Beans Beans the More You….

…let them dry on the vine, the more new plants you’ll enjoy in the spring!

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These are Bountiful Beans, an heirloom variety that I ordered from Pinetree.

IMG_9230Here they were in July. These beans were delicious and prolific, just as promised, so we’re looking forward to next year’s crop. I already have the seeds on hand because I harvested the dried seeds and they’re ready to go!

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Pop open a dried bean and your likely to find bean seeds that are ready to plant next year.

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I’ll leave them in this pot for a few weeks, then move them to a marked envelope.

I’m not sure about reason for the color variation, but they may be at slightly different levels of dryness or they may just dry to different colors. I can’t remember what they looked like going in last summer. I tossed all of the discolored pods because the beans inside were shriveled and kind of moldy.

Moldy beans will only give us more moldy beans and we’re all about freshness around here.

If you have a few dried bean pods (heirloom, not hybrid, because hybrid won’t produce) hanging out in your garden, bring them in!

You’ll be one step closer to spring!

Enjoy everything!

Michele

Today’s Mail… the Pinetree Seed Order!

seed order

There are so may fun things to look forward to in this envelope.

I can’t even list them all. There’s herbs and vegetables and flowers… lots of everything that I love to grow.

Among the early starts that I need to plant asap are onions… I chose Alisa Craig Exhibition and Southport Red Globe.

I also ordered Green Magic Broccoli which can be started outdoors in early spring, or indoors now. I’m torn about that because my indoor space is tight. Is anyone else direct seeding broccoli here on the coast of New England?

I have a few varieties of peppers to get going this week along with impatiens and pansies. We grew both successfully at Bass River last year so I’m looking forward to trying it at home.

Not far behind are the ten varieties of tomato, the cucumbers, the basils, the beans… the list goes on!

As you can see I had fun with this order. Pinetree Seeds was highly recommended by my friends Ed and Betsey who grow the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. Remember their onions?

One of the things that I like about Pinetree Seeds is that you can order a smaller quantity of seed at a much lower price than most other companies. This is great for the home gardener like me who only needs twenty plants per variety at most. I can try lots of fun creative things and still stay well within budget. The cute packaging and unexpected free gift of velcro garden ties were an added bonus. Let’s just hope these seeds germinate and thrive!

My goal is to grow almost, if not all, of our garden from seed this year. I had such a good time with my seed starting adventure last year that I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the season that’s about to begin.

Yes, the season is beginning!

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The garden may look like this, but spring is coming!

Woo Hooo!!!

Did you place your order yet? What are you thinking about growing this year?

Are you as excited as I am?

Michele

Loving My Seedlings, a Lot!

I really am! This appears to be my breakthrough year in the seed starting world. I think I got it and I love it! The time that I spent this winter reading and researching really seems to be paying off. I have quite a few plants ready for the garden now and there are more coming. Next year, look out, those seed companies won’t know what hit them! Did I mention that I finally got it and that it’s fun?

Okay, enough… here’s what I have at the moment:

IMG_5728This is my seed starting set-up. It’s simple; two shop lights with one fluorescent and one plant bulb in each. Next year I’m hoping to add a third light in the middle so that the entire table is covered.  I used the plant bulbs here at home, but at Bass River (work) I used one cool white and one warm white bulb. The seeds did very well there but I do see a faster growth rate and a sturdier plant with the plant bulb. The idea is to create light that mimics the light outdoors and the plant bulb is much brighter which is ideal for seedlings that would thrive in full sun.

IMG_5727These cantaloupe and watermelon seeds emerged from their bags (you can read about my handy dandy bag system here) the other day. They’ve been living in soil for two days and their well on their way.

IMG_5725This is cumin and purple alyssum. I have a love/hate relationship with these jiffy pots. They dry out quickly and I need to keep a very close eye on them. Actually, keeping a close eye is very helpful to new seedlings, peat pot or not.

IMG_5721The cilantro on the left is organic slow bolt, and the pots on the right are coriandrum sativum… there’s kind of a big difference in success rate so far.

IMG_5720We’ll have three varieties of basil this year; Genovese in the back, Red Rubin in the middle and Siam Queen in the foreground.

IMG_5714I started a little bit of summer squash in a jar a few days ago, planted it in the soil last night and I think they’ll be ready for the garden by the end of this coming week. I have some new ideas to help deal with the squash bugs this year so I caved and planted zucchini, even though I swore I’d take the year off after last year’s difficulties.

IMG_5702Up in my office the marigolds are showing their second set of leaves. I’m probably moving them outside later today to maximize the light and good air circulation.

IMG_5695These pumpkins and cucumbers from a few weeks ago need to be planted out asap. The weather looks pretty good so they should be in by Monday.

IMG_5691 If I could go back several weeks, I would have transplanted these tomatoes into larger containers. I think/hope the yellow at the bottom is because they need more root space. Looks like it’s time for these to hit the garden too.

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As you can see I have a lot more to do. The carrots need to be direct seeded, the beans will follow the peas that are growing, and the squash will probably be quick started then planted outside in the next week or two. I think I missed the window for growing peppers. What should we do? Start them indoors now anyway, direct sow or buy some plants?

IMG_5733My little girl started these seeds all by herself.

This is the best motivation in the world to share the garden with my kids, and with all of you. 🙂

Hope you plant something today!

Love, Michele

 

 

Militia, Daffodils, Ants and Sunsets

Here’s a little bit of my weekend, the part spent with camera in hand.

Our first stop was at the muster down on the common. We got there at the very end but still saw soldiers marching in formation. As the daughter of a career army master sergeant I get a thrill whenever I see this, which isn’t too often these days.
IMG_0562There were horses…IMG_0565The colonial militia men..IMG_0571And tanks that fired. What is it about boys and tanks? He loves this stuff, it’s just in him. Maybe it’s a piece of his grandfather.IMG_0579Of course we had to visit the playground for a minute. It was very cold and windy. My older kids played here every day when we lived a few doors down.IMG_0587We checked into the Derby garden and found that I was correct last week, this is indeed a daffodil! I thought so!IMG_0600Here’s the next mystery plant… I think this might be a tulip, believe it or not. I’ll check back soon.IMG_0608I spent a good twenty minutes on Saturday night photographing this ant. Perhaps I need to get a life, lol.IMG_0632They are fascinating creatures if you stop and look at them. I started this project in my quest to figure out where their coming into my kitchen from. I continuously look down to see an ant looking up at me. They are really driving us all a little bit crazy.IMG_0634Of course, by the end of the twenty minutes the ant was named Wilbur and had a framed portrait in sepia finish. I think I need help here 🙂IMG_0626Out on the deck last night my little guy took this photo of one of thousands of planes heading into Logan over our house. Their so close that we can see the landing gear come down.IMG_0646But to our left we were really enjoying this.IMG_0647I’m hoping that this helps anyone who’s still recovering from the ant photos.
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Today it’s going to be in the sixties with less wind. I’m hoping/planning to get out and plant these!

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Seed packets are buy one, get one free at Home Depot! It’s a great time to stock up on anything that you need.

Happy Monday!

Enjoy everything!

Michele