Save Your Own Seeds, Make Your Own Pots

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Posted by admin | Posted in Being Green, Vegetable Garden | Posted on April 2, 2010

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Here are a few links I’d like to share that I found today.

The first one is about saving your own vegetable seeds from year to year, for so many good reasons: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/save-seeds-garden.html

And this one, how to make your own seed pots, which I learned can be made from old phone books (which we never use anyway). I’m going to give this a try and return the seed-starting tray I just bought while it’s still in the wrapper! http://herbgardens.about.com/od/herbalcraftsandgifts/ht/MYOSeedpot.htm

Quick Update

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Posted by admin | Posted in Vegetable Garden | Posted on March 31, 2010

Just a quick update to document that one Roma tomato and one hot pepper have sprouted! I’m sure they’ll come quickly now.

Hoping to plant my lettuce, spinach, radishes, and onions outside this coming weekend!

Productive Sunday

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Posted by admin | Posted in Vegetable Garden | Posted on March 21, 2010

Today I cleared the asparagus patch of last year’s stalks and dead grass. The sun can now reach the ground to warm it up faster. I’m looking forward to those first asparagus meals. Yum!
We will need to quickly build an arbor above the asparagus patch for the grape vines growing there. The vines always get tangled up in the asparagus as they wind around the new plants each year. They’ve been wild for many years and we need to get them pruned and trained.
I hauled five wheelbarrow loads of compost to the garden before tiring. Ryan continued the job until our oldest compost bin was empty. He moved the least decomposed materials to the 3rd bin leaving us one more bin to bring to the garden. Almost ready for tilling!
Per the advice of a family friend, I started our tomato and pepper seeds tonight. She says “the first day of spring” is a good guideline for starting those slow-growing vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, celery, parsley, and eggplant, and similarly slow flowers like marigolds. I planted the following:
Burpee Big Boy
Jung Celebrity (old seed, we’ll see if they germinate)
Jung “Rainbow” of various cherry tomatoes
Jung yellow pear tomatoes
Burpee jalapeno
Burpee sweet pepper
Burpee “Hot Mix” peppers
Continued observations:
The strawberries are up! I marked the plants with sticks.
The oregano and chives are sprouted and moving right along.

Today I cleared the asparagus patch of last year’s stalks and dead grass. The sun can now reach the ground to warm it up faster. I’m looking forward to those first tasty spears. Yum!

We will need to quickly build an arbor above the asparagus patch for the older grape vines growing there. The vines always get tangled up in the asparagus as they wind around the new plants each year. They’ve been wild for many years and we need to get them pruned and trained.

I hauled five wheelbarrow loads of compost to the garden before tiring. Ryan continued the job until our oldest compost bin was empty. He moved the least decomposed materials to the 3rd bin leaving us one more bin to bring to the garden. Almost ready for tilling already!

Per the advice of a family friend, I started our tomato and pepper seeds tonight. She says the first day of spring is a good guideline for starting those slow-growing vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, celery, parsley, and eggplant, and similarly slow flowers like marigolds. I planted the following seeds:

  • Burpee Big Boy (2010)
  • Jung Celebrity (old seed, we’ll see if they germinate)
  • Burpee roma (2010)
  • Jung “Rainbow” – various cherry tomatoes (old)
  • Jung yellow pear tomatoes (old)
  • Burpee jalapeno (2010)
  • Burpee sweet pepper (2010)
  • Burpee “Hot Mix” peppers (2009)

Continued observations:

  • The strawberries are up! I marked the plants with sticks.
  • The oregano and chives are sprouted and moving right along.

Garden List 2010

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Posted by admin | Posted in Vegetable Garden | Posted on March 19, 2010

I had to laugh that I’m a little behind last year, but I did get some time to make my vegetable planting list and take a seed inventory. Here’s what we’ll be growing this year:

  • Asparagus (perennial)
  • Beans – yellow pole, green pole
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Onions – yellow, red
  • Peas
  • Peppers – sweet, chili, hot varieties
  • Radishes – early, main-season
  • Spinach
  • Squash – acorn, butternut
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes – traditional, roma, cherry, yellow pear
  • Turnips?

Sunny edge of woods, to save garden space:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Gourds
  • Pumpkin
  • Watermelon

Fruit, perennial:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes (3 varieties)
  • Pears
  • Plums (if the tree decides to produce)
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Herbs:

  • Basil
  • Chives (perennial)
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Garlic Chives (perennial)
  • Lavender
  • Oregano (perennial)
  • Parsley
  • Thyme (perennial)

Did you notice NO zucchini!? I made an executive decision that for the small amount we actually eat, it’s not worth the valuable garden space.

I may give cauliflower a try. I have some old seeds. If they don’t germinate, so be it.

Yard Assessment

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Posted by admin | Posted in Flower Beds, Home & Property, Trees, Vegetable Garden | Posted on March 18, 2010

With the surprising 64-degree weather, I took a walk around the yard today with the dogs to see how things fared the winter months. Here are some observations:

  • All five of our blueberry bushes were nibbled down to within an inch of the ground. Yikes! Stay tuned to hear if they come back. I’ll have to read up about protecting them from hungry creatures. I found it funny that whatever ate them completely ignored the forsythia plants interspersed among the blueberries.
  • My tulips are already four inches high! Wow, last I looked they were just peeking out of the soil. Suddenly their wide, thick leaves are fully formed and reaching for sun. Likewise, the thin leaves of the daffodils have shot up around ten inches. The sunny warm location must be the trick. I greeted them all with smiles and removed stray twigs and bark to help them feel comfortable.
  • No asparagus sprouts observed yet.
  • Although no green buds yet, the first-year grape vines feel flexible. I hope they made it through their first winter in the ground.
  • Need to decide if we will spray the fruit trees this year or let them be “organic”. The buds on the trees are definitely more obvious than last time I looked. Can easily see the bud size difference when comparing a pruned/fallen branch to a live one. Exciting!
  • The irises are already back to life, with flat triangular spikes poking up all over.

Joy.

End of Icy Mornings?

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Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 10, 2010

This morning was the first walk with Benji and Bishop where the road was entirely free of ice! Hopefully that’s the end of it for the season, because it’s not fun walking two strong dogs on icy pavement. Yikes!

Fruit Tree Pruning Done!

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Posted by admin | Posted in Trees | Posted on March 8, 2010

Just a quick log entry to document that yes, I was late getting to the fruit tree pruning AGAIN. :) Two evenings of work cleaned up the seven trees, and they should be ready for spring!

Frosty Foggy Morning

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Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 5, 2010

I took the dogs on their usual walk this morning. It was so foggy we could hardly see the road in front of us! ¬†About 15 minutes in, I noticed that the leashes looked very frayed… little strings were sticking out all over. I thought it odd that I hadn’t noticed that before!

A few minutes later I saw strings all over my own jacket, and then realized there was frost all over my shoulders! I looked at the dogs and saw it starting on them too! I got to watch frost grow while we walked. What a bizarre thing.

Tried to snap some shots of this rare experience with my phone – wish I had a better camera along! All the frost melted as soon as we entered the garage.

Later in the day I learned others were affected by this crazy weather too. I’ll try to remember it as the day we were touched by Jack Frost and not this…

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20100305/APC0101/100305037/Fifteen-injured-in-38-car-crashes-this-morning-on-U.S.-41-north-of-Appleton

frosty-dogs

Apricots!

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Posted by admin | Posted in Cooking | Posted on August 11, 2009

If you didn’t notice, it’s a bumper year for apricots and plums in northeastern Wisconsin. I had the opportunity to process some apricots last night with my Mom. This batch of fruit is from the trees of a good family friend near Reedsville.

Apricots_August10

I have never eaten so many apricots in one day. Scrumptious!

ApricotJars_August10

Photo Documentation

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Posted by admin | Posted in Flower Beds, Vegetable Garden | Posted on August 10, 2009

For the record of this blog, here are shots of our garden and front flower bed at this time.

Yes, we finally pulled out the lettuce and spinach that had taken over. I know, I know, it has been a busy summer. Look at those tomatoes!

Garden_August10

FrontBed_August10