Greenhouse & Garden Diary

  Extending the Short Growing Season of Washington State by Wanda Lynch



February 12, 2006

My garden seeds came the other day in the mail so now I just have to get motivated to start the tomatoes and peppers! I think I am still recovering from being gone. I also have to get my canners out and make cream of mushroom soup. I took the last of it with me to Gram. Hopefully Jay will help me carry things up from the pump house in the next day or so. Jerry isn't going to be able to help me since our roads are so bumpy (mild word for it, it is more like pot hole city!) plus his knee isn't doing good at all. I doubt I will get much help this year so Jay may be doing more like he did in the fall. I will just wait and see. Maybe if it isn't too bad I can do it by myself!



Jay and I finished all our winterizing. Of course he waited until it was pouring rain and threatening to snow that night before he decided that we should get it finished! The green house is all cleaned up and the pumpkins are now stored safely in the pump house. One of them rotted but the rest looked okay. We pulled all the tomatoes and now I have two boxes of tomatoes sitting on the table again! We got a few small Jalapeno peppers but the plants were mostly plant! Same with the bell peppers. I think there was way too much nitrogen in the soil so hopefully next year when I plant the peppers in the front garden that they will do better there. I still have to go out and seal the windows of the green house shut with duct tape but I wasn't going to attempt that in the pouring rain! Jay drained the last of the hoses (we were using it for the green house) and put them away. What a nice feeling to be done!!!



It rained all day yesterday and is still cloudy today but warm. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like October but other times it definitely does! We still have some outside work to do so hopefully it will clear up enough that we can get things finished up. The tomato plants in the green house are still bearing fruit so we enjoy the fresh tomatoes while we can. I gave away a bunch of them the other day because I didn't know when I would be able to stand for long periods to get them canned. I'm sure we will be getting a bunch more ripe ones soon! Most of the cherry tomatoes that are on the table are ripening nicely and we get bowls at a time to enjoy! There aren't a whole lot of them left though and they are Jay's favorite! I will have to plant more next year!



Jay and I spent two days getting the garden cleaned up and ready to put to bed for the winter. I planted the garlic in a small section of one of the raised beds and put straw on it so it is done for the year! Jay took a machete to the corn stalks and then we pulled the plastic over the stubs and folded up the plastic. Then Jay took a spud fork and had to dig up all the corn roots. What a job that was. He wouldn't let me help so I weeded out all the raised beds and got them ready for spring planting next year. I also weeded around the fruit trees and laid down straw around them but not pushed up against the bark so the mice won't chew on it. Jay helped me finish putting down newspaper and straw between the blackberries and blueberries and they are looking really good. Hopefully they will make it through the winter well! All signs are pointing toward a hard winter this year so hopefully the straw will protect them. We have some pretty mild winters the past couple years so we are due for a typical northwest winter! I had this brainstorm to move all my herbs that were planted out front of the house down to the garden and use the small garden out front to plant peppers and annual herbs in. It is the last place to freeze around here and just got it's first small frost last week. So Jay dug up all the herbs and planted them in the big garden. Then I put all the mulch from the compost barrel on the small garden and now the dirt on top is black and rich looking. I didn't quite have enough to cover the top so will have to dig down to the bottom of the compost pile in the garden and see if there is some I can use. I'm sure there is!! I weeded out two flower gardens and eliminated another one completely. The dr. said to downsize so I'm trying. I think I am going to get rid of the flower bed along the side of the house too. The ground there is really rocky and the grass keeps growing into it. It is hard to keep up so I will probably just move some of my favorite smaller plants to the garden in the middle of the front yard and then just let the grass grow into the one on the side of the house.



Our garden froze around the sixth of this month and I have been busy every since trying to get everything canned and frozen including all the fruit we bought up at the orchards. I finally got caught up on Friday and so yesterday Jerry and I went over to Marilyn's house and picked over two gallons of blackberries! What a glutton for punishment I am. On the way home we stopped at Dave and Pat's and they gave us a bunch of tomatoes and some cukes. So tomorrow I will be making more sweet and sour and some bread and butter pickles. Bert's garden hasn't froze yet either and she said I could pick the next batch of cukes from her garden. Bless her heart!! Right now all I have in the addition is tomatoes all over the table and a box of very small pears that came off my trees this year. They were suppose to be Bartlett and another kind but they are round instead of pear shape. Someone told me they thought they were Chinese pears. Never heard of them! Anyhow, I plan to cook them down and make spicy pear jam with them. I already canned 35 quarts of pears and 32 quarts of peaches so I don't want to mess with that anymore this year! Jay and Jerry pulled and shucked corn on Wednesday and then we cut it all off the cob. We finally got a good crop of corn!!! We ended up with 32 quart bags of corn off the cob. Wonderful! I still have pumpkins and beets in the garden but everything else is dead for the year. Hurray!!! I was starting to really burn out!



Monday Jerry came over and we picked beans and squash in the garden. I couldn't believe how fast the zucchini grew! We also pulled the rest of the onions and they are in the van drying with the rest. I was trying to get some laundry done and housework in between working in the garden. We also got the camper unloaded and stuff put away. Tuesday we did a bunch of canning and getting veggies ready to freeze. We are now done with all of the cabbage! Hurray!! The raspberries are also done and I was more than relieved! Jerry helped me wash down the walls in our bedroom so we could move our bed back in our room. It has been a very busy week! Yesterday I pulled the tomatoes out of the garden and they are sitting in boxes in the house. The tomatoes in the green house are still outside but I pulled the ones from the garden. We have had a couple of close calls for frost so it is only a matter of time and I didn't want to lose any tomatoes. Very seldom do I get ripe tomatoes out of the garden. We have been eating fresh tomatoes out of the green house though. Jay helped me do some weeding last night and the beans are looking much better!



The garden is doing beautifully right now and keeps us busy picking fruit and veggies. We don't get a lot of time to weed anymore since the canning is keeping us busy. We canned green beans, sauerkraut, Amish cold slaw, tri berry jam, and strawberry/rhubarb jam this week and the pump house is starting to fill up good. We were down to our last two cases of pints when a friend from church brought me four dozen more from a neighbor of hers that had passed away. I was very grateful to receive them! We took a couple of days off from the garden but will be back to work tomorrow night!



We had a nice cool down today with temps only in the low 80s so Jerry and I took advantage of it and did a bunch of canning. We canned 3 pints of green beans (guess I got a little too excited about picking and picked a little early!), 21 quarts of sauerkraut, 9 pints of Amish Cole Slaw, and 11 pints of cran/raspberry jam (yummy!). That took most of the day to do with several trips up and down the hill fetching jars to fill! We finished the canning around 5 p.m. and then headed for the garden to start pulling the onions. This is the earliest I have ever pulled them but a lot of them were so big they were sitting ABOVE ground! We figured we must have pulled more than 100 pounds of onions including the Walla Walla sweet onions that we pulled too. Usually I put them in boxes to dry but I didn't have any boxes this year so I came up with the brain storm of using Jay's old van to store them in. I lined the floor of the van with old sheets and then we put the onions on them single layer. It gets plenty warm inside the van so it shouldn't take too long to dry them! It smelled very strong of onions when we shut the doors! We put the Walla Walla sweets in the pump house to dry since we will use some of them for pickles soon. There are still some onions in the ground that weren't ready but 90% of them were. Now there is a big vacant spot in the garden! At least we will be able to get the tiller through there now. That should help us out a lot. I lost four onions total to the gophers (one of the reasons we pulled them!) and Jay set the trap again today for one that was in the sweet onions. I have NEVER had gophers eat my onions but I guess since I took all the other root veggies away that they decided onions were better than nothing! Last night we picked almost two quarts of raspberries again but the bees had beat us to a lot of them. I had an accident in the raspberry patch and ended up falling (my middle name is NOT grace!) and twisted my back. I wasn't feeling real well after that and my back is still bothering me. Being a gardener is a dangerous occupation, especially for me! Poor Jerry didn't know what to do but at least he didn't laugh at me. We did laugh today though and two ladies from church were teasing me about it--yep it was Pat and Marilyn! Of course they were concerned too. Bless their hearts



This heat has really kicked in the garden. I went down earlier today and checked the beans again and found enough on the first two rows to justify the first picking. I didn't check the other nine rows!! Jay picked two zucchinis for supper on the way out of the garden. Tonight Jerry is coming over to pick beans, raspberries, and cabbage. Tomorrow we will can the beans and also make Sauerkraut for the first time. Marilyn gave me a recipe for it that is super easy and it ages in the jars instead of crocks. I think she said it was her mom's recipe. Anyhow it is very easy and we have lots of cabbage this year!! We are going to have to start pulling onions and drying them for storage as they are getting so big that some of them are above ground!! With this heat we are having to water the garden a lot more (Jay doesn't let me water the yard since he has to mow it) and I noticed that the raised beds dry out a lot faster than the ground does. I usually hand water the raised beds to make sure they get enough water. Jay watered them last week when it was pretty warm and the beds starting steaming! So I figure the dirt must get pretty warm too!!



Jerry and I worked in the garden again last night for a couple of hours. We picked raspberries again (about 1 1/2 quarts) and then finished weeding the Walla Walla Sweet onions. I noticed that some of the yellow onions are ready to be picked and dried already. I hope to get them pulled this week sometime. Jay watered the garden tonight since I took the night off. I did too much yesterday and my back was certainly letting me know it! It is getting harder to pick the raspberries as the bees (yellow jackets) are getting to them before we can! We do all the work and they get all the food!! But we keep trying to fight for them. I'm afraid one of us is going to get stung though and Jerry is allergic to them. We may have to give up pretty soon. A lot of people that I know that grow raspberries is having the same problem we are so it isn't just us.



Gardening is going great right now but the weeds are still a problem. Jerry and I weeded tonight and he also ran the tiller on some rough spots. Jay and I dug potatoes yesterday but only got a small bucket full. I think the frost that hit them back in May did a real number on them. We only dug the yellow potatoes because the red ones seem to be doing good still. Jerry and I pulled beets last week and canned 12 pints of pickled beets. There weren't nearly as many beets as we thought! We replanted in two empty spaces in the raised beds so this will be new for me to try to get two crops of beets in one year! We picked a huge head of cabbage that must have weighed well over five pounds. We pulled the spinach as it was going to seed in the heat. We did pretty good with it so I will gladly plant it again next year. The strawberries are almost done for the year but we can usually manage to find at least one berry for Kaity to eat! The beans will be ready to pick within the week and the dry beans are looking really good and full of blooms. The summer squash plants have small squash on them and we are looking forward to eating our first zucchini from the garden. The corn has tasseled and it is really short! It is only about three to four feet tall but that is to be expected since it is an early corn. Jay and Kaity have been robbing carrots almost every day from the garden and each time they are a little bit bigger. We should do real well this year. The gophers managed to eat ALL my Loveage herb plants before Jay could get them trapped so hopefully I can get some more started from seed next year. It isn't an easy plant to start from seed! The cukes are finally growing bigger but I worry about getting a frost before they are done. I had to replant them once already! The tomato plants are huge but don't have a lot of tomatoes on them but have lots of blooms! The ones in the green house have more tomatoes on them than the ones in the garden. But I can't complain about this years produce as it is much better than last year and the garden looks really good this year. Thanks to the help from Jerry and Jay!!!

Jerry and I have done so many cherries that we are definitely sick of them! Jay and I picked sweet cherries off his brother's tree and got about 3/4 of a bushel. Jerry and I pitted and split them looking for worms. Then we canned them and got around 42 pints. Last week we picked pie cherries for a lady from church who had neck surgery and couldn't pick her trees. We pitted 8 quart bags for her and then picked three gallons for us to pit for use this winter! We also got a gallon of blue berries she gave us (we picked over two gallons for her along with raspberries) and we froze them for use in jams! So we have had our share of cherries for the year!!!



Jerry and I are very busy in the garden still. Tonight we did some fertilizing in the potatoes, cukes, and blueberry and blackberry patches. I used my new garden chair to weed and it worked great. I did weeding while Jerry did the fertilizing. We folded up the clear plastic that we used on the tomatoes and put it away so it wouldn't get ruined. There were actually more strawberries ready than what we could eat so we picked them and brought them in to be cleaned! I was having trouble with a gopher that was in the herb garden being very destructive so my neighbor brought over a trap that he had built and set it up for me. He told me I would have the gopher before dark and he was right! Jay pulled it up and it had the biggest gopher that I have ever seen and it was dead but the trap wasn't messy. I want Jay to build me a couple of them! I was very excited to be rid of that nasty gopher.



Jerry and I have been busy busy in the garden. Jay helped us out a couple of times by doing some hoeing for me. With my back I am unable to hoe so have to crawl and weed. Jay is much faster with the hoe! Jerry ran the tiller last week and it looked really good. We have all the garden weeded for the first time already and are back to weeding in areas that we weeded a while back. The first couple months of gardening are the most intense with weeding. I am looking forward to a break! We have cut the spinach twice now and we noticed tonight that it needs it again. We just wash it and blanch it for the freezer. Easy enough! We are eating fresh strawberries but there aren't a lot due to being transplanted. Next year should be a bumper crop! The raspberries are still green but they should be ripening soon. I am looking forward to fresh raspberries! The beets should be ready to can in a couple of weeks too. Jerry and I did some canning yesterday. We canned 18 quarts of sweet dills and 18 pints of BBQ sauce. We are all caught up with canning now so all we can do is wait for things to get ready in the garden. We have had a cool beginning to summer with a lot of rain so the plants aren't growing really fast. According to the news it is suppose to warm up into the low 80s so the garden should like that. Unfortunately so will the weeds!!! I dug up a bunch of starts in my herb garden and plan to take them to the health food store in town to sell on consignment. I got a bunch of fever few and some lemon balm and chamomile.



I spent a couple of hours in the garden tonight doing some weeding. Jay came down for a while and helped me out and it was very much appreciated!! He uses the hoe so he can cover four times more ground than I can crawling around. He did all the beans so now all I have to do is weed the row the beans are in and not in between. He saved me hours of work. The rows were too close together for him to get the tiller down so he used the hoe. I noticed the lettuce needs to be cut (first time!) so I will be doing that tomorrow before I go to Spokane. The rhubarb needs to be pulled again too! The birds were chirping away and swooping around the garden and it was so peaceful. I love to listen to nature! I even had a hummingbird come and sit on the sprinkler head and just watch what was going on. Strange little thing! After I finished in the garden I changed all the hummingbird feeders and filled all the regular bird feeders. They have been going through lots of seed! I watched a couple of little birds gather stuff out of the yard to use in their nest. It was so cute. I had to shoo them off though because the cat thought they looked cute too!



Jerry and I have been very busy in the garden lately. We spend a lot of time weeding!! We had to replant the cukes because I think the seeds rotted in the ground due to all the rain we had so we replanted them yesterday. We also cut the spinach, pulled radishes and replanted a row of radishes. We almost have all of the blueberry patch covered with newspaper and straw. We ran out of newspaper for a while but I brought a bunch home with me today from Betty's so now we can finish. We had a hard frost a couple of weeks ago and it killed my peppers and hit the potatoes really bad but the potatoes are making a comeback and it is hard to tell they were even hit. I bought some Jalapeno peppers to replace the ones I lost and my good friend Pat bought me six Banana Pepper plants (bless her heart!) in Spokane to replace the ones that got hit by frost. The garden looks really good and I think we are going to have a great crop this year. Everything is up real good and growing great. It has been cool and raining quite a bit so when the heat comes the garden is really going to take off on me. We are trying to get caught up with the weeding before that happens!! We had to put the rows pretty close together in order to get the whole garden in so most of it has to be weeded by hand. I am hoping that Jay will be able to go between the bean rows for me with the tiller. Once they get bigger I know he won't be able to but hopefully he can right now. That would save me hours of weeding! The raised beds are doing great and I just love them! We removed the plastic cover from the tomatoes for the summer so they are getting plenty of water now and growing like they should be. Jerry helped me plant the last of the flowers that I started in the green house so now there are no more starts in the green house. It looks kind of empty! But there are tomatoes and green peppers planted in the dirt in the green house so it isn't completely empty! We have harvested rhubarb twice now and it needs to be cut again. Now the work begins! We sure have enjoyed eating fresh radishes out of the garden though!



Jerry and I finally got the last of the garden in yesterday. Jay and Jerry planted the corn (it is in black plastic) and then we planted the pumpkins. Now the work begins!! The onions are coming up nicely and soon everything will be up. We have started weeding and that will be the big thing for us to keep ahead of. I spent three hours today after church weeding the herb garden and the asparagus. Jay came out and helped with the asparagus using the hoe so it is almost done. I am very excited about the garden this year. It looks like it is going to be a great gardening year! We put in 4 hills of zucchini and 4 hills of yellow squash, 12 rows of green beans (20 foot long rows!), 10 1/2 rows of kidney beans and 4 1/2 rows of Jacob cattle beans (also 20 foot long rows!), 8 hills of spaghetti squash, 4 hills table ace squash, and 5 hills of pumpkin. I also planted the sweet banana peppers today in the herb garden. Now all that's left to plant is the flowers that I started. We laid down some old carpet that was given to me and that is helping keep the weeds down too. The season now begins!!! This is the earliest that I have put a garden in since we have moved here but it has been warm with no frost and Jay thought it would be fine so we did it!



Jerry and I have been very busy with the garden. We got the cucumbers planted and the black plastic laid down for the corn. All the onions are in now and I even got brave and planted the jalapeno peppers and basil. We moved the blackberries to a permanent place and put down newspaper and straw to keep down the weeds. We planted all the blueberry plants (only 7!) and put newspaper and straw around half of them. The radishes are up already and looking great. All the seeds that we planted a couple of weeks ago are up and looking good. We got all the strawberries transplanted and they didn't even droop! Bert came and took the ones I didn't need bless her heart! The rhubarb is well ready to pick and the potatoes are coming up quickly. The pear trees were so loaded with blooms that they looked pure white. Even the new pear tree had some blooms on it. The two apple trees are also blooming and hopefully we will have a bumper crop this year of fruit!! Jay was finally able to get the garden tilled after he borrowed a plow that he pulled through the garden with our tractor. Driving on the garden really compacted the dirt and I hope we never have to do that again! Poor Jay couldn't get our tiller through it it was so hard! We borrowed Melissa's tiller since it is bigger than ours and he was able to till after he plowed. It was still harder than usual but at least it got tilled! I wanted to plant beans yesterday but it was hot and I was so tired that I didn't get it done. Poor Jerry drove all the way over here and we didn't plant anything! We did put down some old carpet though on the walkways and that is so nice. Hopefully it will help keep the weeds down! We planted the tomatoes in the raised bed and covered them with the clear plastic. They are loving the heat!!!



I wasn't able to play in the garden much this week due to getting the sale ready but Jerry and I did plant our cabbage plants already. Jay got the hoops up on the raised bed that will have the tomatoes so now all we have to do is buy the plastic for it and then I can plant the tomatoes too! This week we will get the onions and other root vegetables planted too. I am anxious this year to get the garden going! Jay will have to till again since the tractor packed down the dirt really hard but he said he doesn't mind.



Saturday our 10 yards of top soil was delivered so Jay and Jerry spent a couple of hours filling the raised beds and smoothing them down. They sure look nice. We put a couple of round separators in the kiddie pools and they are going the be the strawberry beds. I already planted 12 little starts but my back informed me that even that was too much. I love the raised beds though and can hardly wait to plant in them!


I have been busy with the plants in the green house too. On sunny days the temp. reaches over 80 degrees and the plants thrive on it. I have some transplanting that needs to be done some time this coming week! I have several days off this coming week so I will have time to get it done. We will be putting new top soil in the green house on Tuesday. Jay is going over to the farmer's house that will be delivering our topsoil and get our truck filled with topsoil too so we can put it in the green house. The stuff we were given last year wasn't very good! I need to put some straw down tomorrow before the top soil gets here so it will be on top of the straw. I love using straw because it helps hold in moisture and makes the dirt rich. We are still carrying plants in and out twice a day but hopefully soon we can figure out a way to cover them in the green house so that we can leave them outside all the time. Then I can have my table and TV trays back!


April 3, 2005

I have transplanted some green peppers already and my new lemon geranium that my aunt got me. It was almost 80 degrees in the green house while I was doing it! I noticed that two more peppers need transplanted so I will get that done tomorrow. I have more plants that need transplanting too so will probably spend a day doing that. Maybe Jay will help me! I will have to get my canner out soon too. A lady at church gave me a sack of carrots and I want to can them for Kaity. She loves carrots! Jerry is all ready to help too. What would I do without him??!



According to the calendar, spring has sprung but it was so cold and windy today that it felt more like the start of winter! We didn't get above 35 today so we didn't even bother taking the plants out to the green house. There was no sun so it wouldn't have warmed up in there anyhow.



I had more flats of seeds sprout yesterday so poor Jay had to haul them to the green house this morning. The Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons, and Red Poppy sprouted beautifully! I still have several flats in the house that haven't sprouted yet but soon they will all be ready for the green house during the day. Then Jay and I both will be tired carrying them back and forth! Jay took the soil tested down to the garden but he said he couldn't use it yet because the ground is still is frozen! He even tried where my strawberries are planted because they have straw on them but only about the first inch was thawed. Soon though I will be playing in the dirt!



Another busy day planting seeds. But I finally got all of the flats off my kitchen table! I filled them the other day when I was out in the green house with dirt and have been waiting for time to plant the seeds. Jay is already grumbling about carrying heavy flats back and forth from the green house to the house but it is just that time of year. Of course I am planting more seeds this year in hopes of selling excess plants at the health food store where I sell my crafts on consignment. The lady that owns it was very interested in selling garden plants. So this will be my first year and if it goes well then I will plant even more next year. I am also busy working on check book covers to sell there too. The onions seeds are coming up nicely and I always get excited when those first little sprouts start sticking up out of the dirt! I definitely have garden fever!



Yesterday I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and played in the green house for an hour or so! It was so nice to play in the dirt!! I planted four flats of onion seeds and about 40 seeds of Sweet Peas. I had several buckets of compost from my composter that we cleaned out last fall so I put that nice black dirt in the bottom of the flats and then added potting soil on top of that. I was hoping to get back out today but Jay has a dr. appointment this afternoon and Kaity has to get her shots this afternoon too so I will wait till tomorrow to start more flower seeds and maybe tomatoes and peppers. It would be nice to get an early start on the gardening! It was 80 degrees in the green house yesterday.



We have been having spring like weather lately. It gets very cold at night (mid to upper teens) but usually warms up during the day to the low 40s. A lot of the snow is gone and it won't be long before it is all gone. Jay cleared out the door to the green house so I will be starting the onion seeds hopefully tomorrow. It gets nice and warm in the green house out of the wind! I am starting to get spring fever now and can't wait to get my hands in the dirt!!



Yesterday I pulled the banana peppers out of the front garden and we put some in the salsa and the rest in the freezer for our next batch. We also picked a couple heads of cabbage out of my garden and froze them for soups and stews this winter. The zucchini is growing almost faster than we can pick it. Jay came up today from the garden with 12 zucchini!!! We are having trouble giving it away now! Oh well, if no one wants anymore, I will start shredding it and freezing it. It won't go to waste! We pulled all the herbs and dried them so I have a big empty space in the herb garden now. We pulled the onions and they are sitting in boxes drying. I can see that the end of garden season is coming up soon for me. If we don't get a frost, I will be pulling the tomatoes out of the garden next week because we could get a frost anytime now. I want to get the fruit boxes out of the house before I start dragging in boxes of green tomatoes to ripen!



Jay tilled the garden for me Tuesday and it looks so nice. I am so disappointed in the garden this year though. Only half my seeds came up and it is sparse. I had great hopes of a huge garden with lots of food to share. But God will provide and hopefully there will be some to share too! Mom and Jerry came over the other day and brought me two early birthday presents. They bought me an Italian Sweet Plum tree and a beautiful hanging basket of petunias. Jay took the tree down to the garden but it isn't planted yet since we need to buy chicken wire first or else the gophers will destroy the tree. We are going to pick up the chicken wire tomorrow. I have been wanting a plum tree so I was thrilled! I love birthday presents like that! They are a gift that keeps giving! I had to wonder though how they fit the tree in their car! I didn't see them pull up but I bet it was a cute sight!



The garden weeds are starting to get ahead of me but every night I try to go out and tackle the problem. Last night I got almost all of the onions weeded (again!) and even weeded the strawberries. They were easy though since they are planted in straw. The weeds (what little bit there is) pull right out. I lost almost half of my strawberries last winter but the ones that made it are looking pretty good. I even ate a ripe one the other night. It was so sweet and juicy. You just can't find them like that in the grocery store!! A friend of Jay's mom is giving me a bunch of strawberry plants so hopefully they will be enough to replace the ones I lost and then some! I wouldn't mind expanding the strawberry patch. The only squash that wasn't coming up was the spaghetti squash but I finally found one plant last night that poked it's nose through the ground. Hopefully the others will follow suit soon!



The garden is starting to kick in with all this heat. I was out in the garden by 5 AM. yesterday morning and stayed out until close to 9 when it got too hot. I can't believe how fast the weeds are growing now!! I got the new herb garden weeded and all of the root veggies have now been weeded out. Jay accidentally plowed under about a row and a half of carrots so they are looking a little sad. I am considering replanting them but haven't decided! The rest of the garden is growing in leaps and bounds. The squash is up now and so are the green beans. I also noticed that the cukes are coming up nicely too. Jerry came over three nights ago and we did a lot of work in the raspberries. We laid newspaper down and then put straw over the top of that. I also got all the raspberries pruned so hopefully they will do well this year. The plants have a lot of flowers and green berries already. I did more weeding the other night but then Jay insisted I get out of the garden so we could water. So only about half of the berries are weeded and have straw down. I ran out of straw too! Jerry helped me plant the six new thornless blackberries that I bought a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully they will do real well. The plants looked good. Jay pulled all of the rhubarb and took to his parents. I noticed today that it is growing back quite nicely! He really pulled it too! Jenni's cats are killing a lot of huge gophers so hopefully that will slow down their destruction in the garden. I see mounds in several places. The cats catch them and Bubba eats them. What a team! The tomatoes in the green house are doing VERY well. The plants are huge and they already have small green tomatoes on them. I think we will just stick to growing them in the green house. The green peppers also have flowers on them in the green house. They are twice the size of the ones in the garden.



The garden isn't doing much right now since it was so cool the past couple weeks. But the heat is back so that should kick it back in. Jay took the tiller into the root vegetables and tilled under a row and a half of carrots! He had good intentions but forgot that I don't like him to take the tiller down the root vegetables! Oh well. The rest of the root vegetables are doing great. I got more weeding done the other night so now I just have another patch of potatoes to weed and two rows of carrots. Then it will be time to start all over again! I am anxious for the squash and beans to pop their heads up. I hope we get lots of cukes this year too. I bought six thornless blackberry bushes that I still need to plant. Hopefully in the next couple days!! A friend of Jay's mom is going to give me a bunch of strawberry starts so I am going to enlarge the strawberry patch and replace the ones that didn't make it through the winter.



Jay and I put most of the garden in yesterday but still need to go down tonight and put the squash in. Poor Jay gets sick when he bends over so it is up to me to do all the planting. But he helps with the rows and covers up the seeds. And of course he runs the tiller! I was in so much pain today that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go down to the garden tonight. But I am going to try to at least put the squash in. Then I may have to take a couple of days off. It is going to be hard for me to keep up with the garden that's for sure. Hopefully things will slow down for Jerry and he will be able to help me out. He has offered but with his knee being such a mess I hate to ask him. I guess I'm going to have to though! Half the food in the garden is his! I bought a sage plant today to put in the new herb garden and the other day I bought four garlic chives that I put in too. The garden is getting full!



Jay and I did some planting in the garden today but not all of it. I hope to get the rest of the garden planted tomorrow. Jay planted all the tomatoes and put the cages around them. It was a hard job and he wasn't feeling too well after it was done. I had been weeding and planting some cabbage plants I bought today while he was doing the tomatoes. Kaity was busy playing in her play pen in the shade while we were working. Jenni had gone to Spokane to a birthday party for a friend of hers. So after Jay got the tomatoes planted, we all came up to the house and had dinner and relaxed. Jay turned the water on in the garden so I wasn't able to go back outside and work more. I think he does it on purpose! He is trying to protect my back!



Jay and I did some work in the garden for a while today but then it just poured rain so we ran for cover! By the time I went in the house, changed clothes, and started another project, it quit raining! I debated about going back out but then decided to work in the green house instead. I weeded out the front herb garden this morning and planted all the sweet yellow peppers in there. The poor pepper plants were looking so sick! I had four Hungarian peppers left and I put them in the herb garden down in the big garden! So now I have all the peppers planted. I left the tomatoes sitting in the big garden. I was going to plant them but then got rained out. While I'm in town tomorrow, Jay is going to build me some tomato cages so I can get the tomatoes planted too. I need very large cages since they are indeterminate! This will be my first year of growing that kind. Usually I grow bush tomatoes. I weeded out the asparagus patch and the new herb garden before it rained. I was in the middle of weeding the raspberries when it started raining! Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have them weeded and the newspaper put down with straw on top of that. I spent tonight in the green house planting all the flowers that I started. Jay mixed dirt for me and I filled all my planters. Jay mounted two planters on the porch for me and I filled them with pansies. They sure look pretty. The hanging petunia type plant that Jay's dad bought me for Easter is now hanging off the can smasher so I can reach it to water and get the spent flowers off of it. I swept off the porch and put things away and it looks fairly decent now. I need to replace the table cloth on the picnic table. I bought a cheap one and it was too flimsy and has torn already.



I spent four hours in the garden tonight and I feel it too! But I got a lot done. Jay laid out the cedar trees for me that I was using to line the herb garden with. So I took my plants down to the garden and got them all planted and then I even planted some flowers in it and some bulbs that will come back every year. It looks nice. The asparagus patch is looking very good too. I planted four sweet pea plants along each leg of the wind mill so hopefully they will climb up it and look nice. Last year I had planted two asparagus plants in the garden in the front yard and one of them came back so I dug it up and planted it down in the asparagus patch. Hopefully it will do fine with the transplanting. I weeded a couple more rows of Walla Walla sweet onions too. I almost have them done. I noticed more hills of potatoes coming up so that will need to be weeded next. Jay did some more tilling for me so I pulled the sheet of black plastic down to the garden and Jenni helped me put posts on it to hold it down. I will probably be planting the tomatoes soon. They are ready to get out of the green house! There is a lot of work to get done in the garden and I am only one person so it will take me a while to get a handle on it. I am thinking about planting all the seeds now and hoping that by the time they sprout that the last of the frosts will be over. If not, I will have to cover them with sheets! But it's time to get the garden in and going.



I did some weeding in the garden last Sunday evening. I can kneel a little bit on my leg now and the weeds were getting way ahead of me! The lettuce, beets, onions, and carrots are up already and I got a couple rows of beets and onions weeded. I want the carrots to get a little bit bigger because they are hard to see when they are real small! Jay hauled in some cedar logs for me and put them around the asparagus patch so now it has it's own little area. He also brought in some more logs tonight so I can start on the new herb garden too. It will be right next to the asparagus. He tilled it all up for me too. I noticed a couple of potato plants up already but most still aren't showing. I think the gophers ate my garlic during the winter because not one garlic plant has come up. Bummer!



We finally got some much needed rain today. We got about 1/4 of an inch which is a lot more than what we have had in a long time. The garden really needed it bad! I'm hoping to do some outside work tomorrow while it is still cool. I have a couple of flower beds that need to be planted and the herb garden needs to be weeded. I am still having trouble bending my leg enough without it hurting so hopefully tomorrow it will be better. Right now it is one big bruise! It is suppose to be in the low 60s the next couple of days so I want to take advantage of the cooler weather to get some things done!


I did some weeding in the garden on Sunday and I made a wonderful discovery. I decided to take a real close look at the asparagus and almost cried. But something told me to weed around the stock and take a closer look. When I did, I found a lot of new shoots coming up!!! Hurray!!! The Lord definitely answered my prayers on that one! So I quick got to work and weeded most of the patch before it got too dark for me to see. The ground was really cold and it made my legs ache from sitting and kneeling. I haven't been able to go back out and finish it since I fell because I can't kneel down on my leg. I might go down later tonight and weed something else that I can reach by just sitting. IF I can get up afterward!!! The plants in the green house really need to be planted and I'm going to have to get serious about doing it before I lose them. It is suppose to freeze tonight so I thought I would wait until after tonight. I am going to have to bring my porch plants in so they don't freeze. I noticed the rhubarb needs to picked. Rhubarb coffee cake sounds pretty good!



Jay had the windows open in the green house the other day and I think the high winds knocked one of them down on the stick that was holding it open because one of our bottom windows broke. The glass didn't fall out so I just took clear packing tape and taped it on both sides. Hopefully that will get us through this season anyhow. Jay used two sticks on it now to give it more support! The plants that are in the green house desperately need to be transplanted outside. It is a little too early but I may have to plant them and just cover them up every night. Loreen, a lady from church, gave me several starts of Feverfew so I gave my mom one and I planted the other ones in my herb garden in front of the house. I am also going to start a new herb garden down in the garden as soon as I can get down there and work. It has been too hot lately! But it is cooling down so hopefully I will get caught up. Friday Jay is going to haul some straw for me so I can lay that down around the raspberries to help keep the weeds down.



The weather finally straightened up enough for me to get into the garden without getting poured on or struck by lightening! Yesterday Jay helped me plant all the potatoes and some of the onions. At first he was using the post hole digger for the potatoes but then his poor neck started hurting so he left to find the shovel (I told him how Bert and I did it last year by just pushing the shovel into the ground and pushing it forward and dropping the potato in the hole). While he was looking for the shovel I decided to try digging a few holes with the post hole digger. It wasn't too bad but the shovel is faster. It only took a little bit to plant over 50 hills of potatoes! Jay did some tilling for me since he already had the tiller in the garden so I got all the root veggies planted--onions, potatoes, beets, carrots, and lettuce. For now I am actually caught up! I even took the cabbage and cauliflower down to the garden and planted them. We got to looking close at the asparagus and it looks like it got burned or something. Maybe there is too much fertilizer in the soil. I sure hope not! I worked so hard to get them going from seed. There is still green on them so hopefully they will pull out of it soon. Maybe they just had transplant shock. I pray that is all! All the fruit trees are starting to leaf out and the raspberries look like they are going to make it too. I was worried about them since I didn't take too good of care of them last year. I hope to do more work with them next week. They need to be trimmed, tilled, and weeded and then have newspaper and straw put down around them. I think I will put some mulch around them too. I definitely knew all night long and today that I worked in the garden yesterday. My poor back wasn't too happy but I think I will just have to put up with it until something can be done about it. I still haven't heard a word from the surgeon regarding my tests.

Jay hooked up the outside water so now I don't have to have him haul gallon jugs full of water to the green house. He planted the tomatoes and green peppers in the ground in the green house and they are doing just fine. I had to replant some more cabbage as the first batch didn't seem to do too well. I think it was old seed. I have a tendency to hang onto seeds for too long! I need to get out of that habit though because I end up planting twice and wasting my time. The marigolds that I replanted are already coming up and so are the other flowers that I replanted. Old seed again!! Some of the flowers that I started in the green house already have flowers on them. I was very excited! I need to do some cleaning up in there but just haven't had the time or energy. Hopefully this coming week. I noticed the bees are already showing up in there so I will have to make some bee catchers. Actually, they are yellow jackets and not welcomed in my green house!



We are going to be bringing the plants inside tonight. It has been a while since we have had to do that! It is suppose to get pretty cold tonight and we don't want to take any chances on the stuff freezing. It was very cloudy today and started raining this afternoon. I think our 70 degree weather is gone for a while! The next week is only suppose to be in the upper 50s which I think is normal for this time of year. Our cherry tree is covered with flowers but they will probably freeze tonight. Too bad! That spell of hot weather really made things grow quick and think it was later in the spring than it is!



I planted the asparagus in the garden last week. Mom and Jerry bought me an 8 foot windmill that Jay put in the garden for me and I planted the asparagus under that. Hopefully the windmill will discourage the gophers some! We were going to plant the potatoes today but Jay had to go car shopping with Jenni instead. Hopefully sometime this week! I still have to plant yellow onions too. I could also get the root veggies in too. Work work work!! The plants are growing like crazy in the green house. I lost all of the trees that I planted in containers last fall and the three blue berry bushes died also. Maybe I didn't water them enough through the winter. The walnut tree did fine though! Oh well, live and learn! None of my green peppers ever came up so I just bought four plants at Wal Mart yesterday. I think my seeds were too old. I took my rosemary plant out to the green house (big mistake!) but it got too hot and it fried. I have had that plant for several years!



We transplanted some more tomatoes and yesterday I transplanted the sweet banana peppers. The plants are coming along nicely. The only things I am having trouble getting to come up is green peppers and sweet peas. I bought some new sweet pea seeds today and plan to replant this weekend. I may have to do the same with the green peppers. They take a long time to germinate but they shouldn't take three weeks! My seeds might have been old, who knows! The asparagus is doing really well and hopefully we can get into the garden (if my back will stop hurting!) this weekend and get the asparagus bed ready. We have a little clean up to do too. 



Jay and I have been working some outside. We took the straw off of all the flower and herb beds. There were plants trying to come up from the straw! The chives are up pretty good and it looks like all the herbs made it through the winter. Jay put all the old hay down in the garden so I can put it around the raspberries. I think we are going to do that tomorrow. Today we transplanted more tomato plants and straightened up the green house. Jay spent all morning carrying loads of wet clothes out to the clothes line so I could hang up the clothes. It was so nice to get all the laundry done in one day! It was warm and the wind was blowing so that made for a perfect outside dryer! He even hung up my new wind chimes that I got for Christmas from my cousin Jessica in Arizona. I had him put them on the green house and they look great! He also set up his hammock that he bought at a yard sale on Saturday. He loves it. Yesterday we went over to mom's house and Jay tilled up a garden spot for them. They should have lots of fun filling it up!



The plants in the green house are doing great. I get so excited every time I see the asparagus! It is actually starting to look like asparagus! Most of the garden no longer has snow on it so within the week I should be able to start lining the asparagus bed. I was going to take the straw off the flower and herb beds today but it rained so I decided to wait on that! Several more tomatoes have sprouted up in the fertile cubes so I will have to transplant them on Friday into pots. So far so good!! I stopped by the feed store yesterday to see if they had any seed potatoes (we ate all our potatoes this year!) and onion sets but they weren't in yet. Hopefully some time next week. The Walla Walla onion seeds that I planted in flats are doing really well and we should have a bumper crop this year! I am going to section a piece of the garden too for a new herb bed. The one Jay built me out front of the trailer just isn't big enough. It will be nice to have a couple of sectioned off plots in the big garden. Eventually it will be downsized by quite a bit so having permanent beds will help. 


All of the flats are now going out to the greenhouse during the day. I got so excited when the asparagus seeds started to sprout! I really want to make an asparagus patch in the garden this year! I transplanted the first set of tomatoes this morning. So far only six have sprouted big enough to be transplanted. They are out in the greenhouse now soaking up lots of sunshine and heat. Jay has been working in the greenhouse moving stuff from under the benches so he can haul in some top soil to put under one of the benches. He wants to try raising some tomatoes in the greenhouse and plant them directly into the ground. It should be interesting. Right now he is loading some stuff up to go to the dump. I can't believe he actually found stuff in my greenhouse to throw away!! Just kidding of course! I'm a huge pack rat when it comes to outside stuff. I had a bunch of Styrofoam that I was going to use to block up the vents in the greenhouse but it wouldn't work so he loaded all of that up! It will be nice to have the greenhouse all organized again.



I went out to the green house and rescued a couple of plants today. I had left the rosemary plant and a couple of geraniums in there and decided I better bring them in before they died! The green peppers and some of the tomatoes froze (I  wonder why??!!) so I will have to spend some time out there cleaning up and dumping plants. The last of the leaves fell off the walnut tree that I have in the bucket so it has gone dormant for the winter too. After I clean up the dead plants the greenhouse will be shut up for the winter most likely. I might have a couple things to transplant or plant but for the most part I am done for the year. I miss going out there and watering!



All the gardens are all cleaned out and the plants are protected under a nice layer of straw for the winter. Jerry even helped me clean out my compost barrel that Jay made me and I was so thrilled with the beautiful black "gold" dirt that we were scooping out! It filled about six or seven five gallon buckets that we stored in the green house for use next spring. I was so thrilled with how fluffy it was and how rich it looked. Just all started with kitchen waste! It doesn't take much to make me happy!!



Jay uncovered my straw for me but it was too warm to cover my plants. I am going to try to get it done tomorrow in the early morning! That's all I have left to do to complete my winterizing. 



I put the insulation back in the green house and he duct taped the windows shut. When I went into the green house this morning it looked like a couple of plants had been frosted so I decided I better get it insulated. Bert and I still have some green pepper plants in there! As long as we had the duct tape out we decided to tape the windows shut on the house too. It was nice not to have to climb a ladder to tape them shut. Jerry is over six foot tall so he reached the top with no problem! So a couple more things done and one more step closer to being done for the year!! I went through the tomatoes again and picked out two boxes of ripe ones. Then I loaded all the unripe ones up in the Blazer and took them over to my neighbor! I am so tired of canning and messing with tomatoes so I decided I was finished! Vicki was glad to get them though. So tomorrow Jerry and I will be doing the last of the salsa for the year. Then all I will have left to do is some jam.


It is suppose to start raining tomorrow so my main goal today was to get things done that I didn't want all wet! I covered the garlic in the garden with two bales of straw and so now am officially done with the garden till next season!!!

I watered the tomatoes and green peppers that are in the green house and filled all the watering jugs. I even have a couple of small cucumbers growing! I picked all the patio tomatoes that were ripe and washed them for eating. I ate a couple while I was cleaning too! Yummy!! I rounded up the last of the bird feeders that I store for the winter and put them in the green house. Then I cleaned the porch off and turned the picnic table into a dog house for the dogs for this winter. I wrap the picnic table with a tarp and then push one bench against the back to hold the tarp in place and place the other bench on top of the picnic table upside down to hold the front of the tarp. Works great!! I had purchased a couple of nice old blankets at yard sales this summer and piled them up under the picnic table. Now the dogs will be all snug when the cold weather hits! I started to insulate the vents in the pump house but over the years the styrofoam pieces have broken and now don't fit right. Jay said he would cut me out two new ones for the vents so that is on hold for now. I put some of the insulation in the holes but the styrofoam is what holds the insulation in! Hopefully I can finish it tomorrow or the next day.

I finally got around to checking out the tomatoes in the boxes that are ripening and boy do I have tomatoes now!!! I figure I have close to 20 pounds or so to make into salsa tomorrow. Jerry is coming over in the morning to help and Bert is going to try to make it too. I couldn't believe how fast the tomatoes turned! It seemed that for a long time they just sat in the boxes green and then all of a sudden decided to start ripening. I still have quite a few that will be ready by the weekend too. I will be glad to finish with the tomatoes though. I am tired of canning! I still have apples to do too. It is suppose to be one of the best years for apples in our state too. Everyone I have talked to said that they didn't have much flavor. Maybe because there hasn't been a good frost yet to seal in the sweetness?



Saturday Bert brought her son and his friend to help in the garden. It only took us an hour and a half and we were done with the garden completely! What a great feeling!! The two boys ran the two rototillers while Bert and I folded up the black plastic and pulled markers up. We cleaned up all the plant waste and put everything away for the winter. We even got the garlic planted! We ended up with three nice size rows of it. Jay brought home some straw the other day so I need to get the garlic covered with it soon. But we are done for the year. Hurray!!!!!



Bert and I are pretty much done with the garden now. We split up the tomatoes yesterday and we each have 11 boxes of green tomatoes in our houses! She came over this afternoon and took what squash she wanted and got her half of the Walla Walla sweet onions. We covered the cucumbers while she was here and decided that they were looking pretty sick so we will be pulling them up this weekend too. She is going to bring her sons with her this Saturday so we can get the garden cleaned up and put to bed for the winter. I am really looking forward to that!! It has been a very busy year for canning and I am TIRED. Bert is too!! But it was a wonderful year and I have the Good Lord to thank for that! My prayers for a good growing season were answered.



Jerry and I wrapped up the canning last night and now I can relax for a while. We made 12 3/4 quarts of salsa and 12 pints of sweet cucumber relish. Bert and I ran out of pint jars on Monday but had enough to can the kidney beans and squash. Now anything that we do has to be done in quarts!! My minister had given me some cukes and two small buckets of tomatoes so Jerry and I made salsa and relish with them. Bert and I split the boxes of tomatoes and she took her half home tonight. We had them in the green house but it has been getting too cold at night and I was worried about losing them so now I have 11 boxes of green tomatoes in my stove room! Bert put hers in her rec room! We are going to clean up the garden this weekend and hopefully get the garlic planted so we can put the garden to bed for the year. We are both tired! Now I need to start the winterizing. I had about half of it done already so it won't be too bad. With the cold, freezing nights, it's time to turn off the outside water before the pipes and hoses freeze! I will be working on that this week and hopefully will be done by the end of the weekend. Then I can officially say I am ready for winter!!



The garden finally froze on September 12! Bert had covered everything but it froze enough that it affected the plants right through the plastic. All we have left in the garden now is cukes and they are looking a little sickly. On Friday we had decided to pull the tomatoes and box them up. We got a LOT of tomatoes. We had enough that we could be picky with them so we took only the big ones and left the small ones for compost.  It took 

us over three hours to finish the chore too. We ran out of boxes once so we sacked up the onions that were in the shop and that gave us enough boxes to finish the job. Lucky for us we did too because it froze that night!! It also froze the night after that too! Tonight doesn't look too bad though so I didn't bother to cover the cukes. We pulled all the dead plants and saved what we could. We got two huge wheel barrels full of squash and a couple pumpkins! We pulled the kidney beans and will shell and can them tomorrow. Jerry is suppose to be here around 9 and Bert will get here around 8 so we can take care of the dried onions before we start canning. So the end is now in sight for us and more relaxing days are coming soon. Of course, we have over ten boxes of tomatoes in the green house that will be ripening soon! Plus Kathy sent me home with two buckets of tomatoes and a small box of cukes after church! Jerry will be surprised to see them!! Now everyone is thinking about winterizing their places! Once it cooled down here, it stayed that way!



Saturday we had an all-day canning and gardening session. It started at 6 a.m. for me and continued on until 5 p.m. when I fell into bed exhausted. Jerry and I were over to Bert's at 7 to do the corn. We were done with it by 9:30 a.m. so we headed over here to my place and went into the garden to see what needed picked. By the time we were finished down there, we had a milk crate full of zucchini, a five gallon bucket full of cukes and a five gallon bucket full of green beans! All three of us sat around inside and snapped the beans and got them all canned...28 pints for the first picking! We split the cukes and I got another 12 quarts of dill pickles that I put up the same day. I stayed in bed until 10:30 when I got up and took a pain pill and went back to bed. I didn't go to church the next day because I was in so much pain and spent most of the day on the couch! I slept until 9:30 that morning. Jay said I was totally out of it when he checked on me around 6 p.m. that night! I'm getting too old for this!!!

Sunday evening Bert and I decided to pick the Jacob's Cattle dry beans since the news was predicting rain for that night. Sure glad we did too! We picked two five gallon buckets full of beans and another smaller bucket of green beans. Bert canned the green beans at her house today with the pressure cooker for the first time by herself. She did great! Another canner added to the dying breeds of old fashioned people who can their own food! Jerry and I did the 60 pounds of pears today and we got 30 quarts of pears! A lot of pears.



Yesterday was quite the canning marathon here. Jerry and Bert came over and we worked all day until 4:30 in the afternoon from 8:30 in the morning. Bert and Jerry shelled the Jacob's Cattle dry beans while I started canning the potatoes and chicken broth. We got 14 quarts of potatoes, 12-3/4 quarts of chicken broth, and 18 pints of dry beans. We were done with all of that before noon so decided to get more stuff done. Bert went down into the garden and picked cukes, summer squash, and green beans. Jerry snapped the beans while Bert and I worked on chopping onions to fill the dehydrators again. We got them all filled and plugged in. This will be our last batch and we should each end up with around a gallon each of dried onions. That still leaves plenty to store away for the winter! After Jerry snapped the beans, I got them in the pressure cooker and we ended up with 12 more pints of green beans! After Bert left to pick up her son, Jerry and I sliced my half of the cukes and some Walla Walla sweet onions and started a batch of sliced sandwich sweet pickles soaking. I finished canning them around 10:30 last night! It was a very long day but very, very productive!

I took the jars down this morning to the pump house that we canned yesterday and ALL of the big shelves are full now. I will have to start putting full jars on the smaller shelves that are usually reserved for empty jars. This is the most canned food I have had in there since we moved here 11 years ago! Amazing!! Bert ran out of pint jars yesterday so we are solely dependant on mine and I am starting to run low too. Guess if we run out we will just have to can in quarts! Bert is coming over in the morning and we are going to discuss what to do about the garden. After she covered all the tomatoes tonight, she decided that maybe we would be better off to just pull the tomatoes off the plants and put them in boxes to ripen. That is usually how I do it anyhow! We just have too many tomato plants to cover and it would be easier on us to just pull them. We will still cover the kidney beans and a few other things though. The rest of the garden can freeze if it comes to that. We have had a wonderful gardening season and I definitely have no complaints! It feels wonderful to see the fruits of our labor! We still have to bag up the onions and split them too. I split the garlic today so now we have to get a spot tilled to replant the garlic. Then we will have to purchase a couple bales of straw. Jay works with a couple of farmers and we usually buy from them. It's cheaper! There is a definite feel of fall in the air now so things are starting to wind down for the year. We have definitely earned a much needed rest!



Tonight Bert and her son came over and we cleaned the two wheel barrels of potatoes and put them in gunny sacks. I think we each got close to 75-80 pounds of potatoes. Not too bad!! Bert took hers home and her son took mine down to the pump house for me. We have a five gallon bucket half full of real small potatoes that we are going to can next week. That will be kind of fun and something different. Jerry and I have been busy all day today canning. We made a batch of tri berry jam (1 pint and 17 half pints), then 11 pints of BBQ sauce, and 12 pints plus 1 half pint of strawberry/rhubarb jam. When I was looking for pint jars this morning, I realized that I am starting to run low. It won't be the first year that I have run out of pints if I do but hopefully I won't!!

Yesterday Bert and I chopped more onions and filled the big dehydrator. We were crying!!!! Those are the most potent onions I think I have ever peeled. Even Jerry agrees!! Tomorrow we will take them out of the dehydrators and crush them up and put them in jars for storage. We sampled some and they are delicious! So the closer we get to fall the faster things are getting done and the more work we have to do. Some days I am dragging long before noon! Jay's mom dropped off the pears yesterday and I was relieved to see that they were green. That means they won't be ready to can for a few more days. Hurray!!!!


Another scorcher of a day here. I will be so glad when the weather cools down! Today was only 92 but yesterday was close to 100 again! Thankfully I didn't do any canning yesterday but Jerry and I canned all day today. It was miserable in the house by the time I was finished but it seems to be cooling off nicely tonight. According to the news, it is suppose to cool down into the low 70s by Monday so we will probably get a frost next week if it cools down that much and rains. So Bert and I are trying to figure out how we are going to cover everything still left out in the garden! I think we have it pretty much figured out now though. Her husband has some very large tarps that they used to cover hay with so hopefully they will be big enough to cover the tomatoes and we will use sheets on the rest of the garden.



Jerry and I have been very busy canning. Yesterday we canned 6 quarts of dill pickles, 6 pints of summer squash, 21 pints of tomatoes (Ken and Kathy gave me more at church!), and 12 quarts of peaches. My uncle called and told me to stop by to pick up some peaches they had picked off their trees. They gave me two boxes of them to share with my mom and Jerry! They were real small but good so Jerry and I peeled them and canned some and then chopped the rest up for peach jam. Today we cooked up the jam and it is delicious! Jay loves it and so does everyone who tastes it. I don't usually make peach jam because peaches are kind of expensive to buy but since I had done up so many already I thought some jam would be a good change. And it sure was! It made 14 pints of jam! We also made sweet dills this morning. My shelves are starting to fill up so I dumped my older jars of dill pickles and made sweet dills out of them. I only had 8 quarts of dills but it made 7 quarts of sweet dills! While the jam was cooking, Jerry and I washed a box of onions in the yard and then brought them in the house. We cleaned them up and then when Bert got here we chopped them all up and put them in dehydrators. Of course we put them in the shop!!! Jay said they are quite pungent! We had three dehydrators full and tomorrow we are going to fill the big upright one that Bert's brother made. It will hold a lot of onions!! I still have to go down to the pump house tonight and put the full jars on the shelves. Jay just loaded them up in the truck and took them down for me. He left them on the floor for me to put away! I like doing that! Jay's mom is picking up 60 pounds of pears for me tomorrow so we will have our work cut out for us on Thursday!



Bert and I pulled the last of the onions tonight. It got down to 39 here last night...too close to freezing for me! So we decided that we best get with the program and get as much out as we could. All the onions are in boxes in the pump house to dry and it smells pretty pungent in there! We picked all the cabbage and garlic too. Almost half the garden is bare now! Hopefully it won't freeze tonight so that we can get a couple more pickings of cucumbers and we haven't even had one picking of green beans. I shut the door to the green house tonight in case it does get too cold. At least we will have some stuff left! According to the news, it is suppose to warm up back into the low 90s this weekend and part of next week. That will really help the garden if it doesn't freeze tonight! We are over ten degrees difference from Spokane at night!



Jerry and I had a busy canning week last week. We did anti pasta, dill pickles, sliced sandwich pickles, peaches, and spaghetti sauce! He is really enjoying it and is a fast learner and great apprentice! It sure helps me a lot too. I will be checking the cucumbers tonight to see if they need to be picked tomorrow. Bert took the last batch of cukes so I will get the next picking. I have really enjoyed share cropping this year and we are going to do it again next year too. I am so thankful for her help and especially when she brings her teenage sons to till!! They helped us dig potatoes too! Those young strong guys are a life saver!



Well, it's the start of another week and it started off with a bang! I got up really early this morning and prepared to can the carrots. Jay went down and pulled them all up and cut off the tops. Then my step dad, Jerry, showed up and he helped Jay rinse off all the carrots in the front yard so most of the mess was outside! I liked that part!! They then brought in 3 1/3 five gallon buckets full of carrots! We definitely did good this year with the root veggies!! Bert showed up and Jerry came in the kitchen to scrub carrots for us while Bert and I cut them up and put them in jars. We canned 36 pints of carrots and then made up three gallon bags of carrots (one for each of us and Jerry!) and then blanched the rest of them. All total we blanched 12 quart bags that we split. It was so nice to get that out of the way! I noticed when I was down in the garden that the cucumbers needed picking so I went ahead and picked them and Bert and I split them. I got six quarts of dill pickles and then a double batch of slicer sandwich pickles. I haven't canned them yet as they are still soaking! So now the serious canning has begun. I am hoping to get the potatoes out of the ground tomorrow since the plants are dying back. The onions are ready to pull too. I think we are going to start drying them this week too.



The gardening is going great guns now. Every day it seems Bert and I are out there pulling something or other! We dug all the potatoes Tuesday and got quite a few of them. We almost filled one wheel barrel full of white potatoes and the other wheel barrel was a little over half full of red potatoes. Not too bad! They are sitting in the barn right now with heavy sheets on them so they will dry and the skins will harden. Then we can store them in gunny sacks! We pulled two rows of yellow onions and took the tops off and stored them in the pump house in boxes until they dry out for storage. They are huge onions too. We were like two excited kids out there! Today we canned anti pasta and Jerry came over to help so it was done in record time. I am so thrilled to have two pressure cookers to use. It makes the canning take only half the time! My mother in law bought me a big box of Roma tomatoes that I am going to make spaghetti sauce out of tomorrow. She also brought me a beautiful box of peaches. I plan on canning them tomorrow too. Jerry is going to come over and help and that makes it go much faster and is easier on me. I love having help and Jerry is really getting into the canning too. It's fun to see the shelves start filling up with full jars instead of empty ones! I need to get the freezer defrosted tomorrow too since Jay's mom also bought us a case of chocolate chips. She got them at a discount store for .50 each! She bought me the whole case! We did this once before too but the chips were the artificial ones. She got a great deal on these since they are real! I store them in the freezer so they don't go bad but my freezer is such a mess that I need to get it reorganized and defrosted. I better get it done tomorrow too!



I am definitely ready to can up a storm now! I met Tim Davis in Spokane again this afternoon and bought more canning lids from him. So I am all ready to go! Now if the garden would cooperate! The cucumbers should be ready to pick again in a few days but the beans are still not producing. There are some flowers but that's about all! Of course the zucchini is doing real well! We have been enjoying the Walla Walla Sweet onions and the fresh lettuce. I will miss them the most I think! Bert and I spent a couple days doing some massive weeding in areas that really needed it and the garden is looking great. Probably one of the best gardens I have had in years! The dry bean plants are loaded with huge beans and hopefully will give us lots and lots of dry beans. I am mostly looking forward to the kidney beans! I pulled some carrots the other day for my mom and they are ready to be pulled too. Maybe next week we can get some of them canned and frozen. I should be getting the freezer in the pump house defrosted and sorted out! I just took the huckleberries down the other day and a couple packages of shredded zucchini. It is quite the mess!



Today was one LONG day that's for sure! Bert and I finally decided that today was the day to get the beets canned. So she was here by 7:15 this morning and I didn't shut off the last canner load until 7:30 tonight! And we worked straight through!!!! We picked four 5 gallon buckets of beets (with the tops off!) and it made 86 pints! I have never canned that many beets in my life! It worked out pretty slick though. Bert brought down their big propane three burner cooker and we set it up out on the porch. Then we rinsed the beets off in the yard and put them in our water bath kettles, dragged the hose over to the cooker, and then filled the kettles with water. It saved us from a lot of lifting and most of the mess was made outside. Bert had her son and his friend lift the full kettles when it was time to dump the boiling water off them and they also dumped the five gallon buckets when it was time. My back and hers definitely appreciated it! We set the buckets up on the benches to the picnic table and pulled our chairs right up to it to peel the beets. Much more comfortable!! I was using both the pressure cookers I have and it still took hours to can all those beets. Bert and I had fun though. We played crib and Skip-Bo and ate snacks all afternoon. It was a lot of work but it was fun too. I'm sure glad that chore is done though. Now we have another empty spot in the garden! 



I spent most of the day getting the kitchen cleaned and hauling up canning kettles from the pump house and preparing for canning. This morning I picked all the cucumbers that were ready and got five quarts of dill pickles out of it! I picked two five gallon buckets of zucchini and Bert split them with me. I have a feeling we are going to have plenty this year! I will fry one up for Jay and shred the rest for the freezer to make bread and patties with this fall and winter. 



Bert has been coming over early in the morning and doing some weeding. Thanks to her the garden is looking great! I haven't been feeling so good so she has been doing the majority of weeding! I cut some fresh lettuce the other night and pulled some Walla Walla sweet onions. They aren't as big as the ones in the store but they taste just as good! There are a couple nice size zucchini and the cukes are finally flowering. I ate a couple of fresh peas the other night too! They are my favorite to eat raw!! They are looking pretty sad because it is way too hot for them. Next year I won't bother planting them since we really don't have the spring weather they need!

I finally saw the rabbit Jay keeps seeing. He was sitting at the top of the hill the other night when I was coming up from the garden. He is actually a good sized rabbit! He didn't spook until I was about half way up the hill. Hopefully he doesn't discover the garden down below! He would sure do some damage to the lettuce and leaves of other vegetables! He took off towards the road and the woods across the road from us. I hope he stays there!



The garden is growing in leaps and bounds and so is the weeds! I spent a couple hours in the garden last night weeding and the weeds were pretty good size! But I got all of the root vegetables weeded and the beets can be pulled and canned any time. I want to wait for this heat wave to get over though! Maybe sometime next week. Everything is doing really well and we should have an exceptional garden this year unless we get an early frost. The past couple years we have been hit by a hard frost before the middle of August! Hopefully this year that won't happen! Jay turned the water on in the garden tonight so I wouldn't go down and weed. He says it's too hot! It was still 92 at 7 PM.! The cucumber plant in the greenhouse is doing really well. It has a cuke on it that is about four inches long. I was impressed!! There are lots more blooms on it too. The blueberry plants are doing very well in the five gallon buckets. One plant even has blueberries on it but I keep eating them! The green peppers are growing really fast and will need to be transplanted again soon. I planted my dad's Christmas tree in a larger planter but I think I am going to have to put it in a bucket instead. I take the tree out to my dad's grave every year at Christmas and go get it before the decorations are thrown away. I thought it would be nice to decorate it different every year. It makes me feel better! But I think a five gallon bucket with a handle would make it a lot easier to carry around but it will be pretty heavy. Jay said it needs room for it's tap root to grow.


Another hot day here, around 90 degrees, but cooler than it is suppose to be this weekend. The forecast is for upper 90s! It is going to be hard to keep our house cool with that kind of heat. The wind has been blowing just enough every day to dry the grass out and make it difficult to water! No rain in the future forecast either. Last night my mom called because she had heard on her scanner that there was a brush fire somewhere out near us. I assume the fire department got it put out since I didn't hear anymore about it. Fire season has started with a bang this year. There are several large fires burning out of control and homes have been lost to the fires. So sad! We are so grateful that it isn't that bad around here. Fall is a long way off! 



I went down tonight to check the garden and couldn't believe how much things had grown, including the weeds!! I was going to water but the wind was too gusty so decided to wait until tomorrow. The beets could be canned anytime so I will have to talk to Bert about it! Jay pulled an onion last night when he was making dinner. It wasn't real big but the tops sure were! I sure hope they get bigger. I ate a couple strawberries tonight and pulled the weeds in the patch. With all the straw and newspaper, there wasn't too many weeds. The cucumber plant in the green house has several cucumbers on it and I am so excited! If all goes well, I will grow the cukes in the green house next year! 

Jay threw down all the tomato cages so I need to get them on the tomatoes. I noticed a couple blooms already and the plants that my minister gave me have a couple of tomatoes on them already but they are still green. Canning season is coming up fast!!!




The garden is growing really well! Bert came over tonight and we spent an hour or so weeding until she had to go home to fix dinner for her family. I finally got all the raspberry plants planted that my neighbor gave me and I even filled up the buckets with compost so Jay could carry them up to the green house. I transplanted the three blueberry bushes into them. I don't know where I want to put them so I will just keep them in the buckets in the greenhouse until next spring. Hopefully I will have a spot cleared for them by then! We pulled the radishes up because they got too woody and started going to seed. We just threw them on the compost pile and will replant them tomorrow. Radishes don't take any time at all in this heat! We are going to have to pull the broccoli up too as it also bolted in the heat. We were so close!! I'm not going to waste my time with it anymore. I never have much luck with it. Something ate all the sunflower plants but two! There were no prints in the garden so I am figuring it must be the gophers hard at work. There are several signs of them this year. They moved in last year bad when I didn't have much of a garden. It is going to be hard to get rid of them! Thankfully the fruit trees are buried in wire so they can't eat the roots. The two pears trees actually have little pears on them and the big apple tree has apples this year! Exciting!! We didn't spray the trees so hopefully the fruit won't be too buggy. I might even get a few raspberries too. I had a couple bushes come back and I saw a hummingbird tonight getting nectar from the flowers on them. It was a beautiful sight to see. Sometimes I just sit down in the garden in the dirt and watch the world go by. Watching nature is so relaxing!



The garden is doing really well. The onions are huge this year! I have been spending 2-3 hours a night weeding and am getting fairly caught up. I even took the night off last night and tonight! Our weather has been warming up nicely this week and is back up into the 80s. Last weekend we were only 55 degrees one day with a low of 35...too close for comfort!! Thankfully everything survived quite nicely! The root vegetables are doing really well and hopefully the beets will be ready to can by the end of July. They are usually the first vegetable out of the ground! The cucumber plant that is in the greenhouse is growing in leaps and bounds. I am curious to see if it will bear any fruit. I transplanted the patio tomatoes and green peppers and they are doing much better. They were a little root bound!!



The garden is doing real well but the cukes that Bert started at her house and transplanted here aren't looking too good. We were hoping they would survive but I had my doubts after what happened to mine. I didn't do any weeding tonight but turned on the water instead. Now it will probably rain! It has been really windy all day and that tends to dry it out real quick. The parsley that came back from last year is ready to be picked and dried. I couldn't believe it! But the plants don't have as much parsley on it as the ones that are newly planted this year. I might leave one of the year old plants in the herb garden and see if it will go to seed so I can get some seeds from it. I have never attempted that but I'm always game to try something new!



Saturday Bert came over with her teenage son and he tilled all our walk ways and between the bean rows while we planted 107 tomato plants!!!! I couldn't believe I had gotten that carried away! I thought we had around 50! And that didn't include the patio tomatoes!! So we crawled around on black plastic for over an hour planting them. Both our backs were sore from that job! Her son saved us hours of weeding and the garden looked so nice. It was cooler that day too so I spent the rest of the day outside cleaning out the flower gardens and planting all the flower starts that were in the green house. Then I started cleaning out the green house! Now it is all organized again and only has a few things in it! It only takes a few minutes to water now!! I transplanted my mom's container cukes and two patio tomatoes for her. I still haven't gotten them over to her though. Today I planted the last of the mammoth marigolds in the garden. I placed them all along the plastic and under the pear tree. I was so excited when I saw baby pears on it too! Hopefully this year we will get some. Bert and I did some weeding this morning before it got too hot. Seems those weeds are starting to grow faster than the veggies! I am having more trouble with pain working in the garden and wonder just how much longer I will bed able to keep doing it. I definitely need those raised beds!!!! The garden is too big for me and Bert has back problems too so it probably doesn't help her a lot either! I need to rethink things for next year.



It has been a busy week in the garden. With the rain we got the other day and then temps in the upper 70s and low 80s, the weeds are starting to grow faster than the plants! I spent a couple hours out in the garden last night weeding the carrots and I finally got them all done. Now all the root vegetables have been weeded and are starting to take off real well. The beets are three times the size they were when I weeded them a while back! Carrots are always the hardest for me to weed! Bert hurt her back again so she wasn't able to finish weeding the red potatoes so I finished them tonight. Poor lady! I know how it feels to have pain and can sympathize with her 100%!! She called today though and said she would be here tomorrow night to help. Maybe we can finish getting the tomatoes in the ground! I planted two of the bigger ones tonight and put cages around them. The other ones are all smaller than those two. Jay has to crawl up above the pump house to get down the tomato cages for me. I don't envy him that job! The whole garden is looking good and if we can just catch up with the weeds a little bit then we will be doing good! I think I will see if her boys will till in between the bean rows for us. That would save us a lot of time! I took a couple of the quart jars off some squash plants and put them over a couple of zucchini plants that were just pushing through the ground. I want to see if it helps them grow faster like it did for the squash. I like to experiment with things! Sometimes I discover something useful! I noticed that there are a couple gopher mounds that I wasn't too happy to see. If I find any holes, I will dump bleach down it. Usually that gets rid of them for a while and doesn't hurt the plants.



It will be busy but not too bad! Today was hot, around 80 degrees, but not as bad as yesterday when it was close to 87!! That's getting too hot for me! The garden loves it of course. The bean plants are all up and growing quickly. I looked out my craft room window the other day and could see perfect rows of beans popping up! It looked so neat. I put wide mouth quart jars over the squash plants that were being chewed on (as an experiment) and so far they are doing really well! I don't take the jars off during the day either. They seem to thrive in the hot jars! Some of them are starting to get too big for the jars so I am thinking about putting milk jugs over them for a while to give them a chance to get bigger so they can survive the bugs! I haven't seen any bugs or eggs but they are there that's for sure. I also noticed that the cukes that we replanted are starting to poke their noses through already. The whole garden is really looking good. Jay tilled in the area that the raspberry plants were growing in and now I have raspberry plants coming back from the root of the plants! I also have two long containers with raspberry plants that my neighbor gave me! I will definitely have a lot of raspberry plants!!! I was going to weed in the garden for a while tonight but am hurting so bad that I decided not to. Jay turned the sprinkler on so I have an excuse now!



My asparagus in the green house isn't doing too well, I only have four plants! I think I will write to the company I ordered them from. Maybe it was just a bad batch.

Bert and I started planting corn this morning but it was just too hot to be working on the black plastic so we decided to wait. She called me later this afternoon and told me she had it all planted! She is an amazing woman. She works circles around me! I didn't work in the garden tonight and watered it instead. Jay has two overhead sprinklers hooked up and they water the whole garden. It takes a couple hours though to get a good soaking. Thankfully we have the water to do it!



 Bert had done a lot of weeding in the garden when I was gone but it still needed more. Last night when I was weeding I noticed that the cucumbers weren't looking too good. So I went to investigate and found that most of them had died. I think it was because we started them in pony packs and then transplanted them. Same with the squash. I was sick! So tonight Bert and I replanted the cukes and decided that next year  they just go straight into the ground as seed. We put jars over the squash since a lot of them were still good but something had been chewing on them. Some kind of bug since there weren't any tracks around the plants. Hopefully the jars will save them. We weeded the peas tonight and they didn't do real well either. I am trying not to get discouraged. It is hard to grow peas here so hopefully that is the problem. The potatoes and onions are doing really well and so is the radishes. We are going to plant the corn tomorrow and the tomatoes are on the porch being hardened off. A minister that I just met gave me two tomato plants that are a new kind. They are Extra Early Girl and if they do well, I will probably do them next year. Any jump that I can get on the garden the better! 

The greenhouse is almost empty now except for some flowers and the asparagus which is not doing really well. Out of 70 seeds, only four or five plants came up. Not too good!! Maybe they don't like being grown in the greenhouse or started in pony packs. For all the years I have been gardening, I still get frustrated and wonder just how much I really know!!



Tonight Bert and her husband and son came over and we got a lot of the garden put in. We planted all the squash, pumpkin, and cukes. Tomorrow morning real early Bert is coming over so we can get the green beans and dried beans planted. Then all we will have left to plant is tomatoes and corn!! It will be nice to get all of the seeds planted. We did a little bit of weeding tonight and have more to go. My trip to the coast is going to put us behind but we will get caught up!

The green house is starting to empty out as we get things planted. Yesterday I cleaned out the tiered garden in the front yard and planted some more flowers. Maybe tomorrow I can finish putting the marigolds out anyhow! First I couldn't wait to start stuff in the green house and now I can't wait to get it out of there!!! Our weather has turned warm with warm nights so now is the time to get the stuff out. Today was 74 and tomorrow is suppose to be 84! I am allergic to the sun so I have to do my gardening in the evening or early morning. I was out in it the other day for a little bit and got sunburned. It doesn't take much for me! If I am out in it too long, I break out on my arms. So I stay very pale all year long!



I finally hauled all the flats of flowers out of the green house and set them on the picnic table so that I could sit and transplant flowers. I got all of my containers filled and they really brighten up the porch! I still have some starts in the green house that I started but they aren't near being ready to go outside yet! Maybe in another week or so. I weeded out the top section of the tiered garden I had for the strawberries that died this winter. I bought an aster plant at a yard sale and planted it on top. I saw a couple strawberry plants that made it but I will dig them up and put them down in the garden. I will just plant flowers in the tiered garden now. Ones that the deer don't like!!



Our temperatures sure have gotten warm! Today was 77 degrees and it felt too warm. Last week we were in the 50s and low 60s so this is quite a change. The garden loves it though! The onions are all up and so is the radishes. In another week or so we can finish getting the rest of the garden planted! That will be a chore but will be nice to get done. Jay had to pull the insulation out of the green house due to yellow jackets making nests in it. It was a good thing too because the plants in the green house would have cooked with these higher temperatures! Tomorrow is suppose to be close to 90! I had to water the plants in the green house twice due to the heat. Tomorrow will be the same! 



I went out this morning to uncover the plants in the greenhouse and happened to notice that something was coming up in the asparagus flats! I was going to dump them out because I figured I had done something wrong and then the other day I happened to water them along with the rest of the stuff. I am so excited!! I actually might have some asparagus starts to plant later on! I noticed that the onions are coming up in the garden and I thought I might have seen radishes too. I did notice though that the weeds are starting to pop up!



Today I cleaned out the cupboards on the porch and got out the yard and garden ornaments and put them out. I cleaned out the herb bed and it looks like the two sage plants that I thought the dogs killed might actually make it. There are still a few leaves on them! So maybe if I baby them they will make it. I filled in the hole that Bubba dug and then put decorations in the garden. It looks cute until the herbs get so tall that they cover them!! I had left a planter in the herb garden this winter that had some pansies in it to see if they would come back. I cleaned it out today and saw a couple pansy plants coming up! I was very excited!! But I had made the mistake of setting the planter over by the chives and some chives grew up through it too! I pulled them up and transplanted them into pots for now. I have had trouble starting chives by seed so was thrilled to get some more chive plants! I left a part of a parsley plant in the garden over the winter and it is a good sized plant now! I am going to do it again this year too. Much better than trying to start parsley every year! 



I have been gone the past five days and so of course the green house plants just went nuts! Almost all of the squash plants are up and so are the cukes. The tomatoes are really growing from the heat and even the flowers look good. Now that I am home I am hoping to get caught up with transplanting and such. I had no luck starting the asparagus by seed. None of them came up so I am giving up and going to dump it out. Same with the basil and green peppers. I have never had trouble getting them to grow before! But before I used to use fertile cubes but couldn't afford them this year so tried just in starting soil. Guess I learned my lesson on that one! I haven't been down to the big garden to see how things are doing. I will probably do that tomorrow. Bert, bless her heart, took care of the outside stuff for us while we were at the hospital.



I planted a flat of mammoth marigolds today and sent some seeds to friends. The green house is so full and looks great. I noticed that an Alaska Cantaloupe is up and so are some of the flowers. It was nice and warm in there today! I still cover everything at night though just in case. I don't think it froze last night but it did the night before. It will be a while before I won't have to cover things anymore.



Bert and I have been busy, busy in the garden. We planted peas today and covered the ground around the strawberry plants with newspaper and straw. At least we will have one place that doesn't need to be weeded!! Her son tilled some more ground for us today so tomorrow if it doesn't rain we are going to finish planting the onion sets and maybe potatoes. We were looking at the raspberry plants because they weren't looking too good. That's probably because most of them are dead! I knew they took a beating not this winter but the winter before and last year I didn't do any gardening due to my back surgery. So now that I have gotten a good look at them I see they are dead. The deer eating on them last year didn't help matters any either! My neighbor, Vicki, said she will dig up all her suckers from her thornless raspberry bushes and bring them over to me. Thank God!! I was really bummed out though. But there isn't anything I can do about it so will have to make sure that they are cut back in the fall instead of spring. That's how they got so broken up and busted to the ground. Plus they aren't supported either. That's going to change too! I got a close look at the pear trees and they are full of blooms. We have had two nights of very hard frost though and I hope that doesn't kill them. I have yet to have pears off those trees! It was 25 degrees this morning at 6! But the tomatoes in the green house fared very well with just heavy clear plastic thrown over them. Jay finally put a fence around my herb garden but a little too late. Jenni's dog, Bubba, has raised cane with it. He dug a huge crater in it and dug up my chive plant. Lucky for him I had three more! But he laid on some of my new herbs I planted last year and killed them so I am looking at a lot of replanting. Dumb dog!! He is so dumb he is cute!



Life here has been VERY busy the past couple days. Bert and I have been busy in the garden and still don't have everything planted! Yesterday we planted the Walla Walla onions and today we planted lettuce, carrots, yellow onions, and beets. We still have a bag and a half of yellow onions to plant plus radishes, peas, and white potatoes! Jay did more tilling for us today so hopefully by the middle of next week we will be all caught up with planting! Bert's husband cut and laid the black plastic on their garden so it is all ready for the corn to be planted but not until the end of May! At least she won't get any weeds! Jay's dad gave us more black plastic so I will be getting some laid down on our garden for the tomatoes and peppers. Another week or so and Jay will probably get the hoop house put up. It's coming along! I sure don't look forward to the weeding part though!



Another new month and closer to summer! Bert and I are in full swing of gardening now. She came over this afternoon and we got the squash, cukes, and pumpkin seeds planted in the pony packs. I like to start them that way so I can see them when I put them in the garden. Usually it works great! We also got a bunch of flower seeds planted now that we have all the food started! We might get some tilling done tonight so we can do more planting in the garden tomorrow. The green house is now full of planters and flats of plants and soil. It looks impressive when you first pull in the driveway! I am going to get the primroses planted in the ground tonight so that will be one last plant that I have to keep bringing in the house at night! Me, Bert, and Jenni went into town today and each bought a flat of flowers. It was fun picking them out and I mostly bought pansies. Each personality showed in each flat bought. It was interesting!



Jay and I planted 80 hills of red potatoes yesterday morning! And we still have to plant white ones too. I also planted the cabbage and broccoli to get it out of the green house. I wanted to plant the onions too but Jay will have to till more ground because we used up all the tilled ground on the potatoes! Bert was going to have her son till some tomorrow if the ground dries out enough. The onions that I started from seed are ready to plant plus the onion sets that I bought. It won't take as long with several people helping! We can also get the peas, carrots, beets and lettuce planted now too. Now I have the planting bug bad! Bert came over today and we transplanted tomato plants. She brought he son so he could carry the planting soil (40 pound bags) and all the transplanted tomatoes. We had over 50 tomato plants! I guess I got a little carried away! I think Bert was thinking the same thing! We ran out of small containers and were scrounging for things to plant in! She is going to come over tomorrow and we are going to plant some flowers and squash. We went through 80 pounds of potting soil today! I only have one bag left so will have to buy some more soon. I bought five 4 packs of pansies yesterday so I can start filling my planters with them. They are one of my favorite flowers! My green house is filling up fast with planters and we may have to put some stuff in Bert's green house. Her husband is going to put some benches in hers soon. Real soon I hope!! It's fun having someone to share the planting with and someone to visit with. I know I am going to enjoy share cropping!



I transplanted the tomato plants that Jay's dad gave me and discovered that a few more of mine were starting to peek through the dirt. Good thing too because I was to the point of considering replanting! I also transplanted a couple flower plants that my sister gave me and planted some more seeds. It was real warm in the greenhouse but it is necessary right now so the soil will warm up and the seeds will sprout. But once everything is up I am going to have to open the door and windows! Or else the plants are going to cook! I don't have a thermometer for the inside but wish I did. It would be interesting to see how hot it gets in there!




The plants in the greenhouse sure loved the heat today. No new tomatoes have sprouted up though. I need to transplant the ones that have come up though. Some are getting their second leaves but those are the ones that Jay's dad gave me. I had to water twice today due to the heat in the green house but the plants sure are growing quickly. The walla walla onions are almost as big as the bunching onions! I put the prim roses outside on the porch and they weren't too happy with the full sun so I brought them closer to the house in the shade. They seemed to like that much better!! This week I need to plant more flower seeds and get them started. The three tiered area that I had the strawberries in that the deer killed is going to be flowers now. Flowers that deer don't like!! I am going to put my new strawberries back down in the garden. Eventually the big garden will just be my mini orchard and fruit place. The plan is to gradually move the big vegetable garden up closer to the house (with a deer fence around it!) in raised beds. Much easier to take care of!




I brought the tomato plants in from the greenhouse and set them next to the wood stove hoping to get them to germinate. One set of them already did but the rest still haven't come up. I start to get disappointed but try to not get in too big of a hurry! I don't think I should have taken them out to the green house to start. I should have kept them in the house where it was really warm and then when they sprouted, then taken them out to the green house. This is my first year of starting my stuff in the green house so it is all trial and error for me. Hopefully not too much error! The cabbage and broccoli is ready to plant in the garden but Jay hasn't had time to till yet. Hopefully this coming week. I ordered some new strawberry plants (good thing too because the deer killed mine last year!) and they need to be planted soon! All of the potatoes are eyeing up and can be planted any time now. I am anxious to get started!




The parsley is finally up (I just don't have the patience sometimes!) and so is all of the Walla Walla sweet onions. Jay has been sick for almost a week so nothing is getting done on the garden fence. Hopefully next week??!! The tomatoes and peppers still haven't come up and I am losing patience with them! It has been almost two weeks. Of course it isn't too warm at night yet so it might be a little slower germination because of the cooler weather. I took the rosemary and primroses out to the green house but the clouds have all blown off and the temps have dropped considerable so I will probably have to go out tonight and bring them in the house. If I had heat in the green house I wouldn't have to worry about that but I can't afford that! But I depend on the good Lord for my heat and He hasn't failed me yet! The broccoli and cabbage have really grown a lot and are going to be needing to be transplanted if I can't get them into the garden soon! The herb garden is looking a little sad since the dogs decided a couple months ago that it made a great bed with all the straw that was on it! I took the straw off last week but some of my plants aren't coming back...yet. I left part of a parsley plant last fall and it is doing really well now! Shocked me! So maybe I will start doing that every year and I won't have to start so many in the spring. The peppermint looks good (you can't kill that stuff!) and the lemon balm is coming up as well. I still don't see the fever few and I pray the dogs didn't kill it! Of course the chives are going great guns. They need to be cut and dried already! I can see the rhubarb is up in the big garden but I still haven't been down there yet to see how things handled the winter. We didn't have a bad one at all so I assume all is well! I need to go down there though to trim the raspberry bushes! Work, work, work! It's never done around here!




The green house was very warm today and if the warm temperatures keep up, the seeds should start sprouting soon. I am not very patient when it comes to waiting for seeds to germinate! We stopped at my sister's house while we were in Spokane today (Jay had to get his nose cauterized) and she gave me a Lupine  start and a couple of flower seeds. She was getting ready to mow her lawn! That's how far ahead their growing season is from ours! My yard just dried out enough to be raked!



Friday I spent three hours out in the green house planting seeds in pots. I planted over 40 plants of tomatoes (patio, bush beefsteak, ace, roma, and early girl), green and red peppers, jalapenos, sunflowers, basil, over 100 asparagus, fennel, and climbing snap dragon flowers. I noticed that the Walla Walla sweet onion seeds that I planted a couple weeks ago are starting to come up. The only thing not coming up is the parsley. If it doesn't come up within the next week, then I am going to replant. The seed was a couple years old! I am still having to bring in the two tomato plants that Jay's dad gave me due to the really cold evening temps. (in the 20s!). I have had to get out of bed a couple times and go out with a flashlight to get them! I hate nights like that!! Tonight was one of them!



I have been going into my green house everyday and checking on things. The broccoli and cabbage are starting to get their second set of leaves now. They look really healthy. My father in law had ordered some tomato trees and I finally got mine going. They are about 1/2 an inch tall now! I have to go out every night and bring them in the house because the green house doesn't hold the heat well (not that we have had a lot of heat the past two days!). Tomatoes don't like the cold! But the bunching onions are starting to stick their heads up but not the Walla Walla sweets yet. They can handle the cold nights though. I had planned on planting the tomatoes and green peppers yesterday but didn't get around it.



I went in the green house today and checked on the seeds that I planted last week. The broccoli is starting to get a little bigger and I noticed that the cabbage is starting to pop up too! Exciting!! I had to call the company that I ordered my seeds from because they haven't come yet. They said they were mailed on the 20th so hopefully I will have them soon! I need to start more seeds so I'm not too late getting things ready for spring planting.



I transplanted my dad's Christmas tree today and put it out in the green house. Hopefully it will be okay! It is sealed up pretty well and the days have been sunny enough. I bought some Walla Walla sweet onion seeds yesterday to plant but didn't have the energy to do it. Hopefully tomorrow. So far nothing has come up in the flats that I planted last week. It is a bit early yet!! I am just anxious to see something growing! I took the straw off of some of my plants today. Some of the bulbs were growing up right through the straw! I didn't dare uncover the miniature roses and carnations though. Still too early! I left the rose bush covered too.



Today was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, birds were singing their happy songs, and it was warm. It was 58 degrees and it felt great! I filled the bird feeders (again!) and checked my herb garden and to my surprise and delight, the chives are growing already!

Then I took some seeds out to the green house and started planting some of them. I did a flat of bunching onions (I have never grown them before!) and then did some broccoli, parsley, cabbage, and sweet peas. I had to prop the door open on the green house because it was pretty hot in there! I even got a slight sun burn! I took the walnut trees out of the green house and put them on the edge of the porch so I would remember to water them! They came through the winter just fine and even had new buds on them. I noticed my no name tree also has new buds on it.

Spring is definitely here!!



 We have been busy getting things ready for winter.  Jay helped me dump the buckets out that I had in the greenhouse and hauled the dirt and old plants off.  We got the hoses drained today and put away for the year.  Jay took off one sunshade because it got trashed by the wind.  I have been loading things into the truck to take to the dump.  We should have a load soon!  The greenhouse is all cleaned up and ready for winter.  



The tomatoes in the green house are starting to ripen...I picked four of them the other day.  Jay's favorite is the patio tomatoes.  They are so sweet and juicy!  The green peppers are doing pretty well but are almost done.  Soon I will be cleaning up the green house too!



  The tomatoes in the green house aren't doing as well as I hoped they would.  Some of the plants don't even have any tomatoes on them.  I think it just gets too hot in the green house for them.  I planted them in five gallon buckets this year and they get too hot and the green house doesn't have enough ventilation.  Things to ponder this winter and fix next spring!!  The tomatoes that are planted down in the garden have lots of green tomatoes on them so I will get some for harvest this year.  The green peppers are doing great...they love the heat in the green house!  I have two huge peppers that need to be picked and the jalapeno peppers are really starting to turn dark.



  I haven't checked the garden close but there might be damage to the top of the potatoes.  I will have to check closer!  At least all the sensitive plants are in the greenhouse.  We took out a couple sections of insulation to let some of the heat escape and I leave the door open all the time.  But sometimes the tomatoes still look a little droopy.  But they have tomatoes on them and I have already eaten two baby tomatoes off the patio tomatoes I started from seed. And we love them!  They sure were sweet and actually tasted like a tomato!  The green peppers are doing great and even have peppers on them.  And the lettuce is really growing!  I like the variety of leaf lettuce that I doesn't bolt in the heat!  But it is suppose to be cooler for the next week and I like it!