Tag Archives: Lettuce

Pleasures in Planting

I got to go out and plant yesterday!   Gosh, it felt great!  And the weather was lovely too.  ♥

Gonna make this a short one because I’m heading out there again in a little while to have my coffee on the patio and then putz around in my mom’s flower bed a bit.  There’s a high of 78 in the forecast today and I’m eager to get out there and enjoy it, so I’m just gonna share a few pictures.

So, I planted my peas and some lettuce.  😀

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Here’s my little peas after a good overnight soaking…

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getting all tucked in…

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and given a drink…

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Grow happily little peas, I can’t wait to eat you!  😀

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 A friend of mine from Alabama sent me a sort of ‘gardener’s care package’ of seeds earlier this spring and one of them was a Mesclun salad mix.  I had already purchased my lettuce seed, so I planted two types of lettuces this year…

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such tiny little seeds…

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I was afraid to plant anything else yet since we just had snow last week, but I knew peas and lettuce should be safe.  Ordinarily, around Mother’s Day is the date I typically figure the coast is clear, but with this weird spring weather we’ve been having, all bets are off.

Just planting those two things gave me the gardening fix I’ve so been needing, but wanting to do just a bit more… I also dug up and divided some terribly root-bound iris that I had planted in my mom’s flower bed over 15 years ago…

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It was to the point where only one or two of these would actually bloom, but dividing them up should help a great deal.  😀

I ended up with tons of extra little iris sprouts, and had no idea what to do with them all, so temporarily I just put them into a few random pots that I had laying around until I can figure it out.

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I think my sis will be happy to take a few of them off my hands to plant up at her cabin.

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Well that was it as far as what gardening I did, but while I was out there enjoying myself, I also noticed that the Lily of the Valley are sprouting up even more now.  They look like little soldiers all standing at attention…

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Soldiers that will smell absolutely freaking amazing!

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And something else that will smell amazing…

LOOK!!  The lilacs have buds!

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Ah sooo pretty, I can hardly wait until they start blooming!  ♥

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As I said, it was a lovely day, and I so enjoyed being out there digging around in the dirt.  Like really, you have no idea.

I think it’s safe to say spring has finally arrived in Minnesota!  ☼

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~Gardening is my therapy~

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Adventures in Gardening Part 25 ~ First Pickin’s

♫ “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.” ♫

Just picked my first zucchini!  It’s a bit odd shaped, but I’m sure it will still be yummy, and I can’t wait to eat it!  There are TONS more out there growing too ~  maybe those overly gigantic leaves of theirs act as some sort of solar panels.  😉~

I also picked my first handful of lettuce and used it in the BLT’s my mom made for supper!  It was pretty tasty!  And not an ant or an aphid were to be found.  🙂~

Finally… the first blooms on my jalapeno peppers.~

And look!  My cucumbers are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and hanging down through the trellis.  That’s gonna make for some easy pickins later.  It’s not so easy however, to get them to climb properly up my trellis.  I have a feeling they are going to become somewhat of a jungle and get completely out of control over time.  But hey, as long as they yield me some delicious cukes, I’m not gonna complain!   ♫ “I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.” ♫  ~

Here are some colorful coleus that I have growing in one of my pots.  So pretty!~

And I noticed today that one of the varieties of Hosta that my mom has growing is starting to develop buds ~ looks like these are going to be a pale pinkish lavender color.  How lovely… ~

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids

Ah geez just when things seemed to be going so well…

Absolutely gorgeous day, feeling on top of the world, humming to myself as I putter around my plants, lalalala… wait!  What’s this?!  ANTS!  Tons of them!  Everywhere!  Eek!

And what do you suppose there are all crawling on?

My beloved zucchini!!!  Grrr!~

I decided to dig around a bit deeper to try and check to see just what the heck they are doing crawling all over my zucchini and noticed it’s mostly on, in, and around the blossoms.But yeah, no idea what they are doing or why…

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So I go to my laptop and start looking stuff up on the Internet.  Conflicting information.  Something that I didn’t know ~ ants are good pollinators.  Really?  I’ve never heard that before.  Hmm.  So does that mean it’s good that they are on my zucchini?  Something about that doesn’t sound quite right to me.

Something I did already know ~ ants are a sort of aphid farmer, but when I looked around I didn’t see any aphids on my zucchini.

But I did find some on my lettuce… Looks like whole families congregating and attempting to suck the life out of my lettuce!

And sure enough… there were ants on my lettuce too.  Lots of them…Yeah, lets have us a salad shall we?  A salad of ants and aphids = YUCK!

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I viciously sprayed them with the water hose immediately after taking these photos.  Not the right time of day for it, but there was no way I was going to let those ants and aphids just have their way with my plants for even one moment longer!

So now I need to decide what if any other actions to take.  I have my garlic pepper spray, but I don’t know if that will work.  Guess it won’t hurt to try.  I am open to any and all suggestions anyone might have…

On the bright side, I found my first cucumber!  It’s so tiny and cute!And somewhat alien looking.   😉

And there are lots of little curly tendrils developing for them to grab onto the trellis as they grow… Is it too early to start hoping for enough cukes for pickles?  🙂

Hope is always a good thing!

I also hope I win this battle in the attack of the ants and the aphids…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 17 ~ Trouble in Paradise

I guess the road I’m traveling on in these new gardening adventures is going to be paved with a few stumbling blocks along the way, because these city thugs, er I mean bugs, aren’t taking kindly to a country gardener trying to grow things on their turf.

Honestly, like I said before, in 20 years of gardening I’ve never had pest problems.  Why now?  Here my mom opens up her yard to me, giving me a little piece of my long lost paradise so I can get my gardening fix, and the stupid bugs have to come along and cause trouble.  How aggravating!

I’m afraid my spinach is becoming a lost cause.  This doesn’t exactly look appetizing to me…~

And now I see something has also poked holes in my cucumbers too.  😦~

Look at this big chomp something took out of one of my bean plants…~

The leaf miners are continuing to make their ugly designs in my broccoli.~

And now I’ve noticed one of my lettuces looks it has a leaf that is a bit puckered up.  And not for a kiss…~

Something has removed all but one main leaf of this poor zucchini, and my other zucchini plants aren’t looking all that great either.~

Thankfully I have this one zucchini that seems to be doing okay, but I’m not sure what the story is with the speckled looking stuff on that leaf on the left… ~

It’s so upsetting to have my precious yummy veggies getting all chewed up and destroyed by pests, but I’m going to keep at it with the garlic/pepper spray in between all this rain and keep hoping for the best.

On a positive note…

My carrots are finally starting to get a little bigger, but still so small that I can’t seem to capture a clear focused shot of them.   They sure have been slow growing.  ~

My peas are getting taller every day!  They are being a bit willful at training them to go evenly up the trellis which messes with my need for orderliness, but at this point with all of the issues going on with my other plants ~as long as they stay healthy… I’ll be happy!  🙂~

There are 4 little strawberries forming on my strawberry plant.  I can’t wait to eat them!~

While out running around with my sis the other day I picked up this cute little snail planter.  He was just begging me to give him a new home.  😉  So I stuffed him with some Lobelia and set him on the grass next to my garden.  He looks pretty content there don’t ya think?~

Oh and feast your eyes on these beauties!  My mom’s peonies are in full bloom right now, so to try and focus on something positive after seeing the destruction in my garden, I spent a great deal of time enjoying these and trying to get just the perfect shot of them in all their glory.  What do you think, did I succeed?~~~

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 12 ~ What a Difference a Day Makes

Because of the weather and with my being busy doing other things, It’s been a few days since I’ve done any gardening, but it’s amazing to see all that can happen in a garden within the span of just a few days!  (Having it raining buckets tends to make a difference too ;))

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Like “a watch pot that never boils”… I have been eagerly watching and waiting for my zucchini to pop up and here they finally are!

It’s pretty much common knowledge among most gardeners that zucchini can produce such a bountiful harvest, it’s way more than any one person could ever possibly use or want.  Not for me!  I love zucchini and even tend to hoard mine.  I guess you could call me zucchini greedy.  😉  I have a multitude of recipes that call for zucchini and always find a way to use it.  In the past, on those rare occasions when I have found myself with more zucchini than I could use up in a timely manner, I would just shred it, measure it in 3 cup increments, and put it into freezer bags to use later for breads, muffins, and cakes.  Sometimes I’d share it too.  😉  We’ll have to wait and see how much zucchini I end up with this year from this tiny garden…

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It’s about time the dang carrots came up!  They were one of the first things I planted.  I had a hard time getting a decent shot of them because they are still barely noticeable…

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My spinach have started growing their 2nd set of leaves!

They look funny ~ like they have outstretched open arms.  Guess they’re just happy to see me.  😉

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My peas are getting taller!

And look at how happy they all are in their little pot ~ I swear they are smiling…

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The new thing I planted this week was my cucumber seeds!  I can’t wait to see how they climb up the trellis I made…

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The last time I looked, my lettuce was barely poking up through the dirt, but now were already needing to be thinned.  Because they get planted in groups of 6 seeds, that means wasting the other 5 seedlings.  😦

They were so sad laying there looking all depressed and discarded after I yanked them all up that I couldn’t bear it, so I’ve ended up having 12 plants in my garden now instead of 8.  Guess we’ll be eating a lot of salads.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way… does anyone else ever have a hard time just tossing those other little lifes when it comes time for thinning?

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Another issue I have is keeping my dirt looking tidy.  Haha!  Dirt… tidy?  Can dirt even be tidy?  I think, yes!  It’s kinda like how after vacuuming the carpet, it looks so nice that you don’t want anyone to walk on it.  A lot of the time after I’m done doing anything in the garden I have to “fluff up” the dirt to make it look fresh.  Unfortunately, the soil I bought for this box garden has quite a bit of debris in it so it seriously messes with my need for dirt tidiness.  Maybe I’m just weird.  Maybe it’s gardening OCD.

“Maybe it’s Maybelline”

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Adventures in Gardening Part 11 ~ Darn Squirrels!

Don’t let this cuteness fool you ~ squirrels are pure evil!

Okay, I’ll admit… I may over exaggerating just a tad, and this is a really super cute photo of one (just look at its wittle questioning face ~ who me?  evil?  no, not little ol’ me, I’m innocent), but I’m not buying it.

I am not a fan of the squirrel.  I have nightmares about them, actually.  I know… squirrels?  Why would a person have nightmares about squirrels of all things?  Heck if I know… maybe I’m just mental.

When I was a little girl, my dad used to take me and my brother and sister to the park to feed the squirrels on Sunday afternoons.  It’s a very fond childhood memory of mine, so I have no idea where the nightmares stem from.

It’s a recurring nightmare where I am surrounded by dozens of creepy diabolical squirrels and I’m holding my dog; trying to protect him from them.  I’ve had several dogs over the years (all small breeds) and the dog I’m holding varies between them, as does the location where the event is happening, but it’s always the same …  scary freaky squirrels are trying to get my dog.  I seem to know this is a recurring thing because I always think to myself “Oh no, not again!”  Sounds dumb, but it’s seriously really terrifying.  Fortunately, they never succeed in their evil plot for world domination ~ er, I mean in their goal to get my dog, which must indicate something positive in the grand scheme in the dark reaches of my psyche.  I haven’t had the nightmare for quite a while, so that must be a good sign too.

But now I’m afraid these nightmares may take on a new dimension (in reality) because squirrels are digging in my garden!  When I went to check on the progress of my little seedlings the other day, I found several holes in various places throughout my garden, including finding one of my zucchini mounds ruined!  😦  Even though I didn’t catch the culprit in action, I know it’s a squirrel because last year when my brother was staying at my parent’s house, he had a squirrel that he was feeding on a regular basis while he sat out on their patio.  The dummy!

In all of my years of gardening I’ve never had a problem with squirrels before, so I’m kinda clueless as to what to do about it.  I went online this morning to find more information just in case this little wicked friend of my brother’s decides to make a regular habit of being a nuisance, but aside from chemicals and traps (neither of which appeal to me) it doesn’t sound like there is much you can do that will result in any great success.  Squirrels = pure evil…  like I said.

On a positive note…

I found that my lettuce seeds are sprouting!

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And my spinach were tall enough to be thinned so I now have 5 separate plants…

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I also found more peas sprouting ~ all 13 of them in fact!  Who says 13 is unlucky?  😉

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It may be silly, but I just find it really exciting to see all of these little greenies popping up! ♥   I’m still watching for my carrots and zucchini to come up ~ can’t wait!

And next week I can plant my cucumbers!

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“Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?”  Hopefully without an invasion of squirrels…

Adventures in Gardening Part 9

Remember all that rain I mentioned in Rain Much?  that we had in the forecast?  Well, we ended up having tornadoes one day and SNOW the next!  Crazy huh?  Only in Minnesota…

It wasn’t raining or snowing or tornado-ing today, so I got out there and planted my zucchini, carrots, and lettuce!

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I planted 3 happy rows of carrots.  🙂

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And then made 5 little mounds for my zucchini.  With all the rain we’ve had it felt more like making mud pies with how wet the soil was. 😉

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I did end up deciding to plant my lettuce underneath the cucumber trellis and planted 8 of them.

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Once again I had the scent of my mom’s lilacs keeping me company while I was gardening.  Ohmygosh they just smell so unbelievably lovely!  I could smell them the instant I pulled into her driveway.  Have I mentioned how much I utterly adore them?!  ♥

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My mom’s cat was spying on me through the window the entire time.  Sorry Gus, I didn’t plant any catnip for ya.  😉

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I looked for signs of life from the broccoli, spinach, and peas I planted last week, but didn’t really expect to see any yet since they have anywhere from 5 -14 days listed on the seed packets for their “days to emerge.”  I can’t wait until the little green lifes start poking up through the dirt!