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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Eat more kale

By Penny Stine
Thursday, May 10, 2012

No, I'm not weighing in on the fight between Chick-fil-A and Vermont folk artist Bo Muller-Moore (what, you haven't heard of the Eat More Kale controversy??? Check it out here), I'm merely encouraging my fellow gardeners to plant kale. It is tasty, it is delicious and it grows in the heat.

Plus, if don't pull it up at the end of the season, sometimes it over-winters and gives you lots of lovely kale early in the summer, like this:

It's so nice to be able to pick and eat something from your garden in May, while you're still planning and planting.

Then you can take your lovely kale, toss it with olive oil, kosher salt, garlic and red pepper flakes and roast it in the oven.

I did not know this last year, but I have since learned that if you put roasted kale in an air-tight plastic container, it will keep for a couple of days, giving you tasty kale chips the next day. Unless of course, you can't resist eating just one more and end up eating all of the kale on the baking sheet.

I was going to bring some in to work to sample and share, but someone ate them all before I could do so. Besides, I can't eat roasted kale without getting little green bits stuck in my teeth, which is not such an attractive look for the office.
Maybe next time. I'll just have to bring my toothbrush, too.

All this gives yet another reason not to routinely rototill your garden in the spring.  


Another straw bale gardener

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Here's a note from fellow Sentinel gardener, Beckie Giles:

We are trying a small hay bale garden this year to see how it does in our area. It started as my project and my husband has now taken over, which is good because he is meticulous with instruction so if we have any trouble we will know he followed the instructions to the letter and know what to adjust next year.


And here's a lovely garden quote sent by another Sentinel gardener, Darralee Matthews, which seems particularly pertinent, since several of us are experimenting with straw bale gardening and we have no idea whether or not it will work in our climate. 

"A Garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself."

May Sarton


Home is where your mom is

By {screen_name}
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nothing says home more than the word "mom" and her special day is coming up this Sunday. Make sure to brighten her world with some spring flowers, but don't get half dead cut roses from the grocery store. Make her something unusual, something that keeps saying I love you all summer long.
I've gathered a few container garden photos fromPinterest. You don't have to have a big budget to get her something unusual. A container garden can be started from old junk you already have in your yard, garage or closet.


How about raiding mom's kitchen to find the perfect container? Just make sure it's not something sentimental she is saving from her mother.












Confessions of a Curb Shopahollic has something to say for our curb cleanup program.







Antique milk containers make a beautiful picture of spilt milk from suprbo.com.











Don't throw away those old boots!  












Even junky cars can be turned into a work of art!
Have fun and use your imagination. Remember, mom knows the most special gifts were the ones you made for her.


Want onions?

By Penny Stine
Monday, May 7, 2012

I know I blogged about these last year, but they're just so cool I had to take pics again this year & post them. These are my walking onions, AKA perpetual onions, because they grow little bulbs out of the top (eventually, after they quit sending more green tops out) and plant more onions all around. 

I didn't harvest many last year because I wanted to give them a couple years to get established and plant lots of other onions. I think I can harvest a lot this year, since I took some of the bulbs and got a second onion patch established.

I say I garden because I like to eat and because it saves money, but really, sometimes I think it's for the sheer joy of planting something and watching it grow. Kind of like having kids, except plants can't talk back or roll their eyes at you. Plus, you don't have to worry about sending them to college!


I haven’t killed them yet!

By Penny Stine
Friday, May 4, 2012

Even though I finished the classroom portion of the Master Gardener program at CSU and am now doing the mandatory volunteer hours (so I'm supposed to know something), it still thrills to no end me every time a seed actually sprouts or I see plants growing just like they're supposed to in my garden. 

Or, in the case of these tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings, on my deck. In the sunshine. I've been transitioning them to life outside all week. They've been in a shady area that gets early morning sun for about 45 minutes and diluted afternoon late afternoon sun for an hour or so. Today, I moved them out to a sunny spot on the deck before I left for work.

I ran home at lunch to check on them and make sure they weren't cooking. I was so happy to see them green and upright that I had to take a picture. I also moved them back into the shade, since I can't check on them periodically to make sure they don't get too scorched. 

As you can see, a few of the tomato plants got a little sun-bleached. The first year I started tomato plants from seed, I killed more than half of them by putting them in direct sun on their first day outside.

Tomorrow and Sunday these plants are getting even more sun.  

I can almost taste that first tomato...

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