Tag Archives: Peas

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~

Adventures in Gardening Part 26 ~ Enemies and Allies

I’m definitely no insect photographer (ew, I’d never want to be), but bear with my lack of skill here as I share a few of the photos I’ve taken of the bugs that I’ve found visiting my garden over the past couple of days…

I believe this guy here is a Candy Stripped Leafhopper.It’s very interesting looking and colorful; it even has a cute name, but I’m pretty sure it’s the thing responsible for some of the damage that I’ve been noticing on a few of my cucumber leaves.  So this is what became of him…Killed him with my bare hands.  I’m becoming quite the expert at smashing bugs.  Which is interesting since I’m completely terrified of them…

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This next bug was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.  It looked like a snail to me at first glance.  I had to use my flash setting to get a semi clear shot, so it looks like it was night time, but it wasn’t.  After spending a considerable amount of time scouring the Internet looking at more bug photos than I’d ever want to see, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a Two Striped Planthopper Nymph.  Apparently these things suck out plant juices and also feed on trees and shrubs, so figuring it’s not doing good to my cucumber leaf here, I gave it a quick flick with my finger and flicked its weird looking butt out of my garden, hoping it doesn’t find its way back.  Seriously, it does have a weird butt.  If you do a Google images search (for a photo with a better view than my amateur skills provide here) you’ll see it has fuzzy things coming out of its hind end.  Bugs are ishy, but the variety in nature is pretty darn cool.

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I had the hardest time trying to catch a shot of this bugger ~ it kept scurrying all over the place or flying away (reason for its blurriness), and I’m surprised I even got a photo of it at all. I looked in some of my books and on the Internet, and I think it might be a Striped Cucumber Beetle, but I don’t know for sure.  If it is… it’s not good.

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Here’s another bug I found hanging out on my cucumber leaves.  Why is everything going after my cukes?!  Must be a conspiracy.  I think this is another type of leafhopper. I might have to find out what I should do about them.  I mean other than smashing them by hand ~ that was unusually brave of me to kill Mr Candy Stripper that way.

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But not all the bugs I saw were enemies.  Some were allies…

I found this little sweetie crawling around on my cucumber leaves.  Definitely a welcome visitor!  Ladybugs are excellent at helping control aphids.  And as you saw in Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids, I definitely have aphids in my garden…~

Although this next bug is sort scary looking, I was happy to see one exploring one of my zucchini leaves.  Soldier Beetles are another great ally in the fight against aphids.  It is also a predator of Cucumber Beetles.  🙂    I did not take the above photo.  I didn’t happen to catch a shot of the particular one that I saw in my garden, but I wanted to show what they look like.

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It’s really good to know that I have a few buggy allies out there fighting the good fight with me!  Eat my garden’s enemies to your heart’s content guys, and bring your friends!  🙂

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And on the growing front…

Omygosh look at these cute tiny little beans growing!~

And my tomatoes are continuing to bloom away.  I only have 2 plants, but it would be so awesome if I got enough tomatoes to make a small batch of my yummy salsa. ~

Also, I thought my peas were pretty much done for the season, but now I see more blooms on those too.  Very happy about this!  🙂

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And I have a couple more strawberries just about ready to pick…~

My celery was getting totally crowded out by my zucchini’s giant solar panel leaves so I cut a few of them off.  Hope that doesn’t affect the production of my zucchinis, but I had to give my celery a fighting chance too.~

In other news…

I think one of the robin eggs fell out of the nest above my potting bench because I found these little broken shell pieces on my potting bench.  Sad.  😦~

I found some Johnny Jump ups springing up in an old empty abandoned pot.  They’re such cheerful little darlings and were really a fun surprise to find in the garden today.  ☼~

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 24 ~ Birds and Blooms

It was lovely outside today, so I really enjoyed my time puttering in the garden.  One of the wonderful things about gardening is that there is always something new going on each day.  Of course it’s not as much fun when there’s bad things happening like pests or diseased plants, lack of rain or too much of it and so on, but when things are good it’s just so very rewarding.

And it’s especially fun to find unexpected things!  As I was standing at my potting bench filling up my watering can, I looked up and saw this robin sitting on its nest in my mom’s lilac bush only a few feet above my head…Several days ago I had noticed a mess of grasses and twigs on top of my potting bench, but I thought it was just debris brought by the winds during one of the storms that rolled through.  How exciting that I will be having a family of robins keeping me company now while I’m gardening!  🙂

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I keep forgetting to take photos of my peas!  We’ve just been so busy picking them and eating them up.  But today I caught myself and snapped a photo before I popped them all into my mouth (see one is missing ;)).~

My cukes are really starting to take off and are growing so nicely!

In an earlier post Adventures in Gardening Part 7 ~ Trellis Time, I shared about a little A-frame trellis I built for my cucumbers to climb on, and I’m so excited to finally have them doing just that!  I’ve got two different varieties growing up each side and then my lettuce growing underneath… An A-frame trellis is seriously an excellent idea for space saving in a small bed.

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Strawberries are still continuing to grow in abundance on my one little plant.  Here is another one just starting to show the first hint of color…I simply adore strawberries. ♥

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I also adore flowering things…

Over the years I’ve always enjoyed growing Astilbe in my shady garden areas and planted some for my mom in hers too ~ they are blooming now.  ~

Her Hosta are blooming as well.~

At one of the garden nurseries I visited earlier this spring they had a special promotion where the first 500 customers got a free plant.  Mine was this lovely begonia…~

Now, I realize that marigolds are quite ordinary and nothing special, but they are still bright and colorful, and a faithful bloomer.~

And another shot of my English lavender because it’s my favorite…~

The ants and aphids are still hanging around doing their thing, but don’t seem to be causing any real damage at the moment.  I’ve just been spraying them off with the water hose for now, but I’m keeping an eye on them…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 19 ~ Of Bugs & Blooms

Well… it was nice while it lasted…

but the bugs have found their way to my new cucumbers.  😦~

They’re also doing quite a bit of munching on my mint. I’m not really wanting to spray my mint with my garlic pepper spray since I plan to make tea with it.  As much as I love garlic… garlic flavored tea = yuck!

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We had fun picking some strawberries over at my sis’s today, but then imagine my heartbreak when I discovered this hole in my own newly ripening little strawberry.  😦I’m trying to decide if I should just leave this guy on the vine for the bugs to continue to chomp on so they don’t go after the others that are starting to ripen or not.  But heck if I’m not gonna be able to eat it then the stupid bugs shouldn’t be able to either!  Also I’d rather the plant focus its energy on the developing of the still healthy fruits.

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But hey my gardening news isn’t all bad…

Look!  I have little shoots forming at the base of my zucchini!  Pretty soon there will be lovely bright orange blossoms on the ends of those shoots and then… yummy zucchinis for me to eat!I know it’s a bit premature, but I have already been busy getting lots of new zucchini recipes to try out.  🙂  I freaking love zucchini!

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And here is a flower starting to develop on one of my tomato plants.~

There are also quite a few flowers blooming on my peas.  I just love their cute little blooms! They’re so darling!~

My Bee Balm is blooming more each day.  Hopefully it’ll soon be helping to attract the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to my new garden!~

My mom’s bright beautiful Stella De Oro Lilies are blooming.~

And just take a look at her pretty Asiatic Lilies…These are just so lovely and fragrant.  I had a wonderful time photographing them.   🙂

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~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 16 ~ Take THAT, Bugs!

With my latest discovery of pests in my garden I knew I needed to take immediate action before things got out of hand and those stupid bugs ruin all my delicious veggies.  Maybe I’ve been living in a bubble for the past 20 years, but I’ve never really had a pest problem in any of my gardens except for one time when we had a serious and disgusting battle with potato bugs (they won), so I wasn’t really sure what to do.

So I solicited the help of my readers and after reading my post about my buggy dilemma, fellow blogger thebeadden recommended I try a garlic/cayenne pepper spray.  So after taking a look at her recipe and also checking out a few other sources, I played mad-scientist and made my own little concoction using:

2 C hot water

3 tsp cayenne pepper

3 tsp garlic pepper

3 tsp natural lemon dish soap

2 Tbsp mineral oil

And then got down to business mixing it all together…~

You can’t really tell in the photo, but the mineral oil made the mixture look all sparkly in the sunshine.  Maybe it’ll blind the bugs!  😉~

Here’s my bottle of pepper power.  And here’s to hoping it packs a punch and gets rid of those pests!  I’ll let ya’ll know.~

Secondly, on the advice of a friend of mine and also a fellow blogger conversationswithmymuse, another thing I did was went out and picked up a bottle of white vinegar and filled 4- 8 oz glasses and set them near the 4 corners of my garden.  She says it will work to keep the bad bugs away while still allowing the good ones to enter.  A bad bug barrier ~ I like it!~

Hopefully between these two suggestions I will be able to stop my plants from any further destruction.  I’ll let you know…

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After I finished practicing my alchemy skills I went about checking out the rest of my garden and was excited to find that my beans are sprouting!  The way it’s emerging here reminds me of  the movie Aliens for some reason.  😀~

And my second planting of peas are growing.~

Also, my mom had thought that the bleeding heart I had planted for her some years ago had died, but we were excited to see that one popped up in a different spot ~ outside of her garden.  Plant teleportation!  Sweet!~

Bought these on impulse while out running errands ~ I love me some Double Impatiens!  They remind me of tiny roses.  I can’t grow a rose to save my life!~

~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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