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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.

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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.

Summer to Winter in 60 Seconds October 11, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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One day we are enjoying 80 degrees and sunshine, next day its 40 degrees and rainy.  I know once this cold snap is over we will back up and actually have fall.  But its a shock to go from summer to winter if not in 60 seconds at least over night.  I am very glad I got the zucchini out of the vegetable garden on Thursday afternoon.  I worked to long on Friday to do it after work and it would have been a miserable job today.  I don’t think there is any doubt it is going to freeze tonight.

I went to our local Farmers Market today.  It really is a farm, up the road about three miles from our house.  How cool is that.  They told me that tomorrow will be their last day for the season.  Just one more sign that summer really is over.  My husband thinks we should go back tomorrow.  They have lots of nice peppers.  If you read my last post then you’ll know that my own crop of peppers was almost a complete failure.  We’re thinking of stocking up on peppers from the farmers market and roasting them to enjoy later this winter.

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.

Garden update September 28, 2008

Posted by liajo in general.
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I haven’t been around for almost two weeks.  My mom and dad came to visit and we had a lot going on.  That does not mean that nothing was happening in the garden.  I got to pick my vegetable garden with my mom, something I haven’t done in a very long time.  Both my parents love vegetables and any opportunity to eat them fresh they jump at.  We enjoyed peppers, zucchini, tomatos and the last of the green beans.  My mom spent about 30 minutes going through the bean bush and got them all picked.

We also visited a farmers market about 5 minutes from here.  It was a great chance to stock up on vegetables I don’t grow.  We happen to live in vegetable farming country and this particular market is at an actual farm where the produce is grown.  I got some very nice onions and something called Italian frying peppers.  Both went really good with hot polish sausage.

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.