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 7 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. The Last couple of years we harvested Red Cedar trees from our yard that have sprouted in our yard because the neighbor has Red Cedar that floats seeds through out the yard and I let some of them grow in areas with no impact to use as our Christmas trees when they got to Christmas Tree size. Very nice trees and the smell is great.

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.

We planted a couple of types of Milkweed to help the Monarchs and since the first year each year we get Monarchs stopping off . Please plant Milkweed , you will be richly rewarded.

January 2020

Reading Seed Catalogues as it is weather in January is normal. I will order 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.. 2nd

It was sunny for the first time in 10 days and it got up to 50 degrees and 60 in the green house . I planted lettuce, cauliflower and asparagus seeds as pots in the greenhouse had warmed up enough to plant. The weather has been a normal winter with no real deep dive in temperatures yet. Ordered my seeds and as usual I will try something new, a deep purple tomato, Purple Boy. I made a Raised Bed out of a Dead Tree that I took down . Ten inch width tree, 5 foot segments nailed together in a square with wood pieces saved after putting windows in the garage.

March 1st

My seeds came and got all I ordered. The weather is great for March 1st, up in the 50's and better than average week coming up. I planted some more seeds in the green house, no sign of seedlings yet from the other seeds but it getting more consistent warmer temps. I raked and cleaned up the front yard and half of the backyard, great day.

March 26th

The spinach, onions, and variety of lettuces are up in the greenhouse. A Pansy that was brought in the greenhouse last fall with a tomato plant has survived, so that tells you how mild a winter we had where a Pansy in an unheated greenhouse was enough to keep it alive and well so it could keep on growing this spring. I got my yearly Pansy's (24) that I plant out to get some spring to the yard and get the neighbors some to look forward to, in staying home. Gardening is a activity that you can do without leaving home, everything can be delivered whether gardening in the ground or in pots. It is too wet in the garden yet to rototill it. The raised beds will be ready to plant as soon as we get a run of sunny day s..

April 7th

It was 76 degrees today and it was dry enough to Rototill the garden. Planted some Tomatoes, Peas, Lettuce and Spinach in the Greenhouse. The spinach onions and lettuce planted this Spring is 2 inches tall in the Greenhouse. I bought some Tomato plants also online and had them delivered and put them in the greenhouse. These will stay in the greenhouse to produce tomatoes early. Can't wait for the fruit trees to blossom. The Daffodils, Tulips and Grape Hyacinths are up in the Butterfly Garden and by the house.The Cactus (local to great lakes) is turning up to the sun. Put the Goldfish out back into the pond.

April 19th

Planted more Tomato seeds saved from last year . The lettuce, onions and spinach in the greenhouse are 2 inches tall. Nothing up in the garden yet. The apricot trees are first to bloosum.The Daffodils are blooming. Raspberry, gooseberry and golgi berries plants have come alive. The fig tree in the house has 5 figs on it. It is still very cool spring. the globe flowers have broken ground by the house. I rototilled the rest of the garden. We have a Robin's nest in the yard again, every year since we have been here. The goldfish in the pond doing good.

 

May 3rd

It was a warm weekend but it goes back into the low fifties next week. I planted the tomato plants in the containers on the south side with the micro climate that gives us tomatoes early. These are the tomatoes my wife snacks on when she gets home from work. The peach trees are in bloom. Some sign of life in the garden but with 3 plus inches of rain last week it is not good to flood the garden as water sat in the garden for a day. The Magnolia is in full bloom. The daffodils are in full bloom. The tomato seeds I planted are coming up but slow with little sun and warmth in last 2 weeks. The rock garden has come alive. The butterfly garden in the front has come alive, too early for milkweed yet. We do have Rhubarb coming up. Pulled the lettuces out of the greenhouse so we get slow even growth with no bolting. Planted cauliflower and cabbage starts I got from the local nursery. These are plants better grown by a nursery because I only need 6 of each veggie.

 

May 10th

We had a hard freeze this week and I had to bring in all the tomato plants into the house because it got down to 26 and the greenhouse had not seen sun in 2 days so it would go down to 29 at night in the greenhouse. The cold weather veggies would be fine but the tomato plants had to come in the house. We put them back out the next day. I also put fans pointed toward the 2 peach trees that had huge number of blossoms to keep the air moving so the blossoms won't freeze. It is getting warmer this coming week.

May 17th

Warmer week I Planted out all the snow pea plants, I planted the green beans, corn, carrots, cucumbers, 11 tomato plants in the garden to start I planted all the snow peas in the raised beds. I planted tomatoes green beans and corn in the raised beds. I also planted corn in cardboard boxes in the green house to see if I can produce corn away from the raccoons who eat the corn before it is ready. The tomato plants from seed are doing well, looks like about 300 seedlings..The Magnolia, Red Bud and the Weeping Crabapple all in bloom in the front yard. Milkweed starting to pop up in the front yard butterfly garden., All the fruit trees have blossomed except the apple trees. It rained 4 inches and flooded the garden so it could be really bad or it just might get all the seeds a good start , we will know in a week or so.

May24th

It was 88 today so things are growing well and hopefully the garden dried out enough so the seeds grow and not rot. The tomato seedlings are doing great and the ones in the garden and raised beds survived the flood and are growing. One of the apple trees is in bloom. The Fig Tree we had in the house we took out and the five figs it had on it are now growing bigger. The butterfly garden in the front yard is doing well and milkweed sprouting out. We should have lettuce by next weekend. The onions have been struggling with all this rain. We are still waiting for the seeds from the first flood to grow out. Wettest May on Record this year and last two May's records too. We lost a peach tree to old age 17 years old.

 

May 31st

With the 2 flooding rainstorms this spring turning the garden into mud bog not once but twice most of the seeds I planted rotted and so I just rototilled the section under and started planting all tomato plants and because these plants are from seed saved from last year , no cost to replant the garden with all these tomato plants. What seeds came up were beans, carrots and cucumbers. The onions are OK but one third just rotted. Lost three cauliflower plants sitting in mud. Had first Lettuce salad. So far peaches seem to be doing good. We have gooseberries , raspberries, pears and cherries. I have 200 plus tomato plants in the greenhouse, probably the best year for seeds saved that germinated and produced a plant. The lettuce is doing real well because cool nights and warm days.The lettuce is all over so the each area matures a little different time, extends the season. The butterfly gardens are all coming up with milkweed expanding it's territory. The corn in the greenhouse is up and growing. The rain/rock garden loved all the rain and is doing real well.

June 7th

Cut down the plum tree we lost, The corn in the greenhouse is growing good I have pepper plants about 40 growing from saved seed, just a good year for seeds saved from last year. Beans , carrots and cucumbers in garden are growing no more floods. In the raised beds snow peas, cucumbers, corn and pumpkin are up and growing well with 10 tomato plants from the greenhouse saved seeds.The Rhubarb is doing well in the Butterfly garden. No apples and apricots this year at all. Peaches and Raspberries doing real well. The last of the blooms fell off the Magnolia, cool weather extended the blooms. The cabbage and cauliflower starting to grow after the ground dried out.

June 14th

Planted some more tomato plants in the garden . I need to plant some pepper plants in the garden, most will stay in greenhouse, they grow real well there. We have Mulberries growing. The corn in greenhouse has taken off. Onions are doing better as the soil has dried out a little. We have four types of lettuce. Milkweed coming up from new sprouts, need to transplant them in third Butterfly garden. Cactus doing well now it has dried out. Butterfly garden in front yard is doing great. The raised beds are doing great. Peaches, Gooseberries, Raspberries, and Cherries are doing well.

June 21st

We have tomatoes on some of the plants, good sign of a good start. We have gone from flood to no rain at all. So far so good we have peaches, pears, cherries, gooseberries, mulberries and raspberries. The onions are finally starting to grow in size. The cabbage and cauliflower are starting grow in size now too. The lettuce is still growing well in this cooler summer start. The cactus has had a growth spurt. The Butterfly gardens have attracted Monarchs all ready. The snow peas are being eaten as we find them. Planted some more tomato plants in the garden, about 70 plus plants in all in the garden from seeds saved from last year. Still have more to plant around the yard. The rock/rain garden is doing good. The cucumber plants and bean plants are growing well in the garden. Carrots are not doing well. I planted more pepper plants in the garden. I will keep some of the the pepper plants in the greenhouse as they do well in the greenhouse. The Fig tree that is in the ground has finally started really to grow. The figs from the tree that we bring in had 5 figs on it this spring (good taste) now it is growing into anew growth spurt. Cut down a peach that died , it was 17 years old a good run. Will cut another one 17 years old that is fading fast. I have 2 peach trees from peach pits that started after rototilling a bunch peach pits each year in the garden in the fall each year. Kale that survived the winter went to seed and I will save the seed for next year.

June 28th

Tomato and pepper plants growing well in this heat, transplanted some more greenhouse tomatoes plants in to the garden. The Fig tree in the ground is finally growing . The Fig tree in the container is going to produce some more figs. Raspberries almost ready to start picking. Mulberries we eat right off the tree. Goose berries are growing bigger. Tomato plants in containers by the house doing best as usual , great micro climate. Peas are really good. The lettuce still not bolted yet. We have some green tomatoes, nothing ripe yet. The raised garden with lots of compost is growing great. The cabbage is starting to grow more as are the onions. The peaches and grapes are doing good.

 

July 5th

Started Picking raspberries, a zip loc bag every other day. Tomato plants are growing fast, hot days, summer is here. Also eating Mulberries off the tree each day about a hand full. Peaches and grapes growing fast. Lettuce is still good , but it looks to bolt in this heat. The onions have started growing better. Cucumber vines are growing and carrots doing better. Eating pea and pods, very good producing , we eat them raw, very sweet. The corn in the greenhouse is doing good also in the raised bed. We have tomatoes, none ripe yet. The butterfly gardens are attracting Monarchs and are laying eggs. The cactus loves this heat. The Rock/Rain Garden is about to start blooming. The gooseberries are doing good. We have kiefer pears only this year.

 

July 12th

Picked about 8 Zip Loc baggies of Raspberries so far, got some rain so they will last a little longer in picking. Tomato plants are doing excellent in this hot weather, we have allot of green tomatoes waiting for the first ripe one. The goose berries are almost ready to pick. The Peaches and Grapes are doing well. The Pepper plants have taken off in this heat. The Green beans are starting to show almost ready to pick. The peas are pretty much done in this heat. Onions are just OK. Corn in the green house is also taking off. Mulberries we just eat off the tree. Butterfly Gardens are doing excellent, Monarchs showing up everyday. The Rock/Rain garden is about bloom. Pears are getting bigger.

July 19th

Harvested the onions and rototilled the spot to plant more tomato plants. It is fun to have all these tomato plants grown from last years seed saved to plant out as space becomes available. The peaches and grapes getting bigger. The cabbage heads are getting bigger.The raspberries are almost at their end, picked and froze about 20 Ziploc baggies. Picked and froze 3 baggies of gooseberries. We are starting to get ripe tomatoes daily. It has stayed hot with rain at the right times. Cucumber vines growing well. Cabbage heads getting bigger. Peaches an grapes getting bigger. Butterfly gardens are at their peak.

July 26th

It hit 95 today and it is going to rain tonight so the tomato and pepper plants are growing amazingly. Had my first BLT this year, nothing better. The cactus has taken off too. So far 15- 90 degree days this year, so as long it rains we will do good. The rock/rain garden is in full bloom. The green beans are doing great also. The cucumber vines are growing well. The peaches and grapes are doing great. The pears are doing just OK. Still some lettuce that hasn't bolted yet. The Butterfly gardens are doing their job, great many Monarchs have passed thru. Planted some more tomato plants, they are literally all over the yard and a good year, hot and wet to have so many tomato plants all from seed saved from last year. Eating Tomatoes every day. Raspberries are done avery good harvest. The gooseberries are all harvested.

2019 Garden Journal

2018 Garden Journal

2017 Garden Journal

2016 Garden Journal

2015 Garden Journal

2014 Garden Journal

2013 Garden Journal

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Zion Illinois

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