Thursday, March 17, 2011 2010!

My adventure in gardening really began last year.  I had a simple have a green house!  But, I wanted to prove to myself (and my other half) that I could, in deed, grow things first!  So, off to the plant sale at Fred Meyer I happily trotted, coupon in hand for 99 cent packages of strawberry plants!  The strawberry sale turned out to not be as great a deal as I thought it would be...but I did get a couple of them anyway.  I didn't actually get any strawberries though...none developed through the summer, it was a rainy, yucky year though...the bees didn't show up until late July!  The greenery on that plant set though did quite well!

When I picked up the strawberries, I also got some Butter head Lettuce and Brussels Sprouts (I started everything with purchased plants last year).  The Brussels' did not do well at all and the vegetable never developed before the freeze hit us in October and killed everything.  They were pretty though...

The lettuce was gorgeous and tasted great...but got infested with Earwigs and decided the week we were out of town was the week it should have a growth spurt and grow too big to eat!  We still ate some of it, but the Dog got most of it.  She thought she was in heaven!  That dog loves her veggies!

I tried Tomatoes...heirlooms.  They grew great, but produced very little fruit and what they did produce was very small.  I did love having the green growing outside though, and it gave me something to occupy my time with.  From other area gardeners, I have heard that last year was horrible for "full size" tomatoes and wonderful for the cherry and grape varieties.  I should have gone with the little ones!

The plants that I did succeed well in were herbs!  I had Lemon Verbena (very hard to grow & didn't do too hot), Peppermint & Chocolate Mint (the chocolate is by far my favorite & I will be getting more this summer!), and the "pizza herbs", as my oldest nephew called them: Purple Sage, Silver Thyme, and a Spicy Oregano!

The "pizza" planter!  I started trying the globes in this as we were going to be gone for a week in June, picking up our oldest nephew for his year visit, and visiting the other side of the family, who at the time were expecting their son!  I ended up putting an automated drip/sprinkler system in as these didn't work out well outside.  Boy am I glad I did too!  We went to Las Vegas in August too and I didn't have to worry about my plants in the heat!

And, for the cats...I bought a catnip plant!  This one out shined all the rest in how well it did!  I had to keep cutting it back to keep it from overtaking the whole area!  I did collect seeds, so I'm going to try to grow my own this Spring...I'll buy another if that doesn't work though.  Both cats love the fresh stuff!  They even fight over the dried stalks, lol.  I kept as much of this as possible and have 2 Quart-sized Ziploc full still!

I did wash the leaves before giving any to the cats (and the rest, including herbs) because I was using an organic pesticide.  This year though, no pesticides at all, the chickens will be living under the deck and I can't risk harming them!

Doesn't that mint look scrumptious?  I have a tiny bit of this left (dried) that I've been saving for a good cup of tea one night...I think I need  about 5 of these plants this year, lol.

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