Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slow Seeds

I am not sure exactly why the seeds I planted weeks ago haven't made too much progress yet. There are 6 or 7 corn seedlings popping up just in the last few days, but no zucchini, watermelon or tomatoes yet (possibly due to cat and bird problems.) Which brings me to another point. The Cat Scat plant that I purchased with high hopes has let me down. The cats in my neighborhood must like the smell instead of being repelled by it because it seems that the digging and pooping has actually increased since placing that plant there.

We'll see what progress comes with the seeds this coming week. I am glad that I purchased the tomato and strawberry plants so I can have a little success this season. I caged the 3 tomato plants this past week and they all look healthy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lots of Lettuce

It is great to have fresh lettuce in the garden! I really wasn't all that excited about planting lettuce, but it is much more rewarding than I anticipated. It is so much more fresh than anything I can buy at the store and it has such great flavor. I am excited about my lettuce. I have been using it slowly over several weeks now and still have several bunches to use up before it gets too hot.

Here is a large bunch of romaine lettuce that I used this past weekend for a great salad.

Also, my sweet pea vines are doing great with this nice warm weather we have been having. I get several pea pods off of it daily. They hardly ever make it inside the house before I eat them, but here is a handful that made it inside one day.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Scarecrows & Cat Scat Plant

In my many efforts to overcome pests in my garden, I have learned a few things. 

Scarecrows really do keep many BIRDS from pestering (and destroying) newly-planted seeds and seedlings. This guy has been in my garden through rain and shine for about a year now. He lost his pants and legs in a recent storm, but he's still smiling. 

And as for CATS...

There are a lot of them around our house (none are ours) and they LOVE soft garden soil to leave their unwelcome and toxic poops in. And it's not just the feces, but they also dig up seeds and seedlings in the process.
 After many attempts to make this area unpleasant for them, I came across this Cat Scat plant (also at Whitfill Nursery for $2.99) and planted it in a small pot so I can move it around the garden and yard. It smells faintly of a skunk, but it doesn't bother me. I have seen improvements already, but will report back after a long-term trial of this plant as a cat repellent. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I went to Whitfill Nursery the other day and bought 3 tiny strawberry plants and 3 small Roma tomato plants. I planted them all in the garden after making room by taking out all of my slow-growing carrots. Here are my new additions to the garden.
3 Tomato plants in semi-sunny location
2 Strawberry plants in sunny location

In the next few days, I will give each tomato plant it's own tomato cage to help them grow big and under control. I also need to research these strawberry plants to see if I should allow fruit to grow in the first season, or pinch them off to allow the plant to focus on growing larger and stronger. Always more to learn.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Yesterday, I cleared out a section of carrots that I had planted in late September. They took much longer than anticipated to get large. According to the seed packet, they should have been harvested early December, but they were not ready at that point. 
I needed this sunny space for my newly purchased itty-bitty strawberry plants that I couldn't say no to at Whitfill Nursery in Gilbert. (Photos to come of the strawberry plants.)

Here are the carrots all a mess in my sink:

And mostly cleaned up:

Then I made them into Carrot Cake muffins, since I wanted to use them all right away before they lost their crunch. It was a lot of work getting those carrots ready for the carrot cake (especially if you count all the work planting the seeds and helping them grow), but it was very rewarding.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Playing in the Dirt

Yesterday I had some time, just me and the dirt. I loved it and accomplished some planting too. 
I had only planned on planting corn and tomatoes, but I couldn't help myself once I started looking through all my seeds. So, here's what I planted and let's hope that the weather stays as beautiful as it is right now for the sake of happy growing seeds.

Sweet Corn, Watermelon, Roma Tomatoes, Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes
 This is my first time planting on rows like this. I planted the corn and the watermelon on these rows and I plan to use the little dip in the middle to help deep water once the plants are tall. We'll see if it has benefits.

Corn planting
My garden today
I even indulged in a delicious snack, a juicy sweet pea. It's only one of two harvested from the winter growing season. I'll take what I get with sweet peas.

Sweet pea vines are so beautiful with their delicate white flowers. They make it all worth it, even with a little crop.