A Confession…

See the lovely planter above? The one with the lopsided pinwheel? That is one of my latest victims. Yes, while I can manage to garden pretty well outdoors, I am abysmally awful with indoor plants. Out of the few plants I have inadvertently killed only one survived- an English Ivy plant. The planter above does have  something growing, but I have no idea what it is. I got this planter, with beautiful ALOE VERA plants in it, from my mother’s house so the green thing inside is some mystery plant that decided it liked the sunshine. Yes, I killed an Aloe Vera Plant this year. RIP poor plant. And I know how I did it. I am just too attentive when it comes to indoor plants. I over water and that begins their downfall. I really thought I would do better with this plant, but nope. Apparently 2x a month is still too times too many. Luckily I have the rest of my life to correct this fault of mine,  I just need to get my courage back up to purchase something with a high probability of dying again. 🙂

So does anybody have any disaster proof plants that are good to grow indoors? I’d love to have some green inside and to help with the air purification of my home. Of course I have pets and small children, so I know that can be limiting.

I will have another post on how my outdoor garden is growing coming soon.

Stay tuned~

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Gardening Art and Science: I’m heavy on the Science, but mindful of the Art

Gardening is a mix of art and science. I am kind of a science nerd so I have done the following things to help my garden and yard to be successful:

I read gardening books from cover to cover. And then proceed to highlight and underline them. And then I create an excel spreadsheet from what I read.

I am one of the few 30 something female regulars at my local garden/lawn shop. And I bring my gardening notebook with me sometimes. I am definitely “unforgettable.”

I took a soil report of my yard so I could accurately fertilize and lime it.

I measure how much water my sprinkler system doles out so I don’t under or over water my grass.

I am the crazy lady in my jeans, long sleeves, and sometimes face mask, that is racing around the yard with my broadcast spreader before the rain comes (sometimes just minutes before).

I realize that gardening is a lot of Art too. So while I do all of the aforementioned things, there is no guarantee in gardening. I am just driven to grow food with little pesticides for my family to eat so we can be healthier (and it’s fun too), and also to have a nice yard that we can enjoy where we will be more motivated to spend time outside (although we already like being outside).

My garden is slooowly growing. I will take some pictures soon so you can see its progress. Right now it’s raining. Yes! I love the rain. 🙂

Stay tuned~

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Current State of (the) Garden

This is the current state of my vegetable garden. I planted it a little a month ago and it’s doing pretty well.  I have already thinned most things out (and weeded it after these pictures were taken).

In the first square (L to R), I planted peas (Dwarf Gray Sugar), cilantro, carrots (Scarlet Nantes), and Apollo arugula. I also have marigolds bordering it two sides and nasturtiums and zinnias on the other two. The Arugula is growing like crazy but it’s starting to get HOT here, so I am picking it all the time so I can make pesto (and feed our bearded dragon- she has expensive tastes). My lovely husband built the cage around my peas (sorry it doesn’t show up that well). They say they do not require staking, but are literally attaching themselves to each other so I thought the stakes would help.

Square two I have a Seed Savers Lettuce mixture and Broccoli. I have 50/50 odds on the Broccoli because I planted it late and from seed. But, I figured what the heck, and it is in a shady spot so we will see. Luckily seed isn’t too expensive so I can try some things out that may not work. I also have marigolds and nasturtiums/zinnias around this square as well (in fact they border all of the squares).

Square three. I planted Beans (Empress), Cucumbers (can’t remember the kind but a SSE variety), and Radishes. The Radishes help cucumbers so that’s why I planted them. They come up really quickly though so it’s nice to feel like I have been successful so early on.  The cucumbers are growing but aren’t ready to be trellised-yet. We bought two of them and my husband made a third one. I have 5 hills total, so I’m hoping I can use both sides of the trellis for the plants. This is my first time growing cucumbers. They are a relative of squash so I’m really hoping those nasty squash bugs don’t come back…..

For the fourth square, I have my tomato plants. I sowed a few rows of basil seeds the other day (and accidentally hoed them while weed eating) so I may need to replant. In the back section I will plant Okra in a few more weeks. It’s hard to tell (I guess I need more Close Ups of my plants), but the Tomatoes have actually grown since I planted them last week. I think those pipes might already be showing their benefit. The plant in the topsy turvy is doing well, although the plant is curving updwards? It is a u-shape. Anyone have that happen to their plant?

So that is it. We’ll see how my garden grows. I enjoy gardening and think of it as a big science experiment, with some art involved. I use a garden journal to keep track of what types of plants I plant and also about pest problems. Since I decided to start blogging about my gardening, I will post my notes/updates online instead. Hope it helps!

Stay tuned~

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You say Toemaytoes, I say Toemahtoes.

Hey folks, as my toddler sits next to me yelling for me to get off the computer, I am reminded of why it has taken me so long to actually blog the last few days. 🙂 Anyway, I am very excited because my Tomato transplants came in last week. (Yes, I am just now blogging about them. I am a SAHM and I work at home too- not blogging- so I have limited free time.) Wow, I am full of side notes this morning. So back to the Tomatoes. I ordered them from Seed Savers Exchange, which is where I get most of my seeds. I love them by the way. They always do great. So when I finally got my LIVE PLANTS box I was super pumped!

See how beautiful the plants are? I got the SSE Tomato Transplant Sampler. I believe (not 100%) that I got the following: Amish Paste, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Italian Heirloom, Gold Medal (?) and Germand Pink.  I put the names somewhere, but if I had to spend time searching for those, this post might never get published! 😉 SSE chooses the varieties and they look great. Only thing is that I wish I had had a grape size tomato, but I can always do that next year or plant them in a pot.

I mentioned in the A to Z Challenge that I was going to try the idea from A Sonoma Garden about putting pipes around your tomato plants to deeply water them. So, I decided to make some. We used PVC pipe that is smaller than what A Sonoma Garden used. My husband didn’t think we needed anything bigger than 1.5″ and I didn’t show him the tutorial before we went shopping (oops me), but I think they’ll work fine. I don’t care about getting 10 feet plants- just healthy ones will do for me! One thing I did learn and why A Sonoma Garden probably used drainage pipe instead of pvc, is that Lowe’s does not cut PVC pipe at the store and I’m 99% sure they do cut drainage pipe. So my husband had to cut our pipe and drill holes in it. We made them 18 inches long. Since the soil is so sandy here I wasn’t worried about using post hole diggers to dig them (a mallet works just fine). So, to make sure the dirt  would stay out of the holes, I ghetto rigged up a system of screening material (that I also used to put in the bottom of my flower pots for drainage), and masking tape. It seemed to work well. I always try to do things on the cheap. Growing your own food is supposed to help you cut costs, right?  I have a picture of my tomato plants planned for a future post, but just know that I planted 5 in the ground and 1 in a topsy turvy.

Yes, I am using a topsy turvy this year. Will it work? I’m not sure, but I am optimistic. My sweet dear husband bought me the topsy turvy last year and in honor of him (he’s still alive don’t think otherwise, hee hee) I am using it for my Amish Paste tomatoes (one of the smaller kind I received). So I am praying and hoping, and praying, that they grow and do wonderfully. I know some people claim the topsy turvy works so I hope they are right.

I have an upcoming post on how my garden as a whole is coming up!

~Stay tuned

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The 2012 #AtoZChallenge is Fini (finished)!

 

Well, the A to Z Challenge is over and I am so glad I did it this year. It was great because I got to meet some new bloggers (and visit new blogs), practice keeping my blog going on a daily basis (not sure I can keep that up though- I’m not that interesting 😉 ), and also made me realize that gardening is probably WAY more interesting than my original purpose of posting about things happening where I live, ha ha. So please plan to see more things related to my gardening adventures. I have a lot of pictures I need to upload of my garden and how it is doing. Today I am making some arugula pesto because it is coming out of my ears right now!

Stay tuned~

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#AtoZChallenge: Z is for Zinnias

Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers. They are an annual and a cut flower, so you can keep a pretty vase of them all summer long. My youngest daughter particularly loves to “pick” flowers so I always steer her towards these and the Marigolds. 🙂 I might have taken a “few” (yeah right) pictures of Zinnias over the years so I included a couple for you all to enjoy (all are sooc and have only been cropped).

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#AtoZChallenge: Y is for Yarrow, Yew, and Yuca

Okay, so most of these Y words are new to me, but they are just so fun to say that I had to mention them. Seriously, say them 3 times fast. Doesn’t it make you feel like a kid again? Okay, maybe a weirdo, but hopefully you are at least laughing. 😉

However, I am going to just write about Yarrow. Yarrow is an herb and has a lot of medicinal properties. (It can help to reduce bleeding.) It helps other plants resist adverse conditions. Yarrow can also give nearby plants resistance to insects. The best thing about it is that it can grow anywhere and under any conditions. Yarrow doesn’t mind being walked upon and when it’s mowed, it can simply spread out in a low growth.

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