Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {May 8, 2012}

Every week I think that nothing will get done in the garden and then lo' and behold, it does by some sheer miracle.

This week, I opened my garden journal from last year to see when I did my major planting. It was May 15th. Seeing that it was the 6th, I was feeling pretty good. Last year we had rain. Lots and lots of rain. So much rain that I gave up finding a sunny weekend to plant and went out in the pouring rain and planted most of garden in 45 speedy minutes.

This year, there was no need to race. The sun was shining. The kids were playing. I was digging.

Strawberry plants
I weeded my strawberries for starters and then removed all most of the hay from the beds. I decided to keep it over the gravel between our beds. The weeds and I have had enough of each other. Maybe this will slow them down, ha ha ha. 

Now it was time to plant. 

For some reason, I feel summer edging it's warm fingers into our lives when I am making mounds for my summer squash. 6 for the zucchini. 6 for yellow squash. 4 seeds per mound which will be thinned to 2. Done. I planted three rows of Bantam corn (itty bitty 5 foot rows) at the southern of my largest bed for the Good Apple. He really wants corn and hopefully something will be recognizable by Father's Day. Surprise! The Tiger's Eye beans went in between the corn rows. We will see how that works out. Yes, another experiment in the works and not how I had planned the beds AT ALL. 

Herbs and cucumbers ready to go.
As I was planting, I was thinking about the 30 some containers I have around the yard and I decided to plant 3 varieties of cucumbers (both slicing and pickling), basil and summer savory in 6 containers. Later this week, I will plant some romaine lettuce in containers as well. You do realize that since I freed up all of the space in the beds that I will get to plant something unplanned in there, right? Unplanned space never lasts long around here. Ideas are already whirling around my Teflon Brain (nothing sticks here, it just whirls).  After all of the seeds were nestled in to their new homes, I promptly put chicken wire over the top. Birds

Lil Miss spying on the Towhee
Speaking of birds, the Towhee is back. I am not kidding. Lil Miss and I were moseying about the garden this morning and I could hear his call. Next thing I knew, he popped around the corner as if to say, "Ah ha fool gardener! It is I!" and he started doing his Towhee thing all over the yard. At least my peas are already growing, but I am a bit worried about the corn and the beans. Bird netting time.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned these blood meal "bells" I placed around my tulips to attempt to keep the deer away. They are working. Now that I typed that, I am afraid they will no longer work. But seriously, my tulips are all still standing (except for the spent batches I pulled today). Small miracles. Yeah for the stinky little blood meal bells. I think I will be lining my big beds with them.

White lilac
So, plants are growing. Seeds are planted. You can smell the intoxicating fragrance of the lilacs in the yard and as you walk down the street. Forget-me-nots are peeking out of the planters and pumpkins and gourds are still waiting to be planted. Sunflower starts are stretching their necks toward the sun, much to the pleasure of a certain almost 5 year old. The sun is warm on our shoulders as we fertilize the soil. Good times in the garden.

Finally, the herbs are growing well. A little spindly, but they are growing. Remember how I so wisely labeled them with a dry erase marker? Well, with a little help from a gardener friend and some deductive reasoning, we figure it out. Can YOU identify these herbs? I will have something special for the reader that has the most correct by Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11 PM PST (Mother's Day...don't forget!). Just submit your response in the comments. I will announce the winner during next week's "How Does Your Garden Grow?".

On that note, share with me. How is your garden growing?

 === Past issues of How Does Your Garden Grow? ===


  1. #2 coriander, #7 onion, #8 thyme, #4 basil,#1 dill. Those are my guesses.

    I am adopting Teflon Brain. Nothing sticks here either, but there is plenty of whirling....

    1. Teflon Brain is up for grabs! Thanks for guessing and for stopping by!

  2. Isn't this just the best time of year for a gardener? I love the smell of lilacs. I'm wondering if our dry fall and winter has caused the lilacs in the northeast not to bloom as beautifully as they usually do. Anyway, here are my herb guesses: #1 dill; #2 parsley; #3 thyme; #4 basil; #5 basil; #6 oregano; #7 chives; #8 basil.

    Finally, here's the link to my post this week:


    Have a great week, Val!

    1. Tonya, First, I loved your post. Crack one open for me! My lilacs are not doing marvelously this year and they are late, but they are here. It would be interesting to hear from other readers if they have noticed anything with theirs.

      Thank you for playing along with my herb game ;)

  3. I"m guessing #1 is dill and #2 is cilantro. After that I'm clueless.
    I've got kale, radishes, butter crunch lettuce and peas coming up. I planted a Black Krim tomato and 2 jalapeno plants this weekend. Just in time for it to get down to the 30's last night. That's what I get for jumping the gun. The rest of the tomato and pepper plants will be planted next week (after the official Mother's Day rule) and then will follow up with squash, cucumbers and pumpkin seeds. I can't wait!

    1. Nice crop coming up! I have the same in the works. Have you considered using recycled pop bottles around your plants? If they are too large for pop bottles, I have used 5 gallon buckets at night. Darn frost. I threw my cucumber seeds in ahead of schedule and I am hoping for the best. Those warm sunny days just get me going, but I should know better!

  4. Wow, Val. It looks beautiful! I still haven't started, which is why you haven't seen any gardening link up posts from me. I do plan to go to an Amish nursery on Friday with my good friend. Hopefully I'll find some great gardening gems there and will soon be well on my way. It's been raining the past few days and will continue throughout the week. We are considering having guests over for Memorial Day which means I'll have to have all my planting done before then. Here's hoping for a gardening post next week! :)

    1. Fingers crossed for you my friend! Please write and take pictures at the nursery. It sounds like a wonderful post in the making. (Side note: sorry I haven't been around much...PROJECTS!)

  5. I love your photography! I found your blog through the NW edible life blog. Yay!
    here are my guesses:
    1: cilantro
    2: parsley
    3: some sort of sprouting thing, according to my husband.
    4 and 5: Basil
    6: chives or onions
    7: chamomile

    1. Welcome!! I love your response to #3. Winner!! Who knew? ;) Keep your eyes peeled next Tuesday when I announce who had the most correct guesses. I am heading over to your blog right now.

  6. I wish I had more sun in my back yard, but at least I have enough for a herb garden. The annuals were finally planted last week...so my grocery store bill will go down with no more expensive fresh herb packets :)

  7. i had a similiar situation the first year i decided to grow from seeds- someone tipped over my perfectly arranged seedling tray prior to any sprouts. after that i had no idea what was what for awhile! thanks for the inspiration to document our plants each week! here's my garden this week-

  8. couldn't link up yesterday. It wasn't letting me post comments again :(
    But here's my link: http://www.rowanandoak.com/rowan-oak/2012/05/gardening-weeds-fennel-foeniculum-vulgare.html
    And your garden is looking great! So much good stuff.

  9. How fun! I have nothing going because life took an unexpected detour, but lucky me...there are shops nearby that sell organic starts or almost everything! I hope it is not too ate for strawberries here, but it may be. Everything is looking good there, Val!

    1. dill.
    2. cilantro
    3. parsley
    4. sage
    5. oregano
    6. thyme
    7. chives
    8. basil

  10. Val, is # 6 Mint? That's my only guess. I found some strawberries on campus yesterday, even though I don't garden myself, I will be helping out in our community garden.

    I finally got my corn unit post up. How are your sunflowers doing?


  11. I was just thinking about a garden journal today...what format do you use?


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