‘Trombetta’ Climbing Squash

One of the more unusual vegetables I am growing this years is the 'Trombetta' climbing squash. Its name is derived from the Italian word for bugle or trumpet which is the shape it resembles. 'Trombetta' is a climbing squash that when ideally placed has the strong support of an arbor or trellis on which to grow.  The squash itself gets very long and is ideally picked somewhere around 12-14 inches.  This small squash will quickly transform into a much larger version if given plenty of water and nutrient rich soil.  I planted our squash beside our arbor in the hopes that it would climb and eventually cover the arbor. In the past I've used moonflowers but they haven't done much this year. I think this squash is unique enough to categorize as both an ornamental and an edible plant. According to Renee's Garden Seeds (which was my source for the…

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Searching the Cosmos

Some days it's good to go outside and stare off into the cosmos. As you gaze you begin to wonder what's out there in the cosmos? Is there life to be found somewhere out in the cosmos? Not here, but we'll keep looking. Maybe here, we should look a little closer... What do we have here? There is definitely something ... Ah! Yes, there definitely is life in the cosmos!

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What Not To Do In The Vegetable Garden

You hear a lot of us garden bloggers always talking about what to do in the vegetable garden, but what about what not to do? We all make mistakes.  We all do things that can be categorized under "OOPS".  I'm going to share one of those "OOPS" moments with you today that quite frankly I'm disgusted with myself for doing. What was my mistake in the garden? I was very carefully weeding the Bermuda grass from around the base of my cucumber plants when out came something other than a nasty Bermuda grass rhizome. It was the shallow roots of one cucumber vine!  My poor cucumbers when into shock so bad that I doubt they will recover. I'll have to replant. Fortunately I had several vines up on this trellis and at least one of them is still alive.  I added some shredded paper mulch and newspapers to try to…

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Small Potatoes – YUM!

I had a very productive weekend! It's been a while since I spent so much time outdoors and despite the heat, the sun, the sweat, and big case of farmer's tan a bunch of chores were accomplished. One surprise though was my potatoes. The potato bed was overrun with Bermuda grass as I mentioned the other day but even before that my potatoes had seemingly succumbed to a blight. A month ago I had given my potatoes up for lost. Lost they were, until I pulled Bermuda rhizome after rhizome out of the bed and amazingly potatoes began popping up! It wasn't a great harvest by any means but it did brighten my spirits a bit. The potatoes were small things mostly, definitely not fit for baking in most cases, so I had to come up with a way to use them. Often people boil potatoes this small and serve…

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Weekend Garden Chore: The Vegetable Garden

Over the last two months life has thrown many curveballs that have beaned the batter on numerous occasions. You would think that I'd be making some runs here or there but unfortunately I seem to be getting out at third every time. What does this baseball analogy have to do with anything? Well sometimes we get taken away from what we'd like to to in order to see to things we have to do. Which means something gets neglected and much to my dismay lately it's been the vegetable garden. How bad is it you wonder? (Don't worry I can't read your mind, I'm just guessing that that is what you're thinking.) It's pretty bad. Weeds are everywhere including the most vexing garden invader to inhabit the United States of America: Bermuda grass. This stuff is nothing short of pure evil when it gets into a garden. The runners go…

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Simple Potting Arrangement for the Front Porch

I'm not big into potted plants, but maybe I should be. There's something satisfying about having a garden 100% complete and only having to maintain it with a little watering and a smattering of organic fertilizer. Essentially a potted arrangement is just a simple miniature garden complete within itself. Of course you can get as complicated as the size of your pot allows, you can include bonsai, groundcovers, and of course the potter's adage "spillers, thrillers and chillers!" You can even include multiple pots together to make whole gardens of pots that blend with each other. Today I went simple and planted two identical pots with two contrasting colors: silver and burgundy. For the burgundy I found two cordyline plants on the discount rack and paid a whopping $2 for both of them. For the silver I picked the old standard annual plant Dusty Miller. Old Dusty sometimes makes it…

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Taking Advantage of Aerial Roots

You all know how much I like making new plants, but you should also know that I really like it when plants make it easy for the propagator! Many plants do just that by creating aerial roots that normally will be used to grab onto surfaces and climb. Vining plants (of course) are especially good at this like my Winter blooming jasmine. It's also known as Jasminum nudiflorum and is an especially awesome plant because it blooms when nothing else is! Our Jasmine has bloomed both in February and March before many other plants were ready to start the spring show. If you look along the stem of the Jasmine you will see a few roots extending from one of the nodes. These are the aerial roots that are normally used for grabbing onto structures and give the plant the ability to climb up and through other plants. Propagating Winter…

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July and Some Summer Blooms

To say that this month has been difficult is an understatement. My time in the garden has been minimal and its current state is more akin to a wild meadow (and that's being kind) than a well tended garden at the moment. Fortunately we still have some very reliable blooming flowers to show for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. I've included some links to my previous posts about these flowers that you are more than welcome to visit. If not just enjoy the blooms! Pink Gladiolas Celosia Russian Sage (Propagate Russian Sage, More on Russian Sage) Blue Morning Glory Pinkish-Purplish Crape Myrtle (Propagate Crape Myrtle) Purple Homestead Verbena (More on Purple Homestead Verbena, How to Propagate Purple Homestead Verbena) Lots of Zinnias! Red Zinnia Pink Zinnia Yellow Zinnia Sunflower! Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is sponsored by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

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My Dad

Have I ever told you much about my dad? Probably not. I normally keep this blog close to the garden subject area. Sometimes I stray and talk about my kids, but there is usually a gardening slant. I suppose today will be no different because my dad has always been supportive of my gardening projects. He's been there for most of the big ones.  I couldn't have built the garden shed without his help. He was there for advice, a helping hand, and company too. He also helped me build this playset for the kids. That really doesn't have much to do with gardening but it is a prominent feature in our backyard and the kids love to play on it all the time. When I was working on the arbor project he was there. He helped me raise the top onto the posts and did some of the staining.…

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July GROW Project Update

Another second of the month has arrived and it's time for an update on my seeds for the 2011 GROW project! Here's the Italian Cameo Basil - I have it planted in a container but I suspect the soil mix is too heavy for the basil. Its growth has been fairly limited over the last month and I may need to transplant the basil into a lighter soil mix. I planted one Marigold 'Yellow Splash' next to the tomatoes in the vegetable garden but wanted more to plant in other areas so I started a few more from seed indoors. Marigolds are a good companion plant for tomatoes because they deter nematodes. 'Yellow Splash' is a hybrid of the African and French marigolds. It's way too hot right now to plant lettuce outdoors so I began planting the 'Garden Babies' lettuce inside as well. I'll transfer these seedlings into pots…

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