Fall Garden Work

We had a freeze here so all of my pretty plants are gone.  It’s totally okay.  It comes to October and I’m tired of watering and maintaining them anyway so I let them go.

Here in Iowa we have been so blessed with great weather.  There hasn’t been much rain and the temps have been just at sweatshirt weather.   It’s been wonderful.  We have had snow some years already by now so days like we’ve been having I soak in.

I’ve been outside to garden every few days or so trying to squeeze it all in as I can, watching the weather to know if it looks like winter is setting in, I have to put in a big push to finish what is left.

One night after Kalissa picked up the kids I cleaned out the dead impatiens.

Rosie, my beagle was on tap to help.  HA!!  I took these pictures and did this before Izzy had her inground fencing collar so she had to stay in the house.  Happily, she has her collar now and it set to be outside with us.

My big beautiful Supertunias at done for the year as well.  I’m recording this here so I remember and you all know too.  I bought two $4 plants for each pot last spring.  I potted them myself and saved a lot of money on baskets.  They were so pretty this year.

Here is how they looked at the height of the blooming season…

Garden Time

You might remember me saying that we had some weird weather in April.  It was cold and rainy.  We made it into May with lots of rain and some decent temperatures.

I didn’t worry too much even though I always plant on Mother’s Day weekend and that date passed.  This last week the weather turned around and I hurried to the garden center and bought my plants.  I told you about getting my flowers planted in THIS POST.

Well, Karl tilled my garden one evening so I went out and planted all of the seedlings and starts.  I planted all the way until dark…well actually past dark.  I turned on the outside patio light as the last bit of light faded and planted the two cherry tomato plants that I keep outside my back door.

The next night even though I was pooped, I went out and planted all of the seeds.  Nothing has popped up yet.  That’s okay.  At least I know they are in the ground.

Every year I try to plant something new or different.  This year I planted… …


The weather here in Iowa has not been conducive to farmers or gardeners or anyone who wants to be outside.  Typically by now I have some things planted.  Typically I’m chomping at the bit to want to buy plants, pots, potting soil and all things garden…but the weather has not been favorable at all.  It’s been cold…and now rainy.  Look at that forecast on my computer.  Although some of those chances are only 30 or 40% chances of rain, it looks down right depressing.

I’ve been starting to see photos from other places of people gardening and although it makes me happy for them, for me, I’m a little sad.

Rather than mope I had a little talk with myself encouraging myself to think of some things I can do.  I may not be able to full-fledge garden but I can do some prep work.

I ended up out in the garden and started making some plans as to what is going where.  I had seven rhubarb plants.  I don’t need that many!!  When Kramer was living I made about two desserts a week.  He loved rhubarb so I often made rhubard crisp, pies and other desserts.  Now that he’s not here, I just don’t need that much rhubarb taking up my garden space.
I took a picture of my plants and then on Facebook put a message on my wall that said anyone who was interested in plants could come and take them.

A friend immediately said she’d take some.  She talked to her daughter and daughter in law and they all wanted some too so she ended up taking it all.  WHEW.  I didn’t have the problem getting rid of it like I did my lawn mower.

Kramer and I got this rhubarb from someone I knew.  We had been to an estate sale and the family had sold their parent place.  There was a GIANT rhubarb patch and a couple of the siblings were digging up a rhubarb plant.  Kramer spoke up and asked if we could buy some plants from them as he wanted us to have more plants.  They said feel free to take whatever was left as the new owners didn’t want any rhubarb.

So…Kramer dug it all up.  We planted it and it took off like crazy.  The plants were big and HUGE.

I started digging about 20 minutes before my friend came.  Oh my, what a work out.  Those plants were stuck in there tight.  I got several dug out and ready to go.  There were two left to dig out when my friend showed up.

We dug and dug and dug.  It was so hard to get them out.  I didn’t realize that roots could go down that deep.  At one point my friends shoe got stuck in the shovel and she toppled over.  I’m sure the two of us out there trying to wrangle the rhubarb would have been commical to watch.

We finally got them out and loaded up.  Oh my!  At least that job is done.

So…I ended up keeping two plants.  That’s still a lot for me but it’s better than it was.  I think I could be content with one plant.  I’ll try two for now and if that ends up being too much I’ll give away one of the plants next spring.

I have holes to fill in now.  That will give me something to do in the dirt to hopefully keep me content for a little while.

I think I’m going to buy some strawberry plants and put a few in this area.  I don’t plan on having a lot…just a few so the grandkids can see where strawberries come from.  I’ve tried plants several times with no luck so hopefully they work for me this year.

Tonight I think I’m going to start some morning glory seeds.  They take a long time to germinate so hopefully in three weeks the weather will be nice, they will have sprouted and I can plant them.

What a crazy Spring.  I really am itching to garden but am so thankful for the few little things I can do before the weather turns nice.

Starting Elderberries

My son Buck can not only cook and care for the kiddos…but he is also a gardener.  Of all of the kids, he’s my best gardener.  Kayla loves to plant but doesn’t love the tending.  Karl aspires to be a gardener and just might this year.  Kelli and Kalissa have no interest.

Buck was so sweet and chronicled this elderberry planting experience with the kiddos.

Buck writes:
I’ve always been a casual gardener; If I plant it and it doesn’t grow or a rabbit eats it I don’t lose too much sleep. In my younger days when me and my friend Kris didn’t have so many kids running around, we’d try to “can the world” as we said. Between the 2 of our families, it was pretty normal to can 200+ jars a year of everything from apple sauce to mango habanero pepper jelly. We’ve since gotten too busy for that but his brother Brian still does over 400 jars a year (which I am super jealous of). With the rising cost of food, I’ve decided to take a different approach to gardening this year. I want more year-round or I guess Summer-long veggies. Certain things like potatoes and onions didn’t make much sense before planting in the garden and taking up space because they were $0.99/5lbs. Now they are $3-4 per 5lb bag.

Because of this, I’m going to take gardening a little more seriously this year, actually caring about plant spacing, watering, checking it every day, etc. I’m actually going to try potatoes and onions this year too. Another addition I’m making is a few different types of berry bushes. I got 8 (they actually sent me 10) elderberry cuttings to get started. I did burn myself a few years ago getting too jumpy and started seeds WAYYYY too early for my climate zone and then had to try to keep them alive for 2 months before planting, it was a mess. With Elderberry they will show little to no growth for about a month, which is much more convenient for me to start now. My friend still cans Elderberries every year.  So I’m trying them too.

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