Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Always Reliable - Re-Seeders!

No matter how radical my gardening from one year to the next, these reliable gems always reseed themselves someplace in the garden.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oregon Snow Pea Harvest

Saturday was a splendid day to be in the garden after a couple of days of really intense rainfall. It felt like Christmas. The sun was out a tad before 6am and as I peaked through the shutters to see if there were clouds, I sprang out of bed as if I'd surely find a puppy under a Christmas tree.  After the customary morning duties, I practically ran outside so I could get started on my garden chores - and of course - place some plants in the ground in addition to starting more seeds.

The part of the country I live in is extremely fortunate because we're at least lucky enough to be able to go out and garden, unlike many how are blanketed with snow and don't have any electricity as a result. Realizing this gift was synonymous with puppies under a tree, I worked vigorously for hours:

1.  Completely weeded a portion of the vegetable garden.
2.  Planted several varieties of broccoli, lettuce, onion, leek, fennel, beet, pea, shallots and dill.
3.  Mulched pathways to vegetable garden with Cypress needles (making that portion of the garden smell like a spa).
4.  Harvested a nice bundle of snow peas, lettuce, celery and fennel.
5.  Cleared an area for the squash and the potatoes.
6.  Harvested worm juice for fruit trees.
7.  Composted vegetation from today's clean out.
8.  Found a sleeping lizard under a couple of pots - returned the pots so he could continue his rest.

It's scheduled to rain again over the next couple of days so the seedlings should enjoy the magical elixir. The Oregon Snow Peas thoroughly enjoyed the past rain and provided us with bounty of 50 pods in one harvest today.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wild Dagga [Leonitus Leonurus]: Mary Jane Substitute?

There's no secret that an important part of our gardens include a plethora of flowers. Well, the first of my seed orders arrived and as I reviewed the order with utter glee, I got to the 10th packet and proceeded to scratch my head.  What on earth was 'Wild Dagga',  I thought, and how did it get on my list?

I Googled it.

Figuring I typed it incorrectly, I Googled it again.

The same results resumed.  What in the...marijuana substitute?  I bought a marijuana substitute?  Me?  I can't have my chamomile tea too dark - what on earth would I do with a marijuana substitute?  And why in the heck would I ever consider purchasing such an item?

Hmmm....let's see a photo...ohhh, THAT'S a marijuana substitute?  I just thought the flower was unique and quite interesting...holy hell it's a dope plant.

The first time I ever saw this plant was in the garden of an older neighbor.  Her garden was pretty much a mishmash of various things all which were very distinctive and unique.  This plant stood out with its really interesting vibrant orange petals and odd structure. Now, this initial sighting had to be a good 10 years ago.  When I asked about the plant, she didn't seem to have much information about it and pretty much dismissed it rather casually. So, when I saw it listed in a catalog, I thought I'd try my hand at growing it.  Never did I imagine it had such an interesting reputation as being more than just an intriguing flower although I guess I really should have given the matter a bit more thought when ordering. Here's what was written in the catalog:

"Leonotis leonurus No cowardly lion here. Also known as Lion’s Ear, spectacular and exuberant with a series of orange tubular flowers clustered in collars along the stem. Showy vining shrub can
grow 6' in a summer if started indoors in February. Surface sow; slow germinator needs light. Damaged by frost in the mid-20s and needs full sun to flower. Native to S. Africa where it is used for epilepsy, headache, hypertension, and stomach and bronchial problems. The resinous 5" leaves, rough on top and velvety underneath, are said to have a euphoriant affect. In East African legend Dagga imparts the qualities of a lion." - Fedco of Maine

Silly me...I was just buying it for it's floral qualities and chamomile tea is strong enough for me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stop Eating My Sweet Peas!

The sweet peas that reseed in the garden ALWAYS grow like weeds and the ones I take extra care to plant in transplant pots get mowed down by the snails and slugs almost instantly.  It's really rather annoying...

Guess I'll try again in a couple of weeks and will plan to host a beer party for the slimy pests.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Seed Purchase Plans

So, I'm still planning out my seed purchases.  I've placed a couple of orders but I'm no where near being done and after looking at my spreadsheet I thought to myself, "Are you nuts? How much is too much?".  I'll spare you the number of packets I have designated on my list to purchase but I am curious if anyone else has the same dilemma? Do you order too many seeds each year?

My only caveat is that I will plant them (sometime throughout the year) with a great deal of gusto, enthusiasm and zeal.  Not sure when that will be exactly but it will eventually get done.

The trees arrived today, the berries came in at the beginning of the week, the shallots came in last week and a few seed packets dwindled in over the past couple of days.  I did manage to plant out one bundle of shallots but there are three more still awaiting planting and a few dozen potatoes and dahlias...

I'll get to it (or so I keep telling myself).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Compact Zucchini Plants

Admittedly, I am fascinated by the number of queries I receive asking about compact zucchini plants. While I love the concept, I've personally yet to find such a beast.  Every 'compact' zucchini (or so identified on the package) I've ever grown completely took over my garden whenever I turned my back.  It probably has a great deal to do with the growing conditions and most importantly the weather when determining how 'compact' a plant will become.  So, since my findings make me a little suspect of the idea, I'm going to throw the concept out to others.

Do you know of a compact zucchini plant and if so which?