Thursday, June 7, 2012

Home late...

Had to go away for awhile... Finally back. So, a lot of the plants I had started died... =\ All the tomatoes are gone and I have some short season ones I'll try and see if I can get going but I think I may just buy some starts, I found heirloom purple ones at Freddy's. What are left of the tomatillos and banana peppers are doing pretty good and so is my tin of lettuce... The Melons squash and cucumbers are pretty much toast. I'm going to see what I can get to grow even tho it's a really late start. If nothing else I am hoping I can get flowers to grow =] Got a lot of work to do... I hope it works!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ground Breaking!

Been pretty quiet on this blog lately.... So I been researching and planing and biding my time trying to take care of seedlings and scrap gardening. Had some setbacks, but we got a rototiller on loan from Winter's brother! Winter fixed it up and got it running smoothly! Yesterday Winter filled up the tire and got it re-beaded at Bubba's tire shop... We got home from that and paying rent and he tilled the patch for my garden twice. Went too shallow the first time.. I got a little chuck of the sod raked up... realizing it is going to take a few days to get it done and wow am I ever crazy for starting with such a big patch, but I need a lot of space for things like water melons and squash right??? I seriously hope I can get those in the ground fast enough! A lot of work ahead of me! =] Thank you to all of my garden group friends/family for all your encouraging and advice! It really does help me a LOT! <3 Now I'm off to go work in the yard! Wish me luck and speedy raking!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Benefical and Intesting Recipe Concoctions

I am blogging about this here in my garden blog and not in my brand new Recipes blog because of the contents of these recipes having t to with garden herbs flowers and fruits... So, last week I came across links about making your own stevia sweetener and vanilla extract. I'm very interested in the sweetener as a substitute for Winter. Also did you happen to know most store bought vanilla has corn syrup and unspecified flavorings in it? I love the home made stuff better anyways.. the problem is that it's pretty pricey!!! I have herd the best vanilla extract is made with bourbon but I have another recipe too from Maddie and James...
One pound of vanilla beans to four 16 ounce pints of alcohol. Use the strongest vodka or moonshine you can get... 140 proof and up. Everclear is 190, so that would work. If you take frequent samples to taste it will probably not work because you'll forget what you're about..
Grind up the beans as fine as you can. Then mix them with the alcohol.
The concoction should be left to stand in an airtight bottle for up to two months. And of course you have to filter the liquid when it's done.
Don't use whiskey, rum, brandy because the flavor will affect the tincture.
I've heard that if you buy pieces of pods, they are most likely inferior quality to the whole pods.
Some people say you should add sugar to the beans while grinding. I wouldn't.
11 minutes ago

Tinctures and Extracts...
Food Renegade - Vanilla
Food Renegade - Liquid Stevia Extract

Tincture Recipes
How to make herbal tincture
Sweet Dreams Sleep Tincture Recipe

This link is from Pam! Very interesting and helpful!
Homemade Tinctures and Teas 

I've only just browsed this one so far but I read a synopsis and it sounds really interesting with some good food for thought....
Be your own herbal expert

Remedy Chart

Medicine box!
make your own herbal first aid kit

These are two slightly different methods for flower/herb water
Orange Blossom and Rose Water
Different kinds of - orange flower water & how to make
Aromatic Flower Water

I got some fun idea's for syrups for drink mixing from this article!
Pioneer press spice article
All about syrups

berry cordial
 homemade fruit liqueurs
 Honey Spice Liqueur recipe
Liqueur Recipes - liqueurs/flavors
Green Tea Liqueur
Apple Liqueur
Apricot Liqueur

Just a side note on Dandelions
winemaking - dandelion

Well I hope you found this as interesting as I did! =]

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gardens of my past part 1

Ok so I think these gardens I grew up with will need to be split into a few days worth of writing

I had two very different grand mothers, both my grandfathers had died pretty young, My dad lost his father at 17 to a heart attack and my mom lost her dad at 12 to a brain tumor. Both sets of grandparents were immigrants, my dads family was from Canada and shortly before that from Scotland, my mom's parents were from the Philippines... I called my dad's mom Gramma Doe, her actual name was Doris Jane Dixon MacDonald and I only knew my other grandmother as my Lola which is Tagalog for grandmother, her name was Florentina Jasmin Aragon.

My Gramma Doe was quite the beloved all-American type of mom to every one of her kids friends, those friends were part of a sort of extended family to me when I was young... My Lola on the other hand was quiet the business woman and very roman catholic much sterner and sort of superstitious and very proper. Some how they were very good friends after my Lola got over her dislike of my father who was when my mother married him a very creative stupid young musician. The things that these two women had in common was their love of plants and their loves of making food and entertaining! All of these things in common they did very differently. My Gramma Doe was more go with the flow and creative and my Lola more organized and elegant, both of them were very practical and super motivated.

So where to start! I have very early memories running around both gardens! I barely remember the first garden of my Gramma Doe of the 3 places she lived in my life before she passed away when I was 16. I know from what my mom tells me that as well as a main garden there was something called a cutting garden for flowers grown specifically grown to be cut and brought inside for vases and to be given away as presents, that would easily come back the next year like tulips and daffodils I remember this in blurs of color with the sounds of an old dog named penny that I don't fully remember.

She lost that house and moved with my Aunt Moe (Maryjane) to a mobile home in a little retirement community that I'm not sure is still there over by the front gate to McChord Air-force base. It was a 3 bedroom big home with a big raised deck her children and their friends made for her when I was about 5, the deck ran most of the length of the house from the front door to the glass slider, with wide steps at both ends and was surrounded by tall lattice walls between the posts of the deck for privacy, and to either side was a nice grassy patch with a path one lead to the front side by the front door and one to the back side and the glass door.

I'm going to start with the plants from the front door and move around the outside of the house... there was a tall light pink purple rhododendron with mulch and I think bulbs all around the bottom, I believe this side of the house got the most light but I really can't remember exactly. She had these big half wine barrels and each of them had different things in them and full of all colors of flowers I think there were four or five on the deck two at each end on either side of the stairs and I was sure there was one more one the side away from the house but it's fuzzy in my memory and there was a pick nick table and a few patio chairs and all sorts of other planters and pots and some of the things in the pots grew up the sides of the lattice.

From the posts were hangers and there were hanging baskets over flowing with lobelia trailing down and I think there was at least one hanging basket from the eve by the front door.. There was a odd round ridged pot with chives I used to help pick sitting on one of the steps one the house side of the deck on the side closest the the back side... Under my Gramma's bedroom window was a flower bed but I can't recall what was in it just that it was mostly green and seemed tall to me... I think it was also some sort of bulb and across the path from that was a big holly tree that is different sizes in different memories from trims and me aging... there was a small tree and a big bush and a long thin tall rose... I think it was butter yellow and red on the edges...

Then there was a drop off into the deep wide ditch across from which was a tall chain link fence with red plastic slats and I think a few canes of raspberry and black berry where over on that other side and there was BIG tree that shaded most of the area in the middle of back there before the drop off and with roundish leaves that had these big- ish round ball looking things that would fall off it that seemed to have a foam inside that had a bit of a soft crunch when you stepped on them... and there was a maple somewhere because I remember the seed pods... maybe on the other side? I think there was at least one smaller big tree back there near the red slats and some sort of pine tree....

That far backside area is kinda fuzzy because we didn't spend much time there it's where she kept the empty pots and trays and dirt and there was a storage thing that flipped up open with what I think was fish fertilizer and spray bottles and some hand tools and pads for kneeling on and watering cans... The only plants I remember back there are the little wild strawberries with their little pink white flowers.

Now for the other side of the house... Starting at the ditch and moving to the middle of the house where the big shed was and the the raised and covered pass through between the shed the house where the back door in the laundry room was and the covered car port that fit two cars thats about how wide the shed and the patio were. I know she kept canned goods and other stored goods out on the shelfs out there and there was a potting table and lots of tools and watering hose and stakes and tomato cages and a stock pile of garden gloves and other garden stuff as well as a wheel barrow upright and two kids wagons and a old style stroller and a mini one.

The patio had a thick white picket fence with a wide gate between the house and the corner of the patio just before the ditch and it had a baby proof sort of latch I think... on either side of the gate back there was a wine barrel cask there were a bunch of these of different sizes back here I think one was upside down with another slightly smaller one top and back here were the succulents tons of them all different kinds my favorites were the chicks! There was an old army boot back here in one of the barrels lower to the ground I think and it was full of and surrounded by succulents and there were several pots full of parsley we had it in or with every meal.

There we so many pots... some on little tables lots of hanging baskets, there where 3 sort of angled wooden ones on the far wall on one side of the shed door and a long one on the side closer to the house, my Uncle George had made them with wire mesh bottoms. There was a small grill back here pushed up against the fence that was my Auntie Moe's. There was another pick nick table here and a glass topped one with an white and pale yellow umbrella out the middle and we also fit a thick plastic frog face pool with a little mini slid in it back there, and there was a little baby blue wading pool too with Sesame street print on it I am almost 100% sure these particular pools don't exist anymore... the ground was hard and light gray and covered in astroturf.

I wish I knew more of the names of the flowers but I only know them by sight. I know somewhere there were marigolds I remember helping plant them and what the seeds look like... I remember planting some sort of squash with her back there but I don't remember what squash that had to have been small and I don't remember where is grew just that I thought the name squash was funny. I remember carrying around the heavy green plastic watering can with the white part on the end that made it sprinkle from the spout..

So up the stairs and the in-between  the shed and the back doorwhich was hung with a large collection of wind chimes. We sort of used that back door far more then the front door, I only knew it was the front door because the bell was up there and that's where other people came in. There was a gate across the top step going towards the carport. There was an area to your left in front of the cars where the big wheels and the fire wood was kept on pallets because she has a wood burning stove you see.

Strait ahead going into the car port was the dinning room window and the large double formal living room window and under the dinning window and my Aunts big bathroom window were, thee cherry tomatoes! Some red some green and some yellow... they stood in their pots and cages in a row to the end of the house which was a mini van (My mom's car) and a pick up truck (My uncles vehicle) or an rx7 (my Dad's) length of drive way, my Grandmother had a station wagon and Moe had an old cherry red slug bug. Where the second vehicle started towards the side of the car port away from the house was the base of a big tree and a little past that was the big rhubarb plant. Off the car port beams and side of the house were more hanging baskets.

Now for the last... The grass sloped up towards the house from the street but a 3rd of the way there was a raised bed full of all kinds of flowers and I think more chicks nothing seemed of be organized it was seemed to be mashed together splashed of bright vivid color.. blues purples pinks yellows orange I think the orange was a Lilly! And the blue an iris but not a bearded type... The last thing I remember of the yard was a tree I think it was a very young cherry blossom because I think it had pink flowers.

Oh I forgot!!! There was a pine tree with whitish green needles that I had gotten from school on arbor day when I was 4! We'd planted it in a pot and when she moved to her new place across the street from us she gave it to me but before we could plant it some one came in our fenced yard in the night and stole it away. Stuff like that tree disappearing is part of why I'm worried about people wanting to take the veggies I grow getting stolen...

I wish I knew the names of a lot of those flowers to paint a better picture!!! There is another one I know Gramma Doe had but I don't remember where it lived... I think it was somewhere near the holly tree, I think there was this one in Maddie's album that I said my grandmother had given me when I was sick that was purple blue and turned white, hydrangea? I know I am missing a lot of stuff I can't recall... The place was packed with plants everywhere!

I'm going to have to pick this up tomorrow to write more as promised =]

The gears are moving, slow-ish

Well.. I have not been posting update entries on here like I meant to... But I have been taking a lot of pictures and I think this entry will be mostly pictures taken since my last blog entry with captions to explain them...

Here is the close up rough draft idea of my garden plan... and updates on the Onion and the Cabbage scraps... The cabbage has roots! I was told it couldn't be done but, there they are they exist! <3

 This me with dirt under my nails! ..and the bag of potting soil I got and the posts I filled with it.

This is the Toms the night I made the paper pots and my trying one out...

This is the Toms the morning just before I moved most of them to their paper pots.

Here the Toms are in their new paper pots.. and but 3 that are not quiet ready yet and did not get as leggy as the rest.

These are the seeds I got from the Grow a row for the hungry program and the calendar I got from the waste management office when they didn't have my compost bin ready for me yet... I'll go back for it later =D 

So I had this thought the other day that just when I was start to think I am getting a handle on planning, I am humbled by the fact I am in actuality a newbie to gardening and I do need some help... I am a little overwhelmed with figuring out how to organize when to plant things and when to harvest them... and I am still waiting on those people at the power company to come check for lines why the hell don't they keep track of that!!!! If they don't come tomorrow I think Winter would have a really hard time keeping me from digging up that back corner only the thing is I am low on tools... I asked the land lord and he dug around and found a trowel and two hand claw things... I'll be taking pictures of them tomorrow! The land lord says she always wanted a garden here but thinks me quiet ambitious... I just have to show him I can do this! I got permission for that corner I want and he said I can put flowers anywhere I want which happens to be pretty much everywhere!!!

Also I was talking to Maddie and ended up starting writing my recollections of the gardens that I grew up with... I want to save them so I think I will post them on here too! Also working on a new plan for my garden with companion gardening ideas!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

From Wendy with Garden Love

I got this from my friend Wendy and wanted to save it here so I'd know right where it was quick for reference!

**I am not the author of this document.. I have no idea who is, a friend sent me this info several years ago** :)

COMPANION PLANTING Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can alternately repel (anti-feedants) and/or attract insects depending on your needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties. Experience shows us that using companion planting through out the landscape is an important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion planting helps bring a balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do its' job. Nature integrates a diversity of plants, insects, animals, and other organisms into every ecosystem so there is no waste. The death of one organism can create food for another, meaning symbiotic relationships all around. We consider companion planting  to be a holistic concept due to the many intricate levels in which it works with the ecology.
By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to experimenting and find what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have specific needs. Use plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to attract already know what to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.
Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar. There are many ways you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden, orchard, flower beds etc.

Note: This guide is not intended to solve garden problems as the suggestions may work differently in various situations or perhaps not at all. Don't let that discourage you from giving the ideas a try! What works for some may not work for others and vice versa. Experimenting is the only way we can gain new insight for our own individual gardens.
ALFALFA: Perennial that roots deeply. Fixes the soil with nitrogen, accumulates iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Withstands droughts with it's long taproot and can improve just about any soil! Alfalfa has the ability to break up hard clay soil and can even send its' roots through rocks! Now that is a tenacious plant! Alfalfa is practically pest and disease free. It needs only natural rainfall to survive.
AMARANTH: A tropical annual that needs hot conditions to flourish. Good with sweet corn, it's leaves provide shade giving the corm a rich, moist root run. Host to predatory ground beetles. Eat the young leaves in salads.
ANISE: Licorice flavored herb, good host for predatory wasps which prey on aphids and it is also said to repel aphids. Deters pests from brassicas by camouflaging their odor. Improves the vigor of any plants growing near it. Used in ointments to protect against bug stings and bites. Good to plant with coriander.
ASPARAGUS: Friends: Aster family flowers, dill ,coriander, tomatoes, parsley, basil, comfrey and marigolds. Avoid: Onions, garlic and potatoes.
BASIL: Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. It is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near rue or sage.
BAY LEAF: A fresh leaf bay leaf in each storage container of beans or grains will deter weevils and moths. Sprinkle dried leaves with other deterrent herbs in garden as natural insecticide dust. A good combo: Bay leaves, cayenne pepper, tansy and peppermint.
  • For ladybug invasions try spreading bay leaves around in your house anywhere they are getting in and congregating. They should leave.
BEANS: All bean enrich the soil with nitrogen fixed form the air. In general they are good company for carrots, celery, chards, corn, eggplant, peas, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers. Beans are great for heavy nitrogen users like corn and grain plants because beans fix nitrogen from the air into the soil so the nitrogen used up by the corn and grains are replaced at the end of the season when the bean plants die back. French Haricot beans, sweet corn and melons are a good combo. Summer savory deters bean beetles and improves growth and flavor. Keep beans away from the alliums.
BEE BALM (Oswego, Monarda): Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Great for attracting beneficials and bees of course. Pretty perennial that tends to get powdery mildew.
BEET: Good for adding minerals to the soil. The leaves are composed of 25% magnesium making them a valuable addition to the compost pile if you don't care to eat them. Beets are also beneficial to beans with the exception of runner beans. Runner or pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth. Companions for beets are lettuce, onions and brassicas. Beets and kohlrabi grow perfectly together. Beets are helped by garlic and mints. Garlic improves growth and flavor. Rather than planting invasive mints around beets use your mint clippings as a mulch.
BORAGE: Companion plant for tomatoes, squash, strawberries and most plants. Deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. One of the best bee and wasp attracting plants. Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost pile. The leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and mineral salts. Borage may benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to pests and disease. It also makes a nice mulch for most plants. Borage and strawberries help each other and strawberry farmers always set a few plants in their beds to enhance the fruits flavor and yield. Plant near tomatoes to improve growth and disease resistance. After you have planned this annual once it will self seed. Borage flowers are edible.
BRASSICA: Benefit from chamomile, peppermint, dill, sage, and rosemary. They need rich soil with plenty of lime to flourish. Avoid planting with mustards, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc).
BUCKWHEAT: Accumulates calcium and can be grown as an excellent cover crop. Attracts hoverflies in droves. (Member of the brassica family.)
CABBAGE: Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are good companion plants. Celery improves growth and health. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonization of the pests and increasing the number of predatory ground beetles. Plant Chamomile with cabbage as it Improves growth and flavor. Cabbage does not get along with strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, rue, grapes and pole beans.
CARAWAY: Good for loosening compacted soil with it's deep roots so it's also compatible next to shallow rooted crops. Plant it with strawberries. Caraway can be tricky to establish. The flowers attract a number of beneficial insects especially the tiny parasitic wasps. Keep it away from dill and fennel.
CARROTS: Their pals are leaf lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Plant dill and parsnips away from carrots. Flax produces an oil that may protect root vegetables like carrots from some pests. One drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor.
CATNIP: Deters flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants and weevils. We have found it repels mice quite well: mice were wreaking havoc in our outbuildings, we spread sprigs of mint throughout and the mice split! Use sprigs of mint anywhere in the house you want deter mice and ants. Smells good and very safe.
CELERY: Companions: Bean, cabbage family, leek, onion, spinach and tomato. Flowers for celery: cosmos, daisies and snapdragons. Foe: Corn.
CHAMOMILE, GERMAN: Annual. Improves flavor of cabbages, cucumbers and onions. Host to hoverflies and wasps. Accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur, later returning them to the soil. Increases oil production from herbs. Leave some flowers unpicked and   German chamomile will reseed itself. Roman chamomile is a low growing perennial that will tolerate almost any soil conditions. Both like full sun. Growing chamomile of any type is considered a tonic for anything you grow in the garden.
CHARDS: Companions: Bean, cabbage family and onion.
CHERVIL: Companion to radishes, lettuce and broccoli for improved growth and flavor. Keeps aphids off lettuce. Said to deter slugs. Likes shade.
CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others. Keeps aphids help to keep aphids away from tomatoes, mums and sunflowers. Chives may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly. Planted among apple trees it helps prevent scab and among roses it prevents black spot. You will need patience as it takes about 3 years for plantings of chives to prevent the 2 diseases. A tea of chives may be used on cucumbers and gooseberries to prevent downy  and powdery mildews. Avoid planting near beans and peas.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: C. coccineum kills root nematodes. (the bad ones) It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium have been used as botanical pesticides for centuries. (i.e. pyrethrum) White flowering chrysanthemums repel Japanese beetles. To the right is a picture of the painted daisy from which pyrethrum is extracted.
CLOVER: Long used as a green manure and plant companion and is especially good to plant under grapevines. Attracts many beneficials. Useful planted around apple trees to attract predators of the woolly aphid. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonization of the pests and increasing the number of predator ground beetles.
COMFREY: Accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Likes wet spots to grow in. Comfrey is beneficial to avocado and most other fruit trees. Traditional medicinal plant. Good trap crop for slugs.
CORIANDER: Repels aphids, spider mites and potato beetle. A tea from this can be used as a spray for spider mites. A partner for anise.
CORN: Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium, lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato, pumpkin, soybeans, squash and sunflower. A classic example is to grow climbing beans up corn while inter-planting pumpkins. The corn provides a natural trellis for the beans, pumpkins smother the weeds and helps corn roots retain moisture. Corn is a heavy feeder and the beans fix nitrogen from air into the soil. The beans do not feed the corn will it is growing but when the bean plants die back they return nitrogen to the soil that was used up by the corn. A win-win situation. Another interesting helper for corn is the weed Pig's Thistle which raises nutrients from the subsoil to where the corn can reach them. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants.
COSTMARY: This 2-3 foot tall perennial of the chrysanthemum family helps to repel moths.
CUCUMBERS: Cucumbers are great to plant with corn and beans. The three plants like the same conditions warmth, rich soil and plenty of moisture. Let the cucumbers grow up and over your corn plants. A great duet is to plant cukes with sunflowers. The sunflowers provide a strong support for the vines. Cukes also do well with peas, beets, radishes and carrots. Radishes are a good deterrent against cucumber beetles. Dill planted with cucumbers helps by attracting beneficial predators. Nasturtium improves growth and flavor. Keep sage, potatoes and rue away from cucumbers.
DAHLIAS: These beautiful, tuberous annuals that can have up to dinner plate size flowers repels nematodes!
DILL: Improves growth and health of cabbage. Do not plant near carrots, caraway or tomatoes. Best friend for lettuce. Attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps. Repels aphids and spider mites to some degree. Also may repel the dreaded squash bug! (scatter some good size dill leaves on plants that are suspect to squash bugs, like squash plants.) Dill goes well with lettuce, onions, cabbage, sweet corn and cucumbers. Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be useful to plant it somewhere away from your tomato plants to keep the destructive horn worm away from them. Do plant dill in an appropriate spot for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars to feed on. Even their caterpillars are beautiful.
EGGPLANT: Plant with amaranth, beans, peas, spinach, tarragon, thyme and marigold. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and does well with peppers. Avoid planting fennel near eggplant.
made from the leaves can be used against aphids, carrot root fly, cucumber beetles and peach tree borers. Put branches and leaves in mole runs to banish them. Elderberry leaves added to the compost pile speeds up the decomposing process.
FLAX: Plant with carrots, and potatoes. Flax contains tannin and linseed oils which may offend the Colorado potato bug. Flax is an annual from 1-4 feet tall with blue or white flowers that readily self sows.
FOUR-O'CLOCKS: Draws Japanese beetles like a magnet which then dine on the foliage. The foliage is pure poison to them and they won't live to have dessert! It is important to mention that Four O'clock are also poisonous to humans and animals. Please be careful where you plant them if you have children and pets. They are a beautiful annual plant growing from 2-3 feet high with a bushy growth form.
GARLIC: Plant near roses to repel aphids. It also benefits apple trees, pear trees, cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. Garlic accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic is systemic in action as it is taken up the plants through their pores and when garlic tea is used as a soil drench it is also taken up by the plant roots. Has value in offending codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly. Researchers have observed that time-released garlic capsules planted at the bases of fruit trees actually kept deer away. It's certainly  worth a try! Concentrated garlic sprays have been observed to repel and kill whiteflies, aphids and fungus gnats among others with as little as a 6-8% concentration! It is safe for use on orchids too.
GERANIUM: -Repels cabbage worms and Japanese beetles, plant around grapes, roses, corn, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. Geraniums help to distract beet leafhoppers, which are the carriers of the curly top leaf virus.
GOPHER PURGE: Deters gophers, and moles.
GRAPES: Hyssop is beneficial to grapes as are basil, beans, geraniums, oregano, clover, peas, or blackberries. Keep radishes and cabbage away from grapes. Planting clover increases the soil fertility for grapes. Chives with grapes help repel aphids. Plant your vines under Elm or Mulberry trees.
HEMP: Repels many types of beetles which attack brassicas.
HORSERADISH: Plant in containers in the potato patch to keep away Colorado potato bugs. Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes. There are some very effective insect sprays that can be made with the root. Use the bottomless pot method to keep horseradish contained. Also repels Blister beetles. We have observed that the root can yield anti-fungal properties when a tea is made from it.
GOPHER PURGE: Deters gophers, and moles.
GRAPES: Hyssop is beneficial to grapes as are basil, beans, geraniums, oregano, clover, peas, or blackberries. Keep radishes and cabbage away from grapes. Planting clover increases the soil fertility for grapes. Chives with grapes help repel aphids. Plant your vines under Elm or Mulberry trees.
LEMON BALM: Sprinkle throughout the garden in an herbal powder mixture to deter many bugs. Lemon balm has citronella compounds that make this work: crush and rub the leaves on your skin to keep mosquitoes away! Use to ward off squash bugs!
LETTUCE: Does well with beets, bush beans, pole beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries. It grows happily in the shade under young sunflowers.
LOVAGE: Improves flavor and health of most plants. Good habitat for ground beetles. A large plant, use one planted as a backdrop. Similar to celery in flavor.
MARIGOLDS: (Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Keeps soil free of bad nematodes; supposed to discourage many insects. Plant freely throughout the garden. The marigolds you choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do attract spider mites and slugs.
  • French Marigold (T. patula) has roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode killing effect lasted for several years after the plants were These marigolds also help to deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. Whiteflies hate the smell of marigolds. Do not plant French marigolds next to bean plants.
  • Mexican marigold (T.  minuta) is the most powerful of the insect repelling marigolds and may also overwhelm weed roots such as bind weed! It is said to repel the Mexican bean beetle and wild bunnies! Be careful it can have an herbicidal effect on some plants like beans and cabbage.
MARJORAM: As a companion plant it improves the flavor of vegetables and herbs. Sweet marjoram is the most commonly grown type.
MELONS: Companions: Corn, pumpkin, radish and squash. Other suggested helpers for melons are as follows: Marigold deters beetles, nasturtium deters bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.
MINT: Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and  tomatoes. Use cuttings as a mulch around members of the brassica family. It attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps. Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is an incredibly invasive perennial. We have found that placing mint (fresh or dried) where mice are a problem is very effective in driving them off!
MOLE PLANTS: (castor bean plant) Deter moles and mice if planted here and there throughout the garden. Drop a seed of this in mole runs to drive them away.  This is a poisonous plant.
MORNING GLORIES: They attract hoverflies. Plus if you want a fast growing annual vine to cover something up morning glory is an excellent choice.
NASTURTIUMS: Plant as a barrier around tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and under fruit trees. Do not plant near cauliflower. Deters wooly aphids, whiteflies, squash bug, cucumber beetles and other pests of the cucurbit family. Great trap crop for  aphids (in particular the black aphids) which it does attract, especially the yellow flowering varieties.  Likes poor soil with low moisture and no fertilizer. It has been the practice of some fruit growers that planting nasturtiums every year in the root zone of fruit trees allow the trees to take up the pungent odor of the plants and repel bugs. Studies say it is among the best at attracting predatory insects. It has no taste effect on the fruit. A nice variety to grow is Alaska which has attractive green and white variegated leaves. The leaves, flowers and seeds of nasturtiums are all edible and wonderful in salads!
NETTLES, STINGING: The flowers attract bees. Sprays made from these are rich in silica and calcium. Invigorating for plants and improves their disease resistance. Leaving the mixture to rot, it then makes an excellent liquid feed. Comfrey improves the liquid feed even more. Hairs on the nettles' leaves contain formic acid which "stings" you.
ONIONS: Planting chamomile and summer savory with onions improves their flavor. Other companions are  carrot, leek, beets, kohlrabi, strawberries, brassicas, dill, lettuce and tomatoes. Intercropping onions and leeks with your carrots confuses the carrot and onion flies! Onions planted with strawberries help the berries fight disease. Keep onions away from peas and asparagus.
OPAL BASIL: An annual herb that is pretty, tasty and said to repel hornworms!
OREGANO: Can be used with most crops but especially good for cabbage. Plant near broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to repel cabbage butterfly and near cucumbers to repel cucumber beetle. Also benefits grapes.
PARSLEY: Allies: Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses and tomato. Sprinkle the leaves on tomatoes, and asparagus. Use as a tea to ward off asparagus beetles. Attracts hoverflies. Let some go to seed to attract the tiny parasitic wasps and hoverflies. Parsley increases the fragrance of roses when planted around their base. Mint and parsley are enemies. Keep them well away from one another.
PEAS: Peas fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant next to corn. Companions for peas are bush beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Sweet pepper and Turnips. Do not plant peas with onions.
PEPPERMINT: Repels white cabbage moths, aphids and flea beetles. It is the menthol content in mints that acts as an insect repellant. Bees and other good guys love it.
PEPPERS, BELL  (Sweet Peppers): Plant peppers near tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage, petunia and carrots. Onions make an excellent companion plant for peppers. They do quite well with okra as it shelters them and protects the brittle stems from wind. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. They should also not be grown near apricot trees because a fungus that the pepper is prone to can cause a lot of harm to the apricot tree. Peppers can double as ornamentals, so tuck some into flowerbeds and borders. Harvesting tip: The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers can be harvested at any stage of growth, but their flavor doesn't fully develop until maturity.
PEPPERS, HOT: Chili peppers have root exudates that prevent root rot and other Fusarium diseases. Plant anywhere you have these problems. Teas made from hot peppers can be useful as insect sprays. Hot peppers like to be grouped with cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash. Herbs to plant near them include: basils, oregano, parsley and rosemary.
PENNYROYAL: Repels fleas. The leaves when crushed and rubbed onto your skin will repel chiggers, flies, gnats, mosquitoes and ticks. Warning: Pennyroyal is highly toxic to cats. It should not be planted where cats might ingest it and never rubbed onto their skin.
PETUNIAS: They repel the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, certain aphids, tomato worms, Mexican bean beetles and general garden pests. A good companion to tomatoes, but plant everywhere. The leaves can be used in a tea to make a potent bug spray.
POACHED EGG PLANT: Grow poached egg plant with tomatoes, they will attract hover flies and hover flies eat aphids.
POTATO: Companions for potatoes are bush bean, members of the cabbage family, carrot, celery, corn, dead nettle, flax, horseradish, marigold, peas, petunia, onion and Tagetes marigold. Protect them from scab by putting comfrey leaves in with your potato sets at planting time. Horseradish, planted at the corners of the potato patch, provides general protection. Don't plant these around potatoes: asparagus, cucumber, kohlrabi, parsnip, pumpkin, rutabaga, squash family, sunflower, turnip and fennel. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other.
PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.
PURSLANE: This edible weed makes good ground cover in the corn patch. Use the stems, leaves and seeds in stir-frys. Pickle the green seed pod for caper substitutes. If purslane is growing in your garden it means you have healthy, fertile soil!
RADISH: One of the workhorses for the garden. Companions for radishes are: radish, beet, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, chervil, cucumber, lettuce, melons, nasturtium, parsnip, peas, spinach and members of the squash family. Why plant radishes with your squash plants? Radishes may protect them from squash borers. Anything that will help keep them away is worth a try. Radishes are a deterrent against cucumber beetles and rust flies. Chervil and nasturtium improve radish growth and flavor. Planting them around corn and letting them go to seed will also help fight corn borers. Chinese Daikon and Snow Belle radishes are favorites of flea beetles. Plant these at 6 to 12 inch intervals amongst broccoli. In one trial, this measurably reduced damage to broccoli. Radishes will lure leafminers away from spinach. The damage the leafminers do to radish leaves does not stop the radish roots from growing, a win-win situation. Keep radishes away from hyssop plants, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and turnips.
RHUBARB: A good companion to all brassicas. Try planting cabbage and broccoli plants your rhubarb patch watch them thrive. Rhubarb protects beans against black fly. Some other interesting companions for rhubarb are the beautiful columbine flowers, garlic, onion and roses! It helps deter red spider mites from the columbines. A spray made from boiled rhubarb leaves, which contain the poison oxalic acid may be used to prevent blackspot on roses and as an aphicide.  
ROSEMARY: Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns of carrots for carrot flies. Zones 6 and colder can overwinter rosemary as houseplants or take cuttings. RUE: Deters aphids, fish moths, flea beetle, onion maggot, slugs, snails, flies and Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries. Companions for rue are roses, fruits (in particular figs), raspberries and lavender. To make it even more effective with Japanese beetles: crush a few leaves to release the smell. Has helped repel cats for us. You should not plant rue near cucumbers, cabbage, basil or sage. A pretty perennial with bluish-gray leaves. May be grown indoors in a sunny window. Rue may cause skin irritation in some individuals.
RYEAn excellent use of plant allelopathy is the use of mow-killed grain rye as a mulch. The allelochemicals that leach from the rye residue prevent weed germination but do not harm transplanted tomatoes, broccoli, or many other vegetables.
SAGE: Use as a companion plant with broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, cabbage, and carrots to deter cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and carrot flies. Do not plant near cucumbers, onions or rue. Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers are pretty. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities.
SPINACH: Plant with peas and beans as they provide natural shade for the spinach. Gets along with cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onion, peas, strawberries.
SOUTHERNWOOD: Plant with cabbage, and here and there in the garden. Wonderful lemony scent when crushed or brushed in passing. Roots easily from cuttings. Does not like fertilizer! It is a perennial that can get quite bushy. We have started to cut it back every spring and it comes back in not time. A delightful plant that is virtually pest free.
SOYBEANS: They add nitrogen to the soil making them a good companion to corn. They repel chinch bugs and Japanese beetles. Why not try soybeans, they are good for you. They are many tasty ways to prepare them.
SQUASH: Companions: Corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.
STRAWBERRY: Friends are beans, borage, lettuce, onions, spinach and thyme. Foes: Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kohlrabi. Allies: Borage strengthens resistance to insects and disease. Thyme, as a border, deters worms.
SUMMER SAVORY: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor. Discourages cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles and black aphids. Honey bees love it.
SUNFLOWERS: Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield. Aphids a problem? Definitely plant a few sunflowers here and there in the garden. Step back and watch the ants herd the aphids onto them. We have been doing this for years and it is remarkable. The sunflowers are so tough that the aphids cause very little damage and you will have nice seed heads for the birds to enjoy. Sunflowers also attract hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Talk about a symbiotic relationship!
SWEET ALYSSUM:  Direct seed or set out starts of sweet alyssum near plants that have been attacked by aphids in the past. Alyssum flowers attract hoverflies whose larva devour aphids. Another plus is their blooms draw bees to pollinate early blooming fruit trees. They will reseed freely and make a beautiful groundcover every year.
TANSY: Plant with fruit trees, roses and raspberries keeping in mind that it can be invasive and is not the most attractive of plants. Tansy which is often recommended as an ant repellant may only work on sugar type ants. These are the ones that you see on peonies and marching into the kitchen. At least for us placing tansy clippings by the greenhouse door has kept them out. Deters flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs, ants and mice! Tie up and hang a bunch of tansy leaves indoors as a fly repellent. Use clippings as a mulch as needed. Don't be afraid to cut the plant up as tansy will bounce back from any abuse heaped on it! It is also a helpful addition to the compost pile with its' high potassium content.
  • Tansy Warning: You do not want to plant Tansy anywhere that livestock can feed on it as it is toxic to many animals. Do not let it go to seed either as it may germinate in livestock fields.
TARRAGON: Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables.
THYME: Deters cabbage worms. Wooly thyme makes a wonderful groundcover. You may want to use the upright form of thyme in the garden rather than the groundcover types. Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. Older woody plants should be divided in spring.
TOMATOES: Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle. One drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes, improves growth and flavor. Bee balm, chives and mint improve health and flavor. Borage deters tomato worm, improves growth and flavor. Dill, until mature, improves growth and health, mature dill retards tomato growth. Enemies: corn and tomato are attacked by the same worm. Kohlrabi stunts tomato growth. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other. Keep cabbage and cauliflower away from them. Don't plant them under walnut trees as they will get walnut wilt: a disease of tomatoes growing underneath walnut trees.
WHITE GERANIUMS: These members of the pelargonum family draw Japanese beetles to feast on the foliage which in turn kills them.
WORMWOOD: Keeps animals out of the garden when planted as a border. An excellent deterrent to most insects. Don’t plant wormwood with peas or beans. A tea made from wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails, black flea beetles and fleas effectively. The two best varieties for making insect spray are Silver King and Powis Castle. Adversely Powis castle attracts ladybugs which in turn breed directly on the plant. Silver Mound is great as a border plant and the most toxic wormwood. Note: As wormwood actually produces a botanical poison do not use it directly on food crops.
 YARROW: Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertilizer. A handful of yarrow leaves added to the compost pile really speeds things up. Try it! It also attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs to name just two. It may increase the essential oil content of herbs when planted among them.
ZINNIA: Pretty zinnias attract hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Alternately the pastel varieties of zinnias can be used as a trap crop for Japanese beetles. All zinnias attract bees and other insect pollinators.

Boost your tomatoes with companion planting

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New seeds! ...and some choas

First off is a mostly an un-garden-related life thing-y I'm happy about. Last night Winter found my glass's! I haven't been able to find them for 2 months! I can see everything so much clearer! Still need a new prescription tho... But his is still so much better!

First thing I did when I woke before eating or anything was day dreaming about garden place meant I even drew out a chart which is going to need amending now..
Then I was changing out the water of my scrap garden I thinned out the onions, 3 of them were dried up on top and extra slimy on the bottom.. I don't think I gave them enough of a start.... Need to cut at least a 1/2 inch about the root base it seems... I was just trying to save every bottom.... The ones I kept all have new white roots on the bottoms peaking out! <3

The cabbage is doing mostly well... I swear it's got roots starting!!!!! I swear that's sort of what it looks like anyways, it looks a little slimy towards the center but along th out side are chunky white bits that were so not there before.... I'll be looking again tomorrow when I change the water again! The leafy bits are less purple and getting bigger and there are more of them! The leaves have some shriveled bits and two remainders from the cabbage head about ready to fall off so tonight I will trim it up a little with my garden scissors.

All my gardening buddies where right the mater seedlings are reaching for light... I turned the tray and last night when I took off and left off the lid, today when I peaked at them they were leaning the other direction. I think tomorrow I will have to find a sunnier spot for them, they are even leggier today and I don't think I have anywhere to put them! I don't have any soil for them... I had no idea they would want to be put into soil so soon! They are still like 2 or 3 days earlier then expected to emerge.

Then the postman came! I know because Domino started barking which she very rarely does. I had a box from Debbie! <3 She sent me beads and seeds!  Thank you so so so MUCH! I'm going to do a while entry on them! I already have an idea for the beads! A belly dancing outfit for my pirate festival.

So after the postman came I took a peak at the other green house and noticed the lettuce was already sprouting! I had just been warned by Aud that I should wait to plant start those till right before planting but alas I had started some. I then noticed white fuzz on them and lifted the lid and was hit with a yucky moldy smell! I immediately ran for my laptop and messaged my gardening friends for help... They said to try cinnamon and milk water... I had nothing to spray the milk water with so I dripped a little drop on each seedling and soaked up the excess with the corner of napkin and dusted each with little cinnamon left the lid off to help dry them out and crossed my fingers.
 Unfortunately the next time I looked over at that green house a big heavy mug of water that had been left in the windowsill above where the greenhouse was had been knocked off on the half with the lettuce! the pellets were crushed and sopping wet. The rest of the pellets are fine but all the labels go knocked off and the only ones I know for sure what they are, are the peppers from LadyFern. I took all the pellets on the peppers side and put them in a pyrex/cornning-ware dish I guess they were meant to be mystery sprouts.. and with the lettuce pellets I tried to lightly squeeze out a little of the excessive h2o and reform them... The Green house base is toast... it has a giant hole in the middle of the bottom and leaks like crazy.. I put the lettuce seedlings on a serving platter and then I later switched the tomatoes into the pryrex and the peppers and mystery seedlings in the remaining greenhouse. All of this now resides on my cleared of fridge! We'll just have to see what happens next!  

Lat night Aud told me about keeping baby powder for the tomatoes... I wonder if that'd work for the lettuce too... Oh the reason I meant to mention Aud was about the suggestion of 4 o' clocks along the fence around the the veggies to help keep away bugs. I am really liking the idea and was curious about them so I asked in the free speech garden group and got an answer fast! Irene who sent me my first batch of seeds besides the ones from LadyFern that got side tracked and might be on there way according to my friend that lives with the friend that was going to be bringing them whom asked 2nd party for my address... Crossing my fingers! Anyways back to Irene and the 4 o' clocks she has some!!!! These are them! - four o' clocks/marbles mixed

Spent the rest of the day unpacking and organizing the left overs of initial mess from moving in... Winter has been on a cleaning rampage and has single handedly handled the insanity that which should be our kitchen and now seems far more like one th it's not done and I agreed to deal with the dish washing part. I organized the bed room as fast as I could so while he is doing the rest of the kitchen stuff I can be here blogging about garden stuff and playing around... I did a lot of work, and half of the time he was out... Gave our friend brandi a ride home and helped his brother move all his stuff out of his now ex girlfriends place, she'd been cheating with this p.o.s. scumbag... We know people who have come in contact with this guy and say he is bad news.. That girl didn't really seem right for Winter's brother anyways in my opinion, she was nice enough but I'd love to see him with someone better! Some one that doesn't just want to use him like that, It makes me pretty angry. Winter's brother liked my planning diagrams =] ..and tonight and last night I have been on such a DIY and garden site kick on my stumble. It is so addictive! Finding lots of craft projects and gardening ideas!

I've been reading this a little at a time today...
extension - trellis 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Plotting out... and Kefir Grains

So there was a break of sunshine in the gray of today and I went out with my measuring tape and garden notebook trying to place things...
This is the rough idea I have in mind! =]
I'm working on a close up of the veggie section next. Planning it's rough plan of where to put everything in their sections. Might have that done sometime tomorrow.

Here are update pictures for the Tom's from around 3pm today. They are getting, what I am told is leggy. They shot up fast, growing quicker then I expected . I have them uncovered now still on top of the fridge I may try and find a sunnier spot tomorrow. I won't be able to get soil for them for another two weeks... Gosh I hope they will be ok for that long in just the pellets, they are the big pellets just for tomatoes. The tomatoes shown in the seed pellets on the package are much bigger then my little seedlings so I am hoping have a little time before they get their second leaves!

Tonight I was shown a site for Kefir grains sharing!
I emailed the two people in Spokane for more info =]
I had read about if before and have really been wanting to try it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Grow a row for the Hungry"

So last night I found a listing for this program called "Grow a row for the hungry"
What a great idea! I wrote the guy about it and haven't heard back about it.. The way it works is they give you seeds and you grow a row for them I think I need more details... this is their list.

Artichoke, Beans (Bush), Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brokali, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Eggplant, Gourds, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mache, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Peas, Peppers (Hot and Sweet), Popcorn, Pumpkin, Radish, Rutabaga, Sorghum, Spinach, Squash (Summer and Winter), Swiss Chard, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini

Cantaloupe, Melons, Watermelon

Arugula, Basil, Caraway, Cilantro, Dill, Endive, Fennel, Parsley, Sorrel, Thyme

Annuals, Perennials

I'm interested in:
Cucumber, Eggplant, Kohlrabi, Peas, Radish, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Endive, Parsley, Sorel, Caraway, Cilantro.
The ones I want most are Beets, Brussels sprouts, Tomatillos and Basil..

SEEDLINGS!!! ..and etc.

Super Yay! =D I have seedlings!!! I brought down the greenhouse box down off the fridge and opened it up to check and see if the pellets needed a bit of water 'cause it's been several days since I checked and half the pellets have a seedling or two!!! I literally danced around the house in joy... and I think I freaked my friends out a little bit with my glee..... I wasn't expecting the sprouts for another 3-5 days! This is so awesome! I'll have to try not to constantly be checking them I want to give them a little space to do their thing. I love love love gardening! Even if everything is pretty much only inside so far. I have been planting the seeds into pellets out side whenever it's sunny. We had a sunny day today! So after the compost fair that's exactly what I was up to! I did make it to the fair even tho I really didn't think I would. Winter was feeling terrible this morning and didn't really want to go...
He perked up after some more rest about an hour before the end of the fair and we ended up making it at the 2:30 mark... which is when they said to be there by at the latest... and we weren't the last ones there either, there was one other couple that got there late. However unfortunately the two ladies before us got the very last two bins, BUT since we made the deadline (even if it was by like a minute)

They gave me a rain check they took down my info and even entered me into a raffle for a free dinner for two... (I never win that sort of thing but it sure would be fun to have a free dinner out with Winter.) I watched the end of the compost video and took home some pamphlets on the basics and about the balances of ingredients and a nifty pen made of recycled cardboard wood and plastic's. I even got a flier for the next fair which I may go to in hopes of free plants or other freebies as it's on arbor day... and also to see some working compost piles and worm bins! I kinda wonder what else might be there, worth a look I think and besides I want to see the arboretum where the big fair is. Todays fair was at a fire station... as we got there the fire fighter looked up from the mulching equipment with a look of hunger like "why you no bring us stuff to mulch!" I was half tempted to bring my leaves but my land lord wanted to do it... and I don't think Winter would have put up with me stuffing his newly clean car with debris LOL. Also we brought Domino with us and everyone there loved her as per usual =] ..and the drive to and from was nice because it was actually sunny almost the whole day!!! On the way back Winter stopped at a shopping center so I could go and check out the big Garden section at ace hardware! We also window shopped the pet store there with our Dommie whom loved all the smells and sniffed pretty much everything... The ladies from the humane society adopt a pet booth gave her doggy jerky and a milkbone. My treat was the window shopping at Ace... I found peat in a BIG block for 9.98! I so wanted it! I knew I left my wallet under the seat in the car for a reason! At this point I need food more =\ Oh and speaking of broke with the trip to do the compost fair I couldn't afford the gas to go get the soup pot. Also on the note of broke and not enough gas I learned when I called the lady with the bunny poo that it is currently way too far out of range of a drive for us... I thought it was in Spokane and it is really not and there are no other reasonable bunny poo listings in our area. Super bummed about it. The listings I had found for starts on line were really reasonable quite a bit better then the store prices at Ace but with the trade of of different stuff. I saw one thing I didn't know how badly I wanted until I saw it and I am not even sure how well they do here... GRAPES! They had grape vine starts! <3 I did get to see what some of the plants I have seeds for might look like today too at Ace and that was so fun!

So I was super inspired when I got home and I got the pellets ready... and while they were doing the sponge thing I started plant maintenance starting with new water for the onions which I trimmed yesterday and then I decided to prop up the cabbage on red lava looking rocks from the yard and then it happened, I discovered the seedlings! Then I had to bust out the camera and take pictures of everything!

Eventually after geek-ing out about my plants I made food for winter and I which lead to a new Scrap planting, this one is Romaine! Then visited with friends telling them all about my plant-ness's... and then went online and chatted and looked up a last few things and then I brought the seeds and mini green house outside and proceeded to plant 4 pellets of bell peppers, 4 kinds of lettuce, 2 pellets of leeks, 2 of kale, and 4 or cabbage. I think I at least want to do some more Cabbage I did 2 pellets red and 2 Brunswick. I still have more pellets but I wanted to make sure I had enough for some of everything else and I still need to do some more research, which I didn't do much of at all yesterday because I played a trial version of the game Plants vrs Zombies.... Good thing it's a trail version that is such a time eater and then when Winter was done running errands we spent the rest of the evening Slaying the Crazy huge seeming Laundry MONSTER beast...!
 Tomorrow I really should continue to organize the new apartment and put things away and clean the kitchen... But, also I think tomorrow is a day for planting flowers if the weather permits and nothing gets in my way... I have my first flowers that came from LadyFern! One other thing happened... When I was done planting seeds I went over to the fence and called out to the neighbor and asked him if he'd like some seeds like LadyFern suggested! I showed him what I had been planting and he said he was growing 4 kinds of lettuce too! He didn't have any cabbage so I went home and made some little cardboard pockets like LadyFerns out of curtain insert and skull and cross bone duct tape and labeled the packets in blue sharpie and wrote my name simply Tory on the back and also wrote not GMO just in case he knows about them and if he doesn't who knows maybe he'll look them up and it'll have an impact on one more person if he doesn't already know...
So tonight a friend mentioned her birdfeeders and I mentioned that I have two feeders that were left here and no idea what to fill them with! Here is the link she gave me! It's awesome! I am so going to fill the bird feeders! Yay! - About Birds and Feeding

One last thing. This is my revised wish-list... I simplified it a bit. I'm still all about any veggies and herbs and potential medicines but I'm a sucker for flowers too... especially edible ones or pinkish purples and blues! 
The Wish List:  Beets. Brussels spouts. Cucumber. Pumpkins. Radish. Rhubarb. Snap peas. Tomatillo. Zucchini. Basil. Bok Choy. Borage. Parsley. Cilantro. Cumin. Fenegreek. Lemon balm. Sage. Saint John's Wort. Stevia, Sweet marjoram. Thyme. loufa gourds. Hibicus. Lavender. Jasmine. Roses. Sunflowers with edible seeds!!! Berries. Clematis. Wisteria. Columbine. Violets. Forget-me-nots. Bleeding Hearts. Iris. Lilies, Blue Bells. Peonies. Grape Hyacinthe, Sweet William. Sweet pea. Pin cushions.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Willow water wow

When talking about growing things from veggie scarps I remembered something about willow water being mentioned for rooting things and wondered if that might help with more then just cuttings and my friend Beverly sent me this info on Willow uses! I love it and wanted to keep the info for later =]
In the fifth century B.C., the Greek physician, Hippocrates, wrote that chewing bark of a willow tree could relieve pain and fever. (No wonder squirrels don’t get headaches.) In 1829, the effective ingredient, salicin, was successfully isolated from willow bark. Toward the end of the 19th century, The Bayer Company in Germany trademarked a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid, calling it “aspirin,” the “a” from acetyl, “spir” from Spiraea (the salicin they used came from meadowsweet, Spiraea ulmaria, subsequently renamed Filpendula ulmaria), and “in,” a common ending in drug nomenclature.
In the 20th century, over one trillion aspirin, the first medicine created by techniques of modern chemistry, were consumed globally to regulate blood vessel elasticity, reduce fevers and aches, prevent cardiovascular ailments, affect blood clotting, or ease inflammation.
Native Americans and early settlers used willow bark for toothaches and applied it to the source of other pains. But they also recognized that you can actually grow a whole new tree by taking a stem and sticking it in moist soil. The hormones in willows cause rapid rooting, and they discovered these same hormones could induce rooting in other plants, too.
Willow water
To harness this power, they made a tonic called “willow water” by collecting willow twigs, trimming the leaves, immersing the stems in a pail of water, and pouring the water on newly planted trees, shrubs, and bedding plants. Commercial rooting preparations contain a synthetic form of indolebutyric acid (IBA) and growing tips of willows contain high concentrations of IBA, depending on the quantity used and length of time you soak them. Any willow (Salix) tree or shrub species will work.

Another discovery: In the January, 2004 issue of The Avant Gardener, a monthly newsletter to which you can subscribe for $24/year at Horticultural Data Processors, Box 489, New York, N.Y. 10028, editor Thomas Powell notes that gardeners reported all sorts of plants growing remarkably better when given regular doses of tiny amounts of aspirin (1 part to 10,000 parts water; larger doses actually proved toxic),” and that The Agricultural Research Service is investigating the reasons behind aspirin’s beneficial effects.
Plants make salicylic acid to trigger natural defenses against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Aspirin thus is an activator of ‘Systemic Acquired Resistance’ (SAR). However, plants often don’t produce the acid quickly enough to prevent injury when attacked by a microbe. Spraying aspirin on the plants speeds up the SAR response. Tests have shown this works on many crops, producing better plants using less pesticide. “It also makes it possible to successfully grow many fine heirloom varieties which were discarded because they lacked disease resistance.” Powell says.
Scientists first encountered the SAR phenomenon in the 1930s. After encountering a pathogen, plants use salicylic acid as a key regulator of SAR and expression of defense genes. “Only recently have companies begun marketing salicylic acid and similar compounds as a way to activate SAR in crops—tomato, spinach, lettuce, and tobacco among them,” according to Powell.
“ARS scientists are studying plants’ defenses, such as antimicrobial materials like the protein chitinase which degrades the cell walls of fungi, and nuclease enzymes which break up the ribonucleic acid of viruses. They’re also testing aspirin and other SAR activators which could be effective against non-microbial pests such as aphids and root-knot nematodes,” Powell says. “This may be the most important research of the century. Stimulating SAR defenses with aspirin or other activator compounds could result in increased food production and the elimination of synthetic pesticides.”
He recommends we experiment by spraying some plants with a 1:10,000 solution (3 aspirins dissolved in 4 gallons of water), leaving other plants unsprayed. Tests have shown that the SAR activation lasts for weeks to months. (Sort of homeopathic heart attack prevention for your plants.)
Things to do:
Make your own willow water:Easily root azaleas, lilacs, summersweets (Clethra spp.) and roses by gathering about two cups of pencil-thin willow branches cut to 1-3 inch lengths. Steep twigs in a half-gallon of boiling water overnight. Refrigerated liquid kept in a jar with a tight-fitting lid will remain effective up to two months. (Label jar so you won’t confuse it with your homemade moonshine.) Overnight, soak cuttings you wish to root. Or water soil into which you have planted your cuttings with the willow water. Two applications should be sufficient. Some cuttings root directly in a jar of willow water. Make a fresh batch for each use. You can also use lukewarm water and let twigs soak for 24-48 hours.
Ilene Sternberg is a freelance writer and amateur gardener with a certificate of merit in ornamental plants from Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania and a former garden guide at Winterthur in Delaware.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bunny poo and Garbage Gardening...

SO I heard back from the gal with the Composted Rabbit manure! She still has it and I can go pick it up Sat or Sunday! Free compost! Yay! I am so doing a happy dance! I was so worried I wouldn't get it! I really want it!

Winter promised me we have a garden day tomorrow and get the rototiller... I had a feeling he wouldn't be able to get around to it today... Tonight we're going to the Laundromat with our giant laundry monster pile. It's quite scary lol.

Also found some listings for veggies starts and edible sunflowers for 2$ each, some berry starts for 50 cents each, and rhubarb starts for 5$ each. Fun for day dreaming! No idea if they will still have them later. I also found a listing for a soup pot for 5$ and other house things in a storage unit, we'll look into that on Saturday. I really want a soup pot my sauce pan is not big enough.

We did make it to the general store and dollar tree to see what they had cheap and they don't really have the tools I want even tho their prices are pretty good. I did get a pair of garden scissors and some pots and trays for the bell peppers, they may not be big enough for permanent homes tho... I do have slightly lager ones... Maybe I should use the smaller ones for tomatoes and the bigger ones for the Bell peppers...

 I took a picture from my bedroom window today of the left corner where the garden will live once we get the yard tilled up. From where the trash can you can barely see on the left side of the picture along the fence is where I want to put roses I think.... Going to need a lot of roses to fill that space... I could put flowers there too... I think the morning glories will go on the other fence on the other side of the garden to the right and the raspberries in right corner... Ok, so this is sort of what my plant is so far.... About 3 feet wide along the fence and a large corner section that I have not exactly measured out yet... I know how big it is when I go out there and look at it walking but not the actual measurements... Potential potential potential... I can feel it getting closer to a time when I can actually work on this project more!!!

Also today I took pictures of my garbage garden, which is the things I am trying to grow from scraps... I was really hopeful about the cabbage that has little buds on it but am told by my friend Barry he doesn't think it can root and as far as he knows you can only grow them from seeds... Well it was worth a try... I'm curious to see how long it lasts =\ Well I have renewed hope about the onions from
Beverly who showed me pictures of hers that she has planted in soil now <3 And also inspiration from Debbie with her celery! Thank you so much! Super inspiring!!! I'm not giving up hope on these onions... Crossing my fingers and keeping and eye out fro some growth! =] And next I'm going to try lettuce and the celery too! <3

I am really looking forwards to getting a lot done this weekend! Please wish me luck ok! I a super excited!
Need to start more seeds too and I'll be doing some more research too...

By the way to all my gardening friends... thank you so much for all your encouragement, I learn so much from all of you and love your company!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looking, planning, wishing, dreaming...

So when I typed Compost and Spokane into goggle I found out that this Saturday the 14th is a free chipping and Compost event! There is a big one on the 29th too for Arbor day =] Maybe there will be other free-bee's too! Worth a try right???
free compost bin

I am trying to get a hold of Bark Boys Landscape Supplies to find out how much compost is.

My friend Sage told me about Habitat for humanity's Surplus store so I'm going to look into it and see what they have and what their prices are like.

I don't think Winter will be up to getting and helping me with the rototiller tomorrow because he is still up from yesterday. Friday will have to be the day instead. Of course... Will have to wait longer. =[

I am thinking of morning glories on the fence and LadyFern got me thinking of roses.... So I have been day dreaming of wanting a rose hedge and maybe some vining verities... Another thing I had thought of for next to the fence is Raspberries or something similar... - raspberry

I have a picture forming in my mind now... =D

Also thinking about bees...
beekeeping laws and regulations

Oh and I found a few promising listings on Craigslist like Composted Rabbit Manure.. =]

Ok off to do more research!