Tag Archives: Zucchini

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 14 ~ Planting Pleasures

After purchasing all of my goodies at the garden centers in Part 13, and then buying even more again on Mother’s Day, it’s needless to say that I ended up with quite a bit of planting to do…

And I loved every minute of it!  Up until now it has been only seed planting for me, and don’t get me wrong, it has been very exciting to watch all of those little green lifes poking up through the dirt, but planting actual plants definitely has pleasures of its own.

And because it was Mother’s Day, I also had the pleasure of having company while planting ~ my mom, my sis, and my daughter all took part in making it fun and memorable. ♥

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In all my years of gardening I’ve never happened to grow celery before, but I thought I’d give it a try and see what happens.  I love celery and I’m always up for trying something new!  🙂~

I love jalapeno peppers ~ gotta keep life spicy!  😉  Over the years I’ve developed a delicious recipe for jalapeno poppers that I came up with by combining bits and pieces from 4 or 5 different recipes.  With limited space in my tiny garden I only planted one, so I don’t know if I’ll end up with enough to make many poppers with.  Hopefully I’ll have enough to make at least a small batch.  They are sort of a pain in the butt to make anyway, so maybe it’ll better this way.  😉  I’ll just have to wait and see.~

I also planted a yellow bell pepper called “Golden California Wonder.”  I hope it grows happily here in Minnesota. 🙂  In the past I have always had red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers in the garden (for making salsa), but again… with limited space, I had to pick and choose.  So I chose yellow because they are my favorite out the bunch.~

I didn’t know this, but apparently my mom absolutely hates the smell of Rosemary.  Oops sorry mom, you’ll be smelling it all summer in your yard.  It’s a wonderful garden companion to vegetables, not to mention its many culinary and medicinal uses.  I placed it near my carrots and beans because it is a great carrot fly and bean beetle deterrent.  And by the way, I happen to love the smell of it!~

Oregano is another great vegetable garden companion and provides excellent general pest protection, including being a delicious seasoning!~

I hadn’t planned on planting basil, but when we were in the herb section of the garden center and caught a whiff, it just smelled too good to resist.  You can see my one lone broccoli in the background.  It’s such a spindly looking thing, I sure hope it grows.~

The Apple-Mint I got is so pretty and yummy smelling!  I can’t wait to start snipping some of it off and using it to make tea!~

That first pretty strawberry blossom that hooked me into buying my strawberry plant is fading, but now comes the yummy part… the fruit!  You can see the strawberry just starting to develop.  Nature is so amazing! This is an everbearing variety so hopefully we’ll be enjoying fresh strawberries all summer.   Aside from this new beautiful bloom, I see 3 other buds starting too!~

I planted 2 Roma Tomatoes in an old double bench planter that I handed down to my mom when I moved ~ not knowing I’d eventually be the one using it to plant in again.  They’ll have a lot of growing room as they get taller inside the fun blue colored tomato cages I got.  😀

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Like the tomatoes, I planted these Yellow Sweet Spanish Onions in a separate container.  I love them and there just wasn’t room to plant them in the garden.  I’ve never grown onions in a pot before so I hope they work out.  Poor things look so pathetic in this photo, all flopped over.  Hopefully they’ll perk up a bit after getting used to their new home. ~

While we were at one of the garden centers, my sis surprised me by buying me some Bee Balm!  I absolutely love it and have always grown it in my gardens.  It’s a butterfly, bee, and hummingbird magnet!  This big guy will be living in a pot though because there is no room for him in the garden or anywhere else in my mom’s yard.  I am not used to growing perennials in pots, so I hope I can get it to overwinter all right.~

My Spinach is continuing to come along nicely…~

My cucumbers are now sprouting up!~

And even though that evil diabolical squirrel came back and all but destroyed 3 out of 5 mounds of my beloved zucchini, I am happy to announce that the ones I managed to salvage are looking great!~

My lettuce are coming right along as well…~

Gardening isn’t just all about planting food ~ it’s about flowers too…

I know Marigolds are common and not all that exciting, but they are bright and cheerful and last well into fall.  They also deter many garden pests.~

I rescued these Impatiens from one of the garden centers.  They looked so sad, all root bound, and scraggly, but I knew all they needed was a little TLC, so I bought them and put them in a mini Terracotta planter ~ another rescue, from a thrift store.~

When I moved, I couldn’t bear to part with a pair of urns that I had, so I brought them over to my parent’s and set them in front of their garage.  It’s a perfect spot for them and with a few growing things in them make for a lovely entrance when pulling up into the driveway.  🙂~

As soon and my mom saw this Hydrangea bush at the garden center she fell completely in love with it, and it just so happens that she has a bare spot along the side of her house to plant it!  ~

As we were leaving to go out for breakfast on Mother’s Day morning we noticed a bunny visitor over on the side of my mom’s yard.  She says it’s been making itself comfortable there for quite a while now.  It’s cute, but I have to say that I’m really glad that I built my raised garden up so high now because rabbits can reek havoc on a garden.  My peas and onions are pretty near to the ground in their separate pots though, so I hope this cute little critter doesn’t decide to team up with the evil squirrel and become a problem…~

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 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!