Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garden Tour

We've had over a week now with the two boys gone to Memphis for their annual Summer stay at their Grandparents house.  They're coming home in just a couple days, and we're excited - it's been much too quiet around here!  I've mostly been trying to squeeze extra work hours in, but I've also been spending a good deal of time in the gardens.  It's been raining every few days, and the weather has been just beautiful - so there's no good reason not to be outside!

The annual clearance sale at Painter's Greenhouse is going on this month, which is always a good place to find amazing deals on plants if you live in Western North Carolina!  I ended up packing my cart so full, I literally couldn't squeeze even one more plant in there :)  It's a good place to stock up on things we forgot to plant or that didn't come up, or just didn't plant because maybe we only needed one or two - not enough to buy a whole pack of seeds.  There's still a little bit that hasn't been planted yet - but I'm getting through it all bit by bit...

The kitchen herb garden got lots of new plants from the sale - a few kinds of basil, thyme, sage, cilantro and parsley.
The medicine herb garden also got a few new plants, but mostly to make up for the loss of the swiss chard around the border...

Who knew chickens like swiss chard so much??
I did have a few new swiss chard starts that were going to go in this garden, but I think I'll wait until the garlic is harvested from the fenced garden and put the new chard plants in there, so the humans can eat them :)  Of course the chicken house borders on the fenced garden, so I guess it's just a little bit of torment for the little hennies!
Our two big pots of hops plants were needing some love.  They have been getting attacked by aphids and spider mites.  B read that this was due to nutrient deficiency in their soil, so first we killed the bugs with a tobacco tea wash.  Then we boosted the soil with fish emulsion and worm castings... hopefully it will do the trick - I'd sure like to brew some beer with our own hops this year!
ZB's been having an excellent spring eating up all the strawberries she can find!  She's also discovered the blueberry patch and doesn't seem to care if they're ripe or not - they're all fair game to her (which means we find lots of chewed up and spit out green berries around).  The strawberries have finished producing for the year and and starting to send off their many runners.  While the arctic kiwi that share the bed are just starting to climb the porch...

With all the new plants, I actually decided to make another little garden bed next to the front steps.  The other side of the steps has the figs trees and some fast-growing comfrey, with pumpkin vines spreading beneath.  So this new bed will be surrounding the lonely little daylily that was already there.  I will plants a forsythia that B rooted for me, and last night I put in an ever-bearing strawberry and some fun little zinnia flowers to fill the space this Summer.  I am sheet mulching it - it's an easy way to kill the grass naturally - just layer something solid (like newspaper, cardboard, etc.) on the ground, and then layer anything else that's biodegradable on top of that for several layers.  Right now it just has a sprinkling of compost to keep the paper from blowing away.  This afternoon I'll put on a layer of chicken poo and then some straw.  As those break down, you can replenish with grass clippings, leaves, wood chips, etc.
In the midst of all this working from me, B is getting lots more Papa/baby time with ZB.  He's really good at getting her to go down for naps, and lately since the weather's been so nice, they've been going for walks to take a nap.  This is the cuteness I came home to today:
Aw!  Alright - enough typing - I've got work to do!  See y'all later ~ Julie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Julie! Thanks for responding to my msg on Asheville Mamas. I'm happy to meet another CO mama who has gone South. I grew up in Ga but moved out to CO 18 years ago. As you know, the living is easy and sunny but we're ready to be closer to family - my folks are in Ga and Charlotte. So, on to planning the big move! Thanks for the tips. We're wanting to live in a cool, funky community with a bit of land to call our own - out Boulder suburb is getting a bit loud and crowded. Hope you have a great weekend and happy gardening!

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