Tea Time

June 2, 2020,

In years past I would wait for my peppermint plants to be just about flowering to harvest them. This would have their essential oils in the flowers be at their fullest for the best flavor. I decided that I might not get that opportunity what with getting ready to sell and move to out future home. Also, if we end up not moving until a few months have gone, it will have grown up again, and I can get in a second harvest. This year also, I have another variety of mint, a chocolate mint.

To harvest them, I cut them with scissors leaving some stem. Then I wrap a rubber band around the stem, hanging the leaves upside down attached to the hanger, and put it up in the laundry room to dry. After they are dry, I have some glass jars that seal that I will store them in.

You can see in the picture the difference in the size between the Chocolate Mint, and the Peppermint. I am sure looking forward to a warm cup of tea this coming winter in my new home.

I worked yesterday in the garden hilling soil up around the potatoes, hoeing weeds, and replanting beans where they didn’t come up.

The Yukon Gold potatoes are on the left, and the red potatoes are on the right.

I dug trenches about eight inches deep to plant the potatoes in. Covered them over with about two inches of soil above the potatoes. Now that the potatoes have grown and gotten large stems above ground, I pulled soil up covering the lower stems of the plants. This way they will grow more potatoes.

Next year I plan on trying the no dig method where you place the potatoes on top of the soil and cover they with straw, putting more straw around the stems as they grow. That will save a lot of effort digging trenches.

The Fava beans have gotten much taller, a little over two feet. Unfortunately, the aphids seem to love them, but I found a few ladybugs on some of the leaves. Not nearly enough to take care of them. So I ordered one thousand Green Lacewing eggs which will be arriving next week. Last year we ordered three thousand lady bugs, which seem to have dispersed, and we don’t see many. Hopefully the Lacewings will stick around. They like aphids to eat, and there is plenty for them. One other thing about the Fava beans, They are flowering! So we will have beans soon!

Flowers starting, soon to be beans!

The black stem is actually aphids.

The bush beans have been coming up, but some of them didn’t sprout, so I put some of the seeds to soak yesterday in water, and have planted them today where the empty spaces are that they didn’t sprout in.

Filling in the empty spaces where the seeds didn’t sprout among the ones that did.

The bees, butterfly, and humming bird garden is filling up with the plants getting larger. It sure is exciting to see the birds at their feeder, and I am looking forward to when the flowers have opened up, as well as see the pollinating insects flying around.

Bees and butterfly garden.

The Amaryllis that my late brother gave to my mother for Christmas, and she passed on to me, is blooming again. This time there are five blossoms opening up. I took the stamen from some of them, and cross pollinated the flowers. When the seed pods dry up, I will store the seeds in the refrigerator for three months, then plant them. It will be fun to grow more of them. Perhaps I will have a green house at the new place to grow them in.

This is a picture of me in front of the Korean Dogwood tree in my back yard. This was the first tree we planted here. I got the tree in a two gallon pot from a nursery my horticulture class helped out at.

The apron I am wearing my grandmother had before me. I didn’t have any pockets in my pants, so I found it convenient to have my keys, and cell phone in the apron pockets. It was too warm for the sweater I have that has pockets. This apron was perfect, and I will use it more often.

Bye for now, and may God be with you.


Published by Grandma

I have a certificate in horticulture, and am a master gardener with my county extension agency. I also spin yarn from fiber, knit, crochet, sew, and cross stitch, as well as cook, bake, and preserve foods using freezing, canning, and pickling methods.

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