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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 339 Entries.
Tuesday, January 31 View Page
I took this photo today, but the planting for the seed tray without the blue towel was planted on Sunday, January 29th. On that day, I planted Trinidad yellow scorpion peppers (Garofano 2016), World Record Strain giant green bell peppers (Nieuwenhoff) and Sweet Banana Peppers. Thank you exotic seed exchange 2016!!
 
Sunday, February 5 View Page
I took this photo on 01.31.2017, but the planting for the seed tray with the blue towel was planted on Sunday, January 29th. On that day, I planted California Wonder Sweet Green Peppers. Process is the same as stated for the first entry during planting.
 
Sunday, February 5 View Page
Today, I planted determinant Bush Beef tomatoes. These will not vine and are typically more compact. I have experienced great great disease resistance, reduced watering and very high yields. I repeated the same planting method used for the peppers with the exception of adding clear plastic wrap to retain moisture. I also have shown the type of potting soil used for sprouting the plants.
 
Sunday, February 5 View Page
Today, I also planted determinant San Marzano tomatoes. These will not vine and are typically more compact. Fruits are typically produced within the center of the plant. I have experienced some disease resistance, reduced watering and very high yields; however, drip irrigation is required as well as keeping a watchful eye on the green horn-worm! I repeated the same planting method used for the first tomatoes with the exception of adding clear plastic wrap to retain moisture. These should be up in 7-10 days along with the first tomato tray.
 
Sunday, February 5 View Page
Today, I finished changing out my old lights with new Gro Lux lights! Thanks Menards!! The greenhouse is set with towels on shelves to catch moisture and water. Heat mats are under each tray and grow lights are mounted above trays as shown. Special thanks to my son, Christopher, for his help in putting the house together and the first lights in place!
 
Sunday, February 5 View Page
I was greeted with an early surprise from a tiny Trinidad yellow scorpion pepper (Garofano 2016) which sprouted way ahead of schedule! After checking at 5 pm, I also found more peppers breaking the soil surface. Wonderful!!
 
Wednesday, February 8 View Page
Showing the progress of the planted Trinidad yellow scorpion peppers (Garofano 2016), World Record Strain giant green bell peppers (Nieuwenhoff) and Sweet Banana Peppers. The scorpion peppers will require separation and I will demonstrate that at a later time. All other seedlings need more time to sprout and grow!
 
Wednesday, February 8 View Page
Showing the progress of the planted California Green Bell Peppers. Uneven watering can cause seeds to randomly sprout. All need more time, but check back soon for an update!
 
Saturday, February 11 View Page
Showing another way to consider sprouting seeds. Under the tray with seeds and soil, I have placed a heat mat. A sliding vent system in the top cover allows for air to the seedlings.
 
Sunday, February 12 View Page
On the blue towel, I have thinned and deeply transplanted San Marzano tomato seedlings. I have also move them under my son, Christopher's, Performance Plus shop light. The heat mat is providing additional heat to the soil. Lesson learned here is to watch the seedlings as they sprout under clear plastic wrap. I didn't pay attention to this and the plants were spindly and looked like a cork screw. I lifted the seedlings with a clean fork and separated each seedling by holding the primary leaves to avoid pinching the vital tender stem. I finished this morning and checked again at 2 pm. So far, so good!
 
Sunday, February 12 View Page
On the white towel, I have thinned and deeply transplanted Bush Beef determinant tomato seedlings. I have also move them under my son, Christopher's, Performance Plus shop light. The heat mat is providing additional heat to the soil. Lesson learned here is to watch the seedlings as they sprout under clear plastic wrap. I didn't pay attention to this and the plants were spindly and looked like a cork screw. I lifted the seedlings with a clean fork and separated each seedling by holding the primary leaves to avoid pinching the vital tender stem. I finished this morning and checked again at 2 pm. So far, so good!
 
Sunday, February 12 View Page
On the orange towel and inside my greenhouse, I have seeded Lemon Globe in-determinant tomato seeds, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seeds, and Purple Cherokee determinant seeds. Since I experienced issues with the clear plastic, I have decided to not use a cover. All are from seeds I personally saved from last year!
 
Sunday, February 12 View Page
On the left of this tray, I am showing three of the 4 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper from 550g Nieuwenhoff-still waiting on the fourth seed to sprout (number three sprouted just this morning). In the middle, I have planted six Ghost Pepper seeds from Oglesby 2016. The six cups previously contained banana pepper seeds that were not viable. On the right, the two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 have been previously separated and doing very well.
 
Sunday, February 12 View Page
Sometimes seeds sprout and sometimes they don't and so, it is important to try again. In the empty pots, I have reseeded more California Green Bell Peppers. Seeds might not be viable, but then again, watering can be off, the heat source may be inadequate and even the depth of planting may be an issue. I continue to learn as I go through the planting process.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
I am using Essential Plus 101 from Wow Wallace for watering my new seedlings. The mix is 2 oz. to 1 gallon of room temperature water left to sit for 24 hours. I weekly water seedlings very sparingly just to keep soil moist.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
San Marzano seedlings are progressing well and are showing a second leaf!
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
OOPS!! The previous entry should state the "Bush Beef" seedlings are progressing well and are showing a second leaf! This photo is showing the San Marzano seedlings. As the seedlings progress, I will point out the difference in the leaf structures of these as well as the difference between determinant and indeterminant tomato varieties.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Here is an update on the seedlings previously shown on the orange towel inside my greenhouse. I had seeded Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seeds, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seeds, and Purple Cherokee determinant seeds. These were previously saved seeds from Heirloom varieties. The viability of the seeds are very good and now, thinning is required to strengthen growth.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Here is an update on the seedling's thinning, resolving of surface salts and treatment with Essential Plus 101. This tray will be used to show variety differences and also, it will be used to monitor the impact of surface salts on new seedlings. I am also researching cover crops to determine the best attack on saturated clay soils in my community garden plots. I am considering Territorial Seed Company, but other ideas would be greatly appreciated from growers.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Update on progress: On the left of this tray, I am showing three of the 4 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper from 550g Nieuwenhoff-still waiting on the fourth seed to sprout (number three sprouted is a weak seedling). In the middle, I have planted six Ghost Pepper seeds from Oglesby 2016 and will continue to check back on these in the next week. These require a great amount of heat. On the right, the two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 have been previously separated and doing very well. Plastic cover has been removed, but heat mat and grow light will remain in place.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Update on progress: I am showing another round of reseeding with the California Wonder Green Bell Peppers. Plastic cover has been removed, but heat mat and grow light will remain in place. I have also treated these seedlings to Essential Plus 101.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
My morning walk in the Oakhurst Forest Preserve was so beautiful. I am enjoying the migrating flocks of varying birds, beautiful sunrises and fog lifting over the water's surface!
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
I can't wait for spring!!
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Oakhurst Forest Preserve facing north.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Oakhurst Forest Preserve facing south. In the distance, I am showing the west side of the Fox Valley Park District Community Garden Plots. These will open in April.
 
Sunday, February 19 View Page
Oakhurst Forest Preserve facing southwest. We amend our own soil each year, haul all the water and do our own tilling. I will update during progress this year!
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8p80RjnVbs I found this link on You Tube and wanted to share it with you! I plan to try my hand at transplanting spring crops beyond the usual ones. I'll post updates as I go forward.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
Bush Beef determinant seedlings are progressing well! These will need further transplant and a deeper position in the new pot to establish a decent root system along the stem. Even watering is essential and something I need to pay more attention too. Right now, the temperature outdoors is 25 F, but feels like 18 F. We have had a major weather change from very warm weather to very cold. Thank goodness for an indoor greenhouse, heat mats and grow lights!
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
San Marzano determinant seedlings are progressing well! I lost one seedling last night, but another has since sprouted! These will need further transplant and a deeper position in the new pot to establish a decent root system along the stem. I use a clean fork to weekly aerate the soil surface.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
Update on progress: Reseeding with the California Wonder Green Bell Peppers really paid off! I have also treated these seedlings to Essential Plus 101.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
The wind is howling outside!! Update on progress: On the left of this tray, I am now showing 4 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper seedlings from 550g Nieuwenhoff! The fourth sprouted this morning!! In the middle, I have planted six Ghost Pepper seeds from Oglesby 2016 and some began sprouting this afternoon!! These require a great amount of heat. On the right, the two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 have been previously separated and doing very well. I am so excited to receive so many wonderful seeds from the Exotic Seed Exchange this year!!
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
Update on progress: I had seeded Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seeds, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seeds, and Purple Cherokee determinant seeds. Again, I allowed the watering to go a bit unchecked during the week. These will need to be deeply transplanted into new pots. I have also turned the pots and raised the grow lights.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
Today, I seeded Geranium "Paint Box Mix" and Marigold "Sparky Mixed Colors". Most of the time, I buy the flowers in flats, but I really wanted to try to do this at home. I often reuse pots and wash them at the end of the season in hot soapy water and air dry them in the sun. I placed the empty pots in a clean reusable tray.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
I filled each pot with 2 cups of the same soil mix used for my prior seedlings and watered well before seeding. At times, it may be difficult to see the seeds due to size, color and shape. The top row contains the marigolds and the bottom contains the geraniums.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
I recommend reading seed packets or asking other growers for tips on planting depth. For example, marigolds need a covering of 1/8 to 1/4 inch of soil. Gently pressing down on the soil covering provides soil contact with seed casings. I covered the pots with clear plastic wrap and placed them in my greenhouse and will provide an update next week! Keep thinking Spring!!!
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
I have posted the frost dates from The Old Farmer's 2017 Almanac by Robert B Thomas founded in 1792. This year marks the 225th anniversary. I am often asked questions about the last frost date and for my area this year it is April 20th. I should have started my flowers two weeks ago according to this date, but I am also thinking of the weather conditions ahead in April and May which appear cool and wet!
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
I have included a weather forecast for region 6 for the Lower Lakes.
 
Saturday, February 25 View Page
I following most of the moon phase guide for area 3 with pretty decent success.
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
Update on progress: California Wonder Green Bell Peppers doing well! I have continued treatment with Essential Plus 101.
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
The weather is cold at 13 degrees F with a wind from the west!! Snow last night and more to come tonight! Update on progress: On the left of this tray, 4 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper seedlings from 550g Nieuwenhoff are doing well! In the middle, I have planted six Ghost Pepper seeds from Oglesby 2016 (4 of 6 are up) and more are still slowly sprouting. On the right, the two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 are doing very well.
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
Lack of drainage at the Fox Valley Park District community garden plots often results in standing water. Runoff is restricted to this area due to lack of access to two retention basins (wet and dry) just south of 5th Avenue. The risers for both are clogged with sediment and vegetation due to lack of maintenance.
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
Update on progress: Way ahead of the germination schedule and doing very well! Geranium "Paint Box Mix" and Marigold "Sparky Mixed Colors" have sprouted this past Tuesday!!
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
Spring is in the air! I spotted two ducks on their morning swim, during my early morning walk.
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
Bush Beef determinant seedlings are progressing well! These still need further transplant and a deeper position in the new pot to establish a decent root system along the stem.
 
Friday, March 3 View Page
San Marzano determinant seedlings are progressing well! These still need further transplant and a deeper position in the new pot to establish a decent root system along the stem.
 
Saturday, March 4 View Page
Update on progress: Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seeds, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seeds, and Purple Cherokee determinant seeds are all doing well. These will need to be deeply transplanted into new pots.
 
Sunday, March 5 View Page
Tomorrow is the day! Time to rent those community garden plots!!
 
Sunday, March 5 View Page
Waiting for Spring...........................
 
Sunday, March 5 View Page
and waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Monday, March 6 View Page
My son, Christopher, was hit by a driver rolling a stop sign. He was riding his bike to work. Bikes can be fixed and thankfully, he is recovering from injuries. Hopefully, we can get into to the orthopedic doctor this week.
 
Tuesday, March 7 View Page
Fox Valley Park District new fence rules for 2017!
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Bush Beef determinant seedlings are progressing, but started showing some yellowing. I stopped feeding and transplanted all into new separate pots.
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
San Marzano determinant seedlings are progressing, but also started showing some yellowing. I stopped feeding and transplanted all into new separate pots.
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Update on progress: California Wonder Green Bell Peppers doing okay, but I really need to check the soil more before the plants dry out. I stopped treatment with Essential Plus 101 even though the roots looked nice, I don't think from reading other diaries that feeding too much right now is helping.
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
The weather is cold at 20 degrees F with a wind very light at 4 mph!! Snow comes tonight with 1-3 inches possible! Update on progress: Tray is showing now 3 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper seedlings from 550g Nieuwenhoff since I allowed the soil to dry out and one of the seedlings died. In the middle, I had planted six Ghost Pepper seeds from Oglesby 2016 (5 of 6 have died). I tried planting this weekend new Carolina Repear seeds in new pots, but whoever donated those to the Exotic seed exchange never included more than a name of the seed. The grower's name and year grown were missing from the package! The two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 are doing very well.
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Update on progress: Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seedlings, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seedlings, and Purple Cherokee determinant seedlings are all doing well. These were transplanted yesterday into new pots.
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Update on progress: Geranium "Paint Box Mix" and Marigold "Sparky Mixed Colors" seedlings are doing very well!!
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Yesterday, my son, Christopher, and I met Kyle Davis. He shared pumpkin growing knowledge and I learned so much! He is so kind and I am really thankful to know him. It is wonderful to meet fellow growers with a passion to share with others!! Thanks Kyle!!
 
Sunday, March 12 View Page
Today, I finally had a minute to go over the files from Mark McWilliams. Very helpful and very experienced in growing! His pdf files were so helpful to my family in arming ourselves with valuable information regarding drainage problems and soil profiles throughout our community garden plots. They are a mess out there, but I am thankful now that we worked to try to amend the mess over the years. It has not been easy and many times, I just wanted to give up! If you have a moment check out: Web Soil Survey https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm Thanks Mark!!
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Bush Beef determinant seedlings are slowly progressing and the yellowing seemed to ease up a bit.
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
San Marzano determinant seedlings are slowly progressing and the yellowing seems to be also easing a bit.
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Update on progress: California Wonder Green Bell Peppers doing okay, but still struggle unlike past year's seedlings.
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
The weather is warm at 62 degrees F which may break a record at 79 with a strong southerly wind!! Thunderstorms tonight with rain through Monday! Update on progress: Tray is showing now 3 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper seedlings from 550g Nieuwenhoff. I have one Ghost Pepper seedling from Oglesby 2016. I have new Carolina Repear seedlings in new pots, but whoever donated those to the Exotic seed exchange never included more than a name of the seed. The grower's name and year grown were missing from the package! The two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 are doing very well. Some of my tomato transplants are also taking space in the tray.
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Update on progress: Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seedlings are in love with my grow light, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seedlings, and Purple Cherokee determinant seedlings are all doing well. Too windy to try to put them outside today!!
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Update on progress: Geranium "Paint Box Mix" and Marigold "Sparky Mixed Colors" seedlings are doing very well!!
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Squirrel dines at the feeders! Hoping to catch the white one soon!
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
Someone gave the robin the wrong information on the start of spring!! She loves to eat the homemade suet with the downy woodpeckers at my feeders. One day, I am hoping to capture a photo of the red belly woodpecker!
 
Friday, March 24 View Page
Cool crops emerging! Lettuces, kale, onions, carrots, spinach, swiss chard, beets and on and on it goes!!
 
Friday, March 24 View Page
Cool crops emerging! Lettuces, kale, onions, carrots, spinach, swiss chard, beets and on and on it goes!! I set them outdoors today for some natural light.
 
Friday, March 24 View Page
The "hen scratch" tilling of the Fox Valley Park District. First fairly calm nice day. Pulverizing maybe 2-3" of clay. I'll keep you updated on the weed population as it progresses. Hang on for the ride!!
 
Friday, March 24 View Page
Count down for the emergence of weeds. Place your bets!!
 
Friday, March 24 View Page
Keeping you posted on when the first dump of scrubs, tree brush, doors, windows, tires and other fun items end up in this pit. Just the beginning!! Plots open April 15th.
 
Saturday, March 25 View Page
Out for a stroll!!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Cool crops moving along!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Another tray of more cool crops.
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Update on progress: California Wonder Green Bell Peppers doing okay, but still struggle unlike past year's seedlings. Considering turning off the heat mats.
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
The weather is cool and damp at 57 degrees F with lots of clouds and rain on and off. Update on progress: Tray is showing now 3 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper seedlings from 550g Nieuwenhoff. They are taking off on the right. I have one Ghost Pepper seedling from Oglesby 2016. Waiting for a new leaf set. I have new Carolina Repear seedlings in new pots and they seem to be doing okay. The two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 are doing very well. Some of my tomato transplants are also taking space in the tray and appear to have a love affair with the grow light!!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Update on progress: Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seedlings are in love with my grow light, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seedlings, and Purple Cherokee determinant seedlings are all doing well. A few have found homes in co worker's gardens this summer and some I will keep.
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Bush Beef determinant seedlings are slowly progressing and the yellowing seemed to ease up a bit. A few are surging in growth.
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Update on progress: Geranium "Paint Box Mix" and Marigold "Sparky Mixed Colors" seedlings are doing very well!! Really excited to have a really nice flower assortment.
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
San Marzano determinant seedlings are slowly progressing and the yellowing seems to be also easing a bit. I am so looking forward to transplant day!!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Pond is on the right, but the boy leads the girl duck to the swamp on the left. Perfect date!!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Pack and ship biddygoat!! More on this ahead..............!!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Checking out my flowers!!
 
Sunday, March 26 View Page
Resident chipmunk checks out the spring weather on the log. He continues to dart out of the wood pile with his stash of nuts to munch!!
 
Wednesday, March 29 View Page
Lunch time!
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
The flooding at our community garden plots continues.....
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
and continues....
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Time to start paddling!!
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Row, row, row your boat!!!
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Anyone need some water for their pumpkins????
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
And on and on.............
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
Good time to include a diagnostic key for Cucurbit disease identification. I see lots of questions posted on this site. I found this last year and wanted to pass it along to others. http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/DiagnosticKeys/CucKey.html
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
Good time to include a diagnostic key for Tomato disease identification. I see lots of questions posted on this site. I found this last year and wanted to pass it along to others. http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/DiagnosticKeys/TomKey.html
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
Bush Beef determinant seedlings are really having a rough time, so I may replant a few this weekend!
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
Update on progress: Lemon Globe indeterminant tomato seedlings are in love with my son's grow light, Chilean Red Flat Bush Beef determinant tomato seedlings, and Purple Cherokee determinant seedlings are all doing well. A few have found homes in co worker's gardens this summer and some I will keep. I need to find time to transplant!
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
Update on progress: California Wonder Green Bell Peppers doing pretty bad! Heat mats are back on! May need to also replant this weekend - bummer!!
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
The weather is rain on and off with a severe thunderstorm watch in affect until 10pm CDT and 66 degrees F. Update on progress: Tray is showing now 3 World Record Strain Giant Bell Pepper seedlings from 550g Nieuwenhoff. They are taking off on the right, but still slow. I have one Ghost Pepper seedling from Oglesby 2016. Waiting for a new leaf set. I have new Carolina Repear seedlings in new pots and they seem to be doing okay. The two cups with all four Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Yellow peppers from Garofano 2016 are doing well.
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
Update on progress: Geranium "Paint Box Mix" and Marigold "Sparky Mixed Colors" seedlings are doing very well!! Really excited to have a really nice flower assortment. These ones have begun the hardening process outdoors, but are brought in at night.
 
Monday, April 3 View Page
San Marzano determinant seedlings are progressing well since transplant day!! These have begun the hardening process outdoors and are brought inside at night.
 
Thursday, April 6 View Page
Water, water, everywhere..............
 
Thursday, April 6 View Page
Nice view to the west!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
My new grow box created from old fence posts we once used at the plots and reclaimed pallet wood. Many thanks to my son, Christopher!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Another view...
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Another grow box and I cannot wait to begin planting!!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Waiting for the big warm up!!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
My spring flowers!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
More signs of spring in my flower beds!!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
Setting up for growing this summer!
 
Saturday, April 8 View Page
More flowers!!
 
Sunday, April 9 View Page
Making and freezing pesto. I spray an ice cube tray and spread the prepared pesto into the spaces. I place plastic wrap on top and then freeze. After the cubes are frozen, I pop out the cubes and store in freezer bag for up to one year. Wonderful to use in cooking and salads!!
 
Tuesday, April 11 View Page
Good time to mention soil testing. We use the following link - https://www.westernlaboratories.com/submission-forms.html
 
Tuesday, April 11 View Page
Waiting for opening day at the FVPD garden plots.
 
Friday, April 14 View Page
Migrating flocks arriving at the Oakhurst Forest Preserve.
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Be careful where you step on the walking path!! Tiny new turtle has lost his way!!
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Egrets and the Great Blue Heron have arrived!!
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Interesting changes in the forest occur every day!!
 
Sunday, April 16 View Page
Weather has been deceiving at 70+ degrees. Eager new gardeners are out at the plots planting anything and everything. Cold weather is coming this week with lots of cold rain. I am waiting with my tender crops until May.
 
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
Today, I transplanted Detroit Red Beets, Spanish Onions and Nantes Carrots. This planter has composted aged horse manure, raw kitchen scraps (no dairy, citrus or meat), shredded b/w newspaper and 1/2 c. Burpee Organics Tomato and Vegetable Granular Slow release fertilizer.
 
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
Today, I transplanted (L2R) Arugula, Butter Crunch Lettuce, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Spanish Onions Arugula, Green Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Butter Crunch Lettuce and Swiss Chard. In the next row between the wood stakes, I planted Heirloom Sugar Daddy Peas. Next to the peas, I transplanted Curly Kale, Vates Collards between the two Kale and French Dressing Radishes to the either sides of the Kale. This planter has layers of garden soil, composted aged horse manure, raw kitchen scraps (no dairy, citrus or meat), shredded b/w newspaper, shredded card board, over wintered 22 gallon totes of decomposed giant pumpkin, squash and kitchen scraps and 1 1/2 c. Burpee Organics Tomato and Vegetable Granular Slow release fertilizer. The fertilizer was worked into the soil prior to planting and watering the soil surface. Temperature outside is 67 degrees F, winds are light at 1 mph from the north, mostly cloudy, RH 71%, BP 30", visibility is 9 miles, Dew point Temp is 57 degrees F, sunrise at 6:06 am and sunset at 7:38 pm. Planting is very early considering page 248 of the 2017 Old Farmer's Almanac by the moon's phase for my area (3), so I will be closely watching these transplants. I have backups since this is my first time. I am expecting the temperature in the raised beds to be higher than when planted in level ground.
 
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
In this tray, I have planted (L2R) Iower Poppy American Legion, Purple or White Allium (2nd try as 1st planting never sprouted), Marigolds, and Orange Cosmos which are mostly from the Exotic Seed Exchange w/o the marigolds. No other information was included by the growers. On the far right, are two cups planted with seeds from the 4.53 Terry Wixom Slammer 2016. The tray has been outside 3 times for hardening during the mild weather. I have prepped pots outside waiting for the transplant of Wixom's Giant Tomato Plants!!
 
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
In this tray, I have planted Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Lavender and Chives.
 
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
This year, I decided to try container gardening. I love browsing all the seed catalogues for space saving seed varieties. So, for this planting, I tried watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and then added some Walla Walla onions.
 
Wednesday, April 19 View Page
Included in the tray, I also planted phlox, nasturtium, alyssum, coreopsis and giant Cesar lettuce.
 
Friday, April 21 View Page
Update on the dumping... Note: the two containers?? They appeared and no one knows from where??? Maybe, we will have water? Let's hope.
 
Friday, April 21 View Page
An eager community gardener in plot 113 planted tomato plants in the foreground and pepper plants in the back really close together April 15th. Plants are now turning yellow from the excess water and cold!!
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Really?? Could it be flooding???? Egrets now stop over to check out the potential meal in the growing flood waters!!! I have to grin. Many of the east side plots for rent are under water.
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
I am checking out my two new hangouts!! No,no!! These are really my son's hot houses for his awaiting giant squashes! Careful now, the FVPD rules state these are objects not allowed!! Waiting for the red warning flags to be placed in the plots!! Nice broad forking Christopher!!
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
Out for a stroll!
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
I love these spring flowers!!
 
Sunday, April 23 View Page
So many baby fish in the water. I caught this on my early morning walk.
 
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
Really nice evening sunset on my walk!
 
Tuesday, April 25 View Page
Another storm to come!!
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
Memory recall...No wooden stakes, no rope allowed. Let's just see if the rules are enforced!
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
Tanks still present...more dumping, but at least no broken windows, tires or various furniture!
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
More wooden stakes, but they got the chicken wire right!
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
Naptime with the Egret!!
 
Saturday, April 29 View Page
My preparation for attempting to plant Zebra grass seeds I saved from last year.
 
Saturday, April 29 View Page
My sample Zebra Grass!!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
So far, successful replanting of the Bush Beef Determinant Tomatoes and Green Bell Peppers. These will need transplant.
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Hot pepper plants recharging along with their tray mates detailed prior. Finally, starting to regrow their leaves!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Herbs are doing pretty well!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Green sweet peppers really took a hit, but they are trying to regrow.
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Wixom Giant Tomatoes, Orange Cosmos, Marigolds, and Red Poppies doing pretty well.
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Porkchop and Wiebel, you are both light hogs!! My cukes, zukes, H20, lettuce, tomatoes, and alyssum want some light too!!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
More SQUASH!! Waiting and waiting for the Zebra grass!!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Lemon Globe, Chilian Red Flat Bush Beef and Purple Cherokee tomatoes are doing pretty well. They were recently kicked out of the grow light area to make room for the new giant squash Christopher is sprouting as backups. These have been hardening during times of better weather, but today is really cold, windy and damp.
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Paint Box Geraniums and French Marigolds are also doing well. I have hardened these for a few days and soon, they will be transferred to the outdoor container gardens sometime later in May.
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
A few more survivors!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
What is left of the San Marzanos... They were doing well under the grow light, but are protesting the move to the new location. Lost a lot!!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
Very exciting to see my Peonies are loaded with blossoms this year. I fed them today along with my bearded Irises and my Drawf Irises. So many changes in the flower beds!
 
Thursday, May 4 View Page
My Bugle Weed in bloom!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Today, I decided to learn and try a new technique called "chitting seed potatoes". Yes, this may seem odd and believe me, I had no idea what the phrase meant until I ran across it on an internet search. This year, I am doing a bit of container gardening, so I will show off my new grow bags shortly!! I bought late season "Gold Rush Russet" seed potatoes. I saved and cut the tops off of paper egg cartons. The process of "chitting" is to place egg sized seed potatoes (majority of the eyes up) in the egg carton cells with a bit of growing medium and in a warm dark area (65-70 degrees) for one week. Move these to a cooler area with light for about three weeks until the soil temps register 50+ degrees. Be back soon!!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Update on the weed crop in the remaining community garden plots west of our plots!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
More rain on the way tomorrow!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Progress on the back container garden!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
A family outing with the little ones......sooo cute!!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
another...
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
last one!!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Pint sized turtle on my walk!!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Just for perspective!!
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Transplants of the beets, carrots, onions...
 
Sunday, May 7 View Page
Salad bowl growing - kale, spinach, lettuce, carrots, and onions.
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
A little outdoor time!
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
...and more!!
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
...and more!!
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
...and more!!
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
????? Decision whether to move a tomato in the front grow box??????
 
Thursday, May 11 View Page
Capturing a nice photo of the Great Blue Heron on my walk!
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Water tanks with an update....waiting.....
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Another community gardener's plot...
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
...nice and red...lots of clay!!
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Giant squashes in the distance surrounding by silt fencing & shade cloth in our plots... Another gardener's plot in the foreground...note the table zipped tied to the fence, soaker hose waits to be connected at the base of the table...looks to be an interesting structural issue!! I'm waiting for the container of water to be placed on the table...check back soon!
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
Cash crop of weeds in the FVPD community garden plots! And it is only MAY!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
My dwarf irises opened today. Unfortunately, the weather is a bit crazy! The wind is driving from the south at 30+ mph!! Temps are still holding in the 80's. I think the storms are coming!!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Update on front planter since moving the 2nd tomato plant!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Pots are moved in time for the storms!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Safe and secure!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Transplanted herbs and paint box geraniums.
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Waiting on 4.53 Wixom!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Bush Beef seedling transplant!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Another Slammer transplant!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Salad garden update!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Backyard grow box..note the space saver H20 seedling in the lower left corner..hard to tell, but already has great growth! I also used Ron's Starter Packs for nearly all tranplants! Thanks Ron!
 
Wednesday, May 17 View Page
Other side of same box.
 
Saturday, May 20 View Page
My iris love Ron's products!! I finally have blossoms!
 
Saturday, May 20 View Page
My peonies are doing so well!
 
Saturday, May 20 View Page
Who's the guy violating the FVPD rules?? You have that smile that gives you away!! You know, "I can't differentiate vertical barriers"!! Then again, "I am not making you grow giants"!! Or is it, that you don't really care what seasoned gardeners which are many of the leaving paying customers think about your lack of concern for this park district program. Let's see, you don't come out to talk to the people, you don't even recognize them in passing, unlike other park districts neighboring you - you don't bother sending out a yearly survey, and you have no experience with the backbone of the program. Oh, and that weed block you have Christopher on the hills, "make sure you secure that, so I don't hear about it landing five counties to the east". Let's see now, that might be something in the middle of Lake Michigan!! Ridiculous?? You bet!! I have a laugh, as I visit other park district community garden plot programs. I think I remember stating that customer service experiences are more remembered and shared when the experience was let's just say, bad!
 
Tuesday, May 23 View Page
My bearded irises look really nice this year!!
 
Thursday, May 25 View Page
I am just stepping back for a moment to March 7th, when I was so warmly handed by a very rude FVPD associate (which I will not reveal her name)that the higher ups changed the community garden plot rules. So, just to be fair, I have been revisiting the Oakhurst Community Garden Plots. In the interest of maintaining the required new fencing guidelines, our plots and only our plots were marked as in violation for the silt "fence" even though it was being used as a wind break in an open area. Ahead, I will share the very interesting photos of other garden plots, where in fact, green and orange plastic fencing materials have been erected and stakes with tree branches provide a "vertically plumb and upright" presentation. This garden plot program has been around for 20+ years and still remains in the primal stages compared to neighboring park districts. Hang tight for upcoming photos!
 
Thursday, May 25 View Page
One of the many plots showing tree branches for stakes and green plastic fencing. As of June 3rd, nothing has been done to bring it into compliance! Amazing!
 
Thursday, May 25 View Page
Wasn't the stated height to be 4 feet?? Well?? This one has a six foot fence, but hey, who cares!! The park district also posted the rules on a really large sign mounted "vertically plumb and upright on used 4x4 beams". Great way to use the money!!
 
Thursday, May 25 View Page
This plot shown has wood stakes and rope! Boy howdy!! Love the moat and at least this gardener also believes there is a really serious drainage issue!!
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
My sons and I visited the Brookfield Zoo and had a great time! This is a photo of a Black Rhinoceros. He was the only one indoors and wandered back and forth waiting for someone to let him outside!
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
Sorry for the last entry! I grabbed a photo from the wrong folder!!
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
Baby Giraffe makes a debut presentation!
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
My sons, Christopher and Benjamin, measure up to the Tatanka at Brookfield Zoo.
 
Saturday, May 27 View Page
My favorite - The Polar Bear!! Hi just would not get into the water and he is such an excellent swimmer!!
 
Sunday, May 28 View Page
My Peonies!! This year, I sprinkled Pumpkin Pro and Wow Wallace Soil Starter and Plant Booster. The blossoms were amazing!! Thanks Ron!
 
Monday, May 29 View Page
On Memorial Day, I spent the day at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. If you have an opportunity to visit Illinois, this is an excellent place to spend with family and learn more about the history of WWI and WWII.
 
Monday, May 29 View Page
This caption was included with the statue on display at Cantigny.
 
Monday, May 29 View Page
I was very fortunate to be able to interact with a Vietnam Marine veteran who shared his experience of recovering the dead, the wounded and protecting troops. I also spoke with a Korean Naval veteran who shared of his fear serving as a 17 year old in a country he did not know much about before his draft number was selected. He spoke of the constant fear of many missing in action, killed by the enemy and frequent alerts, while at sea. Another army veteran of the Vietnam War spoke of the horrible treatment received on his return to the US and having tomatoes and eggs thrown at him and fellow comrades. He stated, "he served because he had military family members who taught him that it is an honor to be an American and it is the right thing to do for his country". His assignment was to run midnight surveillance and spoke of the constant challenge of not knowing who to trust in villages since he witnessed friends deceived and killed by unsuspecting children and females armed with explosives.
 
Saturday, June 3 View Page
This was a homemade strawberry shortcake for a cookout I made. It was really easy and really good!!
 
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
4.53 Wixom doing well in the center along with the Detroit Red Beets, Nantes Carrots and Walla Walla Onions!!
 
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Backyard grow box showing space saver watermelon, peas, tomatoes, Spanish onions, arugula, Swiss chard, french radishes, giant Caesar lettuce and baby Romain lettuce.
 
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Kale, baby Romaine lettuce, Nantes carrots and Walla Walla onions.
 
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
Bush Beef determinant tomato with moss roses, paint box geraniums, peppers and stakes for my crazy chipmunk friends!! They are eating all my onions and garlic!!
 
Tuesday, June 6 View Page
In this pot, I planted a bush beef tomato, basil, hot peppers, and moss roses.
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
Front grow box with transplanted seedlings really growing up!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
Bush beef tomato with moss roses, marigolds, peppers and walla walla onions.
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
My first Shasta daisy is finally open and last of my peonies finally opened.
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
My space saver zucchini in the front grow box. Wonderful companion for the tomatoes!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
On the right, the 4.53 Wixon w/o Ron's Wow Starter Pacs. I am really behind getting these pics up, but I am seeing big differences in my transplants with and w/o these pacs!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
Lots of little hands are helping and learning how to garden with my new containers. I am amazed by the little kids coming by and offering to water and feed the plants!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
I am so excited to share the photos of all the transplants because most everything started from seeds!! Very cool experience and I can't wait to share this journey through to the fall!!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
Another beef tomato and company!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
This is a Lemon Boy indeterminant transplant from saved seeds. Note the leaf shape which is quite different from the determinant varieties which are more pointed. I have also purposely paired companions such as the space saving cuke to aide in pest control and nutrient uptake. Following the initial starter packets from Ron, I will be feeding on the 11th around the bases of the plants an organic food also found on the Wow Wallace website. Look for the pics to come!!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
Remember the previous 4.53 Wixom photo? Well, this one was given the starter pacs at transplant and panted with friends!! Isn't it super great!!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
Back grow box is bustling along. Sorry for the long delay in getting more update photos!!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
The salad bowl!!
 
Friday, June 9 View Page
I think I am in love with container gardening and everything is doing really well!
 
Thursday, June 15 View Page
My late season russets and sweet potatoes are doing well!
 
Thursday, June 15 View Page
My son, Benjamin, planted Walla Walla onions and now, they are in JAIL!!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
I am learning a great deal about owning an older car. My 1998 Nissan Pathfinder needed brake pads, but a closer look at all the wear opened a bigger "can of worms". Living in the midwest and packing on over 100,000 miles since I bought this car has tested my patience! This is the bare bones shot once my son, Christopher, was finally able to remove the caliper assembly, pads and rotors. No small task and definitely looks cleaner than an hour earlier. I am sure I did not score positive points with neighbors with all the banging to free up rust welded parts.
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
And so the task of cleaning began. The left side took us all day due to the extend of the rust! We also learned that we won't be buying the brand BrakeBest again! The pads were sold with the hardware included, but were shipped without it; the caliper brackets were sold as prepared to be installed for my car, but instead came rough machined and and incorrectly sized for bolt diameter and hole into the steering knuckle; and one of the new caliper guide pin boot bolts sheared when applying 24 ft-lbs of torque even though the Haynes manual stated to torque those to a range between 25-54 ft-lbs.
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Front grow box with a some of my onions ruffled up, chewed up and even dug up by a crazy family of chipmunks!! Left tomato is a Purple Cherokee. middle tomato is a Lemon Boy with a space saver cucumber, and Brazilian Flat Top Bush Beef tomato. The garlic along the front was mowed down by the chipmunks along with my Swiss chard and broccoli.
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
With everything installed on the left, we were finally able to do some detailed cleanup. Pretty tiring for my son and more of headache than what we were expecting.
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
After I watered in my front flowers, I wanted to capture the Tiger Lillies just opening up!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
My Shasta Daisies!!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Things are moving along in the backyard grow box. I love harvesting the lettuce, peas and Swiss chard!!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
4.53 Wixom is doing with its mates!!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Other side of the backyard grow box. The watermelon and beans are moving along very well!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Another shot of the backyard grow box.
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Left side of my car and the aftermath!!
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Shot of my left rotor looking at the inside surface.
 
Friday, June 23 View Page
Everything looks so much better with a new rotor! We used a lot of old rags to clean the parts, Deep Creep to remove rust on separated parts, a low VOC brake parts cleaner and a green grease by Lucas.
 
Monday, June 26 View Page
My tiger lilies are blooming and the front grow box is off to great start!!
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
An update from the Oakhurst Community garden plots. In this photo, the FVPD decided to sponsor Charity Booms. Interesting, since they have shown zero interest in the garden plots for years!! Lots of weeds - great crop!! They have 6 plots=3600 sf and three approximately 50 gallon trash cans for water. 160 tomato pants engulfed in weeds! Squash plants attacked by bugs and disease!! I am waiting to see just how much this backbone of sponsorship plans to do to care for all the plants or even what they plan to offer in $$.
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
The Idaho Russets and Sweet Potatoes look to be doing well!
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Vacant and unpaid for plots east of mine with a big cash crop of weeds. So, I am recalling that in the FVPD rules, "Untilled plots will be mowed down on June 15th"?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
Uh Boy!! There's that trouble maker again standing there under his awning!! "I could make you take that down or maybe I'll have to take it down for you"!! "I gotta stand behind the rules ya know"!! "You got that permit buddy"? "$75 fine for you just standing around creating a personal vertical barrier - I can't distinguish between you and that tarp, awning, shade cloth thing". "Don't make me find that thing flying 5 counties to the east"!! Happy growing Mr C - its all good!!
 
Thursday, June 29 View Page
"Help!! We're choking in here!! In this photo a neighboring gardener has two watermelon plants and GREAT crop of weeds. He shared with my son that is a "seasoned grower"-ha, ha!! Also, he is growing a giant zucchini! Well, this looks promising in the photo!!
 
Friday, July 7 View Page
Summer bring on a whole new array of colors with Purple Liatris and Black Eyed Susans!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
My sunflower selection from the 2017 Exotic seed exchange. I planted these around my potatoes in the community garden plots.
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
New pics of the front flowers, tomatoes and peppers!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
4.53 Wixom is lovin the herb friends! My first blossoms have appeared!!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
My space saver container tomato with the moss roses. Little baby tomatoes look so cute!!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Flat bush beef tomato next to the space master cuke. Nice tomatoes formed!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Lemon Boy just behind the Space Saver cuke and to the left, the Purple Cherokee tomato!!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Now...to the backyard containers...everything is doing well! My resident chipmunk is not my friend!! She's a pig when it comes to digging up my onions...crazy rodent!!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Space Master cuke gone mad!! Thanks to Ron Wallace's starter packs and plant and soil booster!!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Here a few of my goodies in my plant's diet!!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Pepper and flowers are doing well by the back door. Tried planting purple kale for the first time!
 
Tuesday, July 11 View Page
Transplanted Nante carrots and Detroit red beets are making great friends with the backyard 4.53 Wixom!
 
Wednesday, July 12 View Page
Idaho Russets progress and its time to go before the big storm!!
 
Thursday, July 13 View Page
A surprise gift from someone dumping gravel overnight into my front flower bed and onto my sidewalk. Spent some time today trying to clean it out of the bed...........errrrrr!!!!
 
Monday, July 17 View Page
My first harvest of Detroit Red Beets from my outdoor planter in the backyard. They have made great friends with my 4.53 Wixom!
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
4.53 Wixom from the front yard surrounded by herb friends!
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Giant Green Pepper along with seeded marigolds, phlox and more tomatoes!!
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Paint Box Geraniums, marigolds, Yellow Coreopsis and Cana Lilly.
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Flat Bush Beef Tomato on right, Yellow Boy in the middle with Space Master Cucumber. Lesson learned here is to plan on cukes to not be space spacers and put them on the end so your sons can help you stake them up with a trellis!!
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
Okay, now isn't this special!! At 7:21 am, I took this photo and guess who paid me a visit??? The Green Horn Worm. Yuck!!! Makes me feel sick!! They sense danger, so they hide or play dead!! But, I was out there for what seemed like forever looking for this pint sized monster and I had to be somewhere soon........... MORE TO COME!!
 
Tuesday, July 18 View Page
In the distance, are green utility boxes often used by my neighbor's kids to climb on, jump off, cover with mud and BEAT with a bat!! For HOURS!! One house is like a cracker box with 1400 sf and 8 kids and 2 adults with the farm of animals. Let's just say the nearby ER and broken bones is a common story they share with me! So, the hanging pots have my first container cherry tomato and some seeded flowers.
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
My tomatoes in the backyard box were hit hard by aphids and white flies. I tried some simple organic sprays without much success. I also tried to spray them off w/o success. Please help!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
I guess I was so excited to catch this one in the act that I was shaking!! My little monster!! A lot of damage was done to this Purple Cherokee Tomato!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
...continuing to go at it in the lower left...chew, chew and chew!!! Disgusting horn worm!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
...and I thought one big one was enough!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
...playing dead...PREPARE to MEET your DOOM!!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
..aftermath!!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
My son, Christopher, putting up the trellis. So nice and thanks Mr C!!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
My space master cuke needs SPACE!!
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
Aphids and white flies on the attack.
 
Thursday, July 20 View Page
I am hoping to keep the 4.53 Wixom healthy, but those darn aphids and white flies are really bad!!
 
Monday, July 24 View Page
Very heavy rainfall for our area. Lots of local flooding along the Fox River.
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
My first harvest from my front grow box. And my chipmunk friend didn't touch any of it!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Things are growing pretty well since I tried to take out the horn worm!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Black Eyed Susans that I transplanted last year are really blooming!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Smile!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
4.53 Wixom fruit doing well. I wish the plant in the back looked as nice!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Rest of plants seem okay!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
Plants are really blooming!
 
Saturday, July 29 View Page
My first summer harvest from the backyard grow box! I hope the leaf curl on the tomatoes can be solved!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
..a backyard visitor!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
Please...
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
look...
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
at..
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
these...
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
new...
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
posted...
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
pics...! I also have previous shots of the the leaf curl showing on the same plants. These are all in my backyard. None of my front yard tomatoes are showing leaf curl and all of my tomatoes are receiving the same feeding. I only saw aphids and white flies on my backyard tomatoes.
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
I planted a border of sunflowers all from the exotic seed exchange. The late season Idaho Russets are also doing well!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
One of the UGLY parts of community gardening comes when gardeners near us do nothing about bugs and disease. They also leave so much produce behind to rot!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
Again, the FVPD is leaving plots to grow weeds now over 5 feet high! Awesome job guys!! But, we now have tons of wood chips dumped next to the port-a-potty!! Still, no water!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
Sweet potatoes and potatoes are doing very well!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
...so, a random guy, with an empty stroller no less, stops at our garden. He asks my son, "Can you eat the fruit"? My son, being polite said, "NO, it is poisonous"! I have learned out at the plots to play it up!! I would have suggested,"Sure and be here by harvest to be the first to pick"!! Its an open market out at those plots and with the human height weeds and little to no fencing - all is fair game!! Happy season!!
 
Sunday, July 30 View Page
My first Anasazi Beans, but no name was provided from the grower in the exotic seed exchange. These are really good for you and I am so ready to try them for the first time!! More soon!
 
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
Thanks to my friend the resident chipmunk, I had to replant a second scarlet runner bean. I also found out she hates cayenne pepper which I applied everywhere I planted seeds. BAD, CRAZY RODENT!! May she have a burning HOT breath!! Anyway, I soaked this seed 4 hours, wrapped in a small square of paper towel and placed in a tiny closed plastic bag used for seed saving. The skin should look a little wrinkled.
 
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
I also prepared two planting areas for 5-7' mixed color sunflowers (which really remind me of my favorite season of fall) and for bachelor buttons. I use small stakes, so I don't forget and then dig up the poor seedlings when I am working around the flower bed. I have been watching you RODENT - NO DIGGING!!
 
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
Here are two planting areas prepared for more seeds. At the top of the photo, I planted 4 o'clocks and at the bottom, I planted the scarlet runner bean. Yes, RODENT, I especially thought you would like to try digging into the 1/4" welded wire fabric!! I thought of you - HOW SWEET! How kind of you last time around to leave my fully sprouted scarlet runner bean exposed to the hot sun on the soil surface!!
 
Tuesday, August 1 View Page
Oh Yeah!! Free wood chips compliments of the FVPD! Note the still empty water tanks which were promised to be filled every Friday at 10 am??????? Some promise and NO water still!! Please help yourself to the wood chips.
 
Thursday, August 3 View Page
My Exotic Seed exchange sunflowers are doing well! I also received Anasazi bean seeds and read how good they are for you to eat!! Thank you Christopher for installing my new Anasazi Bean trellis. I love, love, love it!!! I need to check them today. Last night it really rained! I can't wait to see how they are doing. More to come........!
 
Thursday, August 3 View Page
My Idaho Late Season Russets and Sweet Potatoes are doing very well. Thank you Christopher for furrowing my rows so nicely. It was so easy to weed and gather more soil up around their bases!! I know this will really help their health and growth!! With these plants, I check now for bugs and disease. I wait to feed again at the flowering stage.
 
Thursday, August 3 View Page
Really hot and humid this morning. Storms are coming and temps will plummet by Friday morning!! Shown in the photo are baby Anasazi beans along with Red Velvet 5-7' sunflowers. I love to provide all sorts of bee opportunities for the garden plants. This trellis is so nice!! I also placed more soil around the plants in preparation of the storm to come this evening!!
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
Thank you Christopher for setting up my new Anasazi bean trellis! This is really awesome! Russets and Sweet Potatoes looking good. Also, tried to plant more giant sunflowers. Some of the seeds just didn't sprout. It happens! Lack of rain and a stretch of really cold nights have not helped.
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
Bit of wind to deal with, but the beans look good and are all sprouted!
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
I just wanted to show the hilling effect. I have been in the past manually creating hills up to my knees, but now, my son uses a furrowing attachment on his tiller to help with my arthritis in the knees. I still use a garden rake to bring the soil up to their mounds throughout the season. I don't provide much water to the potatoes and sweet potatoes. They are searching deep now for water which is what I want instead of near the surface. I have had pretty good success with this method and have won ribbons at the Sandwich Fair in the past for their size and uniformity. They love a lower end pH and LOTS of aged compost. I also add in ALOT of saved up kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper and wood shavings. Also, wait to fertilize until the plants flower. Never, ever water over head!! Blight is a big problem for the late season tubers, so be gentle!
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
I just love the color of these Castor Beans! Deadly, yet beautiful!
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
My big girl! Still green and still growing on the 4.53 Wixon in the front yard container garden. May she rest well in her new hammock! Thank you saved onion sack!!
 
Sunday, August 6 View Page
Just hanging out!
 
Tuesday, August 8 View Page
Free Mulch for all courtesy of the FVPD at our community garden plots! No plan do I have to use this material since gosh only knows what infected tree, brush or other material is mixed into this batch. Oh! And just to help you find it, it is to the right of the sign by the port-a-potty "No Dumping"! Sorry, it didn't make it to the pic here. Maybe, this is to make up for not filling the two water tanks since June!! More to come!
 
Wednesday, August 9 View Page
Ah, here is the right pic!!
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
My first Purple Cherokee tomato harvested from the backyard grow box.
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
Behold!! 4.53 Wixom continues on her busty way!!
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
Growing, growing, growing....................
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
I love watching my new flowers appear! These hollyhocks were planted in the fall of last year and are now, emerging and blooming!!
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
French Marigolds, Paint Box Geraniums and green bell peppers. I can't wait to see my late summer and fall flowers!
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
Lower left corner shows the entrance of my "best friend" chippy! She is responsible for digging up most of the young onions and garlic and occasionally stealing random planting of seeds. This is her summer hang out since we apparently disturbed her winter residence in our woodpile for our fire pit. In the pic, Christopher set up a shade shelter for the backyard 4.53 Wixom. I now have twin fruits packing on some weight. The white stuff you see on the soil surface of the planter is to distract my "best friend" from her constant habit of digging! Smells just like peppermint. I hope she likes the fact that I thought her too before I planted my new seedlings! Where's that trap for that rodent??
 
Friday, August 11 View Page
Save those onion sacks and yes, save those panty hose too!! Great support!
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
What a burden!!
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
I've started feeding unsulfured molasses and wow, things are really taking off. I keep a calendar of when to feed to remind myself. Try it!
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
Incredibly hot today! And as I am sitting here typing, the sun just came out following a really nice rain! Free watering is always a bonus after a long dry spell!
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
More hanging out with the zucchini! As for the sign, I sometimes have young hands in my neighborhood pulling up plants or picking flowers and leaving them for dead. I have found that they appreciated gardening more this year when I spent time having each child prepare the soil, plant seedlings, water and feed. They were reminding each other not to pull up the plants as time passed and are sometimes wowed by how big the plants can get and the veggies or flowers produced. In the photo, I have been challenged with mildews on my space saver zuke. Great plant, but the cool nights are reeking havoc. I continue to lightly water only at the base and only in the morning. Bonide Fungonil is great product which you might want to give a try. Please only apply during times of no direct sunlight and follow the directions!
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
If someone could help me? I am at a loss with my hostas. My plants are flowering this year, but are still looking yellow and a bit haggered. I have fed powdered seaweed, molasses and tried spraying as I thought it was slugs eating my plants. I have been hit with the association's choice in Green T applying a sprayed herbicide to the nearby grass on a windy day. This was discouraging for my plants and horrible as far as my grass. Please, any advice would be appreciated!
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
Update on the Anasazi Beans! Also, finished the vertical strings on the trellis. Fed seaweed and calcium to potatoes which are heavily flowering! Mounds are rising and cracking open. Cracks were closed to prevent sunlight damage to tubers.
 
Wednesday, August 16 View Page
Rain came after this photo, so I can't wait to check on them!
 
Sunday, August 20 View Page
The 4.53 Wixom twins!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
Ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the 1st Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. What an honor that so many have bravely served my country and gave so much to defend my freedom. I met so many veterans this past Saturday. If you are traveling, please do stop by this wonderful and beautiful place to explore and learn. I was also amazed to tour the newly opened Tank Museum.
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
What a treat! My son, Benjamin, also enjoyed the new Tank Park.
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
and....
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
okay, no more hearing for biddy! 3 canons fired at once with my camera sailing upwards! Thankfully, I caught it on the way down!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
When I say I'm packing heat, I mean it! This is biddy's tank for sure!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
M1 Stewart. The kids really love climbing all over the tanks!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
Whole length did not fit!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
Very cool!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
Hey, I want to climb too!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
Big Guns!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
and...!!!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
One of many exhibits in the Museum of trench warfare. I have withheld the rest to encourage you to visit, learn and enjoy!
 
Saturday, August 26 View Page
Big BiddyGoat is growing and growing - 4.53 Wixom!! Good size for my first real giant tomato. Here she comes!!
 

 

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