Gardening Archive

Garden Update

Posted July 13, 2019 By Ruth

The weather has settled out some.  Several days of hot and dry and then some rain.  That I can live with.

On an amusing  note, apparently I didn’t need to worry about mosquito larva in my rain barrels this year:

There’s upwards of a couple hundred tadpoles in each barrel!

Went out to the garden today to do some weeding and thinning.  Came in with a handful of “baby” carrots, 5 or 6 early tomatoes, and then had to go back out for a handful of Miniature White Cucumbers.

The Hollyhock is blooming.

The Noir d’Comes Melon is taking off.

 

But most of them melons look more like this one (Kaho Watermelon).

 

Most of the giant Sunflowers are looking good, this is the biggest of the bunch so far, and its just a bit taller than I am.

The garden appears to be home to a bunch of Garter snakes this year.  I always see a few, but this year every time I turn around I see another, and they’re all different sizes too, so it’s definitely different snakes.  Everything from a little tiny fellow who was MAYBE 6″ long, all the way up to this one, who was bigger around than the garden hoses and had a head the width of a quarter!

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I actually had to water the garden!

Posted June 30, 2019 By Ruth

Its been over a week  now since we last got rain here.  Which is kinda amazing.  There’s been rain in the area, but none of it fell on us!  So we managed to get the rest of the yard mowed, and I even had to water the garden!

The cucumbers at least are  happy:

 

And I finally got up a shade structure for the peppers that need shade:

Now to see if it’ll hold up to wind.

I put together this fountain/bird bath a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to post about it.  Its got a small fountain pump in the bucket, that pumps the water up, which over runs over the side and dribbles back into the bucket.

 

One of the random seeds that caught my eye when I was buying seeds was some dwarf pomegranate seeds, so of course I bought some:

 

 

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Garden update

Posted June 25, 2019 By Ruth

The garden is not, in general, happy this year.  To much rain, not enough sun and warm.  In addition something has attacked a BUNCH of the melons.  It almost looks like borer damage, except that it happened WAY too early to be borers.  The good news is that most of the vines appear to have survived, the next question is if they can recover well enough to produce.

The last couple years the germination rates on my carrot seeds has been lacking.  I put it down to old seeds, most of my carrot seed packets are old due to the fact that I don’t grow that many of any one variety in a year.  So this year I decided to just do a quick broadcast spread of whatever was left of the oldest seed packets and then next year I’ll buy fresh seeds.

So of course every single freaking seed germinated *rolls eyes*

Here’s a picture of the carrot container AFTER I did some thinning:

More thinning will  be required, but at least this way they have a bit of room.

Here’s the celery tire:

And one of the giant sunflower plants (in a jalapeno tire)

Both the Hollyhock and the Foxgloves I planted last year have come back up, and the Foxglove have been blooming:

 

Here’s my updated garden plan for this year:

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Garden update

Posted June 1, 2019 By Ruth

Garden is officially all planted.  It was 90% planted last week, but I ended up ordering some extra jalapeno plants, and those didn’t arrive till this week.  I swear I started plenty, but somehow when it came time to plant I only had half of what I thought I had.  Oh well.

 

The rest of the yard is a mess.  Its been so rainy that we’ve not been able to mow most of the property.

Its hard to get perspective in this, but most of that grass is taller than my knees.  And the ground under it still squishes when walked on.  Its going to be “interesting” to mow it all  once we can finally get the mower back there.

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Life

Posted May 21, 2019 By Ruth

Turned out that a fair bit of my lingering symptoms were dehydration.  I do not understand why I’m suddenly having such big issues with dehydration.  I swear I’m drinking alot of water!  So, I bought a bunch of Snapple and Arizona Iced Teas (all non-caffeinated stuff), all of which I normally avoid, because sugary drinks, and keep forcing myself to drink and drink and drink.  And presto, I feel better!  Ugh.  Appointment with the gastro specialist is Thursday and I intend to ask if dehydration is a normal symptom or if there’s something else going on here.  Seriously, I never stopped peeing at a normal rate, and it was normal colored too.  So why was I dehydrated?!

Garden is about half planted, now if Mother Nature would stop trying to drown us…..

As of last Friday there were 4 Bluebird eggs in the nesting box, cross your fingers!

We’ve had a bunch of Baltimore Orioles this year, they’re going through orange halves at an insane rate.  I need to remember to take more pictures, I keep forgetting, on the other hand I’m enjoying watching them.  The hummingbirds are out in force again this year too, such little birds, so big egos!

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Bleh

Posted May 6, 2019 By Ruth

I already had my spring sinus crud, so I figured I was good till fall.

Except then Husband brought home his version from his work.  And spent a week miserable on the couch.  And of COURSE I caught it just as he was getting better.  Went in to see the doctor on Thursday with an elevated temp, mild cough, sinus pain/pressure, drippy nose, all the usual sinus crud stuff.  She wasn’t happy with me getting sick again in barely a month (but hey, I wasn’t happy about that either you know), prescribed me an antibiotic and a new allergy med.  Except when I got home and actually read the label I realized I’d tried that allergy med before, and it knocks me on my ass for two weeks while my body adapts to it, and then god forbid I miss even one pill because I have to repeat the adaption to it, so yah, not taking it.

Friday woke up, pulled off my cpap mask, and instantly felt short of breath.  Tried my asthma inhaler, and it made no difference.  Then the cough got worse, and my temperature climbed, topping at 101.7.  I spent the day on the couch with my cpap machine running.  By the time I realized how bad off I was my doctors office wasn’t answering their phones (to be fair, Spectrum had had a weird phone outage the day before, so it might not have been the fault of the doctors office).

Saturday I got ahold of the doctors office, and was informed that I needed to go to the ER.  Do not pass go, don’t try Urgent Care.  Ugh.  Spent 7 hours there.  Turns out that I’d somehow managed to let myself get way dehydrated, and it took two liters of IV fluids to get things back to some semblance of normal.

Except that when you walk into the ER, and you’re 40, overweight, tell them you feel short of breath, and your heart rate reads 137bpm they tend to panic and run ALL THE TESTS.  The attending doctor got me to admit to having “gas pain” for the last couple days.  So on top of the list of bloodwork, EKG, and chest CT with contrast, she added to the list a pelvic CT.

So, the heart rate and shortness of breath were caused by the dehydration, the IV fluids fixed that (and got me a stern talking to about the need to stay hydrated, I don’t normally have a problem with that, I really don’t!).  The EKG read normal.  The chest CT read everything normal.  The bloodwork read mostly normal, except for being dehydrated and an elevated white blood cell count.

The pelvic CT?  Well, “acute diverticulitis”, “gall stones”, and a “mild hiatal hernia”.  The hernia’s not a huge surprise, I’ve had acid reflux symptoms for years, though the way the attending doctor put it on my paperwork initially confused the hell out of me.  The rest of it though…..yay?

Today (Monday) I might actually be starting to feel better, though I have absolutely zero energy for ANYTHING.  I got halfway through watering the greenhouse this morning and had to take a nap.  God only knows how I’m going to get the garden planted as I’ve not managed to prep ANY of the beds yet.

I did manage to get the hummingbird feeders out.  And on the way home from the ER, I MIGHT have seen a Black Throated Blue Warbler in the brush next to the road.  I can’t find anything else that would match what I saw anyway, very much like this bird.  Chickadee-ish, but not chickadee-ish.  All black (though it was in the shade, so it could have been dark blue), with a white belly and white splotches on the wings.

And now that I’ve typed all that I need another nap……

Garden update

Posted May 2, 2019 By Ruth

Tomatoes are out in the greenhouse, melons have been started.

I need to start getting the garden tire beds ready to be planted in, I’m behind on them.

Odds and ends

Posted March 27, 2019 By Ruth

My work has gotten a bit complicated.  A full time coworker had to go out for a medical emergency and will be out for a span of months, how long exactly to be determined.  He has, so far, avoided major abdominal surgery, but only barely, and apparently the doctors haven’t ruled it out completely.  In the mean time he’s in the hospital on massive doses of antibiotics and IV nutrients and not allowed to take much of anything by mouth.  Why does this affect me?  Well, it turns out that I’m one of 3 people in the store (who’re not already working in that department) who have a clue as to how to do his job.  The other two people are department heads in other departments, which means that there’s limits to how much they can be pulled out of their departments long term.  Not that I can be yanked out of my department with no warning either, next week is Spring Black Friday (yay) which is the “traditional” start of our crazy season, so I still have to cover most of the hours I was originally scheduled for.  But every hour they can sneak me out of the Garden Dept, and every hour they can add onto the schedule, I’m now working in Receiving too.  In about two weeks the schedule should catch up with the new employee status and I’ll be in Receiving full time through the end of April at least, and likely for the summer.  And while I normally consider myself to be pretty flexible about switching tasks on no notice, for some reason my brain is not handling the switching back and forth this time, and I’m coming home at the end of each day very mentally fried.  Posting may be extra light for a while.

I got most of the seedlings out to the greenhouse on Sunday, now to I have to find energy to start the tomatoes.  I splurged on a temperature controller for the greenhouse this year.  $50, you set the “ideal” temp, and then you set how low it should allow the area to get before turning on the heater (Christmas lights in my case), and how high it should let it get before turning on the cooler (which will be computer case fans wired to blow out the vents as soon as I can get them ordered).  I’m very glad now that I did this, as my new hours make it harder to monitor the greenhouse temp properly.

I’m in the process of switching CPAP suppliers (from here on out referred to as DME), as the one I was originally assigned is struggling with the concept of sending out replacement parts and filters on schedule.  The pulmonary doc was NOT amused.  On my model of machine I’m supposed to change a filter every 30 days, and we’re now over 2 weeks past that and they’re still giving me a run around about getting me the filter in question.  Which is dumb as hell because I can go buy a 6 pack on Amazon for $10.  They’re trying to blame it on my insurance not getting back to them, but when I called my insurance (to see if I could speed things up), my insurance said that they don’t require or expect DMEs to request clearance to issue said parts, and the pulmonary doc agreed that the insurance shouldn’t be involved at this point, clearance was given when the cpap machine was issued, they should just be sending me a filter.  I may be buying a pack from Amazon anyway, just to have the spares, but really, the whole point of this process was so that I shouldn’t have to.  Plus replacement mask parts are more expensive.

I ran out to run a quick errand last night, just after sunset, and of course didn’t bring my camera with me.  I mean, it was way to late for hawks or really any of the birds I’m likely to want to photograph, even if there was enough light to do so.  So what do I see?  A big white owl perched on a telephone pole, lit up and glowing in the last trailing rays of sunlight.  There had been reports of a Snowy Owl in the immediate area earlier in the month, but its been at least two weeks since the last sighting.  *sigh*

Red Manzano Pepper plant

Posted March 24, 2019 By Ruth

Pictures of one of the new variety of peppers I’m growing this year.  Very different looking from the more common pepper varieties!

And my current crop of seedlings

Most of which will be going out to the greenhouse today.  Then I’ll be starting tomatoes.

Bluebirds! And snow, of course

Posted March 18, 2019 By Ruth

I don’t really consider seeing Bluebirds to be a sign of spring, they frequently hang out here all winter (as do Robins), but it still gives me a bit of a thrill to see them start investigating the nesting boxes.

As you can see, we got more snow.  If weather predictions hold it won’t stick around long, but still, everything is white again *sigh*

I’m hoping to get my little plastic greenhouse set up today, with an eye towards getting the pepper seedlings out into it this week.  I need to get the tomatoes started, and I can’t do that till the peppers are out of the way.