Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category


A little discipline

In Baking,Cooking,Gardening,Knitting on March 16, 2010 by Queue

I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it again.

I’m going to make an attempt to post more regularly.  My goal is weekly.

So let’s see, what’s been going on around here . . .

Well, I’ve told you about the puppy.

I’ve got one finished sweater and one that’s nearly done.  I’ve finished a couple pairs of socks.  I’ve got a couple hats I made back when my head was cold.  I’m working on a really pretty lace piece and I have a shrug to finish for Curly. When I’ve got some good light, I’ll get Seth to help me get some pictures!

Also, I’ve decided not to garden too seriously this year.  I just don’t want to play with tomatoes in big pots and the hazards of dry weather, or cool weather, or a lack of sunshine.  One of the nearby farmer’s markets has a CSA, and I’m going to try to get us subscribed.  Between that, my garden crazy MIL, and the other farmer’s markets around we should be just fine.

I’ve been using my copy of Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day more lately.  It’s fantastic to have dough on hold in the fridge for when you want some warm bread with dinner.  Or burger buns, which I never remember to buy or make until we’ve already dug the ground beef out of the freezer to make patties.  I found some great instructions for making sliders here.  And we had a great time making and eating them.

We’ve been having some good fun here.



Getting a Grip

In Gardening,Growers Notes on July 17, 2007 by Queue

I’m starting to get a handle on things now, what with the new job, and the new schedule, and developing some new habits. It’s keeping me busy (can’t ya tell?). I have some garden pics to share – not terribly new ones, but they’re pictures.

The cucumbers are starting to come, mostly from the seedlings I’d bought, the vines I planted as seed are really close though. The “True Lemon” cukes are starting to make male flowers, so I’m hoping to be able to show some of them off soon.

The green zebra tomatoes seem to only grow to about the size of a plum, but they have great flavor – AND . . . I’ve figured out how to tell if they’re ripening – the light green bits start to turn yellow (I could also give them a gentle squeeze, but I try to avoid that one). The sad part is that parts of at least one of the green zebra vines seems to be suffering a bit, either from the dryness and heat or from some kind of pest or disease. I’ve started adding a little milk to the fertilizing mix, which I should have done a long time ago, so I’m hoping to see a little good come of that.

This tomato is growing on a vine that I stunted. (Ooops! Shame on me!) I was picking off suckers, like a good kid, and I accidentally mistook the growing top of the vine for a sucker and snapped it right off. It seems to be recovering nicely, but it took a while.

Growers notes for ’08:

Add 1/2 cup milk to fertilizer mix for tomatoes and peppers – use weekly
Add Bone Meal, Granite and Cow to the soil Spring ’08
after that just bone meal and cow, maybe some blood meal
Some lime might be good . . . not too much, but some
Make more room for zucchini
Design a layout, making space for all the fun veggies
Start more tomatoes from seed, that was fun
Tomato “patch” needs more nasturtiums, marigolds, basil, and thyme


Garden Cuteness

In Gardening on July 9, 2007 by Queue

As promised, pictures of itty bitty vegetables! I’ll tell ya though, I had to hunt for a while to find a tiny cuke – all the tiny ones I’d been watching have grown up considerably.

For scale comparison – the stems surrounding this baby squash (yellow zucchini) are about as bit around as my thumb, which, it should be noted, are likely bigger around than yours because I have fat fingers. But still – the squash isn’t even as big around as a #2 pencil yet!

And this is the baby cuke – he’s so tiny! And see? No flower yet – they grow to a point before the flower blossoms to be polinated. I saw a bee making the rounds in my cucumbers yesterday, so I’m hopeful for a decent crop. I want to get a picture of my other cukes – the lemon lookin’ ones – but they are not quite to this point yet.

Mmmmm, pickly goodness! Yep, that’s right, I’m makin’ pickles! Sadly, I don’t think my dill will be far enough along to use in making said pickles, but that’s ok. I’m also hoping that I’ll have cukes late enough into the summer that I can make some hot pickles with a jalapeno or an aurora pepper tucked into the jar. We’ll see.


You learn something every day!

In Gardening on July 5, 2007 by Queue

I was wandering around inspecting the plants in the vegetable bed the other day when I discovered something strange. While my cucumber and squash plants had been flowering for a couple of days, now there were flowers with miniature squash and cucumbers growing behind them. Now I expected to see this, eventually, as I knew that’s how the squash and cucumbers developed, but the thing I couldn’t understand was why the flowers growing on the ends of these tiny veggies were either new, or hadn’t even opened yet.

Now, my vegetable growing experience consists mostly of tomatoes – and tomatoes flower, get polinated, the flower dies and a small green tomato forms where the flower had been. So these squash flowers were confusing me.

Enter the internet – answerer of many questions. I hit wikipedia and found this little tidbit:

“the flowers come in pollen-bearing male form, and the ovary-bearing female
form, with both forms being present on the plant.”

So there you go – those first flowers were all males, and now my plants are starting to make female flowers. And let me just add that the tiny little yellow zucchini are really adorable. I will attempt to capture the cuteness this weekend.


When you’re not looking . . .

In Gardening on June 30, 2007 by Queue

We had supper at Mom’s last night, because my aunt and uncle and cousins were in town. Great stories were told, and good times were had by all.

Anyway, I had a chance to step out into the garden while there the sun was still up, and wow, it had been busy while I was gone. Seriously. We found a tomato nearly the size of two fists, that we hadn’t noticed at all before. I had to snap off the ends of the bean vines and some of the tomatoes, because if they kept growing they’d be too big for their supports. Sadly we also have one tomato plant that seems to be dying a slow death, but I’m hopeful to get a couple of tomatoes off of it before it goes. And the squash plants are getting huge; they may flower soon. The cucumbers are flowering already, and the beans shouldn’t be far behind. It’s exciting.


Bad Blogger . . . No Cookie!!

In Gardening on June 25, 2007 by Queue

I have gotten an invitation to join the group of beta testers over at Ravelry. I’m very excited about this new resource. If you knit or crochet, and haven’t heard of it – go check it out.

Anyway, in the process of setting up my little space on the site, I noticed that I had completed a project, and halfway completed another without taking any pictures of them! For shame! I am now in the process of rectifying that problem.

I’ve also noticed a habit developing in my posts, wherein I take pictures of garden progress and then allow them to ferment for two weeks or more before sharing them. So, I’d like to note that I took most of these pictures yesterday. It’s getting pretty exciting in the rabbit prison.

The tomatoes are getting out of hand, at least as far as green and leafy stuff goes. They’re getting a bit thick!

Just for comparison, the picture above was from yesterday, and the picture below is from the weekend after mother’s day, when we planted the seedlings. It hasn’t really been all that long, only 5 weeks. What you don’t see is that there are a lot more weeds in the bed now, but I’ve relaxed a bit in my weeding, as the tomatoes are shading the soil so much that the weeds seem to be struggling. I just hope the basil, thyme and nasturtiums that I planted amongst the tomatoes and peppers will get enough sun.

There are blossoms all over the place. It seems I’m picking off extra blossoms more often than I’m picking off suckers!

My first Zebra tomatoes are showing their stripes. I had assumed that the stripes wouldn’t come in until the fruit was ripe, but aparently I’ll need a new way to determine ripeness.

And if ever there was a happy plant, it would be my italian sweet pepper. So far we have 7 decent sized peppers, and they’re not done growing yet. When they’re ready, they’ll be red. No red yet, still time to grow!


So, about that garden update . . .

In Gardening on June 14, 2007 by Queue

Once again, I’m behind, and these pictures are a little old . . . but it’s progress.

The bed is shaping up nicely. The tomatoes are filling out; the beans, cucumbers, and squash have sprouted and are coming up nicely. The viney plants will be growing on those three tee-pee’s in the back.

This one has two different kinds of cucumbers on it, though they’re both supposed to be smallish green pickling cukes.

The green zebra tomato won the race for who was going to set fruit first, and when I checked them this morning, they were starting to show the telltale stripes.

I’m really hoping I’ve done better by the paste tomatoes this year. Last year they were planted in a spot that got too much shade, and they never really recovered. I really want to can or freeze as many of these as possible for use over the winter.

This is my little herb box. I wanted to get the herbs up higher, both for easier picking and for increased drainage. I’ve got rosemary, thyme, chamomile, two kinds of parsely, chives, and lavender. I transplanted the lavender from the window box I had at the apartment. It just wasn’t happy there – it was getting swamped too often with winter and spring rains. I hope it likes it better in the bed.

But as you can see it bloomed despite the less than ideal conditions. I’m excited to see what the two varieties I have will do if I can get the conditions the way they’d like them. We’ll just have to see I guess.