Saturday, May 30, 2009

Earth Friendly Demise for Pesky Growth

Put a cup undiluted vinegar (5% or better...) into a pump sprayer and add 1/4 cup of dish liquid, set the nozzle at a thin stream and zap the centers of the pesky plants between walking stones and at lawn edges. Next day they're dead and a few days later no trace of them is left.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Perenials in Raised Bed

I took pictures of some of the flowers in bloom. Someday I'll remember what kind they are. Also the Pagoda Dogwoods have a lot of buds on them. I see some of the Bleeding Hearts are in bloom, both red and white. The lilacs are in full bloom as are the tulips. The Honeysuckle Vine has a million flower buds on and the Sweet Autumn Clematis is growing up on the fence as are the grape vines. Rhubarb is huge, too much to pick so I offered it to other people and have had a few takers.
I moved my house plants on the summer porch and recovered the ratan chairs in green and white. It's been very nice sitting out there in the evenings having my tea and reading. Or when the kids are here we play Star Wars Monopoly or go fish out there. It's a very nice spot.
Looking for a car that's a little newer than my twenty year old one. Owen wants me to save my Honda for him...I guess I'll have it another ten years until he's ready to drive.
Have some little flags for the kids to put out tomorrow in the yard, in addition to the usual regular size one.
Have a happy memorial day remembering your loved ones.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yard work

cut the grass, not much grass left but it takes a while to cut cause I have to go around so many obstacles LOL. nap time then I'll do the clipping and plant two tomato plants...Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter. I usually plant Brandywine and Old German but decided to go with the other this year. I also need to plant some chives and some lemon balm. Still have the pink garden to put in but Hali doesn't seem interested lately. Peach tree didn't make it. No growth after the rabbits ate all the bark off. Just buds and then they died. Lots of flowers in bloom in the raised bed I planted last year. Some of them are Bee Balm,Grape Hyacinth, Beardtongue, Columbine,Danford Iris, Bistort, Wild Geramium and Bleeding Heart. The 4 Lilacs are in bloom to and the Lavender has buds on. Of course on the other hand I have the little emerald pines that the rabbits ate...thank goodness they don't like rhubarb. My plan is to finish a few things in the yard and then set up my hammock chair and read until dark. Or maybe I'll get a garden light. I wonder if they have solar lights bright enough to read by.

Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato was developed in the early 1930's by a man named M.C. “Radiator Charlie” Byles. Byles was a radiator repairman who, like many of his countrymen, struggled to keep his finances in order during the Great Depression. As the story goes, Radiator Charlie cross-bred the largest tomatoes he could find in his hometown of Logan, West Virginia, and sold the resulting plants for a dollar each. The profits he earned were substantial enough that he was able to pay down his mortgage with them!
Mortgage Lifter is an indeterminate tomato variety, which means that the plants will grow vines and continue to grow taller as the gardening season progresses. Without pruning, the plant will continue to grow longer. To allow the plant to focus on growing higher yields of fruit, pinch the suckers on the tomato vine, and stake the plant well.
Thomas Jefferson grew Mortgage Lifter tomatoes in his extensive vegetable gardens at Monticello from 1809 until his death in 1826. Indeed, many gardeners fall in love with this tomato, growing it year after year in backyard vegetable gardens all over North America.
How to Grow Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes from Seed
Growing heirloom tomatoes from seed is not a difficult task, even for beginner vegetable gardeners. Sow Mortgage Lifter tomato seed indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Seeds should be sown in the seed starting medium of choice 1/4” deep, placed in a seed starting tray and covered with a plastic dome or plastic cling film in a warm room out of direct sunlight until seedlings emerge. Use of a heating mat designed for seed starting may be useful in cooler climates.
When the Mortgage Lifter seedlings begin to emerge, remove the plastic cover and position the tray under a fluorescent light, 1 to 2” above the seedling. As the seedlings grow, keep the light about an inch from the top of the growing leaves. Regular fluorescent shop bulbs work just fine. After the first set of true leaves appears, fertilize the seedlings weekly with a diluted solution of 20-20-20 fertilizer. Transplant the seedlings into larger pots, if necessary, to facilitate root growth.

Brandywine. While there are many stories about the Amish origins of this tomato, William Woys Weaver has documented this tomato as being introduced in January 1889 by the Philadelphia seed firm of Johnson & Stokes. Flavor is the sole reason that this Pennsylvania heirloom tomato from the nineteenth century remains available. The large pinkish fruits range in size from 10 to 24 ounces and are borne on vigorous vines. Fruits are flattened and irregular, a pinkish red. This is the true Brandywine from the famous Tomato Guru Ben Quisenberry. This outstanding large pink tomato is considered by many to be the best tasting of all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

spring flowers

My apple tree from inside
My apple tree from outside...not quite in full bloom

Early spring is past and now comes the work phase of gardening

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

The fifth of May already. These are the few flowers I have in bloom today. Haven't gotten to the weeds yet. I hate to pull out green and growing things after such a long white winter.


Birds have five basic needs: food,water,shelter from hot or cold weather,nesting sites, and protection from predators. Supply these and you will have many more birds around your home to entertain you and control pests.Be sure feeders and bird houses are located where they cannot be reached by cats.

Lobelia is a great annual for hanging baskets or container gardens with stems that trail about 8 inches. The Cascade variety is especially bright in colors of pink,white,lilac,maroon,violet and blue. Most flowers have a white eye.

Pinch back annuals when 4 -6 inches high to promote bushy growth. Some that require pinching are zinnias,petunias,and salvia.

Plant ground cover under shade trees that don't allow enough sunlight to sustain grass. Perwinkle and English ivy are two ground cover plants that grow well in shade.

It's frog season. The practical reason for preserving frog and toad habitat is that the animals eat lots of insects and mosquitoes. At night, toads are out there devouring those nasty slugs that are eating your plants. Frogs and toads need clean water and cover. Install a pond or even a little water garden, and you'll be amazed how quickly frogs will find it. Along the edges of your yard, keep some native grasses. Set the mower at a higher level, and don't spray for dandelions every couple weeks

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Grandkids with their trees

This is Owen with the tree I planted for him when he was born. It's a white Magnolia and it is five years old just like he is. The blossoms are just starting. It was a bright sunny day today so a good day for getting a picture.
This is Hali with the pink Magnolia I got for her when she was born. Both Hali and the Magnolia are almost three years old.
We had fun outside today playing LaCrosse and Golf. It was too windy for flying kites.
Kids have left to go fishing with their Dad now and it's suddenly quiet.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels,
Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue -------
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!

Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?
Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?

Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things -------
Little things that happen?
And Do the Angels' wings
Make a noise?
And can He hear Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me -------for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue -------
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

Mary Dixon Thayer who wrote more than one poem for Our Lady, is the author.
This prayer-poem was popularized in the 1950s by Archbishop Fulton Sheen.