Monthly Archives: March 2011


One of the side effects of keeping greens growing all winter under a row cover is that not only do the plants survive, other things survive as well!

I went to pull out all the old spinach plants yesterday, and they were covered with aphids. The spinach was really past using since it was getting bitter, and a good thing too. The plants were almost slimy with aphids when I pulled them. You can see from this picture that some of the aphids have wings, which will allow them to go find new places to feed and multiply. (Oh goody!)

An infestation this sever would definitely warrant some sort of spray if we wanted to keep it going. Probably a neem oil or pyrethrin would be the product of choice. (Honestly, the spraying should have been done right when we took the row covers off, before the aphid population exploded!) I just pitched the whole mess into the compost bin. Probably not the wisest choice, but the winged aphids were going to go their merry way no matter what I did.

At any rate, we have lots of fat, happy ladybugs that have also survived the winter with all the aphids. We’ll just let them do the cleanup duty for awhile.


Grow Good Food Workshop

Saturday, April 2nd

Come learn how to grow good food from seed to table! The morning classroom session is free and will include the basics of growing fruit and vegetables. There will be two possible afternoon sessions, one hands-on demonstration session in our Demonstration Garden and a session on using & preserving the harvest. Both afternoon sessions will have a small materials fee attached and the class size is limited to 25. To register, visit

Morning Session – Free  4-H Hall
8:30     Registration

9:00     Growing Vegetables

10:00     Tomato Troubles

10:30     Choosing What to Plant

11:00     Growing Berries


Afternoon Session 1   –   4-H Hall, 1-4 p.m.

Getting Dirty – $5
1:00     Starting Seeds Indoors

2:00     Soil Testing & Fertilizing the Garden

2:30     Planting & Pruning Berries

3:00     Planning the Garden & Using Vertical Space

3:30    Direct Seeding in the Garden


Afternoon Session 2    –    Sunflower Room, 1-3 p.m.

Using & Preserving the Harvest  $12

  • Salsa
  • Low Acid Foods
  • Pickles

First Workday in the Garden

We had our first Demo Garden workday of the season this morning. Everyone worked hard from about 10:30 until noon! There was really a lot more to do than I expected. (Hopefully our Compost committee will follow up with a workday, since we gave them a big pile of debris to compost!)

We started planting the Family of 4 Garden today, putting in some peas, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and radishes.

We are using the original cattle panel trellis in the Family of 4 Garden this year. We put in the trellis and planted sugar snap peas along the edges. Then we planted some lettuce seeds under the trellis, just for fun. The green plants in front of the trellis are cabbage.

We also planted lettuce and spinach seedlings in the Family of 4 Garden. Normally we would just plant the seeds, but since we want to harvest quickly and then plant tomatoes in this area, we decided to start the seeds inside for a head start.

Meanwhile, in the “Early & Late Tomato Garden,” we planted some kale, bok choy, cabbage, and leeks that were left over from the Garden Show. (Actually, the leeks have been in the garden all winter, we just transplanted them.) These veggies will be in the garden until mid-June, when we plant our second round of tomatoes.

Other Wichita Garden Show Gardens

Don’t worry. I’m not going to bore you with any more pictures of the Hobbit garden. I’ll just give you a taste of what the other gardens at the show were like this year. Unfortunately, there was one garden I didn’t get any pictures of (Johnsons – The Secret Garden), probably because they were still touching it up when I was walking through to take pictures, and then I forgot to go back. Also, I only really have one good picture of Mr. Miyagi’s Courtyard by Hongs Landscape, which is too bad, because I really liked their garden.

The “Up” Garden by Scenic Landscapes.

Mr. Miyagi’s Courtyard garden.

On the way in to Jurassic Park by Tree Top Nursery.

The Pirate Garden done by the Kansas Pond Society.

The Avatar garden by Complete Landscaping.

A Few Pictures from the Wichita Garden Show

I’m going to start out by apologizing for the pictures. My little camera and I just don’t handle the lighting challenges of Century II very well. So please, enjoy what I’m trying to portray and do you best to ignore weird lighting, overexposures, and slightly fuzzy subjects.

If you want to get a look at the  whole bunch of pictures I took from the Garden Show, you can visit my Flickr photostream.

There’s the front of our little Hobbit Hole, all fresh and shiny before opening on Wednesday.

The vignette from the back side of the Hobbit Hole. The cart is a little bit out of scale, but it was too cute not to use!

Here’s the other part of the garden. The waddle fencing was perfect for the garden. We also had a resident rabbit for most of the show, and he was a hit too! Everyone was awed by the rows of veggies. (I wasn’t expecting that, since they seemed very ordinary to me! I’m too used to good Demo Garden pictures.)

There’s the garden area from the other angle.  The funny thing is that the bright green lettuce was actually supposed to be a red lettuce. (It doesn’t turn red in a warm greenhouse, apparently!) It probably looked better as a bright green lettuce than as a red lettuce anyway.

The mushrooms were one of my favorite parts of the whole garden. They are just too cute!

Here’s the back of the garden from the water pump side. It was all beautiful while it lasted, but I’m so happy that we are done with the show and everything is clean and ready to dive into spring.

I’ll post a few pictures of the other gardens later this week, and then we’ll be hard and fast into our spring Demo Garden planting by next week.