Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Nemesis

Everyone needs a nemesis. I just wish mine were more of the fun-loving, adventure seeking sort. No, mine is a very large canopied oak tree. It's a beautiful tree, but it blocks out all of the sun from after 3:00 or so on. I haven't been home during the day since all of the leaves came in, but I'm worried it's going to be more around 2:00 and after. I'll have to watch it on Saturday.
The extra shade back there is keeping my lettuce in the SFG alive...this tells me it may not bode well for the things that need a lot of sun during the summer. Then again, the afternoon shade in the brutal heat may keep things happier...we'll have to see.

Look below...do you see what I see? This is my eggplant in the pots out front. They're just loving life out there. I hope that the pots are big enough. Isn't that color amazing!?
The Cayenne peppers are flowering like mad. After they flower and wither, the stems get rather brown and fall off very, very easily. Is this normal or poor polination? I've never grown peppers before. I'll do some research and see what I can find out.
Here are the blueberries. I'm thrilled that we may actually get some blueberries this year!
Not many pics of the actual SFG today...things are looking sad out there now that I severed the broccoli's heads and the beans and cucks on the trellised beds are coming in spotty, but my zucchini sprouted, so that's a good thing. Here's the royal burgundy beans in the side bed. They've grown a lot in a week.

Below is one of the toms in pots on the front walk. It's looking fantastic!!
I'm about to rip out the broccoli and plant squash this weeekend, but can anyone tell me how I'm supposed to get those roots out without disturbing the things around it? Most won't be a problem, but I have two planted next to some peppers that I'd rather not loose if I can help it. Any advice would be well appreciated.


The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For all you conspiracy theorists out there

I'm not starting out here to be a naysayer. I firmly believe conspiracy theories have their place in our knowledge and blame seeking society. There are some conspiracy theories, which everyone knows, that shriek of lunatics in suits of tin foil and duct tape; there are also theories no one wants to admit that they, themselves, are a subscriber of.

As the man and I sat down to dinner last night, in front of the salad I picked out of the garden that evening, I realized how loosely I had to use the term "salad." Why is it that when your lettuce is in full regalia, your tomatoes and cucumbers aren't even at the starting block. It works the other way as well. Now that my tomatoes are flowering and setting fruit and the first true leaves of the cucumbers are emerging, I come home to see that my lettuce has been next to incinerated by a traveling death-ray. Wilted might have described it's condition for merely the hour after sunrise. This, my friends, was an annihilation.

It's a full blown garden conspiracy. There is someone out there, I tell you, who is determined to prevent us from commingling our homegrown vegetables. I feel like a traitor to my summer garden when I handle the produce at the grocery, and yet I want a fully integrated salad.

So it's off to the grocery I go.

In other garden goings on, the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in pots are just LOVING the warm, sunny weather and cool nights. The toms are dark green and as bushy as can be, the cayenne pepper has more open blooms than I can count, and the eggplants are a rich purple and sprouting new leaves each day. They're only being outdone on the flowering point by the ones in hanging pots. I've never seen so many flower clusters on one plant before, but you know they're going to get root bound soon, so the glory days may not last. The toms in the back yard SFG are struggling a bit because they don't get as much sun, but still doing well. The peppers in the SFG also have blooms on them.

The carrots must have taken my threats to heart. They're making progress. Most of the pole beans and cucumbers (bush and vine) have sprouted, but the germination on the bush beans leaves something to be desired. I'm wondering if the little buggies that are still crawling in the compost are affecting the germination of the seeds. I've never seen them on the plants, but they sure are running around in the soil something fierce.

The SSpeas, however, are not taking the warm weather too well. They never grew much when it was cooler, but now that it's warm, they're growing upwards, but also loosing their verdure and becoming more of a very light mint green. There are no signs of blooms yet, either. Looks like those are going on the "try in the fall" list.

As much as we all love and devour broccoli, six heads pulled within two days are a bit much. I'm hoping some will keep in the fridge for a while. I had to take them off since they were beginning to loosen. I wonder if that's the garden gnome in charge of the salad conspiracy's way of making you forget you're missing half of the ingredients to your salad....

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Homecoming

I've come to the understanding that "Home, Sweet Home" is not just a cliche. It's an accurate portrayal of life.

The weekend was more than I could have hoped for it to be. I reconnected with friends and family, some of which I haven't seen in more than a decade. The wedding was beautiful. The food delectable, the bride stunning, and the groom dutifully captivated by her. None could have asked for more, but weekend getaways end, and one returns home with memories to treasure.

I took a gamble this morning and went to the airport early in hopes of catching an earlier flight. My children were needing me, or rather, I was needing them, and there's something about going to a wedding without your own husband that makes you appreciate him even more than you already did, and encourages that mad dash through the terminal as if flames were hurrying you along.

The masterful broccoli head, almost perfect for picking upon my departure started to separate, and many radishes sent up stalks, but everything was still edible and sweet. My beans broke the surface, the cucumbers aren't far behind, and I see the start of my zucchini poking it's leaves through the dirt. Most of all, in spite of a few pin-prick holes, the bugs stayed away....they must have heard of my unmerciful dispatchment of their friend on Thursday.

However, with all the triumphs, there will be some setbacks. Because of my early flight, I thought I had bought some time. I was wrong. It only took being gone for two and a half days, but it happened.

My daughter forgot who I was.

I met them at the park where they were playing after dinner. I walked toward the girl with my arms out; she in turn stomped her little feet, scrinched up her face, and said, "NO! NO!" while waving her hand beside her face as if she were chasing the daemons away. When the boy caught wind of me and called my name, the light went on for the girl and she and he both stayed connected to my leg, and my husband held my hand as we walked to the car.

Home is sweet, indeed.

I've greeted the garden and schnuffled the children, and now it's time for me to remember the events of this weekend, sit down next to my husband and let him know how lucky I am to be his bride.

Sweet gardening dreams. The morning comes early, but hopefully not too early - at least for this one night.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Garden Separation Anxiety

Why is it that when you know you're going to be away from your garden for any period of time you feel such separation anxiety. My greatest inclination right now is to fall to my knees, hold on to my boxes, and reassure them I'll come back. I want to whisper to my broccoli they'll be just fine for four days, kiss my half sprouted beans goodbye, love on the okra with thoughts of true leaves emerging while I'm gone, and encourage my cucumbers to climb with all their might so I'll be proud of them.

It's also at this point that I begin looking for a 12 step program to suit my needs.

Yes, I'm being neurotic, but it's all (okay, mostly) warranted. Things are at a precarious stage. Most plants are just emerging and my broccoli is almost ready to come off. I'd pull a head probably Saturday and I'm worried that two more days out there will start letting the head loosen. I just pulled a green caterpillar off of my broccoli that had built himself a cocoon. He was not in the least bit happy and made a run for it. I caught him, but you know his buddies will come looking for him soon.

But how exciting is it going to be to come back and see how things are going now that the temperatures are where they should be for this time of year. Imagine the mass upsurge of growth from things that have been next to stagnant unto this point...carrots, I'm talking about you. You can't continue to drain me of my space and give nothing in return. Where's your sense of responsibility. It's time you think about maturing...

It will be fun to see family, I'm going to a wedding in St. Louis. The man, the boy and the girl are staying home, and I'll truly miss them more than my garden. To keep them close to my heart, I'll most likely take pictures of them to show the rest of the family and delight in their oohs and ahhs at how much they've grown. And...I might just throw some pictures of my garden in the mix as well for good measure. I wouldn't want the little, fuzzy tomatoes to get jealous, you understand.

:)

The morning comes early.
Sweet gardening dreams.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hold on t'yer butts!

One more dip to low temperatures tonight and we should be clear sailing through spring to summer. You can tell everything out there is really responding to the warmer temperatures. My beans in pots are starting to sprout and I think there are a few threatening to come up in the larger box during the next day or two. The okra is out of the ground (six squares and one pot), waiting for their first true leaves and the one over achieving broccoli head has doubled in size and is sending off side shoots that are as large as the main heads of the other plants. There are multiple, multiple flower clusters on my tom in the hanging pot. I'm really rather shocked at how many there are with it still being so cool and how many are already producing small tomatoes, but I'm afraid with its growth it's going to get root bound fairly quickly. I'm interested to see what impact the warm weather has on it and everything else in the garden. I think the eggplants will be thrilled. It's too early for me to have them out as it is, but they seem to be holding their own. I'm headed to a wedding this weekend in St. Louis (anyone know what the weather's like there?), and I'm a little bit nervous about leaving the garden without daily bug picking, but I bet it will look like a different place when I get back one way or the other!

I put in three more red peppers for a total of 5, two tam jalapenos (4 jalapenos total) and one more yellow pepper (total 3) for the man. I decided to put more pepper plants instead of the soybeans I was planning on. I may move the soybeans to pots or try to sow them once the bush beans are done if there's time. There are multiple flowers on the peppers out front, but none yet on the SSPeas. They've been in the pot since January, so I'm starting to wonder if they'll flower at all, but there's nothing else needing to go there, so they can have all of the time they want.

One zucchini and a squash were started inside today to replace the black radishes and broccoli when they're done. The boy also requested watermelon, so some sugar baby was started inside as well. I don't have room to trellis the cantaloupe or watermelon, and I know it's going to overrun the garden, but we'll see how it goes. I'll most likely remove the onions since they're not bulbing and many are inclined to send up flower stalks. Onions and I don't seem to get along. I couldn't grow them in the fall, either. It's a 2x3 box which is small, yes, but I'm hoping I can keep one watermelon plant contained there. If it spills to the other box with the cantaloupe it shouldn't be too bad. I'll need to evaluate the summer sun again and see if there's room for another trellised box in the back, but it's not looking likely.

The morning comes early. Y'all have a good evening.
Sweet gardening dreams.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Corner Yard....LIVE!

Well I just sat down to load up a film of the garden I took this afternoon when I logged on to blogger and saw that EG had just posted one of his own! Go check his out if you haven't. He's got an awesome SWC set up that's amazing.

I went to a local landscape company this weekend with a girlfriend. They were amazing. I can really see the difference between you big-box stores and the local ones. They had a little Jack Russel out there running around and my boy squealed like a pig while enacting his evasive maneuvers. You'd have thought the boy had never seen a dog before. For goodness sake! We have a Great Dane! I honestly don't think he understands Gibson's a dog.

We got a lot of planting done this weekend. This is the time of year where old things come out and new things go in. I decided to go ahead and pull those peas. I'll have plenty of room for them in the fall since I don't expect my squash to make it past the squash bugs in June/July. I bought some marigold, geraniums and mint. I read somewhere that mint/catnip helps to repel squash bugs. We'll see. I decided to put the flowers in those unreachable center squares in the larger bed.

Zucchini went in the place of the peas, but it hasn't sprouted yet. I pulled the spinach on the other side of the bed and put in some cantaloupe which will most likely overrun the entire bed since I can't trellis it. It says one foot apart for planting, and I've planted 3 per 9 feet, so I'm hoping it will do okay. I'm planning on moving the onion bed shortly when the onions are done, but I think it will be sooner than later because the onions keep sending up flower stalks one after one and I hear they're pretty unusable after that point.

The tomatoes in the hanging pots are setting fruit and the cucumbers in the hanging pots are emerging from the soil.

So here's the film. No laughing, please. Or at least be kind enough to laugh behind my back. :) There's a brief shot of the neighbor's yard. The film doesn't do it justice, but the weeds are so tall my two yr old thought she was lost when she walked down the sidewalk yesterday.

video

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Sick Humor of the Vegetable Gods

Seriously. It's not funny.

I spent two days agonizing about just pulling my shelling peas and going ahead and planting my squash. The SVB and squash bug emerge in GA in June. Once they come, kiss everything goodbye. I got one, count them, one, zucchini last year out of two plants. I got a half a squash from another. The squash bugs and pickleworms got me every single time. I was determined to beat them at their game. I'm scrappy and I have more experience...(only because I don't think their lifetimes are as long as mine has been).
So I went to the garden. I steeled myself to uproot those bugger peas and curse them for not maturing fast enough. I thrust my hand into the square...and found the beginnings of the first flower.

Don't laugh. It's not funny. It's a conspiracy, I tell you. I'm thinking about holding a grudge. I'm a woman. I can do that really well. :)

So I acquiesced and let the little peas live for at least two to three weeks more. Maybe I'll get three or four peas out of the deal. I did, however, start the squash and zucks in little containers outside in the sun and not under lights so I can transplant them immediately after I get the nerve to pull the peas.

I also planted all of my heavyweight bush beans and my KW beans in my hanging baskets. I'm going to try to grow those to trellis around my deck railing. My cucumbers in the hanging baskets are just about to sprout, and my peppers have a flower.

My experiment with the tomatoes in the hanging basket seems to be working okay for now. I took some smaller Juliet Roma toms and I think Sweet 100's and planted them at 45 degree angles in hanging pots. Yes, they're growing toward the sun a bit, but I'm hoping as they grow larger and fruit starts to ripen, they'll dangle down. it's the easiest way to get them away from the serial tomato killer (Gibson, the dog).
Other than that, the eggplant is looking good.
The SS peas are starting to climb back up after being cut down by the winds last week.
The blueberries have tons of flowers. Some flowers got knocked off in the winds last week. I suppose those bushes are done for this year, right?

I had to pull two incredibly small red onions this week because they started to bolt. Who would have thought! Then I went to the black radishes and found one of those had bolted as well. Most of the carrots aren't doing much of anything, but what's really odd is that there are two shaded by the black radishes and those are growing with a purpose.

I'm really thinking about only growing broccoli, lettuce and radishes next spring. Broccoli is looking great....

However, everything else doesn't seem to have the stamina to mature in time. That's a heck of a lot of broccoli. I'll have to do some soul searching to see if I can stand empty squares until mid April.

Speaking of squares, here's how I strung the beds the other day. You can see it's only one piece of string . I still need to get out there and bend over the nails if I'm going to leave the grid up.
Well, sports fans, that's it for me. 4:30 AM comes pretty early and I'm about to turn into a pumpkin (one unmolested by SVB if it's all the same to you).
Y'all have a good evening. Sweet gardening dreams.







Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stringing the Grid

Last night I strung the grid on the largest bed. I didn't want to do as before and just cut lengths of twine to fit and staple it down. The twine gets loose and the staples never hold. I had an idea this time to string it in one fell swoop, winding it around nails to go back and forth and change directions. It's probably something that others have thought of and done before, but it was such an epiphany to me that I was thrilled.

I started by putting nails all around the bed measuring for each square foot. Once I had all the nails in place, I started by tying the string at a corner. I then brought it up to the one foot marker, wound it around the nail and pulled it tight to the other end of the box. I wrapped it around that nail and brought it up one nail, wrapped it around and then back to the other side, parallel to that first line. I continued this until I had strung the entire length of the box and was at the last sq ft. I then brought it to the corner wound it around and then brought it to the nail next to it in order to begin the downward lines. I continued the process I did for the length of the box and tied the end of the string to the last corner nail.

Clear as mud?

I still have those tiny mite-like bugs in my new compost. I'm not sure if they're dangerous to my seeds or if I should let them be. I wouldn't know what to treat the soil with anyway so as not to disturb the seeds.

I pulled three more good radishes from the garden and one that was infested with some tiny, long, thin bug with many, many legs.

The boy and I planted his pole beans today and the bush beans and radishes in the side bed are just about to sprout. I'm thinking about starting the squash and zuch in pots today to have them ready to transplant soon. My broccoli is about at quarter size, so I'm hoping in about 4 more weeks they'll be good to harvest. No time to wait for the side shoots this spring. That will have to wait until the fall broccoli crop.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Storm and Seeds

A second round of horrendous storms passed through here today. We had quarter size hail on Friday (I need to get my roof examined for damage) and then today the winds were so fierce there are trees down everywhere.

We lost power at school from around 10AM to 1:50PM. We knew the storm was bad, but we didn't have a window to look out at that time. I was shocked at the damage on my way home. Entire trees were toppled, root ball and all. I suppose the drought has taken its toll on them these past several years. Huge beautiful oaks were fallen across the road. The traffic man said that he would "try to tell [us ]all of the roads you couldn't travel on, but it would be easier to tell which roads you COULD travel on."

Our neighbor on one side had a pine fall parallel to her house so close that you can stand at her front windows, reach out and touch the tree. She's amazingly lucky. Our other neighbor lost three trees; one came through our fence, but he was able to retrieve it because the winds had blown our gate wide open. Our gate is a double gate and the wind blew so hard it dragged the anchoring peg still in its hole along the ground. Amazing! Our rocking chairs on the front porch were in the front yard and our table and chairs had flipped over on the deck. It must have been some storm!

The peas are now completely off the trellis. I'm thinking about moving them to the deck and letting them spill over. I wonder if they'd still produce growing down instead of up. Everything else seems fine. The broccoli has a bit of a drunken lean to them, but that's easily remedied. They have the most beautifull little heads starting to form!!

I strung the grid for my large box today by winding it around nails just like I wanted to. It was amazing. I'll never do it another way again. I went ahead and planted my trellising cucumbers and bush cucumbers since our temps are looking fantastic. After I planted, however, I noticed little peachy colored things crawling in and over and under the compost. They're smaller than a pin head and fast little buggers. I don't know what they are, but they have many legs and are about the size of a strawberry seed and more round than oblong. I've never seen anything like them before so I can only assume they came with the compost, and that irritates me a bit. I just wonder if the damage will be done to the seed or will they wait until it begins to grow.

On the bright side, there is a tomato growing from one of my plants hanging from the deck! I took an indeterminate tom and slid it in a hanging pot at a 45 degree angle. It grew towards the sun for a few weeks and is now full of flowers and starting to lean downward. I'll be excited if it works. Suspending the toms would be a great way of keeping them away from the tomato butcher. I can only use tiny salad tomato varieties because of the weight, but a tomato is a tomato!

Temperatures are looking very nice for this next week. I'm hopeful that a string of nice days will really help these poor hail and wind stricken plants recouperate.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Lot Can Happen In Three Days

The discouragement is setting in, my friends. We left town this weekend to run sound for a local convention in downtown Atlanta. The same nasty line of storms that EG mentioned in his blog (http://engineeredgarden.blogspot.com/) came our way Friday night and tornado warning after tornado warning was listed for not only our county, but our individual town. I was worried enough leaving everything for three days, envisioning a monster bug attack, and now I worried about the condition of the house because of the storms. My fantastic sister-in-law agreed to take a run by the house in the morning and reported all was fine. Apparently, the radar was showing there could be a tornado on the ground, but I do not believe any was ever sighted.

However, I did return to find the yellowing of the tomatos and radishes in the far box is getting worse. I suppose the rain was too much for them being that they were already suffering from too much water and it's supposed to rain a bunch again tonight through tomorrow. I may just be replanting that bed.

The peppers in back are very yellow as well, but the ones in front in pots are thriving and putting out flowers which should open in the next week or so which has me excited.

I had planted pole beans in planters hanging from my deck a few weeks ago in hopes that the vines would run up and around my deck railing, but when I went to dig out some seeds to see why they hadn't sprouted, I found my nemesis the root maggot had destroyed all of those seedlings.

The eggplants and ssnap peas in front look a little worse for wear because of the high winds on Friday night. The peas all broke from their trellis and are sprawling. I'm going to see what I can do to prop them back up until they grab on again.

Then, as if it couldn't get worse, I noticed one of my potted tomatoes was completely severed at the main stem and there was no debris field for which to use for following the culprit. I went inside with the intent of giving our tomato-killing great dane a piece of my mind when I remembered we kenneled him three days ago. There's another stone-cold tomato murderer amongst us.

Needless to say, I'm irritated with it all.

I put some more bean seeds for my pots in wet towels and zippy bags to try to presprout them. I also did some for my big box. There's nothing in there now, so I don't need to wait for anything to be done before I plant the box. I might just plant the beans section of that box as soon as those sprout in the towels. I'll then dump an entire bag of DE on it to stop the flies from laying those blasted root maggot eggs.

I'm also going to do what I can to get my squash and zuchini in the ground as soon as possible. I heard on Walter Reeves' garden program today that the squash bug comes out in June, so try to get as much squash and zuchini as you can before that. He also mentioned to do carrots only in the fall and not spring. I wonder if that's why all of my carrots don't seem to be growing much at all?

Tomorrow I'm going to try to string the grid on the big bed. Instead of stapeling it down this time (it always pulls out), I'm going to try just putting in nails and winding the string around as I lay it and then bending the nails down around it. We'll see if that will work.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jaundiced veggies?

My toms and radishes look like they have jaundice!
I could see this yellowing from the upstairs windows, it was that pronounced. I'm getting worried that the freeze we had the other night wasn't so benign as I thought it was. Here's what's going on. We went from happy radishes that you saw a few posts below to this:
Literally the change was overnight. The tomato went from happy tomato in a few posts below to this saggy, droop thing this morning:
Oddly, the limbs are incredibly stiff. They only have the appearance of being floppy. When I pulled radishes for tonight's dinner, I noticed the soil beneath was still relatively wet. We haven't had rain since Monday or Tuesday of this week. Could it be too much water? If so, we're in trouble because it's raining again today. Too chilly? For the tom, I could see it, but not the radishes. They're in the same bed, so I think what's affecting one is affecting the other. There were no pests that I could see.
Any ideas?
On a better note, here's tonight's dinner I pulled from the garden just now. That's 8oz of lettuce and spinach and three radishes (I didn't check their weight). Not too shabby if you ask me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A blog by any other name..

When one decides to start a blog, it's the name of said blog that intrigues, it entices, it inspires.

And then you have mine. The coming up with a name is what held me back from writing anything resembling a blog, and then when you finally put one down, you have this conversation:
Girlfriend: "Hey, I checked out that blog you sent me. Not too shabby."

Ribbit: "Thanks. I'm having fun."

G: "Listen (pause), I have to ask. You're not planning on harming your family are you?"

R: "Noooo....not today. Why?" (note irritated, understated tone)

G: "Well, calling it 'The Coroner's Yard' doesn't really inspire confidence."

I actually thought about that as I was typing in the title for the first time. Ok, I thought about it because I initially typed it wrong. But it is what it is. It's not the yard proper, although if I had more sun back there it would be the whole yard, but it is most certainly the corner yard. And that, my friends, is the way it will stand...until I chop down that oak and commandeer the ENTIRE yard!

On a gardening note, I bought an ichiban eggplant today for a left over container that was itching for something in it. Hopefully it will produce more than a black beauty. Here's keeping fingers crossed it will produce anything at all!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ribbit 1 -- Mother Nature a big whopping 0!!!

We survived! We survived!!!

The temperatures got down into the mid 20's last night. I was convinced that in spite of the straw on the peppers and the straw, bags and buckets over the tomatoes everything would have been toast.

The peppers laughed.

The tomatoes guffawed.

The lettuce stuck its tongue out, wagged its fingers by its ears and said, "nanny nanny, boo-boo."
Yup. They're mature like that :)

The peas, eggplant, and tomatoes that were moved into the garage did well also. The only problem seems to be that since they've been under cover for two days, they're experiencing a bit of sunburn. The peppers are leaning towards yellow as are the newest leaves on the toms. Don't know if it is a temporary thing or if it will just get worse. It was something I should have thought about, however.

I just finished unloading the last of the two cubic yards of compost that I bought from a local landscape supply. The first was a "plant mix" which seemed to me to contain more red clay than anything else, and the second was a good 'ole-fashioned compost mix. Here are some of the exciting things I found in the compost mix:
  • Sticks

  • Small rocks

  • Used condom

  • Bottle cap

  • Something unidentifiable but fuzzy

  • Sweet-n-low packet

I know what you're thinking. Who would have seriously thought you could compost a bottle cap!? Sometimes you just shake your head and move on. (*wink*)

I had too much left over, and since the man has redrawn the no-compost-pile line, I put the remaining compost in rubermaid tubs in the basement. Do you think it will keep?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Have I caught you up yet?

Last semester, I gave an assignment to my students to blog about their research papers as they wrote them. It was an exercise in organization, frustration management and group therapy. Whereas they did enjoy the process, as with everything that involves teenagers, they stated that I was hypocritical for loving blogs so much and yet not having one myself.

I do love blogs; I follow the ones I read religiously. Blogging can seem so overused especially if only for a limited purpose like, say, gardening. Again, please insert whiny teenager voice pointing out the hypocrisy here being that all I follow ARE gardening blogs AND what's worse, this thing here that I've started looks awfully like a blog to me. :)

I figure, hey, give it a shot. Besides, it's keeping me busy and away from grading those research essays! No one really has to see the blog except for me. Maybe in time I'll send the link to a few friends or family...most of whom would most likely laugh amusedly, pat me on the back, look sympathetic, sigh and move on.

Below this post, or rather you'll have to look to the side for the very first post, you'll find the goings on of the last year's transformation from container gardening to SFG. Most of these postings originated as posts of mine on GardenWeb's SFG forum. I tried to date then accordingly.

In today's world, the weather is really throwing us for a loop. After weeks of weather where the low was a measly 40 or above, we're having two days of below freezing temps. Last night it only seemed to get below freezing for an hour or two. Tonight is going to be worse.

I've moved all of the peppers, eggplant, SSPeas and other tomatoes and beans in containers either in the garage or basement. Hopefully they can all survive the two days without light. I was conned into planting tomatoes and peppers in the SFG by the man and the boy. It was far too early and we all knew it. I put plain straw over the peppers which seemed to work well last night. One of the green bell has a beautiful flower about to open, so it will make me sad to loose it if it doesn't work as well as tonight. For the tomatoes, which each had several flowers open yesterday morning, I decided on a different approach. I read somewhere that one man had put plastic grocery bags and then 5 gallon buckets over his toms and they survived low temps. I thought to add the bit of straw on the toms, the bag over the straw and the bucket over the bag over the straw. (sing:and the green grass grows all around, all around...) The sun is out now, even though the highs are only in the high 40's, so I'm hoping the buckets and straw are soaking in that heat and not cooking the plants underneath We'll see if it works.

I pulled two radishes to put in our dinner tonight. I actually pulled a third one, but you could see where the root maggots that decimated my peas had gotten into that radish as well. So far, the rest we've pulled have seemed fine. Hopefully it was an isolated incident.

Yesterday I took the truck and trailer to the landscape supplier and got myself a yard of what they called "plant mix" it was billed as a combination of compost, mushroom compost, humus and native soil "perfect for raised bed gardens". I unloaded the entire trailer last night and I must say, I wasn't too impressed. It was chunky and most of the clods were what seemed to be straight GA clay. I broke those up as much as I could as I was unloading it. The yard didn't quite fill up as much as I needed it to, so I sent the man today to go get me a yard of straight compost. We'll see what that looks like when we add it together. IF I can add it together. I need to empty the trailer tonight as the man needs it tomorrow, but I only have one dinky shovel and no wheelbarrow so it's one shovel load at a time.

That, and it's bleedin' cold out there with the wind whipping like it is. If you've got a frost warning like we do, good luck tonight!!!