Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blueberry Bushes in the snow! 12/29/12

Finally seeing some snow today and its covering my potted blueberry bushes!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Indoor Rosemary update 12/13/12

So I have yet to buy new pots for my indoor Rosemary plants but that's not stopping them from growing! Over the last few weeks the roots of the three sprigs of Rosemary have really taken off. The roots are almost to the bottom of the vase. Although the long roots create an interesting and beautiful aesthetic, it won't be long till the roots are too big for the vase and it becomes damaging to the plants. Another good sign of the Rosemary taking to the indoor life is new growth on top of the plants. Each sprig has grown by at least an inch! My next goal is to get each sprig into its own pot, hopefully before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Day Dreams of my Spring Garden!

As the days continue to get shorter, the landscape turns bare and brown before hopefully a blanket of white arrives, I'm already day dreaming about my garden in the spring! I day dream of garden layouts, new raised beds, water storage and new plants! I have to say I most excited about two new plants I hope to plant in the spring!

The first one is Swiss Chard, which is in the spinach and kale family and extremely healthy for you! It also grows well throughout the season from the cool spring days through the hot summer and cool fall! This endurance means a continuous crop through the growing season! It's also a very cool plant, the stems can come in a rainbow of colors giving the garden an interesting aesthetic! The dark leaves are rich in vitamin b's and offer a bang for your buck nutritionally! Below is a picture of colorful Swiss chard from

The other plant I'm excited to grow is a fruit shrub. To be more specific heritage raspberry plant. I hope to find a few varieties to plant if I have the room! Heritage raspberry seems to be the most reliable and also one of the few that produce. Crops twice a year. In fact I have read that they even produce a fall crop the first year, which would be awesome! Now raspberry plants are perennials and will take some work to maintain. Most work involves thinning canes in the summer and cutting old canes once dormant. Like blackberries, raspberries grow on canes but after the cane produces fruit it normally has to be cut down to get new growth and new fruit! Most varieties grow the cane one year and fruit the next. So once the plants are established, your efforts one summer will directly impact your crop of delicious berries the next year, I just hope I have enough room for the berry plants! It would be like growing candy in my backyard!! Below is a picture of a very healthy heritage raspberry plant from

Friday, November 30, 2012

Adding Coffee grounds to my compost!

One day as I was making dunkin donuts pumpkin spice coffee at home I realized the coffee grounds would be great for my compost bin. Since it is a lot colder out and I only use a little amount of coffee grounds a day I set up a little system.

I simply took an old coffee can and labeled "coffee grounds for compost".  Then slowly everyday I would add the coffee grounds to fill the can. It's perfect because the can doesn't take up space and contains any smell the grounds would emit! Plus I'm not walking in the cold to empty the grounds directly into the compost bin everyday but only when the can is filled!

The best thing is I'm providing more for my compost, recycling the use of a old coffee can and not producing any trash when I make a cup of coffee!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

We've got Roots! Rosemary roots for indoor herbs!

The rosemary sprigs I placed in a vase two weeks ago on a windowsill have finally taken root!

The three sprigs I cut from my potted rosemary plant on my back deck have survived the transition indoors.

Ill let the sprigs get a little stronger before planting them in a pot for the rest of winter on the windowsill. Just goes to show you when the growing season ends outside it can still continue indoors!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Attempting to grow Rosemary inside!

Now that we have had a number if freezes and tomorrow might even bring snow! I decided to try and grow some rosemary inside. First step was to find a vase and then cut some sprigs of rosemary. I cut the stems at an angle like you would for cut flowers. Then I placed the three branches in a vase. Hopefully the branches will take root in the water and ill be able to plant them in a small pot to grow indoors over the winter!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 Growing Season Final Harvest Numbers!

After an early season freeze in the beginning of October and Hurricane Sandy hitting at the end, I'm pretty sure the 2012 Growing Season has come to an end for me.  This year I devoted a lot of time to my vegetable garden, from expanding it to experimenting with growing new plants.  As the season progressed I was pleasantly surprised to see that my garden was producing more then I was expecting!  Some of the highest yielding plants include Hot Peppers (which I still haven't figured out what type they are, at the store they were labeled as red cayenne plants), cherry tomatoes and Juliet tomatoes.  I decided to keep a record of all the harvests throughout the summer and fall.  Although I may have missed a few tomatoes here or there, I believe my records are pretty close to what I ended up taking out of my garden.  So without further ado here is my final harvest totals for the 2012 growing season! The list includes type of plant grown and how many fruits or vegetables collected from them.

  1. Hot Peppers  =                       192
  2. Cherry Tomatoes =                153
  3. Juliet Tomatoes=                   118
  4. Garden Beans =                       58
  5. Cucumbers =                           30
  6. Heirloom Tomato =                20
  7. Marion Tomato =                   17
  8. Big Boy Tomato =                 15
  9. Japanese Eggplant =                9
  10. Red Hot Cherry Peppers =      7
  11. Zucchini =                               4
  12. Sweet Pepper =                       4
  13. Sugar Baby Watermelon =     2

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Garden Damage!

Although my garden was empty, thanks to an early freeze back in the beginning of October, my garden was indirectly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. I was lucky for no big branches or trees landed on my rabbit fencing around my garden!

What did go wrong is I lost all the hot pepper I froze! We went 4 days without power and this caused my hot peppers, which I froze to, defrost. Without any way to cook them I ended up having to throw them out :( which was very disappointing for me!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Preparation! 10/27/12

Hurricane Sandy is on her way to pound south western CT with hurricane force wind gusts, rain, storm surge and power outages. The storm is arriving on Monday October 29, one year to the day of "snowtober" (an early and destructive freak snow storm, where trees still had leaves!).

Saturday the 27th I spent some time prepping my garden stuff. Since we had an early frost this year most of the preps were cleaning up and winterizing. Here's what I did:

-Put all pots away in the shed
-Picked basil seed pods for drying and gathering seeds
-moved potted blueberry bushes into basement
-moved potted rosemary plant into basement
-moved new, and yet to be planted blackberry bush into basement
-I was surprised to pick some hot peppers 7 to be exact!
- put all bamboo stakes in garage

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Saved a Tree today!

Well it wasn't actually today it was last weekend, the first weekend in October. Earlier in the year we noticed a maple tree growing behind a rose bush up against the siding of our garage. We knew we had to remove it or it would be trouble for not only the other plants but our foundation as well! However the tree was so nice and after successfully transplanting another maple last year I really wanted to do it again!

So we waited all summer leaving it be, hoping the fall would produce excellent conditions for transplanting. In the mean time the tree went from 5 feet to 8-9 feet tall!!! The rapid growth was unbelievable!

So last weekend we decided to transplant from the south facing side of the yard to a hill on the north side. It was difficult to dig up the roots with the rose bush next to it but we did it!

Then we went straight to the other side of the yard and planted it. Once it was away from the house I realized it was a very nice shaped tree!

So instead of just pulling it out and destroying it I saved another tree that day! Lets hope it takes!

Friday, October 12, 2012

First Freeze Preparation: 10/12/12

With tonight's freeze warning in effect and temps barely getting above 50 degrees today I decided to do some preparations for winter.  First I went through and picked all the tomatoes I could, all were green and will need to ripen but at lease they won't go bad because of the freeze!  At frost I thought I would cover some of the plants considering next week will be warmer but I think I'll just sit back and see what happens.

Besides harvesting the last of the tomatoes and peppers I also decided to bring in my pot of rosemary and my new, unplanted blackberry bush.  This will give me more time to prepare and harvest the rosemary while also allowing me more time to figure out where to put the blackberry bush!

I also took some evergreen branches from a bush we chopped down last week and placed them around my potted blueberry bushes just to give them some extra warmth tonight!

Looks like after tonight ill be doing more preps and planning for next years garden! I wish the 2012 growing season didn't have to end so soon!  Stay tuned because ill have to winterized plants too!

Eve of a Crop Killing Freeze: final harvest? 10/12/12

Harvest on the eve of the first freeze:
(Many tomatoes are not ripe yet!)
7 green Heirloom tomatoes
2 Hot Cherry Peppers
3 Green Marion Tomatoes
1 tiny Japanese eggplant
1 small sweet pepper
18 cherry tomatoes (green)
29 Juliet Tomatoes

The end is near! Freeze Warning 10/12/12

Yesterday National Weather Service (NWS) issued a freeze watch and now this morning it's a freeze warning for the whole state of Connecticut! Even near the coast where I am!

If we get a freeze I guess that means the end to the 2012 growing season!

Weatherbug is forecasting a low of 36 which wouldn't be a freeze but a heavy frost, the Weather Channel is calling for 35 degrees, and Accuweather is calling for 36 which is also above freezing.

The Freeze warning is calling for temps to range from the mid 20's to low 30's from 1am till 9am killing crops and vegetation.

By no means am I disappointed in 2012 growing season but I didn't expect it to end so early! I will try to protect some plants because next week looks warmer with temps back in the 70's (possibly an Indian Summer?!)

Below is a photo of the freeze warning from NBC Connecticut's Facebook page.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Future Plans: Raspberries

Now that the growing season is coming to an end with a freeze watch up for Friday October 12th I'm already looking forward to expanding my edible gardens next year!  One thing ideally want to do is start growing more berries in my backyard!  I have 4 blueberry bushes, a blackberry bush and some strawberry plants but what I'm aching to grow is Raspberry bushes!  I will go further into what varieties and where I want to grow them in a future post but right now I wanted to share. A link to a very simple raspberry recipe which I'm super excited to try once I have enough berries and a dehydrator lol!

I just came across this online about using raspberries for Raw fruit leather and how it's very similar, yet healthier then fruit roll ups of my (and probably your) childhood!  This recipe calls for just organic raspberries, organic honey, a blender, wax paper and a dehydrator!  Simple ingredients and some pricier equipment.  All you do is blend the raspberries and honey together till its a paste then place flat on wax paper in the dehydrator for hours and then wait till dry yet sticky.  Once it's done you can roll them up like fruit roll ups and they can last up to six weeks!!! (That is if you don't eat all of them!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Deal on Blueberries!!

I went to Lowes the other day to replace one of the two half high Chippewa bushes I got back in the spring for $7 each. The weekly ad showed blueberry bushes on sale for just under $10 so I figured I would go and replace one now for the spring and maybe even pick up a raspberry bush if they had them! I went to the lowes closest to my house and was disappointed to find they only had fruit trees no blueberry bushes. So I decided to go to the Lowes a town over to see what they had.

When I got to the other Lowes I instantly saw the racks upon racks of Blueberry shrubs, as I got closer I saw a yellow sign saying reduced, $4.99! At this point I knew I would be getting more than one bush!! As I began my search through the various varieties I realized blackberry bushes were also mixed in. I figured the blueberry bushes were so cheap I could pick up one blackberry bush for $10. I ended up getting two Sunshine Blue Blueberry bushes, one Brigitta Blueberry bush and one Apache thornless Blackberry bush. I also picked up a 16 inch brown plastic pot on clearance for $3.

When I went to check out I was pleasantly surprised to find out that all the blueberry plants were $2 each!!!! If I had the land I would have bought soo much more! LoL

My total for three blueberry bushes, 1 blackberry bush and a 16 inch brown pot was $11.82! What a deal! #growberries

End of September and tomatoes still thriving!

Harvest 9/30/12

It's the last day of September and my garden is still producing! This year's garden has gone beyond my expectations!

Today's harvest:
1 Green Sweet Pepper
1 Red Hot Cherry Pepper
1 Juliet Tomato

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Harvest 9/27/12

Today's Harvest:
2 Japanese Eggplants
2 Juliet Tomatoes
1 Cherry Tomato
1 Big Boy Tomato