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Beautiful Natives

July 31st, 2018

I’ve had echinacea blooming in my gardens for as long as I can remember. A few years ago, I purchased a pack of seeds with the intention of starting a mass planting on the hillside behind the garage. Last year, I sowed a row of seeds in the vegetable garden in early spring. They germinated well, grew well, and I transplanted them this spring.


They’re blooming beautifully this year and the bees and butterflies are really enjoying them. I plan on saving seed from these beauties to start more and more plants. Eventually, I’ll have a HUGE swatch of them growing on the hillside behind the garage (across from the main entrance to the vegetable garden). Not only will they be much better than the weeds that are growing there now, they will provide much food for pollinators. Echinacea is probably my favorite native wildflower, I love that it’s so delicate in beauty, but tough as nails as a plant.

Do you grow any native wildflowers in your garden? Which is your favorite?

Garden Harvest, Today and Future

July 30th, 2018

Growing vegetables is a rewarding experience. I enjoy heading out to the garden before dinner to harvest lettuce, onions, and other vegetables to including our meals. There’s also the constant planning of replacing harvested vegetable with vegetables for future meals.

Slowly, I’m getting better and better at successional planting. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. There are times when, not matter what you do, all the lettuce bolts at once (especially when the weather decides to turn scorching). Overall, I get better with each passing year. I still plant way more vegetables than we can ever eat, but when crop fails we have extra of another. If it bolts, the chickens turn it into eggs.

I’m focusing on growing a wider variety of vegetables and fruits in smaller quantities over a longer season. Ideally, I’d love to not spend much time blanching/freezing large quantities of vegetables and spend more time in the garden.

This week I’ve been harvesting: bulb fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, lettuce, peas, peppers, and onions. There are also loads of flowers to cut.

What are you harvesting this week?

Giving it a Go

July 26th, 2018

A long time ago, someone told me that if you cut peas back after they have produced, they will regrow and produce more peas. There must be something about the timing of this, because I always cut my peas back to leave the roots in the ground for nitrogen for the following crop (usually cucumbers since they’re heavy feeders and need the support). They don’t usually grow up again.

This year, I waited a bit longer than usual, and I noticed that the peas were starting to regrow from the base. I figured this must be the ticket, a little bit of fresh growth to feed the roots so they will resurrect.

I’ll keep you posted on how they do, I may get another flush of fall peas from these vines, they may not do anything. If they do produce again, I’ll be interested to see the yield. It certainly would be convenient to get a second crop of peas from one packet of seeds.

Have you ever done this or heard of this? Was it successful?

Procrastination

July 25th, 2018

I always seem to procrastinate tying up tomatoes and sweet peas. I’m not sure why, I think I just get busy with other garden chores and completely forget until they’re a bit out of control. To be fair, these sweet peas were all volunteers, so they grew up where there was no trellis to support them.  A few sweet peas were seeded this spring, but none of them are blooming yet.

I put up a half piece of stock panel behind them, then proceeded to try to untangle them and tie them up a bit.

I was semi-successful, they’ll at least be easier to harvest and should straighten out a bit as they grow more.

Next year, I may try seeding my sweet peas in the fall, at the base of a trellis where I want them to grow of course! Anything I can find that will save me time/effort during the busy spring planting/seeding season will be welcome. Since my volunteer sweet peas have been blooming for over a month and are much more lush than my seeded ones, I think wintersowing is definitely the way to go.

Have you discovered anything that can be sowed in the fall for the following season?

Spotted at a Local Shop

July 24th, 2018

I stopped by Brambles in Belfast two weeks ago to purchase a few items and spotted these lovely cedar planters out front.



Naturally, I took some photos in hopes of being able to make my own. Having a few planters like this to create dividers in the garden would be really nice. I’m thinking of a spot in my garden in particular where I’d love to have a hedge of sorts, but snowfall and plowing won’t allow it. Lavender or boxwood in containers like this would be a fantastic option. They could easily be moved in during the summer and be tucked away in the garage or a shed during the winter.

Have you spotted any items recently you want to try to make for your garden?

Seeds and Sundries
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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.

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