Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall is showing itself in my garden...

Not too much of a harvest today. I got a couple more cucumbers before ripping the dead vines off the trellis. They were a surpise, I didn't even notice them till the dead vines were on the ground. A few tomatoes, but the constant rain has done their number on them and I picked as many good ones as I had bad ones that had to be tossed. Some of these are still quite a bit green, but fell off when I was fumbling through the plants.
I brought in the other two tiny watermelon as well. I am not sure they will be as good as the first one, if ripe at all.

Cut a bunch of Oregano to dry and save. This is the first time I have cut off of the plant, and the first time I have grown Oregano.

This is only my second pepper off of  my bell plants. Hope it is better than the first. The kiddos did not like it at all, and it just didn't look right. And something has been digging around my carrots so I pulled this one out. It is a bit small, but maybe it will taste alright. First time growing carrots too!

In the picture above and below I have some more seeds to save. The ones above are a red Nasturtium, the ones below are 'Bonfire Salvia'. They were quite a bit taller than I expected (see Seriously need to read the heights on my plant seeds), but I do like them! I might try to plant them behind my red and white Impatients in the spring.

I am happy to say that my one little pumpkin did appear to ripen the rest of the way on the least, all the green is gone and it looks like a nice little pumpkin.
I am not sure there will be much more to write about my garden this year, as most of it is dwindling away. There are still plenty of tomatoes out their. A cabbage, some beans, peppers, and carrots finishing up. But the cold weather seems to be on its way, and fall clean up is right behind it.

I have been working on a new plan for the spring so maybe I will be able to share it when I feel it is complete...though somehow I never feel like something like that is every really complete. Who knows how many times it will change before it is actually planted and if it will all come together the way I plan. It never really does, does it?!

My new little one will be here 4 weeks from today...I am counting down the days!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bats belong in the Garden NOT the house!

I have no pictures for this post...the moment was just too quick. But I could not help but share the story!
We had a visitor last night. Or maybe for the past couple of weeks and didn't  know it!
I kept finding lint debris that kept falling from the ceiling fan/vent in the bathroom so I asked dh to take it down and help me vacuum it out. He gladly helped, yet the debris kept coming. So I asked him to take it down again a couple of days later. As he had his hand up in their the bat began to squeel and hiss and showed me his lovely teeth! I yelled "BAT!" and we ran out of the bathroom and closed the door...with vent cover! Dh asked if I was sure it was a bat, and after seeing those teeth from something hanging upside down, I had no doubt! It is a bat! After several minutes Dh went back in with the cover and put it back on quickly as the bat was still up in the vent, thank God.
Needless to say, we had no idea how to get rid of a bat. They bite, and can have rabies! So dh called someone to come get it out this morning. I totally expected a fully protective suit, etc. Nope, shorts, t shirt, gloves and a PRINGLES CAN to catch it! Are you kidding me, we paid good money for this!!!? Yep, and I am still glad cause it is gone! The thought of this thing in the house with me pregnant and two little ones was just scary! Needless to say I did not get a good night of sleep knowing that thing was in the house!

Now, I would not have been so upset had this bat been in my GARDEN! Eating all those squash bugs and whatever else he can get rid of! But, no, he decided to try to get in my house! Uhg!
Well, hopefully we can all get a better night sleep tonight!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

One Fat Eater!

My first (and very late) signs of something big eating in my garden.
Here is the culprit!
And he is FAT! Pics just don't do it justice...
A lovely little is only about an inch and a half or two wide. This is my first Cauli ever...and it only took it since April to show itself!!!!!
Again, pictures do not do this tomato aren't gonna find this bad boy at your local grocer! I would have to say this is probably the biggest tomato I have ever grown, so I am proud of it! It is a Pruden's Purple.
It is 5 inches wide and 3 inches tall.
Todays harvest...Tomatoes, spicy basil, Serano Peppers, Royal Burgandy Bush beans.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My One and Only pumpkin!

I went out to the garden today to find my little pumpkin on the ground, the vines are just dead. There is some green on it still...don't know if a few days will ripen it without it being on the vine or not. But I just wanted to rescue it from the squash bugs since their is an army of them out there now!
He is about 4 1/2 inches wide and about 5 inches tall.

I have never used a fresh pumpkin for a pie but I hope this will be enough. I am gonna have to start researching what to do and how to save it if I can, till Thanksgiving! For instance, should I just leave it as is, or cook, puree and freeze it? I bet Granny knows!
 In other gardening, the veg garden appears to be on its last leg. There is still a couple of Accorn squash toughing out the squash bugs. The tomatoes are still producing well. Serrano peppers are turning red. There are still beans producing, but for some reason they just don't taste as good as the first round, the plants don't look as good either.
I pushed the dirt away to find some pretty purple carrots are growing in the tall box! Only a few though. I wish I had read granny's advice about gluing the seeds to a paper towel before I planted them! I will try that next time!
On the advice or request of my family I decided not to plant anything for the fall! So my garden is going to be winding down quite a bit from here on out. Which is ok, cause my mind has been focused on preparing for baby lately...and not much on the garden. Except, next summer, I hope to use FRESH VEGGIES from the garden to make his baby food! Won't that be great! And SO healthy! I am glad that there will be even more uses for my garden harvests!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bringing in Basil cuttings

After seeing Daves post on sustaining fresh basil through the winter I decided to try it on my own and see how it goes. So far so good. First I started by taking a few cuttings from my plants outside. I washed them up, removed the lower leaves, and put them in a glass of water. It took about a week for mine to get these roots, and this one is the best one out of about 5 or 6. This is Spicy Globe Basil. I don't know if others root faster or not.
Doesn't he look pretty?
Now I don't get a lot of light since the sun goes over my house from the NW corner of my house to the SE corner of my house, but maybe when the leaves fall from the trees I might get enough. Or I can take them and put them under the grow lights. We'll just have to see how it goes!
No, you are not looking at giant tomatoes! These are TINY MELONS!!! I think that after the squash bugs and cucumber beetles did their number on all my squash and pumpkins and cucumbers, they went to work on my Ambrosia melons and watermelons!
The vines are dead, and these melons just fell off. There are two more of each out there but the vines are dead and one of the Ambrosia melons appears to be rotting on the bottom. So I don't have any hope for any of them!
I think they are about the size of a baseball and softball! I'll have to cut them open today and see what I find! I am kind of doubting there will be anything edible!
I was so excited to see a RED serrano on the plant until I picked it and saw that something else has been enjoying it before me!
But their are a few more begining to turn red out there and should be ready soon!
In other gardening news...I am afraid pregnancy has given me a black thumb! LOL!
All the pretty flowers I got this summer appear to be dead! Monarda Pink Lace, Limerock Ruby Coreopsis,  and a couple of others. We are gonna try to put them in the ground anyways and see if anything comes back, whether it is this year or next. I will have to look for new ones next year if they don't come back. And I will be sure to get them planted right away!
Edited to add:
The melons were not bad after all! The Ambrosia was good, smelled good, and my daughter ate it. The water melon was not real sweet but still tasted fine and my son ate it! Not too bad for a couple of TINY melons!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Seriously need to read the height's on my plant seeds!

Thanks to those of you who posted encouraging comments, here and on your own sites! I really appreciate your thoughtfullness! I do enjoy reading about all your gardens and getting GREAT ideas!
I wouldn't normally post a pic of myself here, but, this warranted it! I needed something to compare to this cosmo! Yes, it is not a tree, it is a Bright Lights Mix Cosmo! It is more than 6 feet tall! The package said 4 ft...don't know what I did to get 6! They were randomly sent in the mail to me by some company wanting my membership, they were year old seeds and I planted them late! How did they get SO BIG!? You can't see many flowers on them now, but when they were about half the size or more they did have plenty of flowers on them. Their "trunks" are like an inch or more in diameter!  This is the first time I have ever planted these so I did not know what to expect anyways, but this was way beyond my expectations. I am glad I put it in a spot where it did not crowd out any other plants...though the Achillea below it might beg to differ!
Right around the corner from the Cosmo, is my  ' Bonfire Salvia'. This plant was suppose to be 2 ft is more like 3-4 ft tall. I totally didn't read the package on this one either. I assumed it would be about the size of most other red salvia's I have seen, about a foot or less. Good thing most of the flowers in this corner area were all tall plants such as cosmos, salvias, Achillea. So they are all doing well together...though when neglected, it can tend to look quite unruly in this garden. I really tend to like a neat looking garden...not weedy looking or unruly.
This is after I did a lot of hacking in this bed. Still doesn't look as nice as I would like it to, but there is only so much energy a pg girl can put into a garden! I did trim the other cosmo plants way back, they were about 4 feet, but they were falling over from all the hard rain and just needed a good trim. Hopefully they will rebound for what is left of summer weather.
These were all new plants to me and new seeds, so it was definitely a learning experience. But overall this bed still looks way nicer than it did last year! I am happy with the progress, and I am figuring out what will stay or return and what will not!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meme Award

Thank you to Rachel at  GrafixMuse's Garden Spot and Amy at Gardening With Care who have both given me the Meme award. If it is ok, I am only going to do this one time though and know that others who I choose will have already been chosen and hopefully will not feel obligated to do it again (if that is how it works), and will just feel honored!
The funny thing is, I don't read a whole lot of garden blogs but theirs are 2 out of those that I read most. I feel like I am in a similar place in my gardening experiences and it is nice to learn together! Thanks for thinking of me!

So, here are the Meme award guidelines:
1. Link back to the person who gave you the award

2. Reveal 7 things about yourself

3. Tag 7 other bloggers at the end of your post and link to them

4. Let each blogger know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

5. Let the tagger know when your post is up.

7 things about me...
1. I am having my third baby, a boy, the end of next month. Needless to say, I have not been to my garden a whole lot lately! My first two are 3 yr old boy and girl twins! I am not totally crunchy, but I did and will agin make my own baby food this time. And I made my own cloth diapers for the twins, but will buy most of what I need for the new baby. Some really cute ones too! Who knew what CUTE diapers were out there! But this time around I am too tired and too busy to make my own!
2. I have lived in MI, TN, TX, KY.
3. I am somewhat of a perfectionist...which does not go very well with gardening, since gardening comes with all kinds of little annoyances like bugs and diseases and failures! But I am also very persistent as well, once I set my mind to something I am very determined to accomplish it. And gardening gives such a sense of accomplishment! I like that!
4. I am VERY shy, but talk too much...I know, it doesn't make sense. But once I warm up to someone, I will talk your ear off! Even telling you the same story several times! That is why blogging comes easy for me cause I can talk away and not feel the intimidation I feel as most shy ppl do.
5. I have two cats, Cassie and Charlot, who are terribly neglected since children have entered the picture. They use to be the babies, and boy were they spoiled. There was a time that they couldn't get away from me fast enough, and now they take every chance they get to get right up in my face and hang out there!
6. I have been married to a wonderfully helpful man for more than 7 years. There aren't a lot of good ones out there, but he is one of them! He really takes care of his family, and enjoys and loves his children....and their mommy!
7. I absolutely HATE cold weather! I am not saying I love it hot, but I can tolerate hot way more than I can tolerate cold. I would never ever live in MI again, way too cold for me and the snow lasts way too long! Though I do enjoy taking my kids out to play in a good snow now and then. But once or twice a year is more than enough for me!

Now, onto my list of Blogs that I would like to pass the Meme award to. In no particular order, these are some of my regular reads...again, if you have already gotten an award don't feel obligated to do all this again. Just enjoy the recognition!
Our Engineered Garden in addition to his gardening talents he does some beautiful building projects!
Annie's Kitchen Garden I love her experienced advice and the recipes and she loves to tempt us with her culinary creations for dinner every night! And I am so jealous of her beautiful and huge garden!

These next 4 I like because they use similar approaches to gardening and seem to be at the same level of gardening experience as I am and we can learn together...and they are just plain nice ppl!
The Corner Yard
Gamine's Garden
Tales of a Transplanted Gardener
Crystabel's Garden

The Home Garden: Gardening in the Home Landscape  This is a great resource for me for gardening! I love all the tips, projects, plant knowledge, etc that he shares with everyone! And he lives in the same town as my mom!

Sorry if I don't have a  lot of new blogs to introduce here. I don't regularly read too many, and these in addition to the two that tagged me are the ones I read the most.

I enjoy reading all these blogs because it is nice to share the experience, the accomplishment, the failures, and to find fresh ideas and insight!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mom's garden in the woods of TN

My mom has gardened for many years, and when they moved to this place...she wasn't about to let all the trees and rocks get in her way of gardening. She mostly gardens tomatoes and peppers. She also has a few parsnips, onions, spicy basil, regular basil, mint...etc.
Needless to say, gardening in the woods, with a ground that is almost completely rock (envision the rocks you see when they cut roads through the mountains), is not an easy endeavor. She picked a spot down by the road next to the drive that looked like it might get the most sun...which still is not a lot.

When we were driving by the garden I said to her that she must trim the heck out of her tomato plants...cause they are very skimpy! "NO, that is just how they are," she said. I thought about it that night and realized that it must be the lack of sun and the amount of rock she has to grow in. So she has to plant A LOT of tomatoes to even get a similar amount of harvest that I do with only about 8 plants. I think she plants anywhere from 30-50 plants every year. She does get a decent harvest all together by the end of it all and does a LOT of canning.
There is JA and DA checking out the garden. JA picked a tomato for was red.

Her peppers here must like the shade a bit, cause my peppers don't look this good! She has Banana, Habanero, Jalapeno, and another she is not sure of...maybe Pablano.

Here is a view of all the tomatoes.

This is one tomato plant...doesn't he look sad? He is reaching for the sun!

This is some of the basil and spicy basil. I don't think it is too happy with the lack of sun either. They were planted in the spring and some still look like seedlings. They never turned bush like. But I think she is gonna bring some in for the winter, so maybe they will grow some more.

Most of her tomatoes are kind of small, but these were really small. About golf ball size.

This is the harvest she had on the counter when we got there. A few tomatoes, some habanero, jalapeno, and banana peppers. They are pretty. And she makes some nice salsa to can with what she gets from her garden.
I would have to say they are pretty determined to try to grow their garden in the wood and rocks. They do pretty well despite...
Maybe someday SF will be willing to cut down a tree or two so she can get some more sun to her garden! They do have one spot that would get a lot of sun, but it is even further away than what they got, and it already takes about 4 hoses to get down to this one from the house. And they said that there is only about a half inch of topsoil out there on top of the rock in order to get grass to grow. Whew! They need some SFG'S and a pump!!
Meet JADA! Her name comes from my kids initials, JA is my son and DA is my daughter. They love Jada! And Jada loves them. She is a nice dog! Part German Shepherd and part Alaskan Wolf. She is HUGE! Well over 100 lbs.

They have another dog too...Macy, but she is scared of the kids and hides when we are there. She is a Border Collie.