Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good/Bad News

Good news first. The strawberries are making flowers. As flowers turn into strawberries, this is a good thing. My lettuce, radishes and spinach are flourishing. Plenty of good rain and good soil with good seeds makes things grow. Should be enjoying these things within a couple of weeks.

Bad news. The lake that is my un-tilled garden is, well...a lake. It's been raining pretty much constantly for days and days and days with no real end in sight. Looking at a 10-day forecast for the area, it's supposed to rain pretty much constantly or at least nearly every other day.

I like Potter's idea the best so far. He says we just need to drive to where they haven't gotten so much rain and buy dirt. So, Texas?? Unfortunately, the place we buy bulk top soil won't sell it when it's been raining because they leave it outside and it just gets muddy and heavy. They sell it by the ton so that wouldn't really be fair to dump a bunch of wet mud into the back of a truck. I think we may end up buying a shit-ton of bagged dirt to get the seedlings and tomato/pepper plants in the ground. Although I ordered plants, they haven't come yet but I need to check up on those and see what's what. Anyway, that's my sadness for the day! I'll take some pictures of the growing things and post them soon!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Free Labor

I got yelled at Friday. Yes, CJ, I hear ya' squawking.

So, my friends (my very, very, very, very good friends) came over forever ago and helped me clean out the nasty, nasty garden. They all brought their dogs and we had an impromptu dog park with 7 dogs running around. The odd dog sibling out is poor Troy and Adam's dog (big Rottie). Don't worry, they are looking for a little sister for him since he likes the little ladies. Here's pics!

Sarge and Buster making "friends". They wanted to "play". Pervs.

River discovered the greatest thing known to dog. A straw pile. The other dogs were just confused by her joy and love of making tunnels in the pile.

Yep, that's a face of joy there.

All the dogs were like, "is there food here? Is something dead I can roll around in? Where's the poop? What the hell is so fascinating??? Weirdo puppy." Ok, I'm not sure that's what they were thinking, but it rings of truth. Cold, hard truth.

Notice the look of pure joy on my face! I'm happy cuz I don't have to do all this work by myself.

Wuss. She totally couldn't hang. Although it may have been the best day of her life. What with the straw and all. Tough to beat straw piles. Sorry mom. Straw is the BESTEST!

See. They work. And work. And I take pictures. Heh.

Working...working...working. Well, technically, this picture is walking...walking...walking.

Again. How did this work out? I'm photo-ing and and they are hoeing. Hoeing.
Heh. That word never gets old. Or less funny.

We also went to the Pet Expo one Saturday and while I did not bring another dog home,
this is the stash of free stuff. Holy moly Batman.

So, a huge shout-out to Troy, Tanya, Nikki and CJ for helping me clear the garden. It's all ready to till now, but as it will never stop raining EVER AGAIN, I won't have ANY tomatoes or cucumbers or zucchini....or CORNNNNN!!! WAHHHHHHH!!!!

Alright, sorry about that. 15 minutes of crying and screaming whilst lying in the fetal position in the corner will really put perspective on what's important. I get it. Don't cry. Don't think of all the wonderful garden things you love that the awful rain is stopping you from putting in the WATERMELONS and BEEEANNNNSSSS!!!!! WAHHHHHH!!!!

Pardon me while I, sniffle, snif, snort, try to compose, sniff, myself.


Friday, April 10, 2009


I don't normally post twice in one night, but Santa came early this year to the Potter house and look what he's making me!!

That's right rabbits. Raised beds!! My garden may not be a loss this year after all :)



un new things came in the mail yesterday. 

I got my cucumber trellis which I have coveted for a while now. It's basically a wire shelf that allows the cucumbers to hang and not be on the ground. I'm geekily excited about it. 

And I got some more new plants and things. Since it was so yucky yesterday, I didn't get them in the ground, but they are hibernating in the fridge. Cross your fingers that this is not killing them slowly. 

I've wanted some pretty flowers in the front of the house and have always loved peonies. Somehow, this bag isn't quite what I expected. I got two red ones, so we'll see how that goes after they are in the ground. Right now, it's just sad.

I've wanted to grow potatoes for a while, so this should be interesting. As I have no clue whatsoever what I'm doing, it's really an experiment. These are Kennebec potato sets. Yep. Looks like cut up potatoes. Pretty sure I could have done that.

Here's the wicked cool thing about seeds. You start out with dirt. Add water and sun. Then in 7 days, you get this.

Pretty cool. Hunh? Now if I can keep Max off them, we'll be fine. This is a mess of different zucchinis and cucumbers here. Seeds totally have life figured out. You just give them the most basic things and they just do their thing.

Again...from THIS.

To THIS. Here's oregano, zucchini and watermelons.

My strawberry bed, still put to sleep. I think it's ready to be uncovered as strawberry plants are winding their way out of the bed. I spent a bit of time uncovering them this evening. There's definitely plants in there!

Cilantro and basil have been planted in this bed. Can't tell yet, but they are there. The oregano is the last bit to go in there and I'll have my herb garden for this year!

Oh. This is just...sad. This is what happens after the harvest is over and you don't do anything to it before winter. That is a mess. Luckily, Paul is right now getting lumber for the raised beds and I have a friend coming over tomorrow to help me clear this nightmare up. I'm not sure I could face it alone. Well, or face it sober.

Lettuce and radishes. This is now my chilly weather bed. 

It's gearing up kids! Soon we'll be planting the rest of the stuff and then REAL fun begins. I'd also like to do an orchard some day but we'll keep it slow. Once I get the garden more perfected, we'll tackle trees.

Gardening is such fun.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Getting Gardening

It's getting late in gardening, but we've had the weirdest weather. I haven't done ANYthing. So after work yesterday, I got some seeds started indoors and cleared out two of the raised beds. I planted lettuce, spinach and radishes in one bed. The other will be my herb garden and cilantro and oregano both got in the ground. 

I got a new toy for indoor seed starting. I bought two of these from Totally Tomato.

They are compact plant trainers. They are self-watering and you can plant 49 seeds in each one. They are super small and I think will work really well.

I planted a bunch of the squash, cucumbers, watermelons and basil. I decided to try a different seed company this year, Jung's. Paul thinks I'm nuts because of the ol' "if it ain' t broken, why fix it" adage. But I wanted to try some different varieties and Gurney's didn't have them. It seemed to take forever to get the seeds from Jung's but when they came, I got free samples and a free gift, so I won't bitch at all. Who doesn't love free things? They know what they're doing, heh.

As far as the big garden goes, it's been too wet what with the SNOW and all to get in there and till. With our clay soil, it holds water too well (good for garden, bad for getting-garden-ready). I've been waiting but it's rained a lot. And we're supposed to get more snow tomorrow. I'm pretty sick of this snow in April crap so hopefully that will be the last blast.

We are going to make some more raised beds and then we won't have to entirely deal with this. The tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans will be in the beds and the corn, watermelons and pumpkins will be in the regular ol' ground. As you can see, we're trying out some new things and we'll see how it goes.

Zucchini will be plain ol' regular green ones, yellow crooked-neck squash and a variety pack of scallop squash. I will try some successive planting on these to ward off those awful squash bugs. 

Cucumbers will be slicing and some pickling ones. I may have to learn how to can, but plan on making more refrigerator pickles for sure. There's a very wide variety of types you can make and now that I will be growing the correct cukes for the job, I plan on doing dill and bread and butter. Paul loves his bread and butter pickles. I also want to play around with a spicy one, but there's no mix for that so I need to do some research into it.

Also, new this year will be watermelons and pumpkins. I wanted to try these out for fun. Pumpkins will strictly be for seeds and Halloween although my friend Beth might actually know how to make a pie from real pumpkins and she might want some.

Corn is the same, but will be planted completely differently to try to avoid the whole being knocked down and broken by the wind thing. 

And we're doing pole beans instead of bush beans this year. I may throw a couple of bush beans in the mix, but we'll see once I get the raised beds going. 

Paul needs to make me raised beds but since he's been working overnights, he's been busy trying to adjust to the new schedule. I may force him to do some tomorrow when it's all snowing and crappy outside. It will make me feel more useful. After the beds are in place, we will have to move lots of dirt so I beseech my friends to help me. There will be pizza and beer involved. We're thinking about six, but I need to sit down and really think about it first.

That's about all I have to say about gardening right now, but if anyone wants to come over and make me raised beds, give me a call!