Monday, May 21, 2012

Progress, Progress. . .

Well, I failed in my first attempt to grow dandelions, so Bug and I got two more "poof balls" and tried again.  This time I took a cue from nature and didn't push the seeds into the dirt.  Instead I simply dusted the top of the container with the seeds.  Bug helped by thrashing his hand back and forth to spread the seeds on his "poof ball."  Honestly, he probably did a better job.

Apple Mint
(inside per feral cats)
On a more positive note, I found some apple mint and catnip at my local Lowe's store.  I had an issue with the apple mint in that the day after I bought it, it looked like it was trying to die.  So I grabbed a container--not the one I intend to use because I need to get more--planted it, and watered heavily.  By about 10:00 that night, it had already started perking up.  Now it's thriving.

Orange Mint
My other mints are virtually taking over.  Thankfully I put them each in their own shallow container with lots of surface area.  The chocolate mint was a slow to get started in its upward and outward growth, but it is finally showing some progress.  I need to get 3 more of the containers--which are Sterilite containers I purchased at Big Lots--for my apple mint, spearmint, and lemon mint.  (I still need to acquire my lemon mint from my neighbor's garden.)  Once those are out, I'll have 2 empty pots for other herbs. . .

Chocolate Mint


Like a second and third planting of lettuce.  It's coming up nicely now.  This is the first time I've tried lettuce, and I'm pretty excited to be growing my own salad greens.  In one pot I've got green ice lettuce, which is supposed to be similar to iceberg.  The other pot has a mesclun mix.  This is a leafy lettuce that should give me a "cut and come again" type harvest.
Green Ice

Mesclun Mix

I also have some borage planted on a container.  I'll be planting more between my tomato plants because it's supposed to help keep those pesky horned tomato worms away.  I planted it Mother's Day weekend, and already I have a sprout.  The pickling cucumbers and garlic chives I planted last weekend are also growing already.

I purchased the tomato plants the weekend before Mother's Day at Huber's.  I've got 4 grapes, 4 cherries, 6 Brandywines, and 12 Sunbrights.  I grew Sunbright tomatoes last year, and I loved them for their size and meaty interiors.  They were great sandwich tomatoes.  I'm trying the Brandywine tomatoes this year because they are said to have a wonderful flavor.  

Plowing the last of 14 rows
Sadly, our tiller decided to put up a fight.  Tom worked on it all afternoon Mother's Day, and after getting the fuel lines replaced and clean gas in it, the pull cord broke.  We also didn't get to Home Depot because of the tiller.  I wanted to get my raised bed built and planted, but, alas.  

However, my wonderful husband did get the tiller working eventually, and is out there prepping the soil for my garden as I type this.  Later my mother is coming over to help lay the plastic and get the tomatoes in the ground.  

The seeds are going to wait because they are calling for rain all week.  I had issues last year when it rained hard after I planted my seeds.  The corn didn't grow at all, and several other plants only had a couple sprouts.  So next weekend, after the rain is gone--hopefully--I'll direct sow most of my seeds.  The pumpkins and butternut squash will wait a while longer.  

Because of the initial setback with the tiller, I decided to start some of my seeds in newspaper pots using my mom's PotMaker.  I never did get that done because Bug hid the PotMaker under the TV armoire, and now that my garden is ready I'll direct sow.  It's supposed to be better for the plants because it eliminates the stress of transplanting.  

Next year I'm going to try growing my tomatoes from seeds saved from this year's harvest.  I'd like to get to the point where my garden is sustainable on it's own.  Where I can grow the next year's crops from the current year's harvest, and I don't have to buy seeds or plants anymore.  

 Before I go to bed tonight, I feel I must announce that the garden is officially ready for planting.  The ground is tilled and fertilized with my secret fertilizer (all natural, too!).  It's been plowed into 14 deep rows, and the plastic has be laid down to prevent unwanted natives.
Ready to Plant!

I'll give an update on the herb garden later in the week.  Hopefully I'll have the materials to get the raised bed(s) up and planted.  The fruits need some up to date photos and their stories told, too.  Here's a teaser. . .
Raspberry Flowers

Pineapple Sage

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