All posts filed under: Garden

Sacked.

                And the rain keeps coming, in downpours, torrents. With flooding all around us, they say this is a record breaking year. It is also a garden breaking year if it keeps up. With only a couple of types drowned, the beans are surprisingly unphased and the melons and then some are trying to put on, but most plants have been stunted. Next year, perhaps. In the meanwhile, attentions have turned back toward the house between summer vacations. Specifically the handful of flora planted have done well and while working on a few decorative projects for them it occurred to me to share a sort of addition to a previous post. While the five gallon bucket container concept may not be the most attractive of planters, they can be both hidden and dolled up. A group of them can be corralled in lattice of equal height to the buckets, lending a quick camouflage. But if you would like to use them as a light weight container for dwarf elephant ear rather than …

Rainy days and container concepts

Early harvest time is here and every day brings more lettuce and spinach. And with the daily harvest comes nearly constant rain, storm after storm. While some storms are more nerve-wracking than others, being trapped indoors has led to a spike in productivity on a laundry list of new and old projects, a boon since recent work trips out of state have left no days to be lost. But the downside of the constant rain, among other things, is hoping all the young plants don’t drown, mildews and molds don’t take hold, and plants aren’t lost to sogginess. The first bed of potatoes is in a spot that seems to hold water especially well and they are developing what looks like early signs of rust. Next year’s rotation will be a completely different lay out, living and learning as it were. But the first corn seedlings made it up and all the beans are growing except the newly planted cowpeas which may or may not rot in the ground if this weather keeps up. Half the greenhouse yield is now transplanted and the recently …

Baby Bok Choy Udon Bowl with Poached Egg

April has arrived and per the adage she brings with her showers. A week’s worth at least according to the forecast and in taking full advantage this week is all about seeds that can be broadcast at our house. In areas tedious to mow and bordering to the woods, I have broadcast all my favorite wildflowers, a few dozen types from indian blanket and lupines to black eyed susan and coneflower, almost all native and all capable of reseeding themselves. Low maintenance is nice. But with still more old overgrowth to clear, the busiest gardening month arrived, and the house’s interior to finish, unfortunately the fencing projects and our chicken coop have to be put off, for now.                    Most days are gray and cloudy lately, but just enough humidity hangs and just enough warm sun comes through to spur on the baby bok choy. It probably doesn’t help having planted a bit too much to keep up with, but I adore fresh bok choy. The cool rain inspired soup cravings, so I opted to make a sort of play on some favorite Asian soups, mixing and …

On sets

There are those to whom the cutting scent of a freshly sliced onion is acrid and unpleasant, but to me it’s a sharply clean delicious smell, pungently sweet, a salvatory crier of summer when the first faint scent of wild onion being cut down by the mower drifts in through the open window and perhaps no one misses a few slices taken of the sweet Vidalia being cut for sandwiches. Yes, I am the kind who eats onion raw and unashamedly so. Thus it is that while I enjoy growing onions from seed, I find amending the garden with onion sets for an earlier crop of onions and a still earlier crop of green onions to be the best option. For those of you of like mind, or those who simply want to skip growing your onion from seed, here is a quick and simple guide to setting up an onion bed and planting sets or plants: Plants or sets? Completely your choice. Plants have the green tops and sets don’t so be sure you put …

Waste not

Not one for wastefulness, as we’ve worked at cleaning up the overgrowth and saplings choking each other for space in the long unkempt wooded section of our property, I’ve tried to find use for every tree of any size that has to come down aside from just firewood. (All that pine is no account for firewood anyway.) Those paired with the two stacks of forgotten building materials left by the former owners have become the primary materials in building the framework of my garden. From deer fencing corner posts to bed frames, they have played a role in every job involved in building the garden spot saving both money and waste.         That in mind, a year and some change ago I shared an entry on the other blog about using otherwise unneeded palettes and cinderblocks for building a garden bed and so well does the idea work that I decided to share it again. These palette bed frames are too shallow for larger plants, but for leaf lettuces, herbs, and other surface crops …

Seedlings

It feels innately warm, the virescence of spring, the electric glow of green budding against an often grey or pallid blue sky. Inside, for over a month, tiny cups of earth have been scenting the house, warm and ancient and fertile. And every day for the last few weeks, a new raised disturbance in the surface of the soil, a loop all serpentine and pale milky whitish green appears, one leaf, then two, unfolding and stretching and rolling out in a slow vaguely feline style.   And every time I pass the counter where they’ve taken shelter from the passing snows, I smile. The heart shaped pairs of purple green leaves on the baby cabbage, pointy long stems of onions and leeks unfurling like tiny whips, the heart like curls of eggplant and peppers first leaves, the showy bold overachievers that are rapidly growing young tomatoes. Every year come beginning of February, newspaper page after newspaper page is rolled into tiny cups and seeds are begun, tiny wishes for spring, tiny hopes for tomorrow. And hour after …