Sunday, May 24, 2015


Now, I will admit that by this point, this post is rather old, but one day about a month plus ago now, I went to move the ground cherries, tomatillos and eggplants into pots. As you can see the nicely planted seeds had become a mess of plants growing everywhere.  They had started to try and grow over the herbs I had placed in the missing cells spot to contain some water for them. 
Another small jungle
Imagine my surprise when I pulled out the one tomatillo that grew (one out of 6 cells had a plant). The tomatillo was flowering before it ever gets out of the seed starter... I think the grow light was worth it. The plants did seem rather happy under our new addition. We may have to set up a second one next year for a bit better coverage of the plants.
Flowers already?
I left the flowers on as I placed the tomatillo into its pot. The tomatillo and the ground cherries both I used our same method of planting as tomatoes where we buried part of the stem to help increase root production.
into the pot
That day, Pooka and I managed to get all the eggplants, ground cherries, and tomatillo into pots. The plants were all much bigger and sturdier than in previous years, so I do think the grow light has helped. Although it is always nice to be able to say "and at least now they are in dirt." Although, lets be honest, Pooka just loves being able to say "And now I am playing in the dirt."
More pots done

We also managed to get the valerian and the yarrow into pots as well. Due to pot space (and lack of pots) we did have to have them share a space, but it worked out great when we were transplanting later. These 2 ended up living on the front porch to harden off while the rest went out to live in the same jungle as the tomatoes. But at least they are done now. 

Yarrow and valerian

Friday, May 15, 2015

Girls weekend ends up at the nursery

The first girls weekend of the summer came in April and of course it wouldn't be a good girls weekend we didn't end up at the nursery. With the possibility of frost in our future, we were very careful with what we chose.
The haul
We came home with another set of purple chives for Pooka and K to munch on. These will have the pretty purple flowers we can make chive vinegar from. We also bought a new strawberry plant (ours didn't fair so well over the winter) and a purple set of flowers called campanula.
The strawberry went into a pot in the back yard. It seems none of our strawberries from last year survived so it was nice to get a new set. This is one of a few we will be planting this year.
Pooka's picture of her flower
Pooka actually took this is the purple flower campanula. She had to walk in her flower bed and said "Well, I hope nothing was planted here." Pooka loved the color and the shape of it and the fact it was already blooming. She couldn't wait to show K her new flowers.  
In its new home
This was planted in her little pollinator bed since we did read that it was good for butterflies and maybe hummingbirds. Pooka loves having her spot of flowers, but I will admit, I no longer remember what is out there. I meant to draw a map, but well, I forgot so it's now her "random flowers" collection. Sadly, this is one of those jobs I fell behind on and I don't know if I can do it anymore. At least I have the blog which tells me what I planted if I go looking I suppose.
Purple flower chives
Finally her chives ended up in the herb bed Pooka is so excited for these and while Daddy jokes about needing to mow the rest of the chives, I know they won't stand a chance once Pooka and K can play together this summer and eat them all. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Update on purple dragon

I know, I fell behind on updates again, things are slowing down for me at least this week, so I am hoping to play catch up. 

Pooka's purple dragon has done well with where it was. It not only sprouted but Pooka has loved the interesting colors of the leaves. This is what it looked like in it's take out container of a cup. 
Purple dragon plant
 It was doing so well, that Pooka asked if we could put it in a pot for her to care for. This will be a container that she can bring in out and keep for as long as the plant survives. We used her faithful blue container that seems to hold just about anything she really wants.  It is currently living on the front porch for now, but I am sure she will be relocating it every time I turn around. Pooka loves her little dragon plant.
Dragon plant in it's new home. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Starting another batch of herbs

Well, we are still running behind getting these posts done, but one thing we have done is start a few more seeds. I had these left over peat pots from a year ago. They take seed starter soil, but it was what I had and I was trying to not buy too much more. We pulled out the seed starter mix and got to work.
Well, we found pots
Once they were filled, we ended up putting chives (from the chive box), as well as dill, cilantro, and parsley in them.  This allowed us to finish off a few seed packets and again try to use what we have.

I apparently forgot to take an after picture with all the popsicle sticks sticking out, but its the same as every other year. By the time we got these started, we had already started moving the tomatoes out of the seedling containers, so some of the cups got put in that tray to save space.  The rest got put in a  muffin tin at first. Once we finished potting up the tomatoes, the rest got moved into that container as well.
An almost done photo
Since I did this a while ago, I can say they all seemed to have sprouted quite nicely. They are still a bit small to go in the ground, but they are making up time quickly. The entire tray currently lives outside and is getting ready to harden off and be put into the front beds. Maybe I will remember first of the month pictures... Maybe.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

If you give a Pooka Seeds

If you give a Pooka seeds, she will be happy. But those seeds will need a home, so Mommy will try to put them in the seed bucket.
Seeds everywhere
Then the seeds will outgrow the seed container, driving a Mommy to wonder how to keep control while a Pooka smiles at all the seeds.

Seeds overflowing
So Mommy had to buy another bucket for the seeds.  (Okay, I am ruining the story here, but I will admit that we had wondered for awhile if I could just find those buckets again. We really love them and they worked perfectly, so when we found this at target, I paid full price just to have the bucket. The purple chives were a bonus).
Yay continer
Pooka and Mommy empty the new bucket and plant the chive seeds (More on that later) and start wondering how to know which seeds go where. 

Empty bucket
Until Mommy remembers they have a label maker and Pooka loves to use it. She loves getting to type out words, so she was happy.
And one label turned into a label for each binder clip. The flowers and the carrots and peas/beans ended up in one bucket
Chive bucket
And the other bucket got the vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and lettuces. Now the seeds are all organized and it is so much simpler to send a Pooka out looking for seeds. 
Dill bucket

Until someone buys Pooka more seeds..

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tomatoes learn personal space

Okay, I admit it. In all the end of semester, end of school (since the kids and I are in different schools), spring garden plus the return of garden club for Pooka, and spring birthday world, I have been less than on top of things here. I promise stuff is still getting done, but here is me starting to play catch up and hopefully getting caught up.

A few weeks ago now, Pooka and I went to do our morning check on the tomatoes and realized that well.. they may of gotten a bit big. As in, big enough to start touching the light bulb on the grow light. Somethign needed done.
I think the grow light is working
And while it was a bit cool still outside, Pooka and I took our tomato tray outside to try and deal with this mess. Yes it looked worse once it was out of the light.
Oh dear... its a forest
The tomato plants had gotten rather big, so we started trying to gently pull the plants apart from the mass of vegetation. I will admit I should of done something sooner, but oh well. This is just one of the average size tomato plants. Yes those are regular coffee filters for scale (okay, honestly, they were there, but it gives you a good sense of how big these things got).
Tomato plant
I will admit it took Pooka and I the better part of a day to just sit there and pot the tomatoes. While we were doing that, Daddy and Brother were working on the side bed pulling off rocks and pulling out the old brick. I am not sure if Daddy or I got the worse end of the bargin. However, at least from my work, we will have food one day. The tomatoes no longer look like this, and some may or may not (okay may) of been a bit frost burned in my attempts to harden them off when it was still a tad chilly outside. However, this is why we plant extras. If nothing else, just means less tomatoes I need to find a home for.
Tomato army

Thursday, April 23, 2015


The lilac has grown leaves. I guess we got that little guy in the ground just in time. Now to hope it likes this spot and continues to grow. I doubt I will get a flowers this year, but I will get them next year I hope.

I know lilacs are not known for food, but this lilac came from my grandmother's house before she died. One side of her house had a wall of lilacs, lilacs that my grandfather apparently brought home. The story my grandmother told me was that Grandpa was walking home from work one day and saw these beautiful lilac bushes. Well, apparently he walked the rest of the way home and grabbed a pot and a shovel and walked back to the spot where he saw them and dug one up. Now, Grandma told me she didn't think he asked, but knowing my grandfather, he probably just grabbed a little one (or a couple) and brought it home and their entire wall was grown from those over the 30+ years they had lived there.
It is alive
Either way, I am just happy it is alive and now I have my own grandmothers lilac. I have been trying for probably 10 years to grow one from her yard. Now, I can look at it and think of my grandparents and smile.