Mar 30, 2014

First Harvest

Harvesting Jerusalem Artichokes in North Idaho

Our first harvest of the season!

A very modest,  ½ lb. of  Jerusalem Artichokes. 

It's a HARVEST none the less....that will soon be a very tasty oven roasted snack!

Turning Soil

Collage of tilling and amending the garden in North Idaho
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When my friend asked if I wanted some old hay and farm compost...I didn't hesitate, for one second! 
What gardener, in their right mind, would turn an offer like that down?

Today, we headed to the farm!
With a loaded truck and a break in the weather...
We happily headed home with our haul!

The garden  fairies were on our side too, as the garden was dry enough to amend and till.... Troy wasted no time getting the tiller gassed and running. 
Happy to have this chore done and loving the smell of freshly tilled dirt!

Mar 28, 2014

Little Toms

The Tomato starts we planted on March 1st. in soil blocks, will be potted up in the near future.

What's growing in My North Idaho Garden

Still slow growing here in zone 5b.... 
 The Spinach, Lettuce and Kale starts that over wintered in the cold frames are now starting to take off.

Weekly garden View 3/28

Overjoyed that all the snow is melted from the the garden this week...The soil is still really to wet to till.
The snow is mostly melted from around the yard as well...

Mar 23, 2014

One of those March Days...

Yard work & Gopher woes... already!

I am unbelievably happy to be outside playing in the dirt again!

Today was bright, shiny and perfectly cool...and time to start raking up.  My herb garden melts out first, so that's where I start...
Pruning, trimming, and cleaning out the bed.

While cleaning up, I noticed that the Lilac bush I planted last Summer was leaning over. 
Argggh... A damn gopher has constructed an new "Super Highway" through the bed and the Lilac bush happens to be collateral damage!
The bush is budded out and has new shoots,
however, has taken a huge blow to the root system!
I'm hoping that I can save it....Looks like the battle with the gophers has began early this year!

Mar 20, 2014

What a difference a week makes

With all the rain this past week, most of the snow is finally melting off the garden. It sure is good to see dirt again!

Winters in North Idaho can get pretty long!!
The garden is still soggy during the day and night temps are still dropping below freezing. 
For now, seedlings are still inside under grow lights.
On a happy note... My  Meyer Lemon tree is bouncing back from the brink of death...

It was looking rather sad and loosing all of it's leaves...I couldn't get the Winter care just right and couldn't tell if I was over watering, or under watering.. I finally decided to re-pot, and that has seemed to do the trick. 

The leaves are growing back and blossom buds are forming like gang busters. 

I think I finally have a good watering and feeding schedule figured out.

Peppers and Toms are looking good. I have been keeping a cool draft on them to prevent them from growing to fast and getting spindly while they are growing  in the house. We heat with wood, and the house is nice and toasty.
Rutgers Tomato seed is 2 years old and had a 100 % germination rate
Sicilian Saucer Tomato seed is brand new, took about  4 days longer to germinate, and has had a germination rate of about 80%

Mar 13, 2014

Weekly garden view

The garden is finally showing signs of melting...By shoveling out the walkways a couple days ago the sun is able to hit the dark soil and melt at a rapid rate! 

By next week, all the snow should be off the garden bed.

Mar 12, 2014

Enjoying the first SPRING rays!

Today we were graced with the Sun's beautiful company...It's been awhile since it has stopped in and stayed for a spell. Daisy found a sun kissed spot in the freshly melted driveway.
Chickens took advantage and enjoyed  fresh dust baths under the cedar trees.
I thought something had attacked the chickens, until I realized they were not dead....just really enjoying a roll  around the dirt. 
I didn't know chickens could smile...but check out the chick above.....This is one content chicken!
Even the seedlings came out to enjoy the sun today!

Mar 8, 2014

Mar 6, 2014

Let the gardening begin

I couldn't stand it any more... I just had to dig out the cold frames and to see what was actually going on inside the boxes.
At first glance, nothing really exciting! 
I was surprised to actually see anything growing in them at all. Lack of planning on my part...
This box contained carrots that we never got around to picking... and with no extra care on my part, they were left to defend for themselves against the brutal, frigid temps that we experienced later this season.!
After clearing the old tops away...I noticed that many of the carrots had turned to mush.... there are a few diehards in the bunch, that are determined to survive no matter what! 
The Kale, Broccoli, Lettuce and Spinach happened to be left over seedling starts from last season that had been left to die, unloved, and long forgotten about!
The dirt in the frames was pretty frozen. If I plan to overwinter anything this year, I will need to take measures to amend the soil and mulch heavily with straw.
I am just excited to get the boxes opened up and to get gardening!

Mar 5, 2014

The good... the bad... and the ugly!

The Good... Lettuce seedlings are doing quite well and have been transferred from starting trays  into individual cups.

The Bad... We are running out of room under the grow lights in the house..

 The cold frames are snowed under and greenhouse is not finished yet.
However, the Lettuce had the chance to enjoy natural daylight... and spent the day outside in the cold.

and now The Ugly... 

This is a case where the ugly is a good thing....Compost! 

We keep the "Chum Bucket" with a lid on it, out on the porch and just empty when it is full. 

Well, it's kinda hard to empty it, when it was frozen solid...Today warmed up enough to finally empty it into the compost pile.

where it will wait to be turned under later this Spring.

Little Miracles

I didn't know just how much gardening would heal me.  I am reminded of this every time I plant a tiny seed!

Mar 2, 2014

Wishful thinking

As we are on the home stretch of Winter, I keep my eye on the prize...Spring!

Wishful thinking... as another winter storm has rolled in!
For now, I will find contentment in starting my early crops inside under grow lights.

Spring will come soon enough!

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