Sunday, October 28, 2007

Diggin' out the Dahlias

Dahlia Tubers
After a week or so of pretty cold nights and one or two hard freezes, I finally dug out the Dinner Plate Dahlias from their pots. A couple of them were nearly root bound, but you wouldn't know it from all the blooming they did. Now I have to work on drying them out a bit, then storing them for the winter. I am very excited for next gardening season since I now have an area to plant them...finally got the future garden tilled and weeded! Below are the instructions from Dutch Garden's site where I purchased the Dahlias from on how to winter them in our zone. We'll see how many survive my care through the winter.

"Summer & Fall Care
Fertilize dahlias monthly with a water-soluble, organic fertilizer that's formulated for flowers. Avoid using a high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you'll get lots of green growth with little flowering. Mulch with straw or shredded bark to keep weeds to a minimum and retain moisture. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Cut blossoms for indoor flower arrangements and remove old blossoms to encourage more branching and flower production.

In fall, after the first frost has blackened the foliage, cut off all but 2 to 4 inches of top growth, and carefully dig tubers without damaging them. Allow tubers to dry for a few days in a frost-free location, out of direct sunlight. Once dried, remove any excess soil, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem. Store each clump of tubers upside down in a ventilated box or basket. Fill the box with slightly moistened sand, peat moss or vermiculite and place it in a cool, dry location with temperatures that remain between 45 and 55 degrees F. Check tubers periodically through winter for rotting and drying out. If the tubers appear shriveled, mist them lightly with water. If any start to rot, trim the rotted portion of the clump so it won't spread. The tubers are fragile, so be careful when handling them."

Monday, October 22, 2007


We had our first official big freeze last night/this morning. When I got up around 6 AM today the thermometer was registering 25 degrees outside! There was a thick layer of frost on the windshields of our neighbors' cars. I noticed too that my tomatoes had been blown over by the wind yesterday and their bottoms were exposed to the elements. I think they may be done for. I'm too sad to look!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

1st Snow of Fall 2007

We've got snow! It's not accumulating much, but you can see it on the rooftops. Our Thermometer reads 35 degrees F. Burrrrrrrrr!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gettin' Ready For The Big Freeze

Today is supposed to be beautiful and in the 70's, then we're supposed to have a 30 degree temperature drop tomorrow with possible snow. We just put our sprinkler system to bed for the season so at least that task is done. The tomatoes are still hanging in there. I've had them covered for a few days off and on this past week. Not sure if they'll survive through tomorrow's storm and freeze. I've got several more nearly ripe cherry tomatoes, but the Brandywines are still very much green. I've also got about 3 blooms still on my dinner plate dahlias, but I'll probably pick them off at the end of today. The seasons, they are a changin'!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Go Little Tomatoes! Go!

I'm holding my breath for the tomatoes to ripen before the cold snap hits for good. We've gotten two Cherry Tomatoes so far and now they seem to really be taking off. I'm not gonna hold my breath for the Brandywines though, they're still green as ever and I don't think I'll be getting the pleasure of a red, ripened one anytime soon so I might as well kiss it goodbye. I'll try again next year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Caught Up Now

Ok. I've had to dig to find the photos and stuff, but I've gotten all my garden blogs transferred over from two different systems. They've been back dated to when they were originally posted so scroll down the page to read them.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Frost Precaution

Ok. After looking at the weather reports, I changed my mind. I decided to be safe than sorry so I once again covered the tomatoes and herbs. It is supposed to be about 35 degrees F, but that is too close to take a chance. Tomorrow night it is supposed to be in the forties so I'll take my chances then. You can see in the above photo, they look like three little ghosts...aren't they cute?

1st Frost of 2007

I'm back! I've been trying some other private blogging, but I decided I didn't really like it. So, I'm back to the Google owned Blogger. Simple and, for the time being, works for me. I'll try to transfer those blog entries over when I get time. I will back date them so that they get filed correctly.

Anyway. Last night was the first hard frost of this year. I had gotten these plant "bags" for my poor tomatoes. Poor things are just starting to least the sweet cherries. I have several Brandywine fruits, but they are green, green, green! I hope the weather holds out just a little longer so that we can have some juicy heirloom tomatoes. Yes. I'm being very selfish! :) The only evidence that there was a frost was on my Basil. Somehow the tops were exposed and frosted. When I went out this morning around 10:30, they were brown. I didn't bother covering my peppermints though and they seemed to have survived just fine. So did my Dahlias and other flowers I have. I looks like it shouldn't freeze tonight so I don't think I'll cover the plants again tonight.

For the record, the first frost of 2007 in Larimer County was on October 7th.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fall is just around the corner

You can definitely tell fall is just around the corner. We had our first severe temperature drop today. As I write this at 3:30 in the afternoon, it is 63 degrees according to my weather widget. I’m sitting out on my porch enjoying this lovely weather and listening to the squirrel chirp above me in the tree. Perhaps he just discovered me down here and doesn’t like what he sees.
My poor tomatoes finally have some berries, but they are small and still very green. I fear they won’t make it before our first frost. ‘Tis the season to begin watching the temperature more closely. Last night dipped to 48 degrees and it is expected to dip to 44 tonight. I will have to think of some clever ways to keep my tomatoes alive a little longer. It may not me ideal weather for my plants, but it is absolutely perfect for me. Open the windows and let the fresh cool air in!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Monsoon Season

The rainy season is here finally! We’ve been getting a good dousing for about 15-20 minutes every other day or so. The other days, the sky threatens, but nothing comes of all the rumbling and grumbling. It’s really too bad mother nature can’t spread out the rains more evenly. I’d funnel some of the water from Texas if I could. What a waste to have whole towns flooded and the rest of the region bone dry.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

First Blooms

The first blooms have popped up in my Dinnerplate Dahlias. Two of my varieties have buds. I think this is the Lilac Time variety because it is beginning to show the purple tips. I will be excited to see what the others come up as. I've lost two varieties because I waited too long, but I managed to save five I think. I have two varieties that are still pretty small since they were planted later so I don't know if I'll get blooms out of them or not this year. I'm actually surprised they are doing as well as they are. I had to plant them in containers since the "real" garden is still full of weeds and clay soil. *sigh* Maybe next year they will have a proper garden to grow in. For now I'll enjoy what bounty I get.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Dinnerplate Dahlias

I've finally gotten all of my Dahlias planted. As predicted, a few of them did not survive. I took way too long to get them planted. The poor things dried up or rotted. I've got 9 plants of 3 varieties each that were planted first and they've come up with huge stocks. I really can't tell you what varieties they are since I didn't keep track.

I finished planting about 4 more a few days ago so I'm waiting to see if they'll survive. Those are the empty pots in the photo. I will be ecstatic if I even get a few decent blooms!


Gulley Greenhouse has become my favorite nursery this year. I always get great service and their staff seem very knowledgeable and that's a good thing since I rarely have any idea as to what I am doing. The last couple of times I've gone, I've noticed these beautiful mixture of yellow and purple flowers lining their fence along the road. They seem so bright and cheerful that I decided I wanted some in my garden, though I wasn't quite sure where. I asked the staff and they said it was called Calibrachoa. They're like miniature petunias (about the size of a dime - see photo below) and they deadhead all by themselves so they will continually flower through the Fall! This is my kind of flower!

I had an empty self-watering container after transplanting my Snaps so I decided I would plant three of them there. They are a trellising plant, but we'll give this a try. I purchased two yellow plants and one deep blue (it looks purple to me) plant. Getting one plant to separate from the others around them was a bit of a challenge though. They had grown intertwined with each other and really didn't want to separate. They seem to have survived it ok. After a just a few hours in the container, they are already perking up!


My container of herbs (clockwise from upper left): Flat Leaf Parsley, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Cilantro, Flat Leaf Parsley, Parsley and Chives in the middle. I don't think the Cilantro likes the sun much. :(


Shortly after my last entry, I went to several of the local nurseries and bought some herbs and vegies. I purchased two tomato plants and what I thought was two bell pepper plants. I decided to go easy on the vegies this year since I had more tomatoes than I knew what to do with them last year. I purchased an heirloom Brandywine plant and a Sweet Snack Cherry Tomato plant. These were planted in my raised bed planter from last year. It has been about a month now, but I can't say I've seen significant results. The cherry tomato plant tried to fruit a few weeks after planting so I nipped it in the bud to see if I could get it to grow more before bearing fruit. It has grown an inch or two I guess. The Brandywine hasn't done much of anything so far. I guess I'll just have to keep feeding it and cross my fingers. The photo below shows the two tomato plants in the front.

In the back are the pepper plants. I purchased what I thought were two bell pepper plants. After a week or so of being in the planter, I noticed the larger pepper plant seemed to be splitting. When I looked closer, I saw that they were actually two different plants. One was a bell pepper, but I think the other is some sort of hot pepper. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what it turns out to be. The mysteries of gardening! :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Late Bloomer

Well, we're almost to June and I haven't started on my garden yet. I've opened up my raised bed and mixed the soil, but still no plants. I've got a box of 3 dinner plate Dahlia's that still haven't been planted. Hope they're ok still. I can't decide where or how to plant them. I also need to get the rototiller fixed, but haven't had the chance to get it into the repair shop. Maybe this week I'll get started on something. Not quite sure if I will have a vegetable garden or not. I'll definitely be buying plants if I do.