Tag Archive | personal: garden

Weekend, with planting and… other things.

So, I had a nice 4-day weekend, what about you?

We saw Deadpool 2 (not quite as good as Deadpool 1, but a lot of fun, and Domino was absolutely awesome).  

We planted: 7 tomatoes (2 varieties) 5 peppers (3 varieties), 1 eggplant, 6 kale, a tarragon and a parsley (having planted three roses before the weekend).  We cleared out 4 bags of drywall and insulation from the attic. I cleaned the house. We shopped for cars…

*record scratch*

Oh, yeah.  So I uh. My car and I had a small disagreement with a large truck (someone turned in front of him, he stopped fast.  I stopped…. less fast). My car is — was — a 2008 Yaris. The truck got way the better end of the deal.

So now we’re looking for a fuel-efficient Japanese or Korean car tall enough inside for my 6’4” husband and comfortable for my arthritic bones.

We’ve got it narrowed down to about 8 models…

Anyway! We went to the farmer’s market, grilled outside (asparagus from our own garden!), chilled out a bit and generally had a good time.

How was your weekend?

Wonder Woman… and gardening

I have this very vague memory of being a very small child and playing something like Wonder Woman (we almost never did make-believe straight from the shows), and opening up a box (an imaginary box) my character had buried, in which she kept her golden bracelets.

Pat might have had a pair too. We were pretty equal-opportunity.

All that’s left of my very-young make-believe are flashes like that: bracelets. rolling off both sides of a cot to indicate born at the same time (okay, we were weird kids. That surprises whom?). Tiny ball-bearing prisons we pretending to shrink people into.

(My interest in bondage goes back way far, too).

Right, so.

Buried Wonder Woman bracelets.

I really, really, really liked seeing Diana, Princess of Themyscira, bouncing bullets of her bracelets. ​​I have to admit, that might have been my absolutely favorite part of the movie.

It was a fun move, I really enjoyed it, and it was easily the best DC comics movie I have ever seen in the theatre.

That’s daming it with faint praise, but it was fun.

But now I’m thinking about digging in dirt, and make-believe, (And never stopping playing make-believe) and gardening.

Which I did again this weekend, of course. All of our raised beds have now been bolted sufficiently that they will not fall apart this year!

Everything except one last-minute impulse purchase of bok choi is planted.

Well, and the corn seeds and the sunflower seeds….

We’re getting there!

We’ve got some squash planted in mounds, garlic and purple potatoes, asparagus and broccoli and muskmellon in the ground, seeds in pots for habanada and shiso and cilantro…

We’re doing really well, and it’s exciting.

Not quite as exciting as bouncing bullets off of one’s bracelets, but more humanly do-able.

And almost on the level of my make-believe characters who garden, so go me!

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And For Our Next Song… GARDENING!

This weekend, we worked on the garden beds!

We moved something like 6 square feet of walking onions from various garden beds into the hedgerow, where we hope they will fight it out with the goldenrod and emerge victorious.

We then started to repair the bed most of those onions had been living in, noticed that we had two 3-½” bolts instead of the 4” we needed, and were about to go out to Lowes and then dinner…

…when we remembered that it was graduation weekend for the largest college in the area.

So we went for bolts the next day, bolted that bed back together, amended and turned over the soil, and planted asparagus roots and strawberries. This is now a perennial bed for something actually intentional, as opposed to a perennial-onion bed.

We had a little time left, so we turned over another bed, planted the cabbage starts, and planted two milkweed (fancy milkweed) and two fancy day lily starts.

So our garden so far:

[cabbage] [kale, needs work ] [sweet potatoes] [asparagus/strawberries]
[tomatoes][peppers, eggplant]][~needs work~ [ ~needs planting~]

And then, off to the left, a wide hilly section that has held/will hold various squash, and on the patio, a whole range of pots holding herbs, tomato, and peppers.

And so far we’ve only lost one pepper plant to the rabbits and, darn it, 1 pack of squash plants to the cat.

How was your (long, in the US) weekend?

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What I Did On my Weekend/Vacation

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but it’s the season to get back into them, I suppose: What I Did on my Summer Vacation Weekend.

Although in this case, it’s a bit of vacation, too, since I started with taking Wednesday and Thursday off, worked Friday, and then took the weekend.

So this extended weekend was all about gardening — or, more accurately, gardening prep. We went two two nurseries, pulled out all our nice ceramic pots to outline the edge of the “patio”, and then went to a plant sale at the local high school.

(Our “patio” is a slab of concrete filling in the space made by an L in house construction. It’s amazing how much MORE patio-like it looks with the addition of a line of pretty pots (Ollie’s Discount Outlet; one’s a little rhomboid, one has a flaw in the glazing, but they cost for five of them what one would cost non-seconds) does to make it look like an intentional outdoor space. Add in the nice plastic-decking-wood deck chairs and table we got last year and it’s a proper patio.)

We have something like six tomato plants, a pepper plant, seed potatoes, a variety of herbs, including our constants, flat-leaf parsley and columnar basil, eggplants (one small and white, the other tiny and orange), and crookneck, butternut, and zucchini squashes. We also got a couple landscaping plants, which kind of feels like growing up, or at least like paying attention to our yard.

(There are so many icky houses on my commute – cars on blocks in the yard, junk in the yard, no mowing – that I consciously DON’T want to be one of them. Not that I think T. would ever stand for that sort of mess.)

So once we GOT all those plants, then we had to address the issue of the garden beds.

If you look at a map of NY, you can see where the glaciers dug these long trenches (Finger Lakes) and then… stopped.

Where they stopped, they left all their gravel. Which is just about in my side yard.

So we have 8 4’x6’ raised beds (nothing longer than 6’ locust boards easily fits in my Yaris, sigh). But I screwed them together a few years back, and I didn’t use long enough screws. More Sigh.

Which means that a few of them have started to look more like _/ than |_|.

So we pulled off those sides, shoveled the dirt away from the side, drilled holes, inserted bolts with big washers, and bolted them back together.

We can has planting now?

Not yet.

So, first, we have to loosen the soil, add some more soil (peat, compost, coffee grounds, ground eggshells, ashes), then we have to lay down weedcloth, cut some holes in it.

THEN we can has planting.

As of this posting, I’ve got 5 tomatoes (4 plum tomatoes, 1 black cherry) and one eggplant (“ghostbuster”) in. And tonight’s the next bed over.

And THEN we have to deal with the walking onions…

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January By the Numbers Two: Oregano (blog Post)

January by the numbers starts here!
From kelkyag‘s prompt “oregano;” a blog post
.

This one’s all me.

When we moved into our second apartment together, T and I — and a friend of ours, and a friend of his, and so on — we acquired a whole bunch of stuff-left-from-previous-roommates, thus starting a trend that would continue (with a couple pauses) for the next decade-plus: dishes, pie plates, for a little while a doll cabinet.

But back then, one of the first things we got was a collection of far too much grocery-store oregano. I think there were three containers of the stuff. And the thing is… we didn’t really cook with that many spices and herbs back then. We were in our early twenties, I barely cooked at all and T. was just starting to work on his cooking.

We ate oregano in everything for a while. And the thing is, old grocery-store oregano doesn’t taste like much and I didn’t have much of a sense of smell, so I’m not sure it added much more than a sort of dusty green color. Still. Oregano. Everywhere.

We started gardening maybe 5 years later, but it is not until three years ago that I actually started growing oregano.

This stuff, I can smell. I can taste. It’s pretty good, actually, although when it comes to herbage I much prefer parsley and sage.

But the thing about oregano is, it turns out it’s part of the mint family. (I find this weird. I’m not sure why I find this weird, but I do). And it’s a perennial. And, well, it acts like it’s in the mint family, which is to say it’s determined, invasive, and durable.

And the thing grows nearly three feet tall. Every year, without me doing anything. And the bees love it.

And we still don’t cook with oregano.

Want More?

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Rainy Day, warm and pleasant.

Wyste has been journalling, and it’s got me thinking about gardening and home improvement.

If the weather holds – and weather.com says it will – I could see if I can turn over the beds this weekend. Might still be too frozen.

It’s probably too early to plant carrots – they say “3 weeks before the last expected frost” which is more like mid- to late-April – but I could risk a single batch. Peas, on the other hand, say “as soon as you can work the soil,” so if I can get the bed with the trellis turned over, I could do that this weekend.

We started burning brush, too. Kind of nice sitting out there with a laptop, writing while the fire crackles. Now all I need is a wifi repeater.

How are your plans for the spring shaping up?

And has anyone tried any hydroponic gardening?

Or in pots? I’ve been looking up stuff for next winter, including salad radishes.

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Origin of the Planties

I have been thinking about plant origins and variations.

Spurred by this article and lovely infographic, and the fact that when you plant 5 or 6 different Brassicae in one long garden plot, it becomes really really obvious they’re the same plant (esp. Kale and Brussels sprouts! They make nearly identical plants!) and by this cute video showing plants then-and-now, it makes me wonder both about what’s in our garden (right now? Dirt and last year’s carrots and leeks, and one barely-surviving kale plant) and about worldbuilding plants.

And then I think about growing purple potatoes, and I think about this, Ursula Vernon’s informative rant on the Potato Apocalypse, and I think about varieties.

We have such bounty, and such breadth and depth available. It’s pretty awesome.

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Looking forward to spring – garden plans

Is it spring yet?

I was wandering around this past weekend without a jacket, so it certainly seems like spring. We’ve started to order seeds – though I need to find a source for purple seed potatoes – so that makes it seem like spring. There’s only a tiny bit of snow anywhere, so that looks springlike, right?

But it’s not yet March, and I live in the northeast. It’s not spring until May, most years. You don’t plant without some sort of covering until Memorial Day weekend (May 30th, this year). And our last frost date is in mid-May.

Still, I can start planning. Planning is easy.

So what should I plant this year?

P.S. My kale lasted till mid-February again this year before it started to turn brown on the tops. Definitely planting kale again.

P.P.S. We still have a few apples from our biggest tree sitting on the kitchen counter.

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Pickled Daikon – an update

The recipe says to wait 2 days. I tried it yesterday, and found the pickling hadn’t really penetrated the daikon completely. Today – delicious. Absolutely tasty.

However, it might actually be a little TOO sugary for me…

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Pickled Daikon

The picture above is what Daikon looks like on seed packets.

What it looks like when allowed to grow IRL is more like the second picture here. Picture that about the size of a small-to-medium butternut squash.

Now picture three of them, two ripped out of the ground by a wind storm.

That’s a lot of daikon.

Daikon, if you haven’t tried them, aren’t as bitey as red radishes. They work well in baked dishes, but, ah, it’s July. We’re not doing much oven work.

They also keep really really well. However, our fridge was getting rather full of long whitish roots.

So we pickled some!

(By “some”, I mean, T sat there with a mandoline matchsticking daikon until the salad bowl was over half full).

We used this recipe, trebled. We used a salad spinner to get the water out, after letting the daikon sit in a colander with its salt. I used half rice vinegar and half distilled white for cost, and I replaced the sake with ginger brandy, ’cause we had it on hand.

We stored them in three old salsa jars in the very-cold back of the fridge.

The pickling juice tasted heavenly. I’ll let you know how the pickled daikon taste in a few days!

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