Thursday, October 8, 2015

Work Never Ends In The Garden

Weeds be gone. Time to get in some planting, pulling, and weeding done. It's going to rain tomorrow and I won't have a chance to come back out till Saturday. The plants will love the rain. Pansies have been sitting on my porch and they don't look happy. I didn't get to them today but  the rain should perk them up before planting. I only bought a few. Since the days are shorter there's only have a few hours before dusk. Finally cleaning up the planter I assume raccoons knocked over eating strawberries.

Although a lot of things are still green, I'm ready to rest and for it to be done for the season. I'm going to pull the impatiens, coleus, and begonias in stead of having a mess to clean up when frost kills it. Maybe I can plant my bulbs earlier this year.
Parsley likes the cooler days and nights.
I guess I should cut and dry the thyme.
The tomatoes were actually healthy the second time around just getting a little yellow on the lower leaves I believe because of cold nights. They came out today. I've never had a hard time getting them to make until this year. Maybe it's the varieties I bought or not fertilizing them.
My cabbage seedlings not separated yet and being eaten. I think I know by what but not a cabbage worm as I saw none on the seedlings.
My yard is full of weeds. Moss is usually in the majority but for some reason a variety of weeds are trying to take over.

Can't wait to snatch out the eaten sweet potato vine, vinca, and coleus. Flea beetles and another insect didn't touch the vinca though.
The sweet potato vine lived up to it's name and look. It'll live for another year if it makes it out the basement in the spring.

I thought insects would do less damage with nights in the 50's but something has eaten up my rose bush also. Look what I saw today. You know I hate most insects. I was fascinated with him.
And to think I thought slugs were doing all the eating but snails. I even bought something to get rid of them and only used it once or twice this summer. Next spring I'll take care of them. They're my new favorite next to bees and lady bugs but they have to go.  Lets take a closer look at him.

They are everbearing strawberries.
Cabbage seedlings. It should only be 2 1 for each foot but they may not do anything and it may not matter. I'll put the frost cover on when I get everything planted to keep out what ever is eating it. I didn't find anything on them.
The lettuce wasn't supposed to go in here but I had to get some planted before it gets real cold. I have 3 more containers to plant with the broccoli, lettuce, and maybe one or two more cabbage seedlings. 
It's time the impatiens to go also. the put on a beautiful show this season.
Okay the mosquitoes were vicious and it was almos dusk so I couldn't take time to dig the hole deep enough. I'll make it look better on Saturday when I have time.
Deadly smell. I though I was boiling crabs. Used some in my water for the vegetables.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Preparing for Seedlings & The Yard

Every year I tell myself that my seed starting containers will be clean and ready but this year once again I find myself in the same situation. It's a shame and it'll be time consuming to go back and wash last years seed starting pots and containers. The rain from our Nor'easter has finally stopped. Clouds finally gave way to a blue sky but I could only look from my window at the yard and see things waiting to be done there because the task of the seed starting shelf is today's project.

Most things are still green in the yard but some are going dormant.

My blocks I bought on Saturday for an additional shelf for my vegetables. I had help and loved not having to lift anything at the store or bringing it into the yard.
The romaine lettuce has grown since I bought it. I have to make time this week to get the lettuce and broccoli planted.
 You see the roots on the ground from the trees. This is why I can't fully plant my flower bed. They're getting worse. I'm going to attempt to cut them in the spring. If it kills the trees oh well. They're not my trees but the roots are in my yard.
Our Nor'easter knocked a lot of things around in the yard. The wind was strong.

I call this my tool kit and try to buy extras during the summer of things that go off the shelf  until February. If you want to start seeds before Christmas it's hard to find things unless you have a nursery near your home which may not be the cheapest choice.

I may add this to the soil mix I make.
Good to have if you force bulbs during the winter in water not soil. You can get some at the dollar store for only one dollar.
I used this indoors once. Won't do it again. Yes it does smell like fish.
I regret not washing these last season.
Baked sterilized soil from last season. I won't be using this.
The begonia came to my house lovely with beautiful red blooms. What do you want me to say? I was going to trash it but I cut off all the dead part and it didn't look too bad. Let's see if it survives winter and makes it to spring to begin again with new growth.
Never know when a fungus gnat will show up.
These are for my other projects. Resealing the calking around the tub although this is the wrong type. Liquid nails to reinforce a towel rack, and spray insulation. Missing but with this kit also are paint brushes, spackling, and ready cement. A woman go't to do what a woman......
A little better. I have to turn on the heat mat so I can give it a good cleaning. It's not advisable to unroll it cold because it may damge the coils inside. I clean the rack with soapy water and bleach. I'm out of bleach so I just wiped it down today and I'll come back on another day and wipe it again with a bleach solution.
I put all the containers that need to be cleaned in here. That's a lot of washing.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

You Know It's Fall When

Yesterday Philly was blanketed with heavy rain and whistling winds from a nor'easter. It's still extremely cool today with temperatures in the 50's. This morning on my walk to the post office to retrieve what I hoped was one of my bulb orders, I encountered people with winter coats and hats. Kind of early for this but with our current weather I know a warm coat and hat feels good today. The inside of the house is wintry and too cool to my liking. The man who brings my wood is not scheduled yet. A fire tonight would be welcome but the electric space heater will have to due for tonight to give some heat to take the chill off the house.

So, you know it's fall when the first stink bug is found inside the house. Last night, not paying attention to what I thought was the sound of a bug, could have resulted in another stink bug attached to the top of my head. Last fall while sitting in my favorite spot on the sofa, I heard the buzzing of something big flying inside the house, but I didn't see anything. Until something said, feel the top of your head. You know what was there; a stink bug. I had whiplash trying to get it off me and someone should have taped me in action for YouTube. It thought I couldn't see it hiding on the living room curtains, but I have bionic eyes. I got the ladder and picked him off the curtain with a tissue. Hopefully not the first of more. Who gets a ladder to pick of a insect? I would never rest thinking that next, he'd be on me. I haven't even bought my house plants inside from the porch yet. This is a reminder to spray the plants before I bring them inside. They'll have to come in soon because it's cold although next week we expect some days in the 70's. The sweet potato vine in the sidewalk planters has already put up a fuss about the weather. A few more nights like we've had and it'll be done. 
I'm looking forward to seeing the trees turn. This is from last fall. Haven't seen any beautiful colors to photograph yet.
My bulb order was at the post office from K. Van Bourgondien & Sons. What did I get? Giant orienpet Lily altari, cyclamen hederifolium, giant orienpet Lily pretty woman, and paper white narcissus nir. Although bulbs come in different sizes the paper whites are the largest that I've had. I had to look at the order to make sure they were paper whites. I look forward to seeing the size of the plant. I think that cyclamen get planted now but I'll have to read a little more about them first. The instructs from the company say to plant at once. I sure didn't plan on bulb planting this weekend but I'll think about it. The lilies I believe wait till spring. I don't know. The ones I bought last winter were planted on my porch in pots in the spring and taken to the yard once it warmed up. I'll have to read what to do with them tonight as they are in their prime and I don't want anything to rot. Messing with chicken wire this weekend certainly wasn't in my plans but the bulbs certainly weren't bought for a early Thanksgiving feast for the squirrels. Chicken wire saved a lot of bulbs last fall. They still did their share of eating. 

Product of Israel. That's a long way from home. 

This is a project that has to happen soon. The PVC will go in my planters in the yard to make a frame to hold a frost covering I purchased for my fall veggies. I have yet to plant my romaine lettuce and broccoli and separate 2-3 of the healthiest cabbage seeds into separate containers. I waited late to plant them. Who knows if I'll get a cabbage head but it's experience for next year.
I'll get it together soon and see how it fits in the pots.
Peaceful Valley seeds enticed me. I guess just going to an empty lot would have done for some Queen Anne's lace since it grows here like a weed and may be invasive in some places. I always wanted some. The North American shade wildflower mix supposedly will be sown this fall when I get my site together. I purchased some peat moss, and manure to add with compost and vermiculite or perlite, and leaf mold to make some fresh soil for my yard. The weather and dampness stopped me from going to get free mulch, compost, wood chips, and maybe some wood for the fire from our recycling center in Fairmount Park today. You're allowed 30 gallons on each visit free. The make their own compost on site. Maybe next week when it's dry out. The kale was a pack of free seeds. My leaf mold may not even be ready. An article I read stated it takes 2 years for it to become like the texture of humus. I'll know when the bags are opened soon. Can you imagine growing your own miniature pumpkins? Where would this go? I'm hopeful. They can always be planted at my sister's house. I told her I'd bring some cabbages around for her yard as I have more seedlings than I have room for. Next season I'm going to talk her into getting a raised bed. She could have a huge garden in her yard and it's full sun. It may be a problem because raccoons think they own her yard.
Can't wait to try this in the spring. I love different lettuces. Five hundred tiny seeds. Not only did I choose it for is color and texture but read that it doesn't bolt easily.
I don't even know how to work with peat moss. I guess I'll learn. The wood is for another surface for fall veggies in the yard. Hopefully these things will get done.