Garden Update

Yesterday Husband and I did some outdoor garden work, starting with trimming some lower branches from a spruce tree that shaded the front vegetable plot too much last year. I also gave the spruce trunks a shave, trimming off the “whiskers” that were sprouting from where we cut branches off the lower trunks in past years. Now they look neat and clean, like tree trunks ought to look in a Dutch woman’s yard.

The vegetable garden is not visible, and is to the right of this picture.  I think we should plant ferns directly below the spruces, but Husband wants to keep filling it in with mulch.

The irises are greening up, so I raked out the beds. If you wait too long to rake out irises in the spring you run the risk of damaging the new growth and you won’t have as many flowers . There is lots more raking and trimming to do, but it can wait until next week.

Our last task was to thin and transplant the pepper seedlings into larger pots. Our grey cat was happy, as she loves to eat pepper seedlings, and I gave her the ones we couldn’t use.  She gobbled them up. She wouldn’t touch the tomato seedlings, though.

It really makes a difference that Husband is home during the week, and we don’t have to do all our garden work on the weekend. He has taken on the task of planning our church’s vegetable garden. The produce goes to the local food bank. It is also a contemplative garden, so it has to look nice.  I think a well tended vegetable garden is very beautiful, and he and the  youth group member who is helping him will have a busy season.

What is your yard and garden update?

57 thoughts on “Garden Update”

  1. i stared renting about 5 years ago when i screwed up and lost my house
    i loved gardening with my hosta and lillies but have only been able to visit my garden offspring at my moms and sisters house
    sister said go for it wherever and i put a hosta garden under her giant pine out in the front yard (hint hint renee) and took 1/3 of the front yard and all off her curb planting with hosta that now are ready to divide

    my moms old folks communes garden is pretty funny her 10×4 garden lined up like a military burial ground with the adjacent site using the exact same space for their idea of what they want to grow. the rabbit choices must be so good that they leave the hosta alone
    this year i will try bens hay bales again
    last year was a 2 out of 10 with some really pathetic tomato and pepper plants for my end of the year payoff
    i think i made an omelet.
    lillies and hosta also got moved to vs’s garden and when i went i pick up my hay bales on friday the tips of the hosta were trying to pop out to get a quick peek at those beautiful daffodils on the curbside
    daffodils are so yellow and so brief that they demand celebration. quick quick before they’re gone .
    my ex wife does beautiful english gardens with coneflowers and delphiniums. i told her years ago she should make that her mission
    it’s an art and she gets it. last year or it must have been 2 years ago she was trying to reach out to pull down last years vines of the house and she went down hard and broke her leg so severely that after a year of trying to deal with it they amputated it. my daughter is over there 2 or three days a week to drop off the grand kid and help out her gimpy mom and i have suggested she now get into her gardening as a retirement plan
    sitting on your butt with a trowel and a bunch of seedling seems about perfect for a goal

    i do have ljb’s bleeding hearts popping up one of these days
    it’s already been a year. i ran across the little photo of the herron i grabbed at her service
    i miss her and her bitching about her garden weeding challenges. i hope the twins weed in her memory this spring.
    my mom was peonies and roses. i should try that this year somewhere
    i like peonies and roses are a wonderful distraction
    raspberries and asparagus are a few things on my wish list along with applescpearscandccherries

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I also have LJB’s Bleeding Hearts in my garden. They are so vigorous and lush already, just as they push up out of the dirt. I cannot wait to see what they become. Then I will go tend them and have a chat with Edith.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. i’ve been absent the last few days because my time and patience are being tested and i’m failing
    ive written my typical rants(see above) and then a phone call or text interrupts me mid blog entry and when i go back to find it it’s vaporized
    sometimes if i guess right i can recover it bit often i just keep digging a hole and it gets more and more distant on the blogs that will never be heard from again horizon
    that and patience
    friday my damn heartbeat went whacko again
    170 beats per minute makes me feel slow going up the stairs and i find my usually marginal level of patience with ordinary irritations is bottoming out and i just throw my towel in before i battle through the challenge at hand
    normally my experience with this heart crap is that they jump through hoops to get me back to normal. this time they kind of did and have scheduled a same day surgery for fixing it
    last time it was 3 or 4 days in the hospital , this time they want me out by 3. i told them i’d like to get it done quick before my insurance changes to medicare and zip zap i’m scheduled for tuesday
    they said it would bevbest if i could show up with my heart messed up rather than having it pop back into it’s regular rhythm and i’m pretty sure i’m going to oblige . time for planting in the 10 days they tell me no lifting after the ordeal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If your ticker is racing like that tim, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea for you to be doing heavy lifting or strenuous work before the surgery, either. Don’t forget, that heart is what keeps everything else going, so take it easy.


  3. Take care of yourself, tim. Best of luck to you.

    Our garden prep is proceeding apace. (How’s that for literary flair??)
    Wife does the garden, I manage the lawn. She has most of the beds cleaned out of leaves and debris and will be heading to the local nursery in due course.

    Lawn is always marginal. I’m not into the obsession with green, perfect grass like 99% of the homeowners are. I just want it to be acceptable. I don’t fertilize a lot because I don’t like to mow, so why should I encourage the grass to grow fast so I need to mow more often? Last year was good because all the rain kept my lawn as green as everyone else’s who plopped down hundreds of dollars on lawn services. But I’m still pretty brown this spring compared to everyone. Started raking the grass this weekend to scratch up the dead stuff. I’ll keep raking, then maybe put down some pre-emergent crabgrass killer/fertilizer (yuck, hate to, but weeds are always a problem here.)

    This time of year, a rock garden or xeriscape landscape treatment starts to sound pretty good. OF course, that would spark major protests from the neighbors and possibly a visit from someone on the city council to scold me about violating some obscure landscaping ordinance. 😦

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Good for you. One of our neighbors planted a rectangle of wheatgrass in their front yard several years ago. Looks great, I wish more folks would dip their toes into front yard gardens in the middle of the lawn. Might break the ice.


        Liked by 2 people

    1. this is my area of expertise
      fertilizer is good but in small doses and not the stuff they normally sell
      the three numbers are for up down and all around
      1st number is for up or top growth. everyone sells
      more of this and it make
      the grass top grow. the correct philosopher is to buy a high middle number and develop the root system , then the growth happens and the top looks good without needing replenishment 3 times a year
      go to fleet farm and buy three starter fertilizer and put it on 1/2 recommended dose that’s it for the year
      crabgrass needs to be put on now but only where the crabgrass is. most people do their whole lawn but you only need
      do 10 feet by the street or back in the corner where your neighbors stuff is creeping in do the rest of the lawn now i. started and the. come back where the crab grass is and hit that with starter in a month after the cheap fertilizer in the bag with the pre emergent crabgrass is done but there is no need to hit the other part of the lawn again just where the crabgrass is.
      as for raking the lawn it is much better to take the dead stuff out in the fall because now you pull out all the little grass plant chutes that are trying to pop up and. red encouragement not abuse.
      a thatcher blade in the fall before the leaves september 1 is perfect. scuff it all up and rake it and you’re good for next year

      never apply fertilizer
      it might hit 90 in the week after you put it on

      weed and feed only when it’s not going to rain
      never in the wind and be aware it will kill flowers and bushes of broadcast in there

      if you’re going to put weed and feed on do it only after the weeds have popped and do it early morning when there is still dew on the grass do the dust will stick to the plant
      no rain for 24 hours the go ahead and water it in

      lawn lime every 5 years is an amazing addition in this part of the world

      Liked by 3 people

      1. FYI and relevant to nothing on the trail, but speaking of tim’s three numbers on fertilizer, I order 9.23.30 for my starter fertilizer for the corn and soybeans.”NPK” – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. That’s based on recommendations from soil tests. And it’s interesting – the individual products are 18-0-0 and 0-46-60. So they blend it half and half to get my mix.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. In case anyone noticed and wondered, the reason that the label in the pepper pot in the header photo says “Joe” on it, is because that is the tray of Joe Parker seedlings, a New Mexico Hatch-type pepper. We let them ripen and turn red and use them for enchilada sauce.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Our rickety cold frame is planted and we have sprouts of lettuce and Kohlrabi up. By the end of the this warm day, there will be more, as well. The rickety cold frame will be replaced this year. I have Big Plans for it. There are cold frames that are waist high, which at my age, look really useful. We just must find a new window for the top, if any of you have one which was removed from a structure. The old one came out of my mother’s garage when she had a sun porch added to her house in the early 2000’s. I’d say we have gotten the use of it. That window is now disintegrating.

    Tim, take care and follow Dr.’s orders.

    I will give a cold frame report again later in the day.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jacque, you might try Freecycle to make a request for a window. If you do, it’s probably a good idea to give the dimension of the window you need. That’s the sort of thing that shouldn’t be that hard to find. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Due to arthritis in various body parts, my gardening days are over. Last year I planted a few tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, and that was it. Then husband decided that he’d take over. Essentially he knows zilch about gardening. I’m not kidding, he doesn’t have a clue. What’s worse, he’s impatient and isn’t really interested in learning other than by making every mistake a novice gardener is apt to make. This year, I’m just going to pull out my lawn chair and watch.

    A few weeks ago he decided to start a bunch of seeds indoors. Corn, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, cabbages, beans, lettuces, and who knows what else. Our vegetable garden is small, I don’t know where he thinks this will all fit. Last year we had one prolific cucumber plant that we had a hard time keeping up with, so this year we need six? Last year I managed to convince him to move the squash plant to a spot where it would have more room. It would have choked out everything in the spot where he had originally planted it, including the cucumber plant. Once it got going he admitted that it would have been a disaster where he had first planted it. Those things get big.

    I love that he’s interested in planting a garden, I just wish he weren’t hell bent on reinventing the wheel.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Trust me, tim, I’m beginning to understand why divorce rates in China soared after the initial surge of the virus.

        Next door is chugging along. The young Hmong couple who bought it aspire to be house flippers, so they have no intention of moving in. They are working hard every evening and all weekend, unfortunately it appears that they are not skilled in various crafts. This weekend they installed a new kitchen window (which is facing our dining room, so we had front row seats to the debacle), and husband said it was almost painful to watch. I know nothing of these things, so I have no idea, but according to my cell mate, the window should be installed from the inside, and he was shoving it in from the outside and caulking the hell out of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If for one moment I thought this had anything to do with defective hearing, I’d insist on him seeing an audiologist, but I know full well that what he suffers from is something entirely different.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Morning-
    This past weekend we hooked up the timer on the hydrant and got a sprinkler hooked up for prepping the straw bales.
    And I bought some seeds and bags of dirt when I was out at Menards one day. But that’s about it for our garden.
    Kelly’s been raking rock out of the lawn from snow blading.
    I’ve been getting machinery ready. I think today I may pick up pallets of seed – if it’s not raining this afternoon.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I am puzzled why our cat loves pepper leaves. If she were an outside cat we wouldn’t have any pepper plants because she would devour them. She lurks outside the room in the basement where we have our grow lights just waiting for the chance to slink in and feast.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Grow lights, now there’s a novel idea! When husband told me he intended to start some seedlings, I made two suggestions. One was that he set up a table with some grow lights in the basement. The other was that it might be a good idea to do a little research on which seeds to start when. Need I tell you that neither happened? He planted seeds of every kind, all at the same time, and they are sitting in the east and north facing windows upstairs. But he’s happy as a kindergartner watching his bean sprouting in a cup, so who am I to interfere?

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Husband started tomatoes and maybe peppers inside, which have been repotted and are waiting for the warm of May. We got some nice manure from a friend’ friend on a farm, so the garden is ready.

    I’ve managed to remove the brush from last year’s flowers beds. A knowledgeable friend gave me some wonderful things – my ramps (wild leeks) are up and the bloodroot… Crocus are gone but the tulips have buds, and the peonies are visible.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My crocuses didn’t amount to much this year, and are long gone. I have one lonely daffodil in bloom, but there are more on the way. Tulips are up, but nowhere near blooming. There are a few eranthis, and a lot of scilla blooming. The forsythia bush looks like it’s going to bloom this year (last year it was patethic), and the rhubarb is bursting forth with a vengeance. My chives and Egyptian walking onions are flourishing, and my faithful lovage plant is about a foot tall already. The peonies have just begun to push out of the ground.

    Unfortunately I’ve not been able to replenish my tulip bulbs the last couple of years, so the once colorful bed of them in the back yard is pitiful to behold. It doesn’t help that husband doesn’t have the patience to let the admittedly sorry looking leaves of the tulips to die back on their own once they’re done blooming. He mows them down with the lawnmower first chance he gets. I’ve explained to him that this is not a good idea, that the bulb needs the energy it collects from the plant once it’s done blooming. But, that’s a tidbit of information that doesn’t square with his sense of aesthetics, so in one ear out the other it goes. Can you tell that gardening is a source of some contention in this household?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a friend who goes out and braids the old tulip leaves after the flowers have died. They look very pretty that way but I’ve never been able to bring myself to do it. But I also don’t have anyone with a wild lawnmower going after mine!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I planted daffodils on the boulevard last fall and they came up this year. Although then it promptly snowed all over them but they looked cheery when we had all that snow on the ground on Easter. Tulips are coming up, lilies are starting to come up. We’ve started bale work and YA and I have done some other assorted tasks in the backyard. This coming weekend we’ll start cleaning out in front and on the south side of the house. Forsythia looks like it’s about to bloom.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I was going to try seeds inside for some of the flowers that we plant in our baskets but I’ve never had good luck growing seedlings inside, especially since I have a seedling-eating cat. If I put seedlings underneath a translucent plastic box, can the UV rays get to them?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. In fact, the plastic containers that roasted chickens come in, are perfect containers for starting seedlings. The lid has the advantage of keeping the moisture in, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. OT: Baboon sighting – Ben was in Winona delivering straw bales today, and Husband and I got to meet him at the gate of the rural Farmers’ Park – doesn’t open till May 1, plus there are other signs…
    Thanks for the eggs, Ben!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was a good trip today. I took the straw to Wiscoy Valley. The friend of a friend who ordered it, used to work as a ‘Woofer’ for the first friend. A ‘WOOF’er is an intern at an Organic farms. (I think it’s an official something or other) She said this was the base for, either a nursery or a greenhouse- I forget what exactly she said and I didn’t think to ask where the salesroom was then.
      I try to stay off the main roads when I can. So this was a lot of back roads I’d never been on before. A few miles on Hwy 14 was the busiest stretch. Some gravel roads that were a little scary that I sure wouldn’t want to live on in the winter. Then came in the back way to Farmers Park. When I saw the sign that said “Minimum Maintenance Road” I was glad I had the truck. Single lane bridges, trees down, rough. Wowzer! Good to see BiR and Husband.
      And then back roads through Altura and Elba and several other places that are only a dot on a map.
      Got parts in Plainview and, since I had the trailer, picked up all my seed from Meyer Seeds and got it in the shed and I’m about ready to get serious. Normally, just for how it fits in the truck, I pick up oats one day, then beans and corn another.
      A fun drive and a good day!

      Liked by 3 people

  14. I don’t know if this means anything, but there are 20 vultures circling above my house and neighborhood right now. Well, I am very much alive and I can only disappoint them.

    Liked by 3 people

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