Tag Archives: bulbs

Flowers of All Sorts

March 25, 2015

The bulbs I planted in the fall of 2014 are starting to sprout!Nieto Photography 2015(dwarf iris) Nieto Photography 2015(daffodils) Nieto Photography 2015(crocus) Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(tulips)

I planted these bulbs (244 in all) last fall and covered them with mulch to the depth recommended. Soon after, the chickens got into the mulch, lowering the depth, and even completely dug up some bulbs. Once those were replanted, I covered everything again. Turns out, I covered them too much that second time. I realized this week some bulbs were flowering UNDER the mulch! I spent part of a day this weekend uncovering the bulbs just a bit to give them more of a chance.

Surprise Flower

An interesting things happened this spring. Some bulbs I did NOT plant this fall started sprouting. I planted some bulbs 7? years ago and they never came up. I do not even remember what type of flower they were. My grandfather-in-law, who has since passed, gifted them to me. I am pretty sure the only reason they are blooming this spring is because they were covered in mulch! And not even on purpose. The mulch around these bulbs was kicked there from the chickens. Amazing what a covering does!  Can anyone tell from the leaves what type of bulb this is?Nieto Photography 2015I am excited to see what it turns out to be.

In other flowering news, our apple and peach tree that are covered in mulch are blooming.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015However, our peach and apple tree NOT covered in mulch are not. That is bad news when it comes to cross pollination 😦 Nieto Photography 2015(uncovered peach tree)

Another experiment in mulching involves the strawberries. I covered them, just as Paul said. I have been nervous that they will not come through. It is still the beginning of spring so I will just have to wait and see. A few have popped their heads through so that’s something 🙂Nieto Photography 2015How’s your garden coming along? Any flower/bulb advice for me?

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Harvest Monday

February 23, 2015

Same ole, same ole. We are only harvesting eggs right now. We are up to a dozen/day. Love it! 🙂

We had snow and ice this week. I was unable to plant anything (even though my calendar says I am supposed to) or even go outside much. Brr. More snow is forecasted for this week. I realize we are not alone.

Even though more snow is forecasted in the upcoming week, our temps are rising. We are getting out of the single digits and teens and into the 20s as lows.

In other news…our bulbs are starting to poke through the mulch!!!Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015These pics were pre-snow/ice. They did make it through the precipitation however 🙂 Speaking of…You can see, I do have some greenhouses planted already (celery, onions, lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, and kale).Nieto Photography 2015I am hoping to be able to plant some more greenhouses this week. The ground is still frozen so nothing in the soil yet… I also need to clean out the coop and I’ll spread the manure in my future sweet potato patch. This may or may not happen…if they daytime highs don’t get out of the 30s, I may have little motivation to work outside.

I am chomping at the bits to spend some time outside (as are my kids!) and I know I am not alone! Check out what other gardeners are up to at Daphne’s Dandelions.

The Great Sweet Potato Experiment Comes to a Close and Preparing for Next Year

November 7, 2014

These past few weeks I have been:

  • Cleaning up the tomato patches
  • Covering the garden with chicken poop
  • Planting bulbs to bloom in spring
  • And harvesting Sweet Potatoes

First, the bulbs. I ordered 244 bulbs this summer. Between nursing every three hours, schooling three children, and potty training a toddler, I have been able to get 50 buried each day. I finally finished this week.

DSC_5963 DSC_5959I hope they don’t all get dug up over the winter!!!

We had our first frost this week. Just in case I was wondering, the sweet potato vines told me 😉DSC_5978I have contemplated leaving the sweet potatoes in the ground and just digging them as needed but, at least for this year, I decided to go ahead and dig them up. First, I pulled all of the vines.DSC_5973A lot of potatoes came up with the vines. DSC_5972Then I went through and little by little, dug up each patch (I had four in total — dug up one patch earlier last month). Here is half of one patch drying in the sun. DSC_5982This was our oddest-shaped one…and probably our heaviest. DSC_5984Here is most of what we ended up with. We gave about a fifth of the total harvest away. Now, I am going through them, putting aside the perfect ones for long-term storage. The itty-bitty ones and the wire-worm damaged ones will be eaten first. 10745007_829851593732358_97211640_n Some notes:

Two patches were in previously used (ie. more fluffy soil) plots and two were in patches that had never been used.

  • The UNUSED patches yielded larger sweet potatoes and more sweet potatoes.

One of the patches was surrounded by tarp, covered with mulch. We did that long before we heard about Back to Eden gardening. It was the only way to keep the weeds away from the blueberry bushes.

  • Most of the largest sweet potatoes were those that grew under or partially under the tarp. It was like they were seeking out heat, even in our North Carolina summer.

So next year, sweet potato slips go in unused spots (great way to ‘break-ground’, so to speak, in the garden!) and I need to find other sources of heat to go into the sweet potato patch — cinder blocks, bricks…

Very interesting! And so ends my great sweet potato experiment of 2014. A definite success!

By the end of the year, I would like to:

  • Make a mulch path from our brick walkway to the driveway
  • Pull the bermuda grass seedlings that have blown in from the fields we are surrounded by
  • Cover the entire garden with more mulch (including the strawberry patch and walkways)

This winter I need to:

  • Prune all of the bushes and trees
  • Cover the garden with horse manure
  • Move the raspberry plants back into a row and make a trellis for them
  • Finish weeding our brick walkway
  • Order seeds
  • Make greenhouses

It never ends, huh? Truth be told, I’d be bored if it did 🙂 Happy Gardening!

Expansion Woes and Spring Plans

October 9, 2014

When we expanded the garden this summer, it was insanely hot and I still had a newborn that ate every 2hrs or so. Admittedly, I was not very diligent to make sure the cardboard covered all bare spots.

Where the garden edge and the grass came together, bermuda grass started coming through…with VENGEANCE! DSC_5598I tried numerous things but eventually, I had to move all of the mulch aside, cover again with cardboard (and newspaper, for good measure) and recover with more mulch. DSC_5597This is the area dug up, before it was covered with cardboard, etc.

Hopefully, that will take care of that pesky bermuda grass.

Plans for Spring

If you know me, you know aesthetics are just about as low on my priority list as anything can be. However, my girls love flowers so this year, I decided to order some perennial bulbs. Now to figure out where to plant them.

I thought they would look nice as a border to the garden. I also thought they would look nice bordering our brick walkway. I have to plant them when the daily temps are in the 60s. Right now, most days are still in the 70s/80s. While waiting, I prepped the edges of the brick path with newspaper and mulch.DSC_5569The next step is to weed the brick path. It got REALLY bad this summer. I have a feeling it will be an all-winter chore. You can see in the picture above the small section I have gotten done. The other winter chore is to expand the path (with mulch) to the driveway. We had a nice path but when we got a HUGE storm this spring, it washed away all of the mulch onto the brick, which helped the weeds tremendously.

This is what I ordered. That’s 244 bulbs. Who wants to come help me plant in a few weeks?

(photo credit)