Archive for the 'gardening' Category

Afternoon Glories

Still going strong at 4pm:

fall morning glories

I planted red and blue ones in that pot, and now I have purple ones blooming some days.  The leaves here aren’t looking healthy, but it’s still putting out shoots and buds, so I hope I’ll get plenty of weeks of flowers yet.

How Green Is Your Garden?

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Mine is very, very green.  Because it almost all died and is full of weeds now.  But turns out two weeks of me in another country is just what the morning glory needed.  He shot up three feet and bloomed all over.  Mmfph.  See if I ever water that ingrate again.

The weeds look so nice and healthy- much healthier than anything I tried to grow myself this year- that I’m just going to let them be.  Maybe when the weather isn’t ludicrous (I’d link you to the 10-day forecast, but I want you to have a nice evening) I’ll try again for some salad greens.

The Way of All (Tomato-y) Flesh

independance breakfast

Breakfast to start my July 4th weekend- late as I just recovered my camera from the party.  Wanna see 100 pictures of mostly blurry but occasionally awesome fireworks?

I bet you do.

Still have two reddish fruits on the healthy tomato plant- they have until Friday morning to get nice and delicious for me.

!

ripe tomatoes

Gar-DONE

For the weekend.

sweet pea

My sweet peas bloomed, which is nice of them because I only staked them this afternoon.  I planted more, hopefully they’ll spread.

peas and spinach

Staked the eating peas, and the spinach is looking pretty sad.

Complete photos of the last couple weekends (and my tomatoes!) here.

Gestation

So, I took a vacation from the blogging, then I forgot to come back.  And I’m all rejuvenated from it, but that mostly means I have five huge posts simmering, but it’s already an hour past my bedtime.  So have some pictures of my garden!  Then let’s all meet back here in a couple days for new stuff.

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Poppies are coming up in that empty-looking thing in the bottom picture.  I need to spend some time this weekend staking things.

Progress: Growth

In April, I was focusing on gardening, and negotiating with the apartment complex for unlame recycling facilities.  Now May is half over, and they’re both going very well.  My garden is growing, up and out.  Dad gave me tomatoes and a pepper, and Mom gave me a flower and some oregano this weekend, so my deck is pretty cluttered.  I’ll take a picture for you if it ever stops raining.

I’m growing spinach (and/or baby’s breath- I thought I planted both but everything looks the same, and this might be weird because I might have planted spinach with the morning glories), morning glories, peas the vegetable, sweet peas the flower, and I think that’s it.  Compared to last year, it was painless- I dumped some seeds in and forgot about them, it rained for two weeks, and now everything is green.  I’ve either gained garden perspective, or I’m more easily distracted.

Next steps:  Ascertain what I did plant, repot and stake the tomatoes.  Stick trays under the pots, since they’re peeing on the deck underneath me, and it’s just too soon to alienate my neighbors.

I was also bugging the office.  I determined they are violating a law!  I’m not sure I properly expressed how thrilling that day was for me.  Felt like a citizen hero, became David to Goliath, etc.  I did talk to the property manager about that last Friday, actually, and she said the city never enforces those laws so it’s cool for now.  It was a fascinating interview- I learned a lot about her personal life- but the management position is, the law isn’t enforced, and we residents are uncooperative, so they aren’t going to push it.  She wasn’t aware until I pointed it out that they were in violation, though, and she said she’d send out another notice.  Which is required anyway twice a year.  She did mention that, if more people recycle, they’ll save money on trash pick-up, since recycling pick-up is basically free, and the trash is changed by weight.  So, I see a two-fold path on this:  figuring out who enforces this for the city, and why they don’t, and cajoling the management to take some recycling baby steps.  Proper container labeling, for one.  No progress on the bike racks so far.

I’m going to follow up on the apartment agitation, so let’s count that as something for ‘half-May’.

For a legitimate new challenge, though, I’m going to work out my travel offset plans.  I finished my classes this Tuesday, so I can let myself read my guidebooks and do the fun research for New Zealand with a clear conscience now.  I’ve been vegetarian for a couple weeks now, as part of that project.  I did eat some pepperoni, and I had shrimp on Mother’s Day, but otherwise awesome.  Except for when I tried a peanut butter and banana sandwich, which is seriously gross and how did Elvis eat those?  That was a rough morning, gastronomically.  It sounded like such a delicious idea.  I’m pretty sure I’m getting enough protein- eggs, tofu, chickpeas, those are protein right?- and I’ve done a little online searching for recipes, which worked well.  Though they did lead me to the pb and banana combo.  Mixed bag, I guess.

More of that for the rest of the month, then, plus some research on carbon offset programs, and commenter bullmooser made a great point that some sort of activism to reduce emissions in the long term would be another great way to offset my carbon guilt.  Stay tuned.

This Is Mint, Right?

It looks like two different things based on the baby ones, but I swear the tiny ones came from a mint packet (they’re at least sprouting where I put the mint packet seeds, I will not say correlation is causation) and the big stuff smells like mint.  Point is, is this going to end badly?

Here’s what has been growing in the pot, along with some new shoots:

mint

And here are the new shoots on the other side of the pot that might be from the mint seeds I planted a couple weeks ago:

maybe mint

I don’t know what to think.

The basil is doing well, so I’ll hold on to that.

new basil

Quick Updates

I’m home sick today, so with the woozy and the drugs, I’ve only got a little focus left.

Gardening:  I might have planted mint with my oregano, or I might not have.  The things coming up don’t quite look like what’s there.  My basil is definitely basil though and it’s pretty happy.  It’s rained so steadily this month that I’d thought everything I planted a couple weeks ago drowned, but something’s coming up out on the balcony.  It’ll take a few days to figure out what it is.   The hydrangeas from last year survived!  I need to plant more things.

Recycling:  No word from the management on my letter yet.  I’m visiting tomorrow to bring it up.

Biking:  Rain.

There’s probably more but unnnnnnnnggggghh.

Oh yeah this is pretty awesome, perhaps you read about how the EPA does its job now.   Also I signed up for paperless bills and 100% renewable energy from Dominion, it’s official.  Oh, and I bought plane tickets to New Zealand for this summer.  See I bet there’s a lot of stuff like that, but right now I need to go be pitiful closer to the OJ.

Hey yeah it’s Earth Day tomorrow.  If I shake this cold, I’ll be watching The Day After Tomorrow in celebration.  Actually probably will if I still am sick, too.  Woot.  Have a good one.

Let’s Pretend This Was A Learning Experience

Today I took my first good look at my former garden in months.  I covered it with some leaves last summer, to keep the soil um…clean?  warm?  I don’t know, I have no idea what I’m doing.

A bunch of my pots exploded after water caught inside them iced, there are leaves everywhere, and everything’s dead but the rosemary.

broken swan pot

Sigh, so sad.

I suspect also the hydrangeas are just hibernating, because I will miss them if I don’t think so.  I have a lot of cleaning up and gluing together and planning to do to try this gardening thing again.  I better start with some introspection, though, since I don’t think I was very successful at continuity last year.  By that, I mean I got distracted a lot and my food died.  But, let’s pretend I drew a few useful lessons beyond “pay attention”.

1) Pay attention.  Gardens are everyday things, both to keep track of what’s growing, what needs to be planted, what’s ready to be harvested, and who needs water or more sun or whatever.  As a corollary, 1A) Plants mature at their own pace, not yours.  Especially if you have no idea what you’re doing, and haven’t tracked the growing season and conditions and such- your salad greens could be ready ANY DAY and if you forget about them, or don’t want a salad that day, too bad.  In conclusion, I should probably ask someone who knows better what things look like when they’re ready to eat.  I guess I expect my tomatoes and spinach to keep growing bigger until they send me an email or something.  (“Re: Harvest me!”)

2) Make sure the pots drain.  Otherwise rain will drown your food and/or flowers.

3) I would like more flowers.  I very much enjoy flowers.  I should grow more of them.

4) Protect your plants from animals, because opossums are horrible garden thieves, and they are all over the suburbs here.  Netting is a good start?  I don’t know.  Opossums are crafty, they could probably get through nets.

5) If you have compost, use it.

Pretty sure that’s it from last year.  After I clean up, and it’s reliably above 40 degrees at night, I look forward to a successful and salad-green filled spring.


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