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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They’re sprouting!

By Patty Hoisington
Monday, April 11, 2011

There are actually baby vegetable plants popping up from the soil inside the cowpots which currently reside inside trays under clear plastic domes. The seedlings are tiny, but green and alive. It seems like we have waited eons for the seeds to sprout, though it has only been a couple of weeks since we planted them. Now, there are tomato, tomatillo, peppers, brussels sprouts and cabbage. More will be planted this week, so that I can once again (in my impatience) peek under the clear plastic domes once or twice a day to check on the presence and progress of new plant life.

To make sure the plants stay healthy and strong and grow successfully beyond their indoor habitat to their respective spots in the garden, this year we decided to follow the guidelines and suggestions of The Old Farmer's Almanac in regards to when to plant, and what plants to plant when according to our specific location. I think we have been too hasty in years past: We planted early, and lost a good deal of those plants to the last blast of cold weather that we always seem to get. Then we replanted. It gets expensive replacing plants. So, we are planting from seed, and planting later this time - and I will continue to peek under the plastic domes, cheering the little seedlings on.


It’s spring when the chicks charm

By Staff
Monday, April 11, 2011

I figure its a sure sign of spring when Murdocks gets their Chicks in!



My grandson Brody fell in love with these babies.

He's never seen anything like that and it was so funny watching him gently look in at them.








This was a guest blog, written by our very own LLFD, Sue Buskist.  We think her grandson needs to be the poster child for too-cute kids everywhere who want to know, "Hey, Mom, can I take one home and keep it?" 


Yet another reason to love hanging out in the garden

By Penny Stine
Friday, April 8, 2011

The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of a bird for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth

D.F. Gurney


Those poor country folk

By Carol Clark
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One day , the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the ranch of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip , the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"


"It was great , Dad."
"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah, " said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered:
"I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."



Potager design pays off in the spring

By Penny Stine
Friday, April 1, 2011

See these itty bitty plants? See the tiger lilies sprouting in between the snapdragons?



The peas sprouting in the garlic? The alyssum compacta that’s flourishing with the spinach? 



Actually, you can't see the spinach from this photo - it's still too tiny. You probably can't see the peas, either. As I was strolling through my garden the other day and checking to see if my spinach had gotten any bigger, (sadly, no) the sight of the perennials popping up made me happy I’d decided to turn my growing efforts into a potager, which is just a French term for a kitchen garden that mixes veggies, flower, herbs, annuals and perennials in the same beds.

Before last year, I’d always planted a somewhat traditional garden in rows. I’d have a row of beans or peas or tomatoes, separated by straight pathways, which invariably got filled with weeds. I didn’t do too many flowers, and the garden was visually interesting for just a few months out of the year, when the vegetables finally got big enough to be noticeable.

Last year I experimented with potager gardening and liked the results, even though I started everything from seed, including perennials like lavendar, blanketflower and hollyhocks. Most of the perennials were so small they didn’t bloom.

I’m pleased that most of the perennials are back and looking good. I’m planning to mix in even more flowers in my new garden, just ‘cuz I like the way it looks. I’ve got a few columbines, some lavender and a couple coral bells that I started from seed, all of which will remain ridiculously small and probably won’t flower this year. So I’ll rely on zinnias, marigolds, nasturtium and my new fave plant, amaranth, for color this year. As the photo below shows, the amaranth is no slouch when it comes to adding visual appeal to a garden!


I collected seeds from the amaranth in this picture last fall before I cleaned up the garden. If anyone wants a few, send me an E-mail and I'll share. 

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