Stay tuned, tomorrow we plant!
Happy first day of spring!
Stay tuned, tomorrow we plant!
Happy first day of spring!
Oh my goodness… It’s been a month.. and I have a million posts written in my head but not one made it’s way to my blog. I’m sorry!
People ask questions at work that would be great posts all the time. I need to write about the experience of serving people in a garden center and share some of that. I love the questions! Some are very common and happen all day (is it the annual or the perennial that comes back every year?) and some are surprises. Let’s just say I’m learning a lot about plants and gardening so I’m probably much happier than the average garden center employee.
I wish I had about five more hours in the day. I think I’d feel perfectly balanced and on top of everything if I did.
Then, there’s the garden…
That keeps us busy.
This isn’t exactly the epic gardening year that I always think it’s going to be, but we’re doing okay. It’s been quite dry so the watering is non-stop. I think I lost my garlic crop to neglect and I feel badly about that, but it happens.
On the bright side, the potatoes are doing well. These are kennebec and we have three pots of them. I like growing them in pots because the disease and critter issues decrease a lot when they’re protected by the wall of the container.
The sungold tomatoes did better than I expected. My tomatoes went through a rough patch when I was just too busy with work and end of the school year commitments to take care of them, but many have rebounded nicely. This variety does great in a pot.
I think that’s a little spider web, but some of you may know better. Is it going to be okay?
The blueberry bushes are clinging to life. This is so sad because they were great last year. I’m still blaming that extreme cold(-10) few days for this. I’d welcome any ideas for organically fertilizing and shoring them up.
The lovage has lept. I love leaping lovage. It tastes like celery and it looks so cool.
Most of our kaleidoscope mix and chocolate beauty pepper plants are still with us. The bunnies got a few of them.
These rattlesnake beans came from seeds that Michael’s uncle gave us when we were in Arizona in January. I’m waiting for them to climb their poles but they’re just sitting there teasing me!
This is Russian kale and it’s sweet! I’m using it as a vegetable, and as a filler in containers. Stay tuned for a better look at that on Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day on the fifteenth.
Here’s a few more tomato plants that I had given up hope on.
I believe my exact words to Michael were “we’re going to have to go buy some tomato plants.”
He wasn’t too happy about that since they’d been living on our pool table for quite a while.
You just never know if things are going to come back…
The opalka tomatoes are too, along with the strawberry plants that I thought we had lost a few years ago.
It’s late, but there’s basil growing and there’ll be plenty of time to enjoy it. This variety is Osmin from Pinetree Seeds. I need to do rock removal everywhere. They look huge next to the seedlings, don’t they?
And this is lemon basil. and little rocks.
If it all survives the critters it should be a foot high for my next What’s Happening update.
The lettuce is awesome, I need to plant some more asap!
And then there’s the onions… remember my onions last year?
Here they are! They were fabulous!
I’m not so sure about this year’s crop. They’re competing for space with a chipmunk and it’s been quite a battle. Those furrows that you see in the middle of the photo of this year’s onions are the chipmunk’s mark.
I know chippys are cute, and they have stripes on their back, and they sing in a movie…
But, I’d like for them to stay away from the garden. That’s all..
So this may be my favorite photo of this post, if not the whole season. Michael is using rhubarb leaves as mulch! I have a zillion questions about whether or not this is a good idea, but I think it’s really creative. Will it work, I don’t know? Are those leaves okay for the soil? I’m not sure… but they look great!
I caved and planted store bought zucchini plants, so far so good.
Same with the cucumber. This isn’t a great photo but I got these bamboo hoops from freecycle a few years ago and I love them. I hope the plants grow up over them again.
Mother Swiss chard and baby swiss chard are happy together.
So are our new baby chicks. This is one of the easter eggers.
We also have another Easter egger, two white leghorns, two Buckeyes and a Black Giant.
The black Giant is going to weigh ten pounds and she already rules the roost.
I’m loving our new little flock this year. These chicks seem special, maybe because with the exception of the EEs, they’re all new breeds to us.
If you’re still reading I need to say thank you so so much, this is a long post!
If I posted more often, they could be quite short, and easy to read.
How’s your garden growing? Leave me a comment so I can check in with you 😉 I love to hear about how you’re doing!
The year is almost over and I thought that it would be fun to do a bit of reflection on our garden year. I considered limiting this post to simple photos without words, but I started to fuss about whether to include just the immediate garden or the garden, yard and basement or garden related activities that didn’t necessarily happen here. In the end I thought that there’s too much to say and so I’m just going to talk!
Finally, in September the tomatoes came in..
I remember saying that this was the year of the onion for us. I planted them from seed in March and they exceeded my expectations. We ate all of these white onions and have moved on to the red variety. I may plant a third type this spring.
In October this tomato came in weighing about three pounds and resembling a pumpkin. It was so hard to cut this one up!
The zinnias still danced…
Which left me wondering about it’s future. Can I plant this outside? It seems like I should wait until spring. What do you say hellebore growers? This is a new one, full of promise if it survives the winter in my house!
2015 was a very hard year for me personally. We lost my mom to cancer in late August (hence the absence of photos and posts this summer). She loved to garden and enjoyed ours whenever she visited. I like to think that she’s nearby and will be out there with us as the years go on.
New seeds catalogs have started to arrive already. It will be fun to see what the new year brings to The Salem Garden.
There’s interesting possibilities on the horizon.
I’d like to thank all of you for visiting here often, enjoying the garden love with me, and for sharing your gardens and gardening experiences with me and my readers.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2016 in the garden!
Lots of love, Michele
I looked back quickly earlier this morning and realized that I missed posting a What’s Happening update in October. The Halloween hoopla kind of overtakes everything around here, even as the kids get older.
Anyway, it’s November and we have had absolutely beautiful weather. I hate dismantling the deck so I resisted and resisted. Michael is the primary dismantler and he prefers to do it without snow on the deck. I don’t mind a little snow if it means that we’ve enjoyed coffee or lunch (it’s too dark for dinner) one more time. But, the time has come and it’s been reduced to this:
A lovely pile of pots that need to be washed out as soon as possible.
It has to happen but it’s never pretty.
Herbs are just so darned hardy!
I took this little bunch of geranium plants in to soak for awhile. I think I’ll plant them in pots and winter them over in my office.
The asparagus fern will probably be on the table on Thanksgiving day.
As will the last clump of carrots that I harvested this morning.
This very grateful girl is wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
And so am I!
We are both blessed!
Wow, where has a month gone? Well, here at The Salem Garden it’s gone to medical emergency after medical emergency after medical emergency. After months of sickness and a very tough weekend in the hospital my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Functional Abdominal Pain Disorder. Yes, this is a real thing and it involves a lot of pain. She’s doing better but we have some work to do to get her back to her happy ten year old self. In the two and a half weeks since that happened my dear mom was also hospitalized and had surgery to remove her gall bladder, then last Friday my younger brother had a major cardiac event (while at my Mom’s house helping her recover) and was hospitalized. He tells me that he feels much better now that he has a pacemaker. Thank God!
So, the garden is a combination of the last thing I’m thinking about and my biggest outlet for stress. I have very little time to tend it, let alone blog about it, but when I do get out there it’s the most wonderful place in the world and I weed and prune my heart out. This is horticultural therapy at it’s very best!
It’s been cold here. So cold that my tomato plants are still waiting for that push of heat that puffs them up and the lettuce is as happy as can be. It’s been a very strange garden year.Here’s the garden looking down from the deck. Weeded and edged but pretty darn simple. That’s okay, we have a nice Farmer’s Market downtown on Thursdays.
To say that the tomato plants have struggled is the biggest understatement ever. I had two solid flats full of seedlings that were just beautiful. They grew right on schedule and were ready for the garden at the exact moment that I planted them. Then they just sat there and looked sad and small. It was cold, very cold. Tomatoes do not grow well in cold. Their little leaves start to turn in and turn yellow. Fortunately my dear friend Betsey came to the rescue with some extra seedlings that were bigger. I added them and replenished mine with some extras that I had held back under shelter. I fertilized with vermicompost a few days ago and I swear their starting to look better. We’ll see what happens. Maybe some mulch would help as well.
We do have buds and one fruit on an early girl. Thanks to Ed and Betsey for this plant! Poor peppers, same story as the tomatoes. I don’t know about this. We have tons of raspberries. Maybe this will be the year that I figure out the raspberry jam. The chicken coop flowers are fine.
We integrated our four baby chicks in to the flock last week. Their still spending some time on high perches but overall their doing quite well. This is a very feisty little flock of chicks. They can defend themselves. I may still start some cucumbers in this little bed. We pulled the herbs out a few weeks ago because we have plenty in the new herb garden closer to the house. It seemed silly to use this precious real estate for herbs when we can add some veggies to it. I just have to add some compost and plants, and remove some rocks… which is all the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest at the moment. Maybe some fall plants will land here? Here’s a little plot of bush beans. I’ll share the variety when they produce (and I find the seed packet). My Harrington estate rose is blooming! No, that’s not a real variety of rose. I just call it that because it came from the Harrington property that abutted our old house on Forrester Street. I missed the spring pruning this year but I’ll try to catch up with it soon. My little crop of broccoli seedlings are doing well. I should really start some more for the fall. I think that would work.
And of course the lettuce is still thriving. We are enjoying this lettuce all day every day! I should find a spot to add some more, especially if it’s going to stay cold. We could have lettuce all summer, no bolting here!
How’s your garden growing? How are you doing? I miss all of my blogging friends and I hope your all well and having a great garden season if your in the northern hemisphere, and a good winter if your in the southern.
Hello from finally rainy Salem, Massachusetts!
I haven’t posted in quite a while. There’s been so much going on here; sick children, graduating children, coming home from college children, going to college children, dancing and soccer and proms. Big life events can be great subjects for blogging but they don’t jive so well with gardening and garden blogging, especially the sickness. I’ve been pretty consumed with the needs of my family, as I should be.
So, the garden isn’t quite where it usually is at this point in May, but that’s okay. I can always catch up on the bean planting or substitute things or buy bigger plants that are further along. It will all work out in the end, or not, and that’s okay too.
These are the rainclouds that I was trying to out plant and out photograph before they burst this afternoon. I just made it and now we’re under a flash flood warning. It’s been so dry that the flood warning is welcome.
Things are getting underway out in the herb garden. That’s parsley in the foreground. The oregano came back strongly, along with some dianthus, thyme and chives. I just put that brownish lovage in the back and added the new rosemary plants. Rosemary doesn’t winter over here unless we have an extremely mild winter, which is rare. Looking from the other direction the cilantro was started from seed. The blueberry bushes are loaded with berries! I need to plant more blueberry bushes. The Solomon’s seal is about to bloom……along with my favorite yellow iris, and the German iris. Here’s a first for us; horseradish in bloom! It emits an odor of horseradish all around it. I don’t really love horseradish, but I’m kind of enjoying this. I hope the flowers don’t take away from root formation. I planted a little bit of broccoli… so cute! And the lettuce is happy. This is thriving because Michael does a good job of watering it for me with the leftover chicken water.
Here’s an interesting fact about this lettuce; the mesclun mix on the right was fertilized with vermicompost a few weeks ago and the row on the left wasn’t. Vermicompost is the way to go! I have a nice little worm bin here under my desk and all I do is feed them fruit and veggie scraps and keep an eye on the moisture content of the box. I harvest the compost once in a while and the “tea” or liquid that the worms produce every few weeks. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. I should blog about my worms more. I started these onions from seed in the early spring and transplanted them a few weeks ago. I need to make sure they don’t dry out and keep fertilizing them. Maybe I’ll try some vermicompost.
Looking back, there’s lots of open space. I still have basil, tomato and foxglove seedlings,along with peppers.I dug this big pot of dill out of the front yard yesterday because we reconfigured the landscaping out there. Dill doesn’t really transplant that well, it’s better grown from seed. These are small enough that they might settle in if their handled carefully.
If any of you local friends want some dill just let me know! It will be here for a few days until the rain stops.
How’s your garden growing? I miss you and your comments and your blogs! Leave me an update so I can stop by and check in!
I published this post two years ago and thought I’d pull it out and share it again for new readers who might have missed it. As the post reads, for $25 a year Mother Earth News gives you the ability to graph out and print, share and post your garden plan. You can change it as much as you’d like and they send you regular garden chore reminders. I’m finding that this year we are way behind many of the recommendations that Mother Earth News and gardenplantingcalendar.com have sent me because of our cold and snow. Maybe our weather will catch up with the calendar soon! As a side note, this Mother Earth News planner also works wonderfully with a group of people who are planning together using a smart board or computer. The men and women at Bass River, Inc enjoy identifying all of the things they would like to plant and using their hands to place the plants on our virtual garden site. It’s definitely worth the investment. Let’s get planning!
One of my very favorite things about winter is thinking about the garden plan. Yesterday I spent some time poking around the internet looking at planning websites and found this great service at Motherearthnews.com. For a thirty day free trial ($25/year after the thirty days), you can design your garden space using lots of cool features. The site uploads plant lists for your climate. Then you can determine your square footage and add all of the beds, structures and plants that you’d like. You can share it on social media, publish it, view it on your phone and print it. I used the video tutorials that are provided to get started and before I knew it I had created this complete map of my kitchen garden.
Here is the link directly to the vegetable garden planner which I happened upon when I googled “garden plan.” Just a side note about the Mother Earth News web site, that’s a wonderful resource too! There’s lots of great information about gardening, sustainable living and health. I could spend days just reading and gathering ideas and information there. Here’s the link to the online version of the plan just above. You’ll see the plant list that comes with it just below the plan.
As I finish typing I can hear the ducks down in the pond for the first time this year. Spring really is right around the corner!
If you create a garden plan, let me know, and I’ll share here on The Salem Garden!
*This is not a paid endorsement, I have no connection to Mother Earth News, I just liked it ;)*
John Pelletier of Salem!
John is the Program Coordinator of Mass In Motion Salem and said that he would use the calendar to help the Salem Public School Gardens! Since those gardens are so close to my heart I’m happy to think that the calendar will be used for them.
Here’s my process, just so you know that he won fair and square!
While I had lots of views of this post, the comments were light so the chance of winning was quite high. Note that John had two entries because he talked about how he would use the calendar in his comment.
And the basket maker, who happens to be sick today, drew the winning entry.Congratulations John! I’ll email you with the coupon code for the free premium subscription to Gardenplantingcalendar.com.
Don’t forget to use coupon code salemgarden20 to save 20% off of a premium or standard subscription!
Happy garden planning and planting!!
It’s the beginning of a new garden year and just as I started to think about this year’s garden I was invited to try this website;
With a few clicks of my mouse I was hooked!
Gardenplantingcalendar.com will help you plan a wonderful garden. The site considers your local weather conditions and the needs of your seeds and seedlings, then provides a coordinated planting schedule.
How cool is that?
If your wondering about when to start tomatoes outdoors or indoors, you’ll have some guidance.
Maybe your pondering the possibility of growing potatoes in March?
Perhaps your a little nervous about just which week is best for planting your first row of lettuce.
Figuring out when to plant each type of seed or seedling is a big job.
Using the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Climate Normals” Gardenplantingcalendar.com takes care of that for you!
You simply enter data about your location, the fruits and vegetables that your hoping to grow, and your preferred growing methods.
Immediately after answering the questions your garden calendar will be ready.
I actually cut and pasted each week of the plan onto my google calendar so I could keep up with the tasks and plan each one in to my schedule.
Needless to say I’m feeling super organized and ready to go!
I can’t wait to plant seeds and I’m sure that this little boost of organization is going to propel me right into the greatest garden season ever!
So now for the giveaway;
I will be giving one reader a premium subscription to gardenplantingcalendar.com. Just say hello in the comments section by Thursday evening at 6pm eastern time and your name will be entered into my random drawing! If you go beyond a quick hi and talk about how you’d like to use the calendar I’ll add two entries.
If you can’t wait for the giveaway winner to be announced to subscribe, use the coupon code salemgarden20 to save 20% off of a standard or premium subscription.
Gardenplantingcalendar.com is going to be a great way to get this garden season started!
Check it out and leave your comment today!
PS/ Please feel free to share this post widely! Thanks!