Archive for the ‘catnip’ Tag

08-22-2016 Journal – Herbs!   Leave a comment

With the Summer more than half over our garden time is more about canning, drying, and storing the results of our efforts than anything else.  I’ve been asked in the past how I can get so much production from such a small garden. There’s really no simple answer. An old adage immediately comes to mind: “Plan the work, then work the plan.”  Test your soil and keep it fresh, season to season, with compost. Plant your plants near compatible plants.  Pull the weeds and kill the bugs. Easy peasy!

The following picture was taken this morning of my small herb garden. The total square footage is 60 ft. which isn’t all that much.  I’ve noted the herbs planted there and while they are jammed tightly into the small space they are flourishing.

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This small patch has been supplying us with fresh and dried herbs for more than seven years and will hopefully continue to do so.  We’ve had so much luck with our herbs growing that next year we’re converting another 100 square feet of garden space for a much larger herb selection. This little patch will continue as is but the new area will be loaded with every herb I can find that we can dry and store. With a larger and more diverse collection I can begin harvesting herbs to create my own mixes for picking, canning, home brewing, and cooking.

Growing more herbs has a number of advantages over vegetables because none of Mother Nature’s little critters seem to like the herbs. That doesn’t include neighborhood felines who find fresh catnip rather interesting. That will allow me to remove some of the fencing I have in place and eliminate my current problems of ripping my clothing on the fence  or constantly falling on my butt trying to climb over it.  My better-half claims that I’m the clumsiest person on the planet but I dispute that.  I’m just unlucky is all.

I will try to post as usual but our upcoming vacation may make it difficult. I’ll attempt to post from New Orleans if I can but after all it is a vacation. I’ll have plenty to post about upon our return.

ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR SUMMER

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07-21-2016 Garden Issues!   Leave a comment

The garden is once again fast becoming my top priority. As usual at this time of the season the herbs are out of control. I spent some time this week pruning the oregano and catnip for later drying.  I did a general cleanup of the dehydrator in anticipation of a heavy work load this summer.

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It holds a great deal of material as you can see.  This week I filled it with diced jalapeños, cayenne’s, and two pounds of habaneros.  After six hours the peppers were ready for grinding. Unfortunately my reliable old grinder failed to work and I was forced to make a quick trip to Walmart to purchase another.  The peppers were ground into a fine powder and stored for future uses.

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Hot, Hotter, and Hottest

Then it was back to trimming and photographing some of the newly blooming day lilies.  These pictures are of the early bloomers with more colors and variants expected within a few weeks. I love these colors.

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It was a garden and yard work day all around.  I spent some time paying attention to my compost area. I needed to wet down the piles and add a compost accelerator. I’ll be needing as much of it as I can get to add to the garden this Fall.

The better-half and I also began the process of redesigning the garden for next Spring. We’ve decided to discontinue growing vegetables in one of the large frames and to devote it entirely to growing culinary herbs.  It’ll be something of challenge placing the correct herbs near others that are compatible. We’ll also be placing herbs in the vegetable frames to keep out assorted pests and varmints that the herbs do naturally. Hopefully we’ll be able to agree on the final design of the garden before Spring arrives and the purchasing and planting our selection of herbs begins.

IT SHOULD BE GREAT FUN

 

 

 

 

04-28-2013   Leave a comment

I think I’ve survived my bout with the flu and it appears the worst is over. My ribs are still killing me from all the coughing but that will pass in a few days. What I need most right now is to get up and out of the house to enjoy the beautiful weather that’s expected for the next few days. The good weather and a little yard work will be just the thing to get me moving again in the right direction.  It’s time to change clothes and begin my Spring in a proper fashion.

My better-half is already out and about and doing her gardening thing and she’s awaiting my arrival.  The herb garden is in grim shape so that’s where I’ll start.  It appears that due to the heavy snow cover this winter most of the plants survived and are beginning to poke through the ground already.  I’ll just need to replant the basil and parsley which are annuals and a couple of thymes that didn’t make it.  That to me is a good winter result. In almost every winter since moving to Maine I’ve found it necessary to replace on average of eight to ten plants.

The neighbor’s outdoor cat should be really happy too. The catnip is already two inches high and there are a bunch of tiny little footprints already in the area from his nightly visits.  That dumb cat loves getting stoned on that catnip.

I’ve just about given up on growing thyme and I’m really tired of replanting and replanting with nothing to show for it.  We use a lot of herbs in our cooking which requires harvesting and drying them each Fall for storage.  I try to harvest only thirty percent of any plant because any more than that will kill them. The  thyme seems to be so delicate that if I harvest any of the plant at all it doesn’t  survive the winter.  I could try a large number of plants and take just a little from each but we don’t use enough thyme in our dishes to justify that.

It’s noon already and I’ve cleaned at least eight bushels of dead plant material from the garden.  Things are looking good here but we have a few more things that require our attention as well.  My better-half loves lilac plants so last year I purchased her two as a birthday gift and we planted them along the side of the house.  They made it through the winter and appear very healthy.  Unfortunately the amount of sun they get in that location could be better.  After some discussion yesterday we’ve decided they need to be transplanted elsewhere.

My better-half spent her morning creating a new flower bed in front of the house that receives more than eight hours of full sun each day.  We just finished transplanting the lilacs to their new home and I expect them to easily double in size by the end of the summer.  Once they start blooming that wonderful scent will make sitting on the deck a lot more enjoyable.

We just finished cleaning up the remainder of the debris from the backyard. It’s surrounded on three sides by woods and believe it or not trees make one hell of a mess.  More goodies for the compost pile which is beginning to look more like a compost mountain.  Thank God I use a lot of it each Fall to re-energize the gardens but it really does pile up quickly.

It’s early in the year but all of my better-half’s efforts from last summer are beginning to pay off.  She has daffodils, tulips, and many others flowers already in bloom and the front of the house looks fantastic.  It’s time for us both to put the tools away and call it a day.  These kind of days are always hard work but it’s well worth it.  It’s always been a great way for us both to clear our heads, forget about all of the everyday nonsense, and just dig in the dirt for a while.  It’s a great stress reliever and way cheaper than therapy.