My husband had worked and worked on it, and was at a loss. Dave took it apart, put it back together again, and it miraculously worked. The closed it up and declared victory. Dave says he thinks a special tool he has will get the tower up without our having to hire someone with a crane. They’re planning to assemble the whole thing, including the antenna, on the ground. They’ll test the rotor to make sure it’s working correctly. We’ll already have the guy wire rods in the ground and the guy wires on the tower. They’ll, in effect, winch the tower up into place and hold it steady while cables are plugged in, guy wires attached, etc. The first step, though, is drilling the hole, putting the pipe into the hole, and putting the cement into the hole.

Amber chewed through the rope that attached her to the dog run yesterday. Happily, my husband was watching her and saw what she had done, and so caught up with her and put her on the porch. This morning we got some cable, cable ends, and a new attachment piece. My husband made a new line to attach to the run and we tested it. Probably, since she can’t chew through the cable this time, she’ll pull the whole Martin house that the run is attached to, down…

And so it goes at the Lewises.

If I can cool off, I’m going out to prune the trio of brick flower planters that go between our front yard and the driveway. This, as well as several other things, have been on my list for so many days now they’re beginning to get on my nerves, so I’m determined to make some progress on each of them today.

Happy Tuesday!

 

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1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you

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Filed under Arkansas, DIET!, Favorite Things, Gardening, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Greenhouse Progress

 

 

 

Welcome to the greenhouse!  We have a door and an inside and outside now.  Come in!

 

This is the exhaust fan end of the building. As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done to stretch and staple the film on.  The plans we got say, essentially, ‘wad it up and staple it.”

 

This is the outside. You can see we need to gather up excess film. I plan to fold up the largest pieces to hopefully use if we need repairs.  We also need to get rid of the excess black weed barrier sheet on the exhaust fan end.

 

We cut 4×8 sheets of plywood lengthwise to make 8 x 2 foot ‘tables.’ We also cut up two of these to make the tables 12 feet long. We put 2×4 on the edges underneath to keep the tables from sagging in the middle. We put the plywood on sawhorses.

 

We’re really amazed at how sturdy everything is. It’s not all completely level, but life is never perfect. You can see the mounted exhaust fan in this picture. We’ll add some electricity to the greenhouse and a thermostat so that the fan comes on to air things out when it gets too hot inside.

 

Here you can see the opposite side table. It’s a nice “U” shaped space with storage for tall stuff in the corner and lots of place to put things underneath the tables. I’ll have a wonderful amount of space to grow seeds in their various stages until they’re planted either in the square foot garden, the tomato planters, or in the flower planters.

We worked on the film on the exhaust fan end this morning. I’ll take more pics today to show you.

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Hope for the Future

Hope via Cindy Bassnett Thurman

I, aka “The Serial Seed Killer”, have had some successes with seeds lately!

  • I started some spaghetti squash seeds I scooped out of one I bought at the store, dried, and then planted. I have several plants that got large enough to be transferred to the garden and are still alive. I’m not sure if I’ll actually get a spaghetti squash – or just a plant with leaves – but I’m having lots of fun hoping.
  • I also planted several celery plants in the garden. I cut off the ends of celery bought from the store and put them in small glasses of water. When they had a nice looking – though tiny – little green plant, I transferred them to the garden. At this point, some of them have lived and some have died. Again, I have no clue whether I’ll actually get celery stalks or not, but they make me smile each time I check on them. (Too cool and rainy today to check)
  • The latest hope for the future is that I planted what are advertised as “Hummingbird Flower Seeds” in small pots and put them in frisbees (to catch the water) on the end of our dining table closest to the window. I’m hoping they’ll live to be transplanted into larger pots on the deck for the entertainment of the hoped-for hummers.

Here you can see the little fragile seedlings of the hummingbird flowers, plus two more celery ends I just put in water yesterday.

It’s a good thing we didn’t have to depend on my luck in getting spinach seeds to grow. The ‘serial seed killer’ still is alive and well in that area…

 

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Childlike Fun, Gardening

Wisteria Bloom

We’re having a really nice display this year. My husband has been trying to get the wisteria to go all the way across over the woodpile, and then climb the tree on the other side. I was standing close to the wisteria yesterday so I could breathe deeply and enjoy its glorious smell, when I realized I was seeing some wisteria in the tree on the far side of the main part of the plant! I brought my husband over so that he could see that his efforts are bearing fruit. He was really happy. He doesn’t grin ear to ear often, but he did this time. :0)

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Where Does the Soil Go?

Funderland Amusement Park

Funderland Amusement Park

I just spent an hour and a half mixing batch after batch of Mel’s Mix and trying to get my raised bed planters topped off so they’re ready for planting.

The thing is, when we finished putting up the last planter, I filled all three new ones with Mel’s Mix. Now, when I’m getting ready to plant, the mix is down by a good 3 to 4 inches!

I wouldn’t gritch if piles of dirty clothes or dishes did the same thing… Or stacks of magazines, waste baskets, or piles of bills… if YOU know what happened to all the Mel’s Mix, I’d appreciate it if you would let me know!

I use a big trash basket to mix the components of Mel’s Mix (2 parts peat moss, 2 parts vermiculite, and 1 part each mushroom compost, barnyard compost, and cotton burr compost.  Occasionally I mix in compost I’ve made from our yard and food scraps. Then I carefully drag the trash can over to the garden and even more carefully lift up the trash can and distribute it on the raised bed box. Then I move the mix around, delighting in the joy of playing in the dirt until I pronounce it done, and then repeat the process. After an hour and a half of this, I’m taking a rest.

Also in the mix of my day is working on a mosaic on a glass bowl in the shop. I do it one narrow band at a time, carefully propping the bowl between a bottle of water and a scotch tape dispenser to keep it from rolling. If I do too many tiles, the slope of the glass causes the tiles to quietly slide down, coming to rest in a spot I didn’t intend. I’m taking my time, doing one ‘row’ a day until the bowl is covered. Then I can do the grouting all at once. I’ll share some pictures of it when I get the tiles all glued on.

In my art room I’m working on some presents I’m making for next Christmas. I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about NEXT Christmas, but I’ve always bought things I like for people when I find them regardless of the time of year. Particularly when I’m trying to MAKE something, I want to do it when I’m excited about the project. :0)

My sweet husband is in the shop, slaving away to get our new used riding lawnmower ready to be used. As he works, he’s finding more things that need his attention. (We’re discovering that, although the guy who sold us the mower told us about the leaking tire, he got creative about the things that were ‘new’ on the thing; the air filter, for example.) My husband just bought what he thought was a spare filter, discovering that the filter that was on it was in the worst condition he’s ever seen. It starts well, though, and my husband likes the way the mower is  laid out. It’s not nearly as difficult as some designs to work on. He found a manual online that shows him good exploded diagrams so he can see what parts are there, and it makes sense to HIM about how to do what it needs.

He bought a new mini-tire changing tool because the tire we bought is too small for the one we have.  Even after he made a stand to bolt it to the floor in the shop, it took both of us to get the old tire off and the new tire on the wheel. It turns out that tubeless tires are difficult to get onto the wheel with a good seal so they don’t leak.

It’s time for lunch. I’m going to go out to the shop, roust my husband, and then figure out what’s up for the rest of the day.

 

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Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds