Monday, 26 March 2012

A few plants for thought

  • Clematis
  • Dusty Miller
  • Ferns
  • Forget Me Not
  • Hibiscus (for the patio)
  • Morning Glory
  • Salvia
  • Sedums
Can't wait to see how my gardens come up!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

March Madness

Today was a big day!
New bed with carrots,
scallions, kohlrabi & peas
Our growing season here in Minnesota is so short, that when the weather warms up we work like crazy to get stuff in the ground.  This year is so unique, and I am sooo grateful that we have the time to really prep the garden beds (and do the expansion!) without losing any growing time.
Today we cleared out the sod for another bed and got the first plantings of the carrots, scallions, kohlrabi and peas in the ground. 
We also got the two tomato beds and the pepper bed ready to go.  Next steps are to get the fence pinned to the ground and wrapped around the front of the bed.

We also have Thyme and Sage coming back from last year, which happen to fall in this year's walkways, so when these become more established they'll get moved out of the vegetable bed for a more permanent home.
Pepper Bed

Next weekend, we'll try and get the next bed cleared out, the pea trellises made, and a second planting of the lettuces/beets/radishes.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Butterfly Garden

Switching modes a little bit, I'm thinking about my butterfly garden this evening.  Right now, I'm perusing the Friends School Plant Sale website for ideas - which is very cool because they let you create your own shopping list for the sale in May!  The sale is Mother's Day Weekend, and they have annuals, perennials, bulbs, vegetables and shrubs filling up the grandstand at the MN State Fair Grounds.  Be prepared to spend some time, or volunteer to get a head start!

On the list of possibilities so far, we have Pentas (Athena Neon Magenta) and Verbena (Obsession Blue with Eye), both Annuals.  I'm also thinking of adding some Asters, maybe a Chokeberry shrub, Potentilla or Viburnums.

I'm eager for flowers!

As far as the vegetable garden goes, we didn't get as much done today as hoped.  We did get the fence set up, the beds marked out, and I started moving the compost bin, etc., but there was a large, mouse-like rodent in the pile.  We have seen this critter before (I'm pretty sure he lives under the shed).  Our guard dog was more interested in me throwing her ball than in chasing the intruder that pretty much killed the garden work for the day.  I don't handle creepy crawly critters scurrying around my feet all that well.  Good news is, tomorrow is only Sunday so there's still time to get some work done.

The Lettuce Are Coming! The Lettuce Are Coming!

Radishes - Day 5
Well, it's official - we have germination!  Where there was nothing to be seen yesterday we have little shoots, nicely in a row.  Some are speedier than others.  The D'Avignon radishes for example - there was absolutely nothing in that planting row yesterday and today they are taking the lead by far.  Some of them, like the beets, we are still waiting for signs of life, but we are expecting sun the next few days and I hope everything will take off!

Hopefully we can spend tomorrow afternoon in the garden.  My top priorities are:  Putting up the fence now that we have yummy lettuces growing, pulling up the rest of the sod, plotting out the beds and getting the other cold season crops into the ground.  We'll do a temperature reading tomorrow to see where the soil is at - but it hasn't gotten above 70 this week and we've had plenty of rain so I think they should still be just about right.

To update on the other seeds:
  • Spinach - not much to be seen yet
  • Arugula - Day 5 - A nice little row of seedlings, barely off the ground
  • Green Romaine - Another nice little row, but kind of sparse
  • Red Romaine - Nothing to speak of
  • Green Butterhead - Nothing here either
  • Red Grand Rapids - Nada
  • Green Grand Rapids - Little seedlings coming through
  • Radishes - doing great as we mentioned above
  • Beets - nothing yet
In other parts of the yard, the bulbs keep doing well but still no blooms.  We do have solid leaves on the lilacs though!  Soon the whole south side of our yard will be green :-)  Happy gardening everyone!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

You know what they say about "April" Showers...

Columbine, Planted 2011
It has been raining here all week, further accelerating our already early spring and turning everything green.  It's technically now day 4 since my seeds have been planted.  There are a few green shoots...but I can't tell yet if they are plants or weeds (I have not yet become on expert on initial 2-leaved seed shoots).  We'll have to wait and see!

I do have some more perennials coming up though - including these columbine I planted last year.  My Rhubarb is also starting to make an appearance.  The flowering bulbs continue to come, along with the weeds, but no blossoms yet.  We are supposed to get some sunshine this weekend, so maybe we'll get some blooms!

After 3 days of being inside, Honey is really enjoying this brief respite from the rain.  Busy Girl.

This is her "If I stay very, very still...maybe she'll throw the ball!" look.  Goofball.  Plan is to get back in the garden this weekend:  Dig up the sod, map out the rest of the beds, and get the remaining cool season seeds in the ground!  Hopefully this weekend will also bring more photos of plants, and less of cute puppies.

Monday, 19 March 2012


First thunderstorm of the season!  Loving the gentle sound of rain...and the pleasant thoughts of everything turning green by the end of the week.  The tulips are now 6" high, the lilacs are budding, and the grass is showing hints of green.  Hopefully the rain will pause long enough this week for me to get my carrots, etc. into the ground.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

So soon!?!

Not that I have been doing this all that long - but I think this year will have to go on record as being the earliest I've ever planted anything in a garden...

We had beautiful, record breaking weather here in MN over the last week (we even hit 80 degrees once or twice), so I spent the weekend working in the garden.

Vegetable Garden:  Post-Expansion
I expanded the existing vegetable garden - straightening it out to make it easier to fence in (pesky rabbits) and added the remaining portion between the garden and our shed.  It's now about 16' x 37'.  We still need to move the compost bin and dig up the sod, but hopefully we'll get that finished up this week.

Lettuce Bed - First Planting
As for planting, I used a broadfork on a 4'x8' section on the East side of the garden.  I run it in both directions at about 3" intervals.  My dirt is nice and moist and crumbly this year, with lots of organic material left from the leaf cover we use over the winter.

Here I planted my lettuces, radishes, and beets in 4' rows, from front to back as follows:
  • Spinach
  • Arugala
  • Green Romaine
  • Red Romaine
  • Green Butterhead
  • Red Grand Rapids Lettuce
  • Green Grand Rapids Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Beets
The Red Romaine seeds were pelleted and SUPER easy to seed.  If they germinate well, we will definitely consider more pelleted seeds in the future.  Still to plant while the ground is cool:  the onions, carrots, kohlrabi and peas.  The soil is already at 60 degrees, so we want to get these guys in the ground soon.

We hope to have sprouting seeds in 3-5 days.  More to come!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sping is here!

So it's official...Spring is here!  How do I know?  Because I got a MOSQUITO bite today.  That's right.  On March 13th.  Which is crazy talk.  We are continuing on an unprecidented run of 60+ degree weather.  The snow is gone and the birds are going crazy.  The redwinged blackbirds, finches, cardinals and nuthatches are all over the yard.  We haven't seen the official bringer of spring - the robin - in our yard yet, but I know they must be around.
Vegetable Garden:  Pre-Expansion
Baby Grape Hyacinths
My little grape hyacinths are just starting to peek through, but nothing measurable - no tulips or daffidills either, but I'm sure they are on their way.

The garden should be dry enough to start working in soon though!