Monday, April 11, 2011

The Ten Most Popular Posts this Week - and the #1 Reason I Haven't Been in the Garden Very Much

Clare Elizabeth's triplet boy
Thankfully it's an extremely cute reason.

Realization of the Day:
I keep composing garden blog posts in my head—but little lambs keep popping out instead. We have 17 19 to date (including three sets of triplets!), with many more on the way. If you need a break from playing in the dirt, you can catch up with all the barnyard cuteness here.

So what do sheep have to do with gardening, besides keeping me from doing much? Sheep manure! You can read all about this wonderful stuff in the post I wrote last season around this time, Using Sheep Manure as an Organic Fertilizer in the Garden (and What's Keeping Me from Working in Mine).

I have managed to sneak in a little quality garden time during the past week in between round the clock barn checks:

—I direct sowed some arugula and three types of lettuce seeds that I bought on a whim at the farm store last week (this is several weeks late, but I'm hoping Saturday's 92 degrees was a fluke, and I'll be able to harvest some before it all bolts in the late spring heat)

—I planted a small spot in the greenhouse (the only part not full of Swiss chard and herbs) with Genovese basil seeds, an experiment (done on time!) that I'm really excited about.

—I put one of the three bunches of onion plants (Candy) I ordered this year into the ground, only four (!) weeks after they arrived (they're supposed to be stay alive but dormant for three weeks, so even though they don't look so great, my fingers are crossed).

The other two bunches (Red Candy Apple and Texas 1015) will hopefully get planted tonight or tomorrow. You can read about my experiences growing onions from purchased plants here.

—I finally took some of the giant pieces of cardboard I've been saving for (ahem) a couple of years and covered several of my weedy raised beds with them (something I meant to do last fall, before they filled with weeds). Unfortunately I chose the windiest day of the year to do this, so every piece blew off and scattered all over the garden a few hours later—even the weighted down pieces. That was fun.

I probably (hopefully) did some other stuff I'm forgetting about, besides harvesting lots of beautiful, incredibly heat and cold tolerant, overwintered Swiss chard. I love that stuff!

It's green in the greenhouse today
It's very green in the greenhouse today, including in the walkway. I can't bear to pull up volunteer vegetables, especially when it's Swiss chard.

Meanwhile, what are other gardeners doing—or at least reading about—right now? These are the ten most popular In My Kitchen Garden posts from the past week:

How To Grow Your Own Swiss Chard from seed and Why You Should (Wondering what to do with Swiss chard? This post includes links to my favorite ways to enjoy it.)

How To Make Homemade Pizza Sauce Using Fresh Tomatoes (Hello, readers in the southern hemisphere!)

So what have you been doing (or reading about doing) in the garden this week?

©, heading back to the barn and then hopefully out into the garden.


  1. Your greenhouse greens are making me hungry! I'm so hopeful that I'll get my small hoop house built this year, finally. I have 6 flats of various seeds started inside so far, and just a row of peas in the garden. Really have a lot of cleanup and amending to do in the beds before I can start anything else, and plan to get to that this weekend.

  2. Lettuce is in, arugula is in, radishes are in, dill is in, peas (English and snow) are in . . . and OH LORD are the tomato seedlings up in the house. 100 tomato seedlings? Really? That is insane.

  3. Your lambs are so cute!

    I enjoyed reading your "about" page, too. My husband is from Missouri and we lived in St. Louis for more than ten years. He has hunted and eaten squirrel but I am not brave enough to try it!

    I'm adding you to my list of garden blogs on my site, So It Grows. :) Hope that's okay!

  4. I planted spinach, butter crunch lettuce, 3 kinds of radishes, leeks, scallions, onions, beets and a gazillion carrots for the dogs to eat this summer and early fall. I'm late getting it started too, but with an almost 3 month old I'm impressed I got that much done!

  5. What breed are your sheep? They're beautiful!

    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and I've been reading up. You offer so much information! In Reno we have a short growing season, so I add a couple of weeks to whatever you're doing, and amend it for our horrible soil and water conditions. So far it's just chard and snow peas, with a lot of seedlings in the house. Thank you for all the info. Our garden is going to be so much better this year.

  6. I'm up in the north in the Catskills-so we are quite behind you in Missouri-our daffodils are just starting to bloom this week! I have been spending my time double digging and amending with fireplace ash. This week I planted Savannah Sweet and Walla Walla onions from sets, parsnips, beets and turnips. We have to wait well into May for frost free plantings. (I've learned this the hard way-an early heat wave does not mean run out there and get planting!)

  7. I love that little adorable. I'd never get any work done around the garden!

  8. That little lamb is ridiculously cute!! I've been a follower of your blog for a long time now, and I so appreciate all the helpful tips, recipes, and stories that you share with your readers! I wanted to let you know that I'm having a giveaway on my blog right now for some stoneware herb markers that I thought maybe you and your readers would be interested in. Hope it's okay to share the link here...

  9. Wow, gardening and lambs. There is no better combination. I raised Suffolk sheep for 14 years. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had. I am now married, out of the sheep business and have a small herb and vegetable garden. Love your blog.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!