Archive for the ‘Small Plot Gardening’ Category

Yet another swarm decided grace us with their presence. But instead of landing on a tree or a bush, they went straight for our roof. I was getting ready to go get the mail, and heard the tell tale buzzing outside. AMAZING. I was able to catch a few pictures before they picked a spot to land.

And they’ve landed…

Then the beekeepers came

Four swarms in one week. Five swarms in a year.

The beekeepers get excited when I call now. They know my number!


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So the war has begun between the neighborhood finches and myself.  And the pill bugs, and the slugs. I’ve got the slugs beat, no problem. It’s those freakin’ roley polies and the finches  that are knocking me back a few steps.  My celery seedlings are just about kaput due to the sow bugs, and I’ve lost chard, and almost both of my zucchinis to the finches, as well as a few lettuce.  I have researched what I might be able to do to battle these pests, that is also safe around vegetables, which is harder than it sounds.  The few organic pesticides that I have found for the pill bugs are safe around the plants, but will be bad for my beneficial. I have also read that diatomaceous earth, helps to dry out the pill bugs, since technically they are a crustacean and need moisture to breathe through their “gills”, but it will dissipate after a few waterings, and isn’t the greatest thing for your soil. ARGH!  As for the finches, I put out some tin foil pin wheels to start with, and if it doesn’t work, I may need to invest in some bird netting. UGLY. But it could possibly double for keeping the dog out of the garden… which is a big plus. I think.

HELP! I need some friendly suggestions people.  Listen to my sad cries and share your wisdom!


Stupid birds. I don’t even care if they are pretty and sound great. Yes, I’m pouting. Humph.

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I’m feeling the pressure to wrap-up a couple pending projects I’ve been working on. The first is a corset for a customer of mine. I’ve been working on it for a while not only because it is detailed but also because it took me close to two months to get a replacement part for my machine.  I’ve completely lost the momentum I had when I started the project, and I need to get back on track. The second is pruning back a Bradford pear tree that has gotten out of control in my backyard. The thing is close to 50 feet tall, which is ridiculous in my tiny backyard. The good thing is that both projects have been started and are midway to being finished. The bad is that both need to be finished by the end of this weekend. That’s TWO days people!!!! And of course, there are other obligations for this weekend. I see a big “NOT going to happen” in my future.

More stuff has emerged in the garden, and that is AWESOME!!!! I now have those zucchini, carrots and bunching onions I had previously wrote about popping up.  And even my rhubarb, the one I thought had rotted away and died, has managed to survive even after I had tilled up that area.  A stalk came up today!! Go figure. Nature is wonderful.

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HA!                      HA HA!          HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

One of the best parts of gardening (besides harvesting and preserving and eating and well, everything!)  (OK, not everything… weeding sucks.  And thinning. That’s no party either.) is seeing the first seedlings pop up in the garden bed.  The lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, cucumbers and the beets are ALL sprouting!!  HEEEHEEE!! Cut to me doing a little jig in front of my 9′ x 6′ plot. If you can call it that.  No matter!  I have sprouts, MY garden has sprouted!!! Now if the only the zucchini, carrots, green onions and potatoes would come up… so exciting! I’m telling you, to me it’s like opening presents. Thank goodness for square foot gardening, or I wouldn’t have been able to wrap my mind around growing so much on such at tiny piece of dirt.  Now if I can just keep the kids and the dog out of that area for a while.  Yeah, I can’t see that happening either.

I found this little gal hanging out on some mint that has gotten pretty unruly, as people who have grown mint know, is normal. It pretty much takes over, so if you aren’t going to be vigilant, don’t plant it, unless you really like it. When my dog was a pup, we had a large patch and that’s were she would like to go to do her business.  Yeah sorry, I went there, but it’s true. Whenever she came around smelling like spearmint, we knew what she had been recently up to. Ugh. The smell of it triggered that memory for a long time. I’m so happy it doesn’t anymore, since I LOVE mint. I apologize again, wholeheartedly. Moving on…

There have been quite a few ladybug sightings in our yard since it has warmed up,  and I’m thinking of picking up a praying mantis ootheca (oh yeah, it’s a word) from the garden store to add to my beneficial bugs list.  Not to mention they look cool. Really cool. Heh-heh, I like bugs.  Except for gnats, and mosquitoes… well that’s a whole another list!

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Enough said, right? No way! Never enough good things can be said about this time of year.  It is completely worth the swollen eyes, runny nose and constant sneezing just to feel the warm sun on my shoulders again, and a cool breeze through my hair.  Time to dig and plant and grow and watch.  So much to look forward to.

My garden area is prepped and planted thanks to a friend that recommended a book on square foot gardening.  Living in the Burbs has it’s downfalls as I have a extremely limited growing area.  But, it didn’t stop me from planting a bunch of seeds I’ve never grown before, so we’ll see how those turn out. Even drew up a garden layout (really, I’m that bad about listing stuff!) so I can reference back when the seedlings start to come up.  I’m a gardening goof. I can’t help it.

More on that LATER!!   I swear! Cross my heart and everything…

Now my new question is why are there always  nagging feelings to scrub down everything this time of year. I’m cleaning the room fans??? I’m vacuuming under and behind the couch??? And don’t forget those dust bunnies under the refrigerator.  What the heck is up with that?  Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all Seinfeld on you. I just wonder if there was some scientific reason why people, (I know I’m not alone!) feel this urge every year.  I don’t have the world’s dirtiest house… or for that matter the cleanest, but this is above and beyond my normal day to day whipping the house into shape.  Oh, what I would give for some indentured servants right now.  Totally voluntary of course.  The kids aren’t quite old enough to order around… yet. (insert maniacal laugh here)

Ah…there’s something wonderful about Spring. Heehee!

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