Home > cooking, dogs, gardening > maydayeve


what a beautiful day and oh how i love spring. it was just gorgeous  today, mostly sunny and low 70s with some rain in the future so i was pushing to get stuff in the ground. i have been doing a bit of gardening most days and had finally gotten all my memorial plants in the ground. as the tulips go post-peak i have been pleased with some other stuff stepping up its game. the gerber daisies are going to dominate the grave area with a lot of lower stuff when i cut back the tulips. in the shade bed all kinds of things are going on in violet; spiderwort, wild sweet william, violets, jacob’s ladder, and another one, plus columbine, some lilies are still going, ragwort’s coming on, and the irises are getting ready, plus the annuals i put in.

this morning i worked in the bulbs left over from a tulip, dafodil, fresia arrangement into the herb garden so i gave a good cultivate and feed to the tarragon, oregano, and connected some sage that had spread out into the lawn into a new larger bed. i put them in close to the herbs figuring that in early spring they’ll all still be little and i can get the flowers without using any space. i wanted to have the fresia by front window so the scent could waft in the front window but i had tulips in the mix and i wanted them on this side of the fence so the dogs could defend them from the squirrels. although stubby, the bob-tailed squirrel and notorious eater of tulips got hit last year so maybe i’ll try front lawn tulips some day. while i was messing in the herb garden i found more parsley and i planted dill and cosmos up there as well.

in the afternoon i pulled off the plastic from the tomatoes and basil and planted a six pack of cabbages i got at the market this morning. nice market by the way, my first this year, with leaf lettuce, kale, green onions, radishes, green house tomato, cucumber (one of those long asian ones but young and tender, yumm) [my salad tonight with goddess dressing] and little tender asparagus [cooked in a packet with the baby garlic i also got, thinly sliced red peppers, and redwine vinegar; nailed the sweet and tangy thing i was going for] and grass fed ground round [added chopped oregano, basil, and garlic and grilled over hickory chips].

the cabbages i mostly ran in a row in my second bed east of the tomatoes. i planted one up close to the lettuce, figuring it’ll finish and allow the cabbage to extend into its space. this part of the bed was still pretty clayey below 14″ so i added three inches of compost to the bottom layer and and two inches to the top which wiped me out on the home made stuff. the big compost is 2-4 weeks away from being done so i’ll have to either go without and just fertilize (i got some fish stuff on clearance last year and stepping up my nitrogen game. the garlic i blasted doubled in size in 4 days and is twice as big as the control group which i blasted today) but compost also changes the character of the soil which my clay yard needs.

i planted rows of radishes on each side of the cabbage because double digging all that space is hard work and the cabbage will grow into the space when the radishes are done, goddess willing. i planted the other two around the lettuce, which at least one more head will be done this week. i left last year’s okra stalks up as a dog deterrent.  i also cultivated the basil (thanks jane), broccoli, tomatoes (thanks eric), and lettuce. i put up the little fence and hit everything but the new stuff (it got plenty of compost)and the lettuce (hope to eat soon) in that bed with fish juice. the dogs were definitely intrigued pushing the fence in a bit (descented my ass).

i also got some laundry on the clothesline and cooked out on the grill. perfect spring day. tomorrow house cleaning and i’m gonna re-mow the back yard if it doesn’t rain. please rain, i’ve been a little under the weather but felt good to push myself a bit anyway.

Categories: cooking, dogs, gardening
  1. May 18, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Ahh, this all sounds so lovely! I used to garden a lot with my mom when I was younger, and we had a pretty successful herb garden going for a while. A had this pot of chives that lasted something like 6 years. Only a few weeks ago did it die due to drought.
    It sounds like you have great success in the garden! Do you have any luck with strawberries? I’ve always wanted to grow some, but the one time I tried, I failed. They seem rediculously hard to cultivate. Do you have any tips?
    Reading this made me extremely happy, and I think I might start gardening again! Thanks for the post!

    • May 18, 2011 at 2:49 am

      I’m glad it sounds lovely, reading back through it looked like a lot of work. i like herbs because once they’re in they’re in and their expensive to buy and when you have a bunch you can just take what you need. i put the herb garden right by the back door so it would be handy. i have some chives but its yield is way down after the first couple of years. its in a tough spot on a hill with a lot of clay under the eaves a bit. pots you gotta keep watered, i had a great old rosemary that gave me more than i needed (a little goes a long way) but watering got away from me on a hot week or two and it got completely fried. on the plus side it dried so i put it in a jar and i’ve had rosemary for a year and may wait until next year to try again because i’m still not out.

      but you asked about strawberries and i’ve largely had good luck with them except for the time i tried to grow them in a container which was OK in year one but again i missed some watering and dried them all out. i’ve had three patches in my life and my current one is my best so i might know a little something. i have them under the eaves and spreading out from them. i bought a flat of them of two different kinds (they can cross polinate and you’ll get your own homemade hybrids). the patch i had when i was a kid my brother dug up some wild strawberries so the bed had berries that were on the smaller side but so sweet and flavorful you wouldn’t believe it. i’m on the hunt for some wild ones to mix in with my current bed, although i’ve put in two other varieties. i do most of my planting double digging so i dug out a foot of top soil and then mixed in about three inches of compost in each layer and planted them. i pulled off the berries the first year except for one plant so i could sample it, so they could focus on growing and sending out runners with new plants. the bed keeps spreading and i mix in other herbs as i transform my lawn into a strawberry/herb/flower garden.

      its going really well and i am blessed to get to do it on a big scale. fresh berries are worth it, they’re yummy. i wouldn’t be afraid of starting small even if you go for a container. they make them for strawberries with the little nooks for plants on the side. mine we’re plastic, where clay would hold the moisture better. i watched the video (it was really great by the way, you’ve got a great eye) you made to try and figure out where you live to advise sun or shade but in general they like sunny spots. i did alright but never got really great yields with the bed i grew in the shade. thanks for checking out the blog, i enjoyed yours.

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