Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring Garden Log -- March 30, 2017

Checking in on the main garden, the broccoli is growing very well! 
The beet seeds seemed to have completely germinated -- more then I expected. They're growing well too! 
 The bed of Jade Bush beans are up and definitely benefited from the lightening storm we had the other night.
Lest you think everything is growing well, I definitely had a germination fail in the carrot bed.  The entire row of "Tendersweet" carrots seem to have about a 25% germination, and these were new seeds, too. They look pretty sad next to the other three varieties. Tsk!
John's grapes are waking up slowly. There's even a few small clusters of grapes on some of them.
Today I planted a patch of Red Swan bush beans in Bed #4A.  In between these and the hot peppers I tucked in a row of red onions that I still needed to get in the ground.

And at the end of bed #4A John put in a short fence for a few cucumbers plants.  I'm not growing a whole lot of these since I made lots of pickles last year and don't need to make any for a few years. These Burpless F1 Hybrid Cucumbers will be just for fresh eating. 

The tomatillo are looking fantastic - they are a good 2 foot tall already and the Amarillo plants already have small fruit on them. 
 Some excitement this week! We found our first ripe mulberries - very tiny - but still exciting! I'm sure they will be bigger each year, but I was so happy to see these!

 Today's harvest was more of the Sea Foam Swiss Chard and a few stems of the Orange Fantasia Swiss Chard, along with a few red onions that I'm thinning to give the others more room to grow.
My outdoor sink came in today so tomorrow John is going to install it for me! More tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My New Garden Sink and Veggie Station!

I love my handy husband! He's always thinking of ways to improve our gardening experience.  In this case, after he finished the new greenhouse, he took down the old one and decided to put something else on top of the cement pad. Since he never does things half way, he's building me an AWESOME area to work with plants and wash vegetables from the garden, including a sink and counter.  
 He's got the four corners up, and the roof frame, but wants to wait until we harvest the peaches from our Rio Grande peach tree that's got one errant branch drooping down into the structure.  Since it's loaded with peaches, we don't want to disturb it too much until they are ripe. Then he can trim that branch off without hurting the tree.
 At the back he created a counter (at table height for me so that I can sit and work in the sink for an extended time.) 
Underneath he's put shelves to keep items under the sink, while still allowing room for the chair to pull up underneath. 
I bought the neatest heavy duty tray I wanted to use for the sink, but John's rejected it. He says the ridges in this buss boy tub won't drain well, and he'd have a hard time putting in a drain, so I'll keep this and use it for other things (harvest bucket?)
We ordered a utility sink instead and he'll install it when it gets here.  Meanwhile, I'll stain the counter and shelves.  More pictures when he's done!

Spring Garden Log -- March 28, 2017

Time to talk peppers! The peppers in the main garden are in. I have the sweet peppers in Bed #1E. They are:

  • Gypsy (6)
  • Candy Apple (1)
  • Yellow Bell (1)
  • Cubanelle (1)
  • King of the North Red (1)

 The hot peppers are all the way on the other side of the garden in Bed #4A.  All of these are pretty mild heat. I love jalapenos, so the ajis will be mild compared to them. I'm only growing one jalapeno since I put up so many last year.

  • Jalapeno (1) Heat Scale 8000
  • Aji Golden [Yellow] (3) Heat Scale 1000
  • Aji Angelo [Red] (3) Heat Scale 1000

Then in the potted garden I have extra ajis of both kinds in two pots, a pot of Beaver Dam peppers (another Heat Scale 1000) that I got seeds from my Facebook group, and one Violet Sparkle (sweet) that was soooo-o-o late coming up that I had given up on it, threw the pot in a pile and when I was going to clean them up and put them away, I found this one little plant trying hard to live. 

I also have a pot with a small orange pepper I called JR's Orange Pepper (sweet), since he brought me a couple of these from a delivery he had from Truckin' Tomato last year.  I saved the seeds and they have grown! I tried some Hatch pepper seeds, but no bueno. 

More from the garden tomorrow! I'm going to put a lot of effort into finishing my planting by early next week.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Garden Log -- March 26, 2017

I've planted just about every herb that I can fit into this little bed in front of our potting shed. 

In the little wagon there's the lovage and chocolate mint.
 Off to the side there's all of those aloe vera plants that I over wintered in the greenhouse - they get shade there all afternoon and evening and seem to like it that way - but I've really got to re-pot them. There's so many baby plants in there that are crowding the pots.  Anyone want one? 
 In the bed there's a lemon balm plant in a pot that's about 3 years old. It's been cut back and it's growing gang busters right now. There's Mexican tarragon and one small dill that I started by seed.  It's the only one that came up, but its doing well and growing.

There's an Italian flat leaf parsley and a curly leaf parsley. I dried so much parsley last year I don't really need much, so these are just for using fresh. Behind those is a yellow pot with globe basil that was in the greenhouse all winter. Those seeds all came up, but just stayed small all winter until I moved it outside and fertilized it, then it sprang to life! There's an Italian basil that I started from seed right next to it.

I've never had much luck with thyme, but I do love it, so I had to buy one at the nursery this year. It's a German thyme and I hope I can keep it alive.
Next is the bronze fennel, and a lemon mint in a pot that I started from seed. And finally there a huge garlic chives that just keeps on chugging along for about three years in the same place.  It's having babies this year, so I think I'll pot some of those up to add in other places.
At the end of the bed I stuck another tomato - I hate to waste those beautiful little tomato plants, so I just try to find places for them.  This one is a Costoluto Genovese. 
Then there's various herbs that I planted out in the main garden between beds and some in pots.  There's peppermint, cilantro, blue spice basil, lime basil, a regular sage that's two years old, a pineapple sage, and a huge two year old bed of oregano that's taking over a corner of the garden. It smells so good when I brush by it.  I love the herbs!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Garden Log -- March 25, 2017

I have a whole post to do about my peppers, but no pictures yet, so I'll put that up in a day or two. Meanwhile, I've done some work with the herbs.  This is my bronze fennel that's come up here for the past two years - now three! I started a few from saved seeds, too, and they are behind this one.  We'll see if they make it. 
 I planted lovage this year for the first time, and I was so excited to see them germinate. It took quite a while, and I had to have patience (which is something I lack!)  Looking forward to finding recipes to use lovage in - my friend Mari said she's had some wonderful soup made with it. Sounds good!
I'll try to take some pics of my herb area soon - I have parsleys, dill, and several others starting in there.
 A photo of part of Bed #1 and Bed# 2. Everything is coming along!
 Another view of both of those beds.
This Sea Foam Swiss Chard is just beautiful! I'm impressed with the vibrant lime color.
 One of the potatoes has come up so far!
 My first morning glory of the season! So pretty!
And finally, the Orient pear has bloomed! These blooms didn't last very long and the tree is covered in leaves already. We probably won't have pears for a few more years since this is only the second spring for this tree.

Leon Valley AVA Walk

This morning we got up early and met the family in Leon Valley at Raymond Rimkus park for a 5K walk with a walking club that my brother and his wife and our friends the Hoyt's are a part of. It was kind of nice to get the extended family together.  We were only missing Ashley, she's been sick and wasn't up to it.  I didn't walk either, but I got to watch Joss while her family walked!
The weather was fantastic - just a bit cool, with lots of beautiful sunshine.
 John is signing in at the registration table.
 We got to visit with Aunt Kathy who was working the table. I never got to see my brother, Mike. He was on duty somewhere out on the walking course.
 JR, KT, John and Colleen waiting to take off!
 JR with Mighty Max in tow! I heard he did well in the backpack until just before the end. Pretty good for his first time out.
Max is like, "I don't know what's happening, but I like it!"
 Josh came with his entire family.  I never got a picture of the boys or Sunni. Dang!
 Jeff, ready to go!
 And they're off! You can walk anytime between 8am and 11am, so the walkers were spread out all over the park. Such a good idea.
 Uncle Hoyt was working the walk, too. One day after hand surgery - what a guy! 
Mari was there, but working at one of the stations on the course handing out candy, 
water and directions to those who needed it.
 Joss and I spent a lot of time playing on the kiddie playground.  She's fearless!
 Round and round! Hey, there I am - that shadow with the iphone camera!
 Sit, bunny!
After the walk, we went to the new Leon Valley Cafe for lunch. It was good -- I recommend it!