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Archive for the ‘the garden’ Category

I hadn’t been out for a peek in a while- and look what I found!  By the look of it, I’ll have enough to harvest within a week.  I guess I’d better start thinking about what fun things to do with them.  (I’ve had this on my mind since last spring!)  Isn’t this season lovely?

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Spring, glorious spring!  I love the light, the breeze, the flowers and the new growth!  And I’m always amazed at how the new growth seems to glow from within under the spring sun…glory be!

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Machete

If these were daggers…..

Then these must be machetes…

P9170005…or maybe one of those cool Hattori Hanso swords like The Bride had in Kill Bill…

…and I’d like to take this moment to offer up a ton of overgrown, tough, practically inedible okra….anyone? anyone?…

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All the leaves are brown

I’d like to dedicate this one to the mamas and the pappas…

Well, singular actually.

Though all mammas and pappas are welcome to join in.

Come on!…”and the skies are grey”

See, I happened to be “out there for a wa—-alk, on a summer’s day” when I came upon the sad, sad arugula in my parents’ garden.  And I gasped.  Actually I didn’t.  I said, “well, um, it’s just a little overgrown.”  They wondered how you get those cute little arugula leaves that you can buy for salads.  Their one plant was just making great-big leaves.

And here is your answer:

P8270020You grow a lotta little plants.

Just prepare your soil with plenty of organic matter.  Sprinkle the seeds on top, and then sprinkle another thin layer of soil on top.  The seeds will be only 1/8″ or so under the top layer of soil.  Tamp it down lightly to make sure that there is good contact between the soil and the seeds.  Then give it a gentle watering.  Make sure that the seeds remain moist while they’re sprouting.

When you’re watering your plants, consider this:  the roots need water.  So if your little baby plant has only just sprouted roots, then you needn’t water very deeply.  However, you must water often since that top layer of soil will dry out readily.  But as your plant grows, the roots will go deeper and deeper.  Therefore, your water must soak deeper and deeper to reach the roots.  The deeper you get though, the longer it will take for the soil to dry out.  So you can water less often.

First the arugula will sprout, and then you’ll see more and more leaves pop up.  When they are “salad sized” just go out and trim one or two leaves from each mini-plant.  (If you gently push the leaves back a bit, you’ll be able to see where each mini-plant is. )  By taking only one or two leaves you will allow that plant to continue growing, and it will continue sprouting new leaves for quite a while.

Eventually, the plant will mature, get bigger, and try to send up flower shoots so that it can finish it’s growing cycle.  Eat the flowers too- they’re fun in salads.  If you let the flowers bloom and die, the plant will go to seed and “re-plant” itself.  Otherwise, you can just rip the plants out and do it again.

I find that my arugula grows really well in a spot that gets some shade during the day.  That way the leaves stay nice and tender.

Then you can get back to your California dreamin.

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The miracle of the garden has happened again.  Those lovely little okra flowers have turned into fierce-looking daggers of red okra that make me long for Scott’s gumbo.  Maybe, if I’m very, very lucky, he’ll have a batch waiting for me when I get home from work tomorrow (along with my slippers and cigar, of course!).  And on that note- we’ve got perfectly green peppers in the garden awaiting their due spot in the “trinity”.

No, no.  This ain’t no religious post.  I’m talking about celery, onion, and peppers.  In Cajun cuisine, that combination is called the “trinity” and it serves as the base for many dishes.  It’s alter ego “mirepoix”  lives in the realm of European cuisine, and contains carrots instead of peppers.  So that’s that!  You learn a new thing every day-huh?

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Yarrow, lovely Yarrow

Yarrow is like the miracle plant.  It’s drought tolerant, it’s beautiful, and it attracts all the little flying insects that I want in my garden.  I really love this particular yarrow because the little white flowers look like snow.  It’s cooling to look at in the warm weather.

P8040002And those doggone little flowers are just so cute!

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Southern Belle

P7200001I just love taking a stroll through the garden and suddenly spying something so lovely that I just can’t stop looking at it.   That’s what happened the day I found this okra flower hiding bashfully beneath the canopy of leaves above it.  I imagined it cooing to me with the accent of a Southern Belle, “Good heavens darlin’, its a trifle warm out here…”

(What, you don’t give your plants personalities?  What’s wrong with you!)….

(Hmmm, maybe that’s why I have such a hard time ripping them out at the end of the season…)

(Perhaps that childhood movie, Babes in Toyland, had a more profound effect on me than we all thought…)

(Or maybe I’m the last one coming to this realization and the rest of you already knew I was crazy….)

(Note to self: Stop admitting that you talk to your vegetable garden…)

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