Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vegetable Garden Update-April 08

This is my monthly post updating you all on my vegetable garden. While the vegetable garden is fairly empty I thought it would be a good time to show you another vantage point of it. I have already posted about the fact I had to shift it over in order to allow Mr. Fix-it access to his garage, but I never showed the vantage point of it from his garage.

Our backyard slopes slightly down and to the south (the right of this picture is due south). So we are looking east up toward the house and drive through gate. I had a hard time designing this garden with a new outline that was not unsettling to me. The initial design I came up with had the outline in the form of an off balance medieval shield. With some more adjusting, I wound up with the outline of a simple shield. The point of the shield is closest to the camera. It is a bit odd, I know, but the site demanded this shape.

The rhubarb both here and in an ornamental bed out front are slowly growing. I will have to wait until next year to harvest some canes for strawberry rhubarb pie as it generally takes two years for rhubarb to establish itself.

Every vegetable garden needs a scarecrow. In my case, an old dress draped over a PVC person form is my scarecrow. Though, honestly, the birds just love it and perch on her arms quite frequently so she is not very scary!

Just on the other side of the hypertufa pots is a small ornamental bed. This bed serves the purpose of filling in an awkward spot in the shield, while providing me with the ideal spot to grow zinnias, marigolds and a small flowering shrub, Indigo amblyantha. I am looking for good things from this shrub. When I purchased it last summer it was blooming pink blooms all over. It has already budded out this spring and I look forward to all season color mixing in with the zinnias.This little garden also has some other flowers including Love in a Mist and Iris reticulata.

Looking past the point of the shield, you can see a few of the beds, there are a total of six not counting the ornamental bed in the point of the shield. In the center of the vegetable garden beds is the round millstone bed; which contains Musa bajoo, my hardy bananas. The hardy bananas are the focal point of this garden as they make such a tall statement each summer. They are just beginning to make their appearance. As you can see, they suffered no ill effects of being left in the ground all winter. These are hardy bananas and I have grown them here for two winters with no problems.

The outside left side of the vegetable garden is reserved for two things. Species tulips grow in this bed during the spring, and during the summer I grow orange cosmos. The cosmos are butterfly magnets and serve to provide me with all season color in a nice bright orange color. Once the seeds are up and growing, weeds stand little chance of growing in this bed.

My red cabbage is coming into its own. I have the cabbage, radishes, onions and lettuce growing under the gourd trellis. I am hoping shade will help keep them cooler this summer. The broccoli and peppers planted in another bed are also doing well. I hope the cabbage loopers stay away from both the cabbage and broccoli long enough for me to harvest some.

The peas are up and growing well. I will be planting gourd seeds in here soon. The gourds will grow up the same trellis the peas are just beginning to climb. I intensively plant and oftentimes vegetables share the same space. The peas will be declining by the time the gourd vines get big enough to be a problem for the pea vines.

Here you can see some lettuce I started from seed back in February. It is not doing well at all. Mixed in with the lettuce are carrots. The carrots are actually growing well. I planted these carrot seeds last fall. Amazingly they have wintered over and are now beginning to show some signs of giving me some nice baby carrots.

Finally, lest you all think I only grow vegetables to grow vegetables, I do actually harvest and eat the vegetables. I love radishes. Fresh radishes are best, but I also purchase bunches of radishes when they are in season. Radishes are a cool season crop and conditions need to be right for them to do well. The trick is to get them to grow quickly with plenty of moisture and comfortable weather, not too cold and not too hot. If they don't grow quickly, they tend to get quite strong tasting. I prefer my radishes mild. I harvested this small bunch of radishes for lunch today. They were pretty good, though small.

I also have potatoes growing in odd places in this garden. The potatoes are volunteers left over from over potatoes I planted two years ago. The potatoes I actually planted this year, in the Jimster's garden behind Mr. Fix-it's garage, were nipped by the frost we had last week. No matter, they should bounce back. There are also strawberries and gooseberries growing in that 'overflow' garden I call the the Jimster's garden. More on that garden in another post. For now this post is about the main vegetable garden. While preparing this post I realized I have neglected posting about the vegetable garden in favor of more ornamental postings, but really I think all gardening starts with the vegetables so I should pay more attention! Don't you think?

in the garden....


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  4. Good Morning All, here's hoping all have a wonderful day with many rewards.

    Tina I love the bowls you've made. What do you plan to put in them. Seems they would be very handy. It sure looks like your garden is doing very nicely. How did you make you scare lady with the pvc.? I've been hunting for pattern to make a scare person.

    Well off to the garden to see what I can get into.

  5. You have so much already popping up! I hope to get some stuff in the ground or in pots today...

    Happy gardening all...

  6. Nice garden, my scarelady has a skirt, glasses and a hat. I don't think she works that well either, adding the alum. pie plates did the trick.
    Off to the dr today and than a make-up dance class for the girls. They missed so much due to the Wed. snow storms we had. Recital is the beginning of May. Ead gads!

  7. Looks like things are shaping up in your garden! Our lettuce is starting to come up and I put the tomatoes and peppers in yesterday. The rabbits didn't eat them so I'm happy! I need to get fencing up today. Have you ever gotten any edible bananas from your trees? I've thought about growing a couple of those someday.

  8. Good morning all!

    Frances-I will email you and I hope I wrote it down properly. If not just click on my name and it takes you to my profile, my email is visible but it is: ramseytina5@gmail.com

    Hi Lola, Those hypertufa pots were early attempts. Right now they have grape hyacinths in them. They have automobile glass embedded in the outside in honor of my hubby. My intent was for them to frame his garage door but they wound up here.

    For the PVC I had a bunch of extra pieces and I am a bit spatially challenged so it took my a while to piece them all together in a form I like. I finally did by having the dress there. I tried to model it on the human body while allowing for changes, such as adding pants. You need a way to hold it up. I glued it all together with PVC glue. I had to add a broom handle to the stake to hold it up and keep it from blowing over but now it it working. Just put it all together on the ground and go from there! The boys can help too!

    Skeeter, More planting! Yes! I am staying out of my garden the next day or so. I couldn't resist moving a hosta this morning though. Shame on me. I got giddy when I saw the adjacent property owners were gone...in the night...so I felt comfortable doing the walking through and pausing to enjoy. So nice!!!!! The hosta somehow got moved during my walk. lol Get your stuff in the ground as weeds are everywhere!

    Dawn, Would love a pic of your scarecrow. And if anyone else on here has a scarecrow and would like to see it featured-send me a pic and a paragraph to go with it. Never thought of that before. Gee, posts come from everywhere. Have fun at dance recital and I am excited to see your house.

    Hi Dave, So glad I waited on planting my veggies on your advice. That is usually not like me. I am a type plant now, pay later. boo hoo. My crepes got nipped though. The veggies are safe and in too. What kind of fencing are you putting up? You should post on it. I love fencing myself. Functional as well as pretty. Glad those bunnies are not eating your work. Skeeter has a problem with that and I think containers may help.

    byw. found another headless mouse this time in the front yard. That Orkin is worth her weight in flowers! Have a good day all!

    Hi Mom, Christine, Nina, Gail and Anonymous! Lovely day today and hot!

  9. Hi Tina, busy day yesterday --I gave in and mowed the front yard again --trying to stick to twice a week:0) That makes three times in a week but it grew crazy fast! And, I pulled weeds --but you wouldn't know it to look at the yard this morning --hahaha. Went running early today since it will be hot --and sidekick wants me to take him fishing. I will wait for the other kiddos and take them all shore fishing. Nope, don't drive the boat -lol. Hi Skeeter --your folks live close to me!!! I am a stones throw away from the Dunbar Cave area and pass thru there at least once a day for my trips to the post office/bank etc. Too neat!
    Tina, I love your scarelady --she is pretty! I bet the pie plate thing would give her more oomph to keep away the critters like Dawn mentioned.
    Hi Lola, you are too busy for me the past few days. Glad you have such beautiful weather and happy to hear you are able to enjoy it.
    Hi Jean --still warm in your neck of the woods? My lilacs are starting to fade out already --they don't last nearly as long as the ones up north. But, they smell YUMMY!!!
    Hi Dawn, enjoy your dance catch up --my girl model won't do dance anymore:( She prefers to swing the golf clubs and BBguns with her brothers --really bums me out. I loved her dance recital --they are so much fun to watch.
    Hi Nina --have a great day y'all!

  10. good morning Tina and friends,

    The garden is scrumptious looking; you have been hard at work! How many hours a day do you think goes into gardening? I have been wondering about that myself...I can stay out there all day but my body pays for it the next.

    Have a wonderful time, it is beautiful out this morning!


  11. Anonymous, You have fun fishing. Bring in some big ones and show dad that mom can do it too!

    Gail, Good morning. I can stay in the garden all day, no lunch or dinner. So about 6-10 hours. I don't like to do that though. I HAVE to take a step back as many other things fall by the wayside. Like school and housecleaning and laundry...I too pay for it. How do you do it and work too? I am hoping it is just the season and we are all getting swamped. My big thing is moving the stuff and dividing. Never ends.

  12. Hey Mom.

    It is so nice up here. I have cleaned up my little yard...so Bella a nice clean area to poo in. The winter adds up in poo duty! Gotta get out there and fill in her damn holes. Little turd digs like a madman! I have no idea what she will think when we move somewhere that may not even have seasons. She loves the snow and hates when it is even the slightest bit warm out. Looking at the west coast. Going to start applying for jobs come April of next year. I know it is a ways off, but you know me...I hate not planning out everything and knowing in advance what I am going to do.

  13. Christine, Good morning! Glad you got all the poo out. A rottweiler's waste can add up. Kind of like goldens. Good luck with the job hunting. I know the feeling but am still on hiatus. Maybe next year. lol

  14. Boy oh boy but the poo does add up.
    As big as the fenced area is for the 2 small dogs it is full after winter. With 1 Boston Terrior and 1 Beagle you would think it would not be bad, esp since we lost the other Boston last year. But it is terrible. Papa's job and I say GOOD!!!! His darn dogs anyway. I have trouble keeping up with my 5 birds. You would think they would be easy. Wrong. Oh well, I love em.

    Dawn let us know how Zack makes out at the doctors.

    Anonymous the lilacs sure do bloom for way too short of a time and ours are just budding out. I have seen lilacs for sale now that are susposed (notice I said susposed) to be everblooming and maybe they do but probably not as full as the first bloom and they probably don't have the great scent but I may try one as I do love them so.

    Tina the neighbors are holding true to their wretched life style by moving in the middle of the night. Funny. Whatever works to have them gone.

    What is with all the deleted comments?

    Christy there is also Stevie's bike in Auntie's basement. It was a very pricey bike and don't think it needs any work as it has hardly been used. Sandra and Heather's bikes also. Feel sure you could use one of them.

    Hope all has a good day.

  15. Yep, partial break at the socket of the thumb, he was lucky he didn't completely break it as it would be surgery. That's just how the dr presented it to Zack. Oooohh, not a happy camper, once the tears cleared and the gloomy face disappeared, (full cast was on) Zack demanded to be able to be desinated hitter, I mean demanded. The dr wrote him a note so all wasn't lost, he can light duty play for the next 3 weeks. Means he'll make it on the 17th, the 12th is the appointment for removal. He'd of cleared a week earlier had he told us about it and not worried about playing, partial breaks need to be inmobile to heal, the week of pain doesn't count. Ooooohhh he was mad.
    On the lighter side, my trees came. 2 crabs, 2 hawthorne, 2 dogwood, 2 redbud, 2 goldenraintree and 1 liliac. Thinking of chopping down my pin cherry to put a couple there. Gotta plan for the removal of the mobile though. Well, I'll come up with something. Later.

  16. Hello Tina and Everyone. Your vegetable gardens are very nice, I wish I had a good area to grow veggies, but just not enough sun.

    I have gotten lots of work done today, and my body is really feeling it! I found a good buy on snowflakes and ordered them thinking they would ship in the fall, why I thought that I can't tell you. So today I have buried 100 bulbs!!! I did a lot of mulching, still need more, so off to wally world later this evening. I buy by the sack, cost a little more, but I can manage it better that having a load delivered and having to shovel it. I am having to
    rethink the way I have been doing a lot of things.

    Tina, glad your neighbor is moving. I am so glad to be in the country with only woods around us, but that could end at anytime since we don't own the woodland. I have flashback of living in Bellevue (Nashville) and having to be constantly on my toes that the children didn't disturb a "grouchy" neighbor!

    Christine, somehow cleaning the dog pen has become my daily chore, plus feeding and watering!!

    My dear husband got me a new composter. Much nicer than the old one, it tumbles. The other one was "killing" me to get it turned. I haven't started using it yet, must read the book. I wanted to say "you read the book for me, and tell me what it says", anyway must get a shower and get to town. I guess it is time to pick up tick powder and put it down, just found my first tick.

    We're going to visit my daughter for a few days, to celebrate Miss Sarah's birthday. We'll get to see her play ball on Friday evening.

    Dawn hope Zack has a speedy recovery, I hate to see them start breaking bones at such a young age. I am reminded of my neice that had a small daughter break her arm on the school playground and while she was still in her cast the little boy broke both his arms! She really had her hands full for awhile.

    Tina, I'm sending some pics to you later.

  17. Hey Anonymous I meant to say before but I KNOW YOU CAN DRIVE THE BOAT!!!! Yes it is warn here with cool nights but they say tomorrow it will feel like July. Since I do not like the heat I may not like that. LOL

    I bet Zack now wishes he had told you when it happend and we will go on the 17th. Was the other one on the 13th? So does that mean he will not make that one? Let me know hat time and was it in Brunswick or Topsham?

    Sounds like you will be busy Dawn. Might be smart to put em in pots and wait till the mobile is gone to figure out where you want them except the lilac and I would put that near the house so you can smell it.

    Nina I guess your niece sure did have her hands full. Oh my goodness.

    Sounds like you have been busy but don't overdo it....not worth it....take your time.

    Have fun at daughters as I know you will.

  18. Hello everyone!
    Glad to see I’m not the only one staying busy on this beautiful Earth Day!

    Sorry about that hand Dawn but make him do as the doc says or he will be sorry...

    I had a good day in the yard. Planted 36 Periwinkle and got the container garden started! The Wave Petunia is now in the hanging pot and also a small plant in a pot on the porch. I had to deal with mole holes in a planter and ants too. ARggggg...

    I dug out a Willow oak tree sapling. Now need to find someone that wants the thing...

    Had to run to town to get more pots for the veggies. The Saint went a bit overboard with getting peppers so I needed more pots for other stuff! He came home and saw I had started the veggies and he called it a Redneck Garden! Too funny....

    I saw the Pileated Woodpecker in the yard today. He is always fun to spot. And some Rose Breasted Grosbeak’s have shown up for their spring stop over....

    I will get more done tomorrow. I am finally starting to see results in the yard! Yey...

  19. Hi Y'all --no yard work today but picked up two hanging baskets of impatiens for the deck and took out my huge peace plant to live on the back deck also:) Hope it does okay --
    No luck fishing --it was okay with me then we walked the trail around. A treat was a gigantic box of creamsicles for all of us:) They should last a few days --got the jumbo size box.
    The pool is ready but hubby didn't put the heater on so I won't dare get in that cold water yet:) The kids are super anxious. Soon enough that is all they will be doing, lol. Sorry to hear about Zacks hand --so hard to stay still at that age:( Hope he heals fast and without any problems. Need to chase two big boys to bed --the smaller two had a good day fishing and walking so they are all set and in bed:) See you all!Oh Jean I think I could drive it but don't want hubby to get any ideas, hahaha --you know sign us up for a bass fishing competition and make me drive, rofl. I'll stick to shore --the kids make me nervous enough out there by the water. Maybe in a few years I wont' be so edgie by the water with sidekick --he is fearless at this age.

  20. Hi All, hope all had a lovely day. I spent most of it in the garden. Got more plants transplanted. Got the other whiskey barrel fixed & planted--put it on my little cart so I can move it--must move the one in the driveway. Got my freebie Blue berry put in a pot, now I have 2 of them. Hopefully will get enough berries for cereal one morning. Maybe I'll take it easy tomorrow. Sadly it doesn't appear to be over, lost another member. Grandson is getting an award in the morning so I will go to that--8:30.

    Dawn, sorry about Zach's hand, sounds like it's in a bad place. Sure needs to listen to the dr.

    Oh, don't like the doggie poo. Was 2 rotweillers in back plus 1 doggie in back of my house & boy when it rained & was wet for long period of time it literally stunk. They never cleaned up after the animals. Couldn't stand to go into back yard.

    Yea Tina, they are gone. Now peace.

    Jean, Nina hope you had a good day.
    Skeeter sounds like you've been busy. Take it easy. Hasn't been that long since you had surgery.

    Need to run an errand tomorrow & get some more pot soil. They quit handling the brand I've used for the past 20 yrs. Now got to try this new kind. We'll see if the plants love it as the guy told me on the phone.

    Nighty night all. Sweet dreams.

  21. Mmmm, rhubarb. I left my rhubarb behind. I remember waiting with great anticipation for the year I could finally start harvesting. I wonder if it's too big for me to move....

  22. Hey Mom, It was good talking with you this morning. Glad to hear about those seeds. Just a few more weeks and you can plant them.

    Dawn, Sorry about Zack's hand. It will heal and he will have many more breaks and pains but he just needs time for this one.

    Great news on your trees-to get them on Earth Day. Plan properly before you plant them. I like all of those trees. I say take the pin cherry down. I hate those trees.

    Anonymous, Two times a week cutting the grass is enough. It should slow down since not so much rain this week. I can see you driving the boat. You would make a good pair with hubby but I do know you are EXTREMELY nervous out there on the lake. Me too with my hubby. But we have to trust the guys, they know what they are doing. Turn on that heater! It is hot here.

    Skeeter, You are busy girl. What kind of periwinkle did you get. The annual kind? They are nice. Redneck garden eh? He'll enjoy the veggies when they come in-redneck or not! I love rosebreasts! I finally saw my first hummingbird today. Felt guilty as I had not yet put out the feeders. Quickly remedied it though. If you don't find a home for the willow, cut it up and put it in some water to steep. The chemicals in it are supposed to help with rooting.

    Lola, Sorry about your loss!!! Do take it easy and regroup. We all need that once in awhile. Tell your grandson congrats from your blogging friends. Doggie poo is awful AND stinky. Yes! Glad those dogs are gone like the adjacent property owner-hopefully! I think your plants will take the adjustment no problem. Have fun but take it easy.

    Cinj, I think you should go over to the old house and dig out that rhubarb. It shouldn't be too far grown yet and even if you have to split it you can still move it. Splitting it is what I would do, the more divisions the merrier! What is there to lose? Your own rhubarb from the old house will make the move somewhat less painful maybe? I bet it grows well up there.

  23. Nina, Got the lovely pics and those composters say it all. Nice. 100 bulbs and it is only the spring? I bet you are tired! I hope you had a good trip to Wally World.

    Too bad on the veggies, you really do need a lot of sun. You can't put in a small garden by the crabapple? It looks like there is some room there with some sun? My veggie garden doesn't get full sun but does ok. You might try a few tomatoes and peppers stuck in some ornamental beds.

    Lucky you living in the woods with no close neighbors. I actually like having neighbors but these people-how shall we put it?-had some issues. Let's just leave it at that. I hope their new neighbors 'appreciate' them. Poor them. I expect whoever moves in will be a big improvement if and when they ever sell this house. I don't expect that to happen anytime soon since it is overpriced and the square footage is not listed correctly either, though the main fact is it is overpriced.

    I have had two ticks already. You almost can't go into the yard without getting one. It is so bad I may have to treat as ticks gross me out more than even slugs and headless voles.

    Dog doo duty is not fun. Christine picks up often as does my family at my mother's house.

    I hope you have a nice trip to see Sarah. She is nine if I can recall? I am not so good at remembering and my mother reminds me often as I sometimes go too fast I don't catch everything. One thing I noted was when Nancy gave me back one of my assignments from school. I couldn't believe all the typos. Even on here. I hate it. If anyone sees typos on my posts please let me know by emailing me. I hate to find them later and I have been finding some. I will fix it right away. I try to catch everything but sometimes it is impossible. Anyhow, have a nice trip and dress for warm weather as it is hot and I am sure Skeeter can attest it is very much hotter in Georgia?

  24. Anonymouse I am sure you could drive the boat but I really do not blame you for not wanting to with the kids, esp the sidekick. To young to drive and watch carefull. That comes under "respecting the water". Living on the ocean that is taught at birth almost. Water of any kind is great as I love it dearly but I DO also respect it. Unlike some of my girls when they were teens. Ohhhh the teen years. So glad I am done with that!!!!

    Oh my goodness Lola, I am so sorry.
    You sure have been bomb on lately.
    Gotta get better.

    Sounds like Nina, Skeeter and Lola sure have made a lotta progress.

    Cinj, I am with Tina as you should go get at least some of the rhubarb. When I was a kid my mother had some that came from her mother's in Canada. When I was 10 we moved to a house on the water and she took it with her. When they did'nt feel they could handle the big house any more they moved to a senior place. Yup, she took the rhubarb. Then, finally they made their last move to my place and the well traveled rhubarb made its final move. It grew soooo big and I had it for several years. As you can figure out it was the good ole fashion rhubarb and it was so good. Sadly it just up and died on me one year. Broke my heart but I like to think it went to heaven with my mother.

  25. Tina,

    I don't do all the other stuff! My dear sweet suffering husband calls home each day with hope that there is dinner and asks me....again with hoping that I will say no..."Do you want me to pick something up?" So he often stops to pick up dinner. I don't think about food a bowl of cereal or a salad is perfect!