Sunday, July 29, 2007


Does this count as a green thumb photo? We grew them ourselves, at our old garden location.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

This is our wildly blooming eggplant.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Empty Nest

Early this morning (and possibly yesterday) the baby House Finches flew for the first time. It was actually pretty uneventful, and we missed it almost entirely. This morning, there was only one left in the nest, and as we drank our coffee, I saw—out of the corner of my eye—flapping wings, and then it was gone too. All grown up! I wonder if they'll be back to their nest? I'll be sorry to see them go, it's been fun to watch their parents feed them…but it will be nice to be able to sit out on the balcony again.

The agricultural lime that we added to our watering can to combat blossom end rot on the Roma seems to be helping, there are several tomatoes set that don't have it. Also, our Patio Variety tomatoes are setting fruit like mad now (see photo)! Unfortunately we have lost our cucumbers to some fungal disease. They just got covered in fuzzy white stuff and never put up any new leaves...I had given up on them a while ago, but I think it's final now. We also seem to have lost our Rosemary, perhaps due to overwatering? I water that pot when the Basil wilts, and maybe the Rosemary likes less water than that. There are a bunch more flowers on the eggplant, too, I hope it sets!

In other news, we tried to do more tilling in our garden plot the other evening, but the tiller wouldn't cooperate. I hope it's not a serious problem. We now have two tomatoes, a hot pepper, three bell peppers, three rows of bean seeds, some onion sets, some garlic, and some radish seeds planted. Last evening we met one of our garden plot neighbors, who gave us a bunch more tomatoes (they were in containers so were drying out, but he has physical limitations so couldn't plant them himself.) It was very nice of them! We planted them in the ground, and they're wilting like mad, but hopefully they'll recover. We watered them a bunch to try to ease them through the shock.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A long, hot Sunday

This Sunday we finally got ahold of a tiller to use on our garden plot. It really only took a couple of hours before S. had almost the entire plot tilled. After an hour, we ran out of gas and had to go get some, but after that it was smooth (if extremely hot) sailing. I had a turn at the tiller's helm, and gained a new respect for how strong S. is. I had a hard time steering it, and it started to get away from me (I was doing pretty well until I came to the end of the row. Turns out the tiller likes moving forwards a lot more than it likes going backwards)! But I gave a shout and he came running to rescue me before I got the tines tangled in the fence. He had a nasty sunburn on his arms by the end of the day, but I somehow managed to escape that. We came back in the evening to plant some bush beans seeds (one short row each of Blue Lake, Sonesta (dwarf wax) and Green Crop) and some yellow onion sets. S. planted the onion sets, while I did a bit of raking to smooth out the tilled areas.

It's interesting when you garden on land that someone else used to use. We've found a couple of interesting artifacts lodged in the ground. You can see them: from left to right, some sort of knife blade (it has teeth, but it's not quite a saw, either...perhaps for harvesting salad greens?), then an odd but very sharp hook with a short handle, and finally a hoe head (not the handle, just the metal part.) Fascinating.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

These are the sunflowers in the garden plot neighboring ours.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

In Honor of Lady Bird Johnson

This post is in honor of the late Lady Bird Johnson, who did so much for this country. Her environmental work included supporting the Highway Beautification Act and helping to found the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of the Native Plant Information Network. Thank you for all that you've done for us.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Balcony Update

Just an update on our balcony garden. The bell pepper is blooming again (although it's still covered in aphids), and the eggplant had an open flower most of last week (it too, has aphid problems, though.) The Roma tomato has little green egg-shaped tomatoes all over the top of it, and the Patio variety is blooming like crazy. We've harvested several more tomatoes from the Cherry in the hanging basket, and the green beans are slowly maturing (we had one in our salad the other evening with dinner.) Oh, and the baby birds have turned into awkward...toddlers? We can see them poking their heads up over the edge of the hanging basket as they wait for their parents to bring them food. Cute, but ugly little things.

Well, I just went out to snap a picture of the little green Romas, and what did I find? A baby Gypsy Bell Pepper! Awesome. I hope we have that kind of good luck with the Eggplant, too.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Weekend Well-Spent

I am so excited! Both of us are, actually… See, we found a garden plot to rent! It's only 5 minutes away from our apartment! 25 square feet of dirt of our very own! Awesome! We were out there working all weekend long in the horrible heat. Here's a photo of what it looked like before we started.
There are a lot of deer around (the area is bordered by some woods) so our first order of business was to get a slightly less patch-worked fence up. Saturday we shored up the old fence with zip ties, and bought some fencing and fence stakes. Sunday morning, (it only took us one hour—truthfully the work was all S.'s, I just helped out with the zip ties) to get our new fence up around the old one. So now at least it won't fall down. Although it's still probably not tall enough to really keep deer out, it's better than nothing.

Then we went over to Behnke's to see if they had some plants (after having no luck at the TP Farmer's Market—guess it's too late in the season). We finally (after nearly giving up) found some cayenne pepper plants. So we got one of those. Then we spotted some tomatoes! Victory! We got a Sweet 100 cherry and a Better Boy. (all of the Early Girl variety had early blight, so we didn't get any of those). We also picked up some garlic and onion sets. On our way home, we stopped to check out Home Depot where, to our delight, we found a few more veggie plants! So we picked up a Blushing Beauty Bell pepper, a Sweet Banana pepper, and another Bell Pepper (it was a green one, but I don't remember the variety.) Then, back out to the garden plot where S. nearly worked himself to death and heat exhaustion hoeing an area large enough to put the plants in the ground. I helped out by raking up the weeds and hauling them out of the way, as well as some hoeing, and, of course, pushing cold water. So here is a photo of our plants in the ground. After that, we went home to cool off and get some dinner. Then we heading out yet again. This time to the grocery store. See, there's no water up there by our garden plot. We have to haul it all in by hand. To this end, we bought two 3-packs of gallon water jugs. That way we can refill them as needed. Water in-hand, we went back up to our garden plot one last time to water everything. Wow! Now that's what I call a weekend well-spent. Now all we need is a tiller for the rest of our plot!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Cherry Tomatoes

Well, it's been a while since I posted. This was last week's pick from the hanging basket (yesterday I got a bush bean too). Today I got another 6 cherries from it. Had to be quick though, because the baby finches are hatched! They are so adorable! Just starting to get feather fuzz, and absolutely tiny. I spotted two baby birds, and two eggs in the nest. But I couldn't tell if they were just egg shells, or still-to-be-hatched. We'll just have to wait and see.