janniverse: (Default)
( May. 7th, 2010 03:09 pm)
At long last, I'm ready to unleash the awesome that is the garden project we've been working on for awhile in Jannilandia. The initial plan was mine, but Joe made it better. I ♥ teamwork. :)

It originally started as planter boxes with a trellis, but we didn't put bottoms on them, so it's essentially raised beds. The majority of the wood (everything that wasn't part of the box frames or the trellis) came from repurposed pallets. Since they're meant for vegetables, and I believe strongly in growing things organically, I used several coats of tung oil to aid in weatherproofing the wood. I know that eventually it will decay, but that should aid in its longevity considerably. (Another reason the pallets were attractive was actually the fact that generally, the wood used to build them is untreated.)

Originally, I'd thought we could use heavy-duty staples to mount the home plastic fencing on the hinged trellis A-frame. Joe came up with the frame-on-frame sandwich, screwing the fencing into place for added strength and security. (See what I mean? I came up with a good idea, and he improved it just that little bit. :))

The blue round bin in the middle was left over by the previous owners of our house. We think they stored pool toys or something in it, but we've never used it. Originally, I wanted to use a wagon to plant some lettuces, since they like to be kept cool, do fine in shade, and don't have especially deep roots. So I got a wagon.

A really, really nice wagon. For a really, really small price. Actually, I didn't think it was as nice as it was until I bought it. The wonders of bad photography and internet auctions. ;)

Anyway, it was way too nice to punch holes in the bottom for drainage, like I'd originally planned. I may still use it to hold lettuces, but with a tarp to protect it from the elements and a box on top, for the lettuces to grow in. (I looked into building a wheeled box, but you don't want to know what decent casters cost. D:) For the time being, the lettuces are going to live in the blue bin.

More photos will be forthcoming as my transplants get bigger and as the things I've seeded directly grow. :)

In the meantime, I'm still really pleased every time with how nice this looks. Also the fact that it was really, really inexpensive due to repurposing pallet wood. Not to mention the fact we kept a few pallets out of a landfill. :)
This will be quick, but indeed it will be deadly. We're not quite into August yet, but we're awfully close and you know what that means.

Yes, you guessed it...it's tomato time! AND BOY, IS IT EVER. I was worried that our lack of particularly hot weather so far this year* would mean the poor tomatoes wouldn't fare terribly well. While you and I might wilt under excessively hot and humid weather, tomatoes (and basil) love the stuff.

Luckily, though, it's apparently been sufficiently hot and steamy for some of my tomatoes to already be near the point of luscious, ripe edibility! Some of the others haven't fared as well, unfortunately, but it's the San Marzanos that are going nuts...and indeed, it was those that I was most excited about. I've never attempted growing them before this year...and if they're going to grow like this, and if they taste half as amazing as I think they will, they're going to be a staple in my annual planting for sure.

There are more than just the ones I've photographed, too, but I didn't think it made much sense to take photos of ALL of them. The first two photos are of tomatoes that we've seen growing for awhile now; the last one is part of a new group that have sprung up. There are more all over the plant, and it's got to be taller than I am** now!

* = Weather gods, if you're reading this, I swear I'm not mocking you. Really. Please don't smite us with your hot, sticky wrath. Please.

** = I am, however, only 5'4". So it doesn't take a whole lot to be taller than me.
Moo breakfast this morning:

And outside, my garden is progressing beautifully. I planted a few more things last week, and all are taking well. Had to transplant the Japanese mustard, as it was overshadowing some of the herbs and I was concerned they weren't getting enough sun. Usually I plan so that I don't have to bother with transplantation, but since this was a surprise, it was of course by definition unplanned. ;) Still, I was pretty sad the next day, as it appeared I'd killed it. Luckily Chris suggested that it might just be shocked, and had the possibility of coming back to life---otherwise I'd probably have dug up its carcass and disposed of it. A few days later, it did indeed come back...and once it's a little nicer looking, I'll photograph my zombie Japanese mustard for you too. ;)

Here are the photos: as always, click through for larger versions if you'd like. :)

5/30/09 Herbal Menagerie

Front and center is the tarragon, which is surrounded by (clockwise, from top) salad burnet, rosemary, thyme, and dill. :)

5/30/09 Apple Mint

Apple mint.

5/30/09 Cilantro

Cilantro...or as it's known in our house, Moolantro.

5/30/09 Green Baby Strawberry

The strawberries are growing now!

5/30/09 Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry fields forever.

5/30/09 Parsley Flower

Parsley flowers.

5/30/09 Chives in Bloom

Chives in full bloom (just for Elva).

5/30/09 Salad Burnet Flower

Tiny, delicate salad burnet flowers.

5/30/09 San Marzano Tomato Flower

And finally, the plant (and photo) I'm most excited about: my San Marzano tomato, which is now flowering beautifully. :D

Time for dinner! :9
janniverse: (Default)
( May. 17th, 2009 01:05 pm)
Firstly, that Thai basil? In only one week, it's grown a lot. There's more of it coming up, too. But here are the same plants I took photos of last week.

Thai Basil, Only 1 Week Later!

And as I believe I mentioned previously, the dill is coming up like mad. Seriously, anyplace there's not something else planted, there's almost a groundcover of dill. Obviously it won't stay like this for long, as it grows to be rather tall rather quickly, but.

Miniature Forest of Dill

The salad burnet is just about to flower, too. :D

Salad Burnet, Almost Flowering

I'm also growing Japanese mustard. I forgot to take a photo of it last week, sorry. XD;;;

Japanese Mustard

And also, one of our yard bunnies was hard at work the other day, diligently cropping some grass. We saw him, and I tried to take photos, but they were kind of craptastic so I'm sparing you the pain of looking at them. Didn't see what else he'd been eating until today.

With that in mind, may I present Yard Bunny Garnishing Techniques, Lesson One? ;)

Dandelion Decimation, Side View

And a top view:

Dandelion Decimation, Top View

And a differently-angled view. It looks...kind of like the Dreamwidth logo. XD

Dandelion Decimation, Angle View

In conclusion, yay Yard Bunny! :)
janniverse: (Default)
( May. 9th, 2009 02:56 pm)
Planted my usual suspects earlier today, with slight variation: did one roma tomato, one cherry tomato, one jubilee tomato, and one San Marzano. Haven't tried growing San Marzanos before, but I really hope it does well...with the general ratio of tastiness between other types of fresh tomatoes gotten from a farmer's market and ones eaten just moments after plucking off your own vines, I'll have more than just cause to be excited. :D

Also planted standard-issue Italian sweet basil and some rosemary. My perennial herbs are coming back nicely, especially the salad burnet. (I've taken photos of all this, but haven't had a chance to look them over yet and edit, so you'll probably see those tomorrow.)

What's really impressive, though, are the things that have come back even though they're not really supposed to. My chive, well...nothing can kill chives. Or dill. Or strawberries, apparently. I expected those to be thriving, and indeed they are.

But my flat-leaf parsley! Even some of the cilantro! The dill has spread itself around to wherever there isn't something else planted, and since it's rather pretty and delicious, I don't mind one bit.

The TOTAL SHOCKER, though? Bai horapa (Southeast Asian purple-stemmed basil) EVERYWHERE. I don't remember when I planted it...if it was last year or the year before. It didn't come up then, though. Now? I'm lousy with the stuff, and couldn't be more pleased...well, except if it was Italian basil that randomly sprouted everywhere.

Can't wait to see what comes back next year! :D

Photos tomorrow. I'm really excited about my garden this year. The worms are, too---can't turn over a shovel full of dirt without hitting at least one. I ♥ my garden. :D