Our garden

I’ve doubled the size of our garden by putting in a row of heritage tomato plants. It was small to start with: the ground is very hard. I think it was run over by bulldozers 45 years ago and hasn’t been turned over since.

A small garden with rhubarb, irises, and tomato plants, is surrounded by small, decorative stones


Where’s my tree?

In aid of some repairs to the drains, the property management had to cut down three honey locust trees.  Let’s hope that they are replaced promptly with sizeable young trees.


Garden planning

This is more or less what my gardening book says. Your reference date is the average or expected date of the last spring frost in your area.

Six to eight weeks before:
* spinach
* turnips

Four to six weeks before:
* broccoli seedlings 4″ or so high (next year, start seeds in Feb.) – need 18″ all around
* cabbage seedlings (start seeds in mid-Feb.) – need 18″ all around
* lettuce seedlings (continue setting out every couple of weeks or plant seeds)
* onions (sets, seedlings, or seed)
* leeks (sets, seedlings, or seed). Can sow seeds now in a patch, then transplant to trenched rows when 4″ high
* peas
* potatoes (if you want to bother; they take a lot of room)

In a small plot, I’d bother only with peas and spinach.  🙂

Two to four weeks before:
* beets carrots (more 3 weeks later for extended harvest)
* cauliflower seedlings (start seeds in late Feb. or early March) – need 18″ all around
* radishes (a short row every week for extended harvest)

Frost-free date (expected date of the last frost or the day after?) IF the soil is warm:
* bush beans (sow every 3 weeks for extended harvest)
* pole beans
* bush lima beans
* okra seedlings (plant seeds indoors 2 months earlier) 3′ apart

One week later:
* eggplant seedlings (start indoors 2 months earlier) 3′ apart
* summer squash and zucchine
* winter squash
* sweet corn
* celery seed in a small patch, to be transplanted into rows later
* tomato plants (start seeds indoors 8 weeks earlier)

Two weeks later:
* lima beans
* soybeans
* pepper plants (ground must be warm)
* cucumbers
* black-eyed peas

You can also plant cabbages, chinese cabbage, broccoli, etc. in early July for fall harvest.

Merry Cephalopodmas!

It’s time to decorate the octo-plant.

These hand-made ornaments take about eight hours each to make.

If you don’t have time to make your own ornaments, you can look for something like this:

Lombardy poplars

The one bright and beautiful thing I could see from my bedroom window was a row of poplars peeking up over a roof. When I returned to visit in later years, they were dying of old age.
I was sorry to see them go because I had spent so many hours watching their leaves flash and gleam in the sunlight.
I think of poplars as the slender Lombardy polar. Here’s a row of them receding into the distance.

The author of Tree Notes thinks of the poplar as the sturdy cottonwood. Follow the link for more musings on trees.

“Arrogant arborist” from Faultline

Could be a rock band, but it’s a blog: Toad in the Hole from Faultline points out some bad pruning: ” Tree pruning: Basics and butchery.”

  • Do not leave stubs
  • Do not cut absolutely flush, either: leave the branch’s growth collar at the base.
  • Do not cut off major branches if you can help it. They may not be able to heal.
  • Do not encourage poorly attached branches to grow at the ends of stubs. They will fall on someone.

I, too, cringe when I see badly pruned trees.

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BallardFarmersMarket76, originally uploaded by loriinae.

GrrlScientist has taken some lovely photos at a farmers’ market in Seattle, including these dahlias.