Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Lots of Veggies August 7, 2014

We have been harvesting several things in recent weeks from our yard pots — cherry tomatoes, flat leaf parsley, sage, and soon basil (it’s a little slow growing in our shaded yard!).  We also belong to a CSA farm and have lots of colorful items in our boxes each week — summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, peppers, snap peas, and lots of greens.

I never tire of using these fresh veggies in all kinds of dishes that are perfect lunches or al fresco suppers.

Go to Paula’s Garden Patch News to check out what American Meadows has been harvesting in their gardens. Yum!

What have you been harvesting and enjoying this time of year?



Garden Wish List February 25, 2011

My hubby and I have been cleaning out our basement – basically one big storage area – to make room for some different areas now that it’s just the two of us. He’d like an area for his stained-glass studio and I’d like a designated area where I can grow seeds in late winter for planting in my kitchen garden. This will consist mostly of pots or vertical spaces since I have a lot of shade.

I’ve been gathering all the notes I’ve thrown in my Garden Journal since last fall. Each year, I like to try and add one new perennial to my garden. And I’ll also have an opportunity to replace one tree that came down in a storm last year. Since our yard is small, we’ll try to find a non-fruit flowering plum, pear or apple tree. They are fast growers and hold their leaves well into fall.

I also would like to introduce a few new plants and shrubs that have winter interest and bloom late summer into early fall. Seems I have many spring blooming things! I’d like summer-long blooms and stuff that’s hearty enough to provide some fall and early winter interest.

Wish list for my kitchen garden:
tomato, basil, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, thyme, onion or chives, garlic, green pepper, chard or kale

Wish list for new plants/shrubs:
ANNUALS, late-blooming – dahlia, zinnia, chocolate eupatorium, sunflowers
PERENNIALS, summer-long blooming – vanilla strawberry hydrangea
SHRUBS, zone 4, partial shade tolerant – Hiba arborvitae (compact form, Nana)

What do you grow in your Midwest garden? And what new things will you add this year?


Shade Gardening February 17, 2010

I saw some pretty neat container gardens while I was watching Twin Cities Public Television this past weekend. I think I’ll try some of my Italian kitchen garden in containers. I have mostly shade and that will allow me to move them around the garden to the sunniest locations.

I have some full shade and partial shade areas throughout my yard, and very little full sun left now that my trees have matured. This makes it a challenge to get any vegetables or herbs to grow large enough for harvest during our short growing season.  (Partial shade=less than six hours of sun; full shade=four or less hours of sun.)

It’s always a challenge finding shade plants at the typical retail outlets in my area.  Here’s one of my partial shade areas where my hosta and bergenia thrive well.

hosta, bergenia bed

hosta, bergenia

The University of Minnesota Extension office has great information about Gardening in the Shade.  This article offers some soil tips and plants of all types that love shade including annuals, bulbs, perennials, and even herbs and vegetables. Mint especially loves the shade, but be careful – it likes to take over. This is probably one herb that you’ll want to keep in a pot.

The vegetables that will do well in partial shade are the ones grown for their leaves rather than fruit. These include anything in the lettuce family, as well as kale, chard and mustard greens. I think I might have to start cooking with more greens since I have lots of partial shade. 😉  I do know that chives also thrive in shade – I have a wonderful bed of garlic chive that is in mostly full shade. I use it often in my kitchen.

I really can’t wait for spring…


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