Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What the Duck?

I was at the backend of my garden when I saw a couple of ducks flying over the roofs of the neighbors' homes toward the river. As I was wondering where they had been coming from, they landed in a tree.

What? In a tree?
Huh. I must have been wrong. Ducks don't land in trees. But I distinctly remember the way that they flew was very much like ducks. Maybe just some clumsy crows.

Upon closer inspection, they were indeed ducks. Wood ducks, to be precise. Well, now we can all see why they are named that.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Earliest Garden Start EVER!

First flower of 2010 (picture taken 03/14/10).

I'm still working the two jobs, but that will be ending soon - couple more weeks maybe. Then I can really get to work!

I had a 4 day weekend last week, which between that and it being in the high 60s allowed me to get some real-life gardening done! This has to be my earliest start, ever!) My bulbs were already starting to poke up so I had to clear the fall/winter left-overs out to make a clean canvas for them. My compost bin is now stuffed full!

One of my lavender survivors! - for winter protection, I mulched with straw.

Today I decided to take my seed list to Fleet Farm to see if I could find any of it there. I found nearly all of them! and I got each packet for under $1 each, so I was able to get extras - some annual flowers, herbs, and vegetables that I didn't have on my list.

Beet – Detroit Dark red
Rutabaga – American Purple Top
Salsify – Mammoth Sandwich Island
Parsnips – Hollow Crown
Pepper – Long Red Cayenne
Chamomile – German
Dill – Mammoth
Marjoram – Sweet
Fennel – Florence
Kohlrabi – Early White Vienna
White Bush Scallop Patty Pan
Cucumber – Armenian
Cucumber – Boston Pickling
Squash – Delicata
Mesclun – Spicy Mix
Endive – Green Curled Ruffec
Pak Choi – Bonsai

Brussel Sprouts – Long Island Improved
Chinese Cabbage – Michihli
Arugula – Roquette
Bean – Edible Soybean
Snow Peas – Melting Sugar
Carrot – Imperator
Carrot – Danvers Half Long
Carrot – Little Finger
Bean – Slenderette
Nasturtium – Dwarf Jewel Mix
Morning Glory – Picotee Blue
Passion Flower
Cosmos – Sensation Picotee
Bachelor Button – Choice Mix
Alyssum – Carpet of Snow
Zinnia – Persian Carpet
Poppy – California Orange

Almost all of them were the varieties that I was originally intending to buy, some of these items I got in multiples, and I got it all for just a little over $40! So I'm pretty happy with the haul.

I got some potting soil and a few grow trays with extra tall tops, that even included built in sliding vents, for $4 each! I planted one with the spicy mesclun mix for early greens. I had a couple older, shorter ones that I planted with peas, parsnips, pak choi, Chinese cabbage and radicchio. I will be transplanting these to the garden once they get big enough (and I get the garden straightened out).
You can see it is still full of bulbs:

My bulb holding pen is doing good. My giant alliums and blue anemones are even coming up! As soon as the ground thaws enough to break these free, I will be moving them so that I can get started on my vegetable garden. I already planted some peas, turnips, and greens in areas that were not taken up with bulbs or semi-finished compost from last fall.

I put my cheapie greenhouse together again finally. It hadn't been used since the infamous greenhouse fire of 2005. I put the planted grow trays in there. I also made a few milk jug greenhouses and made a window shelf to put them on. In these I planted tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. I've never done milk jug greenhouses before, so I hope it works. These kind of greenhouses are normally used for winter sowing, but I was planning to not buy veggie garden plants this year - so I have to get going on those nightshades!

After all, my garden insists that Spring is here!

Crocuses today. I really need to plant more crocuses!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Near Spring Update

I am thrilled to announce that all my lavender made it through the winter with flying colors. Now, barring any unforeseen disaster, I will have four lavender plants to enjoy this summer! I'm not sure if it was the variety that I picked or the mild winter that we had or maybe that I planted them in sand - but I have LAVENDER!!

Also, some spinach that I planted late last fall for a wishful late harvest that never fruited are still alive and taking off right now! I might have to try that again this year. I might have spinach to harvest by the end of March.

My brussell sprouts are still alive, too! I never got a harvest off them last year, so maybe this spring I can coax some sprouts out of them.

My garlic is sprouting. I still have a good stash from my last harvest, enough to get me through to this bunch's harvest for sure.

The rutabaga that I didn't get harvested in the fall is still growing. I wonder if it will still taste good...

And, of course, there are hundreds and hundreds of bulbs peaking through the earth right now! I CAN'T WAIT!! This spring is going to be awesome!