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Archive for the ‘carrots’ Category

When we were little, our mothers sent us outside to play when we were getting on her nerves. We thought she was being sweet and encouraging us to have fun when all she really wanted was a moment alone with her thoughts and perhaps a Highball or two. Well, I’m on my own nerves lately, so the moment I get free from work, rain or no rain, I’m going outside to play and I’m dragging Tom with me.

Carrots get curly if the soil isn't loose enough - be sure to prepare your soil!


In gardening news, it’s an excellent time to plant anything with an underground harvest such as root vegetables, like carrots before it gets too warm, or bulbs. Today I’m planting the garlic that was leftover from an olive oil roasting I did on Monday. When the garlic you use in the kitchen has little green centers, it means the garlic is growing again in your pantry and it will most likely be bitter tasting and it’s past its prime. Bury it and you’ll have fresh garlic later. I know I’ve said it before, but I really really want you to plant garlic! It helps keeps aphids off your roses and vampires will think twice before messing with your garden.

red Dragon Carrot - sweet and adds color to salads or cake - did someone say cake? 🙂


It’s also a good time to plant radishes if you live somewhere with a cool spring. I just harvested mine, so I won’t be planting more, but it’s not too late if you want to get another batch through before summer. I had the “Easter Egg” blend and they were delicious!

Spring Radishes - Easter Egg Blend - April 2011


The Moon is waning so it’s also a good time to prune where needed. My pruning is done for now, so I can take a break on that front. In fact, the garden seems to be doing her own thing quite effectively right now, so I can take a little breather. I have some extremely feral patches around the property, but I’ve put those off until summer when school is over. Thanks to the budget cuts, summer classes have been canceled so I have no opportunity to change my mind about taking the summer off. Tom and I are going to plan a little trip someplace we’ve never been. It’s very exciting.

I didn't really like carrots until I grew my own


This is also a good time to think about feeding your garden. Spring is a time when nature has a voracious appetite and plants need food and mulch and compost-y nourishment to reach their full potential fruit and bloom-wise. I like the pellet kind of food because I can walk around the garden with a bucket of it and toss toss toss. I’ve tried the Miracle Grow liquid with the hose attachment and, although the food itself works well, it’s not a great way to apply it and I think it wastes a lot of water while being inconsistent with the delivered amounts. I did see an ad in Sunday’s paper that they have a fairly new device with premixed solution, but I have not tried it yet. The bucket/toss method seems to work for me, for now. That’s the key with this gardening thing – do whatever works for you and you alone. Gardening is a much easier task than it was even a decade or so ago. When I started gardening seriously about 10-15 years ago, there wasn’t a huge online community of plant enthusiasts, garden blogs were rare, websites that explained how to care for plants were terribly incomplete, tools and products were still old fashioned and not much of it was geared toward those of us who choose the organic way. Now, the world is your oyster, or pea, if you want anything from a tiny pot of herbs on your urban balcony, to a farm in the backyard, and anything and everything in between. Information is instant online and there’s a huge community of people just like me writing about gardens just like mine and sharing information. It’s awesome, easy, rewarding and healthy, and will improve your mood considerably. Even if it’s just one Strawberry plant – the fresh and pristine pesticide-free fruit will have you hooked in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Go outside and play!

Inside a sea of Nasturtiums - March 2011

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Atlanta, Georgia


Breathe
Breathe love
into the cup
of your hands
and place your flaming
palms against your heart
Let this warmth
melt your fears
like wax before a fire
and watch the delicious
softening reveal
the wildflower
of your heart.
We must live
with Hearts Wide Open
Hearts Wildly Open.
–Kali Heydel

Atlanta, Georgia

Actually, I’m waiting for my schedule to be wildly open since I just received an envelope full of seed packets from Seed Savers Exchange! Here’s what I got:

Anise (the mail smells like licorice today!)

anise


Love Lies Bleeding (ordered just for the name and to put into vases)

Love Lies Bleeding


Long Tom Tomato (just for my husband Tom)

Long Tom Tomato


Night Scented Tobacco (these have beautiful trumpet shaped flowers)

Night Scented Tobacco


Hyssop

hyssop


Magnus Lovage

lovage


St John’s Wort

St. John's Wort


Red Milkweed/Prairie

Red Milkweed


Cherokee Purple Tomato

Cherokee Purple Tomato


Black Sea Man Tomato

Black Sea Man Tomato


Himalayan Blue Poppy

Himalayan Blue Poppy


Dragon Carrot (I’m such a sucker for a dramatically named plant!)

Dragon Carrots

And right now I’ve got a serious case of ants in my pants because I’ve got to get my work done and then go to school this evening: no gardening for another couple days! Well, as the opening line of the above poem advises, I must breathe NOT hyperventilate!

Atlanta, Georgia

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