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.

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Ever eat a rat’s tail?

By Penny Stine
Monday, June 4, 2012

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love growing unusual plants. Sometimes, I buy vegetable seeds just to see what the plant looks like or discover how well it will grow in our climate, even if I've never eaten the vegetable and don't know if I'll like it. That's how I discovered kale, tomatillos and pattypan squash, which are now favorite garden staples.

This year, I'm trying several new additions and this is one of them. If this looks like a radish plant gone to seed in my onion patch, that's because that's what it is. It's called rat's tail radish, and unlike traditional radishes, you don't pull up the plant to eat the root in early spring.



This plant is supposed to grow and produce all season, even in the heat. It flowers, goes to seed and produces a seed pod, which looks like a rat's tail. Or a green bean, take your pick. Just don't bite into one expecting green bean flavor. It's pure radish - hot, spicy and quite tasty.

I don't know why they aren't more popular for home gardens, but it's probably going to become another garden staple for me. 


These boots were made for walkin’...

By Penny Stine
Friday, June 1, 2012

These boots were made for walkin'...

"But that's now what they'll do....



Using the blog from a few weeks ago, our very own Jo Murray planted her husbands old boots with beautiful succulents.


The repurposed boots were steel toed, so she made the holes farther up than the Pinterest boots, keeping the integrity of the boot. I love the look.


She put the boots on her porch on an old ice cream dolly and presto - a fun unique decoration for her home.


Thanks for sharing, Jo!


"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." - Dr Seuss  (He's a doctor, trust him.)


Garden news from the town of Palisade

By Penny Stine
Thursday, May 31, 2012

This press release came from Sarah Brooks with the town of Palisade. Since it's garden-related, I figured it needed to be on Let's Get Dirty.

Building a Healthy Community

In April, the Town of Palisade was awarded $500 from the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association for the provision of a new community garden. With matching funds from the Palisade Sunrise Rotary, Palisade Co-Op, local resident Bud Lofvenborg, and generous contributions from the Rock Shop, the Town of Palisade is officially welcoming citizens to the community garden on West Fourth Street.




The garden site is still very basic, but through a community effort the garden will blossom and grow into something that will bring great pride to the citizens of Palisade. On May 30th, Palisade Town staff worked diligently to place and fill garden boxes with soil, and there are now ten completed raised beds in varying sizes that are available for lease. More boxes will be available as the demand increases. Once the garden beds are purchased and citizens begin to plant and provide tender loving care to their plot, the Palisade Community Garden will come to look like a desert in bloom.




Garden plots are available for lease, on a first come first serve basis. All beds have been filled with mixed soil, and a water tap is on site for all garden users. Citizens interested in leasing a plot for the season should contact the Town of Palisade.




The garden rates are as follows:
 Plot Size       Regular Fee           Low Income Fee
4X8                $45                           $25
3X5                $35                           $15
2X3                $25                           $10


The dangerous season

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yes, we gardeners live dangerously. I thought everyone knew that. We create jungles in our garden spaces in August because we're incredibly impatient at the end of May. Plus, there's the aura of mystery inherent in every springtime garden when seeds are used.
Will it come up? Did it die? Did a critter chomp either the seeds or the seedlings?
I planted six sweet potato plants - only two look like they'll survive. Still not thriving, as you can see by the picture, but looking somewhat Gloria Gaynor-ish.






Here's the one that's got me living on the edge of danger. It looks dead, right? I gave it a huge space because my mom said sweet potatoes need it. So now that I've got the huge empty space with nothing growing in it but a maybe-dead sweet potato, I'll be tempted to plant even more seeds because an empty space in a garden is worse than a cookie jar with no cookies. It must be filled!
I will sow a jungle. My sweet potato plant will miraculously not die, but will compete with the squash, beans or tomatillos I plant in its place. Everything will grow and I'll need a machete to find whatever produce my jungle produces.

If that's not living dangerously, I don't know what is. 


Name that Squash!

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I should be putting the finishing touches on the 20+ stories I'm trying to write (that were due yesterday) for the Summer Music Festival. I am, however, going stir crazy and need a break. So due to popular demand, I'm going to host a quick episode of Name that Squash!, the always fun, interactive game in which I post a picture of a squash growing in my garden and you, dear blog reader, try to guess the variety.
Ready? Here goes...



Hint: I'm giving this one a lot of room. My mom gave me one last year that filled my entire oven when I cut it in two and baked it. 

If you guessed hubbard, give yourself five points. 










I bought a package that had five different kinds of pattypan squash seeds in it, so it's a scalloped squash of some kind. The seeds weren't marked or color-coded, so even if I was the kind of gardener who took notes or carefully marked everything (I'm not), I wouldn't know whether this is a moonbeam, a sunbeam, a total eclipse, a partial eclipse or a lunar eclipse. It could also be a hybrid scalloped called a G-Star. No, that wasn't G-string. It's a squash, not an adult toy. 


Ditto for these. Where do they get the names? Of course, these do look like little spaceships when they're grown, so maybe that's why they chose the extra-terrestrial names. 









OK, here's one I actually know, and you should, too, since I blogged about planting spaghetti squash in my straw bales. 




Last but not least, here are two mystery squashes that came up on their own. I don't know whether they're coming up because I spread my home compost on the ground or because I planted something in these spaces last year and they've been thinking about growing for a year. 

If you actually think you know what these mystery squash are, let me know. Your prize will be an actual squash from not one, but both plants!


OK, so no one really demanded it, but I'm sure you would have if you would have known how much fun it was or the fame and glory that could be yours if you guessed  them all correctly.  

Perhaps  the real question should be, why does anyone need to plant so many squash? 

Now I gotta get back to work...

Page 88 of 147


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