May 31, 2012

Tomatoes and Keeping the Birds Away

So I spent Memorial Day weekend hanging out with my parents, building a house (okay so I stood and watched while my Dad built a house), and getting sunburned because I totally messed up and put sunscreen everywhere but my back!

Then when I returned home I found A RED TOMATO!!!

But quickly I found that a BIRD got to eat it before I did. Crazy bird, he does not water and feed the tomatoes. He did not buy the tomatoes. He 'cut in line' on the tomato eating, if you will.

So I googled "how do I keep birds away from my tomatoes?" And these were the suggestions:
 - Bird netting: too complicated, I've done this before for my grandpa's blackberries.
 - Fake Snakes/Squirrels in the Garden: We all know I'd forget they were fake and I'd pee my pants when I saw the fake snake... every time.
 - Shiny Things...

So I remembered that my grandpa used to hang aluminum pie pans out in his garden. And I guess that helped keep the birds away. But I didn't have any aluminum pie pans...

But I did remember something I read somewhere online that said "Great Uses for Christmas Items" for the rest of the year. I think they recommended hanging red plastic Christmas ball ornaments on tomato plants so when the birds saw them they were tricked into thinking "No real tomatoes?? These tomatoes are so HARD!" And then they'd never come back.

But that's just what the internet said.

But I didn't have any better ideas. So:

Yep. The largest ornaments I've ever seen and a sheet of aluminum foil for "shiny things".

Yep. We're just getting cooler and more hip every day aren't we.

I'll let you know if it works. Looks like we'll have a few red tomatoes by the end of the week and I'm racing to get to them before the birds do!

So far... so good...

Happy Bird Hunting!

May 29, 2012

Growing Corn

So My husband happens to be a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.  He is also a big fan of corn on the cob. I think these two things are connected...

So when it came time to select what went into the garden, he pleaded for corn! The package said we'd have corn in 63 days and I think we're on day 81. We planted in rows and the corn on the side of the house is doing much better than the corn in the fancy soil... who knew. Here's our current situation.

I'm not real sure it's supposed to grow like the picture above. Like I'm pretty sure there should be husks around it... but most of the ears have husks around them, this one was just a good pic because I got to SEE the corn inside!

And while we're talking about corn, I found this while researching my corn...

Turns out it's not a photoshopped crazy internet picture, but actual heirlom corn. Check out the story HERE. Its crazy...

There's a waiting list for seeds.

Thinking about it ;)

But I guess I ought to see how this year's crop turn out first.

Happy Colorful Corn day!

P.S We've got RED tomatoes!! and birds :( Details soon!

May 23, 2012

Bolting Lettuce ...Hmm.

So we're first time gardeners and after being away for a week the garden looks SOOO different.

And apparently our lettuce didn't love us as much as we loved it...

I thought the lettuce "grew like crazy" when really apparently it "bolted."

Like ran away...see. It's easy to get confused. (Actually in the picture it sort of looks like we have two long rows of lettuce, but don't be fooled, those "long" things are actually TALL things.)

I found these websites when I was trying to figure out how we were supposed to harvest our Romaine Lettuce.  Turns out we waited too late... apparently they don't do well above 85 degrees.. we live in Texas.

Why Lettuce Bolts and What You Can do About It

Good Lettuce Gone Bad: Bolting and Flowering

And like the articles say, the lettuce is now very very bitter! I tried it and had to instantly spit it out of my mouth onto the counter...eww. Apparently growing romaine lettuce is not like buying lettuce in the store. See in the store you have a head of lettuce that was cut off all at once. But in your back yard, you just pluce off about 2/3 of the leaves when they look ready and then the leaves (AKA lettuce) keep growing back.  Then once it gets too hot, or the plant get's stressed out (lol), or if it just has bad lettuce genes then it will bolt --> tall growing --> flowers on the top --> all the leaves taste nasty nasty...

Better luck next time. And on to the tomatoes and corn :) :) :) ...and the spinach, and the onions, and the blueberries, apples, bell peppers, colored bell peppers, pineapple, and broccoli. That's all.

May 22, 2012

The Hesses have been...

...the Hesses have been...


Graduating... (and Kari, too!)



Details to Come... oh, and, Happy Summertime!
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