pear blossoms for mother's day
Labels: pear trees
A journal of my home vegetable garden. Skippy thinks it's his garden, but I've been gardening here for 20 years. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6). I have a big community garden plot and a small plot in my yard. I try to grow all of my family's vegetables using sustainable organic methods.
Labels: pear trees
I would have taken "before" photos of my plot, but I was overwhelmed looking at it this morning. I knew how late I was getting it in shape and how much should be done. After accomplishing a day's work, I'm now enjoying the "after" photos.
It was a drizzly day. I weeded, transplanted rogue strawberry plants, moved salt marsh hay from beds to paths, set up a tomato pole, screened compost and turned it in under a couple beds, top-dressed my asparagus bed, transplanted onion seedlings and dahlias tubers. I didn't get to everything: lettuce and cabbage seedlings need to go in and more compost is needed, but its a good start.
During my work, I saw two male rose-breasted gross beaks flitting around, and a couple male Baltimore orioles. Bight flashes of color over the garden plots. I suppose they were vying for prime territories before the females arrive.
Skippy rested on the salt hay in the garden paths while I worked. At dusk, he got a nice walk to the swimming hole. Now its time for a good nights' rest.
Juha is a new gardener who lives in Finland. A couple weeks ago we helped him by recommending gardening books for a beginner. Not being so familiar with gardening books myself, I gave him this advice,
... messing it up is a way of learning, as long as you don’t get disappointed. And there are many ways to grow every food crop. You may find a new one that works best for you by just getting into the dirt and trying.Anyway, I wanted to post an update, since Juha sent me an email today about his progress.
Most important is soil preparation, water and sunlight. Make sure your location has full sunlight. Mark it off. (If there is a chance it has toxins in the soil, like lead from flaking house paint, do a soil test.) Bring in a load of rich compost, enough so you can spread it 2 inches thick over the garden space. Turn it under, rake it smooth, then plant. What and when you plant depends on where you are located. Check the back of the seed package or buy seedlings. Ask when you buy if the seedlings can be planted yet. Check the seed package or online to see how much space you need to leave for the plant (I always put them closer than is recommended because my space is small).
If you have deer around, put up a 5 ft fence; rabbits or woodchucks, a 3 foot chicken wire fence. No fence will keep squirrels out of your garden. They run all over my garden and don’t usually do too much damage, except to eat ripe tomatoes if the weather is dry.
Hey Kathy! My gardening project is going well. Today I got all of my seeds planted. Just in time, since the weather is starting to warm up here in Finland! I devised a little challenge for myself. My goal is to prepare a meal for my family using produce from my garden and the wilderness :) To add some pressure I made it public on my blog http://www.juhakardo.com/food-sovereignty-challenge/ -JuhaI always love to hear about garden projects. This one sounds fun. I would also like to try the challenge of making a meal completely from items I have grown, foraged or caught myself too. I'm looking forward to doing some fishing this summer, and of course, lots of gardening. Maybe I should try some fermenting too if I'm doing an entire meal....
Its a rainy day. The garden is soaking it up. I'm inside looking out and admiring.
All of the beds are read to go. Little trays of seedlings are waiting for transplanting. The fig tree has been re-potted to a bigger pot. Tulips are fading, small iris in full bloom, and summer perennials growing fast.
My husband made me a compost screen today. It is a big frame that fits nice on top of a wheelbarrow. The mesh is made from doubled chicken wire. I've seen many ways to make a compost screen. The main thing is that the wire mesh is well supported by a frame and the mesh size is not too small.
Over the years, my compost bins have been accumulating things that don't compost so well (branches, avocado seeds, Christmas trees, oyster shells, plastic plant labels...) Instead of returning them to the bin this year, they went into the trash.
We screened about 10 wheelbarrows full of fresh compost and piled it onto my garden beds. I spread it and turned it under. The beds are ready for planting now.
The two espaliered pears in my community plot are full of blossoms! Finally.
For two years they haven't bloomed at all. Last summer I found a book on pruning and stopped clipping off all of the side branches. What a difference.
I'm hoping some pears set.
Labels: pear trees
Isn't spring wonderful!
I just now clicked on my label link below for "sideyard aerial photos" and was reminded what a tough winter it was. Only one month ago we had a foot of snow, Feb we were covered with nearly 3 feet, Jan and Dec were cold and dark, and October we had Hurricane Sandy.... All I can say is:
Isn't spring wonderful!
Labels: aerial sideyard photos
I ordered two varieties of potatoes this year. Instead of the 4 or 5 I usually order. I am trying to cut back.... They look really nice. Burbank Russet and German Butterball from Fedco Moose Tubers.
Some years I have planted them right away. Other years I wait and let them sprout a bit. I am wondering what is the "correct" thing to do.
Another thing I'm wondering about is different planting methods. I have always planted in trenches then back filled as the spuds sprout. I end up with potatoes growing in a flat bed. Fields I see have potatoes growing from the tops of hills. I'll have to look this one up.
I was planning to work in my yard today, but we have been told by the police to stay inside here in Belmont. There is a man hunt on now for one of the Marathon bombers. It is centered about 2 miles away from us in Watertown.
What a sad and scary situation. Hopefully I can do yard work later in the day. More importantly, we are praying no one else will be injured. We want everyone to be safe.
Does anyone have a good book to recommend for a beginning gardener? I got a nice email from Julie who is planning to start a garden and is looking for a good resource.
Hey Kathy, I'm fairly new to gardening and I'm feeling a little confused about where to start learning about it. I plan to start a garden this spring in my parents backyard and I'm trying to educate myself on the basics of this subject as fast as possible. Don't want to totally mess it up :) Could you recommend any sources to study? If you could only use one book on gardening what would that be for you? ps. I'm planning on raising edible foods in my garden