Monday, July 4, 2011

How my Garden is growing and seeding

IMG_3239I am going to be teaching a class Saturday on saving seeds so I went scouring my gardens looking for things that were going to seed to collect and bring for samples.  I am surprised to say that I did find quite a lot of things going to seed.  The flowering sweet peas are about done and the seeds are starting to pop which is how they plant themselves in my yard for next year.  I can never bear to tear them out when they still have some sweet smelling flowers on them.    When you see the pods have turned from green to brown and looking quite dry this is the time to clip them and tuck them away for next year.  Often when you go to pick them they will pop open and the seeds will go flying everywhere, I find this pretty exciting, this is how they seed themselves and today was over 100 IMG_3241degrees so there was a lot of self sowing going on in this bed.

Right around the corner there was a larkspur growing from some seed that got away last year and it is getting ready to spread some more seed for next year, though it was not quite brown enough to pick yet.  You want to let the seeds mature on the plant before you start picking tIMG_3226hem for the most viable seeds.

Hollyhocks are another flower that will self seed if you let it.  These hollyhocks took 2 years of growing to flower, but they are about 8 feet tall and gorgeous!  So if they want to scatter their seeds around I will let them, more enjoyment for me in the future.  Hollyhocks always remind me of my Grandmother and the cute little dolls she would make from them.  I grow several IMG_3261flowers and even vegetables just for sentimental value.

Then there are the things going to seed that you wish wouldn’t like  these extra large Dandelions, they are quite pretty and great for making wishes on.  Often I think of how many I must have planted as a little girl making wishes.  These I have left because there is just one little cluster of them by the wood pile and they are about 4 feet tall and about 4 inches across.  I have really never seen such large dandelions before and they intrigue me, so they stay.  Next year I might regret this decision.  We’ll see!IMG_3248

Like most of the country this year we had a very long winter and I  just got my vegetable garden planted so things are still very small and usually I would be harvesting my first tomatoes about now, but my plants are only about 18 inches tall and have very few flowers yet.  This has been a hot week though so soon we should be seeing something happening.  Exciting my this year in my tomato growing endeavors is this grafted tomato that I IMG_3264 tried my hand at and surprise it took and is growing.  I grafted an heirloom called Tappy’s Heritage onto a hybrid called Husky Gold.  I got all the information off the internet and bought a nice grafting knife and some grafting tape and made the cut.  I also tried grafting a tomato to an eggplant, but that didn’t take so I will try that again next year.  After you make the graft using very clean tools you cover it and put in the dark for 4-5 days.  We set ours on a tray of lava rock with some water so they would get watered, but not be soggy.  The hardest part was to leave them alone for a few days.  They looked a bit limp at first and we put them into our wood shed because it has no windows.  We weren’t sure at first that it took when we brought it out, but after a few days of sun shine it started growing…cool!

IMG_3250 My potatoes are growing really well and I have piled extra soil around them once so far and will probably leave it at that for this year.  I am thinking of digging in and grabbing a couple of little ones for a potato salad that I have been craving.  It would go nicely with all the onions that we are harvesting rightIMG_3258 now. 

Last Saturday we had a class on drying herbs, fruits and vegetables  and one of the speakers talked about and brought samples of the vegetables that he dries and then grinds in the food processor for flavoring his food and soups and such.  One very interesting thing he shared was dried cucumber that he says is very good sprinkled on mayo in a sandwich.  I’ve got to try this!  My dehydrator is all set up and ready to go now where are my veggies!  I have been drying herbs, but I am ready for new things.

I have so many more pictures from my scouring of the garden and many more ideas for posts to this blog, but it is time to watch some fireworks so it will have to wait. 

IMG_3229 Happy Independence Day Everyone!


1 comment:

Sue Langley said...

Hi Ferne,
I'm so glad to have found you and your blog! When I first started gardening here in the CA foothills, I wanted to compare notes with some others in CA but had difficulties finding many, so this is great!

I like to save seeds as well, so this post is very interesting to me. The grafting is a fascinating will be fun to see what you get.

My tomatoes are small, too. I tried the square foot garden method...kind of...using many different soils for the galvanized tub garden. I have to get a bigger deer fence by next year to grow a larger garden.

See you on FMG!