A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Garden Update May 23-28

Another busy week. Hubby bought me this gigantic hanging basket of petunias. I just love the striping on it. I must have done something right.......perhaps it was that chocolate cake I baked the other day? It's so very true what they say about the way to a man's heart. At least in this house!

Started planting the areas around the house, as all the concrete, etc holds a bit of heat and can stave off frosts a little better. Though these pictures are "blah", I like to take before and after shots of areas. It's a good reference for what works, what doesn't, and how many plants I need.
So, Planting bed by the garage door-4 Sizzle Geraniums, 5 white Alyssum, 2 Purple Alyssum, and 2 Dusty Miller. Not trying to bore you---again, it's for MY reference.

Sidewalk Border-Not done, but so far-9 Osteospermum, 4 marigolds, 4 Rudbeckia fulgida "Goldsturm", 3 Stachys, 2 Dianthus, 4 Impatiens, 2 Geraniums, 6 Dusty Miller, and a partridge in a pear tree. Just seeing if you're still awake.

Deck planter--3 Wave Petunias, 6 geraniums saved from last year, misc. houseplants yet to be moved out because it's still dipping to the upper 20's at night. Yeesh. Mama Pea-quit sending it my way!

Old copper tubs on deck (3 of them) -2 Dark Blue Wave petunias and 1 veined wave petunia (I'm trying that veined petunia for the first time-I used to use a Diamond Frost Euphorbia, but it always got "lost" in the Wave petunias-hopefully this will work out better)

I can't get over how skimpy these look at first....but a bit of time and this planter will be so pretty and full.

The barrels by the road got done yesterday too. One each yellow , white, and a purple callibrachoa, 2 dusty miller, a silver and a lime green helichrysum, 3 sizzle geraniums, 2 Salvia and one Spike per barrel (2 barrels total)

The newly planted lilacs by the road are blooming despite their small size. I love them in this corner. They were in the middle of the yard and were a pain to mow around. Much better spot for them.

Don rented a stump grinder for the long holiday weekend and is happily ridding the yard of all those stumps we've had to mow around the past 3 summers. Rental was $100 for the 3 days, versus $450 for the average quote we received of removing the 6 stumps. Good going, Wonder Hubby!

The vegetable garden is doing well. I'm not planting the tender veggies until end of NEXT week. We're still very cold at night so there is no point in risking it. The tomatoes would just "sit" there cold and miserable anyway and since I don't know how to knit or sew little jackets for them, they'll stay in the laundry room at night for now.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, and please remember the wonderful folks that made (and still make!) great sacrifices to keep us a free nation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Garden Update May 10-22, 2011

Busy Busy this past 2 weeks. Much progress has been made.
The geraniums from inside have been brought out to "toughen up" and lend a colorful air to the deck. Right now, it's the ONLY thing of beauty that's going on here.

We have once again made the neighbors wonder if it is EVER going to straighten up at the
place. Our yard has been ripped up in various LARGE pieces every year for the past 3 years.

Well, this summer is no different. Why stop making a mess now?

But , as dear hubby would say, this is the "gooder-est " mess yet. I have water in the garden.

THREE YEARS I hauled water the 300 yards to my vegetables. THREE LONG YEARS. And

now that is done. I am one very happy lady.

And of course, since installing that water, we have had plentiful rain. We have received a month's worth of rain ( 2.7" ) since my last post less than 2 weeks ago.

I've harvested lots of spinach. The radishes are abundant. Lettuce, though a bit small yet, are sweet and delicious.

Planted in the past 12 days--all potatoes, onions, celery (my first attempt ever at this one!) , broccoli, cauliflower, carrots,brussels sprouts (again, a first for me) , and just yesterday 2 rows of green beans.

I've done remarkably well this year with succession sowing. Every time a row of peas, etc. pops up, I sow more. I should have a steady supply of produce this summer. The first two years , I had a one bumper crop (can you say OVER-WHELMING!!) of each crop. Not this year. It takes me a bit to get smart.

I train my peas with an old window screen pushed against them-it will be removed as soon as they can reach that first rung.

The new guardian of the garden. Hubby got him for me at a flea market. I love that it was carved to sit on a corner.

The sidewalk border has been mulched heavily with "donkey-doo" and topped with a thick

layer of grass clippings. The perennials have responded with a healthy burst of growth.

I haven't potted up herbs for the ladder yet, or planted any annuals. We are still going to get heavy frosts this coming week. No planting of "delicates" until June 4.

I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone's gardens online. We are all in such various stages of growth. For those of us in the far north, it's wonderful to be able to see flowers in bloom and vegetables being harvested. I just have to be content with pictures for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Garden Update May 1-10 and Stupidity Rears It's Ugly Head

Stupidity has reared it's ugly head in the fruit garden. My, how dumb I can be. I put raspberries in the fruit garden, arrogantly assuming that corraling them in boxes would stop them from doing what berries are supposed to do---TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I am completely overwhelmed and find myself ignoring this portion of the garden because I just don't know what to do. I can't "spray" them---I refuse to use chemical "goo". I can't dig them. Well, I could. But there are MILLIONS of them. Ignoring them really isn't an option either, as eventually they will swallow the whole garden up. It's times like this I wish I had a magic wand. Or maybe a stiff drink.

I've started "rocking" the pathways in the sidewalk/kitchen window beds. I made drainage "ditches" in the paths to funnel water away and hopefully this will solve my problems with wash out in rains. The rock was "re-purposed" from the old pond area.

We've removed the Octogon garden and the Arbor/garden area and I've made calls to various people to FINALLY get water lines run to the garden (yea-no more hauling water!!) and to the future mystery project area. We stored the rocks and timbers for future projects.

Now, into the vegetable garden. The garlic is doing great.

The salad beds are doing fine too. I had Don watch me eat some freshly plucked spinach, in case I went into convulsions from FINALLY having some vitamins! Boy, it's been a long winter!

We picked up our annual batch of trees for the yard at Dutchman's Tree Sale this past weekend.

Other "Doings" so far this month:

I've finished edging around the entire vegetable garden.

Sowed all the Heat Lovers (melons, squashes, etc) into peat pots for transplanting in June

Potatoes arrived from Vermont Bean --I have to get those in soon.

I actually mowed a couple spots in the yard (for the clippings--to use for mulch)

Cleaned up front borders --transplanted some perennial splits in

Moved some perennial splits into the new East Border. (and on that note---I do NOT LIKE "sheet-mulching". Despite a winter buried under 8 inches of Donkey Doo/leaves/grass clippings and a thick layer of cardboard-when I went to dig holes for the perennials-I had to "cut" through the old grass layer. I'm concerned it will still grow into the new plantings)

The Winter Sown perennials are popping up and doing quite well. I'll transplant them into "nursery beds" for one year till they reach a good size to transplant into that new East Border.

The seedlings I started are having some "issues" that are making me question why I even bother starting my own. I like starting peppers/tomatoes, etc....but flower seedlings are frustrating. Many are weak, spindly, and not doing as well as I had hoped. I looked up in my journal from last year and I had noted this last year and put a reminder NOT TO BOTHER with the annuals. But , do I listen? Nope. Well, it's been noted yet again. We'll see if NEXT YEAR is any different.

Temps are FINALLY normal-but there has only been one day of rain since April 28th....and it was a LOUSY 2/10ths of an inch on May 10. I really need those water lines. Now.