Monthly Archives: May 2011

A Dibble Tool? “It’s a Good Thing”

I recently went on the search for a dibble tool.  What’s that?  Well, it’s a very basic hand held tool that the Shaker’s used when planting seeds.  It’s a wooden lathed/carved conical shaped tool with hash marks every inch.  One end is sharp and the other end has the handle.

Handcrafted Oak Dibble Tool with 1" hash markings

I was eager to use this to plant both transplants and seedlings.  At first I thought it might be more of a novelty to use because you really just are poking holes into the ground.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how much faster and cleaner I was easier to work the ground with this tool.  I used it to plant 1″ deep seeds as well as used it to spear into the ground 4″ deep and work around to make a wider opening to get transplants into the ground.  For example, for the pole beans, I punched a 1″ deep hole every 3″ the length of my trellis and just popped in a bean in a hole and then swept my hand over the length of it and patted it down.  Done!

I found this handcrafted one on Ebay from Maine for less than $20 (that included S&H).  They are not common; you definitely have to go online. “It’s a good thing”


Planting the Vegetable Garden

I couldn’t wait until May 7th (or the snow melting).  I took my chances a few days earlier….But, now is the time to plant a majority of your summer harvesting seeds or transplants.  Here is what I planted last Friday (okay only 3 days early…):

Pole Beans, Wax Bush Beans, walla walla onion transplants, bell pepper transplants, paddy pan squash (3 seeds), more brocolli (9 seeds), and more carrot seeds.  (and I dont’ think those carrots will ever grow).  I also threw down some marigold seeds collected from last year’s flowers along the edges of the beds near the walkway to keep away bad bugs – it works.  orange and red/orange.  I just hope that when they sprout I don’t kill them by mistaking them for weeds.  I also started inside some basil my son collected from plants a couple of years ago and they are sprouting and some antique flowers he picked out.  I can’t remember their names, they are really tall like 8′ tall and perrenial and the flowers pop up along the tall stem.  they come in all colors and look like weeds when they first start growing.  Ron’s grandmother grows them; they are an old fashioned type flower….

Here’s what I have already planted, sugar peas (about 12″ tall), yellow and red onions, green onions (6-8 ” tall), mesclun,spinach, arugula (harvesting), asparagus (older ones ready to harvest, new ones spindly but 10″ tall), chives (have flowers), flat leaf parley (harvesting), dill (6″ tall), cilantro (6″ tall), Sage (12″ tall).  Already a smashing success in my book.

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in 2011 Vegetable Garden


Get ready for your Next planting!

For those who have not started the early spring vegetables, the next bit planting date is coming up.  Vegetable gardens in Idaho typically are to be planted during the week of May 7th (also keep an eye on those mountains -snow should be gone from the butte).  Personally, if you are not using those walls of water, really look to see if the snow is melted off the top of the high mountain (shaffer butte (sp?)).

So if you’ve been ho-humming around; go and prepare your area and purchase your tomatoes, bell peppers, zuchinni, basil, herbs, and plant them in the next couple of weeks.  You don’t have to be right on time; preferably get things planted by the end of this month.  You can keep those plants indoors in a sunny spot until you plat them.


Almost Genius Idea — ReUsing Quart Jars

This week is teacher appreciation week and as usual I am running totally last minute. My almost genius idea was to make those cookie mixes in the mason jars – but I’ve never done this before.  My girlfriend has a few of these recipe type books for cookies, cakes, soups in a jar mixes.  My nail lady also told me to look up “gift in a jar” on the internet too.

Since I preserve, I already have jars with already used lids/seals (which you usually don’t reuse again to seal) and their bands!  Layered the ingredients.  Very easily done.  The time consuming part was crafting up some wordart for some jar labels/inserts to go underneath the band showing the instructions and then taping a ring of ribbon around that band to add the finishing touch.

Then my genius kicked in…..Idaho doesn’t recycle glass; so I thought that in the future I would save any quart jars from other purchases with their lids and save them for future repurposing.  For example, use a RAGU jar for one of these gifts in a jar.  Of course, it will require me to cover the lid with cloth and string and convert the lid label/instructions into a tag to attach around the jar lid, but that will save the $1 for the cost of the jar (assuming you can scrounge some fabric, string, card stock at the store, goodwill, attic, neighbor) to decorate lids with.  Wanted to pass it on….Give gifts whose components are repurposed, that the recipients can use and maybe reuse or recycle!

One son reported much excitement expressed by his teachers (6 in all).  I also donated a couple to the kitchen basket the kindergarten class is supposed to put together for the carnival.  I still have one to give out.  Much thanks to my friend Dawn who lent me the recipe books!

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Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


Do Overs –what??!

I direct seeded carrot seeds in my garden and I swore I saw at least 2 or 3 sprout up.  Now there are NONE!  My neighbor, who is a very experienced gardener warned me about waiting and watching the carrots; that they took forever to germinate.  Well, now I am not sure if they ever will.

Also, the dog has been following me in and out of the garden and of course she prefers to walk on top of the mounds and I always have to shoo her off.  That’s why my ghetto fence is there (she also steals ripe fruit to eat).  She like to lay on the warm mounds of dirt or lay on the shaded cool dirt.  I wonder if she picked up the carrot seeds in her feet and fur and carried them away?  I saw paw prints over there…..

I think I will germinate some seeds indoors on those peat pellets to make sure.  And I will again direct seed.  I have to remember to thin them so they can grow as straight as possible and not be crowded and knarly.  And to think carrots are supposed to be easy?


Harvesting in the garden already

I am already able to harvest mesclun lettuce from the garden, along with spinach and arugula.  I had started these by seed indoors in February and the warm indoor temperature allowed them to germinate rather quickly.  I cut the outer, bigger leaves leaving the babies to grow a little bit to continue feeding us.

You’ll recall that I transplanted them in mid-march into the garden and then a couple of weeks later made a succession planting.  Due to the much lower outdoor temperatures, those seed have germinated and are growing slowly.

I hope to continue succession planting on the greens each month or so so that I can have salad greens all the time.

Right now, what I am harvesting, I am mixing in with bagged baby spinach purhcased at the store, but there is enough to feed 2 people alone – but I’ve got 5 to feed, so I supplement it with the cheaper spinach.

Onion bulbs – have sprouted (both the green onions and the big onions).  I’ve still got to transplant the walla walla starts I began in Feb.  They are still growing in their cups indoors doing fine.

Bell Peppers – Still have those indoors and intend on planting them and putting the walls of water around them. 

That will round out everything I’ve started indoors and then I will wait until about mid May to direct seed the beans, squashes, and whatever else I feel like.