Friday, February 26, 2010

Flaunting My Rhubarb

fertilizer Friday
I wish I had flowers to flaunt, and some day I will:February 2010 255But I do have rhubarb to flaunt:
February 2010 258My rhubarb is rebounding this year and I couldn’t be happier. They went through quite an ordeal last year, but they seem to have forgotten all about it!

Two years ago, I was introduced the the concept of perennials in the kitchen garden. I was excited by the idea of not having to start my garden each year from scratch. I planted little rhubarb plants, asparagus from roots, and started patience dock from seeds I received from Mother Earth news.

However, the rabbits devastated the rhubarb, eating them to the ground. I was sad, but moved on, then one day I noticed a green leaf peeking out of the ground. I set up an emergency perimeter with milk jugs and sprayed rabbit repellent outside the perimeter (not letting the repellent touch the plants; garlic flavored rhubarb doesn't sound so good). I hoped that would be enough to discourage the rabbits until I could find a safe location for the plants.

The rhubarb started to rebound while still guarded by milk jugs. I couldn't find a spot to plant the rhubarb where they would be safe, so my husband built another raised garden bed that could be devoted to perennials.

Below is a picture of the rhubarb after it was safely planted in a raised garden bed. Six of the plants went on to do very well last year. I am hoping for a much better, as well as, earlier crop this year.
Have you tried growing perennials in your garden? Have they made an appearance yet? If you feel like flaunting them head over to Fertilizer Friday and post your link.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DIY Mini-Greenhouse

I love starting my seedling inside in the spring. I always start in late February or early March, even though the plants cannot be put outside until late May. For that reason, I often use yogurt cups, so there is plenty of room for the roots to develop.

What you need for this project:
Fall2009 208 10 oz. empty salad container, washed by hand (these are often made of cornstarch and melt in the dishwasher.

6 empty yogurt cups per salad container, washed (these are rugged enough to be put in the dishwasher when you have extra room)

hammer and 1 nail
Fall2009 211
With the hammer and nail, make two holes in the bottom of each yogurt cup. Do not worry if you create a crack in the process; it will still work.
Fall2009 214Scoop dirt into the yogurt cups. If you can’t find a shovel, you can create a scoop from a milk jug.
Fall2009 231 Add seeds, water, and put the lids on until the seedlings have emerged:
Fall2009 292I did not put the lettuce in yogurt cups. I put dirt directly into the salad container, because the lettuces will be put out earlier than the other plants, so they don’t need as much room for root development.

Have you found ways to repurpose and reuse items items in your garden?

This post has been linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Lollipops

snowpops The lollipop sticks are the legs of an inverted table. As the snow accumulated it was slightly pushed over by the wind. It continued to accumulate in this manner until each leg of the table had a lollipop comprised entirely of snow on top.

This post has been linked to Outdoor Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My First Garden Purchase of the Year

We have spent the last couple of weeks alternating between snow days and sunny 45 degree days. The warm sunny days make me start itching for spring, but I know that the night time temperatures will regularly drop below freezing until early May.  So I consoled myself with the impulse purchase of two 3 foot high rosemary plants (on sale for $6.99 each at my local grocery store). It might be winter outside, but my kitchen smells like spring!

Since rosemary does not do well in zone 4 winters, I will be keeping the plants inside until all danger of frost has passed. Before I move them outside, I will transplant them into a larger, bottom heavy pot and pray that they are not bashed about too much by the wind.

I have taken advantage of having fresh herbs in my kitchen, using the rosemary in roasted sweet potatoes and baked salmon. I double the amount of fresh herbs in recipes that call for dried herbs.

I am really enjoying having usable plants in the house. Did you have the forsight to bring in some herbs for the winter? I know that next winter, I will be sure to bring in enough for a window garden!

To see what other gardeners are growing, visit Fertilizer Friday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My son returned to the house after feeding the horses, grabbed the camera, and went out and took this picture of our sunset.

This post has been linked to Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February is National Bird Feeding Month

February is National Bird Feeding Month. The end of winter is the hardest time for birds to find food, unless of course you are a bird of prey!

We love watching the many birds of prey in our area, except when they are dining on cute little song birds! We think it is a Northern Harrier, but please feel free to let us know if you can positively ID the murderous fowl. That will help us if he makes another appearance during the Great Backyard Bird Count which is February 12 - 15. You can find out how to participate in the count here.

P.S. I decided to post the PG version of the Harrier? dining on one of our backyard birds. Just because he did it outside our kitchen window at lunch, is no reason to ruin your appetite!