Posts tagged: raised beds

Garden action this week~

By , April 20, 2012

Stormy sky. (The tall things are garlic.)

Ohh it’s been another full week! I haven’t felt too terribly inspired to spend much extra time at the computer this week; I’ve been pounding out the moneymaking work and then happily slamming the laptop lid when I’m through for the day!

The week slipped by so quickly, I hardly remember the details of it, but I did get a wonderful day of work done in the garden. It was the perfect day; the weather (upper 70s) was even better than summertime because in summer you can’t reasonably work straight through the midday and still be comfortable. And I gardened to the scent of lilacs the entire day — oh my! What a fabulous treat that was. And the yards are getting so green and beautiful, the trees all leafing out, the tulips still blooming, the lilacs, the sound of lawnmowers, the smell of grills barbecuing delicious food! This is truly one of my favorite times of year. Spring and fall, I just love ’em.

So onto some pictures for you. Things are going very nicely in the garden — with this warm weather and some rain, stuff is growing fast. We’re eating chives, arugula, and masses of beautiful fresh oregano, which is such a treat in Greek salads — I pile it on. It’s the more mild variety, by the way, which I like a lot better than that really pungent Oregano which is strong enough to burn a hole through your salad.

Oregano

Baby radishes

Lettuce

I uncovered one of the lasagna beds and planted it this week.

Potato sprouts

Arugula

The onion sets grow so fast!

Peas

Wheat (planted last fall as an experiment)

'Black Kabouli' garbanzo bean plant

Playing with my rotting leaf compost

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This week in the garden

By , April 7, 2012

It was another million dollar week of weather! The trees are in full bloom, as are all the tulips. The neighborhoods are absolutely gorgeous right now! And the redbuds are spectacular this year. We even got some snow this week, but it doesn’t seem to have bothered the blossoms very much. The moisture was very much appreciated after a month with not so much as a drop. Things are greening up beautifully.

I planted the potatoes, and got my tomatoes into their Walls-o-Water. The chives are at their peak right now; have you ever had cottage cheese with fresh chives and avocado chunks? Add a sprinkle of pepper and maybe some Tabasco too. It’s a staple for F, and it’s so yummy!

Here are some pictures from the past week:

The apple tree is blooming…

And all my tomatoes got to go on a trip! They got packed into a box, then into a bag for carrying on the handlebars of my bike, then they went with me to my Friday morning meeting, and then finally to my parents’ house after the meeting… and into the ground, each in their own Wall-o-Water.

Playing in the compost bin…

Hubby’s beloved scallions have sprouted!

When I leave in the evening, the onion sets are taller than when I’d arrived!

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Garden Progress

By , March 14, 2012

Wow, it’s been warm here! I’ve been working hard over at my garden, and this sunny, 70-degree weather day after day is fantastic! In Colorado, March brings absolutely anything, weather wise — 3 feet of snow or 75 degrees, though more commonly it’s somewhere in between. But what a luxury to have this warmth to make the outdoor work much more enjoyable!

Yesterday I got almost everything planted; the four main raised beds are seeded and the walls-o-water are up so that they can warm the soil for my tomato seedlings which are growing nicely in my kitchen window at home. I still need to amend the soil in the pots and on the south side raised bed, and get those planted.

So far I’ve planted:

parsley

cilantro

dill

arugula

cabbage, red and green

onions

scallions

beets

turnips

bok choy

lettuce

spinach

radishes

broad beans

leeks

…and still to be planted are cauliflower, romanesco cauliflower, carrots, kale, chard, garbanzo beans, and celery. Might throw in some peas, too.

And I accidentally discovered another side effect of my antibiotics — photosensitivity — which I’d read about and disregarded. Well. Don’t disregard it! It means that you burn more easily when out in the sun, but what they don’t tell you is that it’s not your garden variety sunburn (pun obviously intended), but instead it feels like you’ve rubbed Bengay, or that Icy-Hot cream, all over your body — and you can’t wash it off! Bwaa-haha! It’s the weirdest most unpleasant chemical-burn sensation; like your skin is freezing and burning at the same time. They call it a phototoxic reaction; sounds creepy, and it is. This sunburn actually makes me cold and shivery! It’s very weird!

I do see a sunscreen purchase in my near future; too bad, since I probably could use the vitamin D from all that nice sun time. Ah well!

So anyway, elsewhere in my folks’ yard, there are glorious crocus blooming and the yellow-blossoming cornelian cherry bush is in bloom now! Spring has sprung!! And if we get some moisture pretty soon, things will green up in a flash. I can’t wait! I love winter — I love all the seasons — but I’m always ready for each one as it approaches. So I’m ready for winter to be over now, and for spring to arrive!

Does it feel like spring where you are?

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Busy getting ready for Spring!

By , March 9, 2012

It’s been a busy week!

Lots of garden work and preparing for spring seed planting which I’ll do either tomorrow or Monday; the weather has been so cooperative it’s been wonderful! It really feels like spring now, and it’s around this time that my eyes start craving greenery — though that won’t happen for a little while yet.

Here are pictures of just a few of the many things happening around the garden:

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We’re adding more raised beds to my parents’ backyard so we can grow even more vegetables!! Here’s one of the spots ‘before’:

And ‘after.’ My mom and I had fun doing this raised bed project together!

And tomorrow I’ll fill them up; I’ll be making lasagna beds which, in my experience, is a fantastic way to make some really awesome soil for your raised beds. I’ll have to do a post about that!

At the helm of her ship.

Building a raised bed for the other site...

That one lives here now.

Raiding neighbors' recycle bins at twilight for cardboard and newspaper for the lasagna beds.

Oh, and this is cool — our local health food store will save their produce scraps for your compost heap if you ask them. So Mom and I picked up a nice bag of them yesterday in preparation for use in the lasagna beds. Yay!

They look pretty good for so-called scraps!

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Tomato seedlings in the window

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Bed time now… tomorrow’s a big garden day! I hope you have a wonderful weekend~

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In Garden Mode!

By , February 22, 2012

Man, these past few days have flown! I’ve been in almost an altered state, with a one-track mind focused solely on this year’s vegetable garden. There are big bags of dirt in our kitchen, and open seed catalogs have littered the living room floor like banana peels waiting to snag unsuspecting passerby (sorry honey!).

There’s been much reading, researching, figuring, dreaming, decision making, studying of past garden notes, and starting of seeds. The energy, enthusiasm, and time that seemed absent last year are all right here in front of me to be feasted upon — and I am feasting.

Yesterday I bought seeds for a couple fun last-minute additions to the garden plan — leeks and romanesco cauliflower — and today my mom & I got seeds for a few more things that’ll be new to the garden this year too — tarragon, bok choy, and onion seed (I’ve always grown my storage onions from sets in the past).

I also counted up that I have 37 different varieties of tomato seed. Lest you think that’s excessive, let me tell you that it takes great and continuous restraint to not buy more! But it’s already hard enough choosing only 16 varieties for the garden…

Yesterday I started all my wall-o-water tomatoes as well as my cabbage, romanesco cauliflower, regular cauliflower, yellow bell peppers, and leeks in their seed tray over a heat mat. That was a good accomplishment.

And today, even though my main spring planting time is still a few weeks away, I planted some radishes in the wall-o-water I had set up a couple weeks ago, along with some arugula in the open space next to that. I’ve found that walls-o-water are a great way to sneak in an early crop of radishes, which are in and out before it’s time to put the tomatoes in.

It felt great to get my hands into that cold, fragrant Earth.

They’re calling for snow tomorrow, and I think it’ll be a good day to get the broad beans started, and then come back down to earth a bit by going over my moneymaking work and preparing for a Friday meeting.

I hope you’re all having a nice week. And tell me — what’s currently going on in your own garden??

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This Week: Harvest Time!

By , October 27, 2011

The last of the harvest, not including celery. I'm holding the biggest potato of the year -- 1.2lbs!

It was harvest time this week! Monday was the day; snow was predicted for Wednesday, and Monday was an incredible 80°! How very perfectly the weather worked out this year; usually I’m out there harvesting in the freezing drizzle, my half-frozen fingers moving in slow motion. Not this year! I was prancing around the garden in bare feet and shorts ‘n’ T-shirt, clippers and shovel in hand, the air warm and golden with leaves. It was a true pleasure to be out working in the garden that day.

Here are some pictures from the day:

All in all, it was a below-average garden year. I’ve definitely had much more plentiful harvests in past years, and we missed our usual avalanche of tomatoes, but I felt OK with less because it matched my energy level. I was actually glad to not be overwhelmed with produce; it would have been too much for me this year.

And then on Wednesday, as predicted, we woke up to several inches of snow! How funny, I was cooking quinoa in my solar oven on Monday, and then making snow ice cream on Wednesday!

And tucked in amongst harvest day and our snowstorm, I had a spinal tap. Yuck! It wasn’t exactly awful, but it was a strange experience and I almost passed out a couple times during and after it!

For anyone who has to have one in the future, here’s what I would tell my patient if I were their nurse.

Getting a spinal tap: you could compare it to a blood draw. It’s kind of unpleasant, and it’ll probably be a bit uncomfortable…and it feels weird…but it’ll be over soon enough. It’s important to hold yourself in the right position. The doctor will put you in a fetal position…hold that pose, but remind yourself to relax and breathe.

The doctor will first feel your spine and mark where the needle should go in. Then your lower back will get cleaned three times with iodine. You’ll get two shots of lidocaine — one just under the surface of your skin, the other one further into your back. They don’t hurt much other than the sting of getting a shot. Then the doctor will insert the spinal needle; to me this is the worst part. Try not to picture what’s going on and take your mind to your favorite place if you can. You won’t feel pain, but it’ll be uncomfortable pressure and then a ‘pop’ sensation and a give. You might feel a dull ache down your back at this point. It takes several minutes for the spinal fluid to drip out of the needle into the collection tubes, but the worst part is over. Try to focus your mind on someplace nice, and breathe.

They’ll remove the needle but you probably won’t feel that at all. They’ll put a band-aid on, and probably draw a couple vials of blood from your arm, and have you slowly get up as you feel ready; take your time. It might help to have a water bottle or some juice or a little snack with you.

Have someone drive you home. Plan to take the rest of the day, and the next, to recover; avoid doing anything strenuous. Drink lots of fluids to replace your spinal fluid; they say caffeine helps prevent a possible post-lumbar-puncture headache, but if you don’t like caffeine (I don’t), don’t do it. Just hydrate and hang low.

I felt very fragile after the procedure, and had a substantial backache for the rest of the day. I never got the big headache some people do because of the lowered spinal fluid pressure. I drank lots of liquids and stayed in bed the rest of the day, and the next day too.

And today, Thursday, I’m totally recovered and the spinal tap is a distant memory. Now I want to dig out our DVD of that hilarious mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, about the fictional rock band!!

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Movie Time! Garden Tour + Afternoon Thunderstorm

By , September 3, 2011

I was relaxing over at my parents’ house yesterday after a meeting, and decided to take you on a little garden tour! In addition to the utterly scintillating subject matter, the tour features two bonus soundtracks — Ambulance Siren and Thunder:

 

And here’s the rainstorm that had just happened right before the tour!

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Late August Garden Tour

By , August 30, 2011

These photos are from my visit to the garden last week. It’s definitely not as much of a jungle this year as other years (or more accurately, the jungle isn’t as tall)…it was pretty late in getting going, but that’s all right. At least it’s not the worst year those raised beds have seen! That honor, I believe, went to Summer 2007. 😉

So what’s your garden been up to?

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Transitioning the Garden from Spring to Summer

By , June 8, 2011

I had a wonderful day in my garden yesterday! I haven’t been feeling well enough to do much garden work lately — and a lot needed to be done — but yesterday the stars really aligned because I felt good, I’d gotten all my “money-making” work done and didn’t have any meetings to go to, and weather-wise it was a million dollar day! Usually I like to do my spring-to-summer garden transition in late May, but that didn’t happen this year, so I’m a little behind. But that’s OK! You just have to say “oh well” sometimes.

So basically I have two different gardens each year — “spring” and “summer” — all in the same beds. (You can read more about how I plan my dual gardens here.) The “spring carryover” veggies will stay in the ground through the summer, so I don’t need to worry about those. But the spring veggies (like lettuce and spinach) are at their peak right now and will be pulled out soon (but not quite, because they’re still producing like mad), so I like to plant summer veggies in their midst. (Click here for a list of spring, summer, and carryover veggies.)

In the photo below, you can see that I’ve pulled out enough lettuce to plant a tomato. This works well because the lettuce provides a bit of protection to the tomato seedling, and by the time the tomato starts getting big, we will have harvested all the lettuce.

I did the same thing below by harvesting enough spinach to open up a circular area where I planted winter squash seeds. The spinach will shelter the seedlings, and by the time the squash gets big, the spinach will be gone.

I don’t have a picture to show you, but in another bed I decided to just pull out all the spinach (it was ready anyway) and plant my cucumber seeds. Since I like lots of cucumbers and plant several rows, it just made the most sense to pull out the spinach completely rather than trying to plant multiple seeds in multiple rows in amongst the spinach plants.

But I do have a picture of the laundry basket full of spinach I harvested from that cucumber bed! Look at it all! Gorgeous stuff, and so delicious.

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What’s your garden up to right now??

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