It’s Spring. Really and truly this time.

After a few false starts and Nor’easters with snow, ice and freezing rain it is now officially Spring in the Hudson Valley. Marchuary was tough and April was only marginally better. Mother Nature is now trying to make up for all of the drama and new life is bursting out all over. Finally!

So better late than never I’ve gotten started with my seed starts for this year’s garden. So this was about a week ago:

And here is the big reveal last night:

Ok so they’re all looking a bit scraggly now but once I adjust the height of the lights and they start growing we’ll be ok.

I think.

This year’s crop: Tomatoes-Shimmer, Tumbling Tom, 4th of July, Italian Ice, Green Zebra, Roma. Eggplant-Italian, Millionaire. Basil-Crimson King. Peppers-Diamond, Cubanelle. Fern leaf Dill.

Let’s grow!

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4 Nor’easters later, Spring?

March in New York has been really interesting. Four Nor’easters in March and nighttime temperatures in the 20’s on a regular basis. Not quite what I had in mind. Mother Nature has a mind of her own so I’m just hoping she’s finally decided to let us have some Spring.

Took a walk around the yard today and found a few really clear signs of Spring.

Scylla wildflower - not sure spelling is correct.Snowdrop.

It’s March, that explains it all.

There I was last weekend all excited at the first signs of Spring flowers. Today it’s snowing and we just hauled in another 40lb bag of ice melt. The environmentally gentle type of course.

So it looks like March is in like a lion! I’m expecting a flock of gentle lambs to end the month. Cute, gentle, fluffy lambs.

The Wide World of Tomatoes

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Homemade garden salad.

So far this season’s tomatoes are great to look at and I’ve been told good to eat too. I had friends over for a small BBQ and a few were noshing on tomatoes and basil straight off the vine and I saw a few munching on the lettuce too! This is why I love my friends! And my tomatoes!.

 

Assorted tomatoes from a quick harvest.
Perfect Roma.

 

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Caprese from the garden.

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Double+ tomato!

 

Cucumbers and Tomatoes

The good news is that the Straight Eight cucumber seeds I planted over the July 4th weekend are growing nicely and will have to be trellised soon. 


I’m hoping I drilled enough holes in the self watering container that it’s no longer self watering. Apparently cakes don’t like wet feet. 

The tomato crop is coming along fairly well except for some end rot. 


Hopefully the calcium I added to all the pots last weekend will solve the problem going forward. It’s only happening with one variety so far. 

This year we tried to space out the barrels better so there is more space between them for air circulation. So of course we’re having a particularly wet season. 

The peppers are doing nicely however. 


And I’m about to harvest my first Gretel eggplant of the season today! 


Not the best picture of her. 

More later!

Growing Along

The summer-like weather has made my veggies very happy. We caged up the tomatoes this weekend, they are getting big very quickly.  Over the years we’ve gravitated to the 3-sided cages as opposed to the conical ones because they give more support. We tend to grow indeterminate tomatoes and in a good year the vines have reached upwards of 8-ft.


This year we have a little bit of a mix in types, the Black Krims are determinate and tend to be short and bushy overall.

It’s been a week and most of the lettuce seed has germinated, I expect the rest of it to be up by the end of the week. I planted Oak Leaf, Deer Tongue and a red lettuce that I don’t remember the name of.


That’s a quickie on where things are in the garden, I’ll do an herbal update later!

The Rain Garden is Taking Over

IMG_4235Nearly 10 years ago I planted a rain garden in the front of my house and it was little and cute and quite well behaved. Needless to say it has grown and developed a mind of it’s own.

The petite Japanese Maple has grown a rather spectacular canopy thanks in part to our cutting down the two huge Arbor Vitae that were shading it. The bee balm were getting shaded out so they moved over the winter towards the middle of the garden, the Caramel Heuchera are hidden somewhere under hostas along with the astilbe.

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Poking out along the edges are irises and daylilies. The grand centerpiece is the flowering quince I planted about three years ago that has decided to love life. The key with my garden was to find plants that only needed part sun and didn’t mind having wet feet. This would not have been a good area to plant lavender.

I think I’m going to have to thin some of this out to give everyone some breathing room.

By design this is the best watered spot around the yard as I have three drainspouts coming off of the main roof and the porch roofs. I love the rain garden concept and I have used it to a lesser extent on the other side of the house. Living in the city is challenging in that most of the lot is taken up by the house and driveway.