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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

~A stroll in the garden~

Every morning, I head out of the house and stroll through the garden.  I listen to the birds chirping and the squirrels scurrying and I feel peace.  The garden is such a lovely way to start the morning.  Here’s what I have been seeing on my strolls.

~The Good~

DSCN3849 ~A baby yellow squash~

DSCN3856 

~A dirty baby yellow pear tomato given to me by a friend.  It’s dirty because I was adding soil to this box.  My daughter who helped plant these tomatoes was quite upset that I was getting the tomatoes all dirty. ~

DSCN3866 ~Lettuce and nastartiums aplenty~

DSCN3878 

~Green beans climbing up the trellis~

DSCN3768

~The last broccoli plant went to seed.  This was my first year to grow it and I really enjoyed it.  I look forward to growing more for a fall crop.  In its place, I have planted zipper cream peas which I believe are also called crowder peas.~

~The Not So Good~

DSCN3770 ~ I love the beauty of a row of cabbage but I was not prepared for the cabbage looper worms and I did not put up a good fight.  So I pulled my whole row of purple cabbage.  It was hard to do but the infestation was too bad.  Jami told me that she uses row covers and I plan on doing a second planting in the fall…using row covers. :)~

DSCN3859~Here’s a picture of the worst green cabbage.  My son said that he feels like I did a good job feeding the cabbage worms. :)  I’ve not pulled this row yet but probably will soon to start planting tomatoes or peppers.~

~The Surprises~

DSCN3789 ~I’m not sure but I think this is a watermelon growing amongst the onions.  I have no idea how it got there. ~

DSCN3614~Finding these made me smile. :) ~

 ~The Bad~

DSCN3621 ~Poison ivy on both legs and both arms, my chest, and my belly(?).  It was not from the vegetable garden but probably from the flower beds in the front.  It seems to be getting better.~

~And some questions~

DSCN3881 ~I’ve never grown onions before and I’m not sure how to tell when they are ready.  The tops are falling but the onions are not very big yet.  I’m thinking that the soil is too heavy and keeping the onions small (in addition to the radishes and carrots). My soil has a lot of clay content so I’ve been adding humus, peat moss humus (I think that’s what it is called), and composted manure as I prepare areas for a second planting.  I’m hoping that the humus will help lighten the soil and make it more loamy.

So my questions are~ how do I know if the onions are ready? What can I add to make my soil “lighter”?

Soon I’ll be posting about some of the harvests that we’ve been enjoying from our garden!

To visit other blogs sharing their gardens, please visit~

13 comments:

  1. We add sawdust to our onion beds. Ours are ready in August usually, the stalks start turning brown and falling over. What's the saying preparation perspiration? It is a lot of work to get those things to grow:)

    When we plant our cabbage starts we place a 2 inch collar of wrapped newspaper around the stem of each plant at the point where the soil line will be with about 1/2 inch of the paper below the soil... it acts as a barrier to cutworms and other pests; might be worth a try??

    Out touring gardens on Jami's garden party... thanks for sharing:) Sorry about the poison ivy:( we have poison oak here, ugh!

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  2. yep. onion tops should look about dead--brown and fallen over. my onions are holding their own--well the few the dog hasn't knocked off are anyway.

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  3. So maybe I've killed the onions and need to move them to the "not so good" category. Gardening is such a learning experience. I learn something new everytime I do it! :)

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  4. love the garden party idea! thanks for sharing this.
    gardening is a learning experience and it's different for us all because we live in different climates.

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  5. Your squash looks amazing! I planted some zuchini but it just popped up. Feel free to stop by my blog to check it out.

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  6. One of the gardening books I have says to "braid" the onions to keep them looking neat in the garden...I wouldn't know first hand, this is only our 2nd attempt. We added peat moss, composted cow manure, composted horse manure and vermiculite to the soil to help lighten it. We live in Georgia and have red clay, abundantly :) You can find the vermiculite at the feed & seed store and some nurseries. HTH :)

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  7. Adriane-Here in the Pacific NW, we have a clay soil, too (just not red), and the only success I've had with root vegetables like carrots and onions is to grow them in raised beds. With our clay, it seems you can add and add and add and the clay continues to dominate, but with a raised bed I get lovely soil and add compost to it yearly and it stays lovely. This is the ONLY way I've gotten 10" carrots and softball-sized onions!

    Your onions are ready when they fall over- and it's not a failure, they are "baby" onions that are perfect for roasting (and which fancy restaurants will charge a lot for!). :-)

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  8. @ Candi, thank you~ I have looked for vermiculite before when I was doing raised beds (years ago) but couldn't find it. I will look at the feed store too.

    @ Jami~ I was just thinking the other day that the only way I would be able to grow root veggies would probably be a raised bed. I've had the same problems with the soil. Some of this soil has been added to so many times and the clay just takes over. I'm very concerned about my potatoes and hoping that they are able to do what they need to do with the heavy soil. I've never grown them so it will be another learning experience for me. And regarding the onions, I didn't think of it like that. :) I did use two small red onions on a salad the other day and they were yummy! I will try roasting them too.

    Thanks y'all for the help. I'm learning so much from all of these gardening blogs and I'm so thankful for the people who share their gardens! It really inspires me!

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  9. It depends if you want green onions, or slicing onions. The green onions should be ready in a few weeks. The slicing onions are usually ready in August.

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  10. Well I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who failed at raising cabbage this year. One day they were beautiful and two days later, they were full of holes. :(. Glad to see your yellow pears :0) , and everything else growing so well. I finally got a book at the library yesterday that gave me some great tips about growing cabbage. MY onions are doing great. I was told to braid the tops and keep the soil coveing them but loose around them. It also helps to snip the greenery atthe top every other week or so. That encourages growth of the bulb and prevents wasted energy growing the tops. Ans btw, if you would like some I have LOADS of horse manure....free to you!!!! Just come get it ;0)

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  11. Love your photos! Sorry about the cabbage! I'm a beginner gardener and have become friends with row covers. I had a moth showing interest in my kale and the next day I found eggs under the leaves. Grrr! I had squooshed them and covered them up. Take that Mr. Moth! Looks like you'll be having squash and tomatoes soon! I'm still waiting for warm weather here in Oregon! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Well I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who failed at raising cabbage this year. One day they were beautiful and two days later, they were full of holes. :(. Glad to see your yellow pears :0) , and everything else growing so well. I finally got a book at the library yesterday that gave me some great tips about growing cabbage. MY onions are doing great. I was told to braid the tops and keep the soil coveing them but loose around them. It also helps to snip the greenery atthe top every other week or so. That encourages growth of the bulb and prevents wasted energy growing the tops. Ans btw, if you would like some I have LOADS of horse manure....free to you!!!! Just come get it ;0)

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  13. @ Candi, thank you~ I have looked for vermiculite before when I was doing raised beds (years ago) but couldn't find it. I will look at the feed store too.

    @ Jami~ I was just thinking the other day that the only way I would be able to grow root veggies would probably be a raised bed. I've had the same problems with the soil. Some of this soil has been added to so many times and the clay just takes over. I'm very concerned about my potatoes and hoping that they are able to do what they need to do with the heavy soil. I've never grown them so it will be another learning experience for me. And regarding the onions, I didn't think of it like that. :) I did use two small red onions on a salad the other day and they were yummy! I will try roasting them too.

    Thanks y'all for the help. I'm learning so much from all of these gardening blogs and I'm so thankful for the people who share their gardens! It really inspires me!

    ReplyDelete

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