Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm at it again....

It seems every spring I put in more beds and then say I am finished expanding the garden. Well I am putting more in.... but this is the last of them because I will be totally out of space. If you would like to look back at my bed building the first set is here , the second set is here and here.

I will start with the easiest one above. This area I was calling my pot garden last year, no pun intended because it was full of potted plants as well as some herbs & rhubarb. That will all making way for a new potato bed. It will be simply edge with 2x3 lumber and lightly amended with compost. It will be 5'x6.5' and should provide lots of spuds, anywhere from 24-30 plants.

This bed will be built like all the rest with 2x8 lumber. All the native soil will be removed to a depth of 12-16 inches and replaced with good triple mix. This area has quite a slope to it so the top will be a few inches out of the ground and the other end will be over a foot out of the ground. I have it all leveled out with sting so I can calculate the correct amount of lumber. It also is irregularly shaped to follow our irregular lot. The size of this bed will be about 2.5' wide at the top, 10' long and 4.5' at the bottom. The planting plan for this bed is still up in the air, it is a little shady so I will have to keep that in mind before planting. Maybe parsnips & carrots.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Harvest Monday

It has been a while since I have done a Harvest Monday post with the last ones being Feb 8th &
Jan 17th. Today was a beautiful breezy spring day so I decided to catch some rays and harvest some veg. With the birds chirping in the background I harvested the following:


Mizuna & Spinach

The spinach will be used for a stuffed pasta dish, I am thinking jumbo shells stuffed with ricotta, parm & spinach and baked with red sauce. I am also thinking of cooking the mizuna as well, maybe a soba noodle something or other.

Above is my poor napa cabbage. A combination of laziness and illness resulted in a crop failure. It became compost.

Here are some future harvests growing in the season extenders:

Mixed leaf lettuce

'Little Gem' romaine

Kale, Tatsoi & Pac Choi


more Tatsoi & Pac Choi

From today forward we are expecting some pretty balmy weather. By Friday we are supposed to hit 27c (80f) with lots of sun. With this weather the crops above should really start putting some growth on. This weekend will definitely be a garden filled one! Look for a post on my new beds coming up next.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pea Planting

Planted my peas tonight. This will be the second year that I have started peas in potting soil and the first time in rootrainers. I have direct sown in the past but had very poor results. It seems what peas don't rot get eaten by squirrels. I will keep them indoors until they sprout and then place them out in the coldframe. After they have established themselves in 3-4 weeks I will plant them out in the soil. Here are the varieties I am trying this season:

  • Victorian Climbing - a shelling pea that grows to 8' tall. I just so happen to have an 8' trellis so that is were they will grown. I am also planning on companion plantings these peas with squash later in the season. The seed for these pea's was shared by Gary.
  • Cascadia - a sugar snap pea. Will be grown with pea brush. The seed for these pea's was shared by Laura.
  • Opal Creek - a golden coloured snap pea. Will be grown with pea brush as well.
  • Oregon Sugar - a snow pea. These will be grown in a pot with bamboo canes. It will be the first time I have grown snow pea's and I look forward to tasting them fresh from the garden. The seed for these pea's was shared by Miss M.
I also started a bunch of ornamentals tonight and reseeded the broccoli that did not germinate well. Up next will be herbs followed by tomatoes. I am running out of space already!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Bloom & Sights of Spring

I've been pretty ill since last Friday with a nasty cold and in turn my mug shot has been up for to long on the blog. Today I am feeling better so I headed out in the yard to see whats been happening. Out front the first spring bloom was out. It was closed though due to the cool, damp and sunless weather we have been having lately.

I believe this is a Siberian squill of sorts, they usually are a deep blue though so I am not totally sure if my belief is correct. I scoped this plant from an abandoned lot last spring, I'm such a rebel.

*just looked this up and it is a Striped Squill, ie. Puschkinia libanotica. Learn something new everyday :-)

There also was lots of buds and shoots coming:

A true Siberian squill, from the same abandoned lot.

Crocus, looks like the squirrels have been at work again.


Iris Reticulata

Species Tulip shoot.

Peony shoot.

Delphinium shoot.

Himalayan Dandelion. These are kind of cool, they have single
yellow blooms that open just after the sun goes down. You
can watch them open.

Rose shoot, this is a 'New Dawn' climber.

I then checked out the season extenders and everything seems to be doing well in my absents. The only thing that has not done well without my attention was the napa cabbage.

It has fully bolted and I think it is beyond harvest now. Not much of a loss though as it never really developed anyway. It seems to be a crop that would be better as a late harvest as appose to an over wintered crop.

Other veggie action:

Overwintered Leeks


Garlic. All but one has grown which I am happy to see. I
planted them late December so didn't know what to expect.

The Wee Tatsoi is growing still.

Rhubarb, can't wait to have some! These crowns will also
be moving which needs to be done sooner then later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Outdoor Happenings

We have been having some down right spring weather all week, it has been great. This time of year we should still be under snow but that certainly is not the norm this season. With the nice temps and ample sun shine things are growing inside and outside of the season extenders. Here are some examples:


Recently seeded Tatsoi & Pac Choi in the cedar tunnel

Hardneck Garlic

Sugar Loaf Chicory, looks like it is finally starting to do something


Mache, one of a few clumps

Tatsoi, Pac Choi & Kale sprouted.
Lettuce and Romaine still not making an appearance.

Napa Cabbage, it has been putting on some really good
growth lately. Unfortunately it is starting to bolt already.
I think I will just harvest them soon and use them for spring
rolls or somethin.

Overall I am pleased with the winter crops now and look forward to harvesting some things this weekend. Just a few more winter harvests left and everything will be making way for spring crops. Brassica will be seeded 3/15 and peas on 3/25, bring on spring!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seedlings Etc

First an update on the laptop. We decided to get a second opinion and yes the hard drive is cooked. The only option left to recover the data is to send the drive off to be rebuilt which can cost upwards of $1000 dollars. That certainly is not going to happen. The only good news is the second repair place had a used hard drive so the laptop will be fixed cheaply. I will still be going the Mac route though. The laptop will now be used as a second computer as we don't share well and it will still provide a portable option.

With that out of the way, I am going to update on the seedlings I have growing at the moment. Most things are doing quite well and soon will be accompanied by many more seedlings.

Brilliant & Giant Celeriac. I seeded quite thickly
and now have a forest. I must thin them soon.

The peppers. The sweet ones are doing quite well but the
hot ones are kind of lagging. The worst is Big Chile II, I
seeded 12 and have two. Other problematic peppers are the
Pustagold which are a sweet white pepper that turns red. I
seeded 24 and have none yet.

Red Celery. They have just started sprouting.

Siletz Tomato, in hopes of an early crop. It is looking
a little sickly. The other day I potted it up into fresh
soil with added perlite. I have also started dosing it with
the blue stuff.

One of the entirely to many onion pots. Most are doing well
except the Prince F1 from last years seed. I think they may
just be replaced with sets.

Lastly here is tonights din din. It was a beautiful today so I decided to grill some hamburgers. I was out of bun so I made my own with Granny's Beautiful Buns Recipe with poppy seeds. Other homemade things are the relish, raw sauce and dill pickles. In the glass is oven baked rosemary potato wedges.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Computer blues....

Today my two year old Sony Vaio laptop died. The hard drive is done, taking everything with it. This includes upwards of 10,000 pictures that were not backed up. Thankfully I have most of the best photographs on flickr but that only accounts for maybe 20%. With the repair cost being close to 50% of the original cost of the laptop there is not much sense in fixing it either. ERG!

I'm done with pc's and will be upgrading to a iMac or MacBook. I will also be adding an external hard drive so I can backup, live and learn! For the interim I have set up our old HP desktop computer, circa 2002. It is running windows XP which surprisingly runs better then crappy Vista. I am happy the old computer is still around or I would be computer-less for a month or two. Life isn't the same without a computer...

Any Mac users out there with feedback?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Fever On Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2010 Annuals

This year I am growing all our annuals from seed. We usually purchase them but it seems the last few years they have become excessively expensive to purchase. I ordered all the seed from Park Seeds as they offered a good selection at reasonable prices. The total cost with shipping was $26 and this will fill four urns, two window boxes, a couple pots and provide bedding plants for the perennial borders. If I was to hazard a guess starting my own annuals will saving in the range of $120 dollars easily. Here is what I am growing:

This group will be planted in the cast iron urns
out front and second floor window box.

This group will be out back. The two Impatient's will be
planted in the cement urns and the cement pot in the shade
garden. The Fuchsia was overwinter from last year and will
be hung above the shade garden.

This Black Eyed Susan Vine will be grown for the second time.
It will be grown on the fence planter for added privacy.

These will be planted in the front perennial border if I can find any room.

*I will be following up soon with a post on the some ornamentals I am growing from seed shared by Granny & Miss M.