A garden is a love song, a duet betweena human being and Mother Nature.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How the Vegetable Patch is doing

Well things are looking good here in Georgia, The beets are popping up and getting thinned out.  I am really looking forward to some yummy tasty beets.  My kids love them too and thats a good thing.  Another good thing about beets is that you can eat both the leaf and the root.
This one here is Chioggia it has white and red stripes like a bulls eye when you slice it, Way cool! I can't wait to see it.  The bed is laid out like a grid with old metal blinds I took down (gotta let the sunshine in).  We are also looking forward to the Golden beets.  Won't it be pretty to have a beet salad with all these different colors.
Here is my Boston Picking Cucumber with its first real leaf.  My hope is to be caning Mamas Bread and Butter pickle recipe this summer. YUM!  It has some lettuce poking up next to it keeping it company...I sprinkled some throughout the beets and pickles, making the most of my small bed. It'll get too here in a few weeks and the lettuce will bolt.   So they make good bed partners with slower growers (they encourage each other). The kids and I are going to see if we can grow lettuce in the shade with succession planting throughout the summer. I hope so cause the taste and texture of home grown lettuce is way better.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tomato Raised Beds

I found this idea on Facebook at The Unintentional Urban Farmer, they are full of great ideas.

First the Shopping list for 5 of these.
2 X 8 X 16 Concrete Blocks 20 @ 1.27     $25.40
Caulk Gun                                                      2.67
Heavy Duty liquid Nails                                  2.40

40lb Mushroom Compost                              3.97
50lb Cow Manure                                         4.97
1.5CF Organic Soil Conditioner                     2.97
3CUFT Sphagnum Peat Moss                       11.97
Left over Vermiculite from other bed              Free

Total Cost for 5 raised bed pots with soil     $54.35  
That is $10.87 each (You can't even buy pots for that)


First I went for the graveyard look, though I tried laying them on their side and clamping them it didn't work out very well.  The clamps were too short and I had to rig two together to squeeze one side, so I could only do one at a time, I found the weight of the blocks was enough.  Plus I couldn't work on the patio where it is level because then I would have had to carry these down to the lawn...way too heavy for that.  I left these overnight to dry and they held very well.
Then I went for the modern art look, the graveyard was scaring the kids. I got in a hurry and only let them sit a few hours,The liquid nails did say it would set up in 20 minutes...it didn't hold.  But this turned out to be good, if I wanted to move these it would be hard to do and having two L shapes that rested together on the ground very nicely worked.
Child labor is always a must when doing yard work, plus its free.  Alex is using my new yard toy...that I love!  Its a plastic cart wheelbarrow thing.  Its light enough to carry, if you have more than one they stack and you can wheel it around the yard.  I have used it so far for mixing soil and picking up all the darn sticks to take to the road.  I can see me getting another as I keep my soil in this to pot plants.
Here is the end result with the tomato seeds all tucked away.  Its still a bit cool here, I found a roll of plastic in the garage with vent holes already in it, so Alex help me cover them up and anchor them with rocks for now.  You can see our garden beds in the background, they are doing really well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sweet Peas and Bachelor Buttons

OK well the Bachelor Buttons and Sweet Peas I planted in the fall have bloomed.

The bachelor Buttons are doing very well, several blooms have opened with promises of many more to come. I got these seeds from Annie's Heirloom Seeds.
 On the other hand we have the Sweet Peas...wa wa.  The very few blooms I got had a very faint scent with an overtone of mildew, I just don't think they are a southern flower.

 I thought starting the seeds in the fall would make them more friendly and at home in Georgia but as you can see...I was wrong, as soon as the temperatures started to rise, and in defense of the Sweet Peas it the heat came in fast and Hot.  So out they will go to make some room for something else that can take some hot southern twang.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Gardening Bet

I know I am a little behind on my Post...the seeds came about three weeks ago.  We ordered all Heirloom seeds from Baker Creek and Annie's along with seeds we collected...they are in the yellow envelopes.
The beets got planted...In fact my garden bed will be nothing but Beets and cucumbers this season.  The kids and I each choose two things to plant...well in Trinitys case much more, she is growing a cut flower garden.
I planted several different varieties of beets; Cylindra, Bull's Blood (from last years pack), Golden and Chioggia.  Early April I will be planting Boston Picking Cucumbers and Alex will be planting Mexican Sour Gherkins.  In late April Alex will plant Melon Boule D'Or.  And Trinity will be putting in,  Love In A Mist, Zinnia Lilliput, Zinnia Polar Bear, Dwarf Coral Mix Cockscomb, Bright Light Cosmos  along with Morning Glory Carnevale Di Venezia for fun and several of the seeds we saved from last year.

Alex and I have a bet going as to who will have the best garden as you can see he thinks he is going to win.  The looser has to treat to lunch at our favorite diner along with gloating rights.  We are well know at the local diner so this will be very painful for one of us.