Some Stuff N' Stuff

Mostly a garden blog, and the occasional garden-inspired recipe.


Tomatoes in the ground, lettuce on the plate

First home-grown Mesclun Salad

Newly Planted (from Mahoneys & Pemberton)
- 4 Early Girl Tomatoes
- 3 La Roma Tomatoes
- 2 Brandywines
- 1 Sweet Cherry 100
- 1 Italian Basil
- 1 African Blue Basil
- 1 Lemongrass

The garden:
The plantlings were looking a little meager after leaving them unattended to harden over Memorial Day weekend. I took them inside the past few nights since the temps were dropping close to 40, and today I finally planted the tomatoes, basil and other warm weather crops in the garden. I read transplanting is best done on a misty, overcast days, so as to not shock the youngins with too much sun... and that was exactly today's weather.

When I first got to the garden, I noticed I was the only plot full of weeds... what's with that anyways? I grabbed my new garden hoe/rake Monster Tool, hacked it up and composted the weeds. After planting everything, I covered it all in a thick coating of compost and watered it down. Can' wait for the mulch to arrive so I can really mitigate the weeds. I'll probably buy my own brown mulch later this summer, just to ease my mind.

Before leaving, I picked the mesclun lettuce mix for a salad. That seed packet says it includes Arugula, Osaka Purple Mustard, Mizuna, Komastuna, Green Wave Mustard, and Persian Garden Cress. All are kinda spicy and very tasty. I also picked some dill for a German cucumber salad for ladies night. At home I cooked up some chicken kababs sans-receipe and it was pretty good! Here's my best guess at what it was:

Zesty Chicken Kababs

- 1 chicken breast, cut into 1x2 inch chunks
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp oil olive
- 2 tbsp cajun spice
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp honey

- Whisk together oil & lemon juice in medium-sized, non-reactive bowl
- Add chicken pieces & top with cajun spice, toss to coat
- Marinate in fridge for 30 minutes
- When done, remove chicken from bowl and thread onto 2 wooden skewers
- Top skewers with oregano, cumin, garlic salt, ginger powder, pepper and drizzle with honey
- Bake for 10-15 minutes on 425˚F.
- Broil for additional 3 min for a crispy finish.
- Top onto Mesclun salad (see recipe below)

Mesclun Salad
- Mesclun salad greens
- 1/2 of a granny smith apple, cut into matchstick pieces
- 1/8 cup walnuts, broken into small pieces
- 2 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled

Salad dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard

- Combine all ingredients and whisk till smooth


Hot weather and bean seeds

Bean planting in May

Trip to Mahoney's & Pemberton
My annual pilgrimage to Mahoney's was fairly uneventful, going alone this time and only picking up a 2 Brandywines, 1 Red Cherry, 1 African & 1 Italian Basil, 1 Lemongrass, and 1 Tarragon. I also picked up a packet of green bean seeds for planting. They seem to be cleaned out (or not carrying) any multi-pack veggies, which makes for an expensive seedling shopping experience.

I then visited Pemberton and picked up a 6-pack of Marketmore Cucumbers, La Roma plum tomatoes and Early Girl Tomatoes.

Identifiers from Mahoney & Pemberton seedlings

Bean planting in May

Newly Planted (seeds from Mahoneys):

- 1 seed packet of Bush Green Beans (garden)

The garden:
While it may be a little late to plant green beans, I had space where the peas used to be and I decided not to plant the infamous Garden Salsa hot peppers this year since i still have tons in the freezer. The beans looked like uncooked red beans only marbled in color. I planted about 18 seeds, 6 inches apart. These are self-supported bean plants, so no trellising needed. (I noticed another neighbor's pea plants were eaten by birds, it looked like 2 or 3 survived.)

After planting I watered down the garlic, onions, dill, cilantro and mixed lettuce and the new bed of beans. I look forward to planting the tomatoes and basil next week. Also, a new lock was added to the garden door. So now only spry fence hoppers will be able to steal our veggies.

Mixed lettuce


The porch:
The strawberries are flowering enthusiastically both on the balcony (more so) and on the front door porch.

Strawberries flowering

The green onions are coming along, though they look a little skinny and waifish. This reminds me that I need to buy some organic fertilizer to "juice" my potted veggies.


May flowers, pea problem

Strawberry flowers

The porch:
The strawberries and green onions on the porch are doing very well, despite the lack of rain and my lack of memory. The strawberries on the doorstep aren't growing quite as fast, but I'm leaving them there to see what happens in the end (will the berries be smaller, grow longer into the season, will it matter much at all?)

Burppe green onions in bowl

Strawberry on doorstep

The garden:
The mesclun lettuce, garlic and onions are coming along just fine.

Garden in full

Mesclun lettuce mix


The peas, however, may not make it. Not sure what the deal is , but I seem to have no luck with peas.
UPDATE: After a little bit of reading, I think the culprits are sparrows eating the tender leaf tips, leaving me with stubby and leafless pea shoots.

Pea problem

Unknown plant (seed escapee from neighbor across the way)

Left side: Garlic, dill, onions

Right side: Lettuce and peas

Garlic and watering pot