Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Garden Update

Hope everyone had a good holiday! I was off Friday, had to work Saturday, so it was a short weekend for me, but I did get a little gardening done. Here's my peas on 4.20.11, snow peas on the bottom and black-eye peas on the top. Too many people have been telling me that that's too many to grow in a windowbox.

Here's the same peas 4 days later, to me that seems like a HUGE difference in size of the leaves. I love watching them grow, lol. The snowpeas are vines, and I'll put up a cage for them to grow on, I'm not worried about them. But yeah, I had to agree, the black-eye peas being bushes, they were probably going to quickly outgrow the planter.

So I bought ONE more container, a cheap dishpan from the dollar store, punched some holes in the bottom—to be honest, I cracked a big split in the bottom when I went to punch the holes. I guess I was either too enthusiastic or the dishpan was really cheap! Anyway, I transplanted three of the black-eye pea bushes in there, and put another in the wading pool, in an empty spot next to the cauliflower.

Here's my Husky Red Cherry tomato plant. It gets blog space because it has the most blooms. ;)

I don't know if the recent cool nights we've had (chilly, but all above freezing) will mean these blooms will set fruit or not. Have to wait and see!

And last, the picture above is the current state of the cantaloupe. I know four plants per big container may be too much, but I can always hack one out later, right? Perhaps eliminate the smallest one, or the one with no cantaloupes on it? But I saw online where I can get a trellis to train the vines on, then hang the cantaloupes from the trellis in net bags or pantyhose sections, and that keeps them off the ground, too. Supposedly less chance of mildew or mold.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Spring Planting

Went and spent some hard-earned cash at Home Depot last night on the way home from work. Then had to haul the two big bags of dirt, a new plant pot, one more tomato cage, some seeds, and three more plants around to the back patio. Here's what I ended up with. First, that banana pepper plant I said I still wanted:

I was also tempted to try yellow pear tomatoes this year. I think it was Tazzie that mentioned them in response to my problem with birds—because these tomatoes don't get red, birds're less attracted to them. They're about the size of cherry tomatoes, but longer, with an added pear shaped blob. Supposed to taste great too!

I also got some Vidalia onions, a whole little round blob of them. I think you call them starters? Then on my way to the front of the store, I passed a rack with more plants and I couldn't resist some early cauliflowers. These are supposed to be done in 50 days, so if that's true, I'll get a harvest at the beginning of June, before it gets too hot for them. I put those in the wading pool, onions toward the back:

I had so many onions that I put a few in some of the tomato containers, around the edges. It seems like my tomatoes always grow pretty tall, and the roots never extend out to the top edge of the containers, (I plant them deep) so maybe the pairing will work.

So here's the state of my containers now, and I think this'll do me for the summer. I'm not at all sure about the cowpeas in the windowbox—the snow peas do wonderfully there, so maybe these will too? And the cantaloupe in containers is new for me. I may need to get tomato cages for them, and suspend the cantaloupes from the wire with little net bags? I'll have to do some research. All suggestions welcome! How does YOUR garden grow?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Giveaway Winner and April Block of the Month

Yaaay! Using the Random Number Generator at I've picked the winner for the free Julie Herman pattern giveaway! First here's the (lucky or unlucky, however you look at it) number:

And counting down 13 on my blog comments, I come to Jennifer! She blogs over at Hoodies and Flipflops
if you wanted to go say hi. Congrats, Jennifer! If you'll send me your address, I'll pass it on to get the pattern to you.

I've also been working on the block of the month for my quilt guild. It's all online, if any of you wanted to follow along, or even if you just want to try a block or two. Not quite as . . . vivid . . . as it appears in this picture, let me introduce Block two of the Sweet Sixteen series:

And a graphic for what it looked like when I drew it up in EQ. Here's the website page with the instructions and fabric cutting directions for the April 2011 block of the month. Enjoy! And if you decide to try this block, I'd love to see a picture of the finished project.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

It's Garden Time!

It's April, so that means all my quilting friends are going to have to put up with garden updates again. :) I enjoy my little foray into container gardening, and it's really no trouble to do, once it's set up. And setting it up is NOT that difficult, nor does it take much space, money or time.

First, here's the wading pool. I started using it three years ago, as a cheap alternative to a raised bed. This spring, I'm using it to plant onions, (little green onions, around the edge) and I'm going to try cantaloupe in the middle. I need to add some fertilizer and give it a good stir before I plant the seeds tomorrow.

I think this will be the last year for the wading pool. These pools are really cheap, but not meant to last several summers. The plastic around the edge that's been exposed to the sun is disintegrating. Since I've enjoyed the fruits and veggies of my labors, I think next year, the pool will come out, and I'll upgrade to a raised wooden bed. Maybe even put in some strawberries and asparagus, which take more than a year to grow, and keep coming back.

Walmart had four varities of tomatoes this year that looked good. I prefer indeterminate plants that yeild all summer instead of the determinate ones that grow tomatoes that ripen all at once. Here's the four I have so far:

*drumroll* In the beige container, the Better Boy. I've grown these before, and they did well.

This next one's a new variety (cultivar, is that the right word?) for me, it's called 'Bonnie Original' and I'll have to see how it tastes.

Red Beefsteak is also a new one for me, and I'll admit I bought it just because of the name. Doesn't 'beefsteak' sound like it'll be a huge, ripe juicy tomato? The name made me salivate, so I bought the plant, lol.

And finally, a Husky Red Cherry tomato bush. This was the first variety of tomato I tried to plant in containers, and they're great. I can eat these all by themselves or in a salad, and the plant's pretty prolific too.

Then I'm trying one more new thing this year, yellow bell peppers. Last year I had two banana pepper plants and there were just too many banana peppers for one person to eat. I shared handfuls with the neighbors, and pickled some, too. I didn't see any banana pepper plants out at the store yet, but I did see these, and thought, hmm. Stuffed bell peppers, yum!

I still plan on getting a banana pepper plant when they're available. cuz I love those things. And possibly another tomato plant, maybe a grape tomato again? I have plenty of time to decide. Any suggestions for other crops I could attempt in containers?
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