Basically all I can say is my garden was a total flop this year. Between busy-ness and traveling and the dog, the only things to survive were the sunflowers and zinnias. The tomatoes did okay but certainly not a bumper crop. I will share some pictures from my very pitiful garden, and as a gardener is always the optimist, start planning for a better year next year.
I finally managed to have a chat with my neighbor down the street whom I call the Tomato Guru. He is a fount of information and his tomatoes are always the best in this area! The video runs about 4 1/2 minutes long but it is worth watching. Yall have a good 4th!
This is my absolute favorite time of year…when it is well and truly summer. Time for swimsuits and running through the sprinklers and for me, time for the sunflowers to bloom. I watch expectantly every June for the first sign of color on my sunflowers. For when they bloom, I know summer is really here and the squash and tomatoes will ripen very soon.
Today has been a rainy summery day. A nice summer rain is so purifying. It cleans everything, and even though, it is blah and gray today, I know that tomorrow everything will be shiny green and so crisp and clean looking after the washing the rain gives.
I have pictures of my first sunflowers and a few other things from my garden. Hope you enjoy seeing my garden as much as I enjoy sharing it with you. Happy gardening!
I finally got everything planted and it is all looking pretty good. I even have little tomatoes and little squash already. I planted garlic for the first time last fall and it is all looking great! I am very excited about harvesting it. The flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing. It has been a perfect spring around here – not too hot, not too cold, not too much rain – I am so grateful! I keep having nightmares of the floods last year about this time. The worse thing in my garden this year is my new lab puppy, Luke! He stays out of the garden until I am out there and then he starts running in circles around me smooshing everything in his path. He also starts eating the strawberries when I start picking them. Despite Luke, everything is taking off. Enjoy the photos and happy gardening in your own garden.
Everything finally got dry enough that I could plant my potatoes. I think I sat on the potatoes for 2 weeks before I was able to get to the garden when it was still dry. It seemed during those 2 weeks that every time it was dry enough to plant, I had other commitments, and then it would rain. So it all worked out last week and the potatoes are now in the ground. I planted
baby spinach and lettuces, too. This weekend was spent trying to find places to plant my flower seeds – zinnias, mostly, and some marigolds, cosmos, a little cilantro, cockscomb and scarlet poppies. I’m finding that I am a compulsive seed buyer, and saver, and between the two, I have seeds enough for five acres while living on a 1/4 acre! I keep hinting to my very patient husband that maybe we could plant corn and okra and the rest of my flowers in the front yard. He hasn’t directly said no, so maybe…
I keep trying to get out to the garden to work, but the weather has cooperated only sporadically. I managed to plant some cabbage and onions a couple of weeks ago. So far so good, if they dont rot from all the rain and snow! I have my potatoes sliced and waiting for some dry weather to get them in the ground. This year I am planting All Blue, French Fingerling and Red Gold. The girls have already noticed the different colors these offer, so I am very excited about growing them.
Life is busy as usual. I am working very hard on a new community garden here in Claremore. We won some grants, but are still waiting for the actual money to appear! Once we get the financing we are on our way to a very beautiful and exciting gardening adventure. To learn more you can check out my other blog at www.bluestarrcommunitygarden.com. (And, no, starr is not mispelled. Here in Claremore it has two r`s in reference to a name.)
Pray for warm, sunny weather, so we can actually get our gardens planted. Happy Gardening!
I just heard on the news that it is supposed to be colder and wetter than normal for the next 3 months! I know we are at the whim of the weather, but I am sure ready to dig in my dirt. But…its just mud, mud and more mud! Last year I was ready to plant my early lettuce and snow peas, but I cannot even get to the garden without my wading boots! How is it in your neck of the woods? Hope the sun is shining on you!
With 8 inches of snow on the ground and freezing temperatures outside, the only thing one can do in the garden is dream about it from the couch. Now is planning time…time to study last years garden and decide what to do different this year. Reflect on the layout and plantings and harvest, what do you need to expand? How did the design of your garden affect accessibility and aesthetics? Were your paths wide enough? Could you get to everything easily to pick the fruit? Did you have too much of one thing and not enough of the other? What worked and what did not?
Reflecting and recording are two favorite past times of good gardeners. Write down your thoughts and new ideas. Study the seed catalogs and order new seeds for the Spring. The vision of your new garden will enable you to weather the winter blues without too much cabin fever.
Enjoy the snow – it is summers irrigation!
How many of you have a big stack of seed catalogs sitting on your coffe table? If your like me, you have five or more beautiful, colorful seed catalogs to cheer up your winter blues.
I sit and dream and think about all the different things I would like to grow this next spring. I have circles hundreds of dollars worth of seed in just 2 catalogs! Of course, I will not order that much but it is fun to dream.
How do you choose what to order? There are so many choices, though not as many as there were 80-100 years ago. I choose based on what was fun last year but maybe I did not plant enough or I want to try a different variety. Take potatoes, for instance, last year they grew quite well but I did not plant very many. This year I want o plant several different varieties as well as more of each. The varieties I am considering are All Blue, French Fingerling and Caribe. I also choose seeds based on just plain interesting. Maybe it is something I have never tried before or it is something neat that I want to show the kids or something I think they will like, like Mexican Sour Gherkins, Hardy Kiwi and Luffa Gourds. Of course, my garden is a work and progress and I plant half the things I dream about and half the things I already have or can get at the Farm.
My eyes are bigger than my yard, as the saying goes!
So…what does one do with a whole, whole bunch of green tomatoes? Why, make pickled green tomatoes, of course!
I was determined not to throw all those green tomatoes away, so I did a little searching and found a great canning recipe for Pickled Green Tomatoes on allrecipes.com.
Now, it was time to try my hand at canning for the first time ever. I quizzed several friends and neighbors on the process – if I would need anything special to do it or not. I found out that all you need are some big deep pots, the jars and a sense of adventure!
The Day of Canning commenced with me getting everything ready. I had sliced the tomatoes the night before and refrigerated them per the recipes instructions and now was ready to do the thing. I started boiling jars and lids and the vinegar and tomato concoction and it all just came together…after about 5 phone calls to Mom, that is!
Truly, this was so fun and much easier than I expected. I just finished canning the second batch today. Now, I am hooked. I keep trying to come up with something else to can! I highly recommend this to any beginner. I had been totally intimidated by all the `rules` I thought went into canning, but it was not that bad once I got going. And it is a great way to store excess produce from your garden!