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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frustrated Spring Gardeners - Now's your Time!

This innovative gardening style - I occasionally come up with a good idea - is perfect for someone like me with limited energy and heat sensitivity.  I call it "Patch Gardening" and you can start right now!  Clear away the old, dead, wilted and mildew-covered cuke and zucchini vines and get going! Reach back for all the excitement and sense of wonder you felt in March and get down to your local garden center.  Grab yourselves a couple of bags of composted manure (preferably organic - although I don't know how they can really call old horse dung organic) and throw it right down where you just pulled all that dead plant material.  Don't compost really bug-riddled mildew-covered vines - send them on down to wherever your town crew takes them.

Spread the compost around - don't get fancy but one large bag will make a nice patch about 3 x 4 feet.  I planted some seedlings I started under lights to see if I could grow some brussel sprouts and kohlrabi but you don't need to go to that extreme.  Simply open your packet of greens seeds - lettuce, mixed fancy greens, spinach, rainbow chard, whatever.  Fling them around or make a nice row - it doesn't matter much - and cover them with about 1/4 " of compost and water lightly.  Keep this all nice and moist by watering a bit every day and you'll soon have seedlings jumping right up out of your little fall garden patch.  Here in Connecticut, since the hurricane passed, we've been having temps in the 80's during the day and down to the high 50's at night to about 60.  I planted my greens in the shade of my fence and they popped up in only a few days.  They're going to get a little sprinkle of bone meal and eventually some fish emulsion... but not much - they're only tiny at the moment and don't need much from me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

End of Summer Blues

You can feel it in the air, even though it's still stinky hot in the afternoon.  You can see it in the light.  The plants know it. They're still pushing out blooms but you can tell it takes some effort.  The tomato plants are all thrilled to be giving it all they've got and more. They even taste like it's now or never.  Brilliant, tomato ecstasy, so acidy and sweetly in the moment.  It's almost like they know they've only got today. One cold night and they'll be flat on the ground, dead. So will the impatience plants who finally look like they're enjoying the season. Summer only just arrived. How can it be on it's way out?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Keen to be Green

Finally, the first of the broccoli - and we ate it all with our dinner.  And, here's the big miracle, we ALL ate it. Some of us took a smaller portion than others, but the organic broccoli from our own garden was enjoyed by all of us.  I pretty much cleaned off the beans, picked a lot of tomatoes (mostly small yellow pear tomatoes) and worked my way around the blackberry bush.  With the rain, a lot of the berries that were perfect a couple of days ago are completely covered with mildew.  I tried to remove the ones that were bad so they wouldn't contaminate the good ones that haven't ripened completely yet. If there's a trick to blackberry picking, I'd like to hear it.  It seems that as soon as they're ripe and really taste like a sweet berry, they're almost too ripe and won't keep more than a day. Maybe I should pick them sooner and just cook them down with sugar. The berries on the canes are actually starting to smell like wine!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gardening Take 2

I wish I could remember what I put in these peat trays. I know I planted some brussel sprouts and kohlrabi. I believe I put in the miniature lettuce seeds that were kind of old because they were slow to come up. Then I planted another pot of basil and some newer lettuce seeds which all came up. Now, they're still under lights until I bring them outside to spray them lightly with the hose and let them hang out in some bright shade for a while. Today was a little less humid and a lot less hot so I started weeding the back of the garden bed to make room for all of these guys. I don't know what kind of luck I'll have but I'm going to give it a try.

The bees are really enjoying what's left of the hydrangea. I'm starting to trim some of the flowers back as they start to look fried.
Now, really, if you were a hummingbird, wouldn't you love to hang out here? Apparently after weeks of growing red vining things next to red hanging things (I even threw in my grandson's little chair) the hummers are starting to visit the feeder. The sugar water is starting to disappear and a tiny bird swooped in for a visit and swooped out just as fast when he noticed me sitting on the patio with the dog. I will catch sight of him but I really doubt I'll be able to get a picture with my point-and-shoot Nikon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Kids are Doing Amazing things this Summer!

My step-son's acting debut playing the part of "Cameron"


...and my daughter's radio debut on a public radio talk show talking about a website she's involved with:

http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/Commodore%20Skahill/Colin%20McEnroe%20Show%2008-01-2011.mp3

It's okay to live somewhat vicariously through your kids, right?