Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring! Spring! Spring!

So, spring is here, and it's grand! Every morning I walk outside just to see what has peeked its head above the dirt. So far, I'm pretty happy with the way things have overwintered, although I may have (once again) lost my plumbago. That's okay though - I'll just buy more and treat them as an annual. I also haven't seen hide nor hair of my whirling guara, but it's still early.

Everything else is coming up, including my Bird of Paradise I put in late last year. Even three of the four fall asters I mutilated managed to put up more new growth. My trumpet vine and passionflower vines are starting to leaf out, all my irises are blooming, my cannas are putting up l eaves, and the salvias are sprouting.

Attended a plant swap last weekend - took my DH and boy, it was fun. I was much more reserved this year than last, swapping everything I took but not being greedy and taking only things I thought I had a chance with. I even managed to plant a large portion of the stuff I got, which is a HUGE improvement over last year. And I'm being much more deliberate about where I put things - I don't want to expand the front landscaped area too much until I get all the areas directly next to the house landscaped.

We're also planting this weekend for our CSA. I have been lazy in the veggie garden, so none if the seeding got done. But that's the easy part, so I figure that I can work on that Saturday, then the GardenHoes are coming over to plant on Sunday. Yay!

I'll try and post some pictures soon. I am so happy that spring is here!

~Hoe Naomi

Sunday, March 1, 2009

CSA Update

We plan to put in seeds next weekend. The transplants that Heather is starting aren't quite ready yet, but we can always put in seeds for cucumbers, melons and beans. I still haven't figured out the best way to trellis and stake the tomatoes and cukes, but here is an idea from Hoe Nancy.

This is a picture from one of her friend Carole's kitchen gardens; look in the middle-ish for the hooped (rainbow tunnel) cow panel. It's high enough to walk into, and she keeps a walking path down the middle. It's a great idea for trellising vining plants, and Nancy suggest a smaller type for the tomato plants.

We've also talked about taking a road trip to Carole's - if this is just ONE of her kitchen gardens, can you imagine what the rest of her gardens look like?

Weekend Weeding

Spent the entire weekend weeding the gardens. I always forget how much work it actually is to pull up weeds, but there is an inherent satisfaction in popping a weed that does not belong. It's also gratifying to pull away dead branches and leaves to see new growth peering out of something you thought was dead. I was so happy to find new growth on two of the cupheas and two of the plumbagos (have had a problem bringing through winters in the past). Guess a mild winter is a good thing even if there was little rain.

One thing I did screw up while weed-popping. I planted fall asters for the first time last fall during my garden hoe project. Today, I was weeding the bed the fall asters are in and saw plant growth near the base of all the aster plants that didn't look like fall aster. If you remember from an earlier post, here is what the fall aster looks like:

Notice the narrow leaf. The weeds I saw were much different - wider leaves and slightly fuzzy looking. They were also coming up from the periphery around the base of the original plant. However, after weeding three of the plants, I realized that I wasn't seeing these "weeds" anywhere else in the bed except for around the asters.

Then I looked up fall asters again and this is what I found on new growth: I had been pulling the new growth the entire time! Talk about feeling like an idiot. All I can do now is just hope that I didn't totally kill the plant and that they still keep growing (even though I "weeded" all the new growth off of three of the four plants)! You can't tell me that this stuff doesn't look like a weed...