Creepy Crawlies outside and inside:

May 27, 2023

Planted out most of our propagated veggies, and I am starting another batch for succession plantings. This year, now that I am retired I have more time to watch the plants closely and nip things before they go too far. So far the critters above have been spotted, Grape leaf skeletonizer (the caterpillar on the left and the thrips-like microscopic squishy deep inside a tiny peach-baby. We have sprayed our apple trees, and the stone fruits (we have a peach and a nectarine) however I think our scheduling is a couple of weeks behind: noted for next year, live and learn!

Last fall, we had to mow our meadow down, too many shrubs were going woody and blocking out the light for all the wild flowers that were in the understory. So far this year we have been keeping the mugworts at bay and the Lupines, yarrow, and goldenrod have been growing. We did keep some Mulberry and Crab apples, and I would like to keep them shrubby, not letting them get too tall. A peach tree propagated on it own (perhaps with the help of squirrels or a tossed pit ?) we were happy to see that come about!

Gardens are always a work in progress. Learning never ends.

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Slowly inching outside

The weather this weekend has been incredible. Sunny and in the 60’s make it a perfect day to start cleanup and startup of Garden 2023. Pulled out a couple of good reference books (Toulouse took a bite out of my Square foot Gardening book when he was a puppy)

So I have implemented a few tried and true concepts so far in 2023 garden plan. I would like to get more out of each garden bed so I am going to square-foot with companion planting and see how this works in addition to succession

Still have the rest of the seedlings to put in, and technically Mothers day is the frost free date, I am taking my chances putting these in as it is, so that’s as far as I will go today.

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Spring 2023: Time to rebuild the perrenial garden

Welcome Spring!

After 3 years of letting our property rejuvenate with three wildflower meadows it’s time to start rebuilding. Perennial gardens must be reworked every few years in order to cutback old woody growth and allow new understory shrubs and ground cover to grow.

Our fruit trees had a rough summer last year. With the temperature at 110 degrees all set fruit had aborted. We also did a major pruning on our peach tree to keep it from getting too tall. All three trees are dwarf stock so we intend to keep them dwarfed! Hopefully this year we can see some fruit.

During the past season we also added Heritage Raspberries and Blackberries. The Raspberries were very productive for having it be their first year in the ground, I am assuming the canes were already two ~ three years old.

Cooking up some Tomatoes, potatoes and herbs (still on the heat mats) in the indoor grow room, I already have Green Acorn Squash, Spaghetti squash, and many peppers of various levels of Scoville heat are already outside under hoops. Rhubarb was planted yesterday and it has been raining ever since! The garden plan is a pretty enthusiastic, but being retired now I should have more time to “tweak and putter”

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Hiking in the Neighborhood

February 20, 2022: With the cornflower blue cloudless sky and light dusting from yesterday evenings snow squall we couldn’t resist the temptation of a short local hike. All Trails app is amazing in that it can list all trails in your zip code. We never knew this place existed and we live here 30 years!

We put Toulouse’s coat on and he stood by the door with anticipation… we wanted him to go into the back garden, but he waited by the garage door waiting to go into the car, he was up for a walk, which was surprising, but he was really into it..happily

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2022: February and Spring around the corner

February 19, 2022: It has been so long since I have posted, I have been very active on my Weedie in the Garden instagram site. The 2021 garden was very successful with over 50 lbs of peaches, Tomatoes, Tobasco peppers and assorted other very HOT peppers.

Presently, I have been experimenting with stronger lights in my greenhouse. AeroLight has a small unit that works really well! I have started using grow bags with Amaranth, spinach and broccoli. Potatoes will be put in by the end of the weekend. I am curious to see how those work, It’s nice to be able to move them around, and as the weather heats up, they can go outside.

Pictured above are the raised beds late in the season. Partially covered to protect the peppers from killing frost. Also this past season we added another apple tree, two more blueberry bushes and grapes. It is growing into a real homestead!

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October wrap-up

October 22, 2020: A season of Covid, a season of learning

It has been quite a while since I have posted to the blog, My Instagram Weedie in the Garden has been updated almost daily with the garden and greenhouse progress through the season. Like most, I have turned my interests inward during this time specifically to the garden. Techniques and processes have been honed. Here are a few things this summer has taught:

Succession planting: Not only was it successful outside in the raised beds but in the indoor greenhouse as well. We had different varieties of tomatoes, all ripening at different times. Jet, Beefsteak, Big Boy, Acer, Roma. To date, we harvested 62 lbs. of tomatoes, canned 10 quarts, and they’re still a substantial number green on the vine. Garlic planted last fall was harvested in July, and then I planted Dragon Beard Beans (VERY prolific) 7.5 lbs harvested to date, I just pulled out the bushes this past weekend to make room for a winter crop. I raked leaves, mulched them up, and spread a thick layer on top until I decide how to proceed. Meanwhile inside, I have another batch of Basil started from seed and just transplanted into the raised bed.

Stratification: My Paw Paw seeds had been in the fridge since November 2019. I planted them in March. From 10 seeds only 3 germinated, and so far those three have been growing outside. I brought them in 2 weeks ago and the bottom leaves seem to be yellowing. I gave them some seaweed fertilizer, and repotted, thinking that perhaps they were root bound, they weren’t, so now i’m not sure why the leaves are yellowing ūüė¶

Seeds on heat/ when germinated to the lights!: Prevention of scrawny, lanky seedlings is a quick transfer to grow lights. The germination rate varies, but so far I have radishes, mustard greens, basil, beets, and carrots.

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Summer garden

Panoramic view of the garden June 27, 2020
Pleased with the transformation. More to come !

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Post Holiday Hike

December 29th, 2019: Westmoreland Sanctuary

Well, it’s about time we get out! We have been so busy with the Holiday this year that Hiking has taken second place. We have Rosa the grand-dog staying with us this weekend, a perfect opportunity to take both dogs out for a quick hike at our local Nature Preserve! A quick hour and 1/2 walk before the rain set in…just enough to tucker out the poochies!

Perfect breaking-in walk for Toulouse as well…he will be coming with us on our next adventure in the Adirondacks. We will make him a hiker yet!

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Our Maine Adventure

Sept 2, 2019, First full Day/ the Kayak Trip in Frenchman’s Bay

All geared up in our new wetsuits, off we went to Bar Harbor / Coastal Kayak Tours. We arrived early with enough time to get a brief intro from Annie our tour guide. Annie was in Bar Harbor for the summer in from South Africa where she usually would take tourists on Safari!

The weather was overcast but no rain until our excursion was just about over, so luck was with us! We went out as five tandem kayaks and surprisingly we were all pretty good at staying together. We paddled out to Frenchman’s Cove and headed toward Bar Island, skirted Sheep porcupine island, then Burnt porcupine island, landed on rum key island where we stayed a half hour or so to stretch and snack. Heading back we were all getting a bit beat, so we went back the way we came, rather than explore the choppier windy way.

Sept 3,2019: Champlain Trail, Acadia National Park: Our first National park adventure hike and it did not disappoint.  As expected  the park was crowded, there were two cruise ships parked in Bar Harbor, one was the size of one of the islands, and I heard it carried 4000 passengers! When those boats empty out onto the shore, a sleepy little town is transformed into Manhattan!  The shoreline is rugged and magnificient, dangerous and alluring all at the same time. As we drove through the park, we intended to park and hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain, however we ended up driving to the top only to find bus-loads of tourists (from the boats) Not exactly the summit experience we were looking for!
Sept 4th, 2019: Long Pond Kayak, and Jordan Pond Hike. Two wonderful excursions done on the same day…A First! Kayak AND¬†Hike. Long Pond was beautiful and as always one of the things we love most about Kayaking is that there is never a crowd! ¬†The Long Pond hike circled the pond, and there were quite a few hikers on the trail. We actually saw a porcupine taking his nap just off the trail, but within sight of all. Was hoping to see more wildlife, however we found out that although the Moose is the icon for Acadia Park, there are actually no Moose on the Mt. Desert Island. We did see (at a distance and extremely tiny…) A Dog Nose Seal in Frenchman’s Bay. I imagine I should be careful what I wish for, maybe meeting a Bull Moose, or Black Bear is not quite a Disney interaction!

Finally the last day, Bill and I did get to fish and chill right on shore of the Vacation Rental.  Something  we  learned  while  staying  by  a  river  is  that  it only looks really pretty during high tide, which happens only twice a day. People that live in places that have tides, live by the tides and if you are not willing to kayak against the flow, be sure to check when the water is moving in the direction you want to go when you are the most fatigued. 

A great Vacation, a new locatioin that brought us our of our Adirondack comfort Zone and enabled us to experience a new part of the world, expaning our Horizons!

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July 11, 2019: Garden update

The Garden is filling in nicely! Corn is really looking like corn! Early Girl tomatoes are looking good so far. Now what we really need to do is to net off / fence off the raised beds so we have a chance at harvesting.

One thing I am having difficulty with, and not sure if anyone else has this issue, is that as my squash start to form, they turn yellow and fall off ūüė¶ Is that too much water? not enough water? maybe something is stepping on them at night. There are other young squash forming, but I hope they remain on the vine to maturity.

The “three sisters” concept seemed like it make sense, however I am concerned that the squash is going to shade-out all the green beans and the other smaller crops underneath (like the radishes)

The Marvel peas are finishing up, looks like I need to start another round! Pasta Piselle was tonights dinner, I am happy that I am finally growing enough that I can actually make a meal with the harvest.

So Propagation of my hydrangea has been less than great. Time to start again and see how it goes. Years ago I seemed to have better luck with grafting and starting plants, I guess I am out of practice

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