FALL 2019 WHEW!!

Can’t Believe Summer is Over!!

I have no idea where this summer went!! I felt like I was at war with weeds all summer… more than usual!  I attribute this to lots of fish fertilizer and rain.  If only I could eat weeds?

But on the plus side. . . I actually had a nice crop of vegetables this summer.  I planted cukes in pots at Morris Plains and they did amazingly well.  I made a ton of pickles.  I also had the BEST crop of asparagus I’ve had so far.  This must be their 7th year.. I did two things differently:  of course, more good fertilizer, and I didn’t cut the ferns down until this spring.  I even made asparagus soup:  YUM!!  Results:  I was picking asparagus from April to July!  I had a decent crop of currants, and made about 4 jars of currant jam.

In the Morris County plot I had of course beautiful kale.. curly kale,  Great peppers which actually turned red, decent asian eggplants, almost no zucchini, mediocre zinnia, beans eaten by??, a really nice volunteer small tomato which is still doing nicely, and bug ridden snapdragons.. I should have sprayed early on.  I hate to spray.. but they aren’t edible.  Also, Russell gave me two nice dahlia tubers– one orange and one deep maroon, almost black.  They made cool Halloween arrangements.

I am just beginning to put the garden away now.  (Oct. 22, 2019)  I am taking doxy for lyme which I contracted about 10 days ago, and have postponed any strenuous work for now.  I did plant a row of 10 garlic cloves at County, and tomorrow I want to plant the other 10 at Morris Plains.  I’ll compare and see where the garlic likes to grow..  Planting the garlic at County almost wiped me out yesterday!!  First I had to turn over a patch of weeds with a pitchfork, remove the weeds, rake the area, and fertilize, then make a furrow for the garlic.  As always, I divided the garlic at home to save time when I got to the garden.  I’m planting the Russian Red that I saved from planting last fall.  It is a lovely garlic… grew beautifully, but the scapes were way too tough to eat.

I have moved both the rose bush and the yellow lily from Morris Plains to here.  I’m trying to remove any perennials from Morris Plains so that I can fit more vegetables there.  Now I need to dig up the mint and the yellow yarrow.  I’ll put both in pots and keep them there.

HOME:  I removed the gooseneck loosestrife from near the mailbox.  It had a bug issue, and just looked awful.  I put the coral rose from Morris Plains there and also got an Amber Carpet Rose from Agway sale tent and planted that there, also.  The Ginger yellow climbing rose is doing amazing.  It’ll be fun to see it bloom next spring.  I also picked up a baby’s breath and a salvia at that Agway sale.  They were each only a couple of dollars.

So, now the fun stuff.  Here are some pictures from this summer.  I didn’t take very many, but here are some, plus hopefully, a home improvement!  The caterpillars are Black Swallowtails which fed on my two big pots of parsley (I planted two for them, plus one for myself) until there wasn’t one leaf left!  I counted 18 caterpillars on those plants.  The first picture is a huge Diva Cuke, which is cut off in the picture, but my little gardener helper isn’t cut off, and that’s more important!  If you double click, you can see the entire picture.  By the way, that pizza was delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 22, 2019 HOT HOT HOT!!!!

HOT!  Weedy, and Frustrating.

This summer has NOT been fun.  The weeds were overwhelming; no matter how much I pulled, 3 days later, there’d be twice as much.  So I used newspapers (thanks to the Morris Plains Library), some weed barrier, and just sort of gave up about 2 weeks ago.

However, I have gotten a decent crop of cucumbers (16 jars of pickles!!), asian eggplant, kale, tomatoes and tons of peppers.  Someone sabotaged my County plot:  they cut off my sunflower and chopped off my kale!! Talk about frustration!  A beast ate all my beans, so I got almost nothing, and same with my peas.

I didn’t get great zinnias or snapdragons, but the ageratum I planted from seed did great!  Unstoppable.  I don’t have too many pictures, but here are a few.  Most of these are from my home garden, except the giant Asian cucumber.  Below are: bee balm, daisies, front bed, gardenia, rose, lace cap hydrangea, starlette lily, penstemon, dahlia, stella doro lily, casa blanca lily (white one), and a couple of arrangements.  I was too busy weeding and sweating in the vegetable gardens to take a picture!

 

 

LADY BUG LARVAL STAGE: DON’T KILL!!

Gardeners: Please notice the life cycle of the lady bug. Notice the larvae stage (middle right). If you see these babies, don’t spray them or kill them. They will grow up to be lady bugs. I found about 50 on my yarrow yesterday, and sure enough, their mom (very beautiful lady bug) was on the yarrow, too.

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SLOOOW START

NOTE:  If you click once on a picture, you SHOULD be able to view a slide show with captions.

I got off to a very slow start this spring!!!  I decided to get some chores around the house done first, and there was so much rain in the County plot, that I sunk 10 inches down trying to plant my seedlings!  So to start:  What I was doing instead of gardening:

1.  Painting and polyurethaning my stoop

2.  Cleaning and staining my deck.

Pictures:

So once the chores were done…. Back to gardening.  Two important things:  The vegetable garden plots got off to a slow start because County was all mud.  But the home garden is doing exceptionally well.  So here, first, is the vegetable story:

 

NOW, TA DA….. MY Home Garden:  (Thanks, Rain!)

HAPPY BEAUTIFUL SPRING

 

 

This is turning out to be a gorgeous spring.  The basement is filled with seedlings which I can’t wait to plant.  This spring Cliff came out and helped clean up the County Plot because the fall of 2018 was so rainy, I just couldn’t get to it…and of course, I adopted a puppy on Sept. 27.  That might have something to do with it. 

We had a ton of rain over the fall and winter, so the trees and flowers are (it seems to me) more beautiful than ever.  Here are a few pictures of my basement seedlings, and some very early signs of life this spring.

SEEDLINGS IN BASEMENT:

 

 

SOME EARLY SIGNS OF SPRING:

  • hydrangea, honeysuckle, glory of the snow, forsythia and black snakeroot.

JULY VEGETABLES AND FLOWERS

July is a great time for harvesting vegetables and flowers.  So far I’ve been harvesting peppers, cukes, zucchini, beans, peas, basil, parsley, dill, lettuce, radishes, golden beets, fennel, tat soi, kale, and cabbage. 

The flowers have been doing exceptionally well.  I started snapdragon seeds (from Harris Seeds) in March in the basement and was finally able to plant them in the garden in mid May. 

I have pictures below of the snapdragons and the zinnias, as well as pepper, eggplant and beans.  I’m still waiting for the tomatoes to ripen!!! 

As usual, I fertilized with:  chicken poop (COOP POOP), fish emulsion and kelp. 

Below the pictures of flowers and vegetables are two pictures of the amazing BLACK SNAKEROOT!  Cool plant.  Grows about 4 ft. in the shade.  

  HAPPY GARDENING, EVERYONE.

 

 

 

RAIN’S NOT A PAIN!

JUNE:  FLOWERS AT HOME:

It’s been very rainy this spring, but the upside is that things are growing beautifully.  Here are some of my favorites around the house that are in bloom now:

GARDENIA

BEGONIA

HONEYSUCKLE

COLEUS ANNUAL

WAX BEGONIA ANNUAL

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SPIDERWORT

KNOCKOUT ROSE

YELLOW SEDUM

SWEET WILLIAM

STELLA D’ORO DAY LILY

KNOCKOUT ROSES

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BENGAL TIGER CANNA

PEONY AND KNOCKOUT ROSE

SUNDROPS

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SUNDROPS (EVENING PRIMROSE)

MIXED BED

EASY LIVIN’ ROSE

EASY LIVIN’ ROSE (PHOEBE’S ROSE)

EASY LIVIN’ ROSE

 

LADY BUG VIDEO

Very important video about the Life Cycle of Lady Bugs.  Be sure not to mistake the larvae stage for a bad bug!!  Keep those LADY BUGS multiplying.  They are wonderful for your garden.

 

JUNE 2018: FINALLY, THE SUN CAME OUT!!

VEGETABLE GARDENS:

It seemed as though the sun would never come out this Spring.  After Cliff and I got the garden cleaned up, it rained and rained. The good news:  All the seeds, tubers, etc. germinated and grew.  Here are a few pictures of the Vegetable Gardens.

Cliff had planted some grass and bought a bale of salt hay to put over the seeds.  He kindly let me have the left over salt hay, which I’ve been using to keep down the weeds and keep the soil moist.  This is an experiment, so we’ll see how it works.  You can see the hay in the pictures of the County garden.  So far this is what I have planted: 

Vegetables:

  1. 4 kinds of tomatoes
  2. Asian Eggplant
  3. Oak Leaf Lettuce
  4. Radishes
  5. Fennel
  6. Parsley
  7. Basil
  8. Cucumbers
  9. Beans
  10. Zucchini
  11. Spinach
  12. Peas (not doing well!)
  13. Curly Kale
  14. Broccoli
  15. Golden Beet
  16. Asparagus & currants (perennials)
  17. Peppers

Flowers: 

Marigolds, snapdragons, gladiolas, cannas, zinnias, perennials:  roses, iris, yarrow, lily, daisies

As always, I have been fertilizing with Fish Emulsion & Kelp and Espoma Garden Tone, but this year I discovered a fertilizer named “COOP POOP.”  I got it at Agway, and it’s very inexpensive.  A 40 lb. bag costs a little over $10.  I am experimenting with it on all of my gardens, including my home flower beds.  So far, it seems to be quite good.  Time will tell.  It occurred to me yesterday when I was putting Coop Poop and Fish Emulsion on my flowers and shrubs that I am feeding my plants fish and chicken!  Pretty funny.  So that’s it for today.  Happy Gardening!