Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {April 24, 2012}

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You will be so proud of us. The artichoke lives!!




This week was a little slow in the garden. Weeds. More weeds. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I have tried to make peace with mine. I am in search of dandelion recipes. Have you tried any? I am going to try a Farmers' Almanac Dandelion Soup recipe next week. Who knew I was growing this crop intentionally?

Several seeds made their way into the ground this week. I planted more spinach, LOTS of sunflower seeds in cups to start and our potatoes went into the ground or boxes.

The Yukon Golds are the Good Apple's. He has his own little bed for them. Remember this magical day for us last year? The Lil Man in his skivs, helping out his dad. Bare hands digging into the soil. Fingernails filled with dirt. Garden Heaven.

I planted Sangre, French Fingerlings and German Butterballs in our potato boxes. I have two other varieties to go, but I am not sure where I am going to plant them! Today, I found myself tucking potato starts into my flower boxes. Desperate measures for desperate times.

So there are a couple of regulars in my garden (along with the dandelions) who come back to visit every year. They get plucked year after year, but they insist on returning. I don't know their names. Can you help me?


What is that ferny looking thing on the top?


I really have a strong dislike for this cluster.


Lovely shade of purple, eh? What is it?



I know I should know these, but I don't. I have focused my learning to what I want to grow, not the other way around. This just screams what a novice I am. Help me. Please.

Finally, beginning in June, I will be featuring an island garden, other than mine, every other week during "How Does Your Garden Grow?" While I know all of you are just waiting with baited breath to find out what is happening in my garden each week (ha!), there are many talented gardeners on the island with so much to share in terms of knowledge and beauty. If you know someone on San Juan Island who fits this bill, send them my way!

Click here to see past issues of "How Does Your Garden Grow?"

And so...how is YOUR garden growing?

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All photos are taken by Val Curtis and can be used with permission only.



32 comments:

  1. We have been collecting dandelion flowers to make syrup, boy does it take a lot of flowers.
    I like the young greens in a salad, yum!

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    1. Now I am feeling a huge sense of remorse about the lawn being mowed. The possibilities! If you get a chance, send me info about your dandelion syrup. I am completely intrigued!

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  2. Oddly enough I have the same weeds you do even though we live on different coasts. I don't know the names but my parents argue over the names all the time. I hate the yellow flowery thing too, it's prickly!! The ferny thing though I let grow in one of my corners, I kind of like it and have even used it in flower arrangements. Sorry for my no help answers. Very impressed you are growing potatoes, I have often thought of giving it a try but have not done it yet! Great post! Love to see your garden. Let's not talk about mine and leave it at that this week!! Lol! xo

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    1. Weeds are weeds because they are successful. Oye. Well Tracey has me turning my dandelions into salad greens and syrup. You are enhancing my flower arrangements. This is getting good!

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  3. I don't know the names of your weeds, but the 2nd one looks like one I have a battle with. It's horrible cause it's sticky and goopy when I pull it out...YUCK! I know that dandelions leaves make a super addition to green salads! Also, is that clover? I want to plant clover around my fruit trees, but I'm a bit leery because I worry about it spreading into the neighbors yard. Any suggestions?
    I ♥ Yukon Gold potatoes!

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    1. No advice on the clover. I will post it on my FB page and see if we get any feedback for you.

      Those Yukon are sooooo good. They just SCREAM summer potato salad!

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  4. I drink dandelion tea daily. It's good for the liver and cleansing the system. It's a little bitter, but I personally think it tastes like a mild coffee. I need to find a recipes because I buy mine, but there are plenty of dandelions around to make my own!

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    1. Yet one more use! I might have to do a dandelion post. What a treat to see you visiting here. Folks check out her site...it is wonderful!!!

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  5. My garden is looking great but I'm pulling more weeds ever day! So much work, but so worth it. The purple stuff looks like ajuga! It's a weed but it makes a great ground cover...not so much in the garden!
    ~Erin

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    1. A ha Erin ...well after looking it up, I don't think it is Ajuga...BUT I do have Ajuga in my garden and I didn't even know what it was!! THANK YOU!!!! Now what IS that purple weed?

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    2. I've got ajuga as well - when we moved into our house, our yard had TONS of it. The woman who lived in our house previously loved it, because I guess it comes from Germany and she's German. Anyway, Husband hated it, so he pulled a bunch. There's a little left in a shade garden in our front yard.

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  6. Hello Val - thank you for stopping by my blog this morning! It's always nice to welcome a new friend. Gardens Inspired is on Facebook, too, if you are connected there.

    The picture of your plant at the top looks like Yarrow to me. We pay for and grow it as a perennial plant here in MI; they are quite lovely but will get larger every year. They're pretty easy to control. I wonder what color it will be - I have yellow and purple here in my West Michigan garden.

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    1. Thank you Debra! I think we have a match. You just saved it's life and we will see what color it brings. I am heading to your Facebook page and your blog is gorgeous. I loved your successive bulb post. Mental Chew is on Facebook as well. Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. my garden is covered in snow at the moment! =O

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    1. Fingers crossed that we won't get hit. It has been gorgeous the last two weeks and the garden is loving it. Snow at this point would be awful. Hang in there and I hope warm days find their way to you soon!

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  8. This year, I am growing a high school graduate and skipping the garden altogether! :) But next year, I hope to be back to nurturing flowers and herbs in the garden!

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    1. Now that is a fete!! Best wishes to you.

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  9. Love, LOVE the potato post! I've never tried them before. Are they difficult to grow? Sorry, I cannot identify your weeds (although the last one looks like a dandelion? Maybe you can tell me what mine is:
    http://www.whoopsidaisy-tonya.com/2012/04/how-does-your-garden-grow-let-it-rain.html

    Let us know how the dandelion soup turns out. Why is it that I can eat stuff from my own garden, but the thought of eating dandelions kind of turns me off? Maybe you'll find it's delicious!

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    1. I am going to make it Monday night. Keep your eyes peeled. I made dandelion muffins, but my muffin recipe was a little lack luster so I will have another go at it tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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  10. I have weeds all in the garden, I just pulled some today. I planted my other half of my garden, so hopefully in a couple of weeks things will start popping. I know someone who made dandelion jelly and it was good.

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    1. Dandelion jelly! Now there is another one to add to the list. Keep us posted on how your plantings are doing!

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  11. Val, I wish I could answer your weed questions...but I have no clue. As for my garden growing, well we are still dodging winter weather every other week or so. Yesterday we were supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow...yep all in a 24 hour dumping. Thankfully it missed us by about 15 miles. Anyway, I have managed somehow to keep the broccoli starts I've been babysitting, alive! :-).

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    1. Yeah for keeping the broccoli starts alive!

      I can't imagine 8 inches right now. I am ready for summer. It is crazy how a couple of days of sunshine will send you mentally into summer plans. Reality is that we live in the PNW and anything is possible.

      Good luck!

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  12. I had absolutely no idea that dandelions were anything but weeds - never mind edible! I might have to look into some recipes. Good luck with your garden and all your plants. Did you just get hit by some bad weather? We did , but it wasn't as bad as I thought. All plants survived :)
    Leigh
    ww.oneandoneequalstwinfun.com

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    1. Isn't isn't it amazing? This is a whole new world for me...don't pull your weeds, eat 'em! I am impressed, twins and a garden. Keep us posted.

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  13. We have a ton of dandelions on our yard and driveway. Using white vinegar will kill them. Just need the time.

    Our garden will grow, once it stops getting down in the 30s here in Michigan. Hopefully later this week.

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    1. I tried vinegar a couple of years back, but I think it rains too much here. I have heard the vinegar works well on a sunny day, which would make sense. We have about a quarter of an acre worth, so I think eating them will win over the vinegar method. LOL thinking warm thoughts for you!

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  14. tried to leave a comment yesterday. I think Blogger hates me, LOL. Couldn't all day. So I tried to answer your weed question on Facebook. But can't figure out how to 'tag' people. Technology...anyways, it's there on my page if you want to read it.

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    1. Blogger demons. You can always write on my FB wall or leave a comment like this : @Mental Chew

      When you type that in, you can choose my fan page and it will tag me. I hope everything works well this week!

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  15. Is the yellow weed a Tansy Ragwort? My weed book says it is common in the PacNorWest.

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    1. Oh geez. It is very possible. I hope not because it is considered a noxious weed here. It is gone now, but I am sure, not for long. Thanks for checking. On my FB page, there are a variety of ideas flying around.

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  16. I don't know what they are called, but we also get the purple one. It looks a bit like mint (or a variety of mint)

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