31 May 2010

more beets!

 don't they look yummy?

I finally pulled out the overwintered ones that were making stems. They shot out long scraggly arms like this,

with tiny yellow flowers on them crawling with ants and black bugs that look like aphids.

Not very attractive.

more peas!

tulip seed?

There are these very curious forms on the top of stems from some of my faded Tulip plants.

They look like big seed pods to me.

I didn't know Tulips made seed like this. I've only ever seen bulbs for sale. So now I'm wondering if I can dry the pods, grow the seeds, and spread more tulips through my yard. Kind of silly, as I'm not really fond of tulips, but they do give easy color in the front yard for a good part of the spring, and the plant that's doing this, at least one I think is my favorite of all the colors- the purple. Of course, I don't know if the seeds would make the same color flowers, or different ones...

30 May 2010


The first Broccoli head is forming!


There is a crazy amount of volunteer Cilantro growing among my cauliflowers and broccolis.

The ones I planted from seed to ring the cucumber patch have just started emerging.

I want to let them get a little bigger before I transplant the young cucumbers in (still in pots).

29 May 2010

damage control

Even though the rain is encouraging slugs, I think I've finally halted most of the damage on my new Green Bean plants. I was happy that almost every seed I planted (which I saved myself from last year's plants) came up, but they all got chewed quickly by slugs.

Between covering the plants with cloches at night, spreading rough coffee grounds around the base of them, and hand-picking what slugs I find, the damage seems to have slowed down a lot. At least, the new leaves coming on are hardly touched now at all, so I'm hopeful they'll continue to grow and give us beans soon, without much trouble. (We ate the end of last year's frozen green beans just a few weeks ago).

after the rain

I always expect the heavy rains to come in spring, but they really hit us at the beginning of summer. So in between bouts of lightning storms and half-day downpours, I survey the garden. Everything's growing like crazy, so once it dries out a bit I'll have tons of weeding to do. This is what's going on now in that strip I've been trying to settle with, between the side of the house and driveway.

The Marigolds I planted from seed are coming up

and in other parts of the garden as well, where they'll serve some protection from pests (I hope).

The ones I transplanted in are already forming buds. I hope they grow a bit larger!

The Sunflowers I moved in, only one has taken off and grown a lot

Another died, and the rest are middling-small size still.

What's growing mostly, here is- Purslane! You can see it in all the pictures, carpeting the ground in teeny plants. I should never have encouraged it if I didn't want it to be the feature here. Really, I like the Purslane when it gets nice and bushy, and it seems to like the spot. Problem is, it doesn't start coming back until June. So all spring it's either bare ground or weeds. I'm beginning to think I should dig up my Marigolds and move them into the veggie garden, and let the Purslane take over for the season. I need to find a plant that will fill the space in spring, then die out when the purslane comes in. Maybe I should plant some crocus there? but I think there'd still be a gap of dead space...

On another note, the Daylily patch I made at the bottom of this space, is looking beautiful. Blooms on tall stalks all over the place. Here's a few views of it

and a closeup.
And they're still doing a very good job of keeping water out of my mudroom, no matter how hard it rains!

28 May 2010


It's been a while since I paid much attention to the plants in my windowsills, apart from watering them. Today I checked up on them all more closely.

The creeping plants brought inside are doing well, only a few stems died.

They're filling in nicely.

Funny, where the stems hang over, once they hit the ground (or here, sill) new leaves grow up at a right angle. I'm guessing this is where they would root themselves again.

My jade looks nice, too.

Its little scions show no signs of growth, but I know there are roots in there.

The plants I grew (I still think) from a kiwi are getting bigger!

This is the geranium bonsai I started from a clipping. It's almost big enough I'll cut the top off to make it branch.

The one I let grow of its own accord is full of leaves, but the moss (I should have figured) got moldy.

Took that all out; cleaner now.

The third one, with the best shape also had mold.

I took out all its moss, too, and trimmed the leaves a bit. Didn't get a good picture the second time round, but you can see the shape of stems a bit.

My carrot-top dishes did not go well. They grew plenty of pretty foliage. But the ones stuck straight in the water, the pieces of root began to disintegrate into orange slime.

And the other one, white fuzz grew on top of the root piece.

So they all got tossed into compost.
 I've seen people do this both ways- with gravel, and without- or at least, seen pictures. I changed the water, but not often enough? or are they only supposed to last a week and then get discarded. Maybe the shards were too big, I should have used fine gravel. Or set the root-pieces just atop the gravel, instead of nested in it? but they they wouldn't have the support... which I suppose is the reason for it. O well. I want to grow some more, because I like looking at the leaves, but I can't stand mold in my plants, so out it went.

27 May 2010


Our first pickings of Peas!

After shelling them all, it doesn't turn out to much- especially when Isa eats half of the ones she opens, straight out of the pod!
 I don't mind, though. Next year I think I have to plant more peas, and only the shelling kind, not the edible-pod kind.


The little Cauliflower head was starting to turn yellow. I heard somewhere that if you cover them with the larger leaves, they stay blanched. So I've gently pinned some up. Afraid it might create a haven for bugs, though...

25 May 2010

tomato and basil

I'm glad I saved a last Tomato plant in a pot, because one of the ones in the garden got eaten. To the ground. I went out one morning and the entire plant was gone, just some shreds of leaves. It was already inside a cage, legs deep in the soil, so I couldn't put a cover over it. I've tried eggshells before and they didn't do much good, but this time scattered coffee grounds all around the base. So far no more damage.

It was one of these cherry ones, grown from seed.

They're still behind the volunteers in terms of growth.

And the Basil planted among them is doing well, too.

24 May 2010


The first Daylily flowers have opened, right outside my window!

And despite the heavy rain we've had this weekend, not a drop of water seeped into my mudroom. Their roots suck it all up on that slope.


My Swiss Chard has grown so huge the leaves don't fit inside my bowl anymore.

The day after rain is best time to pick slugs off the plants; they're so small but do quite a bit of damage. I got at least ten off the chard patch today. The leaves are big enough though, even with cutting out the parts that have holes there's still plenty. I wash them extra with a bit of soap.

This one plant has started bolting. I don't think I can save chard seed; I just learned that chard and beets are in the same family (one we eat the leaves, the other the root) so they would cross.