frog hiding in the chickweed!

frog hiding in the chickweed!

First of all OMG I WON! Last week I retweeted a message I’d seen floating around my tweetdeck to enter to win a Troy-Bilt trimmer. It’s something I do whenever I see a contest I’m interested in. I host a lot of these contests at work, so it’s fun to be on the contestant end of things when I’m not at work. Well, I didn’t log into twitter last night because I went to a Southern Maryland Blue Crabs game (local minor league baseball team). I check twitter this AM and see this! Plus a few retweets and congrats messages. How cool is that?! It’s actually pretty awesome too, because we have a gas trimmer and I cannot, for the life of me, start it. So I can now use this one if I need to trim and hubby is at work or not around. I’m pretty excited. I’ll believe it only when I see one on my deck (have I mentioned how much I love my mail lady for bringing these things to our deck all the time?? I am leaving her a sage plant in the box on Monday!). And believe me, I’ll post pics when I get it in! Plus a review, as per normal for me.

We did a lot of gardening today (it’s April and 91°, wow). Decided to rip up a section of awful looking grass and turn it into a garden – I’ll post pics of that tomorrow when we finish up the project. Also, I got my peppers planted and finished up the veggie garden. Put in supports, laid down the soaker hose, and mulched. This is the first year I’m mulching the veggie garden, but I figure it can’t hurt. Weeds were’nt too much of a problem last year, but this should make things even easier. I guess next year I’ll just kind of gather up and compost that mulch or something? I don’t know. Or till it in if we amend the soil and till next year (pls no speeches on not tilling. I know some people don’t like it, but we don’t do it often)?

Since I mentioned it before, here’s what I ended up doing for supports. I’m experimenting with different ones this year to see what works, since I run into problems with them getting a bit leggy and have trouble driving in cages very deep because of large pieces of concrete throughout the garden. I also tried to arrange things this year to make it more aethetically pleasing, since it is in our front/side yard. Also adding marigolds and (once the seeds take) zinnias for pollination will help pretty it up. (Click for larger pics, of course.)

veggie garden support experiment

veggie garden support experiment

Peppers are on the left. Some of those are in the traditional tomato cages (small ones) and others are in little tripods I made with bamboo supports and garden twine. My pepper plants didn’t reaaaally need supports last year, but they got pretty big, so I’m being safe and doing it when it’s still easy to put them in.

Tomatoes are on the right. I have one cherry tomato in a hanging basket. One tomato (roma, I think) is in a traditional (large) tomato cage. Two tomatoes (roma and better boy, I think) are planted in front of regular trellises. I then also added 2 bamboo stakes in front of these to make a kind of tripod to add some front support. I can tie those tomatoes to the trellis as they grow. Three tomatoes (2 mixed heirloom and one better boy, I think) are in the triangle-shaped (and collapsible!) tomato cages I just bought from Lowe’s. I have high hopes for these. Just to be sure, I also had by hubby drive in some thick bamboo pieces for extra support in one corner, just in case they need it (these pieces were from old tiki torches that were here when we moved in). I still have a couple tomatoes I will plant in pots using the traditional large cages (since they can be sunk in far in a pot).

Below are a couple more detail pics (that empty looking pot on the left holds freesia bulbs that I hope will bloom, btw, and the one on the right is some sort of daisy my mom got on clearance last year at Lowe’s). I’ll update during the season, of course, and figure out which is best for me. Are you doing something similar to any of these methods? Share!

pepper and tomato supports

pepper and tomato supports

tomato trellis supports

tomato trellis supports

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