Sunday, December 27, 2009


In September, I took some cuttings from my Knockout Rose and tried to root them. I read about it on Gardener's Net and just thought I would try it since my rose bush seems to be doing so well. It seems to be working because I noticed these new red buds! This spring I will transplant them.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Roll Call 2010

I've got my list of seeds ready to go. From each company, I've done my research as to what I want to try and what works. John Scheeper's is my first choice because everything there is tested and selected. For heirlooms or anything specialty, I would stick to JS. Prices between 2.79 to 4.95 per pack.

Same with Renee but their seeds are cheaper (2.79 for all but you have to check the number of seeds you are getting). I like Renee because of all the flower choices and they have beautiful illustrations and how to's on the back of the seed packet.

My least favorite is Burpee. I really don't care for them at all, but they were the only ones selling plants. I already put in my order. Last year I bought the seeds and they don't tell you this on the website but included a note in my order that these seeds have very low success rate if started at home.

The annual herbs I just go to Lowe's or Home Depot or even Target. It's all $1.29 or so. Now that I have a designated area for herbs, I'm hoping they will reseed themselves and I won't have to buy seeds anymore.

John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds
4265 Persimmon Tomatoes
4240 Black Russian Tomatoes
4345 Juliet Grape Tomatoes
8130 Horse Radish (roots)
8080 Sweet Potatoes (tubers)
1010 Artichokes
2942 Bok Choy
2935 Chinese Brocolli

Renee’s Garden
5078 Squash, Scallop
5364 Squash, Yellow Crockneck
5933 Beans, Emerite Filet Pole Beans
5198 Beans, Edamame Soy
5845 Chard, Neon Glow
5620 Cucumber, Chelsea Prize (English)
5834 Cucumber, Endeavor (pickling)
5372 Lettuce, Garden babies (butter lettuce)
5459 Basil, Window box (bush type)
5926 Celery, Amsterdam Seasoning (thin cutting celery)
5225 Chamomile
5105 Runner bean, Magic bean stalk
5407 Zinnia, Berry Basket
5298 Sweet Pea, Mary Lou Heard
5414 Poppy, Native Orange
5363 Poppy, Tropical Sunset
5922 Poppy, Falling in Love

15792T Garlic, Early Italian (bulbs)
23039 Eggplant, Fairytales (3 plants)

Park Seed Co.
5675 Squash, Small Wonder (spaghetti squash)

Local Stores
Lemon Basil
Genovese Basil
Dukat Dill
Carrots (5” variety)
Watermelon, Ruby Hybrid Seedless
Peppers (nursery starts)

I forgot to mention Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They do nothing but heirloom vegetables. They seem very genuine, but I haven't had much luck with the few seeds I ordered from them. I don't think it's their fault. I think it's because they ARE heirlooms and their success rate is just lower simply because they are more delicate. I love perusing their catalog at all the "strange" looking vegetables.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Gantt Chart

With so many veggies and flowers, I find it hard to keep up with their needs once the summer progresses. I often simply forget that eggplant needs side dressing and what bugs to look out for, etc. Typically, I make lots of lists, but for next year I made this gantt chart just to give me an overall view of things. It acts as a reminder of how long each plant takes before harvest, co-planting (or planting the tomatoes where the peas were), balance out the harvest and a side note for any special needs.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Planting spring bulbs

I've been naughty. I bought all these bulbs and hid them from my husband. Then, I forgot all about them. It's cutting it a little slim to plant them now. Fortunately, we've had some warmer temperatures since there needs to be enough time for them to get acclimated before it gets to freezing temperatures.

I love sorbet colored tulips. I planted those in "bunches" around the yard. The peach colored double daffodil, I planted around the crab apple tree and kansas peony. The red tulips, I planted around the rhododendron in the front to go with our red door.

The yellow mixed daffodils, I planted around the japanese maple and around the azalea in front. Rake the mulch off the surface, dig a 6" hole, plop your bulb in right side up, cover back up and firm. Rake mulch back over it. Hopefully, the squirrels will leave them alone.

I cut back the chilli peppers and cleaned up the herb garden. It's a mess. I'm thinking about putting some stones down and raising the garden bed. It will give the herbs more sunlight if they are elevated and keep the herbs from getting all dirty.

The oregano is doing really well here so I"m going to keep it here. The sage needs a lot more sun so I think elevating it will do some good. Can you believe this plant started out like this? If it stays warm enough, I might raise the bed soon.

Happily waiting for spring to come.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Shape Up

Since it's September, this is the time to begin dividing your perennials and transplanting them. Don't forget to water them regularly after you've moved them. It's also a great time to cut your garden beds now too.

What's new?
  • I transplanted 2 trees that my neighbor was getting rid of. I placed on against the fence and another in front of our condensing unit to conceal it from the front of the house. I was afraid they wouldn't survive, but I've been watering them and they seem to be doing ok.
  • I divided & transplanted a ton of mature Hosta given to me by my neighbor. I made a border of them along the back of the yard. They are solid green.
  • Also from a neighbor, I transplanted a small leaf Azalea to the very back garden bed. It has really pretty tiny leaves with a little bit of reddish on the tips. The branches also have that japanese maple look where it looks tiered.
  • Then I transplanted some red leaf little tree or shrub that has white flowers in the spring. I don't know the name of this yet.
  • I divided and transplanted a ton of Irises in Purple, White and Burgundy. I must have moved 40 bulbs.
  • I cleaned up the weeds, brush and worn veggie plants.
  • I cut a new garden bed along the back and side of the shed. It still needs some more work, but it's getting there.
  • I planted a little Crepe Myrtle.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

'Cause breakin' up is hard to do

After spending 2 wonderful weeks with Tego, it's back to gardening. I miss him dearly. He even had a special fondness for my heirloom tomatoes.

So it's September already! Time to clean up the garden. I cut all my spent veggie plants back and worked the soil a bit. My next project is the very back of the yard. I started breaking up some Irises that I had on the side of the house and making new homes for them along the back garden bed. I plan on reworking this whole area and planting some low maintenance perennials back here. It's about 8' deep from the fence and will need a lot of mulching. I will lay down some of that plastic landscaping material as well.

Shown above: Evergreen, lilac, pepper plants, sedum, dianthus, knockout rose, basil, black eyed susans.

So maybe next year, the garden bed will look like this one! I'm really proud of how this area turned out. It took a lot of time and many mistakes, but it was well worth the effort.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August already?

There's a lot happening in the garden. So much so, that I can't seem to keep up with posting. Last weekend, I suited up and weeded the back of the yard. There must have been 150 SF of weeds; some of them the size of trees. This fall, I'm going to set the perennials in motion, so that they will be on auto pilot next summer. I just don't think I can do much of this anymore. Life is so busy!

I shaped up the circle around the dogwood tree and built it back up. I reorganized the plants around the base as well. To the left of the photo are Irises that I moved about 1' away from the deck. Last year I transplanted some in that relative location, but they sprouted right up against the fence which is a waste because you can't see them from the yard and it's difficult to weed back there. I literally just moved the entire plant and root ball along with it. It hasn't wilted so I think I did good.

Do you remember this?

Well, here's a hint.

For the 3rd year in a row, my dahlia made it! I was a little nervous this year because I put the bulbs that I dug up in the basement without a bag or any peat moss. I just left them in a container and I was afraid they dried out. But she made it!

As for the veggie garden, I'm seriously going to do a raised garden bed next year and pots. They were so much more rewarding in terms of harvest and far cleaner to deal with. I'll make a patch for corn and cucumbers in the back, but as for the other veggies I'm going to plant in a raised bed. I've been observing the sun's movement across the yard to see where is the best place to locate the raised bed. We'll wait and see.

Last year, my carrots were a wash. The soil has to be really soft and even (no rocks or hard soil), so I did them in a container this year. It was perfect! I'll do this again next year.

As you can see I have lots of red chili peppers. I don't know why I grow this since we can't use them much. They are pretty spicy and only need 1 or 2 at most. I'd like to think that they keep the animals away. In the lower right hand corner, you'll see a little pumpkin. These were cute, but I am not sure I will plant the large pumpkins again. They take over the yard.

I've been using my bell peppers for salsa and stir fry, but here are a few that are starting to turn red! The plant could use a larger container as well, but this will do for the year.

I have this one lemon cucumber vine that is a monster! And there are tons of cucumbers! It seems that the afternoon shade prolongs the life of the vine.

A House Guest

We have a house guest for two weeks. Meet Tego everyone! His mommy and daddy are getting married in Punta Cana this weekend, so he's taking a vacay himself and staying with us. He's been such a good dog and companion to me. He's even helpful in the garden!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Les Fleurs

Our crepe myrtle bloomed and to my surprise it's red! I really wanted a pink one. I'm not so sure I really like it. It's pretty, but it's in my purple-pink garden! I've also been thinking about moving our dogwood tree. It's not getting enough sun and hasn't grown very much. I might displace the crab apple tree for the dogwood tree.

I got a tiny piece of a bleeding heart from my neighbor across the street. It was squished under a gutter and I asked him nicely if I could have it if he didn't care for it. Now look at it! I know you can't tell how big it is, but if you rolled me up into a ball, that's how big it is. :D

I'm still getting more and more gladiolas. They are so beautiful and what a great late summer flower! All the colors have been beautiful.

My pumpkin vines have finally taken off. They have some really pretty flowers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving a Rhododendron

The front yard was an area that I kept ignoring, but really needed some shaping up. Besides being busy with the veggie garden and back yard, the reason I was holding out is because I really wasn't sure what to do about the front. Did I want to build it up? Did I want to plant more? Should I get rid of the hydrangea? The front segment just looked unbalance and had different needs - blistering sun on the south side and cool shade on the front side.

Before: Our meager little shrubs last spring '08. From left to right is my peony, a rhododendron (center) and hydrangea (that came with the house) and a new weeping cherry blossom tree.

After: I moved the Rhododendron over to the left about 2 feet and turned it 90 degrees, so it would grow more attractively. Doesn't it look like a totally new plant!?

I asked my neighbors who told me that the Rho had been there at least 6 years and hasn't grown one bit! So I did some reading online about how to care for Rhos and read they needed a shot of fertilizer in the spring, moist soil, natural compost such as leaves, and in extremely poor cases some strategic pruning. This spring I did give it some flower food pellets and noticed the Rho grew at least a foot! I also pruned 2-3 branches back that were growing funny.

Before I moved it, I filled the hole with lots of leaves and tree bark that I gathered from the lawn. Carefully I moved the entire Rho with the root ball intact into the hole and back filled it with very rich humus from the nursery.

Always water thoroughly. I made a "well" around the base and slowly poured 2 buckets of water into the area. Then I mulched over it.

To the left of the cherry blossom tree, I divided a large hosta into 5 smaller bunches. The area there was always a bit of a mess due to the run off and it's all shade now that the tree is there. The hosta will hopefully hold the soil down when it rains hard and it's a good spot for the hosta too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's a baby! Pumpkin that is!

I believe this is a little holiday pumpkin for decorative purposes only and not the large jack o lantern kind. It's so cute!

The pumpkin acts as a ground cover for the corn here. I'll have corn in a couple of weeks. I love how they look paired up with the black eyed susans.

There are 6 large (and 3 developing) bell peppers on my potted test plant. There are still none on my plants that are in the ground. I'm really proud of these babies.

Bottle neck gourd.

Aerial shot of the south east side of the garden full of perennials. In the upper left corner of the photo is where I may put the veggie garden next year. That area gets the most sun.

Over the weekend, I was able to do some weeding. There were quite a few weeds (3 wheel barrels full), but not as much as previous years. I am already thinking about moving certain plants for a better display next year. There's so much to do!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lemon Cucumber Plant

My raspberry bush was starting to dwindle and rather than have a big, empty pot all summer, I placed a cucumber plant into the pot along with the raspberry bush. The cucumber plant has really taken off and there are lots of little lemon cucumbers on the vines. I can't wait to see them all pop up. I'm growing very fond of the container gardening. The plants are so much cleaner, less buggy, grow better and there's no weeding involved.

In other garden news:
  • 2 pumpkins are beginning to develop
  • 1 red gladiola is beginning to appear
  • Sunflowers are starting to bloom
  • Lots of english cucumber growing
  • Need to move the Obedient plant, delphinium, wild indigo
  • Next: Work on the garden bed in front of the house

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lemon Cucumber

There are few updates over in the casa, so check it out.

I found this little baby hiding amongst the leaves in the veggie garden. I can't wait to taste it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's food!

I picked some raspberries and as I ate them, I felt like Survivor Man. :D Lots happened last week. I already harvested handfuls of peas 3 times last week, 3 summer squashes, and lots of herbs and arugula.

More Summer Squash

Genovese Basil and carrots in my "test garden" container. I can't believe that early this month, these looked like this.

Do you remember the herb garden that I started in May?

Here it is now!

Here's a close up of the Sage (left) and Lemon Basil (right) I'm surprised at how well the basil did since I thought I was going to lose them when I planted them initially during the cold, rainy spring.

I need to start making some pesto very soon!