Tag: container gardening (Page 3 of 5)

Garden Wildlife

I am not certain that I have enough bird netting on my tiered-planters.

I found this Tuesday evening:

Suddenly grasshoppers are everywhere!

And I do not know what this is that was in my tomatoes yesterday morning. I could not get a very good angle for a better picture and I really was not sure I wanted to disturb it!

I haven’t seen any more caterpillars in the past couple of days, but I picked several black fuzzy and cream colored fuzzy caterpillars out of my beans and peppers this past week. Last week several tobacco hornworm caterpillars practically decimated my bell peppers.

See the damage that five of those caterpillars did in one 24 hour period?

Luckily I had picked all the ripe peppers the day before. And I am pleased to be able to report that the pepper plants are already putting out new leaves and new blossoms!

Now if I can just get control of the powdery mildew on all my squash plants! I am using a mixture of 1 part milk, 9 parts water, with a little baking soda thrown in for good measure. I don’t know if it is working yet, but my whole garden area now smells reminiscently of our milk house back on the farm in New York, and that is not necessarily a good thing!

Pickling Peppers and Pesto

One of the ways that I am fostering contentment is by doing things that give me a more settled in, homey feel to life. My August goals of decluttering, organizing and setting up a guest bedroom have gone a long way to making both Bill and I happier here in this house. I often wander into the guest room, look around and sign with pleasure and I have caught Bill doing the very same thing. Investing a good bit of time and money into container gardening has been another way to make our time here in Arizona more pleasant and give us a sense of home, since both Bill and I grew up on farms and feel more complete when we have green things growing around us.

This week I found another outlet for contentment. My garden is producing fairly well and I have picked quite a few banana peppers. I recently have discovered a love of all things pickled, which is surprising to me. I remember my dad liking pickled items and I never really cared for them, but suddenly I do. With all my banana peppers, I decided to do some pickling and canning. Unfortunately, I no longer had a canner or any canning jars or canning supplies of any kind, so that meant a monetary investment was necessary. Plus I did not really have enough peppers to warrant all that fussing, so I ended up also buying more peppers.

Yesterday I washed jars, cut peppers, made the pickling juice and generally heated up the kitchen with a canner full of boiling water to process the peppers. The whole house smelled of pickles! I gauged just right for the amount of peppers, as I had a canner full of jars (7 pints) when I finished. The pickling juice I didn’t gauge quite so well with and I ended up topping off the jars with straight vinegar. All seven jars of my pickled peppers sealed! Success! It has been years since I did any canning and I had forgotten how satisfying it can be to see those filled jars sitting on the shelf, knowing exactly what the ingredients are. Now I have to wait two weeks for the “pickling” process to complete before I can open one of the jars and test them! I sure hope they taste as good as they look.

Today I am making a list of ingredients I need to make the family’s recipe of chili sauce and hope to pick up all I need at the Farmer’s market tomorrow. There are not many roadside stands around here, so if I can’t pick them up at the market, I may end up having to buy grocery store tomatoes, which will not be nearly as good and will also cost more. But chili sauce is definitely next on the list of items to make.

Speaking of making, today I used some of the abundant basil from my garden and made pesto for the first time ever.

It was so yummy that I immediately cooked up some pasta!

The recipe I used was Oh She Glows High Protein Oil-Free Basil Pesto and it is definitely a keeper. I also want to try another recipe I found from Vegan Spoonful for Vegan Pesto Sauce. I was wondering what I was going to do with all my basil and now I know. I also know that I am going to need to bring the basil plants inside for the winter, because fresh basil pesto will be on the menu this winter!

Tomatoes!

Finally! I have had a few tomatoes from my two plants, just enough to whet my appetite for more. And finally there are more!

This was yesterday’s tomato harvest. As you can see, my banana peppers are also producing well.

My one lone zucchini plant is looking great, which is rewarding, considering how much effort it took to get one zucchini plant to survive! I have four yellow squash plants in various stages of growth, but only one zucchini. Likely that one will be more than enough once it begins producing squash!

The lettuce in the planter that was “tossed” is doing well.

Not all survived transplanting, but most did and I have harvested a small amount from this planter. Luckily I have more lettuce growing in one of the flower beds that is producing well. I don’t have nearly enough lettuce to supply the amount we use, but it is a nice supplement and I know it is fresh!

And I have more lettuce planted in the second three-tiered container garden.

I put the trellis for the beans up on Monday, not a day too soon. Blossoms are forming and beans will be setting before too long. I think we’ll have fresh beans again by Labor Day!

My container of petunias is certainly thriving! I love the shades of purples and pinks that the two different types of petunias created.

I have noticed that my level of contentment has risen to a new high level. I wonder if it has anything to do with my gardening?

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