Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What is in the Box?

So what am I growing in those TEN square garden spaces??

Well…

J has one box for his very own. The layout for his square is shown below. I think he will love having his own space to tend when we are working in the garden. He is also excited for the cat to join us in the garden so she can try her cat grass and catnip.

So the other 9 boxes? What could possibly fill 9 boxes?? Here is a list:

Box 1 – onions. We didn’t plan to fill a box this year with onions (especially since the ones we grew last year never really took hold and grew). HA-HA! Guess what? Those onions decided to grow this year instead! Yes, we have a full 4’ by 4’ square of last year’s onions growing strong. Who knew?

Box 2 – herbs. This box has oregano, thyme, German Chamomile, flat parsley, radishes, spinach and broccoli. I think I should have planted the radishes somewhere else to save some room for my other herbs, but I will just hold off on planting them until the radishes are done growing. I would like to plant rosemary, curly parsley, and basil.

Box 3 – cabbage, cauliflower, green onions, and radishes. I figured the cabbage and cauliflower will be done growing by the time the green onions grow in (they seem to grow so slowly). The radishes are a great filler for my last square in this box – it gives me something to watch that grows quickly and hopefully will keep me distracted from wondering if the onions will ever grow (and my urge to dig them up to see if they are growing – lol).

Box 4 & 5 – tomatoes and carrots. I have heard tomatoes and carrots really like each other so I have planted four tomato plants in each box (one in each of the inside squares) and planted carrots in the boxes all around the outside of the square. Truth be told, I have only planted the first of these two boxes. I may switch-it-up a bit for the second box by planting the carrots in triangles in the four corners (making a diamond shape in the middle), then I will plant the tomato plants in the corners of the diamond.

Box 6 & 7 – tomatoes and bush beans. More tomatoes, Jenn? Really?? YES! Since I received 18 tomato plants for Mother’s Day, I have enough tomato plants for 5 boxes (3-4 plants in each box). I have read that bush beans and tomatoes also get along well, so to expand the veggie options I am planting bush beans around the tomatoes in two of the boxes.

Box 8 – tomatoes and something else to be determined.

Box 9 – something with a vine. This might end up being pumpkins, watermelon, cucumber, squash, or zucchini… I still need to find room for all of these plants, but just not sure which one will make the cut for getting in the actual box.

Off to the garden. More Later….
~Jenn

Boxing in the Garden

So based on the color of my arms and shoulders – we got more sun than rain this weekend. It sounds like that varied a lot throughout the Twin Cities. People on the radio this morning were saying they barely saw the sun at all, so I can count myself blessed (even if my arms and shoulders are a bit pink – lol)

I am so thrilled about everything we got accomplished this weekend. Brian and I got 10 of the 4’ by 4’ garden boxes made! I did the first two by myself on Sunday, but was glad for the help to get the other 8 done on Monday. I still want another four, but they might have to wait until next year.

Maybe what I will do is make one or two every year out of cedar or some other long lasting wood, that way in a few years when I have to start replacing the 1” by 6” Pine boxes with something that will last for many years to come I will be ready!

I have heard that Pine can last for several years if it is taken care of, so maybe I will just make one new box every years and take good care of the boxes I have now (like put them in the garage in the fall and not let them spend the winter outside). Maybe I will get some pictures posted tonight – fingers crossed!

~Jenn


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sunny Blessings

I am thrilled – the wet weather held off for most of the day! I got some tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and beans planted (more still needs to be done). Brian and J are on their way to the store to get border materials for my pretty little squares! I finished putting the gardening supplies and J's toys back in the garage, and the first roll of thunder just rumbled through the sky! Timing is everything, sometimes! According to Accuweather.com the thunderstorms aren’t supposed to hit until 5:00pm, but I am not sure Mother Nature is willing to wait another hour…

I actually harvested something today – oregano. It was growing like a weed and was taking over the squares next to it… so I decided to cut it back and dry the leaves for future use in the kitchen.

I think I hear the rain falling on the deck as I write this. Yes, indeed, I can see the droplets hitting the deck, leaving dark little circles on the light grey wood. So, looks like Accuweather.com was off by an hour – good thing I was ready for the rain.

I am grateful for the seven (plus) hours of sunshine I enjoyed today outside. I wasn’t expecting any sun and was blessed with over seven hours! Now I think I will take a shower, get into some cozy rainy-weather clothes and relax the rest of the evening (or until I have to start dinner).

~Jenn


Friday, May 27, 2011

Marigolds and More

Backing up a little bit:
For Mother’s Day I received a flat of Marigolds, nine tomato plants, and some other wonderful things. I also received a Shooting Star Hydrangea from my mother-in-law. I had never seen one of these before. They are amazing! The flowers are a delicate multi-layered star shape and they do (sort of) shoot from the main flower cluster when they start to bloom. The picture is not my plant, but one I ‘borrowed’ from the Web.

Coming back to here and now:
The Marigolds and tomato plants are on the deck awaiting their big move to the garden. I am waiting until June to move the tomato plants to their summer home. The Marigolds will be moved once I get the vegetable seeds planted. All in good time ~

This is Memorial Day Weekend and I am excited to have some time off. Not sure if the weather will cooperate enough for me to get the rest of the seeds planted, but, who knows, I might just have to play in the rain!

No pictures of the garden today, but will post some soon.

Back Again!

Well, guess it has been a while since you heard from me.  Things are going well in life –no MAJOR complaints… Oh, I am sure I could think of something if I really wanted to spend my energy doing that, but I know there are better things to focus my energy towards.

TGIF – I don’t say this often… but today IS a TGIF kind of day! The weather has been less than stellar (IMHO) for the past few weeks.  I am not a plant or grass or something that loves getting rained on…  but, the past two days have been pretty decent (sunny and dry) so I have been in the garden trying to get a little caught up on this season’s planting.  I am pleased to say that I am indeed making progress!  I love that J is getting old enough to really make a difference when helping pull weeds and preparing the soil. I also love that he is WILLING and EAGER to help… it makes it more fun!

I am laughing to myself as I write this because the last thing I blogged about was getting Mel Bartholomew’s book on Square Foot Gardening back in June of last year! It was exciting to get the book and I think I read it in one evening (maybe two), then I went back and really studied the sections I wanted to KNOW more about. I even shared the book with co-workers and family.  It made so much sense to me! The book still sits by my bedside and I continue to look at it from time to time. Somehow I never ended up writing on my blog again after I got that book.... until now! 
hee hee.

Summer arrived in full-force shortly after the book arrived. My mom came to visit, then the Aussie side of my husband’s family came to Minnesota for a visit, after that we had school shopping and harvesting the garden veggies… And before I knew it – summer was over and the fall/winter were upon us. Now it is spring again and the blogging urge has re-sprung – LOL!

~Jenn