Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Our Garden is alive!

Last week, we finally got the garden in. Outside, we planted carrots, buttercrunch lettuce, onions, 12 strawberries (Quinnault) and an Elberta peach tree. Indoors, we started seeds for -- marigold, sunflowers (Mammoth & Teddy Bear), tomatoes (Ace & Celebrity), purple sweet peppers, banana peppers, cantaloupe and a container of zucchini.

Yesterday, I planted another variety of carrots, along with some radishes to mark my carrot area. Today, I started our watermelon seeds inside -- we had chosen a seedless, icebox size variety and found we'd need to plant another variety for pollination. I picked up the second variety -- one called Moon & Stars, with very colorful rinds -- on Sunday, and planted them all at the same time today.

Today, we have plants!

This is our peach tree, greening up very nicely. It's the first tree I've ever planted and I was little worried.
The vitex we planted Sunday evening -- the boys fought over who would dig the hole for it. Andy really loves to dig, and hadn't done much gardening yet, so I offered him the job. As it turned out, Andy dug the hole and together they filled the dirt back in around the hole. So far, so good. This plant is one I hope to harvest for an herbal remedy or tea.

Three tiny onions! When I was a girl, in Oklahoma, my grandma always grew this kind of onion. We called them green onions. In recipes, I've seen them called spring onions. I find them much milder than larger onions, and much better suited to our appetites.

Our first strawberry flower -- we are so excited! On checking we found bud clusters on the other 11 plants we put in last week. This past Sunday, I added four more strawberry plants -- of a different variety.

Two zucchini seedlings - I started these in a planter, as an experiment. I've been told you can't plant zucchini here before July 1, or they'll be covered in squash bugs. Two years ago, I planted some zucchini, in April, in the small flower bed in front of our house -- before I 'knew' it was too early -- and had plenty of zucchini, with never a squash bug. Being in a new house, I figured I'd try here with just a few seeds. I'll put the planter outside in the sun during the days -- after last frost -- and bring it in at night, hoping to avoid bugs. I also planted two seeds just today in a seed pot to put in the garden, trying the squash bug temptation round the clock. In any case, I'll be starting several zucchini plants in my garden after July 1, as well. I love zucchini and don't want to wait until late August to have it fresh from my own garden.
Sunflowers -- we have two varieties, the larger-leaf ones are Mammoth (huge yellow flowers) the smaller ones (on the right) are Teddy Bear, which makes a smaller flower with more petals and fewer seeds.
This came up in our carrot patch -- while we're quite sure it's not carrot (only day 8 so too soon) we left it to grow so we can see just what it is. If it's undesirable, we'll pull it by the weekend.
Dan, trying to run away after blocking my shot of the plant that grows near our driveway. I have no idea what it is. When we moved in, it had been run over so many times it was a bedraggled stick. I like a bush to mark the driveway, so I encouraged it to recover. I think it had flowers briefly in early fall, but I've forgotten what color they were.
This is my rose bush, in the front yard. When we bought this house last July, it was looking very neglected, rangy and not very green, but with blooms, most of which were brown and crinkly looking. Obviously it hadn't been watered in a long time. What I found after moving in, is that he in-ground drip watering system doesn't work. Nothing in the front yard was getting any water. Not a problem for the yucca, pinon or sage. but not good for the rose. I watered it all every day -- after our big rainy season ended -- and was rewarded with roses that bloomed until mid-October -- white and fragrant. On March 1, I pruned the rose bush and I've watered it daily since. I hope to have roses by April or May!
Some marigolds we started indoors. These were the first seeds to come up for us.

We also have some tomatoes up indoors -- very tiny, too tiny to get a photo up yet, but I'll post more about the tomatoes soon.

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