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A Great Combination

May 21st, 2009

Sometimes when you plant things together they don’t look quite as good as you’d hoped so you have to move a few plants. Then there are those times when things to just look great together on accident.
I planted this peony 4 years ago and this is the first time it’s bloomed. I couldn’t even remember what color it was 2 years ago when I planted this sage, but what a great combo they are!
Most of the flowers in my gardens are purple and pink, I think they compliment each other well. I happen to really love white flowers as well and have a few of them sprinkled around the gardens. I like to keep things simple with just a few colors.

What’s your favorite color combo in the garden?

Idleness? Never

May 20th, 2009

“Trouble Springs From Idleness.”
~~ Benjamin Franklin

No time for idleness here at Chiot’s Run. We’ve been busy, especially the last couple days. We have planted 6 trees and built a few rock walls, added a few more flowerbeds. I’ve also been planting most of my veggies in the outside gardens. It sure keeps us busy, no time to get into trouble that’s for sure.
The same can’t be said for Lucy though, all she’s got is idleness. She’s currently enjoying sleeping amongst the forget-me-nots and snapping at all the bees that are trying to get nectar from it.

What about you, any time for idleness or is the gardening season in full swing?

Homemade Potting Soil

May 19th, 2009

I had a productive day in the garden yesterday. I moved one of my compost bin and harvested and sifted a bunch of compost to use in my homemade potting mix. I have so many potted plants that I would spend a fortune if I bought potting mix for all of my pots. I also like that I can mix up my own organic mix with no chemicals, unlike much of what you buy.

So what recipe do I use for my own homemade potting mix?
1 part peat moss (or coconut coir if you don’t like using peat)
1 part compost
1 part soil
1 part vermiculite or perlite (I prefer vermiculite)
I’m usually making a big batch so I measure with wheelbarrow loads, but you may find it easier to measure in 2 gallons because you can mix a batch in the wheel barrow.

I usually add some of my homemade rock/mineral fertilizer to give it some goodness for the plants. If you don’t have your own mixed up you can use an organic fertilizer in each pot depending on what you’re planting in each pot and the size of the pot (I like Dr Earth Fertilizers). If you use the 2 gallon method for measuring to each batch you can add: 1/2 cup of each: lime, greensand, rock phosphate, kelp meal, soybean meal (I usually use blood meal & bone meal in place of soybean & kelp meal).

What kind of potting soil do you use? store bought or do you mix your own?

BRRRR, it’s Cold Outside!

May 18th, 2009

Just when you think you think the last of the cold weather is over, you get a freeze warning. Freeze warnings are different than frost warning. When we get a frost warning, I rarely cover things because of the location of our property. We’re surrounded by huge trees and we’re on top of the biggest hill in the area. We rarely get frosts up here at Chiot’s Run.
Freeze warnings however are a different story. They had us scrambling last night to carry all of the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants into the garage for safe keeping. Fortunately I only have a few things in pots that can’t be carried in easily, so I covered those with big pots.
What really has me worried is our strawberry patch. They’re blooming so wonderfully and we have tons of little green strawberries forming. I would hate to lose my berries to a late spring freeze.
So they got the royal treatment, a big old blanket covers part of them and a heavy row cover is protecting the rest. If it gets as cold as they say it might (as low as 28) that might not even be enough to save them. I’m hoping our protected location up on the hill will help.
When we were driving home last night the ice indicator beeped in the car, it was down to 36 already at 11 pm.

Do frost and freeze warnings get you out scrambling to protect tender plants? What methods do you use to keep the cold away?

Around the Garden

May 17th, 2009

So what’s going on around the garden here at Chiot’s Run?
I expanded the flower bed up front to accommodate a dwarf cherry tree I planted last year. I was going to move a few cat mint plants to the new garden area, but I decided to plant some of my broccoli & cabbage plants there since I’m out of room in the raised beds out back.
My new batch of lettuce and arugula is growing nicely, I harvested a little for a salad for diner last night. We’ve really been enjoying the salad season this spring.
The garlic is doing incredibly well, I’m very excited to harvest some. As you can see, some of it is about 3 feet tall! Unfortunately the deer ate my peas, so no peas for us this spring. I think if I want peas I’m going to have to grow them in containers on my front porch, or put up a really tall fence.

How’s everyone’s garden growing so far this spring?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.