Holy Habanero

Came home last week and went outside to take down the garden. Found this instead.

Each of my four Habanero plants have probably 20 more peppers on them, and even more flowers blooming. There’s even flowers blooming on the Rutgers tomato plants!

We’re six weeks from the first frost date. Grow, little peppers and tomatoes!

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 7:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Five Pounds…

…of tomatoes…

…leads to…

…leads to…

…the most awesome roasted tomato base. Half will become sauce, half will become soup. (The peppers on the side of the basket did not go in the base. Super hot salsa in this house!)

I’m picking another five pounds about twice a week now, all San Marzano and Roma. I got about three Rutgers off six plants, and there’s not a single tomato left nor a flower blooming. So disappointing to this Jersey Girl!

Peppers are doing spectacular – California Bell, Jalapeno, and Habanero. Peas and beans never came in for some reason. I might plant a couple more seeds when I plant some fall crops, if it’s ever cool enough outside to plant! Right now we’re outside for a total of five minutes to pick tomatoes. I’m not a fan of this over-100º weather. Neither is the Dude. He’s less tan now than he was in June.

I also have one carrot that my friendly bunny never ate. Bunny ate the weeds right next to the carrot, though! Bunny is awesome. I’ve tried taking his picture, but somehow it never works with the Dude right next to me yelling, “It’s a BUNNY!!”

And all the herbs are growing massive. Luckily, Alton Brown just did an episode on drying herbs, so I’ll be picking up a box fan and some air filters soon. Because AB told me to.

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ding Dong

Doorbell rings at 4:20 in the morning.  Is it:

a) Robbers casing the joint

b) Candygram

3) Cops letting us know that our tree cracked in half and was blocking 3/4ths of the road.

I’m assuming C is the correct answer since the City workers told me the police called it in earlier. I wasn’t about to answer the door at 4 am, though, cops or not! At 7:30, our neighbor called and informed us of the wayward tree branch. City was called at 7:35, City was there by 7:50 when I got back from dropping the Wee One at school, tree branch was cut up and finished by 8:45. Very efficient!

Of course, we got a quote from a tree trimmer about a week ago about all our landscaping needs, including trimming the branches of that tree off the street level and thinning it out so it’s not as heavy. We’re scheduled for early next week. Guess the tree didn’t want to wait! He’s actually coming out today to take a look and see if we can save the tree itself now.

It looks like it was struck by lightning – even though we didn’t have any! It might have happened earlier and the heavy winds we had did it in. But these are definitely burn marks.

The landscaper is also removing about 1/4 of the crape myrtles around the side and back yards, committing “crape murder” on some of the others so we can start over and keep them manageable, and attempting to kill off the trumpet vine. He’s also removing a half dozen small trees in the backyard that are, apparently, wild mulberry trees, and cause staining bird poop. Once he’s done it’s going to look a lot less weedy and random, I hope! And then in the spring we can start the process of landscaping and planting my raised bed garden on schedule.

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 8:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Neglected Garden (& Everything Else!)

Yeah, I know, no posty lately! We have been super busy – we did Kites Over Enid last week, then a garage sale the nest two days, then I’ve been cleaning the garage and boxing up the leftover donations. Don’t worry, I found some spare time to hit up Hobby Lobby’s pattern sale! Simplicity patterns for 99-cents! Go now!

So not only has the blog and sewing been neglected, but so had my poor garden. Which means, of course, the trumpet vine is out of control. A hornworm got into my tomatoes and luckily(??) only took out one plant.

Even though it’s mid-September, my other tomato plants are newly thriving. They’re topping the 6′ stakes and still shooting out flowers. A bee was busy among them, so I tied and pruned and got out of the way. I don’t know if I’ll get much more tomatoes this year, but they certainly like the cool, damp weather we’ve had this fall.

(So have the mosquitos. Itchy!!)

I’ve learned from this year’s garden – when tomato plants get that big, it’s hard to reach around them to prune the back row. Next year, one row of tomatoes with something shorter in front!And something shorter would not be basil – that thing is freaking loving its corner of the garden. I guess my roasted tomato basil soup will at least contain homegrown basil!

We’ve also been talking about getting a landscaper out this fall to remove some of the crape myrtles along the house, including the one in the corner of the garden. From what I’ve read, they love to reseed themselves, so I’m guessing the garden one was not one of the original – they line our fence and house and are quite lovely….when you keep up with the maintenance.

My husband also agreed to take out the trumpet vine. I assume this means he’s going to find me some uranium. Woohoo! I’m hoping we’ll be able to leave the little tree in that corner of the garden, but since the evil vine is wrapped around it…

I have visions of buckets of morning glories covering the trellis next summer. (Oh, crud, according to Wikipedia, morning glory is also an evil vine! Is there any vine that is not evil?)

OK, now that the garden update is out of the way… I promise, lots more posts this week! I’ve got patterns to share, a new set-up for the sewing table, Kites Over Enid, the PiP Cars quilt, Cinderella Castle…

Oh, and because I have all this spare time… I’m doing the pajama sew-along on Sew Mama Sew, making matching Christmas jammies for the Wee One and his cousin, the Gator. I am obsessed with really love matching jammies. If we ever have more kids, they’ll have those fake “Mom is crazy” smiles in front of the fireplace on Christmas morning, all wearing matching footie pajamas when they’re in their teens.

Until then, the poor Gator gets tortured along with the Wee One. She’s being bribed with a twirl skirt.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Garden Visitor


Found this fellow visiting my pepper plants tonight while I was pruning and tying. The Wee One wanted it to crawl all over him like ladybugs. The Wee One loves ladybugs. He took one into the pool during a swim lesson. Luckily the poor thing survived his love.


We picked a couple of the peppers that were a bit wrinkly. I don’t remember what they are  – either habanero or chili red. And seeing as I can’t remember what they are, I can’t remember when/how to pick them!


Not that we can make salsa without tomatoes.

Oh wait!


OK, so it’s not ready for salsa. But it is my first tomato! I was starting to get worried because we planted seedlings so late in the season – not till mid-June because, well, we weren’t here. Twelve tomatoes and four pepper plants, all chosen for their shorter germination time. Which is still 70-75 days, so I’ll likely spend all of September picking. Good thing the Wee One has school!


I didn’t see blossoms on any of the plants until last week, and I never saw a blossom on this plant! Just found the lovely tomato when I was pruning!

The winner is a San Marzano Hybrid from The Tasteful Garden.


In order from back right to front right, they are:

Serrano Pepper – Garden Harvest Supply

Bell Boy Pepper – Garden Harvest Supply

Habanero Pepper – Lowe’s

Chili Red Pepper – Lowe’s

Better Boy Tomato – Lowe’s

Roma Tomato – Lowe’s

Roma Tomato – Lowe’s

Black Krim – Garden Harvest Supply

Fireworks – Tasteful Garden

Purple Russian – Tasteful Garden

San Marzano Hybrid – Tasteful Garden

Rose de Berne – Tasteful Garden

San Marzano Hybrid – Tasteful Garden

Opalka – Tasteful Garden

Creole – Garden Harvest Supply

Arkansas Traveler – Garden Harvest Supply

Oregano (I think it died) – Garden Harvest Supply

African Blue Basil (beyond thriving!) – Garden Harvest Supply

Flat Leaf Parsley – Garden Harvest Supply

English Thyme – Garden Harvest Supply

Kentucky Pole Bean (probably died) – Garden Harvest Supply

Sugar Daddy Peas (definitely died) – Garden Harvest Supply

Thumbelina Carrots (some died) – Garden Harvest Supply

Jack o’Lantern Pumpkin – Lowe’s

(Tomorrow I promise a sewing post! I had one quilt to bind, two stash projects in the works and the fabric for the monkey quilt should be here any day!)

Published in: on August 2, 2009 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Nemesis, the Trumpet Vine

My neme-neme, ooh my neme-nemesis…

One of the reasons we bought this house above all others was the GREAT garden. The original owners were big into the landscaping and even created a lovely brick raised bed with a trellis and a wooden path. The previous owners said they almost pulled it out – sacrilege! The trellis had some brown vine winding around it in March and the P.O. said it was big with a red flower.

Yeah, it was big.

This was what it looked like when we moved in in June.


So I spent an hour outside every evening, getting bit by mosquitos and trimming this thing down to size. My neighbors said that if it was trimmed down, it would bloom. Blooms meant identification!

Identification meant horror.


I got it trimmed down – not prettily, since most evenings I was just hacking as much off the top as I could reach. But I did try to save some longer vines and wind them gracefully through the trellis. It was going to look beautiful, I just knew it. And then it bloomed and those bright orange flowers were quite pretty!


Oooh, pretty but evvvvvvvvil! Quite like chenille. Except chenille doesn’t reproduce. My brother-in-law identified the blooms as trumpet vine. I did some internet research. I came to the conclusion that a nuclear bomb wouldn’t be able to remove this vine from my garden.

Who the hell planted this thing? Why? O.O. were, by all accounts, great landscapers. Although it’s overgrown, we have nothing to do but trim things back to normal shapes. I was even able to clear out the back of the raised bed and plant my tomatoes.

But this trumpet vine… I am pulling it out of the raised bed, from the opposite corner of where it was planted. I am pulling it out of the wooden slats of the walkway. I am pulling it off trees on both sides of the bed. I’m surprised I haven’t found it in the front yard yet!

I trim weekly, and I can barely keep up with it. If I wait an extra day, it looks like the picture from when we first moved in. There’s an empty bird’s nest in the top of the trellis. The birds probably came home one day to find they couldn’t get inside due to the vines winding over top of their nest the few hours they were away.

So I pull. I trim. I look up the cost of uranium online.

I think getting a landscaper to remove it when they come trim the bigger tree branches in the fall will be the best option.

For now, I just hope my nemesis doesn’t choke out the tomato roots.

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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