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Planting Decisions

April 21, 2012

 Country Garden Planted April 1 2012

With the weather as unusual as it has been over the past couple of years and the limited amount of time we have to spend at the Country Garden right now, we made the decision to plant the garden in Seneca during Spring Break and then to pray it would grow. Once my favorite garden muscle, sweet husband and son, finished tilling the garden plot I got busy planting.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover how nice the soil is in that part of the property. I had fears that it would be solid red clay and nearly impossible to plant this year but my fears were misplaced. I guess all the years of leaves that have fallen from the large trees at the edge of this plot have helped as has the fact that we’ve used that area to burn brush piles several times in the past. At this point only time will tell, but I have high hopes for this garden area going into the future.

This year we planted Sunflowers, Popcorn, Onions (not the whole 225 but close), Red Warty Thing Pumpkins, Jarrahdale Pumpkins, Lakota Squash, Celeraic and Gremlin Gourds. My garden helper is going over Monday so we will see if there is any progress. I’m hoping that both frost and critters have missed the garden so far!

Azalea Surprise

April 7, 2012

Azalea Surprise

When I got to the country garden last week the azaleas were if full bloom. The pink ones were so bright that I stuck my camera lens right up to the bush to get a “texture” shot. I thought I might play with it on printable fabric to use in a future quilt project. Much to my surprise, when I downloaded the photos, there were two friends sharing a meal side by side on the bush! I thought you might enjoy the photo while I get caught up on all the posts I should have written last week.

Onions Galore

March 24, 2012

225 Onion Sets

I thought I’d be smart and order one of those sampler collections of onions that gives you a few of three different varieties and then I realized that I had ordered a total of 225 onion sets, 75 each Candy (Yellow), Super Star (White), and Red Candy Apple (red).. They came last Friday in a very small but aromatic box. I won’t get to the country garden where they are to be planted until next Thursday evening and they won’t get planted until next Saturday, April 1st at the soonest. Not to worry though, if the instructions are to be believed, they will last 3 weeks unplanted as long as they don’t get too dry or too wet. These were drying out a bit so I have given their roots a drink per the directions. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they will actually grow once they are in the ground!

Are you planting onions this year? If so, what kinds and how many?

Best Dogwood Bloom in Three Years

March 23, 2012

Best Dogwood Bloom in 3 years

I declare this a banner year for Dogwood Trees! Not only did the blooms arrive early, but they are prettier than they have been for at least 3 years. When we first moved to this house, there were about 30 wild dogwood trees on the property. We’ve lost many to drought over the past six years and I was beginning to  be concerned that they were all going to die.

Dogwoods in the neighbor's yard

Planting List for 2012

March 21, 2012

I’ve got my planting lists pretty much nailed down now so I’ve updated the Planting Lists page here on the blog so you can see what I am planting this year. Some things are old favorites, but there are lot of new and experimental items too. I have several recipes that call for celeraic but I can never find it in the grocery store so I’m trying to grow that. Popcorn is another new crop in the Carolina Victory Garden. The country or Seneca garden has plenty of room so why not! I’m really excited about the prospects of having my own pumpkins from which to make pies as well.

I’ve been sitting on my hands trying to decide if I should go ahead and plant or not, but I think this weekend we’ll put in the first of the seeds in Fort Mill. The weekend after, we’ll plant the garden in Seneca. With luck, there will be no crazy hail storms (like last April 9) and no more frosts.  It seems too warm now for the cool weather veggies. What are your thoughts on planting early given the present weather?

Early Iris

March 20, 2012

Iris Buds

Well spring has exploded in spite of our fears that it will get literally nipped in the bud. The white Iris I transplanted from the Country Garden are blooming early this year as are the dogwoods and the forsythia. They are beautiful though, aren’t they?

Iris in the Sun

Early blooming white Iris, Dogwoods and Forsythia

Spring Cleaning

March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning in the Carolina Victory Garden

The past couple of weekends we have been busy spring cleaning in the garden. The raised beds which lay fallow all last year were full of weeds and some grass that had to be pulled to prepare for the planting of seeds in the near future. I think the year off was good for the garden. The soil is rich, fluffy and full of worms. We added just a little compost and turned everything to mix it in. With temperatures in the 80s the past two weeks, it is hard to resist temptation to go ahead and plant everything. In fact, I may cave in at any moment.

Small Raised Bed Invaded with Stachys Floridana

The one exception to this treatment is the original raised bed where we had transplanted a loropetalum rooting from the Country Garden. This is the bed that has been invaded by the Florida Betony. After reading all of our options, we decided to take the scorched earth approach. The bush has been thoroughly inspected for betony and taken down to it’s roots before being replanted in a large pot for the season. Round-up has been liberally applied to the betony and we will keep an eye on it to make sure it is all gone. It will be at least fall before we plant anything in this bed.

The front flower beds still need work in the way of soil remediation. We keep adding a little garden soil, a little compost, but this fall I think we will have to take up the entire bed and really do a good job of mixing and turning the soil. In the mean time, we replaced the mulch that has mostly composted itself or washed away over the past three years with pine straw. Not my favorite, but it will do for now.

Are your gardens prepared? Have you planted yet?

Main Garden Area with Pine Straw Mulch