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 7 of 147

Everything looks better after a good soak

By Penny Stine
Thursday, April 14, 2016

My amazing hubby got the sprinklers up and running yesterday (after picking up the irrigation pump, which had to be fixed when he discovered on Sunday that it had cracked over the winter), which will make it so much easier to water my spring garden.
I took a stroll to see how everything looked after a good drink of water and here’s what I saw:



The baby bok choi is looking great & should be ready to pick by the end of the month.



This kale is the result of a kale plant that didn’t do much last year besides go to seed. As usual, I let it go to seed, and this year, I’m pretty happy that it did, since I’ve already picked several kale leaves from this patch. I didn’t buy any kale Red Russian kale seeds this spring, so I’m happy that I have all these volunteers, even if they are growing in a spot that I used to consider part of my garden path.


These little pea shoots are from a variety I found at Burpee Seeds called Peagoda. It’s a pea plant that’s not supposed to need trellising and it’s supposed to be a prolific producer of branches (full of peas) that bend at a 90 degree angle.
I’ll take more pics of my peagoda plants, especially if they look as cool as what the catalog claims they will. I planted them in places that get more shade, since they like cooler temps. I’m hoping they’ll last longer than typical peas. If not, I’ll get peas for a week or two.  


April flowers aren’t waiting on showers

By Penny Stine
Friday, April 8, 2016


My bulb bed in the front yard under the sensation box elder tree. I think I need to fertilize the flowers a bit more; the tulips are pretty tiny. 


Lovely, lovely spinach

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

We made fried rice last night with leftover pulled pork, so I decided to see if I had enough spinach to pick some and toss it in with the other veggies.





I’ve got it growing in two other areas, and between the three areas, I can usually pick enough to eat about two to three times per week. Soon, it will be five to six times per week and then it will get hot and the spinach will be gone.

I pulled a few onions to add to the fried rice, too, but onions aren’t as exciting as spinach. 


Trying to tame the weedflower bed

By Penny Stine
Monday, April 4, 2016

I’ve got a weed flower area that’s not technically my yard (it’s an easement owned by the city), but it’s where my irrigation cistern and my mailbox are. I planted wildflower seeds there one year, which was pretty the first year and weed infested every year after that.
I’ve spent lots of money on perennials for the area. I’ve planted iris bulbs and mint there, both of which were really happy and went totally out of control, resulting in a jungle-like appearance that made it difficult to get to the irrigation pump and cistern for maintenance in the middle of the growing cistern.
So this year, in an attempt to tame the weed flower area, I decided to move all of my big pots out there, along with some of the smaller ones. I also moved out all of my garden art, since it’s right in front of my house.
I had above-ground black irrigation lines out to the area, with spray emitters that provided water to the mint, the perennials, the iris and the weeds. I replaced the spray emitters over the weekend with individual bubbler emitters in every planter, so I will no longer be watering the weeds, at least in the section where the pots are. I left the spray emitters in other places, since I have a huge section of chives out there, as well as one spot where I left the iris and one spot where there are some pretty mallow flowers (and Russian sage and too much grass).
As you can see, I planted a few spring flowers and herbs in the pots to give it color, and will also plant a combination of veggies, annual flowers, more herbs and perennials in them as the season progresses. There is an old CD rack in one of the pots. I planted peas in the pots and wanted something they could climb.
So far, I’m happy with the look.


I won’t be worried about vacuuming this carpet

By Penny Stine
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Anyone who has ever tried to grow anything knows that the easiest thing to grow is weeds! They sprout through the weed barrier, with little water and seem to thrive no matter what you do. I don’t like to use a weed-killer in my veggie garden, so I spend a lot of time on my hands and knees, pulling weeds.
In an effort to smother weeds in the pathways in my garden, I’ve been collecting old pieces of carpet. So far, I have almost all of the pathways in my biggest garden plot on the west side of my front yard carpeted.
I still have a garden on the east side of my front yard to carpet, but I’m pretty excited about having all the carpet in my west garden. It will be easier on my bare feet than the gravel I’ve used before, and I’m pretty sure it will do a decent job of actually suppressing weeds. 
Plus, It’s a whole lot more comfortable to kneel on than the gravel, and I seem to spend a lot of time kneeling in my garden.

I spread the tarp on my compost bin in an attempt to keep the warmth in the bin to encourage faster decomposition. The wind keeps blowing the tarp off, so I don’t think it’s doing much good.  

I threw down these old outdoor lawn furniture chair cushions in a couple places in the east garden, and they've been there for at least a year or so. They may look tacky, but I haven't had to pull near as many weeds! 

It's probably a good thing my neighborhood doesn't have an HOA...

Page 7 of 147


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