Monday, April 30, 2012

Harvest Monday- April 30, 2012

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.  It's a great way to see what others are harvesting from their gardens.

The spinach is still going strong, but I did notice the red stemmed spinach is starting to bolt.  I should still get good harvest for two more weeks.  Then the spinach comes and tomatoes and pole beans will go into it's place.  I did not even pick any lettuce this week.  Their was so much of the other greens I didn't even miss it.  I don't have a scale to weigh the vegetables, but the spinach was easily over a pound and the arugula pretty about a half pound.  A half pound is a LOT of arugula.

'Zlata' radish, they were supposed to golden yellow, but actually they are light yellow, still very different.

'Siamese Dragon Stir Fry Mix' from Baker Creek Seed.

Red stemmed 'Scarlet' Spinach.

Green spinach, of the three varieties, 'Giant Nobel' is my favorite so far.

Temperatures are supposed to be in the high 60's to mid 70's this week.  I'm looking forward to a growth spurt from the lettuce, cabbage and escarole.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ed's Dirty Little Secret

Before I divulge this secret you need a little back ground.

When I first starting developing a mania for daylilies I joined the E-Mail Robin of the American Hemerocallis Society.  Back in 2001 this was a very lively and outspoken group comprised of other "maniacal" daylily people, from noted hybridizers to newbie's.
If you weren't careful about what you were posting, you'd wind up engulfed in "flames".
Sometimes the threads would stop just short of a hair pulling match.  I loved it!

Fast forward a decade later.  Our own sweet little Granny mentioned using Miracle Grow and got "flamed".  I was shocked. 

Now, before I admit my secret, I'm putting on my "flame proof helmet".

I use Miracle Grow.
I use the potting mix and the fertilizer.
I learned gardening from my mother, she swore by it.
Used correctly it is a good product. 

I had a group of stunted seedlings that after a month had hardly grown.  As an experiment I repotted some of them into 3 oz cups of Miracle Grow.  In less then two weeks they quadrupled in size.

Lettuce and escarole revitalized.

'Ruby' lettuce.

'Gentilina' lettuce.

'Full Heart Batavian' escarole.

The tomato seedlings were not stunted, but really took off when they were repotted into the mix.  These are in 4 inch pots.

'Victor' tomato.

'Silvery Fir Tree' tomato.

Let's clear up few misconceptions.  Miracle Grow is owned by Scott's.  Scott's is NOT owned by Monsanto.  Using this product in no way goes to help fill Monsanto's coffers.  I know it's not organic, but what I produce by using it is much safer than what I would buy at the super market.   Remember all those great flowers from last year?  They got a dose every other week.  I stand by my results and what I learned from my mother.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm So Behind...

... in starting my flower seeds.
In previous years my two light units would be bulging with flower seedlings with the few vegetable seedlings jostling for room.  This year my stands are nice and roomy.  The only flowers that I've started are geraniums, petunias and zillions of sweet peas.

Maybe this is my midlife crisis?  When I visualize my future beds I know see the colored foliage of lettuce  and basil, balls of color from bush tomatoes and peppers, yellow and purple beans glistening like jewels. 

Not to worry though, this week I will be starting some quick growing annuals, zinnias, marigolds, salvia, four o'clocks and alyssum.  Accents or the edibles in the beds :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Harvest Monday

The first harvest of the season!!!
'Bronze Beauty' lettuce.


'Scarlet Hybrid' spinach.

'America', 'Viking' and 'Giant Nobel' spinach, almost a pound!
Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Today in the Garden- April 21, 2012

To enlarge the pictures, right click over the image, select open in new tab, click on the new tab in your tool bar right over the window and click on the image.  This will bring them to their full size.

Today was the day.  The first harvest from the garden.
Before the harvest, I did do some more planting.  Escarole and more lettuce went into the Potager, and lettuce and escarole went into the ornamental/edible bed.  I also put in a few sweet peas against the fence.

The spinach patch before harvest.

Lettuce, snow peas, Thai greens and arugula before the harvest.

'Bronze Beauty' lettuce before the harvest.

The left bed in the Potager.  The Swiss chard and lettuce are starting to grow rapidly.

The ornamental edible bed is slowly taking shape.  There were 4 'Full Heart Batavian' escarole and 'Wild Garden Mixed' lettuce added.

Hopefully this bed will start to fill in soon.

My pride and joys.

The white tree peony, it scents the entire front yard.

The dappled willow at it's best.

Two hosta's I grew from seed.  I love the golden foliage of the one on the left, and the right is a "streaked" hybrid with uneven streaking that shows up later in the year.
Elsewhere in the yard.
'Immortality' tall bearded iris.

Wood phlox that over wintered in it's container.

A self seeded columbine that has been hopping around the garden for years.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I want to thank Lisa of Tomato Thymes in the Kitchen Garden for this honor.  This is actually the second time I've won this award.  The first time is was last fall from Granny.  Unfortunately, she awarded it to me right after I took an unexpected leave from blogging for several months, so I would like to thank her belatedly.

Here are the rules-
Add the award to your blog

Thank the blogger who gave it to you

Mention 7 random things about yourself

List the rules

Award to 15 bloggers

Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blogs or on Facebook

Seven random things about me:
1.  I planted my first seeds when I was three.
2.  Someday I'll figure how to embed the award in my sidebar!
3.  I live with my two cousins.
4.  My computer hasn't been updated since 2005.
5.  I have a virtual aquarium program called 'Aquazone' that I have been running continuously since 2000.
6.  I live less than an hour from Washington DC and haven't been there since high school.
7.  I have to go over two mountains to get to work.

Fifteen nominations is tough, considering that my list would mirror Lisa's, and I'd need closer to 150 like Granny. 

I will nominate one blog- Jenny from Simple Gardening Made Easy.

Thank you again Lisa for the honor!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How My Garden Grows- Part 2

The Pool Bed.

The pool bed this year is evolving.  This year it will be edible ornamentals accented with flowers.  Right now it doesn't look like much.  There are some hold overs from last year, 'Powwow Wildberry" echinacea, 'Dolce White to Pink' dianthus and volunteer 'Jubilee Gem' bachelor buttons and 'Carpet of Snow' alyssum. 
The ornamental additions are 'Primero' red cabbage and 'Bright Lights' and 'Lipstick' Swiss chard. 

Not much to look at yet.

'Primero' red cabbage.

Clump of 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard.

 Next weekend I will be adding 'Ruby' lettuce and escarole.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How My Garden Grows

Daphne asked "How Does Your Garden Grow?"

My garden is growing, somethings are doing better than others, but this is nothing unusual.
Today, I did get a lot of planting done.  All of my cabbage, the rest of the Swiss chard and my carrots were sown.

The front section was planted today.  From left to right, two rows of cabbage interplanted with mixed lettuce, shallots, empty row, Swiss chard and the carrots are seeded to the right of the rose.  The spinach patch is the left rear area.

Close up of the cabbage and lettuce seedlings.

The spinach patch.

Notice that the growth is very uneven, I am attributing this to the use of open pollinated varieties.

'America' spinach.

Close up of 'Scarlet' spinach with it's lighter leaves and bold red stems and veins.

The rear bed from left to right, spinach patch, an enormous volunteer 'Bronze Beauty' lettuce, mixed Thai greens with snow peas behind, radish and arugula.

Mixed Thai greens, one week old and already showing an interesting mix of color.
The last bed is to the back bed.  It was planted with peas, but only the row by the fence germinated.  The front portion now has lettuce, radish and beets as well as an over wintered parsley.

This is how my Potager grows.

Tomorrow I'll show how the pool bed is progressing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The seasons are definitely muddled here on the mountain.
First we went from a mild winter to summer.  Summer then quick;y transitioned into spring.  the passed few nights we have had frost warnings every morning and they continue to this weekend.  Mother Nature played her trump card today, one half hour of sleet.  The sky literally opened and by the time it stopped the yard there was at least an eighth of an inch on the ground.  I haven't had the nerve to look outside at the garden yet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Flowers- 2012

What would Easter be without a few flowers?
Even though the the tulips are passed their prime, their still were some nice ones to greet the day.  This year they were joined by the dwarf bearded iris and one of the tree peonies.

'Fringed Elegance' Tulips.

'Flaming Parrot' tulip.

'Stitch Witch' standard dwarf bearded iris.

One clump of 'Stitch Witch' sdb iris.

'Delsinaugh' daffodil.

Viola odorata clump.

Small cupped, pink daffodil.

Tree peony.

'Queen of the Night' tulip.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Perennial Dahlias?

This passed fall I had every intention of being good and digging up my dahlia's and storing them properly.  Then we had 10" of snow two days before Halloween.  The dahlia's never did get dug up.  Today I was poking around and moved some mulch away from the base.  The dahlia that had overwintered in the ground the previous winter has numerous shoots starting to emerge.  I then checked the others, and all have sturdy shoots starting to emerge.  Last year I believed the one that survived was a chance occurrence, now I'm not so sure.  This will give me a real head start and the plants should be much larger from the early start.

Now, can someone tell me why all of my carnations perished during this very mi,d winter...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today in the Garden- April 1, 2012

I was finally able to get a few things done in the garden today.  The cool, overcast weather broke for a few hours of blue skies and nice temps, perfect to get a few things planted. 

Potager overview.
The spinach is starting to fill out, hopefully I'll be able to start harvesting some soon.

Spinach patch with peas in the back row.
The first of the Swiss chard seedlings were planted.

Swiss chard with a row of beets in the back row.
A batch of mixed lettuce seedlings and some pathetic looking beet seedlings rounded out the transplants.  I did manage to squeeze in a few short rows of the Thai green seed mix.

The chitted beet seeds planted last weekend have sprouted and their germination was excellent.  I have had problems in previous year with germination and hope to get a good harvest this year.

The forecast tonight is for a light rain, perfect for the new transplants.