Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Taters


I'm hoping my experimental tater station works well this year. The home-made bins might look a bit odd, but I have a feeling that in a few months, when I open the boxwire, I'm going to have some tumbling spuds. The wire cylinders are lined with just a few sheets of newspaper to help hold everything in and then they were filled with alternating layers of very well-aged horse manure and last year's potting soil (when I empty my containers every fall, I put the used soil in garbage bags in the shed. I usually use it to pot up perennial divisions for friends, but here is another good use!). Each bin was filled 1/4 of the way, then 6-8 seed potatoes were spread on top and covered with a few more inches of old horse manure. When the taters were a few inches high, I added several more inches of manure or potting soil. I just kept adding layers as the plants grew. The 'soil' now reaches about 3/4 of the way to the top and that's as full as I'll make them. There are now potato plants sprouting out the sides too. I'm excited to see what happens as the season progresses.

Saw my first baby praying mantis of the season yesterday. Just a little guy, maybe only a quarter of an inch long. He was hanging out on the potato plants. I tried to get a picture, but my camera wasn't cooperating.

The strawberries are just about finished. With the heavy rains of the past week or so, some of the berries got moldy, but really, it was quite a good harvest. Made some delicious homemade strawberry ice cream over the weekend.

My broccoli will soon be ready to harvest as will the sugar snap peas and the snow peas. The lettuce continues to roll in and I've been tying the tomatoes to their hardwood stakes on almost a daily basis. They have begun to flower...it won't be long now!

Friday, June 6, 2008

yum yum!!


These are the most beautiful strawberries I've ever grown! I have no idea what variety they are since they came from plants that were relocated from elsewhere on the property last spring. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they are truly delicious. Big, sweet, juicy berries! I think my son ate a good pound of them yesterday and we will soon be up to our elbows in them since they are ripening so quickly in this warm weather (90+ degrees today!). We plan on heading outside after dinner this evening to fill up on this wonderful seasonal dessert. There are few treats as divine as sun-warmed strawberries in June. I almost feel guilty for not sharing them with any friends....almost.


Here is the container I mentioned in an earlier post. It's filled with assorted succulents 'imported' from my trip to Missouri. The center plant is from the Phipp's booth at May Mart. The pot itself was purchased at IKEA a few weeks ago and it sits on top of an antique metal wash stand base that belonged to my Nana. I just love it and I can't wait for it to fill in over the course of the growing season.

The veggie garden is looking great. My beans, cukes, and zukes have all sprouted and seem to be growing quite well. The tomatoes are a foot high already, the sugar snap peas are just about 4 feet tall (yikes!), the lettuce and radish continue to be harvested nightly. My broccoli appears as if it's on steroids this year. Happy, happy, happy.