If you haven't read Mel Bartholomew's book Square Foot Gardening, it's worth a look, IMO. Big crops in little spaces, and lots of info about how far apart to space seeds and other details. There's a website if your library doesn't have the book.
I didn't get the big tubs planted yet. Probably won't till next week. I have so many planters to build and can't wait to get started. Don't know when that will happen though. So many other projects. I do plan to build a new table garden soon though. I salvaged a huge electrical panel box a couple years ago, and I have the legs I salvaged when we trashed the old one because it was falling apart. All I need are some self tapping screws to attach the legs, which I will get this weekend. Should be a quick project, and then we can grow stuff like lettuce and kale conveniently on our deck.
05-18-2019, 11:18 AM
Won't have a garden this year, but I do have plans to start working towards next year. My first goal is to fix a flower bed next to the house. I feel like it's too low, so I'd like to add another layer of landscaping blocks. Inlaws have some on the side of their house. They aren't the color I want, but I think I can mix them in with the ones I have and make it look like that's how it was meant to be. Then I'll move dirt from my raised bed to fill in the flower bed and fill in some holes the dogs have dug. Then dh can straighten up the side of the raised garden. I'll have to buy some new dirt for the raised garden and get it ready. Hopefully it will be ready for next year. Dgd was talking about strawberries. I used to have some of the best, but the weeds took over and they were all gone. I think if we grew some of our own veggies and dgd helped me, she would want to eat more vegetables. I did see a nice potted tomato plant at Tractor Supply yesterday. I don't know how much it was, but I should get something like that for the deck and maybe one more that I could grow some cucumbers in. I know it's getting late in the season, just thinking here.
05-18-2019, 01:29 PM
@jettsmom, it's a good idea to plan ahead. You don't have to rush things -- it seems like there is never enough time in the spring to get it all done -- and you can take advantage of summer clearance sales and freebies. I pick up fading perennials late in the season, on clearance, and plant them for next year. You will want to plant bulbs in the fall, too. You can start a compost pile now and have it ready for next year.
I went out this morning and put new seed down. More lettuce, some yellow squash, an entire packet of peas. I thought I had spinach, but don't so I planted more chard. Radishes are starting to bolt and they haven't fattened up yet. :( Hoping this rain slows them down. A second cucumber came up this morning. Usually they are so vigorous I have 6 of them by now. It's been sprinkling off and on all morning, I didn't mind since it was cool. Finished just in time. Came in to wash my hands and heard a huge crack of thunder. Everything should get watered in good.
05-20-2019, 12:19 PM
jettsmom - starting slow is good. I generally buy started tomatoes and cucumbers from my local farmer's market. I do need to get some more tomato plants this coming Saturday. I was in a rush this past weekend so didn't stick around long enough to get another tomato plant.
My peas and (currently single) tomato plant are doing well. My cukes are holding their own but haven't really grown much - above ground at least. I think this coming weekend I will finish turning the soil and putting in the seed tape in. I have enough room to try that out this year. It's carrots and turnips. I do need to replace my lavender plant.
My strawberries are coming along well. However I'm finding that some critters (either ants or the m/voles) are munching on them before I get there.
05-20-2019, 08:50 PM
I agree with the slow start. After a few years on my property I am finally understanding what will/won't grow and what my time/motivation limits are.
i'm heading down perennial lane! I put in hops (don't even make beer but other people like to get the hops and they will grow), lovage (like celery but perennial and not picky about soil and water), horseradish, and just added rhubarb, toraji (supposed to be like a ginger) and "good king henry" a perennial green like spinach. Also doing garlics.
for 2 new garden beds a dude tilled up for me...bigger than I asked for...I put in whatever seeds I had left over and some local potatoes that had sprouted. I'll find out what will grow and I'm not out anything since the seed was left over. Then i got over excited and bought a few local squash seeds since I have space for that. Hopefully I will remember to save seeds from farmers market squash this year.
05-20-2019, 10:44 PM
Jettsmom, try some unique veggies like different color carrots, blue potatoes, or purple string beans to see if your granddaughter is interested. Fun stuff.
If you throw dog crap into holes they've dug before you refill it, they won't dig in that spot again.
I looked all over for royal burgundy bean seeds because I ran out, but I couldn't find them in stores and they're spendy online. But while I was looking, I found out they're heirloom seeds. Woohoo! Now I'm extra hopeful they will do well this year, so I can save a few pods and refill my empty seed envelope for free. I would love that! So now I have to research how to know when to pick them and how to handle them after picking so they're seed instead of food. I like growing these because they're easy to see when picking, as the purple beans stand out against the green leaves. *fingers crossed* for a good crop in our little 14 ft row.
I potted 6 of the tomatoes I've been growing this spring. The roots don't seem well developed and I don't know why, so I don't know if they will live. All I can do is wait and see.
We dug out the parts for the table garden and hope to get that put together soon. The salvaged electrical panel box is 5'7" x 22" x 6" so I hope it will be a good place to grow lettuce and kale and other small crops. We decided to put the table garden in the small fenced area around the new raised bed instead of on the deck. It's starting to look like something out there. Don't know how it's going to go okay or if the critters will get everything. They don't seem to care about peas and beans and only do minor damage to cucumbers, so maybe we'll get something from those.
05-22-2019, 05:08 PM
Took advantage of the wet soil and pulled a couple square feet of "ornamental grass" out of my iris/day lily bed. That's a joke. Last week at the community garden they were giving away pots of ornamental grasses for free. I said no thanks. I have enough grass in my garden already. :)
Planted some dianthus plugs I have had for weeks. If they get established they will survive for about 3 years and flower most of the year. I don't remember if I tried to plant any last year, but it is all dead now so I put new ones in.
Planted marigold seed I had saved from last year. Had some really large orange ones I pinched from the community garden, but can't find it. So dwarf yellow and medium orange seed went in. Also spread seeds saved from a beautiful large pink chrysanthemum we had last year.
Below the deck, on the sunny side I spread "mixed garden flowers" and chamomile I got in a seed swap. We'll see if any of it comes up.
05-23-2019, 04:53 PM
Had a really good harvest of strawberries yesterday and have a lot still in the garden. I would've stopped off before work to pick up more but it was starting to rain. I didn't want muddy work shoes. (Although I could've used the other pair of shoes I have stashed in the car.)
I think my cukes are starting to come along. I planted the seed "tapes" with the carrot, turnip, and beet seeds. We'll see how that works out. I planted my new lavender plant but I know I'll need to put in some more soil.
One really interesting thing I saw Tuesday afternoon when I stopped by the garden was the red-tailed hawk. It had caught something in a successful hunt and ended up eating it on the branch of one of the old trees on site. A blue jay kept dive-bombing the hawk to get it to leave but the hawk just ignored the jay while eating its dinner.
06-05-2019, 12:58 AM
I got my cucumbers and peppers planted. Peas are coming up and look good. Went around and snipped the tops off all the garlic. The radishes are flowering, never did get anything from them. Going to try the radish leaf pesto recipe this weekend, when I pull them all out so the carrots can grow. Lettuce is looking good, but coming SLOW. I put in a bunch of yellow squash seed a couple weeks ago and it looks like it all germinated. My green onions look more like leeks from all the rain we've had. The old strawberry bed is cleaned out, mulched and the front cover removed. There are several wild tomatoes growing, I will encourage them. Also a few volunteers in the larger garden. I put cages around them already.
DH and I talked about the redbud in the middle of the yard and decided it is coming out sometime this year. We don't own a chainsaw, so it will be one branch at a time as DH can manage. Yesterday afternoon I went looking for pictures. Here is the comparison between 1999 when we moved in (taken in late summer) and now (taken this morning):
Yeah, wowzers. I had not realized the box elder (big tree on the left) grew so much. No wonder branches are falling off it. And it looks like hermits live here. You can't even see my garden (it's that green mess under the redbud). You can see why I've been waiting for that redbud to fall down.
I really need to prune and clean up those lilacs by the deck some more.
06-05-2019, 12:38 PM
I have some new flower garden plans. We are getting ready to paint the exterior of the house. When we are finished, I plan to redo all the flower beds around the house.
On one side of the house, I used to have some hostas, but our rescue dog dug them up and would sleep there. I'm going to clean it up and plant wild flowers in his honor. He passed away this weekend.
The other side I had a nicer bed. I want to raise it up and have access to some free landscaping blocks so we'll use those. They don't match, but we'll mix them in so it looks like it was supposed to be that way. I'll get another yellow rose for our very first dog. I don't know what happened to the ones that were there originally. And I'll add some lavender for the other dog that passed this weekend. He was always scared of storms and since lavender has a calming effect, I'll plant some for him.
We also have plans to clear out under the deck. The weeks and junk are getting out of hand. I hate to spend the money, but we really need to get that under control.
Since I'll be needing more dirt to fill in the flower beds, I'll use the dirt in the raised garden. Then dh can straighten the side that is falling and I can refill it with a different, better mixture of soil. If I can get to it and can still find strawberry plants later in the year, I'll put those in so maybe they'll produce a few for next year.
I would like to redo the front flower bed too, but the landscaping blocks would cost too much and we've always talked about turning it into a porch, so I just need to dig EVERYTHING up and clear it out. It's become overgrown with weeds and my tulips and daffodils need to be thinned out too. They aren't blooming anymore.
We also have a tree in the front that needs trimming. Last night we noticed it is hanging over the house and in the gutter. We trimmed a lot last year, but I guess it wasn't enough.
06-05-2019, 03:26 PM
I do need to get back into the garden more. I've fallen into the once-a-week routine. Part of the problem is that I've been busy on Saturdays for the last several weeks. Then there's the thunderstorms in the evenings during the week.
My strawberries seem to be mostly done for the season. I think the ants got almost half of the crop. :lol: The tomatoes are doing fine and the cucumbers are finally starting to come along. I need to train them on the trellises so I don't end up stepping on them. I bought bush peas this year, instead of the pole peas. One row started but the other didn't. No flowers on them yet. I hope I get something from them. Don't see anything from the two strips of root veggies I tried out this year. Oh well. Someone (from my garden) told me they didn't have success using those seed tapes.
I pulled out my old lavender plant (finally died this year) and replanted a new one in its place. So far it hasn't died yet. There's another lavender plant, someone planted in the herb patch.
06-08-2019, 12:22 PM
my lovage is now taller than me! I am learning how to cook with it andto eat the greens (bit bitter so a vinaigrette goes well). The chard in a cold frame bolted before it made leaves. I think the soil or temperature was wrong. The garlic all looks pretty good. I hope the gophers and deer let me have some. I'm afraid the deer are going to get hungry enough to eat it after the nightly tap dancing class they are holding in the garden.
06-08-2019, 06:44 PM
Tomatoes got planted. They are closer together than I would like, but with the redbud taking up over half my planting bed now I didn't have much choice.
DH spent some time trying to repair the fancy automatic water timer we have. I'm not sure if it is working or not. He said he set it for 15 mins and it ran for 2 hours. It might have been a user error.
06-09-2019, 01:01 PM
Got some time in the garden today. Picked radish leaves, left the flower stalks for the pollinators. Weeded a lot. And then weeded some more. Took a few small low branches off the redbud so light could get into my herb bed, it is completely covered by the tree. Thinned a little garlic to see how it is doing, will use it in my recipe tonight. Tomatoes I put in yesterday all look good, no wilting overnight. Put the sprinkler on the side that has the lettuce and chard, it's getting dry. Dry week ahead, too.
DH cut wood and started a fire in the smoker just to get rid of some of it. I think we will just burn some today. I may throw some hot dogs on at lunch.Attachment 48913
06-10-2019, 12:15 PM
I'm more motivated to get to my raised garden. My dgd came over this weekend and talked about planting lettuce. She watches Peppa Pig and I think they have an episode about gardens. She's really excited about planting a garden. As soon as the one side of the house is painted, I'll get busy on the side flower bed. Dgd will love helping me with it. She loves to help out. We talked Friday night about all the plans for the garden and flower beds. She's excited too. Since it will be a bit cooler out today, maybe I'll start cleaning out the beds.