Tag Archives: organic

Sunshine in the Garden

Every year the birds plant me a sunflower. This year’s is the best so far! One plant, lots of flowers.

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Pink and Purple Humming Bird Basket

Here’s another basket I put together every year for the Humming birds. This is for Partial shade.
I use three trailing Torenia (wishbone flower) and three pink Calibrachoa (million bells) in a 12 inch hanging basket.
The Torenia is deer resistant but the Calibrachoa isn’t. This basket is hanging by the back door where the dogs go in and out, so unless the deer get really bold, they should leave it a lone. It’s also in front of the window so we can see the hummingbirds visit it. 
I mix my own soil, 1 part organic peat, 1 part organic compost or mushroom compost, 1/2 part untreated vermiculite or perlite (no added fertilizers),  and about 2 tablespoons per gallon of soil of dry organic, low nitrogen fertilizer
I grow a lot of plants so I usually mix up a wheelbarrow full at a time- so I add about 2 cups of the fertilizer per wheelbarrow- it’s never an exact science with me- then I mix it all together with a shovel. 

This is a very easy care basket for part shade areas. Make sure your basket has a drain hole and just water when soil starts to feel dry or the basket feels light (don’t let it get bone dry though). You can also get in the habit of touching the soil every time you pass by.

Happy Gardening!

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

Itsy Bitsy Spider & forgotten Peony

 I was taking pictures yesterday and saw this tiny little spider and her web in my Nine Bark.
 If you look closely, she’s invited three gnats for dinner!
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…and my Peony finally bloomed!
another one I planted years ago
and forgot the variety name of,
Sigh……
It has a really sweet scent!
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Tomato Plants…. and Magpies

Grown with lots of Organic Love…..
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Top left~ Tommy Toe cherry, Top right ~ Martino’s Roma
Bottom center~ Tiny Tim cherry

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…..oh, and here’s an update on ‘Grannie’s Magpie’

It’s covered in blooms!
(all hanging down in typical wild columbine fashion)

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