COVID-19 Gardening

Garden Update

plant seedlings in greenhouse

Tomato and pepper seedlings are growing taller each day, reaching their fragile green arms towards the sunshine coming through the greenhouse ceiling and walls.

seed packets and pots in greenhouse

A couple of weeks ago I started a few plants that we normally direct sow like cucumbers, melons, and squash. Over the weekend I got a wild hair and decided to start a few more plants in the greenhouse. The girls love chamomile tea and we use calendula to make an oil that heals cuts and sores. Chitter needs to write a post and show you how she makes it 🙂

I also planted a couple of candy roasters, wild nettles, flowers, and other things.

Some of the seeds I used, like the scarlet runner beans, are old but I think they’ll still grow. A Blind Pig reader sent them to me, maybe it was you 🙂

Out in the garden lettuce, onions, radishes, and beets are coming right along. Seems like they’re going slower this year, but maybe that’s because I’ve had more time to look at them.

mushrooms growing on log

We used some of the better old mushroom logs to replace the sides of a raised bed and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the logs have grown mushrooms. I guess moving them from the canopy of the woods into direct rain rejuvenated the mushroom spores. Pretty neat uh!


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  • Reply
    April 25, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Say, Tipper, I forgot to ask – are you still an Affiliate with Sow True Seed? I’m probably going to order my sweet potato slips from them, and I’ll use your link if you have one.

    • Reply
      April 25, 2020 at 11:01 am

      Quinn-Sadly they never really got their affiliate program off the ground so the answer is no, in fact I’ve lost all contact with Sow True Seed in the last year, but I still love their seeds!

      • Reply
        April 26, 2020 at 6:58 am

        Sorry to hear that, Tipper. I’m sure you’ve sent a lot of new customers their way over the years. I think the packet artist project kind of fell apart too, but I’m still a fan and customer!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    I love putting out a garden and taking care of it. Watching it grow and eating it because it’s fresh and home grown. We already put out 2 beds of cucumbers and 2 beds of tomatoes and 1 bed of squash. We’re going to fix more beds for peppers. We did a little landscaping yesterday evening but still aint done. Fresh mulch always makes it looks better to. Yours sure looks good Tipper.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    April 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    My how clever you and your family are. Truman has talked of a green house.he now is taking radiation /chemo for cancer. Our neighbor had a hollowed our a log for a flower bed we thought this was neat.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Plants look good, I plan on building a greenhouse this year, seen one I’m interested in on the tube called a cattle panel greenhouse/hoop house, simple and seems effective,

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 22, 2020 at 9:49 am

    My tomatoes need some sunshine. The sun is too high in the sky now so the dining room window has lost it’s function. I carried them outside a couple of days but it seems when sun is out it’s too windy for their spindly stems. When it’s not windy, it’s cloudy and cold.
    I have almost finished putting the fence around my little garden. I have been working on it for several years. One year I paid my grandson to dig the post holes. It was so hard I thought he was going to pass out so I paid him anyway and sent him home. I have only about six to eight inches of topsoil and below that it is like digging through a brick. But, a few days ago I dragged my chair around and set to work. I was digging five minutes and sitting for ten. It took me three days to dig the last five holes and set posts in them but I “got ‘er done”. I have no stamina but I do have perseverance.
    I have only onions and six cabbage set out in my garden so far. The cabbages are healthy looking but they are not growing. The onions are doing better and are almost big enough to eat.
    Cousin Bill Burnett sent me some seeds for Chinese Okra that I’m anxious to try out. That is partially the reason I had to get the fence up. It’s a vine and likes to climb. Another reason is pole beans.
    I have some trees to cut because they are shading my garden. One is leaning toward the house pretty good (or maybe pretty bad). I have tried to kill it by ringing (or girdling) it but it just won’t die. I had hoped it would die and dry out so if it did happen to blow over or if I messed up cutting it, it wouldn’t do as much damage. It is a poplar about 18 inches through and 50 feet tall.
    These tasks I describe may seem trivial to some people and would have to me back when I was still alive but they are monumental undertakings nowdays.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 22, 2020 at 9:22 am

    I have calendula petals soaking in oil now. Chitter told me how to make the healing oil and I had some dried flowers so I’ve made some calendula oil.
    Your plants are beautiful. You’ve been a very busy girl.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 22, 2020 at 8:44 am

    It is nice to make unexpected discoveries in the garden, and in the woods. Seems there is never any end to suprises. Yesterday morning I discovered my basil is just up, teeny tiny but recognizable among the dead nettle that is now gone.

    For those of us who buy plants, I have learned two tricks. I “unswirl” the roots before I plant, even though it means losing some roots, because they never straighten out. The other thing is to be sure and cover the rooting medium with garden dirt. The rooting medium is
    really bad to dry out. It is made for a setting where plants are watered every day or every other day.

    I am wanting to plant some scarlet runner bean just for pretty. I’d like to let it run on the fence but dare not entice the deer. I got in trouble that way last year.

    I’d be interested in anything about herbs. I have only grown cooking herbs so far. I had to replace my mints this year. My old peppermint and spearmint just faded out. I found “sweet mint” instead of peppermint and have used it once already in tea. Strangely enough, it enhances the flavor without adding much flavor of its own.

    Reckon there would be a different social atmosphere if every household had a garden?

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 22, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Love those mushrooms.
    I drove my rider over the hill and into the holler but didn’t find any morels. I did find a few ramps that I set out several years ago.
    I didn’t realize what a mistake I made until I read PINNACLECREEK’S blog. I don’t normally start any tomatoes or peppers but buy them at the flea market cheap. Well the flea market is closed but the big stores are open and they charge 3 times as much as the flea markets.

    • Reply
      April 22, 2020 at 8:01 am

      AW- I hope you can find some plants. If you know the folks you usually buy from I bet you could still buy them and pick them up at their house. Local nurseries might be a good place to look too.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    April 22, 2020 at 7:06 am

    Gardening to me is really exciting! There’s nothing better than watching seeds sprout, grow, and harvest. I think people need to slow down and find time to enjoy small things like tending a garden or pulling weeds or watering. Getting outdoors in the garden sort of clears my head and relieves stress. Plus feeling the sunshine on my face, watching my little animals check out the plants growing too and seeing butterflies, bees, little birds and even snakes helps me find my place in creation and a hope in myself. Even my animals find a sense of happiness and belonging in the garden. It feels good to know God is at work right there in the garden with me. Lots of thoughts filter in and out. There used to be a song about going to the garden to hear the voice of God- He walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own…. What a lovely way to connect to simple and pure pleasures of this life. Best of luck to all gardeners out there this year! Enjoy!!!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2020 at 6:06 am

    Those tomatoes look fabulous, and a green house is a real blessing. I was not going to start those messy seedlings in the window sill this year, but became afraid with the new normal I would be unable to get out to purchase plants. Also thought they might be hard to find, because even people who hate dirt are wanting to plant gardens. My tomatoes look more like your second one, but did run out and get some plants that I repotted until the time is right. May need to plant pinto beans since they are getting hard to come by. Never happened in my memory, nor I am certain in my parent’s lives. Another favorite is yellow eye beans, but probably hopeless to find them.

    You mentioned some vegetables growing slower, perhaps because you are able to watch them more. Nothing more true, than ” a watched pot never boils.” I am having the opposite problem in that if I don’t stand right there and watch that pot, I will surely forget and it will burn to a crisp. There is hope for even absent minded calamities, as a mix of vinegar and water boiled will clean that mess right out. There is one certainty, and that is that gardens and a variety of skills are going to be needed in the days ahead.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2020 at 4:38 am

    I look forward to Chitter’s instructions!
    It will be a while yet before I can plant anything in the garden – we had snow twice last week, and I’ still finding ice in the goats’ water buckets of a morning! – but I have looked though all my seed packets. And I ordered six thornless raspberry plants for delivery at the end of May, since only two of the ones I planted last year managed to grow. This time I splurged on small potted plants instead of bare root, hoping they’ll have a better chance of survival.

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