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Funny Story April 11, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, good things, Greenhouse Gardening, life.
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Wednesday was a beautiful day here so I decided to get in some yard work.  One of things I wanted to get done was some prep work in the vegetable garden.  groupwinter06I can’t go outside without the dogs, Bubba and Allie wanting to come with me, so we all went out back.

I was in the fenced garden clearing out all the coverings I had left on the beds during the winter.  I also had a pocket full of trash that had blown in.  Needing to dump the ground covering material in the compost pile and throw the trash away I came out of the garden. 

There was Allie wagging her tail and running around.  But no Bubba, I didn’t see him anywhere.  So I asked Allie “Where’s your brother, where’s the Bubba dog?”

greenhousesAs soon as I said his name Bubba comes a running, from the greenhouse.  Now at the end of fall I knew I had gotten the greenhouse ready for winter and all zipped down tight.  But somehow Bubba got the front zipper up just enough so he could go inside.  I’m guessing to lay on the warm, dry ground.

After putting both dogs in the house I checked to greenhouse.  Bubba had done no damage, there really wasn’t anything to damage.  I also check the thermometer that I had put in the ground.  It was reading 80 degrees.

I didn’t plant in the greenhouse this winter and hadn’t gotten it ready yet to move the tomato seedlings into.  But it’s being used, as an over sized dogie sauna.

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Everything you need to know… March 30, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, good things, How to tips.
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about starting seedlings you learned in kindergarten, or day care or girl scouts.  Really, I promise.  Think back.  The teacher had a paper cup for each kid.  You made a couple of holes in the bottom and filled them up with soil.  Then you read the story of Jack in the Bean Stalk and each kid got a bean seed which you poked down into the soil with your finger.  Some water was added and a piece of plastic wrap or baggie was put over the top of the cup.  In about a week all the kids had a bean sprout.

seedlings1Guess what???  It still works, and is a lot cheaper than buying seed starting kits at the local nursery. 

I started a bunch of pepper and tomato seeds this weekend.  I used paper cups (with holes in the bottom) filled with a seed starter soil mix.  I made one mini greenhouse out of an aluminium cake bottom pan with a plastic top.  Actually Saturday morning it had cinnamon rolls in it, which I finished off before planting the seeds.

In about six weeks I should have some good sized seedlings ready to go outside.

Seed Planting Time March 4, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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seedlingsThis week I’ll start planting seeds.  The first round will be in seed starter packs in the house.  No matter how warm it’s been I’d be crazy to plant seed for tomatoes and peppers outside, even in the greenhouse.

I’ll use a mini greenhouse in the sun room to get the first seeds started.  The tomatoes will later be transplanted in the big greenhouse in backyard.  They did really good there last year.  The peppers will go into the regular vegetable garden.  They did not do good at all in the greenhouse and I don’t plan on making the mistake of putting them there again.

In about two or three weeks it will be time to plant the peas directly in garden.  Look for updates to follow, this is an exciting time of year for every gardener.

Ground Hog Day February 2, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas.
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So today is Ground Hofamily-vacations-groundhog-dayg Day, and it does not matter if the poor animal sees his shadow or not, there will be 6 more weeks and winter.  The good news is we are now exactly half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Pretty soon the tulips will start peaking through the winter ground, even it it’s snow covered.  That’s one reason I love tulips, they are one of the “early” flowers.

Today is my traditional day to make sure that my seed and plant order is ready to be placed.  I like to get it in early so I can start planting in the greenhouse and sun room.  That ensures I’ll have good sized plants to transfer into the gardens about 8 weeks after they were started.

Yes Ground Hog Day is important to me, but why can’t we just let the poor animal sleep while we place our seed orders.

Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve November 20, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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Don’t you wish sometimes we could see into the future?  I sure wish I could’ve have this fall.  If I had I would have planted a really big fall garden.  Who would have dreamed we would be sitting here on November 20th and almost no snow and only one or two good freezes.  If I had known 60 days ago what I know now I would have planted lots of cold weather vegetables.  I just kept telling myself that the weather wouldn’t hold.  If you plant, even in the greenhouse it will snow tomorrow.

Well there’s nothing I can do about it now, but I sure did miss a good opportunity to have a fall garden.  I still keep telling myself it will snow tomorrow and we really do need it now.  I’ll wait for spring and hope I don’t need to tunnel through the snow to get to the greenhouse then.

Winter gardening October 21, 2008

Posted by liajo in Greenhouse Gardening.
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Last weekend we tightened up the greenhouse for winter and I cleared out all the old pepper plants and composted.  This will be the first winter that I actually try planting in the greenhouse.  I have cold weather seeds like carrots, spinach, lettuce and peas and I hope to get them planted in the next week or two.

There are a few things that I haven’t quit worked out yet.  One of them is watering.  I may need to carry it from the house because our out side hoses and faucets can freeze up.  Next is snow.  As excited I am about year round gardening, I not real excited about tramping through the snow to get there.

I also need to make sure it’s not getting to cold.  Besides the tightening I’ll mulch around the entire outside bottom  to keep some of the cold air out.  I’ve also read that if I compost in the greenhouse it will help keep the temperature up.  I put my meat thermometer in the ground today, I’ll check it in the morning to see how cold it is about 7am.

While I don’t believe winter gardening is going to easy I am looking forward to eating a fresh spinach salad that came out of my backyard in Colorado in December.  To cool.

Fall work October 19, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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Just like spring, fall is a whirlwind of work in the gardens.  You have to take advantage of every nice day to get everything done before the gardens are covered in snow.

Today I used leaves to mulch the strawberries.  This was the first summer I planted strawberries in beds.  I’ve had a few of them in containers before and never worried about them surviving the winter.  I’ve read that leaf mulching is one of the best ways to insulate them.

It’s not cold enough outside yet to really effect the carrots, but I dug some of them up anyway.  They also did very nice this year.  

I pulled the last of the pepper plants out of the greenhouse.  While I was cleaning out their bed I ran across a nice size worm.  A sign that any gardener welcomes.  After the cleaning I composted the bed getting it ready for the next planting.  When I was digging in the kitchen compost area I found some very large worms.  At least a couple of them have new homes this afternoon in the greenhouse.

I picked a lot of green tomatos.  They are in the greenhouse, but I didn’t want to take a chance of losing them all.  I did leave some on the plants.  I also pulled out some of the most cold damaged tomato plants.

Tomorrow me and my husband will do some weather proofing on the greenhouse.  With any luck this will be the first winter that I plant in it.  I have some cold weather seeds just waiting to get planted.

Like I said, there is still a lot of work to do in the gardens.

Hot house peppers October 10, 2008

Posted by liajo in gardening mistakes.
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My peppers did lousy this year.  I think it was because I left them planted in the greenhouse and because I didn’t thin them out enough.  I should have known better. 

I am from the southwest so I know that peppers need heat.  What they didn’t do to good with was the humidity in the greenhouse.  I was just to wet for them.

The second problem was greed on my part.  I really wanted a big crop so I didn’t thin the plants out like they should have been.  Not only did this keep the plants small because they didn’t have enough room to grow, but it also made for a nice buffet for the pests.  The plants were so close that the bugs could crawl from one to another.  I did thin them out a couple of weeks ago, but its to late to make a big difference.

I am thinking about planting some peppers in containers in my sun room.  Hopefully that way we can get a little bit of a crop this year.  Next year, the peppers go outside the greenhouse, and gets lots of room to grow.

I want a farm October 6, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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OK, maybe not a real farm, but at least five to ten acres.  I want enough room to have vegetable beds and greenhouses.  There are so types of vegetables and fruits and berries that I would love to grow and eat.  I would like fruit trees.  I don’t have any place to put any now without cutting down elm trees that range in age from 100 to 35 years old. 

I would really love to have chickens and goats.  Our town won’t let us have either in the town limits.  I would need enough space to keep them seperate from our dogs.

I guess I shouldn’t complain.  I know I have a lot more room to garden than say someone living in an apartment in the inner city.  I do have a greenhouse and vegetables beds, I just can’t grow everything I’d like.  I can keep buying fresh eggs and milk from the local farmers.  Now all I need to do is find a friend with fruit trees and trade with them.

Rain water recycled September 15, 2008

Posted by liajo in good things.
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Here in northern Colorado rain water is something we don’t get enough of.  Because of that I have everyday items out on the patio and in the yard to catch the rain when it does come.  Last Friday we got a really good rain.  Today I used some of that water that I collected in the wheel barrow and tubs to water the tomatos and peppers in the greenhouse.

If you garden and don’t have some type of system to collect rain water I would suggest that you set one up.  It can be hi-tech and costly or simple and inexpensive.  I’ve seen everything from 55 gallon rain barrels with hoses placed under gutters to simple contains around the yard.  Pick what works best for you.