Friday, April 23, 2010

I Feel a Gardening Post Coming On

The Stevie Wonder song "Isn't She Lovely" is totally running through my brain right now as I write this post. I am so crazy about my garden. Just bonkers.

Yesterday was an amazingly beautiful day so I decided to plant Phase II. I had planted seeds of lettuce, garlic, carrots, peas, onions and potatoes and now that it is warming up a bit I was ready for some of the less hearty plants like cucumbers, peppers and herbs. Because I don't like delayed gratification and had already tested my green thumb with seeds on the other plants I just got starts and went for it. I also planted some marigolds which are a wonderful beneficial flower for the garden. More on beneficials later.

Because my bed is a bit smaller than I would have wanted it, I planted my herbs in pots. This turned out to be good as I just learned parsley needs less sun than the rest of the plants and I'll be able to move it if I see it struggling with the oodles of sunlight my backyard gets. And yes, speaking of herbs, Kristan, I did plant you some basil!

Here's a picture of the whole scene complete with pots and Ella the composter (which should be giving my first load of compost in about 2 weeks!).

Isn't that a lovely little fence? Hot Jeff found and put that together to keep Jersey the evil, neighbor cat out. It has totally worked too. Oh Hot Jeff...not only are you hot but you are so clever. Single ladies, never marry a man who can't outwit a neighbor cat.

This is just another view/angle of the raised bed. Don't you love the rain gauge in the corner? All serious gardeners have rain gauges. I got one so that I would appear to be a serious gardener. I think somewhere in Raleigh, Bug is very, very pleased with me.

Ok, lets talk about beneficial flowers. First of all, I have to give credit to Bug, my gardening Sensei, because without her I wouldn't have even known I needed to google beneficial flowers. Bug knows ALL THINGS GARDENING and she even cans. I know.

So anyway, beneficials, (as they are cleverly called) are flowers you plant in or near your garden to attract bugs that benefit the plants by pollinating them or eating the bugs that kill them. I know it seems that all bugs are bad for your plants but that is not the case and in fact, you need to some to have healthy produce. For example, marigolds deter whiteflies and beetles and cornflowers attract ladybugs who eat aphids while hesperis attracts bees which will help pollinate your flowering plants. Another wonderful beneficial is actually herbs! The basil you planted? It attracts bees and repels aphids. So very cool.

There are a gajillion websites about beneficial flowers but I have found this one to be the most concise and resourceful without being too wordy.

One final word on gardening, I hope I don't get bored with this. I tend to really get excited about stuff and then get bored with it. I'll keep you posted.

p.s. Lying to my kids about their food is going gang-busters! A few days ago we went to McDonalds drive-thru to get diet cokes for Hot Jeff and me and Samuel bellered from the back seat, "We don't eat here! They have fake chicken!" Jamie Oliver would be so proud.


Fruitful Labor said...

At first I was excited and honored that I got a hyperlink on your site but it was somewhat diminished when I realized that Jersey, the evil neighbor cat, also had a hyperlink. Not sure what to think about that.

Second, when I saw that you had a rain gauge I thought, "Oooh, good job Jen." Then I read that somewhere in Raleigh I would be please with you and it's true. I am pleased. You are a wonderful student, grasshopper.

Della said...

Jennifer and Traci Aunt Kathy will be so proud of you.