As a gardener you learn that each year is a new year and no two years are the same, so reading though your Journals of the past years is as important to your success as this is because weather, pest, soil and time spent all effect growing and no two years are presented with the same conditions. I have my Journals 6 years back on this web site and invite you to read and see how each year, each growing season is presented with vastly different conditions. I also have videos in the Journals of our efforts and fun and some even funny which will give you some ideas to create your best gardens and landscape for you.

 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. One of the great things I did when we bought our house is that each year at Christmas we bought a Balled and Bur lapped Evergreen Tree, brought it in for a week decorated it and planted on Christmas Day. We did this ever year and landscaped our quarter acre and also created a wind break for winter keep our house warmer, made our yard aesthetically appealing and to save energy.

I encourage you to feed your local birds and the migrating birds in the spring as they will eat bugs that are coming out in the spring to feed their young as they nest or stop off to their ultimate nesting area. This will help in keeping insect populations to a more manageable level without using pesticides.

January 2019

Reading Seed Catalogues as it is strange weather in January. I ordered seeds early so I can get what I want in case they run out. I also have all the seeds I saved from last fall. I am saving Paper Towel and T. P. tubes to use for my seed starts in Feb.. In late Feb.. I can put them out in the Green House. I cut them in one and half segments put seed starting soil in them and put 2 seeds in each tube. The tubes fade away in the soil over time.

 

Feb.. 4th

My seeds came in the mail. It has been once again a strange winter it got down to 23 below zero last thursday and went up to 47 today. This is a little early for seed starting, another week or so for cold weather seeds like lettuce, kale, cabbage etc.The snow is almost gone but it is Feb..

March 3rd

Well March is coming in like a Lion. Tomorrow the high will be 8 degrees and forecast for the next 2 weeks is at or below 32 degrees. Needless to say planting the cold weather seeds in the green house will be delayed about 2 weeks. The winter is not letting go. Some fun news the fig tree I bring in every year has leafed out and now has little figs on it. The one planted in the ground outside probably won't show any sign of life until the last week in May.

March 12th

The weather is getting better so I am doing some seed planting of onions, peas, snow peas, kale, tomatoes, and peppers in trays. I will put the trays of seeds in the green houses tomorrow. The snow will be gone by this weekend. The birds are loud in the morning, a good sign of spring and saw my first robins fighting over territory as we have trees thru out our quarter acre of property. I also will plant spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage seeds in planters in the greenhouse. Some of the spinach, lettuce and kale will be left in the greenhouse to grow to have early salad greens as some of the tomato plants will stay in to get early tomatoes.

March 17th

The day got up to 42 degrees, but sunny all day and brought up the greenhouse up to 79 degrees, which will jump start the seeds. I cleaned up the yard of tree branches and did a little pruning of the trees. The winter thaw in Jan. was good because I got to rake up most of the leaves in the yard, so I have head start in yard clean up. I also cleaned up the raised bed so I think I will plant radish and lettuce when it thaws out completely and later when it gets warm enough in May plant Tomato plants. The garden itself is thawed and muddy where the sun hits it all day.

March 24th

The ritual we have each year is to go get Purple Pansies from our local nursery as soon as available and plant them in all our planters to start out our year plus give our neighbors a little look to the spring. The raised bed thawed out and I cleaned it up and planted lettuce, radish, kale and spinach in it. In May I will plant tomato and pepper plants in the raised bed. I planted some more spinach, lettuce, and kale in the green house. The spring start is cooler than normal but this the midwest and anything can happen. Did some more raking of the yard. The garden is completely thawed out now. We need a week with no rain to dry it out so I can plant the cold weather veggies as turnips, rutabaga, beets, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. The birds are nesting in our yard and one in knot hole on our cedar siding of our garage in which I put a box on the inside of the garage so they can nest in it. I tied up the trimmed and broken branches so the city can pick up and shred so they can use as mulch on city gardens.

March 31st

Spinach, Lettuce and Peas are up in the greenhouse. I mulched all the raked up leaves in the garden with Mulching Lawn mower . Hopefully the garden will dry out enough this week so to rotor till the garden and plant the cold weather veggies on the weekend. A cold day, started at 23 degrees and went up only to 38. Did a little more clean up of the yard and the bird baths. The tulips are up. The cactuses are responding to the sun and are starting to slowly curl back up after laying on the ground all winter from snow. The birds are in full voice by daybreak.

April 7th

It dried out enough to rototill the garden this week. I planted this weekend seed for Radish, Turnips, Beets, Rutabaga, Beans, Peas, Parsnips and Lettuce. I also planted starts I got from my local nursery two types of Kale and one Cauliflower. I also bought onion starts and planted them in the garden. Plus I picked up from the nursery a dozen of variety tomato plants to grow in the greenhouse to produce tomatoes early. I transplanted these tomato plants in to Oatmeal round containers big enough for the tomato plant to grow to maturity. Many of the perennial flowers are coming up around the Barrel container. Also rhubarb is coming up. The gooseberries plants are budding ready to flower. The Rain/Rock garden is coming to life. Near the house also tulips and perennials are emerging. In the Greenhouse the spinach, peas, lettuce, and sunflowers are up and about an inch high.

April 14th

On this spring day it brought us 6 inches of snow. The good thing is that rest of the week in the 50's and 60's. The air temp stayed right around 33 degrees so anything I planted in the garden is fine and as the snow melts it will not run off like in a rain storm, so garden gets a good soaking.. The Pansies are fine (their origin is mountain tops where spring snow storms are common) and all also the spring plants breaking thru are fine too. A good day to relax.

April 21st

Every Day is Earth Day to us as we are a green family and business. We should have spinach to eat in the green house by next weekend. I planted some more tomato seeds in the green house.The tomato seeds I planted before are about an inch tall. I transplanted the kale seedlings into 6 pac trays so I can give them away. No blossoms blooming on fruit trees yet. The Magnolia and Crabapples will probably start blooming this week. Some seedlings just popping up in the garden, can't identifying them yet. Everything survived the snow and it was gone by Tuesday. A bird built a nest on top of the motion sensor for the porch light, this is different. Everything is growing nicely in the greenhouse. The barrel flower garden is starting to bloom, tulips soon to bloom too, Daffodils next. Life signs in the Rock/Rain garden. The raspberries, gooseberries and acaci berry are coming to life.

2018 Garden Journal

2017 Garden Journal

2016 Garden Journal

2015 Garden Journal

2014 Garden Journal

2013 Garden Journal

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Arthur Hillson

Zion Illinois

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