Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Monday, May 4, 2015

Catching up: 2

You all know that there are very few plants I dislike (maybe mahonia... well, and all invasives), but one tree, that is lovely in autumn, is a target of my ire: the callery (or Bradford) pear.  The wood is weak, easily splitting in an ice storm (I have written on this before), but the main reason for my dislike is this: it smells bad when in bloom, ugh!  Read (and listen) on!

Catching Up! 1

So, I am still catching up after my long trip in March.  Until I write some field trip reports, I will provide some good reads and interesting information:
First off:  On the politics of invasive species:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring, 2015

We were in the midst of a major garden renovation (building 6  planter boxes) when I left for a 17-day trip.  I have missed planting some things (spring greens, for the most part), but, this week, I planted about 50 Allstar and Honeoye strawberry plants (they still need to be mulched with straw, not hay: hay has many seed heads and sprouts like crazy)-not much to see yet:

two large bunches of red and sweet white onions (plant in loose soil, about an inch deep.  I prefer starts (bundles plants that have sprouted) to bulbs, they get going faster): :

and, my garlic weathered the winter and looks great! (Garlic needs to be planted in fall, then harvested in June):

This week, I want to plant lettuces, tat soi, kale, chard, cilantro and start, indoors, my squashes, and some oddball ornamentals....yay!
And it is almost time to spray the peaches with an organic fungicide.
Happy gardening!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Waltham Butternut

Waltham butternut, an heirloom variety, is a great winter squash and they keep in your pantry for months (if properly cured by sun exposure, outdoors, for 4-5 days after harvest). They have harder vines than most squash, so are less susceptible to squash vine borers.  I roast mine, pierced, but whole, in a 350-degree oven until soft. I scoop out the flesh for the best "pumpkin" pie ever! Start the seeds 4 weeks before your last average frost date.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wettest Place...

The peak pictured in the photo is a contender for the wettest place on earth,  Mount Waialale on Kaua'i, HI, where I am right now!  Over 400 inches of rain per year!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Plant Native Plants

While I am away at a botanical art workshop, I thought I would give you some food for thought, a article by the wonderful Doug Tallamy on planting native plants in your yard to create a "wildlife corridor" for native creatures.


Dr. Tallamy convinced me to keep what I thought of as "trash trees" in my yard, native wild cherries, to feed birds and insects, and to begin transforming my yard, as much as possible, to a home for wildlife.