Posts Tagged ‘planting’

Seed Starting Workshop

Please join us on Saturday, February 26th at the West Bloomington Revitaliztion Project office at 800 W Washington St in Bloomington for a seed starting workshop.

The workshop will start at 10:30am, and will be led by McLean County Master Gardener Charlotte Talkington. Charlotte will show participants how to make paper pots from recycled newspapers, and will provide coleus cuttings and seeds to take home.

Come join us and get ready for spring!


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We spent some time at the garden over the weekend – I can only turn so much soil in one session, so our garden is being prepared as we plant. And we have planted!

To be honest, I don’t remember what we planted, but most likely kale, black eyed peas, lima beans, lettuce (which is up already!) and some assorted seeds that the girls picked out. Our garden will certainly be no masterpiece, there was no planning involved, it’ll just happen as it happens!

I did take some photos. Of course they are still on the camera, but I’ll post them as soon as I can. Wasn’t the weather just perfect for gardening this weekend? We’ve had some rain, which made the weeds easier to pull, and there are so many weeds that the compost piles really do need to be turned!

I’d like to invite all gardeners to become authors on the blog, just sign up for wordpress, send me your email address, and I’ll send you an invitation. We’d all love to see your garden growing online!

I met Katie at the garden this weekend. She has a beautiful set up with a big bean pole tent in the center and some great bamboo trellises. She also has a terribly cute little daughter with the biggest blue eyes you’ve ever seen!

So, what are you planting now?

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Paris is planting her sweetcorn inside – we are making the pots from newspaper, and she has been busy collecting the kernels from her last year’s crop to plant.

Will keep you upated!

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I know I am thinking of spring! Yes, it’s snowing outside today, but it can’t go on for much longer, right? After all, we have spring planting to consider!

There is something you can do right now. Have you received a hoarde of seed catalogs in the mail? Now is the time to plan your garden and order your seeds. One of my favorite sites, The Cooks Garden is packed full of beautiful vegetables to grow. And this morning they sent me an email showing some of the seeds you can plant as soon as the soil is workable – plants that like the cooler weather. You can see that email here. The Kaleidosope mixed carrots look really fun! And I just love peas fresh from the garden – they rarely make it to the kitchen at my house, we just love to eat them right from the shell!

If you’re itching to get out in the garden, grab some seed catalogs and start planning!

The girls and I are hoping to make raised beds in our plots this year. The plots are 15′ x 15′, and we’re thinking of making four 4’x4′ beds with a tiered bed in the middle for strawberries and herbs.

If you’re also interested in square foot gardening, visit Mel Bartholomew’s site. If you like the idea of raised beds, but don’t want to be confined to 1′ increments, you could take a look at Patti Moreno’s site. Known as “The Garden Girl”, Patti is at the forefront of the urban gardening movement, with her back yard “urban farm” in Roxbury, MA. Her site is very informative, with many, many videos explaining her techniques. Patti also raises chickens and rabbits in her backyard farm, and has a very unique way of doing it!

You can see more about Patti here:

Patti Moreno – Garden Girl

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Yes, dear gardening friends, there is still time to plant for a fall crop!

As summer fades out, it’s now the perfect time to plant the following:

Beets – about 50 days to harvest.

Broccoli – don’t expect the BIG heads that you get in the stores, your homegrown broccoli will be smaller – and tastier, since it’s fresher! Once you pick the main head, you’ll get a second harvest as the plant will put out smaller heads from further down the stalk.

Brussels Sprouts – I still have these growing from a spring planting! As you take off the leaf stalks, little sprouts form on the stalk – they look funny, and I guess it’s an acquired taste, but they taste great!

Bush beans – about 50 days to harvest, and they don’t need any support!

Cabbage – look for late varieties

Carrots – did you know that carrots get sweeter as the weather gets colder? In our plots, you may want to grow the smaller carrots – you know there’s still a layer of brick, or concrete, or something under the soil!

Cauliflower – prefer an organic soil, so our layer of mushroom compost is perfect! Be prepared to keep up the water though, these plants are thirsty!

Chives – a favorite perennial! But watch out … they self seed and can quickly take over a garden! Cut off the dead flower head to avoid unwanted plantings in your neighbor’s plot.

Kale – About 2 months to harvest

Lettuce – you can plant heading varieties and harvest them once the head is nice and solid, or you can choose leaf varieties and pick leaves as they are ready for ultimate freshness!

Peas – Varieties such as Maestro are superssweet, and ready in just 60 days. Build a little teepee for peas to climb on, or use your tomato cages – either will work.

Radishes – they’re ready to harvest in about a month!

Swiss chard – comes in a wonderful array of colors, and it’s SO good for you! Should be ready to harvest in about 50 days.

Spinach – another veggie that’s on the “Superfoods” list. Be like Popeye and eats ya spinach! It’s super easy to grow, and will be read in about 40 days

Turnips – About 50 days from seed to harvest

Flowers? Plant some pansies now and they should be fine over winter for fresh blooms in the spring! You can also plant calendula, and use the petals in a salad.

Did you know that when you plant seeds for a fall crop, you should plant them deeper than if you were planting in the spring? Because the days are still warm, the moisture in the soil closest to the surface is minimal. It’s down below where the water is!

So now you know what to plant! Do you think you may need another plot? LOL!

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So, the skies opened up for a little bit this morning as a mini-thunderstorm threw a hissy fit over Bloomington. Not quite enough to give us all the moisture we needed, but we’d already heard from Val that she was going to be at the garden at 4pm with a 60 gallon tank of water in her van. SIXTY GALLONS! Do you know how good that sounded!

Let’s face it, if the City of Bloomington is not going to give us our water, then we’ll just bring our own – and we’ll do it in style!

There had already been lots of activity by the time Paris and I stepped foot on that dusty ol’ mushroom compost. And yes, it’s still very dusty! I think the mushroom compost is GREAT, however, I think I also need to truck some of my own homegrown compost down there to add some chunkiness to the dust.

All the plants were pretty much still standing up. None had withered into the netherworld of plants yet. No tomato plants in tomato heaven, and my lima beans had even sprouted – quel joi!

Paris and I made a quick run to Growing Grounds, as she was feeling envious of Marcella’s great healing garden in the center of one of her plots. We returned with some lemon verbena, stevia, nasturtium, pineapple sage, honeydew melon sage, and another plant that I can’t remember the name of. We planted and watered those, then left the plot to it’s own devices …. until we next return

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What a nice rain last night! Well, more like a thunderstorm … it tore a path through our back yard and knocked down all 8 of Paris’s corn stalks, and took out a couple of tomatoes too. Everywhere was a mess!

We drove by the community garden on our way to work/summer camp this morning and noticed a lot of the marker posts were down. I had intended to go and knock them back in this evening, but someone beat me to it. Aaaah, I love community! Everyone has each other’s backs, and that’s what it’s all about.

I finally manage to download the photos from my camera, so here are a few from last Sunday. You can click on the photo for a larger view, then click that larger view for the full-sized version.

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