Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Last summer I grew some sweet basil and allowed it to go to seed at the end of the summer. Before a frost and Hurricane Sandy I collected the seeds and left them in a glass cup all winter. They looked just like poppy seeds. I know I didn't store then in ideal conditions but figured I would try growing them anyways. I started the seeds in an egg carton. Before I planted the seeds I let them soak in a cup if warm water for a few hours. To my surprise they formed a gel coating around the seed just like Chia Seeds do! I wouldn't have been surprised if none of the seeds sprouted but most of them did! Now I have an egg carton filled with basil sprouts! Hopefully the will continue to grow and I can plant themin between my tomatoes! If I get enough plants I can use them in sauces or maybe even try to make pesto!!
Radishes normally grow pretty fast but when conditions are not quite right they slow down. Perfect case is my radishes I planted this year. In optimal conditions the radishes should only take 22-23 days to mature to harvest. I planted the seeds on May 6th so today would have been a day to harvest, however my plants are still small. I think it's due to the cool and wet conditions lately. Even though radishes are a cool spring plant and fall plant, the conditions this spring have been pretty nasty! Hopefully things will change in the coming weeks!
Monday, May 27, 2013
The first thing I planted once the garden was ready was the tomatoes. This year I purchased a few more plants than last year. This year I got 8 tomato plants, all indeterminate. However one tomato plant had two plants in the pot, so I actually ended up with 9! Which is perfect because I made 3 rows of 3 tomato plants. I got 2 Husky Red Cherry Tomato plants. I had this variety last year but only one plant and it did amazing, producing tomatoes into October! I also got a third cherry tomato plant called 'Super Sweet 100' Hybrid Cherry Tomato. The most interesting tomato plant I got was the 'Yellow Pear' tomato, I can't wait to see and taste those! Then I got a Big Beef Hybrid Tomato plant, a 'Red Beefsteak' Tomato plant. Another interesting tomato plant I got was one called 'Mr Stripey', an heirloom tomato which has yellow and red stripes and supposedly produces tomatoes up to 1 pound each!! The last tomato variety escapes me right now but it is also the one that came with an extra tomato plant making my grand total of 9 plants! I will be swimming in tomatoes this year! Hopefully I will be able to crush and freeze some tomatoes to make chili in the fall and winter!
After tilling my garden and waiting for temps to warm, I planted tomatoes and squash in the garden. I placed the squash in the back half of the front garden. This year I am attempting to grow Straight Neck Yellow Squash. Notice in the upper left hand side of the picture, all the green leaves are strawberry plants which are growing every where! I should really try to tend to them better, I would probably get and even better crop of berries instead of it all going to the rabbits!
After some cool days and rain I checked out my Thornless Apache Blackberry Bush and was happy to see a number of buds on the plant! I was a little bit surprised because I bought the plant in the fall and wasn't sure if the three canes on it were in their first or second year. If they had been in their second year then I would have gotten no fruit this summer. So it looks like I'll be getting some blackberries this summer!! Also the plant is taking off and already growing a nice new cane that will fruit next year!!!
This post is a little late! I began to clean up my garden during the week of May 13th. For years I've always heard never to plant before May 15th, even though the average last frost in my area is in April. However this old tip verified this year with cold temps in the 30's at night leading up to the 15th. This caused me to lug all my plants into the garage and back out on to the deck every day! Bright side of the cold conditions is it gave me time to find a simple yet fantastic tool. I found this hand tiller for about $25 at Lowe's, it works amazingly! It not only saved my back from turning my garden soil with a shovel it also sped the process up greatly. I actually tilled my whole garden within 15 minutes!!!! It loosened the soil up great, which is good because it was so compact from the winter. Im hoping the soil is healthier as well because it mixed air back into the soil!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
All my berry plants have begun to bud or blossom. From the strawberry plants to my container blueberries and even my blackberry bush! The strawberries are beginning to fruit. The blueberries are in transition, there are flowers blossoming on some branches, while other branches the flowers have fallen off and hopefully the fruit will grow. Finally the blackberry bush is budding! Just today May 22nd, I counted over 50 buds on my small blackberry bush!
The blueberry bushes!
Saturday, May 11, 2013
I woke up this morning to rain and some radish sprouts! I shouldn't be surprised because radishes grow so quickly but it's first time growing them! And it's always great to see seeds sprouting!
Friday, May 10, 2013
My barrel of Mint that I planted last summer came back strong this spring and is already close to overflowing the rim of the whiskey barrel! I'll have to start using fresh mint again!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
After getting the thornless Apache blackberry bush for a mere $2 last fall at Lowes, I never got it in the ground before winter. I was worried with the harsh winter it would have died. However, I put it in the shed and it's been growing like crazy so far this spring. So finally I planted it along our side fence. It should get plenty of sun and some shade. Hopefully it will produce some nice blackberries this year or next year!
As I began planting some things this week (mostly in containers), I wanted to add some compost but wasn't sure how much I would have in my bin. Well not only do I have a lot it looks pretty good too! Here's a bucket full I used to mix in with the radishes and then I threw some on the blueberry bushes as well!
The strawberry plants on the side of my yard are thriving all by themselves! I actually didn't even plant them there, I planted them in the backyard and they ended up front. I think I might start giving them more attention this, which might boost my crop! For now though they look so cool with the bright white flowers!
On Monday I planted some radish seeds in black pots. This is the first time I'm growing radishes and I love the fact that from seed they are ready to eat in less than a month!!
I used Burpee's cherry Belle radish seeds that mature in 22 days! Which means I should have radishes by May 28th! I can't wait!
I put them in black pots in hopes to keep them warm if we get a chill in the next week or so. If it goes well I have seeds still that I can't plant in September for a nice fall crop too!
My dad and I went to Lowes over the weekend to pick up some tomato plants for the garden...I think I went a little over board!
Not only did I get more tomato plants than I was expecting I also got pepper plants, cucumbers, squash and basil! In all I ended up with:
8 tomato plants
4 hot pepper plants
4 sweet pepper plants
1 cucumber pot (6 plants in it)
1 squash pot (6 plants in it)
1 sweet basil plant
1 packet of mixed lettuce seeds
1 packet of red Swiss chard seeds
1 packet of Swiss chard seeds
3 black plastic pots
This past weekend was so beautiful here in CT I started really cleaning up the gardens. General rule of thumb is to plant after May 15th in my neck of the woods, so I need to prep now! I cleaned out the back section of the garden finally. It had filled up with leaves, a layer at least 6 inches deep. I haven't done much to the soil yet but I'll turn it and add some compost before planting!