Saturday, March 31, 2012

Starting a Few Seeds

Every year I decide to start more and more plants by seed.  The cost of one packet is often the same or less than one actual started plant.  And when you are buying multiple starts of the same plant it makes complete sense to start the seeds yourself.  

We already had the Jiffy holder so I bought a few of the peat pellets and planted basil, sunflowers and snapdragons.  Everything else I am planting by seed this year will get direct planted into the garden.

Friday, March 30, 2012

One and Only

This was the one and only tulip that bloomed for us this year.  So I had to cut it and bring it inside to enjoy before the deer get to it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Last week I chitted some spinach seeds and planted them.  Last year I planted to the seeds directly and had poor germination.  I decided to try chitting them because then I could plant the ones that had germinated.

I planted them out and they have all started to come up with the exception of the ones stomped on by the deer.  I have planted them too close together so that I can harvest every other plant while the rest grow in.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Seedlings

Everything is beginning to emerge.




Sugar Snap Peas

Monday, March 26, 2012

And It Begins

Our yearly war with the deer has officially begun.  The day after I had sown the spinach seeds a deer walked straight through my bed disturbing them and previously planted rows of parsnip seeds.  I have a few chitted spinach seeds I will fill the gaps in with, but I think the parsnips are now going to have a few holes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bradford Pear Tree Branches

Sometimes I forget that the flowering trees can also make beautiful arrangements, not just cut flowers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bee School

Today Andy and I went to the SWOBA (South Western Ohio Beekeepers Association) Bee School that is also put on in conjunction with The Ohio State University Extension Services.  This was my second year, Andy's first.  I enjoy going because while not every class is outstanding I always learn something new, get a chance to speak with other beekeepers, and check out equipment from the many vendors.

We divided and conquered going to different sessions trying to make sure we acquired the best information.  The highlights for me were learning about: assessing a queen's productivity and diseases of the hive.  Andy's highlights were removing bees from structures and a history of beekeeping and tools.

We wore our matching Warren County Beekeepers Association t-shirts because we are just that cool.

I also acquired a bunch of new goodies we needed and the best part was we didn't have to pay for shipping!

Friday, March 23, 2012


I have mentioned many times through the years how much I dislike my neighbor's magnolia tree.  It looks beautiful for one week but it is planted so close to their house and on the property line that while the trunk is on their property the rest of the tree hangs over my garden.  

Each spring it drops all it's petals onto my garden.  Last year it did this right after composting and mulching, ruining the look of the new fresh mulch.  The petals also all drop mainly within a 2-3 day period and could blanket and shade out an entire bed's worth of seedlings.  Every fall it drops mounds of leaves, that become my problem.  I love Magnolia trees but this is a really crappy placement of a tree.

This year I am being proactive and covering the beds with row cover.  I have gone out each night and lifted the cover up shaking the petals off.  We are also holding off on mulching until all the flowers have dropped off the tree.  We learned this lesson the hard way last year.  I might seem silly but if you spent hours upon hours of schlepping mulch and compost you might feel the same way.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


With the addition of a new raised bed and the garden being cleaned up I figured it was worth another set of aerial pictures.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pea Supports

I am trying sugar snap peas for the first time this year.  I needed supports and decided to try using bamboo stakes that I already own.  I tied them at the top in a teepee shape.  I am hoping that they will be strong enough.  This will be a year in learning for growing peas.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

Today is the first official day of Spring!  In celebration I have cleaned the winter branches out of all the planters and boxes and replaced them with pansies.  I am definitely ready for colorful flowers again.

It might be the first day of Spring but it has been looking like Spring for awhile.  Even all of the trees are in bloom 3-4 weeks earlier than usual.  Here are the ones at our house:

Monday, March 19, 2012


I was able to get most of my spring seeds in by my March 17th deadline.  Last year I didn't get my lettuce, carrots, radishes, parsnips and such into the ground until April 14th due to building the beds and the constant monsoon we had last year.  I am hoping that getting the seeds in significantly earlier will result in better yields.  Although the summer like weather we are having might mean we have a really short spring meaning I am late yet again.

Today I planted the following items: astro arugula, high mowing mesculun mix, buttercrunch, green star lettuce, lettony lettuce, rouge d'hiver, baby romaine, antago lettuce, nevada lettuce, cosmic purple carrots, red cored chantenay carrots, french breakfast radishes, cherry belle radishes, purple plum radishes, hollow crown parsnips, lancer parsnips, rainbow swiss chard, sugar snap peas, cilantro, and bouquet dill.

I still need to plant spinach, but I am trying to chit them first.  I also have an assortment of heat tolerant lettuces that I will get in next week and a second planting of radishes and carrots.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

They Are Coming!

I have been keeping an eye out, checking every couple of days to see if the peonies were starting to emerge.  And this weekend they finally popped out!  We will have peonies very soon.


All last week it was in the 70s.  Soon we will have some 80 degree weather.  It feels more like summer than spring.  Thankfully it is going to cool back down a bit.  I am hoping to have some great spring crops and I would like the seasonable weather to hang around awhile and help me out.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

We aren't Irish but we got in the mood, celebrating with some corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I opened the beehive over the weekend.  My suspicions were confirmed that our bees have all died.  We are not quite sure what caused the death.  It could have been mites, and infection, too much moisture that caused freezing or starvation.  Although there was an entire box of honey left, they might not have broken the cluster to find the honey.  Needless to say we have another package of bees on order, they are coming April 15th.  Year one was a learning curve, hopefully year two will be more successful in overwintering bees.

 Bees in the positions they died.  You can see some head first in the comb.  They also have some sort of crystalline substance on them.

 The carnage

Plenty of honey still on the frames.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Bed

After refilling all the beds, amending the in ground garden and filling an extra large trash can there was still this pile left with no where to go.  We don't have any back corners that a pile of dirt can go and we don't have a vehicle to transport it to someone who needs it or to dump it somewhere.  With rain coming and it taking up driveway space we needed to find a home for it.  So we went to the store to look at options of where to put the extra product.

I ended up with this, an extra 4x4 bed.  Andy has been wanting one in this spot and I have been dragging my feet because I didn't want to finance all the materials.  But when we had the extra soil and the cost of lumber is the same as a container that will hold the soil for future use we decided to go with the lumber.

The spot hasn't had a bed before because it is shaded by the neighbor's house by 2pm in the afternoon.  This makes it a less than superb location for summer crops but we are hoping that it might be just what a bed of lettuce needs to last through the season.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I thought this posted last week but it seems it hasn't.  All my seeds arrived last week so I am ready to plant now that the beds have been prepared.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I was busy in the garden over the weekend.  I cleaned out all of my overwintered plants, pruned up the herbs that needed it and worked on amending the soil.  Our in ground garden is high in clay and I have had poor luck growing root veggies so I decided to try adding sand to break it up.  I wasn't really sure how much to add so I added about 75 pounds.  In the raised beds I added 25 pounds, the soil in those beds was bought and doesn't need much work.

I also had a delivery of composted horse manure/bedding mixed with a bit of topsoil.  The mix is 75/25%.  I used the mix to top off all of my raised beds.  I made the mistake of not covering them over the winter and they lost at least one third of their contents.  I also spread a few inches on the in ground garden.

Before Spring Cleaning

After Spring Cleaning

Monday, March 12, 2012


Today is my birthday and I am entering a new decade, my 30s.  I wish I could say it felt different, better, worse, anything, but it feels the same as 29.  Only saying 30 makes me feel like I am a full blown adult, 30 sounds more grown-up.  At 29 I could hide under the 20s umbrella and feel like I still could be recklessly stupid, although I don't know if I ever have been.  At 30 it seems more official, although the only thing more official today than yesterday is that my age starts with a 3 instead of a 2.


I finally have a harvest to post!  Although this is leftover from the 2011 garden.  This past weekend I cleaned out the garden to get ready to lay down some compost and pulled out the rest of the leeks and parsnips that were being stored in ground.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I haven't taken an aerial shot in a long time because it didn't seem like there was anything worth showing.  But I guess the lack of plants is just as interesting every now and then.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weeds Already

The weather has been so mild that weeds are already growing.  I am NOT ready for weeds.