Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I don't know what it is. Could it be the cooler nights, or could it be that they're smaller and don't spend so much time on the vine in the heat, but I'm telling you, pickling cucumbers aren't just for pickling. They're undeniably wonderful.
The ones I bought were tauted to be a bush variety, and although they don't produce tendrils to climb, I'm wondering if I couldn't weave them through the trellis to free up square footage. It would take dedication, but seriously, these puppies are worth it. I'm now wondering how many more I can get in before the first frost which seems a long way away...although now that I've said that..... Eh, I'm thrilled regardless.
Three more sports designs for the keychains went up today. We HEART sports!
The morning comes early. Sweet cucumber dreams.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Until today, that is!!! Woohoo!!!
Monday, September 27, 2010
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The carrots I planted in the early spring did eventually bulk up, but not to much wider than finger's width. I actually still have some in the ground that have been there since March and they're still not larger than my pinkie finger.
These carrots, on the other hand, were planted in late August or early September, I can't remember which. Here's how they looked a few weeks ago.
Here's how they look now. These are most likely the best looking carrot tops I've had. Now I'm hopeful to test my theory. I'm thinking they need the warm weather to grow the nice tops and hopefully....HOPEFULLY, the cooler weather they keep teasing us with will help them to grow nice, fat roots.
Hey, it's only a theory, but hopefully it will work. If this is the case, I just need to retrain my mind. There's no sense in planting broccoli and cabbage over and over in the fall if it's not going to grow well and get destroyed by cabbage worms when they're less prevalent in the spring. There's no sense in planting chard and lettuce in the fall when the squirrels leave it alone in the spring. At the same time, if carrots do better in the fall, I shouldn't try to force them to grow in the spring. Yes. I just need to retrain my mind to see that you can't force things to grow that don't want to, and I'd be opening up valuable real estate to grow what will.
I've also been thinking of adding a "reviews" page to the Keychains for a Cause page. I got an email yesterday from someone asking about my credibility and realized that the average joe from the Internet wouldn't realize that when they place their order, their purchase REALLY will show up in the mail in a few days. If you've purchased a key chain, and you wouldn't mind me using your words that you've left here or in other places, please either leave a comment here or email me. I'd appreciate it.
Then.....On to some bling! My mother's been asking me to make a "flashy" key chain to send to my grandmother. She loves things with some pizazz, so here it is!
Now that's fancy pants! I took it outside to photograph so you could see the beading on it a bit better. I love the way it looks on my wrist also, although I made it a bit wider so she wouldn't have to struggle to get her fist inside it.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I did decide to leave the stems in the ground. I've found lettuce has almost magical regeneration properties and I'm hopeful some will still sprout some leaves. It may even be better this way since it's still in the stinkin' 90's during the day here. It's all good.
Things are good also because I picked the first two pickling cucumbers from the garden yesterday! I decided not to grow these in the summer since I wanted the space for the zucchini, but they're vining so much I may just grow them on trellises next year in the summer. They were the perfect size for snacking and even though there was little to no rain and I watered pretty infrequently, they were as sweet as could be.
I'll certainly try them again next year. I don't know what's pollinating them since there aren't any bees around and haven't been for some time, but I'm sure not complaining!
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Ok, so back to the previous post in which I understand lauded her more than chastised her, but I did call her tonight to let her know I wasn't talking to her anymore. She's turned me into a basil monster; hence the basis for this post.
This is a long and convoluted track (could you guess?), full of introspection, so please humor me.
Yesterday, I harvested a ton of basil, largely comprised of cuttings from Lynn-Lady's transplant.
I put the basil along with the jalapenos I picked yesterday and the sweet potato "fingers" that I wouldn't cook regardless in individual containers in our mail room at school and sent out a memo to the faculty that they were available. By the end of first period I got this:
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I decided to drown my sorrows in uprooting my sweet potato plants that I had growing in containers in the front walk. EG pulled his up this last weekend, so I figured mine would be pretty good to go. I decided to do two things different this year and plant some in very large containers and then trim the vines as they got too large.
The pots certainly were large, but since the sweet potatoes grow towards the surface, having that much depth really wasn't necessary. I'm thinking I may use the pots for bell peppers next year instead. A lot of this will depend on how the sweet potatoes look in the main garden and if I'll grow them there next year, instead.
Anyway, I looked at the first pot which looked pretty sad since it hadn't been watered this week.
I started digging and found one or two good sized sweet potatoes which made me very happy. I then said, "Ah, why not?" and pulled up the second pot. All in all, this was the take:
I don't know how many pounds it is, but it all looked pretty good to me. We had some for dinner and they were yummy. Still don't know quite what to do with those little fingerling ones.
I also pulled some more jalapenos and basil to put out in the faculty workroom tomorrow for the taking. The jalapenos are hiding under the basil.
Hopefully the basil will keep overnight in the fridge. We'll see if I wind up taking it to school or not. It was already looking a bit droopy by this evening.
So, all in all, it wasn't too bad of a day. Yes, the chard was a disappointment, but the sweet potatoes worked out well and I still have a whole other plot to dig up in the corner yard, so I'll be rocking in sweet potatoes for some time to come. I may actually put some of those out at school as well because we'll never go through all of them before they sprout.
The morning comes early. Sweet basil, and sweet potato dreams. Separately of course.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I went out this afternoon to water and what do I find?
Nothing! Whatever nefarious beast got them took them completely and didn't even leave a stalk as a how-do-you-do. They even had me second guessing if I even planted them at all, so I walked around and saw that the lettuce in both the corner yard and the other corner yard showed signs of a struggle.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I generally find my yield is either lower as with beans or the size of the plants shades out others as with broccoli or regular sized cabbage, whereas peppers, eggplant, zucchini and okra seem to do relatively well with the SFG spacings allotted to them.
Take lettuce for instance. SFG says it can go four plants per square. It can, and it does grow relatively well if you want to harvest the leaves individually, but they don't make decent heads in that spacing. I've taken my lettuce for the fall and planted it one per sqft in this picture below, but this is obviously too much space.
The answer lies somewhere in the middle, but this was all I had to plant at the moment, so one per sqft worked out well. I'll be interested to see the difference in the yield from the spring where I planted two per sqft in alternating corners. That spacing seemed to work out very well.
So, am I abandoning SFG? No, not necessarily. I like neat rows and the grid lines fuel my neurosis, but will I space things out a bit more? Certainly. It's going to eventually turn out to be a bit more of a modified SFG, but the concept is still the same.
I'm wondering if the SFG as depicted is for the "perfect" garden with the perfect soil, sun, and temperatures, which in reality, not many of us have.
I do, however, love, love, love my raised beds. Never will I give those up or go to a different method ever, ever again. They're incredibly easy to maintain and so free of weeds and critters and mess, it's wonderful. The fall is only just starting and already I'm getting anxious for next spring!
Now, my question is how do I amend my beds to make sure to get that calcium back in the tomato beds so they don't get BER again. Towards the end of the season, there was no saving a single one and they HAVE to go back in the same bed. Compost alone doesn't seem like it will do the trick. Is there anything else I can add to make sure I give them what they need before the plants exhibit the signs of BER next year? I've never seemed to be able to stop it once it starts.
The morning comes early....except for Erin whose kids catch the bus in full daylight. Our school starts at 7:10. Sunrise here tomorrow, not full daylight mind you, isn't for another 10 minutes. Sweet gardening dreams.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
On a side note, there was an article in the local papers and in the news about a man in the Atlanta area who is getting sued by his county for producing more crops than he is zoned for.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I took some pictures of the garden before this sentiment back handed me.
The sweet potatoes were hurting, but at least it rained today and they've already perked up. The picture was fuzzy, but I got over it.
I stood on the deck and took a picture of the summer part II cucumbers and the onions I planted last week. Not too shabby for a picture taken from the deck.
Then, disaster struck. The zoom on the camera stopped working. Wait for it.....They just don't make cameras like they used to. Seriously, I think I just bought this camera less than a year ago. I know I ordered it on-line, but I can't for the life of me remember where. I've searched my computer and can't find an order email or anything. My parents were over yesterday and we had a whole conversation about the zoom malfunctioning in their camera and how they had to return it. I blame them. Ok, I don't, but it would be nice to, but darn it, it's a new camera. You could drop an elephant riding a grand piano on 35 mm cameras and they'd laugh in your face. Sigh. Regardless, the picture of the main garden turned out well.
You can see the peas are getting taller and the cabbage below it looking nice. The sweet potatoes are rocking and rolling, and I'm eager to find out what they look like beneath that soil. I'm thinking to give them until October....if I can last that long.
Lastly, Barbie's Keychains she ordered are ready to ship out! They look great, I think. She ordered several, all in the key fob size. Barbie, they're coming at you on Monday!
Barbie was the one who suggested keychains for Infant Loss Awareness. The ribbon is a pink and blue combination, so I made the keychains to have the pink and blue split the chain so one half is pink and the other half is blue. Here's two of them with the opposite sides showing. I'm excited to send them to her and hope the people she intends to gift them to enjoy them as well. If you haven't seen our latest designs, check out our website. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. The ribbon for this is gold, but very similar to our Support Our Troops:Until They Come Home keychain, which would be a wonderful support gift for families to show their support for their children who are fighting so hard.
As always, if you can think of other causes or illnesses you'd like to see represented like Barbie did, I'm all ears!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
We had a cook out last night and instead of lettuce, I decided to get a wild hair and use fresh basil leaves on my hamburger. How fantastic! I've never had anything so flavorful when it came to a hamburger.
Now I hear rumors that there's multiple varieties of basil that taste slightly different...oh educate me, ye masses! Tell me what basil to plant next year and what recipes I've got to try.
On a keychains for a cause note, Erin said she got her keychain in the mail today which is amazing since it only went out Saturday. And, because I had to do it, we've now got University of Georgia colors for our keychains! Go Dawgs! I could have wiped my finger prints off of the metal hardware before I took the picture, but where's the adventure in that? This is the key fob size shown.
October is breast cancer awareness month and one of our breast cancer awareness key chains is perfect for showing your support. Again, proceeds from the sales of any of our keychains go to support my school's American Cancer Society's Relay for Life team.
EG, while I was looking for red UGA ribbon, I tried to find your Auburn colors, although it might just have killed me to do it, but I couldn't find the right blue. All I could find was Gator blue and that just wouldn't have worked one bit. I'll keep looking.
The morning comes early. Sweet basil eating dreams.
Monday, September 6, 2010
The peas, another veggie that has left me fruitless in the past, seem to be loving these cooler mornings. Yes, we still get up to the 90's during the day, but the cool nights in the 60's seem to keep these guys happy. Hopefully we'll get some good peas this year.
On a pea note, we all know the story of the "Princess and the Pea" where the prince's mother put a single pea under the middle of a stack of mattresses in order to make sure the Princess was a real princess. Well, yesterday, our little "princess" got her toddler bed transformed into a big-girl bed.
Yeah. That was our thought, too. We had no idea the big-girl bed would be so, well....BIG!!!
The bed's taller than she is.
I seriously doubt she noticed the whole blasted can of peas under that mattress.
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
It's a cruel joke. So what do I do? I plant more carrots in another part of the garden. I will grow carrots. I will. It's just a matter of finding the right place. Right?
We're getting excellent request for ribbons for Keychains for a cause. Someone from school asked me to stock awareness key chains for police officers and their families, otherwise known as The Thin Blue Line. You may have seen the blue and black striped decal on the back of cars before. I've also read it helps to raise awareness for police officers lost on the job.