Blog posts from April 2009

Potato Bag Update…

Apr 28, 2009

There are so many things going on in my garden right now I'm having a hard time deciding what to post about. I have some great shots of shelling and cooking fava beans...but I might save that for my next mag article. The roses have been glorious. I'll post some new shots of them soon. My 'Pat Austin' has been so beautiful this spring and 'Perle d' Or' is overflowing with blooms. What to post, what to post...

Potatobags So I'll update you on the potatoes. These are the fiber potato growing bags I'm testing. Despite all the cool, rainy humid weather we've been having this spring, the potatoes are quite happy. I know I might be jinxing myself by saying this, but no fungal issues in sight...so far...at the moment...knock on particle board! This year I planted 'Yukon Gold' and, I think...'Kennebec'. I'm really blanking out on the varieties right now. I've been using these bags for 2 years now and they are still in excellent condition. No break down on them yet. The potatoes have been hilled up twice so far. I'm hoping for a bang up crop of 'Yukon Golds' this year...they are sooooo good.

If you haven't used bags or container of some kind to grow potatoes before, you simply start out by filling the bottom 1/3 of the container with a loose compost soil mix, plant your seed potatoes (not too deep - and dust them with garden sulfur first). Then when the shoots are about 6-8 inches tall, begin to hill them up with a mixture of pine straw and compost. You fill this mixture in right up against the stems of your plants, 3-4 inches at a time. This is where the potatoes will develop so it needs to be loose but protected from light. Continue to hill up until you've reached the top of the pot. Then your plants will usually start blooming early summer, which means they are starting to produce potatoes. Don't water plants too much in the early spring if you're getting rainfall. Potatoes are very susceptible to fungal diseases. Water at the base of the plants rather than on the foliage and only in the early morning. You can pull away the mixture to harvest baby potatoes in early summer (make sure to put back the straw) or wait to harvest in late fall for the bigger potatoes. Foliage will begin to yellow in late fall once cooler temps arrive, at which time you'll stop watering plants, allow the foliage to die down, then simply dump out the container to harvest your spuds. MMMMM, mashed potatoes.

 

New Bed Update…

Apr 25, 2009

So, I'm still working on planting up the new large bed in the backyard. Still have a way to go, but it's shaping up. I can't quite get a good photo of the entire bed due to it's size, but you get the idea. I've added some new Heuchera 'Georgia Peach', Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly', Hosta 'Krossa Regal' and some fabulous Agapanthus. I also transplanted a small 'Crimson Queen' Japanese Maple from another part of the yard.

Shadebednew

No one said chickens were rocket scientists…

Apr 23, 2009

Asleep in the food bowl...LOL

Asleepinthefood

Earth Day Veggie Garden Goings On…

Apr 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! OH...and this is my 100th blog post...so happy 100th post day! Well, I'm home sick with the plague today, so what better time to update the blog...Just a few shots of what's going on the veggie garden. I've been harvesting Fava beans...bucket loads of them. This photo was about the third of three large buckets I picked this past weekend. I've since pulled up all the plants and they'll now make a great addition to the compost. Sugar snap peas are popping up all of a sudden. Yum...

Bavabeanbucketsm Sugarpeas

We've ooodles of strawberries this year both in pots and beds. Hopefully, we'll be able to eat enough of them before the birds get them! They taste absolutely wonderful. Nothing like homegrown strawberries...

Strawberrypots Strawberriesoodles
Still have plenty of salad greens coming on and the pole beans and bush beans are popping up...
Polebean Lettucemix


Help me name my new chicky babies…

Apr 18, 2009

I was a little worried about capturing these somewhat stubborn leghorns this morning for their journey back to East Texas. But, somehow, I managed to catch two of them at once, then rounded up the third in short order. My stealth chicken wrangling skills are improving...so anyway, thanks gals!

Leghornloaners

We had a wonderful visit with Dan Probst out at his farm in Poetry, Texas near Terrell. Of course, like a dufus I left the recorder and camera in the car so I didn't get any photos of his place. He has a great assortment of chicken breeds, impressive turkeys, bossy geese and some of the sweetest great Pyrenees dogs I've ever met. Oh, and we can't forget the two donkeys that pretty much screamed at me until they got some hay! Overals = food...Lol...We got to see some baby chicks and ducks hatching out of their eggs in the incubator...babies babies everywhere.

My New Babies
I brought home 3 Ameraucanas, one about 12 weeks old and the others about 9 weeks, and 2 Polish hens that are about 9 weeks or maybe a little less. What a hoot. The little black and white Polish hen seems to be the odd girl out. She prefers to be held and spent much of the afternoon riding around on my shoulder. I guess I have a new bud...The "blue" is the prettiest of the bunch, but also seems to be the most persnickety...those pretty girls, always such a pain!
Lesliefinicalhalleck LesliePolish
The Polish...Aren't they Beeeutiful?
Polishgrey Polishblack
The Ameraucanas...wouldn't hold quite as still!
The oldest is a beautiful mix of orange/rust and white...like a creamcicle...the inbetweener is a brown and black striped mix, like the look of an Araucana and the little one is a lovely blue and tan mix.

HalleckAmeraucanas

So all right folks...I need names...help me out!

Chicken Escape…and the Destruction that Ensued.

Apr 17, 2009

So when I got home last night and looked out the back kitchen window to check on the chickens I noticed they weren't in the downstairs section of their "ark"...it seemed strange given the time of day that they would have gone back up to roost. So then I walk out into the backyard and what do you know? There the are running around...GREAT. The handle to one of the doors must not have been secured and they busted out. Must have had a nice long leisurely day in the garden! LOL. Then, the first moments of panic..."oh crap, what did they destroy....". Overall, not too bad. They did manage to get into the strawberry patch and do some serious digging around the protective cages but I think the plants will be fine. The only other thing they really destroyed, FOR THE SECOND TIME, were the spinach seedlings Julie gave me. Ok, these were the spinach seedling transplants...at least this is what they looked like a few weeks ago before the first chicken attack...they made it through that one...but now, sadly, they no longer exist. Goodbye spinach. I'll miss you.

Spinachseedlings

Are you happy Rod...are you happy now???!!!!! LOL I blame you.

My Penchant for Peach…

Apr 16, 2009

As I was explaining to my friend Julie yesterday, I have a penchant for peach...roses that is. We both seem to have a preferance for planting our gardens with hues of blues, purples etc. I call it my "bruise" garden color combo. BUT...orange and blue is such a nice complementary color scheme. So I allow the warmer color to sneak in from time to time, mostly in the form of persnickity English hybrid roses. She didn't seem totally convinced, but I seriously...how can you resist this?

RosePatAustin

Rose 'Pat Austin'

Peony popping up…

Apr 13, 2009

Peony 'Bowl of Cream' is on it's way...

Peonybowlofcream


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