Monday, 16 April 2012

More seedlings!

My onion sets and scallion seeds are sprouting! I also think I have the first set of carrots coming up...but I won't know for sure until I get back from my trip.

The butterfly garden is also coming along nicely. The hyacinths are blooming and the Asiatic Lilies are coming up nicely!

We had a downpour last night, enough to give us 2" of rain! Off for a few days, but will be back for the weekend!

Sunday, 15 April 2012


So I know this is a gardening blog and our Sunday night dinner menu is a bit off topic, but tonight I made a roast duck with a baby greens salad, roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes, and a lovely syrah.  We finished it off with a little lemon and raspberry sorbet.  It was delicious! 

Live Trap 1 - Ground Squirrel 0

We woke up to a big, healthy ground squirrel in our live trap this morning!  He is currently on his way to some naturalised lands outside of town a few miles away.  We set the trap up at the entrance of the den, so I'm pretty sure we got the guy chomping on the veggies.  If he wasn't eating my garden, I'd probably let him stay...he's pretty cute!

The little mouse-like rodent (a vole maybe?) was not to be found...but maybe now that the pile of grass clippings is gone, he won't come around anymore.

Big thanks goes out to Brad for the rodent removal!

Butterfly Garden, April 2012
The Lilacs started blooming yesterday!  Not such great news as we're supposed to have another chance at frost overnight, but I have faith they'll make it through.  I've also included a picture of the butterfly garden in April.  I was doing some spring cleaning in the garden and started pulling up perennials, so I decided to stop.

On a side note, it was so nice out yesterday we got the pool out for Honey.  This is her hunting bubbles.

Bubble Hunting, April 2012

Saturday, 14 April 2012


I've planted about half of the potatoes (the other half will go in the ground after we catch that rodent) and a second planting of kohlrabi, green and red romaine, and green butterhead lettuce.

Most importantly, the live trap is in the ground!

Now it's a beautiful, 70F day out hear so I'm going to go back outside and enjoy it!

Thursday, 12 April 2012


The first trellis for the peas is officially in the garden!  If the peas seem to like it, we'll put in another 2-3 for the 2nd pea planting and the pole beans.  For about $40, I don't think it's too bad for a 4-sided pyramid trellis.  We get 8 feet of plantings in a 2'x2' square!

We didn't get the potatoes in the ground tonight - decided to go out and play BINGO instead ("we" won $99!).  Won't get done tomorrow either, but Saturday is looking promising.

We did get the live trap though - hopefully it'll go in the ground tomorrow.  Rascally rodent.

We have our second planting of spinach, beets and a couple of the lettuces coming up (I didn't have time to check which ones - but I'll check this weekend).

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


The rodent under the shed ate half my pea sprouts.  grrrr.  We did get the pea trellis assembled however, will take pictures tomorrow when it's light out.

Another frost warning tonight.  More of the same.

Didn't have time to get the potatoes in, but with this rodent issue I'm not sure I want to put them in the ground right by his nest...

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

One more time...

No frost damage to report.  My tulip blooms looked quite sad this morning, but by my return from work they had perked right back up.  I cut them off tonight and brought them inside to enjoy for a few days just in case the 26F temps decide to wipe them out.  I also cut up the potatoes so they can develop a "scab" over their cut sides before putting them in the ground, hopefully tomorrow if it warms up a bit.  They're taking over my kitchen counter.

Unfortunately, the trellis will have to be put on hold as work calls tonight.  Hopefully that can get put together tomorrow too.

We saw evidence of our little rodent frenemy who lives under the shed today.  I had noticed the last few days that their appeared to be little nibbles taken out of our radish leaves and the new strawberry leaves, as well as some of the tiny lettuces.  Not complete demolition, but more like taste testing.  I wasn't sure what was doing it, since the fence is up, but tonight we saw a fresh hole coming from under the shed (we can blockaded off his last one).  Next steps:  live traps.  He must think my garden is the creme de la creme!

On a related note, there was a VERY large bunny in our yard this morning.  I think she's the one who has gone to town on our blueberries this winter.  We may need to cage those up as well...supposedly they love them!

Tonight we've gone through the same frost preparation - a nice watering and old bedsheets over the top.  Hopefully we can make it successfully through one more night.

Monday, 9 April 2012


No frost damage to report, but it seems the low temperature only reached 39F.  Tonight however, we anticipate getting down to 29F.  We are planning on doing the same process.  The beds have been watered and later this evening we'll cover them again.

I forgot to get the potatoes cut up last night, but the bed has been prepared so the plan is to get them in the ground tomorrow.  I also got my scallion sets in the ground (yay!) as well as my second planting of peas!  We also cut and stained the wood for the first pea trellis - hope to finish this tonight and get it in the garden tomorrow.  Expect pictures tomorrow!

I've also included a document produced by Cornell Cooperative Extension, Understanding Frost, for some further information on frost protectionYou can find it in the "My Stuff" section.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


So the next two nights bring frost warnings our way, with the temperatures dipping into the high 20's.  We're keeping a close eye on the weather channel (.com that is), and now tonight is looking like it will only drop down to 38F and tomorrow down to 32F...or maybe 31F depending on your source.  Come what may, we've done a bit to prepare.  Now, everything we've planted says it's frost-friendly, but this is really my first try at cool weather crops so we're not going to take anything for granted.  So after a bit of research, I've watered all of my seedlings/plants.  Apparently, the moisture helps hold heat and adds a degree or two and also helps the plants withstand the dropping temperatures (not to mention after being away for 2.5 days they needed to be watered).  I also went the extra step and put sheets over the beds with seedlings (and the strawberries).  Again, I probably didn't have to but it would be such a shame to lose this brilliant early spring to a few hours of freezing temperatures!

I am willing to predict this will be our last bit of low 30s for the season.  But just maybe it'll take out the mosquitos!!  One can only hope.

On the agenda for tomorrow...mowing the lawn.

Friday, 6 April 2012

More planting...

We got the new strawberry plants in the ground as well as 6 rows of onions (yellow, white and red).  We also got the rest of the old sod moved so the potatoes can go in the ground on Monday along with the shallots, another round if peas and maybe more carrots!

Thursday, 5 April 2012


My tulips are blooming!  The blooms are coming slowly...but they are coming and just in time for Easter.  We also are seeing the first sprouts on our kohlrabi and the peas are coming!  I also picked up potatoes, onion (red, white and yellow), and scallion sets at Gertens today, which will hopefully go in the ground tomorrow.  I got a bunch of stuff moved, but still need to move a pile of sod and pull up the remaining sod before the potatoes can go in the ground.
I also, on a whim, picked up some strawberry plants!  We have 6 plants that I think will fruit in June, and 2 everproducing plants.  Mmmmm....strawberries....

Also on the agenda for this weekend:  Thinning the radishes I think?  They are about an inch tall, so we'll pull out every other one.  We will wait to thin the lettuces until they are large enough to use as baby greens.  Yummy!

Monday, 2 April 2012


6 asparagus plants from my original planting (2 summers ago) came up again this year!  There was nothing to be seen yesterday, but a little bit of sunshine can go a long way. 

They were originally purchased from Gertens as plants (not crowns) and planted in 2010 as 2-year-old plants.  6 of the original 8 remain.  I had planted 6 more aparagus crowns last year, but they never really did much.  I was nervous about any of them coming back this year since the rabbits mowed them to the ground last year - and I thought they didn't eat Asparagus!  Although, they took out my hot pepper plants too so maybe they just had very advanced palettes.

Also, here is my first lettuce bed - isn't it coming along nicely?  The bright row in the back are the radishes and the spindly ones in the front are the spinach.  The red versions are a bit harder to see, but hopefully in a week or so they'll be nice and big for all to see.

Temperatures are projected to be ranging from 40-low 60s for the next 10 days, which should be perfect for these cool season crops.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

2nd Planting!

We had the first bloom of the season today!  Not something I have planted - a crocus maybe?  It makes me want to plant more...

A visit to Chicago this week has left me a bit jealous of their Zone 5-ness.  Everything seemed to be in bloom!  From the tulips and hyacinths to the lilacs along the highway.  It was a much welcomed site and one I hope will be here soon.  Many of my tulips now have large buds on them and I'm hoping a day or two of sunny weather will bring bounties of color to our yard.

We made some more progress today in the vegetable garden.  I took up a few rows of the remaining sod (still a bit to go) and made my second plantings of Spinach, Arugula, Beets, Green & Red Lettuce, and Radishes.  Still nothing coming up from my Carrots/Scallions/Kohlrabi/Pea planting, but those guys all take awhile to germinate.  My initial lettuce plantings are still continuing to grow (the radishes are quickly outpacing the others, as they should).  The rhubarb is coming along exceptionally well considering my tomatoes shaded them all of last year - but still nothing from the Asparagus.  Hopefully the bunnies didn't kill them permanently when they ate all of the foliage off last year (rascally rabbits!).

The Easter Holiday comes next weekend, so I don't anticipate much work in the garden (maybe late Sunday afternoon if the weather cooperates?), but I'd like to get another round of peas in the ground as well as the potatoes and onion sets.  Perhaps Thursday will do...