30 April 2019

last sowing

I planted the asian greens, tatsoi and mizuna, in front of the last bed, alongside the fordhook chard. The poles are for the pole beans, which I sowed in pots on a windowsill and will transplant out later (because the squirrel will dig up and eat the seed out of my garden).
The clematis has grown a lot. I had to tie up a few of its vines that were draping outwards. There's some of the red russian kale to the left of the clematis, in the mulched bed.

useful tank

I found several uses for my leaky ten-gallon tank. I put half-full bags of last-year's soil under it on a black mat, the temperature in there climbed over 160°. Hoping if it was a virus that sickened my tomato and cucumber plants last year, this kills it. Mixed the soil one-third old with two-thirds new, amended with compost and crushed eggshells as well.
On cold nights, a few of my potted plants fit under it, a makeshift glass cloche protection. So I don't have to bring as many inside.

eating kale

Cut a lot of kale the other day, made a stir-fry dish over brown rice and quinoa. It was almost too pretty to eat
especially the reverse side
dropped the discarded midribs into a cabbage leaf (which I didn't grow) while I was prepping the food, to carry out to the compost pile later-


the garden has been growing. I've been out there almost every day and no extra time to sit down and show the photos- until now taking a break from midday heat. This spring I dug into the garden not only my own compost, but also some "soil ammendment" a friend gave me (leftover after she planted some shrubs). Well I think I overdid it some- a lot of the plants have grow hugely, and faster than I recall ever before- but are somewhat lacking in taste. The lettuce bed is really full- but my favorite light ruffly black-seeded simpson doesn't have the sweetness I recall from past years.
(No, I have not made any progress rebuilding the sides of the beds)
Collard leaves are now large as my hand
So are the arugula-
and already bolting into pinwheel flowers
Peas are starting to climb their little fence. Rear row lags behind- maybe it doesn't get as much light.
fordhook giant chard has come up!
Beets look promising
I dug out a lot of borage seedlings- here's one in front of the leeks.
Also pulled a ton of volunteer tomato, dill, cosmos and echinacea seedlings. I can't identify these. Their seedling leaves reminded me of basil, but the true leaf is different?
Nepitella is grown enough maybe I could start to eat it
Sage looks like it's doing fine now!
Lemon balm is so thick I am going to start using it fresh for tea soon- and compost what's left of it frozen from last summer.
rear view of it all:

25 April 2019

baby leaf!

I lost one of the thanksgiving cactus cuttings my grandmother let me take. Happy yesterday to see that of the two left, one is finally showing new growth!

24 April 2019

moved into earth

This morning I transplanted more echinacea into the triangle spot between my yard/driveway edge and the neighbors, removing the last of the grass there. I didn't make a completely straight line, hm. The plants look really sad and the neighbor's lawn service has already run over my autumn sedums there once, I hope they are more careful in future. Maybe I will need to put in some edging. At the end of the echinacea row (which I didn't photograph as the new ones look very sad- though dozen I put in earlier are doing well) I planted three of the hyssop.
After looking up more about this plant's growing habit I decided to try it on either end of the front yard. It just might come back as a perennial, or self-seed. This one is on the further side of the front yard-
in front of euonymus and yellow salvia. So very small hardly noticable yet, so I really hope it doesn't get stepped on.
I also planted out the little cranesbill-
and in this case put a ring of stones around it, so kids will notice it and not step there
overhead photo from the porch- that's the parent plant on right, cranesbill scion on the left
one lovage got planted out today also-
in the empty place where I took out sweet peas this spring
I have more to do- it was too hot in the middle of day to continue so this was a break- will post update later.

23 April 2019

today was hot

so I moved all the young plants out of the plastic coldhouse and into shade on the deck table
Outside temp was just above eighty, inside the coldhouse was 120°. I was hoping it could get hot enough in there to sterilize the potting soil my tomatoes used last year- I saved it all but not sure if they had a disease so hoped to kill whatever pathogen might have been. However (according to info online- reliable? not sure-) it has to get up to 160° for that.
Some of my cosmos are as tall as the coldframe sides now
A lot of them are budding
A few mairgolds have opened already
the amaratto basil sure is pretty
Zinnias are getting too big for their little folded pots
Tomatoes shot up overnight it seems- I'm ready to plant them
This one chervil still in a small pot, was sheltered longer than those I put in the planter box, and looks better- more upright and sprightly
Chives are budding! and near to filling their pot completely.

growing fast

Last week we had rain and thunderstorms, today it was up to 82°. Wow a ton of stuff is springing up in the yard. Joe pye weed 'chocolate' :
My giant hostas on the side yard:
Sensitive fern I transplanted in a row alongside the hosta are unfurling now
More hostas- these I moved last year also- under the holly shrub
Lily of the valley are blooming:
The red/bronze huecherella look better now they've gained some size:
My peonies are rocketing up. Really want to put a few more in this year!
Black-and-blue salvia made it to spring!
I'm very happy to see the milkweed growing
Gladiolas! quite a few new ones, too- I think they're multiplying
My sedums around the stump came up faster than ever this spring
I'm not crazy about the rose, but it too looks very healthy and vibrant
Not sure if it's just because I'm so happy to see all the plants reappearing, but they look better than ever- they all seem larger, richer in color than before. It could just be that the plants are better established, or that I'm getting better at taking photos with the camera- but I'd like to think their health and vigor has improved because I've been breaking up all sticks that fall on the lawn and leaving them to disintegrate naturally under the shrubs and perennials. (A nice side effect of this is that when my kids hear sticks snapping underfoot, they know they've stepped too close to a plant I'm tending!)