Zinniagal’s Blog

Sunday papers and Starting seeds February 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 5:10 pm

I thought it would be cool to spend the next couple of weeks talking about seed starting. Everyone has their own style for starting seeds. The process can be super involved or simple, depending on the type of gardener you are. Some like to use peat pots. While others like to try plastic cells in trays. Rose’s dad, sweet Tom Nicholson, used to use small recycled containers, like yogurt cups, before recycling was the thing to do. Me? I will spend the next week rolling 150 paper pots. Yep, using the Sunday papers, I will cut the Sports, Local, and Style sections into strips, and roll them into small pots for planting. It’s so easy. When May rolls around and it’s time to drop those delicate seedlings into the ground, there is no messing around with ruining root structures, the whole pot goes in! It’s excellent for the soil in the garden, too.



Garden Hoes Gather Together for 2009 January 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 10:36 pm

The Hoes got together this past Sunday to talk about our gardens and drink delicious Ridge wine.  (If you’re ever out in wine country, you need to swing by Ridge.  It’s amazing – you taste their wonderful wines in a straw bale building that is out of this world cool! One of the Hoes, Steph, has spent some serious time building with straw bale at a Native American reservation in North Dakota.  She can attest to it’s efficiency and eco-friendly ways. )

After an hour of chat, we decided to focus on vegetables and leave flower and herb decisions for next month.  As we paged through our favorite seed catalogs, the back and forth banter began.

I love to grow Nutribud broccoli – Steph feels it takes up way too much room and goes to seed too quickly.  What is she talking about?

Michelle can’t grow sweet peppers and neither can I, but why is it that the smoking hot ones do so well?  We’re done with peppers for awhile.

The gals love their chioggia beets, golden beets, and we’ll plant the Bull’s Blood, too. The beets greens are yummy, so don’t forget about them.

Beans, beans, beans – the plant that keeps producing.  We are going pole and bush! Aren’t Blue Lake beans the ones in the Green Giant can? Someone suggested we try an heirloom wax bean – ugh.  I’m not a fan of the pale yellow, but I’m going to give it a try with Beurre De Rocquencourt.  Love the Cupidon – haricot vert variety. And I did seed save the Scarlet Runner beans, you know the ones, gorgeous blooms and more ornamental, so no need to order those.

No carrots for the Hoes.  We are done with them.  Maybe this shows weakness on our parts – but who cares!

We made the choice to go with the lemon cucumber again.  I had volunteers last summer and enjoyed those little surprises once again.  They’re sweet, mild and have the same shape as a lemon.  Perfect.

Zucchini?  Of course.  Golden and Black Beauty.  They are super versatile.  Sauteed with nutmeg, fried with breadcrumbs, baked in cookies and bread.  It’s a no-brainer!

Lettuce?  Yes. Yes. Yes. Lollo Rossa, Cimmaron, Speckled, Little Gem – I’ll plant and replant in the ground and in containers on the patio.

Sugar Ann snap peas are a must.  These peas are tender and sweet and hardly ever make it back to my kitchen.

All of the Garden Hoes felt they did not utilize the winter squash very well.  Why?  Don’t know.  With that said, we decided on one, not four.

Tomatoes were an area of focus and self control for us.  We tend to get a bit nutty and order 9 varieties and try to cram 36 tomato plants into our raised beds.  Not this year!  The new rule for 2009 is between 6 and 8 plants.  (I may try the buckets again just for kicks – so that gives me at least 12 plants…do I need 12 plants? Probably not.) There is one variety that I am looking forward to planting, it’s called Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge.  Crazy unique and gorgeous!

I would love to plant sweet potatoes again and may give them a whirl.  The other Hoes are out.  Last year, we planted kohlrabi, and sweet Rose, Hoe with new baby, loved it!  Her neighbor thought it tasted like dirt!

The Garden Hoes are my favorite gals and I’m all smiles when we gather together.

dsc_00241 Garden Hoes:  Steph, Mal, and Michelle with Rand (Rose was at home with baby Helyn)


Take the quiz! January 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 9:48 am

I am a

What Flower
Are You?


Flower in December December 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 8:42 am

dsc_0027The coneflower still looks cool.


The catalog arrived! December 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 2:11 pm

It happened yesterday.  With 8 inches of gorgeous snow on the ground, my favorite seed catalog arrived!  Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  The catalog is glossier, bigger, and better than ever.  I sound like a nut, but really, it’s so pretty.  Back cover – a beautiful bright lime green zinnia.  The diverse seeds are all non-hybrid and non-GMO – the only ones you should be planting.

So today with temps at 4 below 0, I’ll page through the catalog and begin to think about what will be planted in the spring.

“One who plants a garden, plants happiness” – Chinese proverb


unorganized gardener December 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 11:01 pm

I am totally an unorganized gardener.  It’s true and it’s chaos in some areas of my garden. The Garden Hoes are always getting after me about labeling plants.  Some seasons I have no clue as to where the Bloody Butcher tomatoes are and what’s next to the Joe Pye Weed.  This year was different.  In September, I decided to take pictures and notes for next year.

Here’s the problem – even with pictures – I’m still not sure what plants need to be moved or why I was unhappy with a plant’s location in the garden bed.  Take a look.  It’s pretty funny.  Maybe it’s the butterfly weed?  Or maybe the asters??



favorite places November 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — zinniagal @ 10:29 pm

 Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio is one of my favorite places to walk when I am back home for the holidays.  I have enjoyed hiking the paths around Lanterman’s Mill and marveling at the rose garden in July.  Visiting that beautiful park never gets old.