Archive | June, 2013

Caterpillars growing and planting squash!

28 Jun
Caterpillars on June 27, 2013

Caterpillars on June 27, 2013

Our caterpillars have molted and are getting much bigger — we saw about seven, maybe eight (I can’t remember), when we looked last night.

Jaydon, Warner, Sadie, Rachel, and Audrey and I also planted some winter squash in the garlic bed.  We planted 4 “hills” of 3-5 squash seeds each.  The plan is to thin to the two strongest plants in each hill after they start growing.  We planted one hill each of Waltham Butternut (organic), Burgess Buttercup (Hudson Valley Seed Library), Howden Pumpkin (Seeds of Change and organic), Zepplin Delicata Squash (organic).

We planted mostly where we’d already harvested the garlic, but one we did plant one of our four squash “hills” up at the top end of the bed in a place that I thought would be safe and would allow us to harvest the remaining garlic (I marked the space where we planted with one of the vegetable supports).

The pumpkin seed packet (the oldest seeds we tried) said the seeds should germinate within 3-7 days, so I’m hoping we’ll start seeing squash seedlings soon!

The Caterpillars are Here!

22 Jun
Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar on Carrot Greens

Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar on Carrot Greens

Audrey and I saw our first Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly of the season last week out in the garden.  We noticed it hovering around the carrots and I was hopeful.  (I also saw a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly last week walking down Clinton, just past the corner with Tillary and Court — I guess it’s that time!)  Two days ago, I saw what I thought might be eggs on the carrot leaves . . . and then this morning, THERE THEY WERE.

Carrots, dill, fennel, parsley and other members of the plant family Apiaceae are host plants for swallowtail butterflies.  Last year we kept buying dill from the farmers’ market to keep our caterpillars in food.  I’m thinking maybe next year we could just plant a bunch of carrots; by the time there were about ready to harvest, the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars would be around to eat all the greens.  When the greens were gone, we could harvest and eat the carrots!

Interestingly, none of the specific host plants mentioned above are native species . . . so the gardener at this website started a search for plants the caterpillars must have eaten before we brought all these non-natives into our gardens . . .  Planting native swallowtail butterfly host plants could be an interesting project for next year, too!

Garden in May and June 2013

20 Jun

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A few snapshots of the season so far.  Coming soon squash, more tomato and basil transplants, and soon after that . . . bush beans!

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Let’s Harvest Some Garlic

15 Jun

planting-4

Mini-Garlic Harvest!

When: Sunday, June 16 6:30pm*

How: With shovels and our hands

Why: We need to pull out some of the garlic so it can dry for 2-4 weeks before it is consumed.

More details to come.

For more info, check out these posts RE garlic planting and growing.

*Typically, garlic is dried for 2-4 weeks before it is eaten, but we might want to do some sort of tasting tomorrow so we have something to compare with when we sample cured garlic in July.

Update: Here are some snaps from the actual harvest.

Arushi picked a winner

Arushi picked a winner

We used a shovel to lift the earth and protect the bulb

We used a shovel to lift the earth and protect the bulb

Nice garlic pull, Benji!

Nice garlic pull, Benji!

Some donations…

8 Jun

While I was a Lowe’s today, I piphoto(1)cked up a few things to donate to the garden and play area:

1. One bag of mulch  I spread the chips around the bottom of the slide for safety surfacing. Note RE bag: It cost less than $4. and since I don’t own car, I figured it was cheaper and easier than schlepping out to Green Wood cemetery for free wood much.  That said, I’m happy to lend a hand if/when anyone else goes on a run.

2. Burlap netting (AS: Will this work to protect plants from critters?)

3. Three (3) Coleman Citronella Lantern Candles (These were on sale and I figured we could safely hang them out of kids reach…thoughts?)

4. Cilantro plant

5. Gardening gloves

-Denise

Brainstorm Box

8 Jun

suggestionbox1Share your bright ideas and inspirations for the garden here!  Just scroll down and post a comment where it says Leave a reply.

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