lady beetles

 
 
I’ve found a bunch of lady beetles around recently. I thought ladybugs (actually a beetle, not a bug) were only the red and black spotted ones. Not true. There are about 5,000 species of these beetles. Many are native to the US and many have been introduced from Europe or Asia, generally to control aphids and other food crop pests.Most lady beetle are voracious eaters of food crop pests. The two I found today are the Fourteen-spotted ladybug (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) picture on the right , and the Eye-spotted Lady Beetle…
 

our irrigation system is running!!

 
 
We finally have running water in the field at Aurelia’s Garden, our food pantry donation project. We made it through a couple dry weeks maintaining our newly planted seedlings by slogging water in buckets from the nearby swamp. It’s a big relief to turn on the pump and have plenty of water pumped to our plants. The system has large (2 inch) feeder lines, all sorts of connectors and valves running into plastic drip tape. We can run any set of lines at one time. It’s a low pressure system…
 

mulching my community garden

 
 
It’s been so hot and dry! It early in the year to have this heat here. I don’t make to to my community garden more than once a week or so and the soil is just dust now. To conserve water I used black plastic and chopped hay today. I laid down the black plastic and planted 18 tomatoes in it. Then I spread chopped hay around all the other plants. Finally I gave everything a good watering. I used non-permeable plastic, which I don’t like as much as the…
 

mulched paths in Mom’s garden

 
 
I am tired of weeds!!! I put down a water-permeable black weed cloth on the paths of my mother’s garden and covered it with chopped hay-straw mulch. It’s working well. I visited her today and it only took me a couple minutes to weed the rows. I think it looks really nice. Mom is picking lettuce, chard, kale, parsley, and snow peas now.
 

mushrooms!!!

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I was amazed to notice today that I had Shitake mushrooms growing on logs I cultured last winter. Wow!! My husband and I drilled lots of little holes and hammered in a lot of mushroom cultures that I bought. Five or six types, each on the type of wood they preferred. These Shitake’s are called warm-weather Shitake’s and I grew them on oak logs. I cut them off the log and carried them back to the house in a little basket. I’ll have to look up a nice recipe for…
 

the first plants in Mom’s garden

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I planted a bunch of plants in my mother’s garden last Saturday. Lettuce, peas, spinach, arugula, parsley and beets. Then we dragged her very long hose out and watered things in. It’s still pretty cool here, often dropping to low 30’s at night. I haven’t planted anything out in my garden yet. In fact, I noticed my count down timer on my sidebar here said “zero weeks until my last frost.” Not this year. I’ve added a couple weeks to the timer. May 10 is my guess for this year.…
 

here is a template garden plan

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I use PowerPoint to draw up my garden plans. If you have PowerPoint and want to start from a template that I have made, you can download it here: Skippy’s garden plan template. There must be some good, simple garden design apps to recommend and link to here. Please let me know any recommendations you have.
 

my garden plans for 2020

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I usually draw up plans for my gardens in the middle of the winter but this task got away from me this year. Finally, just in time for planting, I have made my plans.  
 

a new package of honeybees

 
 
  A week and a half ago, Monday, I installed a package of bees in my backyard. I didn’t have honeybees last year, but I missed them buzzing around my vegetable garden. Every year I install the bees wrong, no different this year. The queen comes in a little cage with a candy plug that take the other bees a day or two to chew through and release her. By that time, they are used to each other. My version this year was to accidentally crush the little cage while…
 

Kathy Martin
This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy thinks the garden is his, even though I do all the work. We're located near Boston, in USDA zone 6. I have bees, chickens, fruit trees and berry bushes, too. I use all sustainable organic methods and strive to grow all of my family's vegetables myself. -Kathy


JavaScript Countdown timer test

weeks and counting until my last spring frost


What I planted recently

Feb 28
Beets, Celeriac, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme



What I'm planting soon

March 6
Cabbage, Kale, Escarole

March 12
Broccoli, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers


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My garden this week

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17 years of archives!


Check out the pantry garden I work at:

Aurelia's Garden


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Skippy’s vegetable of the month – POPCORN!


"It seems like the garden is fast asleep under its cover of snow. But hidden from view a secret world is busy preparing to grow."



"What can happen to a seed is a miracle."


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