Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {April 17, 2012}

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This was one of those weeks where I thought we wouldn't complete anything in the garden and we ended up getting quite a bit done.
For starters, a friend offered us her artichoke plant so the Good Apple created a new spot for it in the yard. We (that is the Royal "we") just removed a California Lilac from this part of the yard and the new addition fit perfectly. Now keep your fingers crossed that it lives. It is off to a rocky start, but we are hoping for the best so we can gift her some artichokes. There is so much pressure with gifted plants!

Mystery Squash
On that same note, another gardening buddy brought over some beautiful squash starts that are HUGE! I had not planned space for them, but I also haven't really planted much yet. Well, I ended up finding a nice spot and planted all 6. They weren't labelled, so it will be squash surprises!

Asparagus - we actually get to harvest
it this year!
We also transplanted the Lil Man's starts that he planted in preschool. I was having one of those moments where I wanted to make sure everything was done just so, yet he was so excited and going 100 million miles an hour. He kept grabbing the tiny little things by their tops and I am afraid they will all die. Perhaps I will go plant some seeds next to his plantings so something does come up. He and I were also having watering issues and we were working really hard to not drown the little seedlings, but, well, there was a 4 year old in charge of the hose. What can I say? These little seedlings were not in the original plan either, but I do want the Lil Man to love the garden and giving him front row, center stage helps.

The feeling of Spring is really starting to grab hold in our little garden (beyond the infinite growth of weeds). The spirea is showing off it's beautiful shower of white flowers. The asparagus is sending it's lovely stalks upward at an incredible rate. The peas are starting to show signs of those delicate, little tendrils that grab everything in sight. The strawberries...oh, the strawberries. They were looking so good and when I checked on them on Sunday, they were eaten eaten eaten. Nip nip nip.

Design #1
Design #2 (Ignore those dandelions!)
These are the times that I really feel for the Good Apple. I get irate and something (very specific) must be done (by him usually) immediately. In this case, we had to design something to protect the strawberries. We came up with two designs based on materials we had on hand. The first was to wrap chicken wire around the barrels with bamboo sticks in place for rigidity. Over the top, we covered it with bird netting.

The second design was to use some garden edging around the edges of the barrel and netting over the top that was stretched down and hooked under the edging. We will see. After looking at our handy work, we came to the conclusion that we will have to uncover them during the day if we ever want them to be pollinated.

I also had a chance to put some of my Kentucky Pole Beans in and some of my Hidatsa Red Beans. The KPB's are in one of the wine barrels and the HRB's are in a front planter where we can create some string trellises. It is all an experiment, isn't it? In addition to the beans, I added some more spinach to another bed for some friends who are in search of fresh spinach. No problem.

As I am writing this, I am starting to feel a glimpse of pride because I also started 8 mason jars full of herb seeds for my kitchen window. The GA pointed out that they will probably mold on the bottom. Awesome. Again. Experimenting. In hind site, I realize that, at a bare minimum, I should have made the bottom 1/3 sand. Oh well. They are already starting to germinate and I just planted them on Friday, so not bad. Basil, Camomile, Cilantro, Chives, Oregano, Dill, Rosemary and Parsley. We will see what happens. I am just going to spray the soil with water at this point to attempt to avoid the mold issue. Meh.

AND in honor of Earth Day, Sunday April 22 (which Lil Man says, "Mom, every day is Earth Day!" Yes indeed.) Kristina from Icing and Crumbs (on of my FAVORITE blogs) and I planted terrariums. As a result there will be an extra post this week, on Wednesday, sharing our experiences and oh so lovely creations. I know you are waiting with baited breath. Cool.

Our main garden beds
Well, I am off. Time to go wrestle the weeds. I know I promised to do a "Name this Weed" this week, but there was just too much gardening to be done and the weeds were too overwhelming. I did take a few weedy photos, but I am in an optimistic-celebrate-the-growth kind of mood and that is where I hope to leave you.

How is YOUR garden growing?


  1. Beautiful! I love all of it, even the dandelions :) Looks like you will have a huge harvest as long as those deer let you!
    Here's mine: a weed I think should be a vegetable

    1. I love your Miner's Lettuce post. Edible wildflowers. :) I guess those dandelions would qualify in this category as well, right? Dandelion wine anyone?

  2. Val, I love all the spinach and asparagus!! A friend of mine here in Napa grew a whole huge bed of asparagus that came up last year and our kids would just go right up and snap off a stalk...it was soooo good! Here's the state of our garden this week...http://coffeeandlilacs.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/signs-of-life/
    Have a great day.

    1. Dara, the craziest thing hit me as I read your comment. I don think I have ever had asparagus raw! I just might have to change that. I am heading over to your garden post now...thanks for stopping by!

  3. Isn't it fun, gardening with a four year old? (Picture my tongue in my cheek) Seriously, it is a struggle, isn't it? You want them to know that gardening is fun - however, you know how difficult it is to get these little sprouts to grow, and when a preschool trods on them...well, you know!

    I'm hoping to start some peas in a big planting pot this year with a trellis or something - my own little experiment!

    Here's our gardening week:


    1. Oh my goodness Tonya, these little seedlings were soooooo small. Keep your fingers crossed that they make it. When my friend stopped by today, he took her out to the garden to show them off! Oh geez.

  4. Oh my, your garden is so beautiful! And that asparagus looks wonderful. My beets are peas are sprouting and soon we'll plant our tomatoes and herbs. It's baby steps over at my house, so I am so impressed and inspired to see what you do with your garden!

    1. You are too sweet. Yeah for your sprouts and I have to add that I am jealous of your ability to grow tomatoes. Not so much here, for me, beyond cherry tomatoes. I forgot to leave a comment of your raises with butter and salt post. We have a ton of radishes coming up, so I am looking forward to trying your genius idea!

  5. Love your blog! We also are working on eating real foods and vegetarian dishes at least 3 times a week. Our garden is starting to grow! I saw that you went to Costa Rica - my husband and I went before we had kids and loved it (West Coast)! Glad you stopped by my blog, it's so nice to meet you!

    1. Oh Andrea I love your blog too! I am one of your newest fans. You have such fantastic content.

      Yes, Costa Rica holds a very dear place in our hearts. I can't wait to go back with our kids. It is a truly special place.

      Ok, now I am heading back over to your blog. You can count on "seeing" more of me. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. What are the semi circle things for in your garden?

    1. Hi Jen, those rings are the supports for our cloches. We drape this water permeable cloth over the top to protect seeds and seedling from animals and the elements during their first few months. Keep an eye open, they will be coming out soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. So wonderful to see more gardeners in this UBP! We are hopping over from Hungary, hoping that you visit when you find the time.


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