Sunday, May 27, 2012

Veggies, Herbs, and Chickens.

I love this time of year, when I can finally get back out to my gardens!  This Spring was so strange, with 80 degree temps. in February.  Many of my perrenials emerged too soon, then got badly nipped when the fridgid weather returned.  Most everything recovered nicely, though my Hostas still look pretty sad.  Everything is now lush and green... especially the weeds!

This is what I call my "potato potager".  Two Summers ago I decided to try strawbale gardening in this spot with limited success.  I had planted potatoes within the square of strawbales that did well.  Last Summer I put the picket fencing around the deteriorating bales to prop them up, and disguise their sad appearance.  Last Fall I pulled the bales apart and used them for mulch, but the picket fence remained, and we used it for our Winter compost.  Today I have a lovely bed of potatoes occupying the entire space, and boy, are they happy!  I did not buy seed potatoes this year.  These plants came from a bag of forgotten spuds, purchaced at the grocery store.  They began sprouting with a vengence in their bag, at just about the time I wanted to plant, so in the ground they went.

Yesterday, I put a bunch of straw over and between the potato plants, and will continue to do so while they grow.  The pot in the center has Cilantro seeds in it, as do the four corners of this bed.  Cilantro is supposed to repel potato beetles.  I'm experimenting with companion planting as much as I can.

I've got my old turquoise washing machine planted with Buttercrunch lettuce.  There is also a little Peacevine cherry tomato tucked in there.

This old washtub is planted with a Mesclun lettuce mix, with a few Nasturtium seeds planted in the rusty cheese grater in the center, just for fun!

This planter, in dire need of a fresh coat of paint, is my Sweet Potato bin.  I grow my own slips on sweet potatoes in a glass of water, on my kitchen window sill.  The chicken wire is there to keep my hens from scratching out the baby plants.  They are accustomed to dust bathing in this bin, when it's not in use as a planter. 

I repainted my "support chair" that I use to cage my Comfrey plant, a cheery purple.  Now that the Comfrey is blooming, I'm quite pleased with the color choice.

The bumblebees love the bloosoms on this plant.  I love the many uses I've found for this powerful herb.  I was also very pleased to see dozens of honey bees enjoying the blooms on my nearby Walkers Low Catmint.  I saw very few honey bees last Summer.  Hopefully they are making a comeback!

It's always a challenge, raising vegetables with the help of my hens.  They assume every worm I dig up is for them, and all the fruit of my labors as well.  I've learned that the best defense is abundance, and of course, chicken wire!  To be fair, the Girls do gift me with lovely fresh eggs everyday, so I'm happy to share my harvests with them.

I hope you all are enjoying your Gardens as much as I and my Girls, are mine!


  1. It looks like your potatoes are very happy.
    love all your recycled garden "pots"!!

  2. My husbands family raised sweet potatoes, have you heard the term 'long row to hoe'...believe me, it was a thankless job, hot and dirty in the sandy soil, but the fruits of our labor were soooo worth it. Looks like you have as much fun gardening as I do...yup, tomorrow it's me n the girls playing in the dirt...:)

    Have fun tomorrow!


  3. I love love love the different planters you have! The washtub with lettuce? Awesome! I love the pretty chickens too :)

  4. I love the washtub planter with lettuce! Too Awesome! The chickens are great. I love Barred Rocks. :)