Category Archives: organic gardening

Amour de Carotte

This is what happens when you don’t thin your carrot seedlings.

Advertisements

Impatiently Waiting

 

Little Leaf Linden ( Tilia cordata) my seed source

Here it is March 1st and at the time of this post it is 16 degrees and snowing, again.
While it is depressing, there are little signs here and there that Spring is trying return. The sun is staying out longer and is warmer now, melting the snow inch by inch everyday. There is now a little patch of grass in my back yard again. Yea!
My thoughts are also turning towards the garden center, though I keep joking that I may have to include a snow shovel while setting it up this year! Lots of new ideas rolling around my head right now for displays and such. Let’s hope I have a good crew this year!
I will be starting my own crop of organic tomato plants and other veggies very soon too for my own garden and I am also plotting out a new shrub and perennial border and getting excited about beginning as soon as I can.  There are even plans for a small pond but I’m not sure exactly where yet.
And I finally decided on where to put my little leaf linden tree (grown from seed from my original linden at my other house- the picture above is that tree- it was a rescue from Walmart and I brought it home in my van over 10 years ago. It is now over 15′ tall).
I have a love/ hate relationship with the linden. They can be a messy tree, with the sooty mold caused from aphids, and the plagues of other insects, including the dreaded Japanese beetles, that devour their leaves in summer~ but the attacks are rare and my love for their deep shade and drooping canopy and the sweet honey suckle smell of the tiny white flowers in May override their faults.
I cannot wait until it gets big.

Happy Spring everybody! I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will be a good year!

Green Babies

We’re getting there Sissy!

The unusual warm spell hitting the Midwest right now has everybody itching to get out and start working in the garden, but should we plant our tomatoes and peppers now? We could, but then we all know here in Chicagoland, it will get cold again  (you’ve heard the saying “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it’ll change”? It’s true here. Especially in Spring).
Our last frost date is roughly around May 5th and we would have to keep a diligent eye on the thermometer and the Weather Channel so we can run out and throw buckets, plastic and the spare bed sheets over our tender little plants to protect them from frost. But that’s a lot of work and worry if you ask me. I used to do all that, planting my tomatoes as early as possible, closely watching the weather on TV every afternoon, then running out in the evening and covering everything up (yes, I’ve done the bed sheet thing many times) and then back out in the morning to uncover before the sun came up an cooked everything. But I had more energy then, and time. Now, older, lazier and a fuller schedule, I just wait until late April and early May to plant my tomatoes and peppers.
As for my little Organic Babies here, they won’t be planting out size until around then anyway. This early warm spell has caught most of us growers with our proverbial pants down. As I mentioned above, people are wanting to plant their gardens now, but unless you started your own tomato and pepper transplants early, most greenhouses and nurseries here aren’t quite ready (but we’ve all kicked into high gear now!).
I would though, start planting my lettuce, peas, onions and potatoes now, while the weather is nice and the soil is dry, for soon, this weekend actually, it will be back to more normal March temps (I peeked at the weather just now~ 60’s are forecasted for the weekend for us).

transplanting Kellog’s Breakfast tomatoes

Happy Spring and Happy Gardening
from Lil’s Garden!
Get out and enjoy your day if you can!

pepper seeds
organic tomato seedlings

New 2012 Plant List is Up!

last years seedling ~ Tommy Toe cherry

Not in alphabetical order:
Tomatoes:
Lemony
Vintage Wine
Italian Giant Beefsteak
Earliana
Brandywine
Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom
Martino’s Roma
Rutger’s Improved
Black Cherry
Kellogg’s Breakfast
Marianna’s Peace
North Dakota Earliana
Cuore De Toro (bulls heart)
Tommy Toe (Cherry)
Tiny Tin ( Dwarf cherry)
Sun Sugar Hybrid (cherry)
Peppers:
Anaheim Chili- hot
Early Jalapeno-  hot
California Wonder -bell
 King of the North- bell
Gypsy Hybrid (sweet Italian)- non bell
Sweet Banana –non bell
Golden Treasure (sweet) non bell

For details and printable lists go to www.LilsGarden.net