It’s Monday…am back from vaction…WAAAAAHHH!

Took last Thursday and Friday off from work…stayed home. I wasn’t at work so it was a vacation to me! 🙂

Not only did I make 3 4×4 veggie boxes…but I partially filled them with horse poo (a co-worker lives on 40+ acres and has lots to share! :)) Since I’m renting a house on a third acre now, I thought I’d start out smaller than what I had at our old house. I’ll have some extra containers for tomatoes and potatoes.

Started my herbs over the weekend too…2 oreganos, 2 basils, marjoram, summer savory, chamomile, dill, and not an herb…tomatillos.

It was in the 80’s over the weekend…and it will be in the 40’s by tomorrow. I think I’ve told you this before…but…I HATE SPRINGTIME IN NEVADA. I’ve been through 30 years of them and I just hate the yo-yo weather.

I received my order from Connecting Threads on Friday! Fat Quarters and some extra yards of a few in the Antoinette Line.

A Fons & Porter Design Wall…something that I have put off buying for several years, and now I can’t figure out why I would have waited that long! I love it! Who’d thunk it?!

And for a present to myself…a Sara ConeFlower Thread Holder made by Paul’s Metal Petals in Minnesota! OMG! It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL and works great. It’s handmade out of recycled steel, welded together into one solid piece. My old sewing machine, the Jamone 6500P (RIP), had a built-in thread holder…but the Janome Threadbanger does not, and the thread would get tangled now and again. Not any more! 🙂 If you have the extra money…I’d say TREAT YOURSELF to this BEAUTY! Besides…it’s made in MINNESOTA, USA! Thanks, Paul!

I know I don’t have a cone with this, but I didn’t have a way to use a thread cone with this machine.

Now to Hannah’s quilt…I picked out a Star from Star’s by Magic…and then decided the Jacob’s Ladder would look cool (and an easy block to make!) with the Star. It looked great on the design wall. Then I sewed the blocks together and my stars lost some points and if you follow the sequence of pictures you will see how I added a purple triangle onto the stars to make the Jacob’s Ladder flow…only they ended up smaller than the ladder. 🙂 Glad I read the forward in the Liberated Quilting book before ~ even with these mistakes, I think Hannah will love the quilt.

I just need to add a border, machine quilt it, and put on the binding. Green or Purple border…what do you think?!

What the quilt was going to look like at first:

With the added purple triangles on the Stars to fill-in the Jacobs Ladder.

All sewn together…just waiting for me to decide to add a purple or green border.

Now I’m back at work and my head hurts…eye is twitching…and a certain person here makes me feel like how Clouseau made Chief Inspector Dreyfus feel. I FEEL FOR YOU DREYFUS!

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Finished Planting my 2009 Vegetable Garden ~ Sparks, NV

After burying my beloved Max near the herb & blueberry garden I put what was left of my energy into planting the rest of my vegetable garden.

Bee Balm & Cairn for Max

Bee Balm & Cairn for Max

Planted in the 6×6 raised bed are the following: carrots, red radishes, white radishes, heirloom beets, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.

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In the 12×4 raised bed I planted: garlic, red onions, yellow onions, tomatillas, bush blue lake beans, spacemaster cucumber, lemon cucumber, heirloom beets, broccoli, sweet italian pepper, jalapeno pepper, anaheim pepper, and hungarian stuffing peppers. (I ran out of room for the serrano and one other pepper so I gave them to a coworker)

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In the 12×2 in ground bed I put in mexican grey squash on one side and on the other one each of acorn squash, delicata squash, and hearts of gold cantaloupe (from Fallon, NV). In between all the squash I have 8 sweet white corn stalks.

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I found a Topsy-turvy thingy and planted a siberia fir tree heirloom tomato in it. In four containers I planted 2 brandywine heirloom tomatoes and 2 red siberia heirloom tomatoes.

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Out front, near Max’s grave, are two handmade pickle cucumber plants. In that same area I have 2 oregano, 3 sweet basil, 1 lemon thyme, dill, fennel, and a rosemary. 3 blueberry bushes and 1 Elderberry. There are also 3 lemon queen sunflowers that are growing pretty well for the Sunflower Bee Project.

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Way up front I have chamomile, italian parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bee balm. They wintered pretty well out there, I was surprised.

Now for some flower pictures ~ my lupine is blooming.

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And Columbine.

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How Does Your Garden Grow….Sparks, Nevada…early May 2009

How is everyone’s garden out there in northern Nevada?

I’m getting a slower start than I did last year. But I figured I’d wait to finish planting until May 16th, when I get my heirloom tomatoes and whatnot from the UNCE Master Gardener Plant Sale.

Here’s what is poking their heads up so far ~

Garlic and Red & Yellow Onions

Garlic and Red & Yellow Onions

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage

Red & White Radishes

Red & White Radishes

Heirloom Beets (insides are red and white...like tree rings)

Heirloom Beets (insides are red and white...like tree rings)

Two of the three Horseradish plants are up and about too! I’ll get pictures this weekend. The carrots just woke up.

My blueberry plants are blooming ~

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And here are some pictures of the front yard….looking much better now that we yanked those stupid Junipers out! See all those rocks below? Those are what we pull out of the ground when digging. Lots and lots of river cobbles.

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Time to Plan Your Garden! ~ Sparks, NV

WARNING ~ LONG POST WITH LOTS OF GARDENING LINKS AT THE END! 🙂

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Even though it’s still January and in the middle of winter…I can’t stop thinking about my garden! I’m getting itchy and twitchy! I want dirt under my nails!

In between the rains last week and the snow over the weekend there was a brief break in the skies and the sun came out. I rushed out back and busied myself with my raised garden beds. Checked the soil, threw on some leaves, newspaper and grass that was mulching in a corner and some of Starbuck’s coffee grounds. Did you know that all Starbucks have a bucket near the door that have spent coffee grounds for free?! 🙂 If you’re anywhere near UNR…the Student Union Starbucks has more then plenty.

Last year was my first garden in the raised beds we made…and there were no wormies in the soil then. I dug around and found lots of wormies in my beds. 🙂 Eat and poop my little ones!

Here are the plans for and what the raised beds looked like before I took it apart and made it smaller. PLANS FOR RAISED BEDS

The BEDS BROKEN UP INTO TWO instead of one massive bed.

And THE BEDS ALL PLANTED.

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While over at ECLECTIC CULTURE FARM I found a great site called Local Harvest ~ Real Food. Real Farmers. Real Community!

LOCAL HARVEST ~ Nevada (I linked to the Nevada part of the site…it’s country-wide though.)

Here is a little closer to home ~ NORTHERN NEVADA & EASTERN CALIFORNIA

There are lot of local farms listed where you can buy from…also a shop page to buy seeds, gifts, and whatnot.

My mouth is watering over the HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEEDS! Are those the most beautiful lip-smacking things ever?! I’m all ah-giddy!

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I’m going to start my seeds soon…last year I planted most of my seeds right into the ground. But I think I’ll start my peppers and tomatoes inside this year…I harvested a bunch of seeds before eating them. 🙂 Hatch Green Chiles and Heirloom Maters….yummmmmie!

After some doing some online research I found that you can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it is at least 2 to 3 inches deep and has some drainage holes.

The seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix that is made up of fine, moist and spongy blend of sphagnum moss, vermiculite and perlite. You can mix your own, using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss. This mix hardly contains any, if any, nutrients. Start feeding the seedlings with a weak fertilizer solution several weeks after they germinate…they’ll need to be fed weekly until it’s time to transplant them into the garden.

After the wee plants are 6-8 weeks old, they can be transplanted into larger pots with a coarser growing mix with up to 20% garden soil or compost…that will help the plants get ready for garden life.

Here is a cool schedule I found ~ WHEN TO START YOUR SEEDS from The Gardner’s Supply Company online site.

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MORE HELPFUL LINKS FOR NEVADA GARDNERS!

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION'S HORTICULTURE PROGRAM

THE NEVADA MASTER GARDNER PROGRAM

WASHOE COUNTY CALENDAR ~ if you live in a different county than Washoe, just click on the drop-down menu and it will let you click on your county!

A Great Link for Teachers ~ SCHOOL GARDENS PROGRAM.

HORTICULTURE PUBLICATIONS for the State of Nevada.

SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE ~ Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. They are a non-profit organization of gardeners dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

A great write-up on THE THREE SISTERS GARDEN
~ The Three Sisters garden is a special way of growing corn, pole beans and winter squash, and its first use can be traced back to the Iroquois Confederacy.

GARDENING IN NEVADA ~ The Bartley Ranch Series. FREE CLASSES on Tuesdays starting 3 February through 31 March 2009.

Front & Back Yard Gardening ~ Roses are in!

I took yesterday off work to work in my yard…wanted to finish up the front side-yard and my FIL came over to help me ro-do the raised garden beds.

THE ROSES ~ almost didn’t get my English Roses! G&G Nursery had a run on them over the weekend and there were only two Hansa’s left and a few David Austin Roses.

I bought a Weeks Roses Hansa ~ bred in 1905. Medium-tall/bushy round shrub that is suitable for growing in pots and hedges. Tolerant of poorer soils. Ornamental value of hips/large fruit. Very fragrant ~ spicy cloves. Large, full reddish-violet blooms. Very hardy and disease free.


In the ground ~ and a stock photo.

The Squire ~ a David Austin English Rose. The large double blooms of this rose are a deep rich dard red. The attractive strong fragrance of this wonderful cutting rose is a welcome addtion to your garden or bouquets. These roses are a wonderful combination of old world charm and new advancements in rose culture. They will help create a wonderful English Garden feel in your landscape and are excellent for bedding and hedges. Superb border plants.

They look great! Can’t wait for them to grow, grow, GROW! I did a jig out there on the lawn after mulching and watering! 😆

Now onto backyard ~ I decided to take the top boards off of the raised bed as it was just way too deep. My FIL came over yesterday morning and we whacked the crap out the top boards (5 nails each side into a treated 4×4 ~ OY!)…took us a while but we were able to pry them off. We then made a 6×6 box and a small 18″x18″ for a tomato box. We left a nice walk way in between the raised garden beds and will put DG around the beds. Now I have to call Oxborrow and order the double or triple mix of topsoil/grape compost/organic lite.

Now the beds are 5’x12’x1′ and 6’x6’x1′ ~ Soon to be planted ~ tomatoes, peppers, sugar peas, bush beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, lettuce. Near the corn I’m going to plant a couple of rhubarb plants and maybe some asparagus.

Raised Garden Bed Box for Backyard ~ Finished! Well…it’s made.

NOTE: HERE IS WHAT MY BEDS LOOK LIKE AFTER TAKING THE ONE BIG ONE APART AND MAKING THEM INTO TWO BEDS!

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Yesterday after buying a new bed for upstairs I dropped my husband off at Savers and I went to Lowes to shop for the garden lumber. Taking with me the directions from Sunset’s Western Landscaping Book (below) ~

I bought 6 2x12x12 redwood planks and 2 4x4x8 treated fir posts, and one box of 3-1/4″ galvanized nails. Looking back…I should have looked for 2x8x10 or 2x8x12 as now I have LOTS of back-fill to look for! Luckily I have oodles of river rocks and can place at the bottom of the bed and then fill with some dirt then mix in some top soil/manure. Off to Craigslist to see if anyone has any free dirt I can go get.

The finished container is 2x5x12 (2′ high x 5′ wide x 12′ long). I’m thinking I’ll put a wood sealer on the redwood as I opted out of the treated wood. I may staple plastic sheeting along the insides too. Not really sure about that. And Boy-Howdy! If you make the size I did…you’ll want two extra hands on flipping that box over! It was a struggle with the two of us, but we did it.

And ladies…find the roll of duct tape as your husband will probably want to cuss up a blue streak. I about threw my hammer at mine, no patience at all that man! I would have much rather had my mom and sister helping me than my husband. 👿 I’m very handy with a saw and hammer…which I don’t think he has gotten used to, even after 13 years of marriage. LOL! 😉

Here are before and after shots of our back area. We’ve finally decided to find some decomposed granite for the the rest of the yard. Got lots of that around Northern Nevada…just back your truck up to any road side cut and filler up!

Soon to be veggies ~ Onions, beans, sugar peas, cucumbers, lettuce ~ red leaf and spinach, radishes, carrots, corn (outside the box next to the wall), garlic, potatoes (I have two tires for them to go into), zucs, tomatos (outside container), pumpkins (actually in front side yard), peppers.