Tuesday, September 22, 2009

freeze warning tonight

I picked all the green tomatoes left. Also nabbed a couple small lemon cukes, and five small delicassa squashes. Left the Brussels sprouts: APHIDS!!! Yuk.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

gambling sometimes pays off

Our front yard is "xeriscaped." Most of it is rock over a landscape fabric weed barrier. However, enough dirt has filtered down between the rocks and barrier for things to germinate and grow. Luckily, the roots just grow sideways on top of the barrier and stuff is easy to pull up. We've had both good and bad: agastache, sunflower, and chamisa volunteers; tumbleweed; dandelions. This spring I weeded like crazy, but there were these plants that looked suspiciously like asters. I wasn't sure, but I decided to leave them anyway.

Turns out I was right, and our yard is currently waist-deep in purple. They'll probably die over winter, because their roots are so exposed. Maybe I'll (gently) pull some up + transplant them.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Harvested the garlic this evening. Back in the fall, I took the last bulb in a bunch we bought last spring at the farmers' market and planted the cloves. So I have no idea what kind they are. They're small, but so were their "parents."

Monday, June 15, 2009

runty tomatoes not so runty!

Back when I transplanted the cosmos and marigolds into the front bed, and the largest of the tomato seedlings into bigger pots, I stuck the littlest runt tomatoes into the big planter next to our front door. They were ones that were I thinned out. I hate thinning. I can't stand to throw little plantlings out.

And here they are, kicking butt! Go guys go! Soon I'll have to rig up some sort of support. They're on the west side of the house, so they're getting plenty of sun — no Wall-O-Water for these dudes.

You can't really tell from these pix, but there are even marigolds under the tomatoes, sprouted from a bunch of last year's seed I tossed in there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Walls-O-Water came in this week, finally got around to setting them up today. They're on all 9 plants in all 3 beds — no control group. I want some tomatoes this summer, dangit!

Note for future reference: much easier and faster using the hose instead of the watering can; and definitely use the big orange bucket to support them while filling.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

tomatoes - chillin’?

Well, it's not freezing overnight anymore, but it's still too cold (40s, 50s) at night for the tomatoes to really get going. Although the ones in the raised bed and the side bed are doing better than the ones in the backyard bed.

After chatting about veggie gardens with our friends and neighbors Jamie and Betsy this past weekend, I've decided to order some of those Wall-O-Water dealios to warm things up and even out the temperature swings.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Hardened-off 'maters went in today. One each of three types (Principe Borghese, Roma Rio Grande, Tigerella — despite my faith, the Black Princes were duds) in three locations: back raised bed; side flower bed; backyard bed.

Last year, the tomatoes in the middle-of-the-backyard bed never took off. We thought, maybe not warm enough? It gets the lots of sun, but friends of ours have had better luck with less sun, but warmer locations (since the nights are often be cool, even in July and August), like up against walls and houses. So, this year, I'm experimenting with putting some tomatoes up against the wall in the side flower bed (south-facing), and up against the house (east-facing), in the raised bed where the herbs are.

Raised bed:

Side bed:

Backyard bed:

Also direct-sowed the cukes, black beans, pumpkin, and squashes. My fingers are crossed.

Had some leftover little leggy tomatoes, so Bram and I walked the dog over to Dave and Shelby's and gave 'em to them. I'm so jealous of her raised beds!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

weeding, watering, mulching

Oh, the bindweed — we're pretty much screwed. But Bram, bless his heart, ripped out the stuff growing up through the patio cracks. Maybe we'll carefully paint what grows back with some Roundup in the fall... blegh.

While he was doing that, I weeded the back bed, side bed, and the main garden — in preparation for planting the tomatoes, squashes, and beans. Then I hit all the freshly-weeded areas with the spading fork to loosen things up, watered, and mulched everything with straw. Then it was 5:30, and I was too tired after today's hike to keep going. I'll try to plug the seeds and 'maters in this week.

Tomatoes have been hardening off in a shady corner of the patio for the past couple of days.

Fennel and sage in the herb garden

Radishes (the carrots and beets were no-shows... bummer)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

rescued hens+chicks

Found these on this morning's dog walk. Scattered on the sidewalk, couldn't tell where they were from, they were next to a chain-link gate to a driveway. I don't know if these were dug up by critters or by people — they do look a little scruffy. Popped 'em into an empty pot that's been sitting on the back steps.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

last known photo?

My tomatoes are leggier than Naomi Campbell!

Well, I transplanted the tomatoes into bigger pots today. Note for future reference: lots of trouble getting the fragile little buggers out of the seed-starting contraption thingus. Dirt would KNOT come out! I hope the 'maters survive.

Flowers (mystery marigolds + cosmos) went into the front bed, and were then mulched heavily with straw, in another half-assed attempt to keep the stupid neighbor cats from digging them up (also for water retention and weed suppression).

In other garden news: radish sprouting action!

And a new rain barrel.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Maryland trip

Everything was so green at my parents' house! Below: Oma + Howie Meowie; doublefile viburnum; dogwood; helleborus; lilly-of-the-valley; brunnera.

Monday, April 27, 2009

golden currant

During a front yard weeding frenzy Saturday, came across this little guy, right at the foot of the big locust tree.

It's a golden currant. After noticing it in our yard, began to see it everywhere in the neighborhood. Lots of people have it trimmed into hedges.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

weekend update

I did end up going to the Garden Fair on Saturday, no photos. Met up with Stacy there for a brief visit. Also chatted with her mom Bernice, who was keeping Kate company at the Ecoversity table. Also ran into Kathleen and Suzanne — small town!

Stacy mentioned that she had bought Brussels sprout seedlings, but they only came in 9-packs, and she didn't have room for all of them (she's doing raised box beds) and did I want 3 of them? Today she dropped them off, as she threatened to. So I had to finish fencing in the garden (needed a second roll of fencing to make it all the way around), and plant them. Here's the (hopefully) dog-proof result:

I guess it would be more accurately called dog-resistant. Cheyenne could definitely get in there if she really wanted to. Mostly I'm depending on her lack of ambition. ha ha.

I have no idea what kind of Brussels sprouts these are. Apparently, neither does the company that grows them:

Here they are, all in a row. Grow, little dudes!

Also put in radish, carrot, and beet seeds in the raised bed along the back of the house. Rows marked with PINK! string, recovered with straw mulch, and strewn with the dried stalks from last year's agastache flowers. It's my half-assed attempt to keep the neighbor's fricka-fracka cats out of there. I have a sinking feeling I'll need to use my whole ass and put up some chicken wire later, when it doesn't work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

garden fair this weekend

Santa Fe Master Gardeners 5th Annual Garden Fair on Saturday. Perhaps going with Stacy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

notes: 2010 tomatoes

Some high-altitude, short-season, heirloom variety suggestions to look into for next year, via Kate at High Altitude Gardening:
- Paul Robeson
- Black from Tula
- Peacevine Cherry
- Elfin Grape Tomato

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


There's sprouting action on all the tomatoes except the Black Prince. C'mon! you can do it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

notes: cool water catchment idea

I wonder how hard it would be to rig up something like this?

Photo by Helen Fickling, from The Minimalist Garden:
"Fabric water traps suspended from a framework act as funnels to collect moisture and direct it into containers at their base."
hmmmm . . . always looking for ways to water things here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

White House veggie garden

All the garden blogs have been atwitter with the news that there would be a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. And even those who scoffed that Michelle Obama was just doing a photo op (wearing dressy clothes and breaking sod with a rake?!?) at the official groundbreaking were all happy to see the FLOTUS in more appropriate (and grubby) clothes today:

[pix from the HuffPo style section, via GardenRant]

I know, I know, it's another photo op, but that's still pretty damn cool. The whole White House veggie garden thing is really great exposure for gardening in general, and those kids from Bancroft will probably remember the First Lady getting down in the dirt there with them all their lives. What a great way for those kids to learn about real food.

Just don't assume you need a White House staff or a lot of money or expensive equipment to grow some of your own food. I remember our huge veggie garden in Michigan. I'm pretty sure Mom + Dad planted it because we didn't have a whole lot of money, and growing your own was (and is) cheaper and better than most stuff in stores. I'm guessing most kids today don't know that. (Local exceptions of note: Monte del Sol charter school here in Santa Fe not only has a student-tended garden, but they also eat what they grow there for school lunches; Camino de Paz, a Montessori school up in Española, not only farms as part of the curriculum — the kids also sell the produce at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.)

Sorry, this is kind of rambling and disconnected. The upshot: our new First Lady is pretty kickass.