Thursday, April 30, 2009

The last of the pre-garden starts are in...

I finally got the zucchini seeds potted today, this is the last of the seeds I will be starting early for the garden. Everything I have started so far is doing very well, with the exception of the eggplant. Out of the 12 seeds I planted, only 2 have sprouted. I am now debating if I should start some more, or just stick with the 2 that are doing well and find another plant to fill the remaining space in the greenhouse. I'll give them another week or so to make an appearance before I make up my mind. Since, due to space issues, my starts are currently residing at my mother's house, I wonder if her care (or lack of) has something to do with it. Mom always means well, but sometimes she does what she thinks is best, regardless of how it should actually be done. All I can do is cross my fingers... only 3-4 more weeks until all those little seedlings go into the raised beds!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Patience is a virtue!

We had to make a trip to Walmart today. I hate shopping at Walmart, but sometimes it is just necessary. I always enter through the garden section, and today was no different. They had all their flower packets out! Now, I know that it is silly to buy flowers for outside pots right now... it will be at least another 3 weeks before the danger of the last frost is past, but it was so tempting! I ended up averting my eyes and just trying to get through it all, before the desire overtook me! I want to plant flowers so badly! So yes, I stayed strong, but man was it tough.

I love spring! It got up to 66 F at my house today. We spent most of the day outside, not really doing anything, just soaking up the sun. It was a welcome thing, most definitely. I just want to get the plants in the ground before I can't bend far enough to do it! I'm using landscaping fabric and mulch in the gardens this year, so hopefully the weeds won't overtake everything like they did last year. I know that weeding is going to be difficult, so I have to plan ahead! Only 10 more weeks until this baby comes... I can't wait!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Keep on plantin'!!!

Had to pot up the broccoli and cabbages today. They were getting so big that the little peat pots they were started in just weren't cutting it anymore. I made sure to take the netting off, and then planted them in 4 inch pots. This should be enough (I hope) to last until the ground is ready for them. Everything has made an appearance, although the eggplant is slower than the rest. I still haven't started the zucchini, but will do that within the next week. The temperatures have been getting into the low to mid 50's every day now, so the ground is warming up by the day. I am anticipating a first week of June planting session. I'm excited!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Making Progress!

Well, between yesterday and today, I got the preliminary weeding done in all the garden beds! I say preliminary because some of the weeds have such a stranglehold on the dirt that I will have to till with the garden claw before I can get the rest of their roots out of the ground. But it definitely looks 100% better! The temperature was around 54 F for most of the day today, which made it nice to be outside. Some sunshine would have been nice though. We're having a BBQ tomorrow, so its pretty safe to say that it will rain all day! At least it will help thaw out the soil. Next I need to tackle the greenhouse. That shouldn't be too difficult, I just need to get motivated.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I actually got something done!

Even though it isn't much, I feel like I actually got something accomplished today! I got my compost fencing moved so that I can start this years compost pile, which I've been needing to do for a few weeks now. I started a pile last spring, which I will turn often this summer, but I will only add this summers scraps to the new pile. By next spring, last years pile should be ready to till into the garden. I also got the three semi-permanent planters in front of the front door all weeded. I would have turned the dirt, but it just started raining, and seeing as its only 42 F outside, I figured that could wait until tomorrow. At least its something! I want to do so much more, but its just not warm enough outside yet to be comfortable, and I have to take it somewhat easy as I am in the third trimester of this pregnancy now. I can't wait until this baby is born!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

So, today is Earth Day. You sure wouldn't know it around here (my area, not my home.) I read 3 "local" papers, and NONE of them even mention it! I go to the websites that say they can help find events in your area, and generally, Alaska isn't even listed! So what will we be doing today? The lights will be turned off all day, like they are every day around here. The heater will be turned off all day, like it is every day, now that the temperature outside is above 40 F. We will be playing outside, and doing some preliminary gardening, which we would be doing even if it wasn't earth day! I guess we don't need to celebrate a special "Earth Day" at my house, because we are trying to live like EVERY day is Earth Day. Hopefully the same thing is happening in households all over America. Maybe the majority of us are just realizing that what we do impacts so many things, and we are all trying to do better on a daily basis? Lets hope so!

On the garden side of things... the forecast is calling for rain and snow tonight! SNOW!!!! ARGH!!! Although I love Alaska, she really tries my patience this time of year!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Growing well...

I now have seedlings from the Chili Peppers and the Bell Peppers! The Eggplant is the only seed that hasn't made and appearance yet, but I'm sure it will soon! The Lilies are now about 1 1/2 feet tall, and 2 of them have flower buds already!!! I'm getting excited to see my yard in full bloom!

Monday, April 20, 2009

More seeds sown...

Planted my "Blue Shrimp Flower" seeds today. I got them last fall after volunteering at the Alaska Botanical Garden, and they have been waiting patiently in my refrigerator all winter. Hope they grow!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a great evening!

We had a really relaxing evening today. Robert got the fire pit moved to where I wanted it, and he got my new garden swing all put together. Rob and Stephen gathered some nice firewood and we had a great campfire! And Robert even got most of the doggie bombs picked up, so you don't have to watch where you step so much any more! Enough of the snow is melted now that I can start visualizing where my flower pots will be going, and that's what I plan on doing tomorrow. Also tomorrow, I believe we are going to start my blue shrimp flower and some himilayan poppies. (I'm sure I spelled that wrong, but its too late at night to worry about spell check!)

All in all, everyone just had a really good day. Lady (the Great Dane) is asleep on one of the sofas, Boss (the American Bulldog) is on both dog beds, the cats (Isis and Calypso) are both asleep on the back of the other sofa, Stephen is in bed watching a movie, and Rob an I are on our respective computers, again, quite content to be doing our own thing for a little while before we all retire for the night. Everyone got lots of sunshine today, and some much needed fresh air! I love spring time in Alaska!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The before pictures...

So, I figured that a few before pictures were in order. We just bought the house and property this last winter, so I haven't really done any improvements at all on the yard so far. These pictures are from today, and we'll see how much they change at the end of the season!!! (Notice the dogs doing their best to be beautiful for the camera!)I don't expect to get any topsoil this year, so no grass for now. I won't mind but hubby wants a lawn! Gardens and flowers will have to be enough... like that won't be enough to keep me busy, what with the new baby coming and all!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cabbages already?!

Ok, I'm looking at the seed packet for the O-S Cross Cabbage seed I planted the other day.... and it says 5-14 days to germination. HA! Yesterday, 2 days after planting, I have cabbages coming up! Maybe my garden will actually be productive this year! Good thing we love cabbage!

Also, as of this morning, the Broccoli is making an appearance. This was supposed to take 10-14 days to germinate!

Thanks to the nice temperatures we have been having, my yard is finally showing through the snow now! It should be completely clear by the end of the weekend if this keeps up... NICE!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finally, some seeds sown!!!

Today I finally planted some seeds! They were all planted in peat pots, two seeds per pot. I plan on keeping only the strongest of each pair.

For the greenhouse:
1. Eggplant
2. Green Bell Peppers
3. Assorted Chili Peppers

For the garden:
1. Cabbage
2. Broccoli

I will be planting a second set of Cabbage and Broccoli, as well as Zucchini in about 2 weeks, and the Pole Beans, Carrots, Snap Peas, Spinach, Kale, and Beets once the raised beds are warm enough and the danger of frost has past. How exciting!

On another note, we awoke this morning to another inch of snow, but that fresh inch and another inch or so has since melted. Lord give me patience!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Will it ever end?

So it snowed again yesterday... twice. And I'm not talking a little snowflake here and there, I'm talking silver dollar sized flakes, a whole army of them! I take some solace in the fact that it didn't stick, and that really, the added moisture will make the thaw that much faster, but come on! Snow on Easter?! I miss summer soooooooo bad!

I have decided that my 3 tiered planter is going to be totally re-done this spring. It has a few scraggly raspberry plants in it, and a few rose bushes, but mostly weeds. I'm going to salvage the roses if I can, but we have wild raspberries all over the property, so there will be no love lost there. Now I just need to decide what to plant instead! And that's always the fun part! After I got my vegetable seeds this year, I tossed the seed catalogs, for the sake of un-cluttering, but now I wish I had saved them! Although I buy my seeds locally (they are more likely to be Alaska-appropriate that way,) I have found that seed catalogs are a great way to get ideas. I guess its time for some internet research!

On another note, I almost have Rob convinced that chickens are a good idea... well, convinced that it is something that I can handle, and that after he builds a coop, his responsibility for them will be over. I think he thinks I'm a little crazy, but hey, he's a city boy from California, so what does he know about this stuff anyway?! :) I don't want a huge flock or anything, only 4-6 chickens. Just enough to keep us in fresh eggs, and to provide some chicken poop for the compost pile and entertainment for the kids. I can definitely handle 6 chickens!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Content for tonight

Had a great day today. My family and friends threw me a baby shower, and we all had a great time. I tell you what, I got a lot more stuff for the baby than I thought I would! I hate asking for things, and it was torture setting up a baby registry, but I'm glad I did! Rob and I are at home now, enjoying each others company even though we are both on our computers and completely ignoring each other.... so glad I married my best friend, no uncomfortable silences here!

The snow is melting very fast now, only a few more inches to go! I can see all of my garden beds, and all the dog poop in the yard, yuck! I have a Great Dane and an American Bulldog, both about 140 pounds each, so you can imagine what the mess looks like! My wonderful husband has decided that he will clean it all up this spring, even though they are my dogs, because he doesn't want me to work too hard, being pregnant and all. He's so sweet sometimes!

Temperatures have been in the 40's during the day still, and we have a mix of rain/snow in the forecast for the next few days. Hopefully it will be more rain than snow so the yard will thaw out a bit more. I'm starting to get ideas of where my flower pots will be going this year, and I'm just dying to get some dirt under my fingernails! All in good time I suppose...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Well, the Lilies are growing like crazy! Each pot has several up, and most of them are at least 6-7 inches high now. So exciting! Its getting harder and harder to not start the seeds for the vegetable garden yet. 2 or 3 more weeks until we can get those going! The sun has been shining like crazy... got up to 50 degrees F yesterday! The snow is melting very rapidly... soon I'll be able to walk around in my yard again. That will make a big difference, as I will be able to start planning where I am going to set my flower containers this year, and I will start filling this years compost pile with all the dried up left-overs from last years plants. Yea spring, bring it on!