Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gardening Thoughts

It's a beautiful sunny day here, which means it must be cold. Makes me want to get busy and plant some seeds! I must admit that I am feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of ordering seeds. This is my first year of being very aware of what hybrid seeds actually are, and of the importance of using heirloom seeds. Where do I start? What will actually grow this close to the Canadian border, and which will be iffy? How do I keep the bugs away? I guess I just need to dig in and get busy with seed catalogs as well as searching the internet.

We picked up our coop order late last night when the truck came in, and wow! did I learn a few things about spices! Most of them were on sale, and as I make everything from scratch I ordered quite a few. I ordered most of them by the pound, as it was even cheaper than by the 4 ounce packages. When I pulled out the parsley I discovered the 1 pound bag was big enough to use for a pillow! I was thinking I would have just enough to use up before my own from the garden would be ready -- looks like I won't have to grow any for a couple of years! These are the kinds of lessons I am learning "the hard way," but I guess that's okay. Now to make sure I store them in such a way that the bugs won't bother them and the flavor stays with them as well.

I have dreams of making different flower beds: an herb garden, butterfly garden, rose garden (our friend Steve says that up here I have to stick to shrub roses), and lots of vegetables. Last year we were able to have a garden in the areas around our basement that had been turned up by the cement contractors when doing the concrete work, and also a small area that we had tilled up. The carrots were more than a bit stubby but potatoes grew fairly well; this year we are asking the Lord to give us a bountiful harvest. Then comes the dilemma of how to store everything over the winter! We have an area that was tilled up with sheep manure from a neighbor's farm -- over an acre in size! We will have areas of corn, potatoes and raspberries in that field, so the area for the rest of the produce will be greatly reduced. Guess we have our work cut out for us!

The photos are of the beautiful flowers I had last year in the retaining wall area created by our friend Steve. He thought I should have something pretty to look at every time I entered or exited the house! Almost all of the flowers were grown from seeds. The rocks are home grown as well, since they were pulled out of the ground when the men were digging our basement. The boys added the slabs behind the flowers to keep the dogs from running through the garden; it really helped, and created a nice backdrop for the flowers.

13 comments:

Benjamin said...

Lynn, your flower bed was absolutely gorgeous- heather and I were both exclaiming over it! You always did have lovely flowers in Fargo too as I remember. Glad you're all doing well and enjoying life! We just got a beautiful dusting of snow last night and with the rare crystal clear blue sky I can almost imagine myself back up on the northern plains :^).
Enjoying your posts,
Ben and Heather

HomesteadHerbs said...

What a beautiful flower bed! Steve was right, nothing like a colorful bed to brighten up ones mood as you enter and exit the home!

Lynn said...

Thanks, Ben and Heather! I have been keeping up on Heather's posts as well, but haven't done much commenting. Emily will be grown up by the time we see her! She sure is a sweetheart!

Emily said...

Don't know how I managed it but I sent a comment to Steven's blog that was meant for you. Hm. That's what I get for trying to multi-task! :) Let me try this again:

I was saying that it is cold and sunny here in NH this week as well, and I am anxious to get some planting underway. A couple of sites you can check out are: www.rareseeds.com and www.seedsavers.org. Both deal in the heirloom seed varieties. Tons to choose from, that's the hard part! We're still in the deciding stage.

About storing your herbs: I'd use opaque glass jars and keep them in a dark cool spot. The idea is to keep them away from the warmth and light that will cause them to deteriorate.

Can't wait to hear what you order! God bless your day......Emily

Lynn said...

Hi Emily, thanks for your post! The order went in today, and I think we sent for just about everything we could think of: lots of herbs (that don't grow in the wild up here) and vegetables. We placed our order through www.rhshumway.com out of WI, they too sell open polinated seeds. The other catalogs we checked out were a lot more expensive, so we went with this one for this time around. My dilemma is that we have no "cool, dark spots" in this basement! No cupboards, just using former workbenches for countertops and Rubbermaid containers for my cupboards! Where did you find opaque glass jars? I have been using gallon glass jars and whatever else I have on hand. I am hoping to some day be better set up for storage of things sensitive to light.
By the way, I gave you some information regarding Sebeka and asked you some other questions on one of my comments sections; if you would send me your email address I could ask them to you directly. Thanks!

Emily said...

Lynn, my local health food store carries the amber glass jars for herbs but they're small. You could do a search online for larger ones. I believe Christine at Homestead Herbs got some by mail order so perhaps you might ask her. I will need a source as well since I'll be growing and processing my own this year. In the meantime, maybe you could wrap the outside of your clear jars with newspaper? I know what it's like trying to make do in a small area! If you'd like to email me, my address is mrsemilyd@hotmail.com.

Scott Holtzman said...

Really like the random slab post fence. Curious, how deep do you put them?

Lynn said...

Scott,
I asked my boys, and they said they pounded them in about 5 inches. So far they have stayed in! I really like the look of a fence like that.

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

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