Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gardening Motivation For Siobhan...and anyone else who would like it.

Our garden is well under way. I wish it was summer already, I'm dying for tomatoes and basil and all of those good things.

Our raspberry plant has a bud on it, Hooray! Also, all three of the cane fruits have sent up new plants! The Boysenberry has sent up three! Impressive.

I simply do not have enough compost fodder to sate my appetite. Over the weekend I looked into whether or not it's safe to compost oleander and I've decided to skip it, which saddens me because we have so much stinking oleander! I can't wait until they're all gone.
The two houses that face ours across the street are very neatly kept. The owners are out there every saturday doing upkeep. This past saturday I went out and chatted with them. I love our neighborhood, and our neighbors. I told them any time they want to donate their yard wastes to a good cause I'll take them. Greg, Jonas and I had to leave to go to a birthday party but when we returned there were bags full of compostables waiting for us in our driveway. I'll have to remember to thank them with produce this summer. How sweet of them.

One of the bags was full of grass clippings! Compost gold! I actually ended up using it to prepare the sunberry plot. It was perfect, I spread out a layer of grass clippings and then a layer of horse manure (yes I loaded it into the corolla again, laugh it up nikol) then I soaked it all down and stomped it into a nice even plot and planted the sunberries. 14 plants total.

On Saturday I also went to the nursery and had a vexating conversation with the manager over my dead, diseased strawberries. He claims strawberries don't get verticullum and that they died because I didn't water them enough. I guess watering them every day just didn't cut it...in winter! He asked where I got my information and when I told him online (several university agricultural study websites) he scoffed saying "you never can trust the internet." Of course when I claimed that a few weeks ago all of the other strawberries in their nursery had verticullum too he didn't believe me, and they're all sold out now. Lovely. They did however have all new strawberries of a different variety. And to the nursery's credit they replaced the dead strawberries. The guy was nice enough but vexating in so far as he didn't believe a word I said and kept insisting that I NEVER watered them.

I planted a cayenne pepper and a yellow pear tomato today. Then I mulched everything with compost and weeded the carrots. I'm becoming very antsy with the winter vegetables. Some days it takes everything I have not to tear them out and start the grow heap. I wish they'd hurry up and finish growing already, I've got me some squashes to plant! I've decided to plant all of the winter veg in containers next time around, and let the ground spend the down time recovering. The four self waterers should come in handy. The one self waterer that is already up and running is working wonderfully.

Last night for dinner and today for lunch I had salads from the garden. I had to pull out a parsley plant to put in the yellow pear tomato so today's salad was lettuce, spinach, chard, mustard AND parsley. It was wonderful. This week of hot weather just may send the lettuces into seeding mode so I'm eating my fill while I still can.

About half of the tomatoes and basil are in their permanent homes now. And all of the sunberries. There's still so much to go in though, the soybeans, the pole beans, the squashes and melons and cucumbers. Again, I wish it were summer already.


NIKOL said...

I heart the word vexating.

I'm very excited for all the berry success, especially the Boysenberries! I love berries, and I really hope to plant some of our own. That, and I'm really fired up to plant some apple trees. Well, maybe just one tree and not multiple. We'll see. I got this downloadable book about growing apples in Southern California. I'm looking forward to reading about that, as well as seedless grape varieties. Lots of plans! Hooray for Spring!

Amanda said...

You are so ambitious! You make me feel lazy. I don't know how you do all that gardening work and watch Jonas, too!

Clong said...

Ambitious I think is a good word...now actually getting everything done, that's a different story.

I'm really lucky in that Jonas loves to be outside. Sometimes it's a challenge, like when he gets his mind set on picking and trying to eat holly berries. Then my morning is spent chasing him away from the holly bushes. But he's getting better at knowing what to stay away from.

You're not lazy, you have a garden too and hang your wash on a line. Oh and chickens, aren't you getting chickens? Modern day homesteaders unite!

Nikol, I haven't read much about growing apples here. You'll have to let me know what you find. In the book "the 64 dollar tomato" there's a chapter titled "there's no such thing as an organic apple," reading it really put me off growing apples, which is a really stupid reason. I know Siobhan has a relatively new apple tree in her yard, I wonder how that's going.

If you want berries for your yard I'd be more than willing to propagate you some from my bushes when the time comes. Look at us, self sufficiency is our middle name.

siobhan said...

i have done absolutely nothing to our apple tree other than dump a can of ladybugs on it last spring. i don't even water it properly. obviously i don't know its complete history, but it's been as organic as organic gets for over a year and a half and the apples tasted great last spring. they're only about the size of a kumquat right now, but i'll let you check 'em out when they're ready. well, you can obviously check 'em out anytime, but i'll make sure i get you one before the kids eat all of them!

i need you to bottle up some of that motivation and share it! we need to move our garden boxes and i haven't found a place, yet. eesh.

Clong said...

Siobhan, by garden boxes do you mean those raised beds you had in your backyard the last time I was out there?

siobhan said...


Clong said...

why do you have to move them?