Posts from the “Garden News” Category

This week in the garden: pests

Posted on June 2, 2014

You know the rhyme that goes, “Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” If her garden is growing, what does she have to be contrary about?  I’ll tell you.  Pests. Something has been feasting on our vegetable seedlings.  The carrots and radishes are nonexistent, despite the steady rain we’ve had.  And take a look at the endive. These endives should be about 12″ in diameter now.  They are a measly 3″ across, with browned, chewed ends.  Most likely chipmunks. Our spinach is coming up and it looks all right, except for the leaf miner spots. And I’m guessing our broccoli currently resides in the bellies of some happy woodland rodents.   It’s enough to make anyone contrary. In some good news, we got…

How does your garden grow?

Posted on May 18, 2014

It’s early yet, but my garden is on its way.  Seth and I planted spinach, endive, dandelion, peas, radishes, and carrots in the last month or so.  The peas are reaching for the sky.  We’re harvesting chives and spring garlic already.  And thank goodness for that.  A person can only take so many supermarket vegetables before her body revolts. This weekend, I recruited my brother to help put up the pea trellis.  We’re using a pole stretched between two stakes, with string hanging down for the peas to climb.  Will it work?  It’s anybody’s guess.  But I can tell you that our next door gardener often watches us working with confusion in his face.  I get that a lot. This garden experiment is all…

Printable recipe cards, just because

Posted on April 6, 2014

I guess the winter got me down more than I thought, because I had a two week fervor where all I did was sketch vegetables and then try to turn them into something pretty.  It was during the miserable cold stretch between the snow melting and the weather warming up enough for the soil to reach that magical stage, “workable.” Now that it’s warm(ish), I work my plot of dirt instead of my sketchbook.  But there’s still time for cooking.  And if you like functional, pretty things in your kitchen, I hope you’ll enjoy these.  Just download, print on cardstock — I used Staples — and cut out on the light gray lines.  I made them in two sizes:  3″x5″ cards if you’re old-school like me, or 4″x6″ recipe cards.…

Plotting. I mean Planning.

Posted on March 27, 2014

There are things you do in the winter to keep from going bonkers that it has been below zero for five days in a row and there are an estimated 14 more inches of snow on the way.  One of them is to dream about how lovingly you will mulch your dirt. Oh, just me then?  Ok. And then there’s plot planning.  Seth and I were late on this, but it doesn’t really matter so long as you get it done before seeding time.  And even then, you can futz with things.  Which is good, because frankly my plot plan has already changed from this version. The beds are all to scale.  Not so much the paths, and I couldn’t be arsed to draw…

Shoveling Shit

Posted on December 28, 2013

Winter Solstice is our holiday.  Seth and I celebrate with a hike or snowshoeing, homemade gifts, and lighting candles.  We skip Christmas except to chase my five nephews around a noisy house, and then we got to bed early for the New Year.  It’s an exciting life, what can I say? This year was a little different.  We thought maybe a hike for the Solstice, except someone in the house has no hiking boots, only winter boots with a 2″ heel.  Seriously — who sells winter boots with a heel?  More importantly, who buys them? (They were a gift.) To top it off, I was still hoping to pile manure onto the garden beds on one of my free days.  The manure is free for…

Compost Reconnaissamce

Posted on November 29, 2013

In a perfect world, I would have nabbed the compost from my backyard and moved it to the garden before we moved. It would have been a nice end to the growing season, and then we I could have spent moving day not thinking about how my beautiful compost was going to waste. Of course in a perfect world, I would also be eating supper right now instead of sitting next to the oven listening to supper roast. Sometimes things don’t always turn out like you plan. For example, we moved to the next town over, to a building without a backyard for our compost bin. We were busy the days leading up to moving day, thanks to my new job and to Seth’s…

Garden in Progress

Posted on November 23, 2013

Took to the dog to the garden this morning to see what was left, and the answer is: not much.  I began prepping the beds for the winter by pulling up all the vegetable matter left.  Some schools of thought say to leave it to decompose.  Some say remove it to a compost pile.  I’m still deciding. The next step is to lay down multiple sheets of newspaper over each bed and then pile on manure.  The theory is this will smother the weeds, prevent nutrient losses in the soil, and break down into compost over the winter.  Come spring, I should have ready beds! If you look closely in the bed all the way to the left, you can see a profusion of…

Picking up Steam

Posted on July 21, 2013

We’re picking up steam in the garden. Seth and I gathered another quart-sized jar worth of sweet peas, which are starting to die out in all this heat. They’re tangled up with the bean vines, so I am careful with the clippers as I clear out the bed to give the beans room to grow. Problem is it looks as though someone is tatting lace with my bean leaves. It would be nice if I knew which bug to blame. There’s got to be a book out there called 1001 Garden Pests and How to Murder Them All or something. When we started this garden, Seth insisted we should let the pests be because they’re just doing what they do. But now that 80…