Good morning, and happy Wednesday!
I know I've been away all week, and I apologize. It's been a fairly busy sort of week, between getting the garden going, keeping up with the lawn, and oh yeah, raising a puppy that's new to the homestead. I just wanted to share how the garden is looking at this oh-so-early time of year-
Admittedly, this is not a garden picture. I was making the bed after doing laundry on Monday, and I just so happened to look up and see a raccoon outside. During the day, no less. She was down on the ground when I first spotted her, but then I got to watch her climb the tree! Probably not a critter I should allow in the yard, but sorry, I don't get to see a lot of raccoons. Alive, you know? I actually got a video of her trying to grab the bird feeder, which I'll share on my FaceBook page later. I sent the video to the hubby, who was quite alarmed that a raccoon was out during the day. He thought it must be diseased or have rabies. Have no fear, I did some Googling. Apparently it's quite normal for a raccoon to be out during the day occasionally. It's especially common to see pregnant female raccoons out during the day because they have to feed more to produce milk. I didn't like the sound of that, but the hubby seems to think she's just passing through. Fingers crossed. I really don't want to do a trap and relocate.
She munched on black oil sunflower seeds for a good 20 minutes. Good thing I don't mind feed the little piggy creatures.
Find out more about raccoons---->
Raccoons and Public Health (HSUS site)
All right, now for that garden! Can you spot the mint seedling here? They are so tiny!
Every single one of my pepper plants looks like this right now. Just a seedling. I have 3-4 seedlings of each variety (Lunchbox sweet, jalapeño, and hot rod peppers) growing.
Cilantro loves Kentucky. When my mom was out last fall, she mentioned she always has trouble with cilantro. I think it must the humidity, because all I do is throw a bunch of seeds in a large pot and watch it go. Besides lettuce and other greenery, cilantro is the easiest thing I grow.
Sunflowers starting to grow. I have 6 sunflowers growing currently, mainly to encourage birds to come to my garden. I'll say though, I haven't had any problem attracting birds this year. We did add a bird bath to the garden though, and I think that makes the garden an even bigger draw for the birds. Eat those insects, I say!
I'm trying companion gardening this year, so I have lots of marigolds growing. So far, the marigolds are very young, but I feel like they are already working. If that's possible :)
My milkweed is just starting to germinate. Also part of my companion planting as I'm trying to draw butterflies to the garden.
I've had so much trouble with tomato seeds this year. I didn't have any trouble with sprouting, but once they sprouted, they never grew. I may end up with 1-2 plants of each variety, but that remains to be seen. Might be a farmers market year for tomatoes. Grr.
Cherry tomato seedlings that might be saved.
One heirloom seedling seems to be growing.
By the way, I know my seedlings are tiny for this time of year. I started a ton of seedlings in March that died, and I had to start all over anew in the middle of April. Rough year for me.
Something completely new to me- potatoes! I actually hadn't planned on planting potatoes but I had 3-4 leftover organic red potatoes that had started to sprout. I decided to plant them, just to see what happened.
This is what happened! I just didn't know they would grow so fast!
I'm trying out this Beneficial Insect Mix this year. To see what it adds to my organic gardening. Time will tell!
Another batch of marigolds growing.
My lettuce bed. My lettuce bed was the tomato bed last year, but as you can see, we've added 3 new raised beds! The raised bed in front will be for my cucumbers, zucchini's, and pumpkins. The one behind it will be tomatoes. And the square one in the very back corner is going to be a strawberry patch. I'm growing strawberry seedlings inside right now, but they should be ready to go outside soon. We won't be getting fruit this year, but I'm hoping to establish them so we have fruit next year. I picked Alpine strawberries, a wild-type strawberry that's a good ground cover. They are also good companion plants for lettuce, spinach, thyme- all things I'm growing.
Here's a great article for companion planting----> Companion Planting
Here's the thing. I'm suffering burnout. Food burnout/writer's block. I literally cannot think of anything witty and upbeat to talk about. I'm finding (at this moment) I want to write about stuff that generally doesn't appear on food blogs. Like religion. Or politics. Or depression. Or fiction. My mind is just not on food right now, and every morning I find myself digging my heels in because I don't feel like writing about cookies. And since my blog is my hobby, it should make me HAPPY. Well, I need a breather. I'm not sure how long, it may be until after the hubby and I get back from Oregon. But-
I will return.
I will return rejuvenated, and with lots of fun and quirky stuff to talk about. I need to get out, soak up some sunshine, hike where I haven't hiked before, maybe take a bike ride...
I just need a change of pace for a little while. I think this is common among writers :)