Garden Planning

Garden Chores

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And a Partridge in a…

This is my pear tree in our backyard. This year, we had so many pears, the branches were bending under the weight of the fruit. Here are a couple of these beauties:

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love to poach them in wine but my mother-in-law uses them in apple pies! I have tried them and you can not tell the difference.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saving the Season

It's canning season!! I have nurtured these babies from seed to mature bountiful plants. Now, the fruits of my labor is paying off into great things like Susie's Homemade Salsa:-) Yummo:-)

I don't really trust the canning process. I am too scared of botulism. Instead, I can them up and freeze them (that's why the picture is funny...I took it after freezing it...duh). It's another labor of love.

First, the tomatoes. I seed them and then, carefully take the seeds and rinse them off. It takes a while to do this because there is a little membrane that has to come off. Once they are dried, I wrap them in a paper towel and put that into a labeled food storage bag. Into the frig they go until next season. Viola!! Instant heirloom tomatoes. Ok...not instant but it's pretty cool. I never have to buy tomato seeds again!

Next, I make the salsa. I boil the tomatoes and then add Susie's Homegrown green peppers, hot peppers, onion, garlic and parsley. Then, in goes the vineager, sugar, salt and pepper. I bring it to a boil again and then dip the pot into an ice bath. This helps to bring the temperature down. Then, I ladle the completed salsa into sterilized 1/2 pint jars (leaving a 1/2 inch headspace), label and then freeze.

I got to tell you, it feels great to have my own homemade salsa to munch on during the Super Bowl:-) Nothing quite like it:-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall Plants

It's time for Gardening Thursday. Today, I am going to show you around my fall planters.

When the cold weather strikes, it is important to take those summer plants out and replace them with hardy falls plants. You saw my Fence Garden a couple weeks ago and this is the one place that I do have a 3-season plan (white pots for spring and summer, orange pots for fall and green pots for winter).

On the ends, I have ornamental Kale. I love the deep purple color and it adds a different texture to the arrangments.

And of course, you have to do mum in the fall. They are colorful and hardy. The cooler it gets, the better they do. When buying mums, make sure to get plants that are packed tight together and still have a lot of closed buds. Also, make sure you keep these guys moist. They do not like to be dry. Follow these few easy instructions, and you can enjoy them well into the season.

I really like this 3-season plan and I would like to duplicate it in the other sides of the house. So, over the next couple years, I am going to be buying up large pots for the Bush Garden and hanging pots and small pots for the Tropical Garden . Wish me luck:-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tackling Indoor Gardening

We tackled our basement this weekend to go along with 5-Minutes for Mom Tackle It Tuesday . We cleaned out all of our storage shelves because my husband bought me a grow light for my birthday (back in May). So, we finally got around to setting it up and here it is:

I can't wait to get started. The shelving unit with the reflective paper is for seedlings and I have used this for 2 years to feed my outdoor garden. The success of this set up lead to the grow light. Now, I can plant seedlings year round and bring plants to maturity under the new light. I am so excited!!! I haven't decided what I am going to plant yet but, I will be sure to blog about it when I do:-)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday's Foto Fun with Produce

Time for Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta !!

This week, I am tantalizing you with a single crisp and succulent apple from my apple tree.

There is nothing quiet like going in your back yard and plucking a beauty like this and sinking your teeth into the rosy red skin with a crunch into the snow white juicy center.

Hungry? Good:-) Come back Monday for Susie's Homemade Apple Pie Recipe:-) In the meantime, I leave you with Big Yellow Taxi:

"Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT. I don't care about spots on my apples, leave me the birds and the bees - please"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tropical Garden

It's time for Gardening Thursday:-) This week, we are visiting my backyard or what I like to call my "Tropical Garden".

I call it that because that is where we keep the pool in the summer. The pool, having water and all, lends itself to the tropical theme. I have 2 kinds of ferns back there and what I call "Banana Leaf" hostas. They look like palm tree tops planted in the ground.
I also have my husband's Jades back there. These actually have an interesting story.

My husband's paternal grandmother had a beautiful Jade back in their hometown of Cincinnati. The family had taken several cuttings from it on different occasions however, they never seemed to take. They tried on last time at Grandma's funeral. After they came home, the Jades finally grew! Then, the uncles called and reported that Grandma's Jade finally retired. It was like she wasn't willing to leave Cincinnati and then when it was time to go, she lived on here in that Jade.

And, as one of the newest members of the family, I took my own cutting off of my husband's plant. I have successfully grown my own Family Jade in a pot that I bought in Mexico on our honeymoon. Kind of fitting, don't you think? My husband says it's like getting Grandma's approval:-) Thanks, Grandma! I love your grandson very much:-)

Thanks for spending Thursday with me gardening. Next week, we will take a look at my fall plants:-)

Susie's Homemade ECookbook

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