Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saving Seeds

 This is Kale seed. Last year the healthiest plants were let to bolt in the hot weather at seasons end. When they had grown a healthy seed the seed heads were plucked to dry. They have dried well over the long hot summer. Now at falls planting they are all well ready. Now in the other climates this is done in springs end into their summer. We have the seeds here in late spring. Getting ready begins with keeping eye on the healthiest of each of your crop.
 Tossed last week these are already germinated into a promise of good harvest a few weeks out. Love Kale, so good for using in those dishes that call for greens that won't just wilt out.
 The process of shelling seed is one that the day was spent on. Many others had already been accomplished. Alas I was behind on this duty.
 This is seed of a orchid tree. One that was a volunteer on my side yard. It is so pretty now. Perhaps I could do a seed swap with some of you if your interested.
 This is the snapdragon the husk is really hard and the seeds tiny. Even if you go for a walk all you need to do is collect a few seed heads, just ask them first.
 Now some seed is so tiny. Oh the variety of shapes and sizes amaze and amuse me.
Remember to save seed and trade seed. Keeping those old heirloom varieties going.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Planting today all day

After all the work the last week or two on the soil preparations today was the big day. Over 21 things went into the soil. The list on side bar is the total so far. Mostly.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Morning in the garden

 The gnomes turned their back to me when the realized that the rest of the seeds can't go in until after the 5th. I told them it is time to tend the things in and get the earth ready for those to come. Looks like that free plant at the foreground right hand might be a tomato. Nice it will make fine salad with the cucumber next to it. Again that south bed is a bit of a miff to all of us too ( the gnomes and I) It is just not friendly. The PH needs to be tested and trouble shot. Me thinks too much nitro. The radish is just not performing. Had to cover the carrot. Seems a cat likes me till. Some cayenne will be a cure once I can get to the herb shop. It is cheaper there than the grocery.
 This end of center bed had yet to be amended  and turned. This week another task to tend too.
 The french marigold is happy. As is the broccoli in the back right.
 Well after sitting a spell they came to terms with the work ahead and decided to give me a break. As long as I keep at it. Least they could do is offer a little help digging that earth up. After reasting a while in the cool of the shade a humming bird came to visit a while.

 Well after a second go at it this bed will be ready at weeks end.
It was planted prematurely. The compost had not been added and it was taken for granted that it would not need it. However each year we must add compost to keep this clay soil even.
So by weeks end chard and kale will go in again.
All the clods broken down now, tomorrow it will get a good watering from the raid tank.

Another day in the garden and the soil on my hands is a reminder that we are all conected.
The coop was cleaned today as well and the compost will yet continue to grow.
It was 3 feet tall and now is only a little left.
And the circle of life turns, turns, turns.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time to plant Root crop, bulbs and perennials Oct 23-30 Here in Az

He thought they were for him, at least a dog can hope

 The large center raised bed will be for carrots season.
We eat carrots every day.
The bed is fine tilde no rocks at all.
The depth of it is all so, it has been a big job.
 Tip here 
When planting carrot and parsley soak the seeds overnight
 cucumber and chive
 This an unexpected gift from compost.
I think it is a tomatoe plant. I never remove a self sewed plant.
I figure it liked it enough to grow there it must be a happy plant
 There are a few early buds on the cucumber.
Tip here NEVER touch a cucumber until your ready to pick it.
Funny plant that way, oh yes I learned the hard way :)
 The Radish is a little leggy. I think there is too much nitro in the soil.
This bed is against the South wall. Too much shade.
 If you look at the left corned. Another gift a little basil plant. 
I have been longing for fresh basil.
 The peas are being eaten by somebody.
This is the third replant.

 That 3 foot compost pile did real well in the summer heat.
It is almost all gone. I have yet to dig it in the far bed. Had a failed crop of Swiss chard.
Going to replant it and the kale next week.
The broccoli is doing well on the far right in image

 Strawberry pot still hold a little promise. I need to get a nice stepping stone for the bench corner. The cushions that I got will the money my dad left me are now on the bench. Water tank hold a fair amount.

 Once carrots were in the earth I just had to step back and admire that beautiful earth. Center row is the longest to harvest. Near the edge is the smaller ones. That way the kids can easily reach them when they are ready in 55 days or so.

Well get your root stocks in this week or you'll need to wait for another lunar cycle

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dirty Dozen Fruits and Vegitables

Menu Plan Monday

If you are eating these food as non-organics you could be ingesting countless pesticides.
*domestic blueberries
*sweet bell peppers
*spinach,kale, collard greens
imported *grapes

The good news is that all of the ones with an * can be grown at our elevation with a bit of know how.
Education is a must however and great effort as well. I have grown celery (an English variety),spinach,kale and Swiss chard very successfully. Lettuce is so easy. On my wish list are others that I do hope to get into the earth as the budget permits.

See the full news article here

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Planting the Annuls and the crops with seeds outside

It is the season after new moon. Between now and the quarter moon (Oct 14th) we are to enjoy planting our annuals.
I am so excited to begin. Planting by the moon is a wonderful way to keep the wisdom of the elders alive.

Remember the old farmers Almanacs
Click on the image to locate our 2011 Farmers Almanac
Pour a cup of tea and educated your self in the simple ways of old.
The Old Farmer's Almanac 2011

Preparing flower seed inventory

Welcome to my morning office

Planting by the moon cycles dictates this week be spent preparing the Annual beds.
Keeping good order of our seed is important.
Next year at the time of using my saved seeds life will be easy for me. 
Saved seed does not have the luxury of seed packages with all the data on them needful to replant in a beneficial way. On the inventory sheet is the information needed for success. NO need to do all the research again. It is all there.
When What Where Why
soil needs
 days to germination
height at thinning
full grown height

Companion planting if applicable.
Seed packets. Notes on heirloom or hybrid type

Each page is set in alphabetical order. Click to enlarge.
sweet peas up the trellis

These are just beginning only 2 weeks in. Bachelor buttons, Shasta daisy, forget-me-nots, sweet peas and lupines. There are also columbines. This is my blue/white bed. Now some nasturtiums vines that had reseeded are also joining them. They are a fire palate so they may get pulled.

Lupines. Remember to chill seeds of lupines for 7 days before planting
The ferns are loving the cooler days. Well under 100 here has been a treat.
My seeds now sorted into annuals, perennials and biennials.
I study some types on line and then add the printed information to the data page.

This is the week to plow and cultivate.
The iris have been removed and will go in after the the full moon. All bulbs, perennials, biannual and root crops will go in then. All flowering annuals, and ground crops with outside seed will go in between the 7th-14th. Ground crops with inside seed between the 14th and the 22 of October. The soils will be attained from the side yard once screened of rock. This bed will need to be dug with pick ax then screened as well. All semi shade will go toward the house the South of the bed. Taller iris to the left full sun. The flax to the background with annuals the shortest coming toward the foreground. The trailing flax will flow over edge. Now mind you that the hole is hoped to be filled up once this is broken up for drainage and root development.
Some parts will be left poorer soil for those flowers that prefer it. One side will be rich soil and so on.

Garden morning amending the earth

Many people ask me how to start their gardens.

Who needs a gym?!

Last year this was the process that began my garden extension

I recessed the main beds and transferring it to the raised bed stamping out the clumps...a water bath was used to try to soften the soil.

The North bed was salted with the amendments once the level was reached.
The compost added it will just take a bit of effort to keep breaking it up so it can get seeded.

It is looking much better.
The cucumber will get trained up the trellis and so they can be watched out the kitchen window.

Now with great interpretation I began the rigorous task of shifting the South extension bed into the center extension and to a pile out of the way.
The gecko population was awesome and the bellies were fat on all the lizards by the end of the time. The crickets and such were good feed for them all. I just love lots of lizards in my garden.

Use whatever motivation you can get!

water softened the earth as I gave it a gentle spray.

Now I considered a few more scoops of stone out of here but found myself compelled to set that South bed.

As I looked out on the yard with eyes of vision and hope it helped me not to feel too over loaded with duty.

So began I the task.
It was a challenge but I think I must be pretty stubborn

The earth is being salted with these things so far.
click to image enlarge

By then I thought my elbows are going to fall off.
My husband had a brain storm and told me the way to reset the block to make it a finished edge. So I turned all of the ones that I could and got a bit to sore of the joint to do much more of it.

After water and chopping at the beds it is improving
I have only two more weeks here to get these seeds in the earth

Monday, October 4, 2010

October moon phases

Today Oct 7
Oct 14
First Quarter
Oct 22

Oct 30
Last Quarter
Moon Planting Rule
New Moon To Full Moon: Sow, Transplant, bud and graft.
Full Moon To New Moon: Plow, Cultivate, weed and reap.
New Moon To First Quarter: Good for Planting above-ground crops with outside seeds,
flowering annuals.
First Quarter To Full Moon: Good for planting above ground crops with inside seeds.
Full Moon To Last Quarter: Good for planting root crops, bulbs, biennials, and perennials.
Last Quarter To New Moon: Do Not Plant