two steps forward, one step back

Today I planted the Elliot blueberry bush. I was very happy to see that the other two blueberry twigs bushes had grown some leaves. I cleaned the berry bed and worked in some peat and coffee grounds. I know about peat and the damages done to bogs to harvest it but I had a bag of it from last year and well, I would feel worse if I wasted it.

I ran out of time and I did not build a fence around the bed. I suspected that Lexie, my destructive puppy, might think this freshly worked bed too good to pass up so I put tomato cages around the bushes. Before getting the boys ready for bed I decided to check on the berries and sure enough, Lexie had dug all around the bed and, she managed to get her big square head into one of the cages and chew on one of the blueberry plants.

If you are new to gardening and you stumble upon this blog, heed this warning: gardening and puppies don’t mix.

Also, if you are new to gardening these are some of the issues you may want to know about:

  • My personal preference is to look for natural weed controls before reaching for commercial herbicides.
  • Peat is not really a renewable resource and can be replaced by other things such as coir (coconut fiber). If you need peat to acidify a bed, try coffee grounds instead.
  • Cow manure is loaded with heavy metals and other poisons.
  • Lawns are responsible for A LOT of pollution, contamination, and water waste. Plow them under and plant flower beds instead.
  • Compost is easy to make, keeps stuff from ending up in our landfills taking up space, and is as good as gold when it comes to enriching your soil.
  • PVC leaches harmful substances under normal gardening conditions.
  • Reuse is better than recycle. Recycle is better than the landfill.
  • Use organic methods whenever possible for many many reasons.

Over and out.

May 2nd

My Siberian tomatoes are coming along. I am very impressed with the Amateur’s Dream plant. If the tomatoes from this plant are any good, it will surely become one of my standards. This plant is at least twice as big as the biggest of the rest:

It has blooms already. All I need now is for some pollinators to do their thing.

The potatoes in the bags are doing ok. If you grow potatoes in a bag, make sure you give the bag some structure, like chicken wire, otherwise, the bag is hard to work with. Also, wherever you put the bag at first, that’s where it stays because if you try to move it once the potatoes have rooted, you risk disturbing the plants. The potato plants in the bag that I did move, are smaller than the others. Here is my best bag of the three:

I am also growing potatoes in tubs. Here’s what one of the tubs looks like now:

My pepper plants are not growing much but they are not dying either. In this tub, California Wonder, Red Bell Pepper, Pasilla, and Padron:

My purple onions from sets and my garlic are doing great. I bought both at a hardware store (Sutherland’s). The bags they came in did not say what variety they were:

Tin Tin lettuce. I failed to thin when they were young and now it has been a mess trying to get them to a single head. I will be planting a new set tomorrow morning and this time I will do a better job. I may make a home-made seed strip using flour and water as a binder and newspaper strips. I think my local newspaper is printed with soy ink, at least the black and white sections.

I planted corn, squash, giant kale, and more peas (Mr. Big).

I got some coffee grounds from Starbucks on Thursday and so I am ready to plant the new blueberry bush but I did not have time today due to my wife’s friend coming to town and the subsequent visiting and merry-making. I hope I get to put the bush in the ground tomorrow.