Let's Get Dirty

A gardening blog for adults who still love to play in the dirt.

Send stories and pictures of your horticultural adventures to letsgetdirty@gjsentinel.com.

Page 6 of 101

Super exciting, breaking, thrilling garden news!!!

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Check this out!!!





  I went home at lunch and what did I see in my newly cleaned out flower bed? A flower blooming in February! 

Is that the most exciting news you've heard all day or what?  


(Don't you just love crocuses?)


I grew arugula and actually liked it

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I decided to make a salad out of the greens growing in my living room last night. I've let the peas on the farthest edge of the plant shelf grow up to be big, vining pea plants and they're keeping the little shoots from getting much sunlight, so I didn't have many pea shoots to pick. (Plus, there's the small detail of me forgetting to water them - they're kinda dry and brown.)

This pot, however, is looking fabulous. It has a few pea plants, a basil plant and a bunch of arugula. I don't know why I bought arugula seeds. I planted it before in the garden and although it grew well, no one (not even me!) really liked the way it tasted. I've had it in salads in good restaurants, however, and came across a variety description from Park Seed that said it was supposed to be sweet, so I bought some seeds and added it to my wintertime living room garden.

Arugula was the main green in my salad last night. I also added some thinly sliced cucumbers, blue cheese,  a few pea shoots and a few leaves of red-veined sorrel. (also growing in the living room greenhouse) Then I made a dressing out of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and two finely chopped medjool dates.
Even my husband loved it.

The red-veined sorrel was also an experiment and I still have seeds which I'll sow outside in the spring. I hope it will grow bigger outside. I think it's supposed to do well in the shade, and since I have tons of shade, I thought I'd try it. The leaves are good, with a lemony flavor.  


Amazing tale of survival

By Penny Stine
Monday, February 17, 2014

I decided to clean this flower bed yesterday and took this photo before I got started just to show a before shot. Then I set my I-phone on the bumper of my husband's truck and forgot about it while I worked.

I cut back the dead stuff, raked out the bed and was carrying it all to the compost pile when my husband came out and said he was going to meet a friend in Fruita. I told him to have fun, and off he drove. With my cell phone on his bumper.

Luckily, he had his work phone with him and had left his personal cell phone at home. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember his work phone number (why don't we memorize phone numbers anymore???) and it took awhile before dumb luck intervened and I got ahold of him. By then, his truck was parked at a gas station in Fruita while he was off admiring an airplane in Mack. 

I asked which route he'd taken to the freeway, then retraced it all the way to his truck, keeping an eye out for my phone. I didn't find it and was planning on talking with someone from Verizon about the best thing to do after losing a phone, when I decided to go looking again. I went to the first big turn he made in the neighborhood and was walking on the side of the road and called my cell phone, hoping to hear it. 

My husband answered. He was on his way back from Fruita and he was keeping an eye out for my phone. He saw it on the other side of the freeway, laying on the white line. Yay for my husband's eagle-eye, which is obviously more eagly than mine. Yay for my Otterbox, which protected my phone, even when it flew off the bumper at 75 miles an hour and landed on the white stripe.
And yay for spring time, which is coming soon.
Here's the after photo I took (once I got over my shock at getting my phone back).




It may not look like much; still lots of brown, but there are plenty of plants growing in there.




Like these tulip and daffodil buds, which are showing signs of life.

Or this parsley, which gets tedious in the summer when it's growing faster than a weed, but which is kind of cool in February.  Cool, but not a true tale of amazing survival. That belongs to my cell phone. 


Longer days are coming

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I got home from work last night at about 5:30 and when I went out to get the mail, there was still light in the sky. In fact, behind the clouds, I'm pretty sure the sun hadn't set yet.



Woo-hoo! Spring really will come again. Yes, in the depths of winter, I start to wonder about that.

There was actually more daylight than this photo shows, but I'm posting it anyway, because my spinach sprouts still just look like blades of grass, I couldn't find any beets in the garden (maybe this last snowstorm did them in) and the garlic and kale both looked a little worse than last time I checked them.

I'm thinking it's about time to start pepper seedlings inside. Now, if that doesn't get your gardening juices flowing, I don't know what will. 


Do you see what I see?

By Penny Stine
Friday, February 7, 2014

Check this out:




Every year, I take a photo of these determined little bulbs that push their way out of the ground as soon as the snow melts outside the back door of the Daily Sentinel. 

Every year, I identify them as crocuses.  I'm proved wrong a few weeks later, when the real crocuses pop up and start blooming on their very first day out of the ground, while these gradually get taller and bloom a few weeks later and I realize they're daffodils. 

So I'm staking my reputation on the line here and saying these are not crocuses. If I'm wrong, they'll be blooming by Monday, so that's a win. If I'm right, the crocuses won't be too far behind, so it's still a win. And these will be blooming in another month or so, so it's a double-whammy win. 

Page 6 of 101


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