Tag Archives: lettuce

2012 Garden Orders Placed

Happily, my garden orders will only be about $100 this year compared to $200 + dirt money we spent last year and the year before. The garden will be a little bit smaller which partly accounts for the decreased cost. The vine borers were so bad with the pumpkins last year that I’m not going to plant anything that they can eat. Hopefully a year of starving will keep them at bay, and I can grow some nice pumpkins again next year.

I have a lot of seeds left over from last year which helps too.  I only had to order one type of tomato this year.

Goals and Decisions

This year I decided I wanted to plant less types of plants, and to do more canning with the larger crops. I settled on beets, peas and basil. Beets because I like beets (and I bought a pound of beet seeds last year!), peas because you can never have too many fresh peas, and basil because last year’s crop was sufficient for cooking, but much too small to make pesto. And I love pesto.

I also focused on turning the garden next to our house into an herb garden. I just got accepted to the UMN Masters of Geographic Information Science, so I expect that the next couple of years will be very busy. I plan to continue gardening, but I want to reduce the amount of work it takes. I’m hoping that having an herb garden is part of that solution.

This Year’s Order: $101.23

The total isn’t actually in yet, because I haven’t bought the cherry tree, but it’s in the budget this time around and I know what kind I want. We’re going to get a North Star sour cherry tree. Here’s the rest of the order.

Next On The Todo List

Next up on the todo list is to clean my starter pots so they’ll be ready when the seeds get here. I also need to sharpen my lawn mower,  shovels and hoes. I bought a tiller that doesn’t start last fall, so I need to get that running and till the garden.

It’s nice to be working on gardening stuff again!

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A Belated June Status Update

Long overdue, a garden status update! I have been doing more working than blogging, and more fishing than gardening, but the plants have been doing pretty well overall.

Stuff We’ve Been Eating

We have been eating as much lettuce and spinach as we can and as many strawberries as have been ripe.

The good looking strawberry patch
The good looking strawberry patch

The berries next to the house are doing great, but then, they always looked better than those along the driveway.

The thin but hopefull strawberry patch
The thin but hopefull strawberry patch

The strawberries along the driveway have been doing well considering where they started from. Some are putting out runners which I have been carefully positioning between plants to try and let them start filling in for next year.

Red and redish strawberries
Red and redish strawberries...Mmmm

The only other thing we’ve eaten out of the garden are grape leaves. We only used them once, and they’re at the tail end of their useful season so we wont’ again this year. We made seasoned rice and hummus wraps out of them. They were alright, but not terrific. Once our vines are bigger I will probably try canning some and using them after they’ve had a little time to soak up the brine and liquids from canning.

Grape leaf, rice and hummus wraps
Grape leaf, rice and hummus wraps

Stuff We Hope To Eat

Here’s something kind of fun. I added compost around the new grape plant I added this year to improve the soil. Aparently the pumpkin and/or squash seeds hadn’t composted, and neither had at least two tomato seeds. So, I have some volunteers trying to edge out the new grape plant.

Compost Volunteers...or a mob?
Compost Volunteers...or a mob?

The brave little grape plant has been doing alright. Hopefully it’s working hard on putting down roots so it can come out strong next spring.

Grape plant keeps fighting
Grape plant keeps fighting

The big plant is a cucumber I started inside. The plants going towards the garden in the back are (I think) cucumbers too, but they might be squash.

Cucumbers from seed vs. started inside
Cucumbers from seed vs. started inside

You can’t see it too well here, but the raspberries are pushing up canes out in the grass. I am very excited about this, because I’m going to set them get a little bigger, then transplant them and extend the row of raspberries. I’m trying to decide if a whole fence of raspberries would be too many. We would make jam, so they wouldn’t go to waste, but I wouldn’t have as much room for other stuff.

When I was growing up I used to wait every summer for raspberries to be ready to pick at my Aunt Janny’s house. Her house was just a block away and we would raid it all summer long. I’m not sure why my parents never tried planting raspberries…all of us liked them and we planted lots of other stuff.

Raspberries doing great
Raspberries doing great

Tomatoes and peppers on the left. Corn at the back right, lettuce and spinach at the middle right, sad looking peas at the front right. Squash just outside the fence.

The garden getting watered.
The garden getting watered.

Small Projects

Ever since we moved in two years ago fixing this gate has been on my todo list. The right gate had a pole that went into a divot in the ground, and the left gate scraped the ground. I tightened the diagonal supports on both to firm them up a bit. Then I swapped the latching hardware so that the pole is on the left fence and the U shaped latch is on the right one. Now we can use the right gate with less of a hassle.

Our fixed back yard gate
Our fixed back yard gate

I also raised the whole left gate about 2 inches and rotated slightly it so that the latch was easier to use. One more thing off the todo list.

The hinges were raised about 2 inches
The hinges were raised about 2 inches

I also finally got the last of the pepper plants out of the garage and into the garden. Enough peas ended up dying so I had space in the garden after all.

Community Garden Status

The community garden plants are doing alright. A little behind, but still OK. High on my priority list for this week is to go over there and weed.

A weedy community garden plot
A weedy community garden plot

 

 

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Planting and Transplanting 2011 Round 2: Flowers, Carrots, Watermelon and more

On wednesday we started the gardening day by planting Ryan’s garden. He wanted watermelon more than just about anything, and so we planted 4 seeds of [planlink p=74 title=’Moon and Stars’] watermelon. We had started some of these inside, but they got too much water (oops.) and died. His second most desired plant was corn, but we’re planting his corn at the community garden.

After the watermelon, we planted 1/2 an envelope of [plantlink p=75 title=’Sweet Treat’] carrots.

He then went off to play while Caroline and I transplanted more peppers and tomatoes. Mostly the same as yesterday, but also some of the [plantlink p=’76’ title=’Golden Girls’] and [plantlink p=77 title=’Beefsteaks’].

The garden by the house
The garden by the house

Once the tomatoes and peppers were transplanted, Ryan came and helped plant lettuce along either side of our paver path.

Here they all are, staked and ready to grow. Ryan’s watermelon and carrots are in the 3×3 foot square in the right corner of the garden.

Lettuce will grow on either side of the path
Lettuce will grow on either side of the path

Calvin has been asking for his own garden the last several days. He felt bad that Ryan got a garden and he didn’t. So we gave him the flower garden. He helped sprinkle the [plantlink p=78] across the butterfly garden strip. We also sprinkled the milkweed seeds I collected last year, and the freebie packet of marigolds (I’d link to it, but I can’t find it online. It is “Marigold, Burpee’s Best Mix”).  Calvin was plenty happy with this, and was satisfied with how much he’d helped in the garden for the day.

American Meadows: We got the bulk of our flower and lettuce seeds from American Meadows. They have a limited selection of seeds — you couldn’t buy everything for your garden there — but for most seed types you can buy in 1/4 lb, 1/2 lb or multiple pound sizes. I didn’t need farmer quantities of lettuce and flower seeds, but I didn’t want to have dozens of little paper envelopes sitting around either. American Meadows was one of the few places I found to buy in semi-bulk, and the instructions that came with their seed bags were terrifically in depth. I’ll definitely use them again.

Flowers now planted in the butterfly garden
Flowers now planted in the butterfly garden

Ryan came back from riding his bike to help some more, and so we went to fill up the front yard garden beds. We have wild strawberries in the front part of these beds, and we should get blackberries some time this week, but that leaves a lot of empty dirt for weeds to grow in. So, we planted the rest of the carrots, a row of bush beans, and the rest of our spinach seeds as ground cover. We also planted a row of [plantlink p=79] seeds right up against the house.

I planted sunflowers as a kid, but only the little black ones the birds liked. Those were the only seeds at our local hardware store, so those were my only option (I don’t think we even got a seed catalog at my house!). I’m excited to have big sunflowers that are going to make big seeds!

Ryan came to help directly from riding his bike, and didn’t want to take his helmet off. He kept it on till he went inside an hour later.

Ryan planting bush beans
Ryan planting bush beans

Taming Aggressive Spreaders

In our backyard raised bed we planted [plantlink p=80], [plantlink p=81],[plantlink p=82], [plantlink p=84] and green onions. The mint and oregano are both supposed to be terribly aggressive. One online forum writer claimed that mint can break through thin plastic pots and send roots down more than a meter before going sideways to find a place to pop up.

Oregano in a can
Oregano in a can

I don’t know exactly how much salt (if any) that sort of story requires, but I have heard that it’s a good idea to plant oregano and mint inside of #10 cans with their bottoms cut out. Supposedly this will force the roots downwards instead of laterally and at least slow their spread. If my yard smells like a minty pizza in a few years, you’ll know that this information was incorrect and insufficient to tame their spread.

Opening the bottom of the oregano can
Opening the bottom of the oregano can

Rosemary apparently doens’t like Minnesotan winters, so I simply buried the rosemary can in the ground. I’ll pull it up in the fall to take it inside.

The green onions were just grocery store green onions which we put in a vase, and let them send out roots. I’m assuming that they’ll take to being transplanted. I guess we’ll see!

Green onions in a vase. They sprouted roots!
Green onions in a vase. They sprouted roots!

And that’s it for planting until the community gardens open up or my berries arrive! Still on the urgent list is to weed the butterfly garden. There are tons of little green sprouts. I should pick them before the flowers start growing or I won’t know what’s a weed and what’s not!

Happy Planting!

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