Friday, May 3, 2013

Update of the garden:

Swiss chard is up and growing nicely as well as 2 kinds of kale, broccoli ~ the purple sprouting didn't do well but I will plant more ~ and then the lettuce.

There's new leaves on the strawberries so the weather didn't damage them.  We didn't get the land up north prepared for the fruit trees so we have them planted temporarily in buckets.  This weekend we hope to make some headway up there.  We have terracing in mind.

The trailer will get a good cleaning and we'll take some tools up for the storage shed.  Then we'll do some fishing!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Today I transplant bunching onions into window boxes in the greenhouse.  The shallots need to go outside but husband has to come back with the mushroom manure first.

I decided that the weather can do what it will.  I'm planting even if I need to row cover it.  I'll let you know what happens!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weather is not cooperating

Our weather has been cold and snowing.  My light set up has been very useful.  I never expected to have my broccoli and kale under light, but it's just been too cold to plant out and even too cold for the night time temperatures of the greenhouse.

So my light set up seedlings have grown to the point that they need transplanted.  I think I may put them in the greenhouse under cover.  I have a new flat planted with lettuce, 2 varieties of eggplant, 2 varieties of tomatoes, miniature green peppers.

I'm considering selling hanging baskets with tumbling tom tomato plants in them.  My daughter lives in the city of Pittsburgh and her neighbors are really into farmers markets and organic foods.  I know I could sell some there.

My eggplants will most likely be planted in containers on our deck to save them from the flea beetles.  The arugula will go out on the deck in a giant window box.  Some day I will try to have a permanent patch in the yard.  It does reseed well.

I'll plant out the onions on saturday because it is the only time I have to do it!  They say it should be a full moon but my life is so busy I have to do things when I am able.

Mom wants a small garden this year and so we are building her some raised beds.  The end of April is when we'll set them up and transplant for her.  I'll make that a separate post.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


My growing season has begun.  I am in zone 5, Pennsylvania.  Officially, May 30th is our frost-free planting day.  Of course mother nature ignores the boundaries and sends us an early June frost, but these are few and far between.

I have about 120 safe growing days in my area but there are easy enough ways to lengthen those days with hoop houses, make shift covers, cold frames, greenhouses, etc.  I do use them now and again.

This year I have used a heated mat for germinating seed to get my season off to an early start.  Right now I have several Calabrese broccoli seedlings and the curly blue kale.  A few varieties of onion are planted but only a few have sprouted.  It took only 5 days for the broccoli and kale to germinate!  I'm not sure what to think about this.  I hope this doesn't harm the health of the plants.  I'll have to keep notes in the garden book on their growth.

My next step (which has to be today) is to set up my lights.  I will have to transplant the seedlings into larger containers.  They are also in a seed starting medium.  I've purchased a bag of worm castings to add to my transplants for this phase and compost.  They should be off to a good start and handle the transplant into the garden just fine.

Once the soil is able to be worked I'll add the mushroom manure and Azomite.  Azomite is new to me.  It is a rock dust which boasts 67 trace minerals to get the soil up to speed for a good growing season.  As the plants quick being productive I will remove them to the compost pile and put seedlings in their place which I will have sown a few weeks prior in the greenhouse.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Here we are, another spring.  What will the garden look like this year?  Much has happened in one year for us.  We purchased land in a place where we can live our homestead lifestyle.  It is rough land but came with all the necessities.  Electricity, water and septic system.  Someone had a mobile home on it years ago and so we will build and move in.

At the moment we have a travel trailer parked there so we can have a place to stay while we work.  We do have several things underway.  I have ordered the start of a dwarf orchard.

  • Golden Delicious apples
  • Jonathon Apples
  • Bing Cherry 
  • Tartarian Cherry
  • Bartlett Pear
  • Asian Pear
I'm happy with the Arbor Day Foundation's trees and when you become a member they give you a very good deal on purchasing the trees.

The land is a slope at the top end but around the center and lower end it is flat.  Almost 1/2 an acre of it is hillside.  We know we can make the most of it with terracing but have found a very nice spot for the cabin down there in among the hardwoods.  

I've received most of my seeds for the veggies and all of the herbs.  There's a beautiful spot for the herb and wildflower garden.  We plan on building two bee hives so the flowering herbs and the wild flowers will be necessary.  I've also purchased clover for planting which they like.

Top end of the land will be alfalfa, Timothy and millet.  Most likely only alfalfa the first year to help break up the soil.  I'll have pictures soon.  Just wanted to post about some of what's going on.  I'll be back with a list of the herbs and veg.  Today I plant the onion seed on my heated mat for germinatiion.  I have a few different kinds.  The bunching onions both red and white and then yellow globe to be planted out in a bed.  The bunching will stay in window boxes on the deck.

I'll be back soon!