This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Please go to Apple Store for the current update on Skippy's Calendar app. It corrects the bug on the fall date changer. Yes, it's time to start thinking about fall planting. I planted my Brussels sprouts a couple days ago. I'm hoping to have some for Thanksgiving this year. It seems pretty far ahead to plan for that!

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tomato seedlings are in

My tomato seedlings are all transplanted out into my garden now. Yeah!! Finally. It's turning point for me.

For many things, gardens included, preparation is most of the effort. By the time my tomato seedlings go in, my soil has been amended, the seedlings raised and hardened off, and my tomato supports are up.

But more than that, tomatoes are my big summer crop, and once they go in, all my spring beds have been prepared and planted, and my garden design changes have been done. This year I laid down new wood chips on garden paths and reseeded grass on the main path. I emptied and turned compost bins and rebuilt the one at my community plot. I've harvested greens so far, like lettuce, spinach, and arugula, but planting tomatoes makes me hungry for summer vegetables.

I outdid myself by planting 28 tomato seedlings between my home and community garden plots this year. Plus another eight for my mom in her garden. They are about 60% slicers and the rest sauce varieties. Mostly heirlooms, a few hybrids. I over planted and have 32 seedlings left over. My neighbors and fellow community gardeners always seem happy to take the extras.

So it's a time to celebrate. A toast to the coming summer vegetables. A hope for a productive season. And a rest with feet up (briefly) after the spring's work and before that of summer.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

App update, bugs fixed. Please go to the Apple Store and download the update.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Our updated vegetable calendar app is out!! Skippy's Vegetable Planting Calendar  We've added lots of new vegetables. 101 to choose from now. And each has an information sheet with planting information. There are still Spring, Summer and Winter planting seasons to choose between. Still the same simple to use format.

If you try it, let me know what you think. It's a little late in the spring planting season, but I'm still using it every day. And the Fall planting season starts mid-May, for long season crops like Brussels sprouts.

Friday, April 21, 2017

my garden in the rain - peas, asparagus, and lettuce

asparagus IMG_0949 pea sprouts IMG_0935

The rain is cold and dreary for me, but my plants are enjoying it, it seems. Peas and asparagus are sprouting.

Earlier in the week, I planted a bed with spring greens. I have several colors of lettuce, so I tried to mix it up and make a pretty bed. I hope the pattern will be nice when it grows up. The bed has lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, escarole, bunching onions, and a few marigolds.

speckles lettuce IMG_0940 truchas lettuce IMG_0942

lettuce bed IMG_0939

Other things going on in my garden are some nice big garlic sprouts and the last few heads of spinach, escarole, and lettuce left over from my winter tunnel.

garlic bed IMG_0944 winter bed IMG_0943
garden IMG_0945

Monday, April 17, 2017

today's harvest

My first harvest of the year - spinach, broccolini and bok choi. It's from my winter tunnel. I planted in the fall, it over-wintered, and grew up this spring. We'll be eating lot's of fresh greens this week.


harvest_spinach IMG_0698
harvest_broccolini MG_0702 harvest_bok_choi  IMG_0695

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Monday, April 10, 2017

sunning seedlings

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I'm so busy with my gardens, new bees, my dogs, and updating our vegetable calendar app that I'm having no time to post! It's been a week. I have some great photos from the past week that I'll try to add this week.

Today these little seedlings are out getting some sun on the patio. The sun is so bright that I'll give them a couple hours of it and then move them to an area with less sun.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

my potato shipment is here

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I mail ordered a box of seed potatoes (Green Mountain) from Moose Tubers and they arrived today. I was surprised it's already time for planting potatoes!

Earlier, I had purchased a small box of red fingerling seed potatoes at a local garden center. They have been "chitting" on my windowsill next to the seedlings that don't fit on my plant shelves. I'll set up the new potatoes to chit too until I get time to plant, which will probably be a week or two yet. The weather is slowly warming up, but we have a lot of cold dreary rain that doesn't encourage work in the garden.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

me and my new bees

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Actually, it's not so easy to get a selfie with a new bee package. iPhone's don't work so well wearing leather bee gloves. But the bees did pose well I thought. They are very sweet bees. Once they take up residence and start protecting their hive, I won't do selfies with them.

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Monday, April 03, 2017

Today I planted seeds for Swiss chard, bulb fennel, bachelor buttons, and purple hyacinth beans. I also replanted cabbage seeds since I somehow lost my previous seedlings.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

getting ready for bees

setting up hives IMG_0577 setting up hives IMG_0583
ready for bees IMG_0589

I'll pick up two packages of bees tomorrow. They'll replace the two hives I lost this past winter. The boxes are now set up and waiting now.

I filled both boxes with nine draw-out frames each with a good amount of honey in them. I'll also feed the bees sugar water in a frame feeder since I don't know what's blooming near me now. I think the maples and willows may be, but not sure.

our last snow storm - hopefully....

My garden got a couple inches of slush from the storm yesterday. But my Mom's garden is seriously buried. Probably eight inches of really heavy snow. I tried to shovel her driveway - usually no problem for me, but only did about two car lengths before I burnt out. Fortunately a plow cleared it a few hours later.

The next weather we have is a big rain storm that supposed to come through here on Tuesday. Rain sounds good. Melt that snow! Fill up our reservoirs!

Friday, March 31, 2017

planting peas and spreading compost

Another snow storm is heading for us. We're supposed to get 8 inches of heavy snow tonight. Who knows how long this will prevent me from gardening. So, my solution, get as much gardening done before the storm.

Yesterday I planted peas in my back yard garden. Two rows: Oregon Giant snow peas and Sugar Snap snap peas. This morning I covered up my winter bed with row cover and plastic. Then I drove up to Mom's house and spread a beautiful 2 inch layer of compost (2 c. yards) on her garden. I was a little short of time to plant Mom's peas since the snow was getting heavy. Maybe I can clear snow from her garden tomorrow and plant those peas!

planting peas IMG_0512
spreading compost IMG_0562
spreading compost IMG_0559 spreading compost IMG_0568

Thursday, March 30, 2017

sunning seedlings

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The first of my seedlings are out sunning now. Onions, shallots, leeks mostly. Also spinach, beets, cabbage, and endive.

We have a beautiful sunny day today. It's 43F now and going up to 50. Tomorrow, the last day of March, we are bracing for a winter storm. It doesn't seem right. But it's not the first time we've had crazy weather. I'll be out with my seedlings, pruning, raking, and maybe even planting my peas.

I've been doing a lot of planting recently. It's all listed on my 2017 planting list.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

I planted my tomatoes today: tomato planting record















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