Friday, June 28, 2013

Vegetable Garden

Oh how I love summer!  Everything about it. And right now I'm enjoying the vegetable garden. Even though we have only harvested salad things so far, tomatoes, cukes, squash and beans will be ready any day now.

I weeded and cleaned up the tomato plants yesterday. We have so many little tomatoes coming on and one big one almost ready to pick.

Rick has been dosing them with manure tea and they are growing like crazy. I trim up the plants to about 12 inches from the ground. This keeps the leaves off the ground and away from pesky viruses and fungus. I also trim off water shoots. This keeps the plants in check and lets the sun in to ripen up the fruit.

For many years we used cages around the tomatoes, but I switched to stakes about 15 years ago after seeing it in a magazine. The plants are much more manageable and easier to pick. We use old t-shirts for the ties. They are soft and stretchy and expand as the stems grow.

I should be able to harvest some baby squash today. And also some peppers:

The small pepper plants were started late in the greenhouse, but the larger ones are already producing sweet bell, jalapeno, and chilies.

These plants have tiny cukes in with all the yellow flowers. I love cucumbers in salads and chopped on bagels. I can't wait!

Now this pile of bean plants were supposed to be neat rows of bush beans. I buy my seeds at a garden center that packages it's own seeds and I think they made a little mistake! I have since reseeded, but I left these and hope I can get in there and harvest some beans soon.

This is the salad bed. I just pulled up the spinach plants that had gone to seed and will plant more onions in their place. I'm still harvesting the mixed lettuces and will probably save the carrots for later and freeze them for soups and pot roasts.

Years ago we had a much bigger garden and it has slowly gotten smaller as we've added more perennial fruit plants and trees. Now we just have these 9 raised beds. The center bed is filled with annual flowers and a rusty windmill.

I love working in this vegetable garden. It is small enough to clean up quickly and large enough to provide us with the vegetables we can really use. So what are you growing in your gardens? I'd love to see!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Small Quilt Addiction

When I am tired out from working in the garden I like nothing better than sitting back with some kind of needlework. I try to always have something ready for hand work such as quilting or embroidery. These little quilts took just a short time at the machine and then I can take my time finishing them up. The little quilt above is from an Australian magazine.

I have lots of small scraps that are just too pretty to throw out, so these small quilts are perfect scrap busters.
Though those scraps have a way of multiplying no matter how many I use:)

The above quilt is from the book Quilted Gifts, by Barri Sue Gaudel. Love this book by the way.

So what do you like to do on your down time? Do you need to keep your hands busy at all times, like I do?
Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June Gardens

June has got to be my most favorite month of the year. Our gardens are just bursting into bloom and every day there is something new to see. The pond has got new blooms and tadpoles growing tiny hind legs. Bluebirds are flying all over the yard, nesting in several places. Yesterday we watched an oriole gathering fibers for her nest from a hanging basket. And the new chicks have grown into beautiful birds loving all the weeds, scraps, and grubs we give them.

This is the third day of perfect sunny weather for us. Yesterday I was getting over a case of food poisoning and didn't get much done. Today I'm hoping to work in the veggie garden, tying up the tomatoes - they are growing like crazy - and doing some weeding (they are growing like crazy too!) I'll be sharing some pictures of that garden and some crafting pics soon.