This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT


You know you're a gardener when...
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Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Jun 21, 2009

On Father’s Day

 

I am reminded today of 3 very important fathers in my life. One knitted me in the womb, one brought me into this world, and one loves my children and I day and night. Each of them are important in different ways; without even one of them my life would not be complete.

One of them holds my life in His loving hands and has blessed me with the other two and more. One of them has picked me up when I’ve fallen, in on way or another, since I could walk- he’s been there loving, leading, teaching always. And one stands by my side, in good times and bad, sharing our days together in this thing called life; each day love deepening more than I thought possible.

So today I am thankful for God, my Father, my dad and my husband. Today I want you to know you mean everything to me and more (words fail).

I love you all!

In God's hands!

In God’s hands! Thank-you Jesus!

My Dad- I love you!

My Lover for life!


Happy Father’s Day,

Tessa

Jun 20, 2009

Well good morning to you too...

 

On this fine rainy, sunny cloudy first day of summer! Yes, the first day of summer is today this year in the Western Hemisphere. I was surprised too. And look what was greeting me!

Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue' and Black-eyed Susan

 Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’ and Black-eyed Susan

 

Not as blue as is will be later- but a lovely sight. And just so it didn’t feel lonely the Black-eyed Susan decided to join in on the summer celebration!

As you can see from the shot, it is a bit muddy out. We were hit with a torrential downpour (and wind)- yes, I was out in it when it hit! That’s not the sad part, however. On the 18th, I finally had some time to plant the peppers I purchased and my Sweet Basil that had been sitting around waiting impatiently to be planted.  Not feeling well, I had to quite early after planting these- so a layer of compost as mulch will be next. Perfect after getting soaked.

Sweet Basil and Pepper

 Sweet Basil and Pepper ‘Red Bell’ sweet pepper

The Basil is sooo sad! The weather just isn’t warm enough, but they were outgrowing their pots and had to go in. I didn’t really want to up pot to a 6”.  We’ll see how they do. And yes, you read right, the peppers were purchased! Foreign peppers ;). I simply didn’t have it in me to start anything else. If I had they would have been started too early like everything else ;).

Some things that I really thought were started too early are doing well, however.

The watermelon that I started is a surprise! A couple weeks ago I was looking at some in our local grocery store and saw some that were the same size as mine I started from seed! I was thrilled! That means that I didn’t start them too early, I just planted them out too early. If I’d kept them in the greenhouse a while longer and planted them out they’d be in better health and bigger. I would have had to up pot a few times though I bet.

Watermelon

Watermelon ‘Red Little Baby Flower’ 

I planted all three in a half garbage can and planned to keep whichever one does the best. I know I have to do it- 2 must go! I’ll dig 2 out and give them away, hoping they won’t be in too much shock because I don’t have the heart to compost them! They are starting to hang off the sides of the can, so I need to put something on the edge to cushion the stems- the cut plastic is just too sharp, I think.

The eggplant is the other one that is a surprise. I’ve posted some flowers and they have many more, but I’m just really pleased with the overall health of the plants. I’ve kept the black mulch in place to keep the soil warm and they had a tunnel over them for quite a while.

Eggplant 'Hansel'

Eggplant ‘Hansel’

This is the first time I’ve grown eggplant and I have no idea when to harvest the fruit. I’ve kept track of everything I’ve done because it looks as though it has worked well- the fruit will be the real test, however. Any suggestions on preparing eggplant or recipes will be greatly appreciated. I only know one way to make them- breaded and fried!

The bush beans started in my version of root trainers (long paper pots) are not liking our ‘lettuce and pea’ weather. They were planted out on the 28th of May, I believe and since then the weather has been very mild on and off. I went out today and had a conversation with Weather just to give her a heads up that it is, after all, the first day of summer- get to it!

Bush Beans 'Blue Lake 274'

Bush bean ‘Blue Lake 274’

Since these are bush beans I started a second round on the 12th along with some pole beans- since my first round was eaten! A Monday seedling update will follow.

 

Another warm weather crop that is doing well, the volunteer zucchini.

Volunteer Zucchini

Volunteer zucchini variety unknown at this time ;)

This plant saved my you know what! Mine, again, were started too early (seed packets lie!) and planted out too early! I have kept a sad one and moved it away from this one. I may pull this one after it has produced for a while and when it is just too big. The other one that I started should, in theory, start producing not long after that- we’ll see!

All heat lovers on this first summer day! Now if Weather would just pull it together we’ll be set!

I hope you all are enjoying your gardens today! Blessings!

Happy gardening,

Tessa

Jun 19, 2009

One tomato, two tomato, three tomato...

 

Four...uh, I mean six yummy tomatoes picked yesterday! These are the first of the season! The yellow ones, ‘Gold Nugget’, are very sweet. I expected the skin to be a little thick like the yellow pear I grew last year, but they’re not at all :). They are very sweet and juicy. I haven’t tried the red ‘Beef Steak’ yet- I hope it’s good. I want to give it a couple days on the counter to ripen more. It has been my experience with this variety in the past that the first ones aren’t that great. Of course that might be the care it is given causing that ;)

 

'Beef Steak' and 'Gold Nugget'

 

I hope the tomatoes are ripening on the plants given to friends and family- let me know if your tomatoes are coming along everyone :)

 

Happy gardening,

Tessa

Jun 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- June 16th

 

 

Yellow cherry tomato 'Gold Nugget'

 

2nd round of broccoli 'Green Calabreese'

 

Swiss chard, lettuce, beets and greens, peas, 1 potato, carrot!

 

Happy gardening,

Tessa

Jun 16, 2009

It Won’t be long!

 

It looks like we’ll be enjoying tomatoes sooner than expected- and here’s the weird thing. It’s not the ‘Beefsteak’ in the greenhouse, or the experimental ‘New Girl’ outdoor, early variety either. It is a ‘Beefsteak’ that I threw into a big pot and barely even staked it properly. It was beaten by the wind, battered by the rain, and neglected a bit by this so called green thumber (I know, that’s not a word, I made it up!).

                                     tomato6-15-09

Ah, the wonder of plants- I believe their Creator must have had some great wisdom in designing them! Good thing too- with me caring for them ;).

 

Happy gardening and harvesting to you all,

Tessa

Jun 15, 2009

GBBD- June!

 

Is it the 15th already? It sure seems like time is flying by faster these days!

Last month for Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day I was a little under the weather. This month there is quite a bit blooming and some of them are things I started from seed, so I’m really thrilled! With so much blooming, I thought I might just put everything in a slideshow- much easier!

There is one flower that I can't remember the name of- it is a maroon color and has a ? in the caption. Anyone know what it is?

 

                            

 

I hope you are having a great June! And as usual happy gardening. I’m off to go check out your garden blooms- don’t forget to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in all the great blogs listed there!

 

Tessa

Jun 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday 6-10-09

 

 

Eggplant 'Hansel'

Eggplant bloom ‘Hansel’

strawberries almost ready! Oh! So close!

Strawberry

Happy gardening,

Tessa

Jun 9, 2009

Now this is a lunch!

 

After harvesting some beets and carrots the other day, I decided to make a yummy salad! I steamed the beets so the skin was easy to take off and let them get nice and cold in the fridge first. Chopped up some carrot and peas and added them, and some Pac choi. All of this atop some lettuce from the garden- Yum!

beetncarrotsalad6-8-09

The salad dressing is from Trader Joe’s and is very yummy! It’s called Champagne Pear Vinaigrette. I’ve been using this to top my sautéed, beet greens as well- very delicious! A nice half a ham sandwich on whole wheat bread with organic cheddar cheese that comes from grass fed cows- and you wouldn’t believe the difference in taste! Even the mayo used is better for you! We finally found a mayo that has no soy bean oil in it- which is top on the list of GMO foods and it’s in everything! All of this comes from Trader Joe’s. Yum!

 

Have a great gardening day!

Tessa

Jun 8, 2009

Batten down the hatches...again!

 

Last Thursday was yet another weird weather day. Towards the evening we had very strong winds and hard rain hit- really bad timing as my hubby was flying in from SLC! I was going crazy and praying the pilot would not try to land. I decided that I’d better busy myself, so while the wind went crazy picking up 1/2 gallon, potted plants and tossing them around, I thought I’d tie down the peas.  The clematis that is growing like crazy needed to be tied down as well- there are so many young, tender stems this year! That was all I managed to do out there as the wind got stronger and the rain thicker! That and keeping busy was not working!

 

Tied down Clematis after a storm!

 

I watched the weather channel and they said that Salem reported 81 mph winds! Of all the days for Pat to fly in! Not to mention the hours- exactly as this freak storm was hitting! He called while I was wondering around the house yelling ‘Why now?’ and ‘Perfect! Just Perfect timing for a storm!’ He told me he was in Redmond :). The plane was circling for a while, but the airport had been shut down and they needed fuel, so they flew off to Redmond- Phew! In all the years that Pat has been traveling, which is quite a few years, this has never happened, ever! I’m thankful that God kept my hubby safe!

After all was said and done there were 2 reported tornados! One in Newburg- that’s a little close :). Yep! Weird weather this year!

A couple days later, we noticed some nice things. All the blooms on the Peony ‘Sorbet’ had opened. They were sad because of the wind, but open. Today, I took a nice picture of them.

Peony 'Sorbet'

The support ring/grid thing I picked up for this beauty is not quite tall enough to help out with the blooms- next year something else will have to be put in place. This is the most blooms I’ve had on this Peony. I think I planted it in ‘06.

 

Peony 'Sorbet' 

 

A couple things that I started from seed, back in January and February, have now bloomed! I’m thrilled because so many of the flowers that I started didn’t make it to the garden- a lot were given away, but when my burnout hit a while back I lost a few. The rest are still waiting to be planted :). The Blue Flax is blooming- Patrick spotted this as we were leaving one day.

Blue Flax

 

I also spotted my Forget-Me-Not still in bloom, but just finishing up I believe.

Blue Forget-Me-Not

 

It seems that I have a pink one as well, although I don’t remember sowing pink ones. These were so hard to keep going in the greenhouse, waiting for the weather to warm up enough. I followed not only the advice of seed packets, but also things I’d read online...again, and a lot of what I started was started too early. So, for any of these things to make it and actually bloom totally makes my day!

Marilyn, I am pretty sure the little blue flowers in your yard are Forget-Me-nots. The leaves are the same shape, size and they’re fuzzy :)

More sweet pea- different color on this one. The wind really did a number on the poor things!

Sweet Pea

And lastly a little harvest on the 6th- Yum! Some beets and carrots!

Beet 'Bull's Blood' and Carrot 'Parisian  Market'

 

I hope all your gardens are beautiful and bountiful! Now I’m off to go harvest some lettuce and peas :).

Be sure to check out Daphne’s harvest report today at Daphne’s Dandelions!

Happy gardening!

Tessa

Jun 2, 2009

What a Load of...

 

 

Tomatoes!

Variety 'Beefsteak'

 

The greenhouse tomato ‘Beefsteak’ is overloaded down at the bottom, in the back- where I couldn’t see and can’t reach as well as I’d like. There are a total of 8 tomatoes on one stem and the stem has bent down. I’m not sure it is broken, but I need to get in there and support these tomatoes! Yum! I hope they will ripen okay.

Here is a harvest from yesterday as well.

pak choi, beets, peas

 

Happy gardening everyone!

Tessa

Jun 1, 2009

Seedling Update and more- 6/1/09

 

This past couple weeks we have had the nicest weather! I’ve had to water both in the morning and evening on some days because it’s been so warm! Last Thursday night, at about 8pm I decided I’d better get the bush bean seedlings in the ground.

 

Bush beans- Blue Lake 274

 

I am also happy to report that I caught the pest in action that probably ate my other beans- they are earwigs! I noticed that one of them had some small holes in them- not exactly like what I saw on the other beans where there were holes at first and then the leaf was skeletonized, but the holes were similar. I looked inside the paper pots and there were 2 baby earwigs! After killing those, I’ve had no more trouble. I’m hoping that new ones don’t find the seedlings now that they’re planted before the second set of leaves has a chance to get growing a little more. This week I’ll start my second round of bush beans and hopefully some pole beans as well.

The volunteer squash is no longer a seedling! It is looking really nice.

 

Volunteer zucchini- variety unknown

 

The ones I started too early from seed are on either side of it- just now starting to look alright. I may just dig them up and either give them away or plant them somewhere else. I totally forgot to plant my second sowing of zucchini to replace this one once it gets too big- maybe now I won’t have to. It depends on how fast the ones I started catch up :).

I planted out a couple of the morning glory I started- finally they are recovering from the nasty weather we had. I think I will start them a little later next year.

 

Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue'

 

I’m hoping they will have a lot more blooms on them this year as I decided to pinch them back over and over again while I was impatiently waiting for the weather to warm up. The lobelia next to it was also started from seed back in January- that was fun keeping those happy all that time :).

I think after this year, I’m done trying to push the season with flowers. Crops are one thing, I generally don’t grow a ton of one kind (unless I’m starting some for family and friends- usually lettuce.). I’m pretty much done fighting the May weather. So next year, with the exception of a few plants, I’m starting things 4-6 weeks before mid-May (which would be the beginning of April). There are a few flowers that take forever to grow- like Lobelia, but I’m still going to start them in the first week of April. Our weather in May can be horrible- this very warm weather we’ve had the last couple weeks is unusual and we really don’t start warming up a lot until June. May is full of wind and pouring rain and every year my plants are ready to go out and the ones that I’ve dared to plant have been torn up quite a bit. The only ones I should be starting early are pansy and maybe snapdragon. The flowers that like it a lot cooler and greens or any crops that I can give really good protection to and can handle the cooler temps.  A lot of my warm weather crops were started after the date suggested on the packets and it was still too soon- I’m throwing out the ‘After last frost’ date and putting my own plan in action! Our last frost date is April 3rd give or take a few weeks- that is all well and good, but even though we don’t have freezing temps at night our days in May are full of torrential downpours, high wind, and sometimes even hail! Yep, It’s time to start my own plan!

 

Of course, I say this now...when it’s not winter...and I’m not aching to get outside...after months and months of rain and possibly snow...

 

I’ll leave off with a nice shot of the sweet pea- again started early ;) and the tomato bag experiment!

 

Sweet Pea 'Early Flowering Mammoth'

Incidentally, this sweet pea is the only one that is this big, and in bloom- remember the one that I didn’t cover when I planted them out? The one that grabbed onto it’s support in an hour or so? This is the same one that is big and blooming- it seems I messed them up trying to protect them! Ah, the wisdom of plants!

 

Tomato bag- variety 'Gold Nugget'

 

Be sure to check out what Daphne at Daphne’s Dandelions has harvested today!

 

Happy gardening,

Tessa