2018 Gardening Journal
This is good point to let you know that all the rain and snow melt that hits the roof of our house is funneled from the downspouts to the goldfish pond, so the pond gets a fresh water source and when it gets filled it overflows to the orchard to water the trees and feed the trees from the fish waste nutrients. As an organic and a green family it is a easy way of creating some great fruit.
Reading Seed Catalogues as it is in single digits this first week in January
It went up to 53 degrees for a couple of days and we planted our Christmas tree. We left it in the house until earlier this week when we took it out when it went above 32 degrees and let it get acclimated to the cold and planted it on Thursday as it hit 53 degrees. Also took time to plant some seeds in the greenhouse so when the temperature becomes right the seeds of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and kale start to grow. More seed catalogs to check out. We did do a video "JOURNAL 2105 "of planting our Christmas Tree, check it out!
In February I am getting ready to plant Tomato seeds in trays depending on how warm it gets and more important how sunny it gets. I will put out tomato seeds in the green house. All the cold weather plants like spinach, cabbage etc.has been planted in the greenhouse but still a little too cold to germinate. The seed catalogs are a great diversion. It is still too cold to do much. This weekend I will prune some of the fruit trees where there is a need.
The weather broke, the snow is almost gone but it is only a break, we got up to 60 today but by night 20 and cold again. No sigh of seedlings yet. It has been really cold at night so the are not germinating yet, and only a couple of days where the sun has brought up the greenhouse up enough to thaw out the planted containers. I will be setting up the planting trays for the tomato seeds the first week of March. I will do some pruning of more of the trees that need it. Seed catalogs are still coming in and the variety is good to see. We got allot of rain a little over an inch. The Rock/ Rain garden became a pond . The natural slope of our yard, backyard sloping down toward the front yard creates a stream bed, backyard to front yard to Rain/ Rock garden in front yard. It was here before the houses and mother nature just lets us know she is still in charge. For us it gives us more of a variety of planting opportunities and more landscape visual variety.
The weather warming up and more sunny days has sent up seedlings and breaking ground of cold weather vegees. I feed the birds with sunflower seeds during the winter and spring because I want them to stay to nest and raise a family and take advantage of the insects to feed their young and keep a natural control on insects that appear as my garden and orchard progresses over the growing season. Did some more pruning. I also planted sunflower seeds in in greenhouse and they will give me an indication when they sprout, that I can put tomato seeds in the greenhouse and daylight hours are warm enough to sprout tomato seeds. I swept out the greenhouse and the smell of a warm greenhouse is one I like as is evergreen forest smells. Can't wait for outside garden ground to warm up to put out all the cold weather veggies into the ground.
Still pretty cold for March but the cold weather veggies are all up and starting to get secondary leaves in the greenhouse. I planted some of my tomato seeds I saved from last year but a little too cold yet in the greenhouse for them to sprout yet. Did some more pruning of the trees and raked the front yard completely. Haven't seen a Robin yet but the buds on the Magnolia are swelling and growing. The ground is too wet but it has thawed out so if it dry's out enough I will rototill the leaf pieces I mulch on the garden last fall.
It was good warm day , I rototilled the part of the garden that the sun hits all winter, as it has dried out and I planted onions, radish (two types), cabbage starts, Romaine and Bi bb Lettuce starts from the local nursery . The greenhouse plants are an inch tall and will be ready to transplant in April. It is still a cold forecast for next week but it doesn't matter with cold weather veggies. I also picked up Pansy's and planted them in our front yard planters for our traditional start of planting season that we have done every Spring since we arrived on our quarter acre. Tulips by the house have broke ground.
Cold weekend but as long as sun shines my greenhouses plants (Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Cabbage, etc)are thriving a little over an inch tall. Did plant some more seeds in the greenhouse, Dill, HollyHock and Peppers. no sign of Tomato seedling but it has not got warm enough in the greenhouse during the day to get them to germinate. The plants out in the garden are alive and well and as soon the establish, growth above will start. it has just rained so the radish will germinate and onions will begin to grow.
Cold day for April, Holiday, seed catalogs.
Did some more pruning and got the branch's cut up and bailed in twine so the city can shred the the branches into mulch for reuse around the city. The cold weather vegees in the greenhouse are growing well had to water them today . I catch rain and this case snow water in a rain barrel .The tulips and daffodils are up and doing well. The rhubarb has popped thru.
A Ice and Snow Storm need I say More, just beautiful!!
It is much warmer and the Siberian Squill is first to bloom , did some more tree pruning . The spinach is almost ready pick in the greenhouse. The lettuces are all 2 plus inches tall. Raked the front yard . The cold weather veggies in the garden came thru the rain , sleet and snow like real troopers. In fact the melting snow was a help because it is a little dry spring. Planted some more seeds in the greenhouse including sunflowers, tomato and corn.
It has been the 4th coldest April on record so everything is about 3 weeks behind, which in the case of fruit blossoms it has delayed them into a more friendly environment as average temps in May will better to bloom in.The onions are up and so are the radish but slow going until it warms up a little more and we need rain which it has not rained much at all. If you look back at my past year journals there is a wide range of firsts , first blooming etc. The greenhouse starts are doing well as it has been sunny and made a good growing environment. The first blooming Daffodils. I changed the pond liner and started up the pond and did some rock arranging. Rototilled the last part of the garden that dried up enough . Did a little more pruning. The goose berries are starting to bud out. The acaci berry plants have come to life. The iris's are breaking ground. The Redbud blossoms are just begriming to show up. The blossoms on the fruit are present but will be a while before any opening.
The weather is a little warmer did some more pruning as the city picked up my branches and shredded them for mulch on city flower beds. I bought a tray of a variety of tomato plants at the and put them in the greenhouse for growing bigger when they go in the garden. Also have the seeds I saved and planted in the greenhouse. All the fruit trees have buds on them including the peach that grown from peach pit except apple trees. Everything is growing nice in the greenhouse. The rock garden has come to life hostas and the peony. The cactus is moving up and toward the sun. The globe sticker flowers are growing fast. The raspberries are leafing out. The front yard flower garden is in full bloom , daffodils, tulips and pansies. The onions are growing but the others lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli are doing little as the ground is still cold.
It is warmer , most of the trees are in the process of blooming pretty much all at once because of the cold spring. The tulips are at their end and Daffodils are done except in the back yard where they haven't bloomed yet, the ground is just warming up as it is less sunny. I planted tomatoes , cauliflower and broccoli in the raised bed as we got rain. All the greenhouse plants are doing good. In the garden the onions are growing but the cauliflower, lettuce and broccoli are just stalled as the cold weather and little rain until now has delayed everything. I rototilled the rest of the garden again and planted beans, peas, corn and beets. Still a little too cold to put out tomato plants as they would stall if planted in cold ground. The gooseberries and raspberries have flowers on them. The rock garden is doing real well as we got rain . The transplanted Rhubarb is doing well in the front yard flower garden. No sign of life in the Fig outside but it is early yet. I will bring the Fig tree in the house outside next week. The Evergreens are budding out as their new growth begins.
The front yard is in bloom the crabapples, magnolia, plum and redbud. All the fruit trees in the back yard have bloomed except the apple trees. We had our first romaine head of lettuce from the greenhouse. It easier just to let the lettuce to grow in the greenhouse this spring as it was too cold and dry to get them to grow any significance in the garden . The lettuce and broccoli plants we put out in early April have done little as it was too cold and no rain in April. So we will leave some lettuce in the greenhouse for harvesting and plant the rest of the lettuces out this week as we got rain and is warmer now. I put out some tomato plants in the pots by the south side of our house where the micro climate will grow them faster than the garden till summer comes. The tomato plants I bought are doing well in the greenhouse and will be twice the size when I bought them when I put them out in the garden next week . The tomato seeds I planted are seedlings about 2 inches tall and will be ready to plant by June. The corn starts I bought have doubled in size and corn seeds are just starting to grow in the greenhouse.
Planted all the tomato plants I bought from the nursery into the garden . The potted containers on the south side of the house are doing well. I kept two tomato plants in the greenhouse which have tomatoes on them. The tomato plants I planted by seed from last years saved seeds are doing well and I will plant them all over the yard the first week of June. The onions we are using. The beans, beets and peas are up and growing. We are getting our rain this month so it is making everything so green especially the rock/rain garden and barrel garden. In the green house everything is growing well and the pepper seedlings have appeared. I will do one more cutting of spinach, the lettuce is doing great. The evergreens are hitting their growth spurt. The rain /rock garden an barrel garden are doing great. The tomato plants in the raised bed are doing well. Did some more pruning of the trees of dead branches.
So far we have little apricots, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, gooseberries and an off year for crabapples, just at the tops of the the tree. The raspberries are forming looks like bumper crop. The Carpathian walnuts are also forming. The lettuce tubs have come out of the green house and put in the shades of the trees so it won't bolt and we can have lettuce longer. We had our first cherry red tomatoes which came off of the two big plants we left in the greenhouse. The tomato plants from seeds are ready to transplant out in the yard. We will plant these all over the yard and see what we get from last year saved seeds. The corn starts I bought are doing well and I put them in composted planting pots and the seed corn is starting out. We will grow corn in the green house as raccoons and squirrels wreck havoc with our corn long before it is mature. In the garden peas,and beans are about 3 inches tall. The green onions we are already using in potato salad. The tomato plants in the garden are growing . The beets are up and the fancy Sunflowers I planted around the garden are up, plus the ones that appear each year from last year sunflowers that the birds dropped to the ground looking for the fat seeds. The rock/rain garden is doing great as is the barrel garden. The rhubarb has come on strong. The milkweed is up and thriving. Sunflowers in the barrel are 3 inches tall.
It is getting more like summer finally tomato plants are doing well the whole garden is growing better . I put up the tomato sticks . We had some more cherry tomatoes from the plant we had in the greenhouse that took off producing right away. We got some rain so it is helping but this coming weekend very hot. I moved some more of the Milkweed that had sent out runners to the raised garden. The corn in the greenhouse is growing well already a foot tall. The pumpkin and squash seeds are coming up now that is warm .The fruit trees are doing very good so far. Picked up a reduced apple tree and planted it. The cactus is responding well with the hot weather. Planted out a bunch more of the tomato plants I grew from seed all over the yard.
It has rained 5 plus inches and has stalled the garden, I have trimmed some more branches , it has been too cool for any real growth in tomatoes and the rain just helps the trees . The garden is just mud and needs to dry out to get anything start growing again. The tomato plants by the house in the planters are doing well. The rock/rain garden is doing good with rain. The fruit trees will do good with the rain. It is still about a month behind now with this rain and cool weather.The mulberries are good eating everyday and we had some more cherry tomatoes from the green house. The Acaci Berry plants are growing and the gooseberries are getting bigger.
Only thing I can do is trim some more tree branches as another week with 5 plus inches of rain has slowed the garden and the onions began rotting in the mud. The Evergreens are doing well. I transplanted some more tomato plants left in the greenhouse although they may be better off in the greenhouse with all this rain. Rain/Rock garden is doing well, although the Peony still has not bloomed, so still about a mouth behind. The Tiger Lilies bloomed. The Rhubarb is doing well. The mulberries are doing good, eating them every day. The corn in the garden stopped growing with the garden being all mud. Peaches and pears are doing well. Walnuts also doing well. Off year for crabapples and once again a few apple blossoms on the Apple tree.
The Fruit trees are doing just OK except Apricots and plums, most of fruit has dropped off, so few fruit from them and fire byte got the cherry trees. but the Peach and Pear trees are doing well, I am eating mulberries every day. It will be a good year for raspberries again. We do have goose berries this year, not a lot but a good sign that the transplanting them did not hurt them. just about everything in the greenhouse has been transplanted out. I am growing corn in the greenhouse and it has been so cloudy and wet and now 4 days in the 90's so it will be another experiment. There is some corn in the garden but is far behind because of the wet weather with 6 plus inches of rain in 5 days 2 weeks in the row. It has made growing a garden difficult this year. The positive note is Evergreen trees are growing great, and Carpathian Walnut trees have allot of nuts on them. I tied up the tomatoes that needed it but some are still mired in mud , hopefully it will dry out with hot weather minus the rain. The rain has made all flower gardens to do well. The milkweed has attracted Monarch Butterflies again this year.
The week is hot and the tomatoes plants are starting to dry out and grow again . I tied up the tomatoes plants that needed it. The Raspberries are ripening, picked a couple Ziploc bags of Raspberries plus what I could eat. This will last for about 16 days. The beans and snow peas are producing some but still too wet. The onions that didn't rot are just recovering, still wet. The peaches are doing well. I trimmed some more tree branches.The gooseberries are about ready. The walnuts are growing fast , the squirrels are already testing them.The Monarchs are back and laying eggs on our Milkweed. The rock/ Rain garden is still about a month behind because it was so wet, but slowly drying out. The barrel garden is in it's glory Tiger Lilies , Milkweed, Hostas, Rhubarb, Pansies and Pinks.
Things are finally drying out , tomato plants seem to be taking off with the heat. The squirrels are testing the walnuts. I am eating the Gooseberries as they ripen. Eating my fill on mulberries. The heat is making the lettuce to bolt. The peaches grew allot with all the rain last month. The Monarchs still around laying eggs. Picking raspberries each day. Pruned some more trees. The barrel garden just Perfect. Corn is growing again with the heat but not real consistent. Beans are growing and vineing about. The squash vines are growing again with the heat.The rock/rain garden is starting grow again and the dry weather is helping allot.
Picking raspberries every day, at least one Zip lock bag full a day, often two. Another dry week The tomato plants are doing well, but the last of the lettuce bolted. Peaches love this hot weather. Eating Gooseberries as they ripen. The rock/rain garden is finally in bloom. The Milkweed are in bloom. It has been really dry, just opposite of June. The mulberries still producing, take a little each time each day to eat my fill. Tied up some more tomato plants as the heat has given them a boost. Did some pruning of some more trees. My favorite for raspberries is to put them in yogurt. The squash vines are now starting to grow with this heat. The squirrels are eating and taking the walnuts even though they are not mature and ready to eat by humans, soft and real bitter.
For July it is one of the driest on record so the onions that are left died back with the garlic. The end of the raspberries but a bumper crop. The saturn peaches are just about ready. The walnuts have been eaten or taken away by the squirrels. The squirrels test for eating, for them, not humans and consume and hide the rest long before they are ready for humans. I need to find a way to keep them away. Most of the tomatoes plants have tomatoes on them. It is just really dry and hot. The cactuses are doing great. The rhubarb is ready. I ate the gooseberries as they ripened, next they will have more. The rock garden is blooming with daisies and cone flowers. The Tiger lilies have finished. The peony has not bloomed at all. The corn in the garden and greenhouse has produced small little ears of corn so far. The peaches seem to be doing well . I have Bartlett and Kieffer pears. The Sunflowers are loving the heat. Did a little more pruning of the trees .
Rototilled the garden where the onions , lettuce and radish were and planted the fall crop of lettuce, radish and spinach. Picking a bowl of peaches a day , we will can them next week. Tomatoes are starting to ripen regularly. Did some tree trimming. Tied up the tomato vines as they growing much better with this heat. We had the wettest June and the driest July so Aug has been some where in between. Made some raspberry preserves. The other two peach trees with peaches are smaller yet , a different type of peach. Picked some Rhubarb and cut in pieces and froze it. The acaci berry plants have not produced any fruit yet.
Picking about a bowl of peaches a day to get ready to can. The tomatoes are starting to ripen regularly. Tacos are my favorite with home grown tomatoes. The fall season of lettuce, radish and spinach are breaking ground. The cactus is growing well in this heat. The corn was eaten by a raccoon. The bean plants are growing but no sign of beans yet. The rock/rain garden is fading with daisies and cone flowers left. The barrel is still doing good and Milkweed has pods on them. Did some tree trimming. The squash vines are now really crawling all over finally. We have a few figs on our fig tree we bring every year, one outside is growing well no figs yet. The sunflowers have have attracted the Gold finches.
We canned 10 and half quarts of peaches from our main tree. We have two more trees to ripen up which are a different type. We have 4 types of peach trees. The tomatoes are ripening more now . My favorite BLT's are on the menu. The peaches were canned with honey. The rain /rock garden is winding down. Tied up the tomatoes. The fall crop is showing signs of to grow faster. They like cool nights.
We harvested the next tree of peaches for canning and canned 4 quarts of peaches, one tree left. We canned three pints of tomatoes. We are eating most of the tomatoes as they ripen. The fall lettuce and radish doing OK . Most of the rock garden flowers are done. The sunflowers are at their peak and bring us many Goldfinches. Did some more tree trimming. Had a little broccoli. I have potted plants of tomatoes in the green house so when it gets colder I can extend the season. The milkweed is still attracting Monarchs. We have some more Figs on the tree in the pot, but nothing on the one in the ground.
The grapes are ripe as we have been eating for the last 10 days before the birds find them. The last peach tree is just about ready to harvest. Well it has been raining allot again and the garden is flooded again and it will be hard on all the garden except the squash we have a least one squash that is looking like a pumpkin but I just save seeds. I planted them and because each year is so different any squash or pumpkin is a plus, seeds are free as I save them. The vines are all over but because they got a late start with the weather any squash is a good thing.
Picked a whole lot of green beans and a few more tomatoes . We have had enough tomatoes to always have fresh tomatoes but not enough to can. The green beans are really good. The fig trees has more figs on it. The fig tree in the ground did not produce any. Next week we are going to get large pumpkins from our favorite pumpkin patch. We have learned that to produce pumpkins in any quantity and size we need to put allot of area to growing them so we decide just put a small area for them and grow many more other veggie so not all our eggs are in one basket. This year was so eradicate that we have a couple pumpkins . Our favorite part of fall is Halloween and we have fun decorating.
We had a hard frost so all the Pumpkin vines were killed off but the beans are ok and tomatoe plants by the house and in the green house are ok . Beets and turnips are fine. We can see the pumpkin that grew a vine into the peach tree and we have pumpkin hanging in the Peach tree. Trimmed some more trees. We have most of the Halloween Lights up. Picked some more beans. A couple of more tomatoes turned red that where green in the house picked after the first frost.
This week the freeze hit killed off the tomatoe, beans, and squash. So we had a bucket of beans we picked and a bowl of green tomatoes. The total of 4 pumpkins, one still in the Peach tree yet as the vine grew up the the Peach tree this summer. What is still growing is the beets and turnips. The Figtree has about 20 Figs on it and I drag into the garage cold frosty nights. The one in the ground survived the first hard frost but will be dropping it's leaves shortly. The tomatoe plants in the Greenhouse where also killed off except a few , but the lettuce and spinach seeds I planted in the Greenhouse have sprouted. My wife made pumpkin pie and the beans have meal side dishes. We have the Halloween Lights out and the pumpkins carved , turned out well. The Kieffer Pear is left with afew pears at the top enough to eat or can. Cleaned up the the garden composted everthing and put away the tomatoe stakes.
The Fig Tree in the planter the Figs are getting close to being ripe, while I drag the the container in and out of the garage when it gets too code at night. The Fig Tree in the ground grew good but did not produce Figs , it is going into hibernation.. We got a few Kieffer pears this year, enough to can a few quarts. We have a few green tomatoes left, turning red. The turnips and beets keep growing. The lettuce and spinach in the Green House have sprouted. I pruned and trimmed the Apple and Crabapple trees. Mulched the leaves in the lawn and garden.The Halloween video of our decoration is below, always fun to do.
The lettuce and spinach in the greenhouse have sprouted and are growing but we are getting an early cold push, they may not make it next weekend. Mulched leaves into the garden and tied up last of braches from pruning to be mulched by the county.
All the leaves are down and I mulched them into the garden and lawn. Caught 3 of the Goldfish from the pond and brought them in to the aquarium downstairs to over winter. Four left to catch yet and bring in . It is going to get cold an high of 23 early week. the last few of green tomatoes turned red and used on burgers.
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