Tag Archives: gardening

A Gardener’s Wish List

I’ve cleaned up my flower beds and herb  garden area for the past two weekends and I am dreaming of a few things I’d love to have.

Click on any picture if you wish to see where to buy them.

#1  Some really good gloves ($2.99).  I like these -Boss Manufacturing Company Ladies Glamorous Green Dirt Digger Garden Gloves.  They are for the lady who wants gloves but doesn’t like the awkwardness of cumbersome gloves.  The inside palm side is rubberized for wet or heavy-duty days.

Plant Markers for my herb garden – I adore these two.  First the hanging variety. (5  markers and pen $14.95)

And then these little cuties, which are more limiting..but just…darling! (3 stakes for $8.95)

Or look at these!.  Glass vegetable markers!  Sweet!

Seriously! Look at the 3 peas and their pod!  CUTE! (3 stakes for $8.95)

A really good pair of pruners.

I love the wrist strap! ($38.00 and $19.00)

French Iron Topiaries…LOVE!   ($174.99) 

This one I actually ordered…the 2010 perennial of the year. Baptisia australis (Wild Indigo 1 for $11.95)

And that’s just a few things I’m wanting for the start of gardening season. 

 How about you? What do you want for your garden this season?

Now it’s Saturday and our rain forecast is supposed to be 80% all weekend.  I think I’ll go shopping!

See what other home gardeners are talking about by clicking here…

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Heirloom Tomatoes Here I Come Again!

I did it.

Today I ordered my heirloom seeds.  I’m late but it’ll be okay.  Last year I ordered so many varieties.  This year I’ve narrowed it down to my favorites.  Here’s my selection.

From the Black/Purple group is my favorite of all time – Black Krim.  Sweet and tasty and ohhh so wonderful.

The beloved Brandywine is my choice in Reds.   Excellent flavor…great for sandwiches or salads. Large fruits!

Also from the Reds, I ordered Mule Team, as Ms. Martha Stewart highly recommended them.

From the Whites/Greens I ordered Aunt Ruby’s German Green.  The description got me – “A sweet delicious flavor with a hint of spice” . 

These are new to me – can’t wait to see how they fare.

And we got such a huge yield and enjoyed these so much last year, I ordered some more of the Fox Cherries.

I cannot wait to slow-roast these little babies again this year like I did last year.  Fabulous!

A few memories that are making me anxious to have my garden overflowing once again.

And the joys of having a bowl full of fresh tomatoes at my beck and call every day.

If you’re inspired to grown Heirloom Tomatoes, I recommend Tomato Bob to order from.  You can find his site here.

But I’m just warning you, if you start down this path…you’ll never come back to hybrids again…

Want to read more about gardening? Katie over at Good Life Eats has bloggers placing links on her site with their garden posts!   It’s all about GrowCookEat – growing your own produce at home, cooking it and eating it!  Great idea Katie! How fun! You can visit her site here.

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Fall Gardening? The Tomatoes that Never Stop!

This bowl seems to never diminish on my kitchen counter.  It’s late November, Thanksgiving is next week, and these doggone heirlooms are still producing like troopers.

We’ve cleaned up most of the leaves from the backyard, but we haven’t pulled these plants out yet, sickly as they might look.

I’m particularly happy about the picture on the bottom right.  That’s my black Krims.  And they’re still going strong.

Even the herbs are hanging on.

Granted, the basil looks pretty putrid, but the sage is a little more hardy, so it’s waiting to garnish plates and go into dressing at Thanksgiving!

Crazy weather we’re having here….

But hey, who’s complaining?

Not me.

~Katie

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First Heirloom Tomato Harvest

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My first harvest of my heirlooms.

Pictured above you will see Black Krim (the largest pinky/green ones).  These have been really prone to infections, either by bug or by disease.  Note the hole on the bottom side of the top left one.

The small red ones in the colander are Besser Cherry Tomatoes.  We have quite the abundance of these little darlings.

The front green tomatoes are green grape. We haven’t tasted these yet.

The front pinky red ones are Hank.

I plan on making a tomato salad featuring all the varieties soon with a new recipe! I have several new varieties that are almost ready to be harvested as well.

Mr. Wonderful keeps making cracks about the $300 tomatoes.  We’ve made new beds, seeded indoors, watered, fertilized, staked, watered some more and have about $10 worth of tomatoes so far.

Is it worth it?

I say yes…anyone who gardens knows what I’m talking about.  The satisfaction of knowing you put a seed in soil and harvested something out of the ordinary is what makes it special.

Now, if I could figure out how to set booby-traps for bugs and worms…

Have a comment? Please leave one! I’d love to hear from you!

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This is the time – My Heirlooms Part 6

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This is that time.

That time when you know all your mothering, your care,  your watering and weeding is going to pay off.

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This is the time when you begin scouring for recipes with tomato in them.

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Did I mention previously that all the markers I put on these tomatoes blew away in the Oklahoma crazy winds?

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I have no idea what all of these varieties will end up looking like.  When they are fully ripe, some will be red, some yellow, some white , some purple, and one will even be green zebra-striped.

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I think this one is going to be the Yellow Pear.

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But the rest of the 12 varieties I’ve planted?

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It’s going to be a guessing game.  I have to figure out when they’re ripe just by squeezing them I think. I mean, how do you know if a fully-ripe green tomato is ripe?

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Here is another recap of the progression.

Planting seeds.

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Seedlings coming up after a week or so.  And the markers that blew away later

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Transplanting outside in the bed Mr. Wonderful made me.

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Mr. Wonderful staking with PVC pipe.

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And today….

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This is one GIANT plant.

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Now I have to go. I have to brush up on learning how to can tomatoes.

Because I have no idea how my family is going to consume this many.

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Heirloom Update

By katie

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And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what it’s all about.

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Gardening.

If you’ve  gardened before, you need no explanation.

You plant seeds.

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You jump for joy when the little things sprout.

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Well okay, Kayla didn’t jump for joy, she could care less.  But the picture seemed appropriate.

You transplant from the starter containers to your garden, after contemplating and laboring over getting just the right soil-mix.

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You go outside every day to see if there’s some kind of miniscule change in the size of the plants.

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You water, you fertilize.

You have your husband figure out a way to stake the lil darlins when they get to the point of needing it.

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Since that last picture (above), I have refused to daily document the growth of my heirlooms on film.  I wanted to see a big change.  I think that’s happened.bedgarden stakes2

Anyway, one day you walk outside and you notice this.

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And you know it’s the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

One that’s going to last for just a few months…but ohhhh, the relationship it’s going to be.

And to add to the mix…

basilbedSage, Dill, Flat-leaf Parsley, Mint and lots and LOTS of Basil.  I think I might be close to 20 plants.  In the world of fresh basil, there is no such thing as too much.

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And back to the tomatoes..we kept watching this one plant closely.

See, the seeds came with my heirloom tomato seeds, but the leaves look unlike any tomato leaves I’d ever seen.  I figured heirlooms were just a totally different breed and kept watching it.

As the plant grew, it finally dawned on me recently that I’d seen this type of leaf before.

Like on a zucchini plant.

squashSo, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s not a tomato, but rather than be disappointed, I’m excited to get some squash as well!

I love gardening.  Ya just never know what it’ll bring next.

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The Perfect Tomato Stakes

By Katie

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I don’t call him Mr. Wonderful for nuttin!

Yesterday I asked him if he could come up with a way to stake my tomatoes without using cages.  These (not so little) guys were getting big enough that their weight was causing them to flop over.

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I really hate fighting with the wire cages and all their bulkiness, and well, they make your yard look kind of ugly.

When I came home last night from work, this is what I found outside.

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My husband is one of those people who has a way of solving problems that is always very practical.  He can look at a situation, and within minutes have the fix.

Then I say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” to myself and hug him.

Simple PVC pipe, at 85 cents for a 10 foot section from our local hardware store was cut into pieces.  Here’s the cool thing – he drilled 3 holes at different heights so that the twine we use to tie them to the stakes could be threaded through the holes.  This solves the “slippage” problem I’ve had in the past with stakes, where the twine slides down the stake. He also cut the bottoms to a point by shaving off about 2 inches on one side so they’d easily go into the ground

Cool huh?

Right now we have twine through the first 2 holes, but this one up top will be used as well, when the plants grow that tall.

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I love the way my man thinks…Honey, if you’re reading this, thanks babe! You’re the best!

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Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

~Katie

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