Monday, May 30, 2016

New Composter

Every year I have one big experiment. This year it is a new, in the garden, compost bin. The inspiration came from a P. Allen Smith show on PBS way back in the dark days of winter. Very simply it is a wire cage linked into a tube around which are planted three tomatoes. The wire cage serves as a compost bin that, as garden and food waste is breaking down, fertilizes the tomatoes. It also keeps the tomatoes consistently moist and has, through this chilly Spring, kept the plants warmer. Here, now the end of May, the plants are taller than me, and are loaded with tomatoes. When the plants die back I'll let the compost finish breaking down and dig it into the garden. So simple! So brilliant!
The easiest composter ever! See July 9, 2015 for post on how to grow tomatoes.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Summer squash!

Hand pollinated because the bees are not here this year.

Way back in March I bought squash plants from a big box vendor of garden seedlings. If I hadn't had a plan they'd have been freeze dried several times. After planting them, I covered them with a wire fence tunnel, wrapped it all in Agribon and waited. They were covered for at least a month, warm and cozy in their gauzy cocoon surviving a frost and some really cold nights. Fast forward to early May and we are eating fresh summer squash. Sadly, the bees were hit hard by that same frost weather so I am pollinating them with a small paint brush every day. They are naturally grown using supernatural techniques.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Have mercy! What a beautiful, busy Spring! There have been weddings and celebrations and moving and projects and, naturally, garden plantings aplenty. Every morning I do a walkabout. I pull small weeds, water if needed, harvest, check for bugs (good and bad) and look for distressed plants. (When I worked I did it in the afternoon as soon as I got home from work.)Today I found a dead potato plant. Digging around I found a handful of new potatoes. There were a handful of asparagus spears that were just right for cutting and all the mature lettuce came out. Move over, rover, for summer plantings. Hot weather is on the way!
Hidden treasure!