2017 Gardening Journal

Send us your best photo of you as a gardener as we put together the calendar for next years 2018 Journal

Photos for 2018 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. 

Jan 1st

The day is relatively warm at 40 degrees for the day but by the end of the week it will get cold again. There is 2 or 3 goldfish in the pond yet and was warm enough to crack the ice and now once they become docile again I will try to net them out. We took down the outside Xmas lights. We put our Indoor tree outside with lights and all and will turn it on as a nite light to shovel our drive way. Put out bird seed in the feeders to attract birds to stay and nest in the spring to help keep the bug population down . It is really nice to have birds in the spring to help create that great time of spring. The seed catalogs are coming in regularly. Most of the snow is gone but that won't last for long. Did a little cleanup of the yard of tree twigs and branches.

Jan 8th

The Fig Tree I brought in the house for the winter has come out of it's hibernation and has started to grow . The other Fig Tree outside is having a mild winter so far, so it looks good for it to thrive too.


This is the Video of first Winter Snow of the season It was Dec. 4th and it is worth seeing because of the beauty.


Jan 22nd

The January Thaw happen this weekend and I, like many of us need to get out there to get dirty. I raked the front yard of the leaves that had blown in . I used the lawn mower to mulch the leaves in the driveway and spread around the young trees we are growing and the raspberries. The seed catalogues are coming fast . I dried some more tomatoes that I had saved for planting.

Jan 29th

I started to plant cold weather veggies seeds in biodegradable cups and water them and put them in the green house the first sunny day. We are saving toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls for planting seeds in, like tomatoes and peppers.

Feb.. 19th

It is a good weekend to put the plastic garden cover on our veggie garden to start heating up the ground to help jump start the cold weather veggies I plant in early April. The week and the weekend has been in the 50's and 60's, normal is 30's, so I did some more leaf mulching and putting them around the Giant Sequoia trees. The rabbits trimmed a couple so it may be a loss of 4 trees out of 20. Five others turned brown, we will have to wait on those. Started the pond pump it will attract birds to nest and be part of bug control in the spring and early summer. The sound of water will attract frogs later in the spring. The evergreen (a spruce) we had earmarked for our Christmas Tree thawed out to actually be dug up and transplanted to it's new location. It replaces a pine that had died. There is a few seedlings breaking ground in the Greenhouse. The goose berries that I dug up and split up and replanted around the veggie garden are showing no sign of being affected as they are showing swelled leaf buds

Feb.. 26th

The cold weather veggies are up and doing well. There is a few areas not up yet but over all a good start. It got cold again this weekend but the greenhouse got up to 70 as it was only 39 outside. I raked up some more leaves in the back yard and mulched them with the lawn mower, got a 30 gallon bin full of mulch for spreading around the trees. This week also started planting saved tomatoes seeds I saved last fall. I used the paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls for planting, cutting the rolls to 2 inch sections and filling with seed starting soil and putting compost on top after planting the seed in each tube.

March 5th

It has been a cold week, still above normal and had trace of snow twice. The cold weather veggies are growing good, so far 50 to 60 daytime in greenhouse and about 35 at nite. Too cool to do much except to clean the the pond filter.

March 12th

It has been a cold week, normal temps, winter has come back, still the cold weather veggies in the greenhouse are growing almost a inch tall. It gets up to seventy in the greenhouse on any sunny day despite the cold. Had big wind storm and the green house stood strong.

March 19th

Winter came back with it's best shot, 16 plus inches of snow on Tuesday and almost completely gone by Today, Sunday. Did some more tomatoes seed planting saved from last year . Also planted the Wine barrel with Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds. As soon as the Pansies are in the nurseries we will go buy some for the barrel and pots around the yard. We do this every year. gets the neighbors to start cleaning up their yards. The cold weather plants are doing good in the Greenhouse. Tulips , Daffodils , Purple Globe Stickers and Hostas are breaking ground.

March 26th

Today a day to look at seed catalogues rainy all day. The week was about normal but signs of spring are her . The Redbud Trees are showing there buds. We have the tulips and daffodils really breaking through. The cold weather veggies in the greenhouse are growing well . Put some small goldfish from the pet shop . The will be 4 or 5 inches by fall if our local blue heron doesn't find them I will put the rest of the goldfish we over wintered in the house out in the pond next weekend. The grass is starting to turn green and most of our birds are back . Two nests in the red cedar trees so far, the pond and our forest on our quarter acre is the big draw.

April 2nd

I planted the Pansies we got at the Local Nursery, in the barrel and pots in the front yard as Tradition we do every year. The green house cold weather plants are in most cases 2-3 inches tall. I will be planting in the garden in about week or 10 days. The first set of tomatoes seeds are up and thriving the second set should be up by the end of the week. I planted more tomatoes seeds, peppers, celery, dill and gourds for the green house. The rain and wind storm brought more of the neighbors leaves which is good . I raked them up and took out the mulching lawn mower and mulched the leaves in the driveway and put this fine leaf matter in a 30 gallon container. I will use as I plant the garden using this leaf matter to compost and keep the weeds down with a deep layer around the plants and seed rows. It was average April day with a little rain. I did some splitting of hostas and planting the half's in the rock garden. The tulips, daffodil, globe stickers, are doing real well and now the transplanted rhubarb is breaking through. The Redbud and Magnolia have a bunch of buds. The Crabapples have allot of buds, always a great display in the front yard.

April 9th

It was a warm week end , the green house got up to 90 degrees and the it has the plants growing well and the tomatoes plants are breaking ground. Planted some more tomatoes seeds and snow peas . The ground is still a little too wet to rotor till going to take off the cover when we get a dry spell . The Apricot trees are the first to bloom and the plum tree close behind. The goose berries are about to bloom too , they have a very conservative little flower. the transplanted rhubarb is up it will take a couple years to get back to normal. Just like the gooseberries the rhubarb needed to be moved because the Norway Spruce hit 25 feet and was blocking the sun. The garlic and the horseradish are up and growing fast. We did a video of our plants in the green house and the the first blossoms, which we posted below.


May 7th

This week was a good week , got a lot done planted 2 goji berry plants, planted more onions a white onion, planted more seeds , cucumber, pumpkin, squash, and sunflower. Also transplanted more of the starts from the greenhouse. Also planted more corn in containers to be grown in the greenhouse to keep the animals away from our corn as we usually lose it to our neighborhood raccoon or skunk. Also planted hollyhock seeds in container (A Blackish Purple) The ones I planted last came up so I look forward to see how they do Sunflowers and Hollyhocks are flowers as a kid where the ones that got my attention. The whole yard is almost in complete bloom . The crab apples just starting and we will do a video of those because they are exceptional .It has rained allot and some evergreens are bursting their growth buds already. The Peony survived and looks to maybe coming back. The rhubarb has started to take off as the transplanting last fall was successful. The gooseberries have mostly survived the transplanting waiting on a couple of them as signs of life coming from ground level only as in die back or not surviving at all. But having divided the gooseberries and getting 8 or 9 out of 3 is not bad. Our local cactus plants by the house (real sandy soil, hot summer sun facing southwest) have come out just fine. The rock /rain garden is thriving as it is truly a dry stream bed which we embrace as the stream it once fed, before houses, is just on the other side of the cul de sac. Arthur Hillson http://havecompostwillgarden.com/

May 14th

Got the tomatoes plants I purchased to try new ones into the ground and will save seeds this fall to plant with the other tomatoes I have saved over time. The root veggies are up such as radish etc. No sign of the beans , peas and cucumbers. The pea starts I did plant the rest of them as we will see if doing pea starts make a difference. The rock/rain garden is in full swing and Iris's are blooming, The 2 weeks I had the purchased tomatoes plants in the greenhouse they almost doubled in size, so buying early and smaller ones (cheaper) will be so much bigger by the time they go into the ground. The Evergreens are also doing well with the warm May. The onions are starting to grow now. Planted some more cold weather starts to off set the ones eaten by the rabbits. This is another thing that a greenhouse can help in costs as it can get expensive to replace all the starts if purchased at a nursery or big box store. The Rhubarb , Hollyhocks and gooseberries are doing well after transplanting and also the whit spruce we moved. The cherry trees are the only ones in bloom yet . The tulips and daffodils are done. The corn is doing well in the greenhouse and that is where we will grow the corn to thwart the raccoons . The corn is doing well in the greenhouse and will stay there to keep it away from the raccoons. We will put a fan in the greenhouse when the corn tassels to spread the pollen. It should be fun to do this. I planted some milkweed in the greenhouse and in the butterfly garden to see if it is easier. Also got some greenhouse marigolds , we usually just spread seeds in the fall and spring in the beds and some come each year , for 16 years.

May 21st

Did some pruning of some my trees and will go to the city for making into mulch. I transplanted the corn starts I grew put them into planters in the greenhouse. I have about 50 corn starts all around the greenhouse to grow inside to keep away from our local raccoons. I will put a fan in the greenhouse when the corn starts to tassel. I transplanted some milkweed from the roots that being sent off from the main plants. I put them in the front yard around the barrel. My goal is to have milkweed all around the yard. There are little plums forming and also peaches on the saturn peach. A little early to tell how many peaches on the regular peaches. Also have pears on the small Bartlett tree. Too early to tell on the other two pears. the Iris's are blooming full force in the rock/rain garden. The onions have taken hold and are growing now. Spotted a few beans coming up no sign of peas from seed yet . The peas I grew are growing now , a few eaten by rabbits. Still a great thing to have is a greenhouse is for producing extra plants for just reality of rabbits. About 12 of the 20 Giant Sequoia seedlings survived. All evergreens are starting to grow. The goldfish got a flushing of the pond with the big rain. All the rain fro the roof of the house goes into the pond and when it overflows it takes the nutrients to feed the plum, pear and peach trees.

May 28th

We have radish and lettuce for salads from the garden . Did some more pruning of the dead branches on the fruit trees. A couple on most of the trees. Just natural as the tree grows and matures. We have peaches , plums, pears and walnuts just about marble size. The first tomatoes of any size by the house. The bibb lettuce is doing well as is the leaf lettuce. Transplanted a couple more milkweed to the front barrel garden. Planted some more corn starts in pots in the greenhouse about 70 corn in pots in the greenhouse. The rock/rain garden is doing well. The mulberry has allot of fruit , can't wait . The goose berries are not many but I expected that as they were transplanted. The rhubarb is doing well but also will be small the first year after transplanting. The cactuses are doing well and sending out new growth. The purple globe stickers have really taken off. The frogs are doing well at the goldfish pond. The raspberries are really doing well. The blackberries are slow at growing so far. The golgi berry plants survived the planting and looks they have started to grow.

June 4th

Today is a summer day , the tomatoes are growing well. Radish and lettuce just great. The turnips and rutabaga are taking off, but the carrots and beets a little slow , we need some rain. I think this will be the year of the raspberry and peach. I tied back the peach tree that hangs outside the fence so less is for easy pickens by the passerby. Planted some more beans it looks like the first ones were not coming up any amounts so I rototilled it under to plant more tomatoes and planted beans in the raised bed. The plums and peaches are doing really well . The pears are doing OK so far. Did some more pruning and because the apple tree did not produce blooms I will prune it back hard this year to try to get it to blossom next spring. The broccoli plants got too hot in the green house before I transplanted them so they are producing small broccoli heads but they will continue to produce all summer. The peas are growing but no pods yet. The pepper plants are now growing in the greenhouse the seeds needed a good long run of hot days to get them really going. I will trans plant to the garden when they get a little bigger. The corn in the greenhouse is almost foot and half tall . The fig tree that stayed out all winter did not make it . The cherry tree behind the garage has fire blite so no cherries on that tree. There is a few bing cherries this year so the Bing cherry tree I bought to pollinate is OK just needs to get bigger to produce allot of blossoms for pollinating the other Bing cherry which is more mature and produces allot of bloosums.The biggest plus of having a greenhouse is that you can grow allot of plants for very little and have extras to replace as rabbits etc. try out the new produce in your garden. Second grow things most places won't have in their nursery. Third is you start earlier and can have fun as early as mid Feb..

June 11th

It has been really dry for las 2 weeks and hot this coming week. The corn in the green house is doing great though, the first batch of corn almost 3 feet tall with the others not far behind. Definitely knee high before the 4th of July. The tomatoes are doing great also. We have had broccoli, green onions, lettuce 3 kinds plus two types of radish. The cold weather crops are stalling with no rain and all the heat. We are going to have allot of Mulberries this year, I love them. The peach trees all have peaches on them .The plum is starting to drop some plus hopefully not all of them. We have pears on all three pears trees. We have walnuts on all three of the Carpathian Walnut trees. The cactuses love the weather too. The raspberries are doing great looks like it is the year of the raspberry. The gogi berry plants have taken root in the transplant to the garden. The rock/ rain garden is about to go into bloom . I transplanted the Marigolds I grew from seed from the greenhouse. The grapes are forming now so we will have grapes this year. The butterfly garden is doing well new milkweed plants . The frogs will be showing up in greater numbers in our pond as it gets drier. The potatoes, the ones that came up are now in high gear. The green onions are doing good but we need rain. The Firecracker crabapple has allot of crabapples, I love to just eat 2 or 3 a day when they are ready. We had some broccoli, the plants are producing small heads but we still get new florets as we pick them.


June 18th

The rain finally came and just in time to soak in the compost I had spread around the tomatoes. The peaches doubled in size over nite almost golf ball size. The lettuce is doing well yet and now with rain much more . The radish pretty much are done so I will rototill the row up and plant some more tomatoes plants. The turnips are doing well with the rain. A few kalirabi are forming . The corn is doing great in the greenhouse. The rose bush is in full bloom. I have been eating mulberries everyday right off the tree when I go out in the yard. The plum tree continues to drop its plum and I spotted a couple of wasps hovering around looking to deposit their eggs in the plums. There are some tart cherries on one of the cherry trees. Crabapples are doing well . Did some more dead tree brach pruning and doing a hard prune on the apple tree to see if I can induce it to have blossoms next year. The walnuts are getting bigger too. The butterfly garden is doing well. The rock garden is soon to start blooming. The purple globe stickers are going to be tall this year. The cactuses are producing new lobes. I have a salad growing in the flower barrel plus kalirabi. Had a salad with 3 types of lettuce radish and green onions. We have more tomatoes forming. Got about 7 pails of compost out of the compost tumbler, nothing better. The golgi berry plants are starting to grow . The grapes are starting to show some size. The gooseberries are starting to get bigger. There are pears on all three pear trees. The horseradish ready to dig up plus the garlic is doing well. No peas or beans yet and finally some of the cucumbers are breaking ground and growing. The volunteer Sunflowers are almost 2 feet tall. I really don;t have to plant Sunflowers any more. The potatoes that came up are doing really well.

June 25th

The raspberries are starting to ripen and we are just grazing each day until they begin to ripen in mass amount. The mulberries also starting to ripen in bigger numbers but I like to eat them right off the tree until no more to eat that day. The plums are still dropping off the tree but we may get some to ripen. The peaches are almost golf ball size. The pears are growing bigger. The walnuts are developing nicely. The lettuce is hitting it's peak, a salad a day. The tomatoes plants are doing good , we will have the first red tomatoes this week. We had rain but now it is dry again, the carrots are picking up now. The black berries are still a little while to ripen. The goose berries still green , these are the gooseberry from Finland they turn deep purple when ripe , something I love being 100 % Finnish. The Tiger Lilies are blooming around the barrel in the front yard. The marigolds I planted from seed are starting to bloom . The original flower 15 years ago, just collecting seed each year for the next year. The rock garden is doing well as is the butterfly garden , and the transplanted milkweed plants to the front yard barrel garden have taken and seem to be doing good . The hollyhocks are going to produce flowers as they were transplanted to the front barrel garden last year as is the rhubarb doing good. Did some more pruning of the trees. The corn in the green house is 4 to 5 feet tall and tasseling and I put the fan in the greenhouse to blow the pollen around and around . I planted the Eggplant plants out in containers. The raised bed is now giving us more lettuce. The beans are up but not doing real well , it is early yet. The grapes are pea size but doing well. Our local cactuses are doing good. The frogs are at the goldfish pond, but only a couple because it has been wetter summer begriming. Have to tie up the tomatoes again as they grow. The hot radish I planted last year has some it's seeds growing and that's about all I need as they are white hot. The sunflowers are 3 feet tall and another flower I don't need to buy seed as they come up from seeds the birds miss.

July 2nd

We got some more rain so all the gardens are doing really good. Had the first ripe tomato. The lettuce continues to produce as we get hot days with rain at night. We are getting a great crop of raspberries picking a zip lock bag a day plus eating them as I pick. The tomato plants love this hot wet weather.The peaches love this weather too. The plums are dropping less with this rain so maybe we will get some this year. The pears and walnuts are also doing good . The mulberries still producing and first for me to graze on each day. The firecracker crab apples are doing good. It has been a good 2 weeks for all the gardens and fruit trees. The Black Eyed Susan's and Daisies are blooming now. The Purple Globe Stickers are just about ready to start blooming. The Cactuses are still adding size to their new lobes. The corn in the green house has ears forming. Put the fan in the greenhouse to disperse the pollen of the corn around inside the greenhouse.

Growing Corn on the Cob in the Greenhouse


July 10th

The Plums are starting to ripen, not enough to give to ours but enough to eat my fill each day as I graze the yard . Picking raspberries still a Zip lock bag a day average . Picking Raspberries will last only a few more days. We freeze the raspberries we don't eat and my wife makes these decadent individual pies and pop tarts during the winter. So the plums will be good to eat plus still have mulberries yet to eat each day. The lettuce is still growing good and I spotted some forming good size turnips and rutabagas. The tomatoes plants have tomatoes on almost all of them so it looks like a good year for tomatoes. The walnuts are getting huge so hoping the squirrels don't take most of them off the trees before they are ready. The one cherry tree that has cherries, it has the blue jay family that appears every year to dine on since our cherry trees started producing cherries. The gooseberries are just about to turn purple, and the pears are getting bigger. The peach's on the trees are growing nicely. The fig trees are doing well, no flowers yet. The bean plants are flowering and I picked a few snap peas for my wife, she likes them raw. The potatoes plants are flowering and the other potatoes plants are now starting to pop out of the ground. he butterfly garden is doing well as is the rain/rock garden as we are still getting regular rain. The grapes are doing well also. The eggplant plants are starting to grow better. The Wine Barrel garden is doing well and the Milkweed plants I transplanted there are taking hold. I have a purple Kalirabi growing in the barrel. Getting small broccoli florets , it is too warm for them now . The corn in the greenhouse is doing well spotted a couple of cobs forming. There are couple frogs at the goldfish pond . If it gets dryer it will bring more frogs.

July 16th

The week started with 12 inches of rain over 3 days , so July is starting out strange with today barely over 72 degrees. Picked the last of the Raspberries but a great year for raspberries, 15 plus Zip lock bags plus what we ate and gave away. The plums are still ripening I graze each day but not much more than that produced but OK .. The mulberries are thin out as I graze on them yet. The peaches are growing bigger as is the walnuts. The pears also putting on some size. The Family of Blue Jays that comes each year to feast on our cherries was spotted and because we only have one cherry tree with some tart cherries , they won't stay long. We won't have any to pick, they eat them not fully ripe. Lettuce is still going strong , some bolted but because I planted and grew so much by seed very cheaply in the green house I could spread them all over the yard with varying micro climates and the rabbits can't come close to making a dent in the harvest, we will have lettuce for most of the summer. The tomatoes plants pretty much all have tomatoes on them. A couple more red this week. The rain had impacted the tomatoes plants 5 or 6 started to wilt but they came back as the sun came out later this week. All the cold weather veggies perked up with this rain and cooler temps. We have three blackberry plants and will get some this year. The grapes also increased in size this week with the rain. The Black Eye Susan's , Purple Cone Flowers, Poppies and Marigolds all in bloom. The Holly Hocks that were supposed to be purple black the first is yellow, but we will keep it. The potatoes are doing great but the rain did a number on the onions, wait and see. The first Sunflowers are also blooming. The goose berries and rhubarb are just reestablishing themselves. The golgi berry plants have started to grow so good sign. The Evergreens love this weather. Broccoli still producing small florets as we pick to eat. The fig trees are doing well but no flowers yet. The rain / rock garden had become a stream on and off for 3 days, but everything looks ok so far. The butterfly garden is doing well and the milkweed are producing runners outside the ally fence, so I dig these up and transplant them all over the yard. Have to wait on the turnips and rutabagas see if the rain will produce bigger growth or more greens.

July 23rd

The rain continues and we get a few more inches. It has extended the lettuces for more weeks although the onions have wilted down to wet instead of hot dry days. The Saturn peaches are now ripening and real good , smaller but just right for snacking. The plums are almost all gone but we still have peaches, pears, and grapes coming up. The tomatoes are doing well in this heat and humidity. Next week BLT's just the the perfect lunch. The Flowers are doing real well in this wet and hot July. Walnuts are getting bigger. The video below is to show when rain and summer heat create great conditions to grow plants without any extra watering.


July 30th

We have the first of reg. peaches ready to pick. We picked three bowls full to Can later this week and eat. The saturn peaches have been all eaten but they are snack size peach but real good . We did lose some to the squirrels and chipmunks and the squirrels pretty much again this year took all the walnuts off the the trees before any kind of harvest. The walnut trees need to get bigger to produce more than they can haul off . We can't harvest till they are ready, because they are too bitter to eat but not to bitter for squirrels. We are having BLT's this week a bunch of tomatoes . We will eat until too many, then can them. The mulberries are done but we have peaches , three more trees yet to ripen. The pears are getting bigger as is the grapes. Dug up some turnips and par boiled and froze them for the holidays. We mix turnips with mashed potatoes foe a richer flavor. There are beans in the raised bed and first harvest this coming week. The lettuce in some parts of the yard are still good, haven't bolted because of the less hot July. The butterfly garden is doing well and all the transplanted Milkweed has survived. The Swamp Milkweed is starting to bloom. Still some broccoli florets being produced, just enough to for a meal. The rock rain garden is in it's glory . Has not got hot enough for the cactuses to bloom but they put on new lobes.The corn in the greenhouse produced some ears but small . Got some more growing . THe corn stalks will be used for our Halloween display. A few kali one really big in the barrel garden. The Golgi Berry Plants are growing so it is a good sign of good health. The figs trees are doing well in the heat but no flowers yet. Dug up some onions for salad not real big but taste is good. We did lose 6 tomatoes plants do to the wet conditions of the 10 plus inches of rain a couple of weeks ago.

Aug 6th

The Monarchs are showing up regularly to the Milkweed in the Butterfly Garden and in the front yard Barrel garden. We canned 3 quarts of peaches from the first 2 trees that ripen as we ate peaches and as the squirrels got their share. We have more tomatoes than we can eat so we will can them this week and as summer and fall produces more. We got our first green beans for dinner. Pulled up some more turnips for cooking and freezing for the holidays . The pears are getting bigger We got more rain and six more tomatoes plants have died due to so much rain sitting in mud. The rest of the tomatoes need to dry out and get some hot days. The rain/rock garden is popping. The Firecracker crabapple tree are almost ready to eat , one of my childhood food memories eating the sour and sweet crabapple from the neighbors yard. We had BLT's this week nothing better for lunch another childhood memory. the broccoli florets are still producing. The potatoes plants are still growing . The horseradish are growing huge. The golgi berry plants are growing, good sign .

Aug 8th

The Butterfly garden is starting to bloom. The Joe PyeWeed , Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed are blooming and this is a little preview of the Butterfly Garden .


Aug 14th

The peach tree by the patio is ready and we have Elberta peaches to eat as the two Hale Haven peach trees have been eaten and canned. We had wet week and this will put more moisture in the peaches often making the peach a little less sweet. This coming week we will can most of this trees peaches because so many and easy to get too, don't have to use a fruit picker. More tomatoes to can too. The broccoli florets are still coming, enough for a meal a week. Picked some more beans for a meal. Did some more pruning. The rock/rain garden is just doing great with all this rain but lost some more tomatoes plants due to sitting in mud.The squirrels are eating the pears more than the peaches which are not ready yet. The Still have lettuce do to the fact it has not got hot enough to make all the lettuce to bolt plus having started so many starts of lettuce in the greenhouse and planted them all over the yard with different micro climates and costing the only the price of a packet of seeds. Dug up some more onions for potatoes salad and we had more BLT's. The Firecracker crabapple tree is a daily visit to have a couple of crab apples to eat. The peaches tree that hangs over the fence in the alley are almost ready hopefully they won't disappear.The Butterfly garden is doing well and has done good at it's attracting butterflies.


Aug 20th

We canned 10 quarts of peaches and 3 quarts of tomatoes and it rained hard again and lost 4 more tomatoes plants to sitting in mud. had some more broccoli and beans enough for a dinner. Got another video of a butterfly, this time sipping up nectar from a bowl of peach peels that were headed for compost bin. Did some more tree limb punning. dug up some more onions. The pears on the kieffer pears are so full they are braking braches.They are too high up the tree to safely do any thinning of the number of pears per brach. Still have lettuce to eat with all this rain, it may last all summer with this strange weather. The grapes are ripening but birds are eating some before they are close to ripe. Crabapples are getting bigger , a little sweeter. The rain/rock garden, butterfly and barrel flower gardens are doing great . The potatoes continue to grow so maybe they won't rot in the ground with all this rain. The peaches hanging over the fence in the the ally, we picked some already so they haven't disappeared this year.

Aug 27th

We got some more rain so it has not been the hot August of past years. Canned 3 quarts of Pears and 3 quarts of Tomatoes. The last Peach tree with peaches is almost ready to pick. The crabapples are at their peak. Had some more broccoli florets and beans enough for a meal. The Kiefer pear tree needs to go into early October to be ready to pick as they get sweeter with a few frosts. The potatoes continue to grow as is the beets, carrots and lettuce. The butterfly garden and rock/rain garden continue to do well with all this rain . We are sampling the grapes each day as it is a race with some birds. The goldfinches are back with the sunflowers all blooming and their seeds ripening. It is neat to watch these Goldfinches be so intense on the seed extraction plus they blend right in with the flowers. The kalirabi is getting real big in the barrel garden. The cactuses' are doing good they live below the house overhang with lots of sun and little rain. Did so more pruning of some trees.

Sept. 3rd

The feel of fall was in the air, down to 55 at nite a couple of nites. Canned 3 more quarts of tomatoes. The last peach tree is almost ready to start eating and canning The pears on the kieffer tree are getting bigger and as it gets colder they start to sweeten and with a few frosts really sweet. The flower gardens are starting to fade a little. This weekend I will bunch up all the corn stalks to start our fall harvest display around the barrel garden. The beets and turnips are growing again. The potatoes are still growing. It was a strange July and August , allot of rain and not many real hot days. The Golgi Berry plants have taken hold and growing nicely. I have 8 Giant Sequoia seedlings that are growing OK. Picked some more beans and broccoli enough for a meal. The lettuce is still around in a couple cool places for BLT's. I will plant some lettuce in the green house for the fall. Also do some experimenting with some left over seeds from the spring.

Sept 10th

Halloween is fun for us as gardeners, Took out all the corn stalks that were in the greenhouse to start our Fall - Halloween Display. (The stalks grew well in the greenhouse but only had small ears so it is learning process and fun to try things.) I spotted a couple of small pumpkins in the garden so we will purchase our pumpkins at a garden store. As gardener you choose to go big and grow what is important so I put pumpkin seeds out to grow, but it takes more effort in keeping the seeds from the local nature than I am willing to commit to, so we plant seeds and are surprised of any plants to grow that the local nature missed. So some of our fun is to go to the local farm or garden center for the big variety to choose from of pumpkins gourds etc. That I am willing to put the time and effort and space. Canned some more tomatoes . Picked the last of the peaches for canning. All of the fruit left yet is the Kieffer pears and they won't be ready until we get a couple of frosts so it makes them sweeter. Also planted some left over seeds from spring in the greenhouse and see what I get before it gets too cold to grow any more. Mostly greens, lettuces, and sunflowers to see if the hot fall days in the greenhouse can give us some flowers. If have a greenhouse you always have to try things. Also planted peach pits to see if I can get a couple trees to grow .

Sept 17th

The seeds I planted in the greenhouse are up so the greenhouse is still getting quite warm during the day plus we are having a very warm Sept. I picked some more tomatoes and broccoli. The Gold Finches have spent their afternoons picking out the sunflower seeds. We haven't planted any Sunflowers since the first year here as the Gold Finches have planted them every year looking for the best tasting seeds. The Fall Halloween Display is shaping up, got to get some pumpkins though. Still warm and predicting low eighties this coming week. Starting to clean up garden spots and planters for winter. The potatoes are still growing as is the carrots, beets and turnips. The onions I missed this summer are coming up so I will have green onions for fall. The Golgi Berry Plants have done well, put on some growth so we will see how they survive winter. We also have some more beans so that is good but it is getting real dry, they are predicting rain with the eighties this coming week. The Fire cracker Crab Apple tree out did itself so the collected crabapples go in baskets for our Fall-Halloween Display. There are few lettuces still good to harvest, truly a success on growing lettuce starts in the greenhouse and planting them all over the yard.

Sept. 24th

Canned last of the peaches 2 quarts and one quart of tomatoes. The Kiefer pears are next. Picked some more beans and broccoli enough for a meal. The great hamburger is made perfect with a slice of a tomato out of the garden. Did some more tree trimming. Sept. has been our August hot and no rain , it is dry, real dry. The sunflowers and greens I planted in the greenhouse are doing real good. Most plants have been reacting to hot and no rain this month. Did some more cleaning out of the garden and potted plants because it is so hot no rain. Still have a few lettuce not bolted yet. The potatoes and tomatoes have kept going. Have two big bowls to can of Kiefer Pears that fell from the tree that I will let ripen a couple of days in the house . We need a couple of frosts to get the Kiefer pears on the tree to sweeten yet. We do have one pumpkin , small but the farmers market has a great variety to pick which we don't have the space to get all we would like or the time and energy to keep our little animal and feathered friends at bay. The lesson I can give, is to choose what is important for you to grow and realistic but I always say try everything once just because it may surprise you what is so easy to grow. Our surprise was peaches.

Oct 1st

Canned 6 quarts of pears and still have tomatoes ripening for eating. Picked some more broccoli and one of 2 pumpkins. Found cucumbers hiding under the potatoes plants. Cleaned up some more of the flower garden and planters . Did some more tree triming.We had only a quarter of a inch of rain in Sept. so it is really dry. Still allot of pears on the tree so we will have more to can. Hoping for a couple of cold nights to get the pears to sweeten more. Next week more days in the 80's , not the normal Oct. weather. The leaves are starting to drop.The sunflowers in the greenhouse are 3 to 4 inches tall already and the lettuce greens are doing real well and new lettuce in the garden is popping up from lettuces that cast their seeds this past summer.

Oct 8th

We got some rain but not enough to make a difference. Picked some made tomatoes, beans and broccoli. Dug up some potatoes, blue fingerlings. Pulled up all the beets to make some pickled beets. Canned six more quarts of pears. Did a little more pruning of trees. The Sunflowers in the greenhouse are almost a foot tall and the greens starts growing well. Did some more cleaning up of the yard and containers. The rain/rock garden is just about done for the season. This coming week, time to go to get some big pumpkins from the pumpkin farm.

Oct 15th
Canned 2 Quarts of Pepper Rings, 5 Quarts of Beets and 3 and 1\2 Quarts of Pears.It has been raining on and off for the week we really needed it with no rain for forty days. Everything left in the garden has come to life. We dug up some potatoes, blue, nothing like new potatoes. A few more tomatoes , broccoli, and kohlrabi. The plants in in the greenhouse are doing well , The sunflowers are at least a foot tall some 2 feet tall Planted a variety of lettuces and greens, see what we have by Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween is fun for us so fall is as fun as Spring Growing. We have had no frost yet so the pears are not as sweet yet but the biggest pears are still on the tree. Kieffer pears get sweeter with a couple frosts. Did more yard clean up an seed collection for next spring. planting. The leaves are just starting to fall now. No sign of frost yet.

Oct 22nd

We carved our pumpkins and put in lights to light them up. Also put up plastic pumpkins in the purple plum tree with lights. Found a couple more tomatoes . It is getting cold this coming week so the tomatoes might have to be picked before a frost. Dug up some more potatoes and picked some more broccoli, enough for a meal . Collected some more pears that fell from the tree but not enough to cut up and can, should be enough this weekend. The sunflowers in the greenhouse are doing good and also the greens like lettuce. Been collecting more seeds for next year. It rained all weekend, it is looking allot like Halloween cold, wet and dreary.

Oct. 29th

Picked all the green tomatoes and moved in the planters with tomatoes plants into the greenhouses as we will have a killing frost.The tomatoes wilt ripen by and will last to Thanksgiving. The pears are still hanging on the kiefer pear tree, but this is good as they get sweeter with frosts. The Sunflowers in the greenhouse are 2 ft tall and the lettuces and greens are doing well. Dug up some more potatoes. Mulch allot of leaves and Rototilled under all the areas where frost killed off the tomatoes. The Pumpkin Lights are up and the pumpkins carved and lit up. Moved the fig tree in the planter into the house and other is outside in the ground so it is a experiment to see how The Chicago Fig does inside and out. We will post our Halloween video soon.



Nov 5th

This week we canned 3 more quarts of pears and pulled some more pears off the tree with a fruit picker to be canned. Had some more broccoli florets and we are going to dig up some carrots. Mulch the leaves but man more to drop. Using the tomatoes that are slowly turning red on burgers and tacos.

Nov 12th

It turned cold, 20 degrees by weeks end, coldest Nov. week in thirty years.The cold weather veggies are coming out of it as well as the greens in the greenhouse The sunflowers may have been killed off in the greenhouse but that is OK because that is part of having a green house is to experiment and extend the seasons. Have to wait for it to get warmer to do more mulching and gathering the rest of the pears for canning.

Nov19th & Nov26th

It's warmer than normal but not much. I dug up the carrots in the garden and have enough for a couple of meals. The lettuce and greens continue to grow in the greenhouse and had some more of the ripening tomatoes for hambergers. A few left to ripen as it pays to pick all the green tomatoes off the plants just before the first frost. The seed catalogs continue to come in and I take time for some reading. For Thanksgiving we used turnips , pickled beets, peaches, raspberries, pumpkin and lettuce. It has been a good year in canning with tomatoes, peppers, beets, peaches,and pears. Also good year for freezing as we froze raspberries and turnips. Mulched all the leaves on the lawn and into the garden. The trees are bare but we have many different spruce, pines and firs to make our quarter acre look like the north woods. Cleaned up the rest of the planters. Chistmas lights will follow soon and another part of gardening having the front yard forest to light up.


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