Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creating a little curb appeal

We are working little by little to improve the landscaping of our yard front and back. Today, dh surprised me with some edging bricks for the front. It is only part of the project we want to accomplish but it is a start and already and improvement. These first three pictures are from fall last year.

My mums have grown a lot this year and they are going to be beautiful with their new edging. The hill runs down toward the house and the sidewalk and washes the dirt and mulch right out of this bed. So I thought maybe some nice edgers would help. We also hope to put in new pavers to replace the sidewalk that match the edgers.

It is a work in progress but it it looking better already! I think some of the edgers need some leveling, so we will have to work on that too. I can't wait for these Mums to bloom it is going to be so pretty!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweaty day in the garden...

but it had to be done. It has been so hot and humid out there and no rain, nothing is getting done. Fair warning! This is a bug rant! First thing this morning I made up a home spray. Lots of habanero peppers, a little peppermint soap and a little oil. Hoping to deter some of the bugs from feeding on my plants! And smother a few too.
 Did a lot of watering, planted some more seeds, pulled some dead stuff and gave the beans a haircut! I hope this helps them. They looked terrible. The bean beetles are terrible! Some days, between the bean beetles, squash bugs, SVB's and cucumber beetles I really feel like dousing my garden in Sevin. But, I battle on, chasing bugs around the garden, trying to hunt them down and kill them. Probably look like the neighborhood fool! BT and DE is about the most I have used in the past few years and it seems like the populations are out of control! But, I am persistent. Here is my bean bed with a haircut and new seeds planted. Notice the small watermelon hanging on the trellis on the left! The third! They sure are growing slow. Any tips?
 Ahh, my 10 foot or more sunflowers! And they don't even face my own house! They are turned toward the neighbors. I can't even enjoy them. But they sure are tall and pretty towering above the corn.
And, well my counter was full of tomatoes so I went ahead and peeled some of them after soaking them in boiling water for a minute and then put them in the freezer for later when it is time to do some canning. I got one full gallon bag stuffed! And there is still a full basket on the counter.
Oh and the weeds are out of control around the yard. Especially in the flower beds! I had some that were practically knee high and thick! I have so much weeding to catch up on, but it is just so hot! Fifteen minutes and your dripping! I could use a good thick layer of mulch, maybe on top of  a layer of newspaper or cardboard!

Seeds planted the past few days: carrots, beans, pak choi (maybe a bit early on that one, but, ah, I'll try it anyway!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Toy

After I picked all those pumpkins from the garden I cooked em up and froze them in 1 cup portions so that I could vacuum them up in some FoodSaver bags. Well, my old FoodSaver was about 9 years old and began giving me trouble. I was only able to get a couple of bags sealed and it would stop functioning properly! So, I decided to get a new one! Yippee!

I got one with a bag holder and a cutter and some other functions that my old one did not have. Way cool!
I was able to FoodSaver about 10 bags of pumpkin! I am well on my way to filling up that freezer with some summer produce!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Kid Friendly Garden Fresh Meal!

 Roasted Carrots, corn, and the bruschetta  for mommy! And of course a kid favorite, hot dogs! The kids love corn, and this is the first meal I have made with my corn from the garden. It was small, but it was tasty!
For the carrots, I layed them all out on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them on 375 for 25 minutes, turn and bake another 25 minutes. I don't normally like cooked carrots, but they are super sweet and yummy like this. I may try them in the grill sometime too!

These kids just don't know what they are missing with the bruschetta! They don't like all the herbs and seasonings! Mmmmm! I used my tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and basil from the garden and a little salt and pepper! My favorite!

This boy loves his corn, he ate two!
Today, I was very excited to pick a 1.5 pound Brandywine from the garden! These are some big tomatoes, I have never grown this variety and I will definitely again. Maybe another color too! This one may get used on some tacos for dinner tonight!
Hope you are having some good garden meals this week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Harvest Monday 7/25-Winter Squash, tomatoes and more!

Beans are coming in every time I go to the garden in small amounts, but I am getting plenty to have a meal now and then and freeze some. Couple of broccoli shoots this week too.

Picked several of the Cabernet onions and the only 2 Spanish Gold I could find. The Cabernet are definitely doing better.

Plenty of carrots, that need to be frozen or eaten! And my first Black Krim in the back there. And YES, my little HELPER helped me pick a great big green Cherokee purple! He was VERY proud! I on the other hand had a different reaction, even though it was cute! It is now in the window hoping to turn red!

Then I went and knocked my own green Cherokee Purple off while running more twine thru the bed!

Tomatoes are starting to come in! I have two 1 pound each Brandywine (thanks to EG)! I went ahead and pulled them because they were hanging in the dirt and they were too heavy to try to support up, and they are turning! Also have the first Matt's Wild Cherry tomato on the left. DD loved it! A stupice in the middle, a malformed Cherokee Purple (that is his good side!), and an Arkansas Traveler. Also picked some Summer Ball Bush Pumpkins, the SVBS got the plants! Grrrr! I still have 1 summer ball pumpkin plant out there that I am watching closely! Also one of the Honey Bear Acorn Squash plants were also gotten. I got 1 squash out of it. There are also two cherry tomatoes in there that are suppose to be 'Texas Black' but not really sure. They don't look black and I can't find any online info on 'Texas Black'. They were given to my friend. They are doing well, just not sure they were labeled correctly by giver.
Some views of the garden this week!
Another view of the garden for July. Like our makeshift tomato supports? ;)

Cantaloupe and squash/pumpkin patch. I swear that Dills Giant is growing more than a foot a day!

I am impatiently awaiting these little babies to get growing! There are a couple bigger than this one, but not by much.

Caught this bugger right in the act of laying its Squash bug eggs! Took a picture then squished 'em all! Along with a few friends! I'm trying to keep up with thse boogers but it is hard! Especially in the squash and pumpkin patch! I planted way too close and a lot of them!
Don't forget to check out Daphne's Dandelions for some more great harvests!
Happy Harvesting!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July Garden Tour and Cabbage Soup (pic heavy)

Herb pot, Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary. Oregano is planted out by the fence and is not looking so well in it's new spot this year. It will have to be moved.

This Acorn Squash is on one stem and connected. It is kinda cool looking and looks different than any of the other Acorn squash so far in it's coloring.

Summer Ball Pumpkin. There are currently 3 plants in the garden with a total of 4-5 pumpkins growing on them.

Brandywine tomatoes are of good size. These were a trade with EG! Thanks! Can't wait for a ripe one!

Cherokee Purple cluster. I have a few clusters of these with about 8-9 in each and they are good size as well! Mmmmm can't wait!

The long view of my garden down the fence line. Those are my pitiful potato tubs right in the front. They don't looks so hot, but I did get two potatoes out of it, so maybe there are more in there!

a few of the corn up close.

I have a few of these scattered around the garden, most not as big as this one. They may need to be pulled soon. All their stems have been pushed over by other plants and I do not know if they will continue to grow without tall healthy  shoots.
In the pop up! Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and squash that is small and hiding in here. One cabbage has been cut off out of here and a few small broccoli heads and shoots. The cauli is huge but no sign of a head yet. I'm letting them keep going as long as they are healthy. Maybe something will show up when it cools off around here. I do have a shade cover on the pop up but it may need more!

1st watermelon.

2nd watermelon! More are welcome...

grocery store peppers! My kids loved those little red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers so we saved the seeds and grew some.  They seem to be doing nicely.

My poor cucumbers! Looks like there might be only one left here out of 5!Grrrrrr! Guess the cucumber beetles have done their number. I started some more by the patio. Don't know if I will ever get any this year! These are the White Wonder.
These are the American Genuine, and they are just as bad. 1 or 2 plants left out of 5 and the cumbers are stunted!
Stunted cucumber #2.

Ruby Queen corn is the first bed along fence, then Sugar Buns, then Robust Popcorn which seems to be the tallest and the healthiest! Then even taller behind it is the sunflowers which will soon be opening!

Mystery peppers? Found it growing in the ditch and moved it. Already has little peppers on it if this is a pepper plant. I thought I would let it go and see what it does!

New coneflowers next to the white crape myrtle. They are lovely!

My garden helper showing off the tomatoes he can't keep his hands off of. Hope he doesn't pick and green ones! Those are our makeshift supports that we had to come up with since we didn't get supports up quick enough. There is twine all wrapped thru them.

Bean bed. Watermelons are on the left side going up the trellis.

Raspberry bed with 1 Matt's wild cherry tomato plant on this end with a few carrots scattered under it.

Parsnip bed.

Canteloupe bed

Pumpkin and squash bed with sweet potatoes on the right and a few beans scattered in there. The giant leaves coming toward you is a Dill's atlantic Giant and I HOPE to get at least one out of it this year! HOPE HOPE HOPE! Darn SVB's stay away! There is also sugar pumkins, white acorn and carnival squash in there.
Cabbage Soup: I heated some oil and sauteed up some garlic and cut up bacon then added the cabbage, and some basil and oregano, salt and pepper, and cooked until wilted. Then I added chicken broth and noodles, usually I use shell but this time I used rotini.

The kids said this was the best cabbage soup ever, even though I made them eat the cabbage! Ha ha! And cabbage soup is always better the next day! Mmmmm. I also top it with a little Parmesan!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harvest Monday 7-18

Still waiting for the garden to kick into high gear! I have yet to have any zucchini or cucumbers! My cucumbers all seem to be dying. The cucumber beetles didn't seem too bad, but I guess bad enough to kill my cukes!
Decided to check in the potato tubs this week and see if there was anything in there. These were all I could reach. So, at least there is something growing in there.
Kennebec Potatoes and basil

Arkansas Traveler tomatoes, they don't seem much bigger than a cherry tomato so far. And some beans and raspberries.

Chard, basil, beans.

Decided to check the corn since the silks were browning, I don't think these were ready. They are definitely small, which from what I am reading could be a nutrient deficiency. They have had PLENTY of water, so I know that is not the problem! There is another Arkansas Traveler too.
Not a huge harvest this week, but still good. Click on over to Daphne's Dandelions to see what else is being harvested this week!