Thursday, May 28, 2009
I think we both realized that plants CAN be ordered through the mail, however I have never thought to mail some of my more aggressive plants. She mailed them when the weather was not to hot and they arrived ready to plant.
The best comment is, when I mentioned receiving the plants, Pam asked "How do they look?" "Like I would expects plants that have gone through the mail and postage stamping machines to look!"
They're planted and we got a little rain last night, so we'll see...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Simply cut a stem and add rooting hormone powder to the stem, then stick it in the ground and water. I'm CERTAIN it's a little more complicated than that, but I'm willing to try. Just have to walk past the correct bush and make my clippings...
I'll keep you all posted, sometimes propagation with rooting hormones doesn't do well for me!
Monday, May 18, 2009
One to the easiest things I have used to support the growing peas are the short metal fences sold at local hardware stores. the trouble is, they were never tall enough and often the peas swept back towards the ground and grabbed onto one another making it a jungle to pick through.
A few years ago I got the inspiration to build a pea tee-pee. My son was around 2 and I thought he might enjoy playing inside it. The trouble was the peas don't last long enough into the season, so it really didn't work for play - I think I'll save the play-house or tee-pee to pole beans or other summer crops!
Another year I used a collapsible trellis and leaned it against the house - it worked but it still wasn't perfect. So this year I decided to simplify.
I took 4 long sticks. They were each 8+ feet long and pretty sturdy. All I did was use heavy duty ties to create a square, then added string up and down for the peas to climb. The peas are just poking through the ground (I have sprayed them with red pepper spray to deter Buggs) and hopefully soon will begin to climb upward. I'm hoping this year's trellis will allow us to harvest the peas easier...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
CHIVE BLOSSOM VINEGAR
(a great gift as well as a wonderful treat!)
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups fresh chive blossoms
Bring vinegar to a near boil and pour over the chive blossoms. Let stand in large glass bowl or bottle in a cool, dark place for one week. Strain the vinegar and discard blossoms.
Serve as a herbed vinegar & oil dressing or transfer to pretty bottles adding a fresh chive blossom of sprig of fresh chives to each bottle.
CHIVE BLOSSOM OMELET
4 fresh eggs 4 tablespoons sour cream pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives 2 tablespoon unsalted butter 12 rinsed & dry chive blossoms
Lightly beat eggs, sour cream, salt, pepper, parsley and chives. Preheat omelet pan and melt butter. Pour in egg mixture and leave undisturbed until omelet begins to set. Lower heat and, tipping pan slightly, lift edges to let uncooked egg run underneath. When omelet is firm, sprinkle with chive blossoms and fold in half.
CHIVE BLOSSOM SALAD WITH MUSHROOMS (although chive blossoms make an excellent addition to ANY salad!)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
About 12 chive blossoms
1/3 cup chopped chives
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wipe the dirt off the mushrooms with paper towels. Slice the mushrooms and arrange them on a serving platter. Drizzle the oil over the top. Sprinkle the mushrooms with blossoms and chives and season with salt and pepper.
A variation on this would be to slightly saute the mushrooms and sprinkle with a goat cheese or other farmers cheese too!
... Don't miss out on a seasonal treat. Use what Mother Nature gives you to adorn your plate, tempt your palate and please your tummy!
Friday, May 15, 2009
I first planted (sometime in January) chives, parsley and a green basil. The basil never made it so at a later time I added purple basil - Neither basil grew or produced anything. My chives we weak and spindly and my parsley while it produced enough to snip here and there it did not grow a bushy parsley bunch.
Here is a photo of my chives (although they have mostly been clipped) and my parsley! If I had to do it all over would I buy this product? Considering I got an AWESOME deal, yes I would likely buy it again. Am I going to shout my joy from the roof-top. No, I can't say I would endorse this for someone else UNLESS they could get the same great deal, or may be able to pick up one very inexpensively used...
The AeroGarden 3 will give me a few fresh herbs during the winter months when I otherwise can not grow squat!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Lilacs are my FAVORITE summer flower and it really is a shame they don't bloom all summer long. I haven't tried growing any of the ever blooming type lilacs, I'm just not sure they'd smell the same!
I learned through experience, how to keep my lilac bouquet fresh the longest:
- Collect flowers in early morning just as the dew starts to dry, or in the evening.
- Carry a small bucket of lukewarm water to place the newly cut stems immediately into water.
- Harvest "cluster-type" flowers before all the buds have opened.
- Once you have the lilacs at home, remove any foliage that would be submerged in water and re-cut the stems on a slant before putting them in the vase.
- One final tip I was taught was to split the branches, slitting them so that the water can more easily move up the woody stems!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Luckily I can get up to 2 yards of FREE compost each year through Ypsilanti Township - Yes that's right I said FREE!!! Other residents from cities around Ypsilanti Township can get compost from the Township for very reasonable rates - granted you have to shovel it into your own containers (we used our city recycling bins for several trips to the compost yard) or your own vehicle, but it's worth the work!
So get your "dig" on this season and get dirty - You'll be glad you did!
Friday, May 8, 2009
I LOVE planting "newest" the "greatest" and even the "not expected". I wander many a plant and garden sale seeking out what (hopefully) other's won't find. And I look for the perfect specimens. So for all of you Michigan Backyard Gardeners, here is a partial list of Plant and Flower Sales for the month of May:
Friday May 8:
- 29th Annual Matthaei Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale. More than 1,000 varieties of perennials, annuals, native plants, and kitchen favorites at SE Michigan's destination plant sale fundraiser. Plus: free gardening demonstrations for kids and families during the sale. Join Matthaei at the sale and receive 10% off!
- Washtenaw County Conservation District Tree & Plant Sale8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Order your plants and trees online today for delivery May 15.
- Growing Hope Plant Sale, Ypsilanti. Growing Hope, an Ypsilanti-based nonprofit organization, is holding its fifth annual plant sale May 16 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Some of the items available for sale include raised beds, vegetable and herb seedlings, edible planters and youth-made hand balm. All proceeds benefit Growing Hope, which aims to help people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access.
- The annual Eastern Market Flower Day - Admission is free. Attended by more than 150,000 people annually, Flower Day at the Eastern Market is one of the largest flower shows in the country. Hundreds of flower growers from Michigan, Canada and neighboring states fill the market with their colorful array offerings. Over 15-acres of the highest quality annuals, perennials, foliage, shrubbery, trees, exotics, tropical plants, flats, hanging baskets and more will be available for purchase.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
They moved to our new coop this week, at just over 8-weeks of age - They've adjusted wonderfully, entering and exiting the coop into the run at will. It was only the first morning where they all wanted to exit the coop at the exact same moment that was rather comical... Imagine 4 of them getting stuck trying to exit door!
The family enjoys watching them, and as my husband says, the coop is like TV to our dog. He will sit for HOURS watching the birds! So long as he doesn't try tormenting or eating them, I'm good with that!
Hopefully we'll get some eggs sometime in mid-July, I'll keep everyone posted!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Another product I use through MOST of the summer is a red pepper spray (or a hot pepper wax spray) to deter Bugs (that's Bunny) from eating the tender shoots and plants sprouting so lovingly from my garden. I know that I can MAKE some of the hot pepper concoction however my one and only experience in doing so left me with stinging eyes and lips for DAYS!!! So I simply buy a bottle that lasts through most of the summer. Once I chase Bugs away he (or she) rarely comes back! I've also used a version of this with garlic that works well and even tried one with tobacco juice (YICK) I'll never do THAT one again...
The thing that gets me though, as we become a more "green friendly" society, why is it still so HARD to find these products. I had to order my mint oil spray from an online vendor this year after NOT finding it at 5 stores!
If I feel ambitious in the next few days, I'll post some of the concoctions I have successfully used (before having the kids!).