Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Neener neener

This is my bumper crop for the year. Ive been out picking a bowl a day and tossing all the moldy(!!!) toms. We are up to about 50% loss with the weather this week. I would pick more but I'm out of room now. As these ripen up, I send them to work and eat them all melty on English muffins, but it only comes to about 5 a day... and no one wants the ugly ones for some reason. Hmmph.

I thought tearing out tomato plants would be the saddest thing ever... but I'm completely over it now.
Especially when they are looking like this:

Brandy boy, Black Tula and Omar have met there fate now. I've got more to pull out I just need some sunlight to do it.

Meanwhile I'll focus on the flowers blooming instead of the dying tomatoes...

A rose by any other name is still from RiteAid

Unknown emergency roses from 2007

Does Autumn Joy always fall the OTHER direction?

The first and biggest sunflower. At least a foot wide now

Sunflower competition

Backup multiheaded sunflower

Monday, September 27, 2010

More pictures than progress

The sunflowers are finally peeking over the fence into the garden.  I have had 2 neighbors comment on them,
I'm like a proud mama, just beaming with delight over the long waited flowering. The tomatoes are looking a bit ragged, but they are still ripening plenty.

The tomatoes are going crazy. At this moment I have 30 tomatoes sitting all around my house ripening... 30! Below is the 2 Siamese tomatoes turned into salsa.

This is an unknown ground cover given to me by Ophelia. She said it spreads quite fast. Anyone know what it is called? I randomly stuck it in the dirt because I don't know where I want it... now it has started reproducing! In the center top of the pic is a new shoot.

This is what we did this weekend.....
Dug a giant hole, spread the dirt around this section of yard to even out our slope(still need more dirt)
 Bought a truckload of compost...

 Filled in the hole! This is the future Asparagus bed. The 3 year wait will be worth it.
Plant Spring 2011> Eat Spring 2014 and every spring thereafter!

Doesn't look like much from back here--but I'm stupidly excited about the levelling of the yard. All around the edge of the retaining wall the ground slopes and makes it hard to mow. Who would ever thought I'd be this excited about dirt? (Notice the Sunflower in the back? It just wants to be in every shot.)

This is what I used the last 1/2 wheel barrow of dirt for. We raised the level of dirt between stones. It settles  slowly and we don't want Margarita to break a heel between the stones. Plus the fresh dirt makes the little star creeper look greener.

That's it. Move along. I have hundreds of pics and this is all you get today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last day of summer

What is with all the spiders this week?
We have so many we have started naming them. Big Bertha, the sleeping ladies outside the slider...

The one Travis likes to pet... 3 more in this pic below...

My 1 non gigantic sunflower started blooming!! Multi headed even! Come on Sunflowers! It's a battle against time now. 3 of 15 blooming?

This is the Monday tomato harvest. Lots of cherry tomatoes. Mmmmmmm, like candy. I slacked on the harvest this weekend due to not being able to eat real food. I better get out and get the last beans too.

My itty bitty zukes, squash and patty pans. I keep losing them when they get any bigger. The zukes are only about 4 inches long... is it blossom end rot when the blossom rots and makes the ends icky?

This is why you listen when your garden advisor tells you to stake your tomatoes with 8ft supports when you are told... Not 4ft posts 2 weeks later, and extend them 2 months later. Early girl took out Brandy boy and they were both caught by Cherokee Purple. Whoops

I think I'm losing my first pepper plant. Temps are quite down this week, supposed to drop to under 50 this week... I'm leaving it anyway. Hoping to get more red ones. Same with Jalapenos--not pictured--I recently heard that Jalapenos turn RED?! I cannot wait to see that.

So long Summer, Farewell tomatoes and peppers! It was a great time--stay a bit longer next year will you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things!

I bought this Provence lavender as a gift to myself for my wisdom tooth surgery... Just what I needed. Im trying to plan this in to the lower moat for next year. Meanwhile even the foliage smells great!

Crocosmia, given to me early spring and I've learned that these should be planted in the ground, not pots. I see them 4ft tall in neighbors yards, and mine are only about 2ft and only started blooming in August.
Fuchsia( Gartenmeister Bonstedt Fuchsia )
Bought one last year and lost it to Father Winter. This year I bought itty bitty plants online and it is doing great! Hummingbirds love it. I'll bring it in this winter for sure!

My first sunflower to bloom. See the hand its holding to its mouth in embarrassment? It should be!

Long shot of sunflower being embarrassed.

Here I am posing with the almost sunflower in the rain. It is as tall as me at 5ft 7!

This is a tree in a friends yard-I've always wondered what it is..Anyone?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saving money on ground cover

I spent $24 on 5 -4inch pots of Little Star Creeper at Molbaks early August. This seems to be a hard one to find via seed. Its a Steppable product and the easy to find option is Blue Star and White Star creeper which are taller than this Little Star. Being a fast growing ground cover, I still couldn't find it sold in a flat at any of the local nurseries. Would have saved me alot of time.
So a new plan formed! I will propagate my OWN!

I divided 4 of the 5 plants in to 4th or 8th and planted in corners and some on a few edges to get a more covered area. Over all I only lost 2 of the 1/8pcs in 5 weeks

8/11 Just planted
I took the 5th plant and separated it in to fourths and planted in soil.
Meanwhile kept the patio watered regularly on hot days.
Still growing...and perky too. 8/22

8/26 the plants are growing!

9/18 I finally have 4-4inch plants. Cost $4: Outcome $16 worth = Time 5 weeks.

9/18 I separated 3 of the 4 in to there own flats. ($18 worth of soil/flat containers to be used alot) and bought 2 more plants to spread more cover faster($8). In the 2nd tray from the top I planted the 2 new plants whole, and in half, where as my original grown ones I separated out as 4ths again. Always testing. The 4th plant I grew I cut up and planted as a test strip in between the stones.

Here it is mid September on the most planted stone, growing in nicely in 6 weeks.
Ultimately this section cost $8 using 1/4th in the corners and 1/8th around the edges. But by spreading it myself that would have only cost $2.
Now I'm about $50 in to this, but being we will end up with more than 80 stones with 4 corners and 4 edges each, the time it would take to grow (years) or buy that many plants($160 + time) would be alot of no fun. This way by next summer we should be most the way grown. Plus now I have several flats I can learn to start seeds in!

Any questions?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Edited Stairs with finale!

So these were the stairs we bought...they were DIRTY, but not ruined.

This is Zombie Travis showing how narrow our stairs are.

This is the morning after we moved in... once we realized the carpet cleaning man failed. Mildew and hangovers do not mix.

After we removed all the carpet, 4 days and 12 hrs after the carpets were cleaned, this is how wet they still were.

And here is me, sanding the ugly stairs 5 months later.

They needed a lot of patch work. But they have more depth without the carpet and pad.

More work

Big knots

I labelled the nails for Travis to come by and punch them in.

And then--I taped the edges, to what point Im not sure, as I scratched them pretty bad while sanding(amatuer for sure). They will probably get painted at a later date.

I taped these after having a wisdom tooth out, so its all I was qualified to do this evening.
But tomorrow--we paint! Almost 6 months after we tore out the carpet and 913 staples.

No matter what--It will look better than it has all this time. Not sure if the brown we picked will match the edges or the railing...
We have been almost ready to paint for weeks, but like they say--if it aint broke, dont fix it.

Plus, the garden has been captivating us.
Tune in Sunday(maybe monday?) for an added picture of wet stairs!

Not the best picture from my phone--but Im very proud! Can hardly wait til they are dry and Im not trapped downstairs. Time to go around the house to shower!

Overkill--from digital camera.