Saturday, April 30, 2011

More Catalogs and Progress

Received Seeds of Change and Territorial Seed Company catalogs Thursday and Friday of this week. Quite a selection from both and adds to my growing collection that also includes Johnny's, Burpee, and Gurney's. Too many to choose from but I have to pick one to order some more seeds from for my summer tomato plantings. I have some Roma Vf going right now but they should be done by July, which is about the time my new ones will go in. I want some more paste varieties so we can do a lot of canning this fall. Anyway I will have to sit down tonight and make my "wish list" for those plus anything else that strikes my fancy that I can use for canning/storage over the winter. Any good recommendations?
Finally got the pea fence up. Doesn't look the greatest but function over form for me.

Will have to add more to the top more than likely. It took some time to get them untangled from each other and train them to go up. They put up a fight but in the end they saw it my way. Now I have to get one done for the green beans, and start tomato stakes. 

Peppers in front and corn in the back are starting to take form. I planted some Nasturtium, Empress of India up the right hand side of this bed. 

Tomato bed looking pretty good. Actually found out that i had a Roam sitting in the garage not being used or given away so I planted it here to see if it would take off. That's Nasturtium up the left. Previous post I said right and I profusely apologize.

Had some leafy greens (lettuce) from the garden for lunch today. Good overall taste if at all. I mean, come on, it's lettuce. Potatoes are going like crazy. I mounded around them but looks like I need more. Checked on the onions but still no where ready yet. 

Redid the front of house planter some. Took out an ugly bush and planted a few flowers, some Sparaxis that I started earlier, and got a yard sale bargain of a long planter that I put my Sweet Peas into. Now I have to find a trellis for it to climb up.

While doing this work there was a small, very angry bird waiting for us to finish. Apparently it had a nest nearby or we were bothering it's work. I got it on top of our roof.

Side view were I got some Carpet of Snow going plus my Morning Glories. Rain runs off of the roof here and I end up replanting this every week until i get some mulch on them.

Replanted my Marigolds into permanent containers so now I hope they really take off. 

forgot my added 45 degree quick planter.

WOF of the Week comes as a blast from the past. A short time after we got her my wife came downstairs in the morning to find her here.....
What she was doing here is beyond us but that's what makes her special. Anyways, happy gardening or whatever you are doing. Maybe a post tomorrow night as we'll (oldest son and myself) will be at Pinehurst for his practice round. Sneak phone/camera onto course and hopefully get some good shots. Till then..

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Things Aren't As Easy

OK, this getting old crap is for the birds. Had my wisdom tooth taken out yesterday and after a failed attempt at numbing (about flew out of the chair when he hit a "hot spot'), I have discovered that my recovery will not be as fast as it was when I was younger.The pain medicine I was given, Hydrocodone, is supposed to be addictive but I don't see why someone would want to feel this way all of the time. I've never been one to take pills anyway. Anyway, with the help of my WOF I'm sure I'll be feeling better in no time.
Another shot of the clown cup! They follow us everywhere.

Got to start planning for my fall garden. I want more roma tomatoes or the like in the ground for canning this fall. Anyone have any other good tomatoes that they can? Also I hope the beans grow good this year so we can put a lot of those back too. Storms heading this way but hopefully it won't be as bad as the last ones. Still cleaning up after those. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter and Wisdom.

Happy Easter to all.

Got a lot done this weekend somewhat. Redid the area around the mailbox and got new water lines run in the new bed.

Before and after pictures from the mailbox area. Got some marigolds and some 'mystery' flowers I started a while back, thought I killed but came back to life. I have to look around to see what package they came out of. I also spread some wildflower mix in the dirt so hopefully they will come up good. Need to find a good border to put around this. 

Porch flower pictures as promised. Nothing in bloom yet but everything is growing good. See my shadow in the bottom one. Always follows me...

New bed with the new water lines running through it. Still not what I want. Need bigger sprinklers but those can wait. 

Peas, green beans are really on the move. The German Johnson tomatoes are really starting to take of now. 

Tomato bed from afar. Nasturtium is on the right side. Also there's the much coveted clown cup. We now have two and are on the lookout for more. You don't get to see the back bed as I was in my socks and tired. 

WOF of the week comes from this afternoon. She got stuff left by the Easter Bunny, then we went for a small walk. Somewhat warm today so she decided to take it easy the rest of the day. 

Wisdom tooth started bothering me this afternoon and has progressively gotten worse to the point of PAIN. Can't get into dentist until tomorrow. Put this off too long and now I'm paying for it. Sucking on green tea bag and ibuprofen and that seems to help. 

I hope all is well with you. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Storms Came and Went

As I sit here typing this, I have to reflect back on the events of this past Saturday. Damaging storms with tornadoes sprouted up all the way south of our area, straight through the middle of town, and continued northeast at 55 miles per hour. Numerous touch downs of tornadoes, unheard of in the greater Raleigh area, destroyed trailer parks, homes, one college campus (they shut down for the rest of the year), and felled one hundred year old trees in a matter of ten minutes. I personally have never had up close experience with this phenomenon and don't wish too. It came close to the house and I took the precaution of covering all of the plants to protect them from the hail storm accompanying this storm, and my wife and I ushered the kids into the downstairs bathroom. Thankfully all we got was hard rain. Some of the pictures from that day look like a war zone. One of the trailer parks had a mother, her 6 month old daughter,  9 year old son and two other young children she was watching. She did her best to move them into the interior closet of the home but a tree fell killing three of the kids, leaving her and the 6 month old. She protected it as best she could and the child was taken to the hospital into intensive care. Upon logging into the local TV station's website to get some photos, the headline read where the 6 month old had died. Sorry, but this really makes me angry.

I took some pictures of the garden's progression last night....
Potatoes really coming up now.

I planted some Nasturtium on the left side of this planter and it is now looking good.

Not much has changed here in the new bed. This weekend is the added sprinkler piping. 

Looking at this makes me want to get started on the trellis. I know I say this but nows the time.

No pictures of the flowers this time so those will be next time. Still have a few to get in the ground around the new mailbox planter this weekend. I also have a few plants left if someone needs them. 

WOF of the week comes from our (my) recliner. She's either using the force or wants low paw. Your guess is as good as mine. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OK, Now Everything's in Motion.

Low and behold to my surprise yesterday evening! I come home from work, do my watering of the front flowers, turn the corner and growth abounds! I must say I was taken aback by all of the plants really taking off from Sunday.

Green Beans are up, and a close-up of the sprout says I don't lie.... most of the time anyway.

Peas are up too. I swear that there was nothing three days ago. Now it looks like rest time is over as now I have to make some trellises for these things.

A bloom on one of my bucket cukes! Glad to see this but now it means teepee time.

Shots of the new bed and plants. They have really thrived in the last few days. The squash especially. 

Radishes are up now and I'd say about 3 weeks for harvest.

First tubers are up. Got to start mounding on these things.
Lettuce and cabbage are looking real good too. 
Finally ending on my Moonflowers. Had to help them escape their seed shells but once I did, they have really spread out. 
As I said, it was a pleasant surprise to see the growth happen at once! I still have 3 German Johnson tomato plants, a couple Better Boy, and a few hot peppers and if I could find the room they'd go in the ground! Off to see what needs to be built for trellises and tomato stakes, then it is seed order time for my fall crop planting. May plant a lot more Romas this fall for canning. Anyone ever can them before?

Monday, April 11, 2011

And I Missed the Masters!!!

Alright. Got a lot done building and planting- wise this weekend, except Saturday. Saturday my wife and I went to breakfast, a yard sale, bought a few things from the local high school FFA sale (got some heirloom tomatoes btw), and got dirt in the morning. After lunch we went out again to downtown and the camera shop, browsed The Fresh Market (wish we could afford to shop there :), then proceeded to get lost in the older part of town. But there were a lot of nice homes with beautiful yards. Got stuff for supper then went home. Pretty much a wasted day.
Friday I started on the 4th raised bed and got it at about 70% complete.
Before Image

And the completed bed. Noticed I sloped the bottom boards with the ground then I just cut the top boards to make everything level.

Work was completed on the build and dirt installation by about 1:00 Sunday afternoon. I then proceeded to get all of the plants in I could, top off the other beds some with the good dirt, get a lot of the flowers I started in the ground, etc. A parade of pictures....

Stop the presses!!!! Children working.....

View of bed 3 with some Four O'Clocks in the top round planter. In the metal planter is Nasturtium and I planted 3 of the Heirloom Tomatoes (German Johnson) and a few Bush Cukes.

New bed 4. Sweet Corn, Peppers and Squash are in here. I had some dirt left over so I put that 2x6 board in on the angle and planted some mixed flowers.

Bed 2. Still Tomatoes but I put some Nasturtium seeds in there as well.

Bed 1. Onions going good as are the cabbage and lettuce. Radishes now coming up too.

Another view of the lower beds. I still need to get the H2O piping run into the new bed though.

Front porch partial and the flowers.

More of front porch.

Side of the porch. At the top I have some Allysium started but the rain washes off there I think half of that is in the yard. I also planted some Morning Glories that I had started earlier.

Still have a few yard projects to do but for right now that's it. We used a painter's tarp to cover the dirt in the back of the truck Saturday night, and of course when she wants to come outside to spend some time with me, this is where I find the WOF.

And on top of everything, I finished Sunday at about 7:00 and missed the Masters! Oh the shame. Congrats to Charl.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Plants In, Watering and More To Go.

Ok. i will not complain too much about the cold and warm spells as long as it stays below 40 mph wind speed. This past Saturday was like being in a wind tunnel! 20 mph with gusts upwards of 35-40 mph. Needless to say, not much got done except some minor planting and great buys (more in this below.)

Sunday was my official planting day as the weather was cooperative, 70 degrees, winds light and variable (always wanted to say that with the voice of the Weather Channel guy.)
Saturday- Went to ReStore and got (10) 2x8s x 8'-0" long for $25.00 and they had a section of micro drip irrigation pieces on sale! This is my deal.....
A Rain Drip timer. Believe me it's worth the $15.00 we paid for it when you forget to turn off the hose! Also got some parts and pieces I needed like elbows and plugs for the tubes for a buck a box. We also went to the Mortex Outlet and a few other places we probably didn't need to go. After we got back I went ahead and planted my green beans, thinned the carrots out, and planted peas (probably too late) and radishes. 

Sunday- After my compulsory Call of Duty Black Ops session, I went ahead and did some sharing of my transplants as I always grow too many, and got the Roma, Big Boy, Better Boy, Cherry (almost forgot btw),  squash and eggplant planted in the beds. I do hope we do good again this year. The tomato plants were about 6'-6" last year. I also plugged and rerun the irrigation system which took some time in itself. If you do not have one of these, you need one.
Front porch with my overgrowing obsession with plants, This is just a minor shot of what i have going on. I planted some Alyssum (Carpet of Snow and Royal Carpet) together on the side of the house. Those pics next time.

Bed 1- Onions doing real good. lettuce and cabbage so so. 
Bed 2- Tomatoes and that's all. 
Beds 1 and 2. Bed 4 is going on the far side of #2, at the top of the picture. The only room I have left.
Bed 3- Eggplant, carrots, beans, peas, and in the buckets are MM76 and Bush Cukes. I may move these to the new bed once I get it done this weekend. You can also see the Nasturtium on the lower right. I planted some more of these seeds throughout the beds. 

The watering lines look a mess I know but I have found that you have to let them be long just to make some tight turns you may have to do. You can't put too much pressure and bending on the connections or they'll leak. Plus it's easier to move a head around to somewhere else if you need to. I have it set up to water at 6 am everyday for 5 minutes until it starts getting hot outside. Then it will be 10 minutes. Always in the morning though. 

WOF of the week....

Sadly the dog gets more photos of herself than the rest of us combined. As you can see there's nothing going on inside.