Tag Archive for Garden

I Need a Garden Plan.

Yes folks we are presently heading into the third week of  February.  I live in Southern California, the land of sunshine and warm weather.  I have got to get my garden plan together early this year.  Got to!!  Last year I had a pitiful tomato harvest, and I’m sure one of the reasons this happened was just because I started way too late.  I have vowed, mostly to myself, that this year I WILL get my garden going earlier, get the tomatoes started earlier, and cross my fingers for a bountiful harvest.

After quite a few rainfalls over past month or so, this is what my garden plot currently looks like.  There are a few raised garden beds off to the right of this photo, and they are the only thing weedless in the garden right now.

1-how did this happen

The weeds, of course,  have completely taken over and dashed any hopes I may have had of making this an easy Spring clean up.  I say Spring because it’s Southern California, and as soon as the rain slows down for us it is Spring.   Flowers are blooming, weeds are bustling, the time is right for getting ready to plant.

My plan for this Spring is to try to add one more raised bed, and of course the weeds will be obliterated before any other activities can begin.  My favorite veggies to plant are; zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, butternut squash, bell peppers, and jalapenos.  We had a bumper crop of jalapenos last year, and they make for great cooking all year round.  Oh and I will definitely be adding some cucumber plants for making our yummy homemade pickles.

Getting the soil ready for planting is definitely the most time-consuming part of the gardening process.  Over the next two weeks Travel Man and I will be rototilling, digging and raking all of those rotten weeds out-of-the-way.  We have a fairly good-sized composter that will have some pretty magnificent dirt in it right about now.  This premium dirt will get added to one of the existing raised beds to make the soil all healthy and wonderful for the new garden.  Then we’ll finish making all the dirt really pretty and smooth so we can get the planting going.

I’m looking forward to getting this year’s garden going, and getting some dirt under my fingernails.  There’s something so refreshing about digging in the dirt.

Are you planting a garden this year?

The Colors from My Summer Garden

This afternoon I have been working on getting the summer photos organized.  There are just a few that I want to share with all of you from my garden.  Especially since the summer gardening season is winding down for many of us “green thumbs”.

First up – the lovely jalapenos.  Mild and yummy just for me, since I’m a huge “spice weenie”.  I don’t like the heat, just the jalapeno flavor.  I’ve harvested close to 8 dozen of these beauties.  Can’t wait to share my daughter’s roasted salsa recipe with you. 

Next up – the mini pumpkins.  This is a Burpee variety of pumpkin, called Small Sugar.  They can probably be used for pumpkin baking, but for my purposes they will most likely just be decorating the house for fall.

Then there are the sunflowers.  Evan and I had planted the huge, big sunflowers, and right after they bloomed they got attacked by this ugly fungus and I ended up chopping them down.  But they were gorgeous for a little while.

There were also had the small sunflowers, which made a great backdrop in the garden. I had cut some of these and brought them in the house too.  But, they still had so much pollen dropping I only did that once.  They were a little messy, but very sunflower pretty.

Then there was this little sunflower, and I think he was saying, “Do I have to wake up today?”  Kind of funny.

Last flower of the day is the lovely zucchini blossom.  I took a lot of pictures of these blooming, because the flowers are huge.  This is one of my favorites.  I’m still harvesting a few zucchini, and making all kinds of baked goodies from them.

Now I am in the process of planting for a winter crop of cucumbers, sweet corn, spinach and lettuce.  This is the first year I have attempted plantings after the summer harvest.  We are fortunate here in California to have a second growing season, and this  year I will be taking advantage of it.

How did your garden grow this summer?  What is your favorite fruit or veggie from your summer garden?

The Garden Leaves are Everywhere.

This year in my garden I have zucchini plants, pumpkins, butternut squash, watermelon, and sunflowers.  All of these plants have amazing leaves.  I’ve been a little mesmerized by the different shapes and sizes of the leaves from each plant.  And I don’t know that I ever realized or paid much attention to the distinctive leaves of each plant.

Zucchini leaves are huge.   All of the leaves protect the blossoms in one way or another.  The zucchini leaves are by far the largest of them all.  And isn’t it amazing how the leaves protect the plants, and camoflauge them?  I was picking some zucchini tonight, looked at the same plant twice before I realized there was a really good-sized zucchini laying right on the ground, in plain sight.

Pumpkin leaves are next.  I was also trying to get pictures of the little blossoms.  They spread out in long trails, so make sure you have lots of room to plant and let them grow.  Pumpkins are in the foreground.  The leaves in the background are a patch of sunflowers.

The watermelon leaves have a shape and size all their own.  Very curvy and a little lighter green than the squash family of plants. These leaves trail out into the garden too.  sometimes those trailers have to be redirected so they don’t get tangled up in a fence or a tree.  And look at my little baby watermelon, so cute. This picture was taken about a month ago.  The melon is about 3 or 4 pounds now.   This is the first time I’ve ever grown watermelons.  I’ll let you know how they turn out soon.

Then there’s the butternut leaves.  Very similar to the pumpkins in shape and size.  These leaves trail all over the place.  I have a big area designated just for the bountiful butternuts!

The sunflowers were planted just for Evan. Actually he planted these seeds himself, and has been watching their progress over the summer.  Evan’s method of planting the sunflower seeds was just pushing them into the mud in this little patch we designated for them.

It is still so amazing to me that one little garden can produce so much greenery.  I’ve just been fascinated by all of the leaves and greenery.  The way the squash family of plants,  in particular, have a natural way of camoflauging, or become an umbrella to the vegetables underneath is a wonder all its own.

Did you have you garden this summer?  Do you have a green thumb?  If you only planted one thing in your garden my vote would be for a zucchini plant, For me they have the most amazing leaves of all.  Happy gardening everyone.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ~ William Shakespeare

This rose is in my little rose garden next to our back patio.  The kids gave me this rose-bush for a Mother’s Day present a few years ago.  It has the loveliest colors, and I thought it would be nice to start off your Tuesday with some loveliness.

I have been trying my hand at photography once again.  It’s been a long time since I’ve taken pictures like this just for fun.  I was shooting with Travel Man’s Canon G12.  Lots of fun to be learning again!

Do you have any hobbies you’ve gotten away from?  what’s keeping you from getting back to them?

 

We Made Garden Markers

The gardening season is in full swing and I have a few projects that I’ve been meaning to share with all of you.  We are already harvesting our zucchini, and had our first grilled zucchini last week.  Oh yum.  And by the way how is it possibly the 6th of August already?  Didn’t we just celebrate the 4th of July?

I had been wanting to make plant markers for the garden so it would be easy for Evan to know what all of the plants are, and just because I thought it would be cute.  Plus I had seen a lot of ideas for the markers on Martha Stewart‘s crafting page, so I was inspired.  And as a bonus to the budget, I wanted to spend as little money as possible on this project. 

There were these dilapidated stakes from a short border fence we had taken apart at one time or another.  Great these will be my new garden markers.  Next I went into the garage and perused my leftover paint shelf.  There was this great green color just calling my name. I call it my lime sherbet paint.

 So off Evan and I went to paint the sticks.  This was of course during one of our “Camp Grandma” days.  Evan loves to paint so I knew he would be a good helper for this project.  We painted one side of the sticks, let them dry, turned them over and then painted the second side.  This took up most of our morning, and then we went for a swim.  I left the sticks to dry overnight, so we could put the lettering on for the plant names.

The next week at Camp Grandma we painted the plant names on the sticks.  I bought some paint pens (the only thing I had to buy!), as I knew this would make it easier for Evan to help me.  I was really glad I got them because he had a lot of fun being creative with his lettering.

These are my favorites of everything we painted.  I love how Evan got the patriotic theme going.  And he did make one marker that says, “Evan is cool”. 

Here’s the rest of the finished markers, and how they look in the garden.

This was a great, inexpensive project.  It was fun collecting all of the supplies from “stuff” on the shelves around the garage and in the garden shed.   Evan and I had a lot of fun together, and the markers look so great in the garden.  A great summertime project.  Of course Evan had more fun making mud pies.  More on that adventure later.  Happy Monday everyone! 

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