Gorgeous Weather=Happy Gardener!

Sunny and in the 80s here this past weekend.  I saw my first dragonfly of the season yesterday, and had our first raspberries of the season as well!  I got a lot done in the garden, most notably got the eggplant and pepper starts all planted.  I planted ‘Marconi’ Sweet Italian Frying Peppers and ‘Nadia’ Eggplant starts that I grew from seed under lights.  These are the steps I took:

  • Weeded and redug the bed
  • Added several buckets of homemade compost and about 2 quarts of complete organic fertilizer to the bed and dug it in
  • Planted the starts:  I just dug a hole bigger than the rootball, put the start in it, took about half a quart of compost tea and poured it around the roots, then quickly backfilled the hole with the dirt so that  mud forms around the roots, to reduce transplant shock.  I also made a little well around each plant in the dirt to hold in water.
  • I then watered all the plants in.
  • Because its still way below 60 degrees at night, I took the extra precaution of covering the bed with PVC pipe hoops and clear plastic held down with rocks.  This will help to bump up the night time temperatures a little bit, and will just get them off to a better start.  If the weather gets over 70 degrees, the plastic will need to be opened.

Baby ‘Nadia’ Eggplant (top picture)

Baby ‘Marconi’ Sweet Italian Frying Peppers (bottom picture)

So that’s it for that–this planting method with compost tea I learned from Steve Solomon’s book Gardening When It Counts, and it works very well.

I also prepared another nearby bed and planted bush beans.  My pick is ‘Royal Burgundy’ bush beans, and they have lovely purple-red flowers and delicious beans.  Very simple–Weeded and redug the bed, dug in some compost and complete organic fertilizer, then took the handle of my rake and pressed it down where I wanted the rows to compact the soil, then placed two seeds for every one plant that I wanted along the row, covered the rows and watered them in.  Should have some beans to eat in about 60 days from now.  I will also be planting some runner or pole beans but will wait a couple of weeks to spread out the bean harvest.

As far as the flowers went, I just had a lot of tidying and clean-up duty.  After all the heavy rain we had, it dissolved a lot of the flowers and made the branches of the roses come down–a lot of tying things back up into position.  We got the tabletop done in the pergola (for previous pictures of this area, see this), plus put the outdoor chandelier up, so that is fully functional and ready to go.

We made a side table to go with the barbecue out of a half-French wine barrel and a large piece of flagstone on top–it looks great and I love it!

I hope you had a good weekend as well, and got to work and play out in the garden!  Leave a comment–how is your garden growing?

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12 Comments

  1. iMadeItSo said,

    June 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    you learn so much and get really creative when you garden organically. your space looks so cozy.

  2. Elie said,

    June 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Your place looks beautiful. I love the bricks and rock work. And the rock on top of the half barrel…so good.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      June 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Elie. It’s taken us a while to get to this point, but I’m happy we’re finally here!

  3. minervasgardenwriter said,

    June 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you, iMadeItSo!

  4. Candi said,

    June 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I’m loving your outdoor room! So cozy!

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      June 22, 2010 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you–we just finished it a couple of weeks ago, and are looking forward to using it a lot this summer!

  5. Ott, A said,

    June 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Stopping by from TGP. Great post with lots of tips. I have a little eggplanted that just started and more flowers. I cannot wait till I can harvest it. Happy gardening.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      June 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      Yes, I love eggplant so much–I wait until I have enough, and then I make Moussaka! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

  6. Tosha said,

    June 24, 2010 at 3:03 am

    I love eggplant and apparently the rabbits love the plant too! The frying pepers sound interesting.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      June 24, 2010 at 5:16 am

      The peppers are wonderful–when they are ripe, we eat them Greek-style stuffed, and I also put them in a shrimp dish with feta that I serve over rice. I also have roasted them, and then frozen them in plastic bags for use during the winter.

  7. June 25, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Oh, this is so inspiring- I have a wanna-be pergola from the previous owners that needs to be “prettied up” and yours is great! I really want a chandelier for the place like yours.

    Thanks for sharing at the Tuesday Garden Party!

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      June 25, 2010 at 1:01 am

      Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in your Tuesday Garden Party–I enjoyed it! Decorating outdoor rooms is fun. I made the chandelier–maybe I should make a post on how I did it. It was pretty easy, actually. Just a short section of that wire garden edging that you can sometimes find in second hand stores, which I wired together to form a circle. I then took some second hand glass punch cups and wired those on around the outer edge of the edging, and then I place a tea light in each of these. I bought some chain that was cut to the appropriate length, and attached it with little chain links that open and screw closed. I added another short loop of chain over the beam in the “ceiling” of the pergola, and I hung it up. It is pretty at night when lit.


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