Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Sweet Potato Slips

These are my sweet potato slips. You can see how I started them myself in the post on "Growing Sweet Potatoes In The North".

I just started one of these small trays yesterday. I put them all out into the little greenhouse yesterday but they didn't fare that well. I guess they could have used more hardening off. I brought the new, not yet rooted ones back into the kitchen today. After a day and a night in the greenhouse, they all looked a bit wilted.

This is my first year growing sweet potatoes. Growing my own slips has gone well, so far. I hope the planting and growing in the garden goes as well! I still have another month to add to these before they all go into the ground!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time to Plant - Almost!

Spring is finally here, well almost, give us another week and it will definately be "here". Night temps are still below freezing so I can't put tender veggies into the unheated cold frame yet. Next week I should be able to, however. I am looking forward to getting some of these seedling trays out of the house! They are taking over!

This is what my seed window looks like now. It is overflowing!

These are my tomatoes. They desperatly need to be repotted but I am waiting until I can put the newly repotted veggies into the cold frame. There is no more room in the house! Do they look like they can wait just one more week as they are? They'll have to.

I did transplant all my red bell pepper seedlings into bigger pots today. I had four flats of them, with one plant per pot.

I made two new veggies gardens to hold all these veggies, and also because we are planning to use the previous large garden space to hold goats later this year, maybe. They have been tilled only once so far, except for the front of the smaller one. I tilled it three times then planted the peas, carrots and onion starts in it. This will be the early veggies garden. Today I spread chicken manure all over it. Tomorrow I will till in the manure and a lot of fall leaves. Then it will be ready to plant with the early crops, hopefully next week. I have three large trays like this one of brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, bok choi, and red cabbage) to go into this early garden.

These corn seedlings will follow just a short time later, along with the sunflowers.

This is the larger late veggie and chicken feed garden. I planted poppies, amaranth, flax and millet in it a few days ago.

Today I covered half the smaller, early garden with chicken manure. Tomorrow morning I will finish the job, spread out the bags of leaves and till. My manure pile is rapidly getting smaller. I may have to get some horse manure from my neighbors, the racetrack or equine clinic.

I also have some flower seedlings to move outside. These are the star lilies. My flowers are starting to get big, also, and need to go outside. In another week! I have to wait one more week! Then they can all go into the cold frame.

I have growing pots of dahlias, elephant ears, callas, cannas, glads and probably a few other things I can't remember right now.

There is no way the old cold frame will be big enough so I have begun to install another one at the south side of the chicken house. I am going to use plastic for the sides and dig down a bit under the glass. This will hold the flowers and bulbs that are getting really big.

I still have two more, unused, patio doors. I can make more buried cold frames if I need them.

I have an entire basket of seeds, still unplanted, that I have sworn to grow this year. Some veggies and some flowers. I will get them ALL planted!! Half of them are squash and I will only be planting a few of each kind, so its not as bad as it looks.

This is my lasagna garden, made over the summer last year. I have decided that it will be my berry collection and herb garden. I have planted mesclun, lettuces, spinach and green onions in it already this spring and moved one long row of herbs to this garden and the red raspberries and rhubarb too. If I need to, I can enlarge it. I want to plant a lot of berries in it this year, including some June bearing strawberries which will take up a lot of room.

This is my asparagus bed right now. The older plants are at the other end. I enlarged the existing bed last fall and moved my two year old seedlings into it. I don't know what to expect from the young ones this year. They were started from seed two full years ago, in the spring of 2008. I will probably have to wait at least another year before getting pencil sized asparagus from them. At least the older bed at the other end is producing well. I put some old chicken manure and confrey leaves on this bed today.

The flowerbeds are coming alive! The primroses are blooming!

This is the place where I put the tall, 'Keri Blue' dahlia. It is 6' tall with extra long strong cut flower stems. Its my favourite! Of course, I say that about all my flowers. They are all my favourites!

I can't wait for weather that is just a bit warmer! I have a new small greenhouse set up in the kitchen that can go ourside in about another week! It will help contain all the tender veggies like the melons and squash, various peppers, the monster tomatoes, and the flowers. I am planning to start a lot of unusual annuals from seed this year. They won't be started for another couple of weeks yet, not until they can go in the little greenhouse.

Really, I have a lot to do. I tell people that I am busy right now, but I don't think they realize just how busy.

Then there's the new puppy, Jake. Puppies take a LOT of work and time, but he is so cute and we just love him! Here he is out with me and Chisel today. Chisel LOVES it outside and spends a lot of time out there. Abby, the newest kitten, is too little to be outside. Some hawk will just scoop her up for lunch! Sometimes I let her out on the fenced in porch/deck area where Jake spends his unsuperivsed time. She will have to stay inside until she grows more. She is growing a lot but not fast enough for her. She so wants to be out in the world with the big girls and Chisel! She follows him around everywhere.

Here's Jake doing his usual thing...getting his head stuck in the railing. Goofy!

Can you believe that he's only 11 weeks old!