May 20, 2009

It's been a busy couple of weeks in the garden. Most of the mulch has been spread onto the raised vegetable beds and flower beds. I did talk my husband into building 2 more raised beds. We saw a great one from Sunset Magazine that I had him copy. I like it so much that when the rest of the beds need to be remade in a few years we'll definitely follow Sunset's example. Here's a picture of how ours turned out.
I'm running out of full sun areas in the garden due to a neighbor's maple tree that started out as a weed seedling along the fence line and now has matured into a 30 foot behemoth. I squeezed this bed into a previously unused area behind my rhubarb plants. It gets about 6 hours of sun a day so hopefully the Coustralle tomatoes that I planted there will be able to grow and fruit.

I was able to get all the tomatoes planted just a day after we had a late frost(May17th). I ended up planting 14 tomato plants. Cuostralee is a large red French heirloom that supposedly grows 3 pound fruits. Manyel is a yellow heirloom that has a citrus flavor. Tigerella is an early English heirloom with orange and red stripes. Pineapple is a heirloom beefsteak tomato with yellow and oranges stripes on the inside and out. I'm also growing Yellow Currant tomatoes which are tiny and obviously yellow. I have some Ultimate Opener tomatoes that I still haven't decided whether to plant or just give away. The plants look a bit wimpy and yellow so they may just end up in the compost pile. Here's how it all looks.

May 9, 2009

I planted my six hanging baskets all with seeds I had sown earlier this spring. They have white begonias, black dragon coleus, butterfly mix impatiens, blue lobelia and a pink caladium in the center. They're small now but will fill out quickly. The best part though is knowing that instead of spending $40 for each basket at a nursery I probably spent $1 literally on each one. Here's a closer look.
I also moved the rest of the plants to the shady north side of the house for a few days of acclimating themselves to the outdoors. Then they'll spend a few days on the south side getting some sunshine before I move them into the garden.

May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Help Wanted

I have this sign posted on my garden shed door but so far I haven't received any inquiries for employment. This time of year I could really do with a few extra hands helping me out. Why does it seem like I wait and wait for spring and then all at once things are growing out of control, weeds need to be pulled, compost needs to be spread. I really thought I was on top of things this year but again the beginning of May comes and EVERYTHING HAS TO BE DONE NOW!!!! At least that seems like what the garden is saying. I probably feel this way because this was dumped in the driveway yesterday.

By the end of the day I had shoveled maybe 1/4 of it(about 1 cubic yard) into my raised beds. This is mushroom compost, one of the best things you can add to your garden. Even though I make my own garden compost it seems like there is never enough to add to all the beds so I get some local mushroom compost. One of the best things about it is it's weed free and has been through a pasteurization process that kills pests and diseases. All this and it's a great low dose fertilizer too.

After all my hard work I had to get a little pleasure so I planted my broccoli, cabbage and pak choi in the amended beds. I had been hardening them off outside for the past week. Honestly, they probably could have used a bit more time getting used to the sun but I figured since clouds and rain were in the forecast I should get them out while I could. I'm doing a little experiment and have put a cold frame(open on the sides) over some of the broccoli and cabbage and left the others exposed. I'm going to see if the ones in the cold frame grow any quicker.