Monday, May 23, 2011

Today's Spring Garden May 23, 2011

Spring full of hope and delight to watch the new plants sprout and grow.

There's a"spring" in my DH step these days. So evidence of varmints in the garden. He strung up an electric fence to keep creatures out of the garden, so it must be working. He's a very happy man!

He should be. Look at how beautiful the plants are right now. (not to mention the lilac bush at the east end of the garden.) The lush strawberry bed is blooming right at the foot of the bush.

We are eating lettuce from our garden now in delicious fresh salads of romaine and deer tongue varieties. These plants were started in Florida and brought back to Michigan. We discovered this winter in Florida how well they tolerate cold temps.

The broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants are looking great too.

I am amazed at how tall the corn is already. Of course, we cheated and started the plants in the greenhouse to give them a headstart. One more planting still in the greenhouse, then the third and fourth plantings will be seeds planted directly into the garden because the soil should be warm in a couple of weeks to germinate the seeds.

Without the greenhouse we couldn't have the advanced plants we do now. We have suffered some cold weather, but the little plants were kept safe and warm in the greenhouse. Check out the greenhouse on the right side of the page.

New Gardeners Take Note:  The weather forecaster is your best friend. Always keep your eye out for frost/freeze warnings so you can take action to prevent damage to all your hard work.

I know many of you folks farther south are enjoying your gardens already. Our friends in Florida are winding up their gardening until cool weather arrives in the fall. So though we are all in varying stages of  growing season, we all understand the joy of gardening.

As I write this, I think of those people who have lost their homes, gardens, businesses, and livelihood due to the horrendous tornadoes and flooding this spring. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recipe--Grilled Asparagus

Spring time is asparagus time in Michigan. We don't have asparagus in our garden mostly because we are in the middle of asparagus growing farms. Just had the first fresh asparagus from a local farm this weekend. And I must say, it was deeelicious. Here's the recipe the farmer suggested we try--

Grilled Asparagus

Roll asparagus spears in olive oil. Place on the heated grill. Salt and pepper. Turn after 3 minutes. Depending on thickness of spears, keep turning and check until cooked to your preference.

Another recipe from the farmer is to toss raw asparagus in Italian dressing or lemon juice/olive oil dressing on a medium hot barbecue grill for about 15 minutes. Closing the lid takes less cooking time. Roll the spears around like hot dogs.

Look for my FREE Garden of Eatin' Recipe Collection in an e-book coming soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Plant a Row for the Hungry

I know you are getting geared up to get that garden planted. This year, you may want to plant a row for your family plus plant a row for the hungry. When you have extra produce, instead of letting it go to waste, pick the veggies and give them to your local food pantry. By planting an extra tomato plant or zucchini or an extra row of beans, you will be assured to have more than enough food for your family and can share the extra with those in need.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tip Sheets for Vegetable Gardens

The Michigan Cooperative Extension Service offers all kinds of information for the home gardener. Click on the MSU website for tip sheets from getting started in gardening to help with growing veggies from asparagus to zucchini. Michigan gardens are in zones 4 and 5, so anyone in those zones could enjoy this excellent information.

Each state has their own extension service. Click on the website of the USDA to find your local extension office.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Treat Mom to a Garden Basket for Mother's Day

Here are a few ideas for the Mom who loves to garden. Purchase these ready-made items or put together your own concoction of things she needs to grow a lovely vegetable or flower garden. Some ideas are garden gloves, seeds, gardening book, gift certificate to her favorite garden center, and perhaps a bottle of pain reliever to help her sore, aching back. about a certificate from YOU to help plant and/or weed the garden??

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where is Spring?

Spring attraction!

Still waiting for spring in Michigan, but while we are waiting my DH has added new compost to the garden, transplanted wandering strawberry plants from outside the bed back into the proper location. I see little green sprouts brave enough to show themselves in all the cold weather. Frosty night possible again tonight. Be strong, little plants!! Brrrrrrrrrrr...Onions started in FL and transplanted in MI are not coming up. Too wet and cold he thinks.

I took time to study the poll on why do you garden located on the right side of the page...100% voted for personal satisfaction. I think that is an excellent reason to garden. How satisfying it is to bring a little seed or plant to mature into a delicious morsel to share with the family. I still can't get over this miracle even after gardening for so many years.

Check out the poll and see how the voting turned out whether you participated or not. It is eye-opening to me. I bet there are other reasons to garden. Leave a comment if you have another one. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Plant Seeds on Toilet Paper

I know it sounds ridiculous to say to plant seeds on toilet paper, but---That is exactly what my DH has been doing this year. He tried newspaper last year, first gluing them to the news, then burying them in the ground. The paper was too thick. So, ingenious person that he is, he tried toilet paper and has had great success. To save you time, your back, and remove the possibility of spilling those tiny seeds out of the packet, try this method.

This is our first attempt at making a garden tip video. We would like feedback on it if you are willing to comment. Enjoy.