Pick Out the Seeds and Stems

Here at the Gangsta Garden, we believe in returning nutrients to the earth. I mean, don’t get me wrong – we’re not crazy about it, and we don’t do a perfect job. But, we do try our best to compost, especially after wine making season.

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Last year I let the grapes get acclimated, root, and I waited patiently to see if they made it through our Massachusetts winter in a raised bed. BOOH YA! They came back! Now it’s time to seriously begin training them along the trellis that I built. In order to do that, I added some wire onto which the grapes vines could stretch their weary legs.

Grape Roots

Last year I planted two grape vines and built an arbor. It’s really nothing special; a couple of two-by-fours and some paint was all it took. I dug a hole on either side of a raised bed I was planning to use for the grapes, cemented the arbor in place, and planted the grapes. I plan to attach some wire to the legs of the arbor and train the grapes onto them. With any luck, it’ll hide that ugly wood pile.

The Pollinators’ Joy

Two sedum varieties, Autumn Joy and Matrona, lived through the patio project. As autumn approached, large heads of tiny florets emerged. In late august, they bloomed. I didn’t think much of it.

When Swarming is Imminent

What up Gangstas? I got a call from a fellow beekeeper this week.  He wanted to make sure that he had prevented a swarm correctly.  He did not. Here’s how it went down.  He found a dozen or so queen cells that had larvae in them.  Realizing that swarming was imminent, he got himself a…

Puttin’ Five Carrots in my Baby Girl’s Ear

I took a chance when I sowed seeds in the greenhouse in early March considering our frost date is mid May. I planted cold season crops, like lettuces, carrots, snap peas, and broccoli, to name a few. I figured I’d be able to extend my growing season by, at best, a month. What I didn’t expect was that all the seeds would sprout and that, come late April, I’d already have an abundance.

Where Do My Bees Go?

The anticipation before you get your first package of bees is incredible.  You’re pumped about the impending adventure of beekeeping.  You’re pumped about learning about these little creatures that have managed to figure out how to work in a social society that can communicate and make democratic decisions.  Finally the day comes and get your…

First Things, First: AMARYLLIS!

This gangsta hates winter.  But, by now, you know that.  By late fall, when green has faded to brown, I start getting an itch.  I mean, it’s a serious itch.  I start hoarding indoor plants like a BOSS!  Do bosses hoard indoor plants? In order to scratch my itch, one of my go-to plants for winter…

Get Hard!

Hardening your seedlings is a requirement prior to transplanting them into their permanent homes, and you’ll want to begin the process a week or so before you plant them out. The process is fairly straight forward but does take some care and attention.

The Pollinators’ Fortune

Agastache Foeniculum, Anise Hyssop, or Agastache Blue Fortune (all the same plant) is one of my favorite perennials to this end. A member of the mint family, A. Foeniculum is easy to grow and flowers profusely from July through the killing frost.

Planting the Gangsta Greenhouse

About a week ago I posted The House that Gangsta Built, which described my experience erecting a greenhouse directly in front of three of my bee hives.  The next step of this project was to construct raised beds which would be placed inside. Raise UP! For this, I used fir 2×12 boards, and I simply butted them…

The House that Gangsta Built

Late last summer I began putting up a greenhouse from a kit that was gifted to me.  The images below show some of the stages of the project.  The first step was to establish a level foundation on which the greenhouse would sit.  Simple enough, right?  It would have been, except, if you notice in…