This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, April 21, 2017

my garden in the rain - peas, asparagus, and lettuce

asparagus IMG_0949 pea sprouts IMG_0935

The rain is cold and dreary for me, but my plants are enjoying it, it seems. Peas and asparagus are sprouting.

Earlier in the week, I planted a bed with spring greens. I have several colors of lettuce, so I tried to mix it up and make a pretty bed. I hope the pattern will be nice when it grows up. The bed has lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, escarole, bunching onions, and a few marigolds.

speckles lettuce IMG_0940 truchas lettuce IMG_0942

lettuce bed IMG_0939

Other things going on in my garden are some nice big garlic sprouts and the last few heads of spinach, escarole, and lettuce left over from my winter tunnel.

garlic bed IMG_0944 winter bed IMG_0943
garden IMG_0945

Monday, April 17, 2017

today's harvest

My first harvest of the year - spinach, broccolini and bok choi. It's from my winter tunnel. I planted in the fall, it over-wintered, and grew up this spring. We'll be eating lot's of fresh greens this week.

harvest_spinach IMG_0698
harvest_broccolini MG_0702 harvest_bok_choi  IMG_0695


Monday, April 10, 2017

sunning seedlings


I'm so busy with my gardens, new bees, my dogs, and updating our vegetable calendar app that I'm having no time to post! It's been a week. I have some great photos from the past week that I'll try to add this week.

Today these little seedlings are out getting some sun on the patio. The sun is so bright that I'll give them a couple hours of it and then move them to an area with less sun.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

my potato shipment is here


I mail ordered a box of seed potatoes (Green Mountain) from Moose Tubers and they arrived today. I was surprised it's already time for planting potatoes!

Earlier, I had purchased a small box of red fingerling seed potatoes at a local garden center. They have been "chitting" on my windowsill next to the seedlings that don't fit on my plant shelves. I'll set up the new potatoes to chit too until I get time to plant, which will probably be a week or two yet. The weather is slowly warming up, but we have a lot of cold dreary rain that doesn't encourage work in the garden.


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

me and my new bees


Actually, it's not so easy to get a selfie with a new bee package. iPhone's don't work so well wearing leather bee gloves. But the bees did pose well I thought. They are very sweet bees. Once they take up residence and start protecting their hive, I won't do selfies with them.


Monday, April 03, 2017

Today I planted seeds for Swiss chard, bulb fennel, bachelor buttons, and purple hyacinth beans. I also replanted cabbage seeds since I somehow lost my previous seedlings.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

getting ready for bees

setting up hives IMG_0577 setting up hives IMG_0583
ready for bees IMG_0589

I'll pick up two packages of bees tomorrow. They'll replace the two hives I lost this past winter. The boxes are now set up and waiting now.

I filled both boxes with nine draw-out frames each with a good amount of honey in them. I'll also feed the bees sugar water in a frame feeder since I don't know what's blooming near me now. I think the maples and willows may be, but not sure.

our last snow storm - hopefully....

My garden got a couple inches of slush from the storm yesterday. But my Mom's garden is seriously buried. Probably eight inches of really heavy snow. I tried to shovel her driveway - usually no problem for me, but only did about two car lengths before I burnt out. Fortunately a plow cleared it a few hours later.

The next weather we have is a big rain storm that supposed to come through here on Tuesday. Rain sounds good. Melt that snow! Fill up our reservoirs!

Friday, March 31, 2017

planting peas and spreading compost

Another snow storm is heading for us. We're supposed to get 8 inches of heavy snow tonight. Who knows how long this will prevent me from gardening. So, my solution, get as much gardening done before the storm.

Yesterday I planted peas in my back yard garden. Two rows: Oregon Giant snow peas and Sugar Snap snap peas. This morning I covered up my winter bed with row cover and plastic. Then I drove up to Mom's house and spread a beautiful 2 inch layer of compost (2 c. yards) on her garden. I was a little short of time to plant Mom's peas since the snow was getting heavy. Maybe I can clear snow from her garden tomorrow and plant those peas!

planting peas IMG_0512
spreading compost IMG_0562
spreading compost IMG_0559 spreading compost IMG_0568

Thursday, March 30, 2017

sunning seedlings


The first of my seedlings are out sunning now. Onions, shallots, leeks mostly. Also spinach, beets, cabbage, and endive.

We have a beautiful sunny day today. It's 43F now and going up to 50. Tomorrow, the last day of March, we are bracing for a winter storm. It doesn't seem right. But it's not the first time we've had crazy weather. I'll be out with my seedlings, pruning, raking, and maybe even planting my peas.

I've been doing a lot of planting recently. It's all listed on my 2017 planting list.


Monday, March 27, 2017

I planted my tomatoes today: tomato planting record

crazy pepper seedlings

pepper seedlings IMG_6773

Two days ago, I decided my peppers seeds weren't sprouting because the temperature was too low. It had been ten days with no sign of seedlings. So I rushed out right to buy a heat mat. So - only two days later - guess what's in the tray. Lot's of pepper sprouts!! I can't believe it. I wonder if they would have come up without the mat or if the mat was a miracle worker?

In addition to getting the new heat mat,  also replanted by adding an extra seed to each planting cell. I thought the original seeds had probably rotted. I bet I'll get two peppers in every pot now.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

lost chicken

chickens huddled IMG_6133

I was very sad to loose one of my laying hens yesterday. I suspect it was a hawk the got her. We have a giant pair of red-tails often nearby. The chicken was my best layer, Roxy, a barred rock - the black and white one up front in the picture above. Her carcass was at the edge of the woods, half eaten. I buried it. Now I have three hens. The others are very somber. I imagine it was terrifying for them to see.

four eggs IMG_9829 chickens IMG_6730

Roxy laid big brown eggs. The one up front. I'm thinking about getting another hen or two later in the spring. We were getting 3 eggs a day, 20 a week. I think we'll only have 2 a day now - about 2 dozen a week. Normally enough for a family of three, but my son is a serious baker. Seven eggs go into his pound cake recipe that's a regular treat for us, his friends and co-workers.

Poor Roxy.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

ready for planting seeds tomorrow


These pots and seeds are waiting on my kitchen counter for me to plant tomorrow. Five or six types of broccoli, raab, broccolini, etc - we love broccoli. Also flowers: cosmos, cleome, tithonia (Mexican sunflower), nigella, and bells of Ireland.

Friday, March 24, 2017

I replanted my pepper seeds today. None sprouted after 10 days. I checked their temperature and it was only 74F in a spot that was 80F last year. We have lower heat in the house this year. I bought a seed heat mat this afternoon and I hope that will help the replanted seeds to sprout.

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