Category Archives: Peppers


It’s the time of the year when I begin my frost dance.

Or should I say “threat” of frost dance.

You know the routine.

The first few nights you just throw a sheet or towel over a few tender plants

Then you drag most of the ferns in to the warmth.

After a few more sunny days

It happens again.

Freeze warnings

You begin to take them seriously.

You start picking things.

Almost ripe tomatoes

Not quite mature peppers.

Then the freeze frenzy really sets in.

One cold windy morning you yank every green tomato off the vine.

Cut cockscomb to the ground.

 Whack away at armloads of roses and zinnias

Dig up baby basil plants for your winter supply.

Then lie in wait for mother nature to kill everything you’ve nurtured all year.

After several nights of freeze warnings

It finally happens.

The first hard freeze.

The killing freeze.

With the end of one season

Another begins.

So now it’s time to plant…….

Spring Flowering Bulbs!!!

Even though I won’t actually plant my bulbs till later in the month.

I thought I’d send along this primer.

Here’s what I know about planting bulbs.

As with all of gardening the health and size of the bulb will determine the quality of bloom.

So look for big bulbs that are firm.

Make sure there is no mold present

Soft moldy bulbs will only turn into compost not flowers.

Tulip bulbs should still have their brown “skin” attached.

We talked about bulbs a bit in August in two prior blogs.

Planning Time and Planting Hope

So lets cover how to plant all this stuff.

First – find a gardening friend

Make a pact to help each other plant bulbs.

This friend may be a spouse, a child, a sibling, a neighbor

Or if you’re lucky you have a Megan.

Megan has helped me plant bulbs for well…

I don’t remember how long.

We use the “lasagna” method. 

It saves labor

And makes for glorious blasts of color.

Which means you never….never….never

Plant in rows.

Instead if you want to line an edge

Dig a series of oval holes.

Good sized holes

Because you will put a minimum 7 daffodils and 11 tulips in each hole

Dig the hole 6 ” –  8″ deep.

Mix in a little Bone Meal

Place the daffodils pointy end up

(That is very important !)

Make sure they don’t touch – or they will rot!

Use odd numbers 7 – 9 – 11.

Cover with a few inches of soil

Add a bit more Bone Meal

Then place Tulips

Again pointy end up.

To get a good show use at least 11 tulips or more.

Then repeat soil and Bone Meal

Top off with Dutch Iris.

Then refill to ground level.

Actually a little higher since it will settle when you water it all in.

And do water it all in

The water will fill up the air pockets in the soil

This will keep it from freezing when it’s first planted.

If you’re really energetic or inspired you can cover it all with pansies.

Now….that’s a blast of spring!

We do a series of these “lasagna Holes” on each side of the path

Leading to my garden house.

This forms a full border that doesn’t look contrived.

You’ll notice that the biggest bulbs need to be buried the deepest.

So you plant from large to small bulbs with this method.

Lilies can be planted 3 – 5 to a hole

Or…you can dig a winding trench

Place the bulbs in a zig zag pattern along the trench.

I generally don’t plant anything else with them.

So…that’s pretty much how we do it here.

It’s a tried and true method you may want to try.

Or not.

After all gardening is personal.

We learn from each other.

We adapt to our own garden.

We create.

We wait.


Leave a comment

Filed under Basil, cockscomb, Daffodils, Dutch Iris, Ferns, Garden House, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Grape Hyacinths, Green Tomatoes, Oriental Lilies, Peppers, roses, Spring Flowering Bulbs, Tomato, tulips, Uncategorized, Zinnia


On a glorious October Saturday afternoon

Much of the country is glued to college football.

Which if fine

For them

But not me

I can’t bring myself to sit still

The garden calls

No screams for me to come and play

It’s puttering season

I love to putter

Spending the day in the garden with no real agenda.

I begin to re-arrange things in my mind.

In the back perennial bed there will be some changes come spring.

Moving the dahlias to more sunshine will displace that Aloha rose.

I’ve found a new home for it.

But that means that I need to find a place for 2 veronica spicata plants.

I have plenty

More than enough

So I think they will move to the farm

They’ll like life with Pat and Ann

They are always looking for plants that attract bees.

This is the one.

There is a sage plant gone completely awry.

Gay thinks she would like it for her herb area.

And since she’s a much better cook than I

Off it goes.

I still have another giant one left.

OK that leaves the Stella d’Ora

(sorry can’t seem to find a picture of them)

These are a terrific plant

Their golden blooms appear along with the purple of larkspur

God is such a great gardener.

But they get lost later on in the season

So I think I’ll move them to the front of the bed.

I’ll likely divide them when I move them

So some of them, too, may take up life in the country

Well that should make a nice open home for the Aloha rose.

It gets pretty big so it needs space.

Once the dahlias are moved

I’ll have more room for Hydrangeas.

Believe I’ve mentioned this before.

There are a few new varieties I want to try

But I’m thinking I’ll try taking some cuttings from the Endless Summer Hydrangeas in the front.

I know

I’m terrible at taking cuttings.

But I keep trying

What is there to lose.

And so much to gain.

Finally figuring out a way to vastly increase the plants in my garden.

Being able to make babies to share with friends.

And something to watch over in the winter.

I just hate it when my fingernails get clean when it gets cold.

Another thing it’s time to do is plant basil.

I know

Cold is on the way

And it’s a warm weather herb.

Not if you plant a pot or two or dozen

For your use indoors this winter.

My winter basil plan is to plant several small pots

Over a period of several weeks.

Plant a couple at first

Then a few weeks later plant another one

Keep going till your sunniest window sill if filled.

If you really get going

You can plant some now for Christmas gifts.

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh basil when there is snow on the ground.

It’s also time to start moving things inside.

I carry over the Foxtail Ferns from the deck

There’s a secret to this.

They aren’t really planted in the clay pots.

I’ve planted them in large plastic pots

And put the pot inside the clay ones

Filling in around the edge with soil.

So, instead of digging them up each fall.

I simply pull up the plastic pots

Put them in the wheel barrow

And off they go to the garden house.

It’s also time to pick all the tomatoes and peppers that are ripe or nearly ripe.

Then the next question – green tomatoes.

Take a chance that they will somehow ripen

Or pick them green

Anyone have any good green tomato recipes?

I’ve got more green than I had ripe ones this year!!!

Happy puttering.


Leave a comment

Filed under Basil, Fall, Garden Planning, Gardening;Perennials, Green Tomatoes, Hydrangea, Larkspur, late summer garden, Peppers, TRANSPLANTING, Veronica Spicata