Worms and Flowers

Good Beginnings

Posted in Farmer's Almanac, Garden by Lzyjo on March 21, 2010

PhotobucketPhotobucketWhether  it’s education or building a house we know building a good foundation is the most important part. In the garden a good fence makes for a good foundation. I have a large bale of fence hanging around and I used it some last year, but for the first time I unrolled it totally. Now I have a good perimeter about 15′ by 10′ fenced in for all my precious greens coveted by the rabbits. The freshly plowed garden is so nice. I love having a clean slate to work with. The bare ground looks empty though. I’ve fixed that by planting my big bag of homegrown sunflower seeds. I have a good blend of different sunflowers that have dehybridized, which means things will be getting crazy when the multi-headed medusas start blooming. Even the seeds look wild. Mostly purple Photobucketwith some darker purple stripes and the odd grey seed here and there. Hybrid sunflowers are bred to make one big flower on one long stalk. When they revert back to their natural genes they produce flowers all along the stalk. In some cases hundreds of flowers on a single plant. While I was in the process of taking down last year’s fence before the plowing the cows invaded the area, munching everything down to the ground. Even my cabbage was gone. Luckily the Blue Solaize Leeks were still fine thanks to their sturdy “trunks” under the surface. I dug up the leeks and transplanted them to the front flower bed where they can flower and go to seed this summer. I can’t wait! Blue Solaize did really well over the winter for me. They survived our colder than average winter and looked pretty good to boot. So I’m excited to have seeds from them. I so love that blueish- green color of leeks. They’re starting to put out new growth again. Yay!

I’ve plotted the garden on paper in CorelDraw. I like to plot the garden on paper before I plant, but rarely have I followed the plan to a T. As you can see, I am PhotobucketPhotobucketgrowing corn again. Last year was AWFUL for my corn so this year I have decided to grow more! Much more! We’ll see. I choose Silver Queen becuase it fared the best of the three types I tried. I may end up regretting this decision, but I’m going to do a few things differently with the corn this time. Planting using the Square Foot Method and trying a baby oil/mineral oil trick I heard about for keeping the corn ear borers out.

This year I won’t be growing nearly as many hot peppers and I’m not starting any from seed. I have a few overwintered peppers and they should be more than enough. (More about them later.) Good grief, I had way too many last year. A few weeks ago I threw away pounds and pounds of hot peppers that were still in the freezer. I filled an entire white kitchen bag and it was HEAVY. It really smells like spring around here. While I’m weeding the beds the sweet smell of pansies and muscari drifts past my nose. The self-seeded pansies show their splendid variation. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are already up and the Muscaris are blooming. Even the bees are busy, visiting the muscari, chickweed, and all the other flowers that bloom in an early Spring lawn.

According to my Farmer’s Almanac Calendar Friday, March 19th was St. Joseph’s Day, a feast day celebrated by Catholics, Lutherans to honor the father of Jesus, St. Joseph. Some Catholic countries like Spain and Portugal celebrate Father’s Day on St. Joseph’s Day. The Farm’s Almanac included this proverb.

If St. Joseph’s Day [is] clear,
so follows a fertile year.


Here it was a clear as can be — the clearest weather we’ve had for a long time.

How was the weather on your St. Joseph’s Day? Do you think it’s going to be a fertile year?


5 Responses

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  1. Jen said, on March 21, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Oh, good – I think we’re gonna have a fertile year – we’ve had a string of beautiful days. I’m fascinated by your sunflower project. I love to plant sunflower mixes and will be doing it again this year – I wonder what would happen if you plant the black oil sunflower seeds the birds eat. May have to try a handful! Wish I had the space for corn and melons- we just took our swingset and pool out so I’m eyeing that space for some new beds. I’m sure the husband and kids have other ideas, tho. Have fun planting!

    Jen, it’s so exciting seeing all the different sunflowers. It sounds like you have the clearance to plant. 😉 The kids won’t mind, right, if they get corn on the cob and melons instead? Thanks for stopping by and I am definitely having fun planting.

  2. Gail said, on March 21, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    It was beautiful in Middle TN wasn’t it! I sure hope we do have a fertile year…THe handfull of seeds looks wonderful…I’ve never had much luck with sunflowers…but shallow soil and half sun aren’t the best growing conditions, either. …Cows! and I thought chipmunks and squirrels were bad! gail

    LOL! They left me quite a few presents too! I think we just learn to accept there are certain plants we cannon grow where we live. I sure loving seeing everything your grow at clay and limestone, including somethings I can’t grow myself.

  3. tina said, on March 22, 2010 at 7:30 AM

    I just love a freshly plowed garden too. Gardens are so easy when new and the plants are small. Not like a jungle come summer. So glad you are doing corn again. You need to plant a pretty big square of it since it is wind pollinated it needs to be by its neighbors to get the pollen transferred. Plant tons like you said. I did try the mineral oil. Used an old medicine dropper to put a drop or two in the tassels. It seemed to work well. No big worms. A really really good thing since they gross me out. Anyhow, have a great day and get that fence up. Thwart those pesky rabbits.

    It’s not not to be weeding sop much yet. Every year I tell myself I’m not going to let it get out of hand, but it does! I’m so glad to hear the mineral oil trick works. Fingers crossed!

  4. Gardening Made Easy said, on March 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    I fully agree with your analysis. A great foundation will make or even break a new garden. What I have found is that when there is a great fence and soil, things will work out just great. I enjoy your blog posts, keep up the great work and happy gardening.

  5. skeeter said, on March 25, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Ah, freshly plowed fields are showing up all around me here in GA. Fences make not only great neighbors of the human kind but the four legged kind as well. The deer ate my neighbor’s corn even with a fence in place. They can jump pretty high. We feed them whole corn from a hanging bucket so they will be lest apt to eat our flowers. But it only works so well. Liquid fence works for us too but expensive. I should make my own deer deterrent but I am a bit lazy…..

    ugh, it can really be a nightmare. Last year not one string bean! or one carrot! I’m hoping for much better this year. On the farm we don’t have all the critters, but we haven’t plenty of woodchucks and rabbits! Thanks for stopping by.

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