Category Archives: Green Thumb

Raspberry Summer

Raspberries from Grandpa Phil's Vines
Raspberries from Grandpa Phil’s Vines

It must be July, these ripe berries came from the vines in my garden.  These vines are special, descendants of the ones that Grandpa Phil planted and maintained in his garden years ago.  Every year in July my family would go to the Hopkins Raspberry Festival to watch the parade and then walk back to Grandma’s house for a picnic.   I have fond memories of those hot, sticky days, poking around under the nets to pluck the ripe raspberries from the vines.  Me and my cousins would fill up a bowl and then Grandma Gen would serve them back to us piled on top of vanilla ice cream.   Caring for those old vines now growing in my own garden brings me joy.  Raspberries are the taste of summer for me, when I pop one into my mouth it brings me back to those carefree days of my childhood.


Planting Day

The weather is glorious and planting day is finally here.  Hurray!

100_6083This year I’m taking a shortcut and buying transplants for my tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  Last year I started from seed in my Aerogarden and it wasn’t fully successful.   A quick a trip to the garden shop, and I’m ready to go.  Here’s what I put in the ground:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers (bell and hot)
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Squash (summer and acorn)
  • Cucumbers (for pickling)
  • Wax Beans (green and gold)
  • Pole Beans
  • Lettuce

Garden Log 2013

May 14, 2013:    This is the latest MN spring I can remember, still snow on the ground and falling from the sky just a week ago!   We went from winter to summer over night — today it’s nearly 100 degrees!

So I hope to get my vegetables into the ground this week.  Here’s a photo of my freshly tilled garden spot!100_6080

Since the season is starting so late I’m going to plant fewer crops — mostly tomatoes, squash, corn, lettuce and beans.  I’ll probably do some potatoes too, but not as many as last year.

Wende's Garden 2012
Wende’s Garden 2012

Last year my arch nemesis, the evil japenese beetle, destroyed most of my corn, brocolli, cabbage, and beans.   Very discouraging.  So this year I’ve got to take action against those little pests.  I’m still looking into which method is best for protecting my veggies.

Grandpa Phil’s Plum Tree

Grandpa Phil's Plum Tree
Grandpa Phil’s Plum Tree

…and hurray, my plum tree is finally in bloom!  This Stanley Plum tree was a gift from my Grandpa Phil.  He always felt that Stanley Plums were superior to other species, and I must say this tree produces a LOT of fruit.   There’s nothing like warm plum crumble and homemade plum preserves.

Japanese Beetle Update

A little game of catch in the grub-free grass!
A little game of catch in the grub-free grass!

Big improvement in the Japanese Beetle situation in my garden.  Husband put down toxic grub chemicals over the grassy parts of our yard.  Although I’m generally opposed to intentionally adding to the toxic load in and around our home, I must admit that this has drastically reduced the beetles feeding on my tender garden.  I had investigated beetle traps and decided against it after reading that it attracts more than it kills.  The pests aren’t entirely gone, but I’ve been knocking them off the plants in the mornings and the damage is much more manageable this year.