Monday, April 29, 2013

Blogging outdoors and pics of what is growing.

Its  a bit chilly out today but its been so nice i decided to take the laptop outside and try making my entry from the table in the driveway.  Its interesting how 65 degrees indoors on a winter day can feel so cold,  but 65 degrees outdoors in the spring feels balmy.  Unfortunately its the breeze that is bringing a bit of chill to the air and the sun is behind a bit of hazy clouds right now.  But that should be clearing up soon.  Its supposed to reach the high 60's today and Thursday is expected to be in the 70's.   Sounds fine to me!

So far nothing iss flowering of course,  but leaves are popping out all over.  I managed to get the fruit trees sprayed yesterday and my dad delivered me a new trailer load of well-rotted horse manure. The garden badly needed some fresh poop.  My soil is rather sandy and the organic matter from the other year has broken completely down,  so we needed some fluffy richness.

Here is one of the goji plants setting out some nice healthy leaves
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This is the male seabuckthorn
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And the female
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One of the beach plums waking up
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One of the cherries
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Blueberry and lingonberry
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A not-so-good photo of Stanley's leaf buds
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Autumn olive
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The other cherry
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The elderberries
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The grapes are still sleeping.  If i remember correctly,  they don't begin to leaf out until the apple is about to bloom.
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Speaking of the apple...
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Hubby, spreading out the manure for me.
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We still have piles of garden rubbish that needs to be burned,   but we have not had rain for quite a while so its been too dry to safely burn anything.   No rain in the forecast either for the next week or so.  If we don't get rain we will probably have to cart off the stuff and let it break down in a pile somewhere.

I may start bring out the brassica seedlings to begin hardening them off today or tomorrow.  I need to get the sunflowers started and i'm a bit late on trying to get some herbs started.  I had a number of things that didn't germinate quite the numbers i had hoped for,  so i may have some gaps to fill.

I'm hoping my dad will be able to come by this weekend and till the soil,  i'm hoping for two tills before planting.  This should disrupt many of the weeds and get the warmth deeper into the soil.  It may not matter in the end because we are going to try using black plastic in the rows this year to block out all those confounded weeds.  But i won't be able to use it on the bush bean rows or the potatoes,  so its best to do what we can to keep the weeds in check.

Speaking of potatoes,  my Adirondack blues came in last Thursday.  My daughter is happy with the skin color of them.  We won't get a look inside until its time to chunk them up to plant,  but i bet they will look pretty cool.   I have grown a few blue potatoes before...  i think they were All Blues,  i got a small box of them from Walmart one year,  enough for just a little plot in one of my little gardens many years back.

I ordered 10 Sparkle strawberry plants that should be arriving soon,  they didn't come today.  I was going to put them in a container,  but i'm not sure which one i might use.  I almost hope they are out of stock and i'll get a refund or credit,  because i ran out of options.  I used to have a round, white pot by the front door.  Its been here since before we bought the house 10 years ago.  It finally developed a big crack in the side so it was time to go.  I'm replacing it with my big terracotta-looking pot that is about 3'x12".
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  I was going to put the strawberries in there,  but i kind of want flowers in there since its going to be in the front...  i was thinking the nasturtiums would look nice. But then,  i want strawberries and since i don't really have many purely decorative flowering plants anymore a big pot of strawberries won't be out of place with my landscaping.  So, we'll see.  If the strawberries are out of stock (they were in stock when i ordered,  but the next day they were listed as sold out,  and i'm pretty sure Pinetree is good at updating their stock accurately-  but this time of year things run out fast and they are very busy so things might slip through.)  I did just look across the yard and remembered this:
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Maybe that will be the place for the "nasties".

The goji seeds i planted for my mom have come up nicely,  one is really big and the others look fine.  The schizandra are not doing anything noticeable yet.

*Sigh*  I just can't wait to plant the garden and enjoy a warm summer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Setting up the greenhouse and seedling shots.

So,  last week hubby bought me this:

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I finally got to set it up yesterday.

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I didn't really expect so many parts.  Working from the parts list,  everything was present.

First round:
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Second round:
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Third round:
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I didn't bother to put on the plastic cover yet.  It needs to be staked down first or it will blow over.

I think it took me about an hour,  seems sturdy enough,  it is lightweight,  but its easy to move.  Staking will make up for the weight.  I wouldn't call it flimsy,  but its not a brick house by any means!

Now for the seedlings.

The goji are coming up nicely
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Nasturtiums, basil, borage, schizandra and Ancient sweet peppers.
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The basil came up quickly and the Ancient pepper seeds must have been extremely fresh because all three seeds are up faster than any pepper seeds i have ever grown. No signs of sprouting from the schizandra though.


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More have come up since i took this picture on Saturday.  Looks like all but one pot sprouted in the last couple days.  I expect that last one will come up soon.

Aunt Molly's ground cherries and broccoli.  The bubbles brussels sprouts never came up.  I'll reuse the pots with some more nasturtium seeds.

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The leonotis isn't coming up,  but the tea hibiscus are.  The green shiso is up,  but the red is not.  Then the red Russian kale,  2 out of 3 appeared.
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Zsazsa peppers, Snapper peppers and Raveena eggplant.  One Zsazsa pepper came up eventually, then the other two began to come up...but they haven't moved a bit since.  One single parsley came up.

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Lilac buds are swelling:
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The maples are beginning to bloom.
Apple tree's buds are starting to get bigger.  Elderberries are waking up,  i noticed the cherry plants are looking like they are waking up too.  The seabuckthorn are putting out some tiny leaves.  I pruned the Stanley plum a little yesterday and released him from his stake.

I'll take more and better pics when i don't have to keep one eye trained on an active 4-year-old child!  lol

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Look at what hubby bought me!

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$70.00 at Big Lots.  Some people love them,  some people hate them,  but i have had 2 of these types of greenhouses and have used them for more than 3 years,  so i'm all excited.  I expect this will greatly help me with hardening-off plants.  I plan to use my 30 gallon mini-pond tub as a heat sink and a white sheet to shade and hold in the warmth.  I think it will be a valuable piece in my gardening arsenal.  I'll take more pics when i get it set up.  It was too cold to play outside today.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Finally planted some more!

I got all of the tomatoes planted, the schizandra, some borage, basil, the Ancient sweet peppers and nasturtiums.

Cherokee Purple
Martino's Roma
Matt's Wild Cherry
Mortgage Lifter
San Marzano Lampadina
San Marzano from Providence Acres

Nasturtium- Trailing mix
Borage- common
Basil- Genovese

Sweet Peppers- Ancient

and 26 Schizandra Chinensis seeds.

I didn't take pictures of the dirt filled pots,  but i do have pics of things i saw in the last few days:

Not sure if this is a mushroom or a lichen.
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The colors were really that blue

And this is a picture of an oak leaf that melted straight into the ice:
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I scraped a teeny bit of bark off one of my Carmine Jewel cherry plants and saw green!  Looks like this one made it ok so far
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Moving some pieces of wood,  i noticed one with what looks like toe prints
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Garden looks so awful at this time of year.  Its hard to believe that in a few months it will be green again
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It finally feels like Spring is here

On Friday morning i was taking the dog out to do her business and i saw this:

Worm Castings
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It doesn't look like much but if the worms are tossing up castings it means the ground is thawing out.

This is what was left of the snow in the yard on Friday:

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Did i post that my Ancient Sweet Peppers came in?
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My Hoya pubicalyx philippine black chimera is getting ready to bloom for the first time:

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The rhubarb is waking up:

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Saturday was beautiful and warm,  i had the windows open and i spent the day out in the sun just soaking it in.
Sunday was bright as well,  but the wind was chilly.  We got rain Sunday night and into Monday,  which melted almost all the rest of the snow in the yard.  The weather cleared up nicely later on Monday.  I took my 4 year old daughter out to play for a bit,  but she started misbehaving so we had to go back in.
Today is cloudy and chilly again and tomorrow is supposed to be quite cold,  but the rest of the week  is forecast to be around the 50's and sunny.  I'm actually seeing flurries out the window right now.

Three out of the 5 gojiberry seeds i planted for my mom have come up.  Aunt Molly's ground cherries have too.  The schizandra seeds are done with their 30 day stratification and need to be planted.   I haven't gotten any more seeds started lately,  i had planned to over the weekend but i spent Saturday enjoying the weather and spent Resurrection Sunday with family.  I need to get going on those peppers and get those tomatoes started!