Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 planting list (so far)

I'm not sure if this is complete or not but I think it is close. This is a list of the seeds or plants that I have on hand this spring for planting or have already started plants inside of ...for my 2014 garden. I'm sure I'll buy more, I always do.

Last 3 years we have had severe droughts here in Michigan so I am changing the way I'm doing things a lot this year, starting more things inside rather than outside, cause it is so hard to keep the seedbeds wet here as they are so scatterred and so far away from the house (that happens when you do food forest gardens, they are everywhere)...also going to do a few things in containers on the deck where I can reach them to keep them watered regularly..(just my luck we'll have a wet summer).

Although I didn't write it down, most of the herbs and some other plants have already been started inside, and one of my trees ( a replacement of one that was damaged in shipment last year) has already arrived and is in a bucket on my back porch.

I have also decided (if you read my last post) to NOT use the glass sliding doors and windows that I have salvaged from my sisters as a entry enclosure on my laundry deck entry..but I'm going to use them off my garage to make a second it will be about 6x12 with about a 4x8 raised bed inside and a path around it, also there can be containers on the path and hanging containers from the roof there.

Ok well here is that list of plants for 2014:

Amaranth Grain D'Or
American Redbud (2)
Artichoke green globe
Balm, Lemon
Basil, lettuce leaf
Basil, dwarf green
Basil, opal
Brussel Sprout Long Island Improved
Bush Bean Royal burgundy
Bush Bean Improved Golden  Wax
Bush Bean Blue Lake 74
Bush Bean Mellow Yellow
Pole Bean Rattlesnake

Beet, shiroz, organic
Beet heirloom mixed seed
Beneficial Insect Mix permaculture plants
Cabbage, Primo (started a few seeds today)
Camomile, roman
Cantaloupe vine peach
Chard, rhubarb
Chard, Ruby Red
Chives, fine
Chives, garlic
Corn, Sweet, Tuxana organic heirloom
Corn, Sweet, Festivity, heirloom
Cosmos seed pink and white saved
Crabapple, flowering (2)
Cucumber, heirloom mixed seed
Dill, Mammoth
Dill, bouquet
Dogwood, white flowering (2)
Edible flower and herb mix for container greens
Fennel, Florence
Fraise des bois, strawberries
golden rain tree (2)
Herbs (mixed hasn't arrived yet)
Kale, dwarf cuirled Vates
Kale, thousand Headed
Lavender, Munstead
Lavender, Vera
Lettuce, mix, heirloom bolt resistant
Malabar spinach
Marjoram, sweet
Melon, Haogen
Melon, heirloom mix
Mint, spearmint
Mint, Peppermint
Mitsuba,  aromatic
Oregano, True
Pac Choi
Parsley, flat leaf
Parsley, curly
Parsnip, Homeschooler heirloom
Peach, blushing star
Pea, Golden Sweet Snow Pea heirloom
Pepper, hot mix heirloom (some started)
Pepper, sweet carnival mix hyb.
   Orange sun, Calif wonder, golden Calif wonder, Purple Beauty, Diamond
Pepper, Tobasco
Pepper, Red chili
Podding Radish
Pumpkin, winter Luxury Heirloom
Pumpkin Early Sweet sugar Pie
Pumpkin Triple Treat
Rose of Sharon
Sage, Garden
Salad mix, mesclun, heirloom
Somerset Grape
Squash, Winter  mix heirloom
Squash Sweet Meat Oregon Winter heirloom
Squash Zapallo del Tronco, summer, bush, heirloom
Squash, Dark Star Zucchini heirloom
Squash Early Prolific Straightneck heirloomTomato, cherry mix heirloom
Stella Sweet cherry
Thyme, french
Tomato, large mix heirloom
Tomato big boy Hyb
Tomato Sweet 100 Hyb
Washington Hawthorn (2)
Watermelon, Early Moonbeam heirloom
Yarrow, pink
Yarrow, yellow

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Almost Spring in Michigan

Well the end of next week will be Spring in Michigan (according to the calendar but definately doesn't look like Spring outside !)

I have my seed orders here and planted 86 peat pots of seeds so far, mostly herbs. A few of the seeds have even sprouted.

I ate a lot of Earthbound Farms organic greens this winter as my greens I had planted for winter fizzled out..and I saved the plastic containers and put peat pots in them..6 fit into smaller ones and 8 pots fit into larger ones..great way to start peat pots and they stacked on my frig and freezer to have a warm place to sprout.

Last year my sister gave me 2 sliding doors and 2 large windows she removed from her house..and we had planned on building an enclosure on our deck by our East laundry room door, but with Ron's surgery last year it didn't happen, so we still have them in storage..

Well, this week she gave me 3 more windows, one about 4x6 wide, and two smaller about 2x4 high..I always take things like that that are in good condition and are free IF I can figure out a use for them.

I think the larger window will go in our garage over our chop saw and radial arm saw..for some natural light in there, we have a window on the other side rear of the garage and some windows in the overhead doors, but it is really dark in that will take care of one window.

The two smaller ones I think we'll put in a shed, I'm thinking one or both behind the wood furnace in our wood shed as we have to work back there cleaning it out all the time and there is no natural light behind the furnace..also they crank open and have screens so it would make good ventilation.

still plan to make an enclosure with the other 4...if no other emergencies happen.

Have an idea to put some crops in pots on my east deck this year..or larger containers. I really am not a pot person, (container planting ) I hate watering things with hoses..and use soaker hoses for most of my beds...however IF there aren't a lot of pots I could water them with watering cans and rain catchment..and they would be SOOOOOOOOO easy to harvest just a few steps from the laundry and kitchen doors..I'm getting older and easier is always a plus.

The thoughts right now are..a few potatoes in large rubbermaid totes..some tomatoes, esp the little ones in pots or hanging baskets..herbs of course in pots would be easy and could come inside for winter..maybe some peppers in pots..maybe some peas or green beans as bending over to pick them is hard and I could put them up high enough to easily reach..

Been reading container planting books to gain some knowledge and ideas of putting things in pots as I'm not a container eficiando by any means. Have gained a lot of info by reading..but it will be a big new thing for me..wish me luck.

Also for those who have problems getting a cell signal in the country..the reason I'm back online better now is that my Son ordered me a Wilson Cellphone Signal Amplifier for large home or office..and we put it in a couple of weeks ago and now I get 4 bars on my cellphone in just about the entire house..before it was 1 or less. My cellphone is my computer modem so now I can actually get online without being dropped I hopefully will spend a little more time on here (until I can be outside busy all the time and then you know what happens).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12

Well I made it through the ice storm of least this one. I tried to drive to my mom's house Saturday but turned around and came home. I was ever so glad to be home, it was nasty out there. Still nasty out there. We got a little snow on top of the ice but it is still icey under the snow. I have to drive my mother to her pre surgery testing Wednesday, and I hope the roads are cleared by then. We have had a really good lot of snow this year after a very wet wet autumn, and even had plenty of rain this winter between snows. Maybe we won't have a drought this year.

I have my seeds and plants ordered for 2014. I ordered a lot of seeds from Bountiful Gardens, ordered many in "mixed seed" a packet of mixed melons, mixed winter squash, mixed large tomato, etc. So instead of an entire packet of one type of squash or melon, it is a packet of mixed heirloom seeds of this or that. I also ordered single packets of some of my favorites and a few new things to try.

I had two replacement trees coming from 2013 that will be arriving this spring, a sweet cherry and an apricot. I found a zone 4 peach that I wanted to try and a zone 4 seedless red grape so those are also on order.

I got a card from an herb company and they had some offers that interested me, one was 50 packets of seeds for herbs for $20..thought I'd try that one, they are all packaged separately..and yes I also did the stupid thing and rejoined arbor day this year and have their puny baby seedlings coming of 10 flowering trees and a bush coming ..

OK so I just felt like doing some crazy things..we'll see what happens from all that.

I'm excited to get my seeds and plan what I want to start inside and what I'll put where outside..don't have my pick up truck repaired yet so all my hauling will have to be in my van this year..wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I have plans to put in a sidewalk this year ..taking up the single pavers that get all overgrown with lawn.. hopefully I'll get to that this year. I was given 3 sliding doors and 2 windows so I hope to use some of that and enclose the laundry room doorway (others are already enclosed) give me an airlock/mudroom type thing there..on the east. I have a huge deck on that side so it is just a matter of enclosing the sides and top..I also will hopefully attach a trellis/arbor to that and put the woodbine vines up over it that grow madly in that area, to provide some shade to the deck, it is sweltering in the summer there.

After last summer's plans being blown my Ron's emergency surgery and recovery, I hope that we have a quiet peacful 2014.

Oh, and we did get our wood furnace replaced a week ago today we started it up and have burned the new one for a week, it seems to be working far better than the previous ones..and we are toasty warm.

Just a bit over 2 months left before official start of spring, but we often will get warmer weather a couple weeks before the official start of spring to where we can get out and walk and do things (can't walk now without falling on our butts) I'm itching to get outside..Last two years we had late springs with some really warm weather in late winter..but I prefer not to have weather warm enough to cause fruit trees to bud early and then get hit with hard late frosts like the last two years..

I want my fruit trees to bud normally and bear normally this year so we can take advantage of all the fruit we have been planting..this is my real hope for 2014.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well maybe, just maybe my blog is fixed?

For the past 3 months I have been mostly unable to get on my blog and post, but today it appears that it may  be working correctly.

We have had a lot going on the homestead, but the most dissappointing is that our new Empyre Elite 200 wood furnace sprung a leak into the firebox and we are waiting for the dealer to replace it on warranty. That was a huge huge huge "lemon" of a furnace. We had to have the door replaced 3 times, had a warning buzzer replaced and had some levers and other things repaired in the first year..and now this. The new one is supposed to be updated with stainless steel.

We had a good Christmas..we only bought gifts for my 93 year old mother, and I'm going to pay a few bills for my son, otherwise no exchanging gifts.
Here is a photo of our tree, we didn't do a lot more decorating.
We have had an extremely snowy and cold November and December, so much for saving $ heating with wood, propane has been buzzing along.

This week I was chicken sitting for a neighbor, best thing without being able to have my own..sweet little things gave me some loverly eggs. I am getting spoiled by them and really want my own, IF ONLY Ron wouldn't object so much.

Am taking advantage of the cold outside to do some reorganizing and cleaning inside..took a 24 x 30 inch cabinet down in the laundry room that we couldn't properly access (we are both short and it was behind washer and dryer) and moved it over a 24 " cabinet in the kitchen that had a blank now it is that done today and hope to do some closet cleaning next (tomorrow have to run Ron to VA to pick up his hearing aids.)

Also we aren't much on leaving decorations up so I'll be taking the tree down soon also and putting all that stuff away, a good opportunity to do some more organizing and cleaning as well.

Cabinet HAD candles and candle holders store in it (as IF I could have found them in the dark so high up requiring a step stool to get to) I moved all of the candles to a much lower cabinet centrally located in the house in case of a power outage and will put some matches and a propane lighter we'll be much better prepared this way. Cabinet in kitchen in it's new place has already been filled with some stuff that was stacked on the countertop..(I hate stacks)

Well thankfully the blog is working..I'll attempt to post this update and if the blog continues to work maybe I'll take some photos of the snow this week and post those as well..good to be back.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

trying to update blog...will not let me type in the body of the blog, sorry..lots I would love to say

Autumn update 2013

Well it has been a LONG time since I was able to update my blog. For one thing my computer hasn't been working right and also there has been a lot going on here this year.

Ron had to have emergency surgery to save his life on June 12, 8 hours of spinal surgery. He is doing well now and even has the neck brace off, but he was in the hospital and recovery for a very long time.

My summer was basically non existant because of Ron's problems and the drought killed off most of my garden that did sprout, I had bad seeds that didn't sprout also so it was a horrible garden year.

We did however have some successes with trees after all the winter loss of rabbit damage. We have had a baby trees bear this year that

Mid June is siberian Iris time..also roses, daisies, etc.

Well, Ron had to have emergency surgery a week ago and now is in rehab. I'm way behind on my garden work as I'm spending a lot of time at the hospital and also preparing the house for him to come home a bit more disabled than he was when he left..possibly with a wheelchair or a walker so need to move furniture and make sure there are no trip hazards (besides the cats). Might even have to build a ramp.

I went around just before dark and snapped some photos..mostly of siberian iris that are blooming everywhere, but also some other things as well. If I have to build a handicap ramp it will be going from the house to this garden in the front yard.

Here you can see some blue, purple, yellow and even a few white ones peeking out in the far back..this is in our front yard..(need to mow).
Should have picked off the yellow leaves and cleaned it up..but my climbing rose is just opening up it's first blooms and my new baby blue clematis is happily climbing thru that little thing...
Here are some more siberian iris, blue, purple, and yellow ones..on the other side of our front yard (we really have them everywhere and they badly need dividing if anyone wants to come dig some up.)
As if I had time with Ron in the hospital.
Anyone want a salad, (the side of my hugelbed)..

These ones in the field were mowed over this spring, and it never even hurt them..they are tough.

Part of our food forest where a baby sweet cherry tree is growing....also a few siberian iris (again).
And here is another part, 3 of our pear trees planted along our deck (for easier picking) and underplanted with daylillies, iris, comfrey and lots of other plants in the food forest method to provide nutrients and pollination.

My computer is giving me fits so other photos will have to wait....