Friday, April 23, 2010

Garden update for April

Obviously the photo above is from last years crop...  (I love eggplants.  They are so beautiful)

So far-so good with my deck and 'postage-stamp' garden plantings.  I've not been without my failures though.  I bought a little pack of 10 strawberry plants, and they have been in their pot for over 2 weeks with nary a sign of green.  I would call that 100% crop failure.   There was a little green growth on at least one of the plants when I put them in, but I think I either I kept them in the package too long before planting, or a cold snap right afterwards got 'em.   

I have green onions (scallions) ready to pull, and other onions I am going to try to grow to full size.  New onion sets will go in each hole as I pull one out.  Garlic I planted in the fall grew very vigorous tops, and may be getting ready to harvest, since the foliage is beginning to dry and brown at the tips. 

I did find snap peas after all, and they went in a few days ago, as did 2 kinds of seed potatoes, both in containers.  Late, but we'll see.  Butterhead Lettuce is coming up, and the radishes are growing like crazy in the cool weather we've been having. The blueberry plant looks great, and I also planted a container of  shallots.   Beets and chard are loving this cool weather too, but if I don't get turnips in soon, it will be too late.

I'm on my 3rd try at growing some things from seed.  At first they didn't germinate, or did then died.  The 2nd batch were OK, and I had been putting them out to harden them off, but then forgot to bring them in one night when it frosted. :(   I broke down and bought a couple of plants - a yellow pear tomato, some brocolli and brussell sprouts.   I'm still trying to get the seeds going on the eggplant - because it is a long finger-type Japanese variety I haven't seen, and the Principe Borgese paste-drying tomato.  

When warmer weather comes, in will go beans, more tomatoes and pattypan squash.   It sounds like a lot, but consider in many cases it's just one or two plants.  Still, it just shows it's possible to grow a lot of food in a small space.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wildlife in Town

And even though it was seen on the edge of UK campus, it wasn't THAT kind of wildlife!   On my way home yesterday, I was stuck in traffic (for those who are familar)  on Maxwell St., next to the Rupp Arena parking lot.   I glanced to my right, and there in a vacant lot, spotted what I thought was a squirrel digging in the grass.  When it raised up, it wasn't a squirrel at all, but a groundhog!  Then I saw another one following it.  It seemed to be a young pair, or maybe siblings.  They seemed very unconcerned by the noise and smells of two lanes of traffic just yards from them. 

I shouldn't be surprised, with all manner of wildlife being seen in town, but I was.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So THAT's what it is....

When I bought my townhouse, I wanted the popular English-style perennial garden, so I planted roses - lots of roses.  Some were grown on their own roots, but most were David Austin English roses.  Most are gone now.  Some died quickly, some lingered on several seasons before dying.  I thought it was just a 'brown thumb.'  Several of the plants had these weird 'growths' on them - a cane would take off and grow much faster than normal, but would break off at a slight touch.  If  it got to the bloom stage, the flowers would be deformed.  I searched the internet and my plant and rose books, but had no idea what it was.

I linked to a link from a blog (the way I have found some of my most interesting and favorite blogs) and found this:   There is no question this is the problem, but it was shocking to read it is so bad it is expected to wipe out the multiflora rose species!  Apparently the rose is to go the way of the Elm or the Chestnut. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The chard, 2 kinds of radishes, and onion sets for green onions have been planted.  The blueberry plant is potted up, and if the rain squall that came through this morning clears off, I will plant the small package of strawberry plants I bought. I know I have some lettuce seed around here somewhere, but I can't find the packet. I really wanted some sugar snap peas, but the man at the seed store said there was a crop failure and there is no seed to be had this year. That about does it for the early planting, although I could probably put broccolli out.   

Gardeners really are the most optimistic people.  Every Spring, seed is planted with the hope that the harvest will be beautiful, pest-free, and abundant.  Though that is not always the case, our memories are short, and we give it a go again the next Spring.

Someone else's misfortune became my gain this week.  My next door neighbor rented out his townhouse when he got married. I'll spare you the horror story of how badly the inside of the place was damaged (they were quiet though, and never bothered me) and in the end he had to have them evicted. They left all their stuff inside, despite his many attempts to accommodate them to come and get it.   He let me buy - for only a couple of dollars - 2 wrought-iron chairs for my deck.  That will give me a nice place to sit and enjoy all my greenery as it grows this summer!