Lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce.

Today was a good lettuce day. 

I harvested 1 lb. 8.6 oz from the nice and neatly planted lettuce (these are all after photos).  There’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 plants.06-03-09 (16)

8.8 oz from the bed planted in March that got snowed on.  It’s planted tooooo thick and the leaves don’t have a chance to grow as well as the nicely spaced out lettuce (more transplants to go to my mother-in-law’s garden).06-03-09 (18)

And lastly I harvested 2.5 oz from the lettuce plants that were transplanted into a self-watering container that’s waiting for it to warm up so I can put in sweet potato slips.  There’s 15 plants in here.06-03-09 (15)

And a mere 1.7 ounces of kale.06-03-09 (11)

Did I ever say the kale was coming along quickly?  This stuff is almost three months old.  The only reason it’s still in the ground is because it’s still cool outside and this is supposed to be a cool season crop.  I picked some of the leaves hoping that it would give the plant a jump start.

I found a cabbage worm and her eggs.

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Yesterday I realized I was a latent plant murderer.  Today I proudly admit I’m a blatant bug murderer.

Happy Gardening!!!!


Garden Update

Five weeks is all it took to go from this



To this…


One of the ladies from the Building Urban Gardens class that we took at the Garfield Park Conservatory stopped by to get a few plants.  She pointed out the fact that what I have been calling turnips are actually mustard greens of the slick leaf variety.  My brain said they were turnips, so my eyes said, “Okay.  If that’s what you say.”  It’s a good thing I actually like mustard greens.

So, yesterday was the first harvest of 2009.


6.8 ounces.  Yay!!

The “hoop house” really made a difference.  The whole bed was planted on 3-15.  The same day I planted the bed with the cover, I planted seeds in the spot I reserve for my elephant ear.  100_0097

There’s a world of difference between the two.  (Left to right:  lettuce, spinach, raddish, beets)

The “hoop house” even outproduced some of the lettuce I started in the house in a long window type planter.  Some of the lettuce I kept in the long planter and some I transplanted into paper pots , which didn’t work out so well because they never really grew much in the paper pots.  I later transplanted some of the planter lettuce  into the yard.  They’re in the first four rows.   Most of the lettuce that germinated was the red lettuce, and they’re kind of hard to see against the dark background.  They’re growing, but slowly.


The lettuce didn’t grow well in the paper pots, but they didn’t die either.  On 4-14 I transplanted some of them into this self-watering container that was sitting outside from last year.


They just started putting on a little growth over the last week (during those warm days).

Well, I guess we have the results of one of my garden experiments.   Newly germinated cold tolerant seeds that get snowed on will continue to grow with the help of frost protection.

The results were so nice, I had to do it twice.


And it’s working great.  In this bed is the chives and garlic chives, the Egyptian walking onions, the few surviving garlic plants, and the strawberries from last year.  Once the cover went on, the strawberry leaves got larger almost over night.  I planted about six tomatoes and a globe basil in the tomatoes’ squares because I read that the basil enhances the flavor of the tomatoes.  I planted the borage, one squash, onion bulbs, I seeded a couple of squares with carrots and a couple of squares with turnips…really, turnips, not mustards.   I planted a few of the lemon cukes and a couple squares with bush beans.   A few marigolds went in and a couple of petunias. 

The third bed is planted with broccoli interplanted with lettuce; kale, which hasn’t hardly grown since it got it’s true leaves; collards, which aren’t doing much better; bell peppers; corn; potatoes.  That’s a lot going on into 32 square feet, but we’re supposed to be able to plant “intensively,” aren’t we?

I may have a raspberry or two…


(containerized raspberries al la Free Cycle)

I may have a blueberry or two…


(containerized blueberry I ordered)

This blueberry plant looks pretty good, but the buy one/get one free for just about $10 looked so bad to me that I complained about them.  They sent me two more replacements, but they weren’t much better looking.


The two on the left were the original and the two on the right were the replacements.  Had I known that these plants would have been so small I would have gotten something else.  But they’re mine now.  Hopefully they’ll start growing.

Here’s a shot of the perennial bed.  The bleeding hearts are doing especially well this year.


The seedlings.  They’re holding their own.  I’m truly tired of shuffling them in and out, and it makes even less sense now since I’ve planted every square foot in the raised beds.  Very soon, I’m going to pass a few on to my mother-in-law, my cousin and a couple neighbors.  I still feel compelled to make sure they’re hardened off before I pass them on.  I’d hate for them to die after all the work I put into them.

And last, but not least…



Happy Mother's Day

Strawberry orphans in need of a new home.

I got the strawberries today. They didn’t short-change me. In fact, I got a few extras. Now I have to figure out where to put them. I’ve got the strawberry pot I found last year, but that only takes care of six plants. I’m leaning toward homemade grow bags made out of black garbage bags. That’s quick and easy. Or I have a tiered raised bed that I haven’t used yet. Or both because there’s so many. Gotta put my thinking cap on because I need to get it done within the next couple days.

The grow bag appeals to me because I like to plant in unusual ways. When I thinned the lettuce I started from seed …

03-23-09_Lettuce started on 3-17-09

I put the thinnings in here…

03-23-09_Lettuce transplanted on 3-17-09

I got about 32 transplants in typing paper paper pots. I tore the paper in half the short way, rolled the paper, left the bottom open, put dirt in the cylinder and stuck the cylinders in the inverted top portion of a two-piece cake cover (another Free Cycle find). Last year I did the same thing and had some nice sized transplants.

Happy Gardening!!!

Lots of Leafy Lettuce. I’m a Lucky Lady.

I just love seeing things grow, that’s why I haven’t picked any leaves off the lettuce I transplanted and brought in the house back in late October.

Here is one of the three trays I planted. I gave one to my mother-in-law.

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Some of the leaves have gotten pretty big.

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This was a lettuce mix I got at Jewel Foods and there are a few different varieties. There’s the one above, which seems to be the fastest grower and these…

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I’m also, as an experiment, trying to over-winter the herbs.

parsley…12-11-08 (4)

sage…12-11-08 (3)


and thyme…thyme

Nah. I didn’t really grow thyme, but it would have been musical. Remember that Simon & Garfunkle song?

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”

I did grow parsley, sage, rosemary and chives, though, and that has a musical ring to it.

The sage and the parsley look a little droopy, and you can see I haven’t even properly potted two of them. My goal is to keep the roots going even if the top growth suffers. I want to see if they’ll perk up when they get back outside in the ground.

I took cuttings from the rosemary and sage (they’re too sad looking for pictures right now). If they root I’ll post pics later.

I even broke down and bought a package of that expensive pre-packaged organic mint from Jewel Foods because I learned of the joy of Mojitos.

11-24-08_organic mint Mojito

My Mojito didn’t look quite as pretty as the photo, but it tasted pretty good.

**caution – excessive consumption of Mojitos can lead to prolonged feelings of euphoria.

Just as another experiment, I’m trying to root some of the stems.

12-11-08_rooting mint

In the summer I’ll just use some of the runners from my neighbor’s yard that find their way onto my side of the fence. Free plants…always a good thing.

Happy Gardening!!!