Saturday, March 21, 2009

Garden 2009: State of the Yard/Garden

Well, today was a very busy day for the fam. Hubs hauled through the garage and set up our new workbench while I built 4x4 raised bed boxes for the garden.

* We're going to proceed with some Square Foot Gardening this season and hope it will be successful for us, with less fuss and muss and more yield in the end. After poring through Mel Bartholomew's book, I decided to do some advance work on locating vermiculite, which I had been unable to find at our Menards/Home Depot over the past few weeks, at least not in large bags. Thankfully, I found out that Wannemakers (Downers Grove) carries it in large bags, so when I'm ready, I'll be heading there to pick it up for my "Mel's Mix" for the beds.

* I'm definitely not a crafts(wo)man by any stretch. Considering the "horses" I used to cut the wood are actually, um, two patio chairs, I'm impressed anything got done at all. So I've made four 4x4 boxes so far. I think I'm going to try to make two or three more this week and then configure the garden space. I've also made a couple of 3.5x3.5 boxes that I plan to use for potatoes. I was going to give the garbage can method a whirl, but had some random wood lying about, so made some boxes that I can stack and fill with dirt as they grow.

* Some pleasant discoveries...While clearing out the fall/winter debris, I discovered that the strawberries are already starting to green up and look like they're as excited for spring and warm weather as I am! We yielded about three last year (Yeah, like 3 strawberries. Total.) so I have high hopes for some tasty fruit this year. There were some errant runners that seem to be coming up outside of the allotted strawberry patch, so I think I'll extend it a bit this year.

* And in a very happy surprise, I went to move a pot, and in all the dead, dry foliage from last year, tons of fresh green chives were already coming up!! What a thrill! We pulled a couple pieces off and chewed on 'em. Tastes like spring and yumminess. I transferred them from that pot into a cute little mini-barrel planter I picked up at Tuesday Morning for under $10.

* The "ghetto greenhouses" are coming along... I think. Of everything I planted in them, I think broccoli raab, swiss chard, spinach, and lettuce are the only things really starting to come up. Reserving hope for them as the weather warms up, though two were subject to some abuse by the hound from hell, Millie.

* OH, and since we got new windows, I made a cold frame. Kind of. I didn't do it properly with angling it and so on. I basically made a box to match the window size and then attached a window with the hinge. And my measurements were off a tad, so it looks a little askew. Hmm... Tossed in some peat pots with seeds planted and I'm crossing my fingers. I liked seeing some condensation in it today, and popped it open as it was about 65 or so outside. We have a bunch of windows left, so I plan to make one or two more. If anyone in the area wants a couple, let me know! We're right by Brookfield Zoo.

Soooo....That's about it for where things are so far. Slowly but surely marching into growing season, and hoping it is the best year yet!

Way behind on posting, but catching up elsewhere!

OK, OK, OK...I've been incredibly errant in keeping up with my blog here, but with good reason! I've been taking advantage of the lovely weather that has been shining down on us here and there and getting a lot done outside!!

I went to the Flower & Garden Show and have to say it was amazing. Separate post forthcoming on that shebang. Needless to say, saw an awful lot of ideas that made me think I should just demolish the garage and half the driveway to make more room for garden space. Alas, I'm stuck with my little backyard garden and a yard overrun by a dog and two kids. Sigh. A girl can dream, though. Right?

Been reading up on Square Foot Gardening and decided that I'm going to give it a whirl this season. Worth a shot, and seems like it may be easier to tend and easier to protect than rows if I want to try to extend the growing season well into the fall.

Otherwise just puttering about, enjoying the green smell in the air, and time outside with the family!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chicagoland Flower & Garden Show

Hi folks!

Mr. Brown Thumb (a great local gardening blog, if you haven't checked it out yet) was able to score some great passes for some of us garden bloggers for the Chicagoland Flower & Garden Show. I'm scoping out the seminars to determine what days I should get someone to watch the girls so I can head down there unfettered.

I'll be posting about my adventures there. I recommend checking out Mr. Brown Thumb's blog to check out some of the great stuff he's already posted from the show.

More to follow...

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