summer 2013

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seeds are in the Ground!

I finally had a day that wasn't raining, wasn't 30 degrees with a wind chill of 25, and didn't have standing water between my garden beds.  Also, I wasn't working.

I was able to plant my strawberries, 25 plants "Sparkle."  The first year, I am to pinch off the flowers to "establish vigorous plants."  So no strawberries till next year.

Also into the ground went  :
2  16 ft rows of Sugar Snap peas
Spinach  -  Bloomsdale
Lettuce - Black Seeded simpson
Swiss Chard - bright lights
Beets - Detroit Dark Red
carrots - sugar snax
onions - super sweet 60 sets
onions - red 80 sets

parsley from last season

sugar snap peas


I still have 2 beds to finish cleaning.  It is amazing how much grass and weeds have gotten into the beds since last fall.  The good thing about raised beds it the fact that the soil is pretty loose and it is not too hard to pull, dig or cut out the invaders.  The soil is soooo much better than what I started with last year.  It is full of organic matter due to the mulch I used last year (straw) and the fact I left the roots in when I cut down last year's vegetables and flowers.
I added Leafgro (composted leaves)  to the beds I finished cleaning up and added some organic fertilizer.

Still have to work on grass in pathways

I have a mounded raised bed about 20x20 that held my sunflowers and zinnias last year.  My plan this year is to plant a lot of native plants to attract our native insects and birds.  This will be a permanent bed. I have been learning a lot about invasive alien plants.  They are slowly edging out our native varieties.   Our birds and insects have an evolutionary history with these plants and they are dependent on them for food and as host plants for their young.  If the plants aren't available to attract insects, the birds we want to have around have no food, so they seek their bugs elsewhere.  I highly recommend a great book by an Entomologist at the University of Delaware.   The book is "Bringing Nature Home."   The author is Douglas W. Tallamy.

Our Master Gardening group is having a plant sale later this month and I have pre-ordered 10 plants.  Joe pye weed, butterfly weed, cardinal flower, black cohosh and cone flowers are among the plants I ordered. Here are some examples:

lobelia cardinalis
butterfly weed
black cohosh

joe pye weed


Well, I had my hot shower and 2 Aleve.  My daughter may be sore tomorrow as well.  She is 2 months postpartum and spent some time on one of her horses this afternoon. Her horses have had a few months vacation and weren't really happy with the situation.

My indoor plants are doing well, and I am pretty excited that my blog has been viewed by people as far away as South Korea and Thailand.  Hungary and Austria and Canada too!

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