Gross Things in My Garden

28 07 2008

After two weeks straight of rain, and a four day camping trip, my garden has been showing signs of neglect.  So I took advantage of the baby’s long nap and my toddler’s good behavior mood and spent some time picking weeds, and doing other outside chores.  Overgrown weeds and almost blooming broccoli weren’t the only things to greet me today.  I found a dead bird smack in the middle of my flower patch.  Yucky, but my other thought was ‘poor thing’.  I think it might have been the bird we saw hopping around with a broken wing last week but I’m not sure.  I’m just glad I was able to move it out of there before my boy saw it and wanted to play with it! 

Then when moving some border stones around I stumbled upon a colony of slugs.  YUCK YUCK AND TRIPLE YUCK.  One is bad enough, but 30 or more…  ugh, I am sick to my stomach just thinking about it.  Being married to a hunter and having been through pregnancy and childbirth twice, not much grosses me out anymore.  But slimy, disgusting, althchkk (can’t even come up with a word for that sound!) slugs are GROSS!  I probably used half a box of Borax on the ones I found, and hope we have some cheap beer to set out some traps later.  I don’t want to waste the Killians on those things!

Well, back to good things.  Some of the tomato plants have blossomed.  The broccoli is looking about ready to be picked.  It actually looks a bit beyond ready, but I’ve never grown broccoli so how can you tell?  I was expecting larger heads, but I guess I got a mini variety?  The lettuce I thought was leaf lettuce is forming heads, so I guess that’s it for picking salads.  The herbs (dill, parsley, chives, tarragon) I planted are coming up nicely.  I think I may pot a few in a couple of weeks to bring inside for the winter.  Especially the dill to go with all the salmon we’ll be eating.  So despite this looking like the coldest summer on record (can you believe there have only been 35 days it’s hit 60 or above?), I have had some success with gardening.  I’ve already started looking toward next year and things I can do to prepare so that next year I will have more luck!





Where’s the sun? (a rant about the weather…)

19 07 2008

Here in Anchorage the topic on everyone’s mind lately has been the crummy weather.  It’s been raining and cloudy a lot lately.  I think there have been only two days this summer that the temperature hit 70.  Mainly, it’s been in the low 60’s, high 50’s.  I guess I should have known that it would be a cold summer when it snowed more than a foot on April 25.  Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  I would take 60’s over 90’s any day.  I’m just a little bummed that I can’t have the garden I always envisioned.  And there’s something inherently wrong with seeing your breath in the middle of July.

The fireweed is blooming already- usually a sure sign that summer is coming to an end.  And not much except the broccoli and cabbage has grown any significant amount yet.  Oh, I take that back, the potatoes have grown, but I’ve run out of loose dirt and extra tires to pile on them.  I’m thinking of buying a few tires from the Salvation Army ($4.25 with our military discount) and maybe digging up part of our yard so I won’t have to buy dirt at $7 a bag.  I imagine I would need at least four.  Planting potatoes in tires is such an ingenious idea, I just had more seed potatoes to plant than tires collected.

Ah, well, that’s what garden journals are for- so you remember next year what did or didn’t work!

Wishing you better weather!





The Garden is Growing

8 07 2008

It has been an awfully cold spring/summer here.  It’s July already, and I don’t think the temperature is ever much over the low 60s.  And the nights are still in the mid-upper 40s.  (I guess I should expect that from Alaska and be thankful I’m not somewhere else frying my tail off.)  But there are green things in my garden bed.  And flowers in my yard!  My son picked and enjoyed the first strawberry of the season.  We have been eating some lettuce and herbs here and there.  The broccoli, cabbage, snow peas, onions and potatoes seem to be doing quite well.  Actually, the potatoes grew about 2 inches overnight.  Even two tomato plant have a few blooms on them.  So I remain optimistic!  Here are a few photos for you to see…

The pretty pansies I didn’t plant 🙂

 

Broccoli and lettuce …

 

broccoli

My little helper “watering” the cabbage.

 

Hopefully the warmer temperatures will last enough for me to get at least something out of this garden!   But at least I am definitely learning a lot about cold weather gardening.





Progress on my garden

4 06 2008

I know I have been slacking in the blogging department lately, but I’ve been trying to spend my free time getting my garden planted.  I am making progress but it is slow going.  It is two weeks past the time I wanted to have everything in the ground, and I am still not done.  It doesn’t help that I may be a little ambitious! 

My little helper is being too much of a help.  Yesterday he dumped a package of carrot seeds in one spot, and then a few minutes later I found out he didn’t understand me telling him “no” and dumped out parsley and chives in the container I let him have for peas.  I guess we’ll see what grows out of that.  Maybe I can transplant some of them after they sprout.

The garden box in the back is planted with broccoli, green onions, oregano, carrots and snow peas.  I may try to fit some rosemary in there too, if not I’ll find a container for the rosemary.  The box near the house has tomatoes, cabbage, basil, bell peppers and some room for other herbs.  I have a number of containers around the yard and in my mini greenhouse too.  I have a few old tires that I’m planting potatoes in; there’s mint in the planter in the front yard; the greenhouse has a bunch of tomatoes and jalapenos.  What else?  Chili peppers!  I’m planning on some salsa this summer 🙂  And there are raspberries and rhubarb already growing in the yard.  Rhubarb grows like a weed almost!  And it’s so good in pie!

I have no experience with fertilizers, I probably planted everything too close together, and it’s getting into the ground late.  But despite this I’m hoping that my thumb will turn out to be green after all.  Thanks for listening to my long spiel about my garden.  Hopefully I’ll be able to report a bountiful harvest in the coming months!

 





The Great Sunflower Project

28 05 2008

The Great Sunflower Project

Wild Squirrel suggested joining this neat project on her blog. The project is very easy and sounds like a lot of fun. At the same time, it will help build our understanding of bees and address the problems of colony collapse. Did you know they think that there are around 4,500 species of bees in the United States? Let’s go watch some bees!