Momma’s Garden Project

SONY DSCI replenished over the weekend, and I replaced a lot of my fruit and vegetables that lost a fatal battle with the insane heat the Central Valley has become accustomed to over the last few weeks. I lost some basil, a couple pepper plants, my lavender and a whole row of flowers.

So, I picked up some new flowers, two new basil plants, a new lavender plant, a couple pepper plants. I also got some cilantro, rosemary and chives. So, I’m hoping these will hang in there. Luckily, my tomato and zucchini plants have been holding strong. Although I think a pesky little visitor got into my zucchini plant because the flower that was there when I took the photo yesterday is now gone!

SONY DSC SONY DSCThen, in the front yard, we have a patch of a pretty big rock area with lots of succulent plants, and also lots of dead plants, since they weren’t well maintained before we bought the house, and since I was so focused on the backyard, I slacked on my plant mama duties. So I pulled out the majority of the dead plants, and left all the succulents that were there. I’m going to add more as I get them and make that the succulent garden. I also moved the lavender plant to the side of the front door so people can smell it coming in, and I added a daisy plant.

If anything, this garden experience has taught me patience and perseverance. It’s something I work on every day (although I do need to get better about trimming) and I sincerely love watching the progress every day. It started slow, and now I see new developments popping up every day – literally! I really don’t think your garden is ever complete, and I love that it’s a continuous project that I can work on and learn from every day.

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My beautiful zucchini flower that is now gone :(

My lovely zucchini flower that is now gone :(

Do you have a garden? Share your progress and photos with me in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

Momma’s Garden Project: Round 2

garden projectMy garden is back in action! With the big move taking every ounce of our attention, my garden was put on hold until we were settled in and the beds were moved from Stockton. Luckily, I have a green thumb of a dad and he came over last Saturday and helped me put the garden boxes in, pick out my plants and get everything planted.

SONY DSCRight now, we have four tomato plants, six pepper plants, two basil plants, four zucchini plants, a lavender plant and some beautiful flowers. All the plants seem to be doing fine, except for the basil and rosemary. Apparently I got a little sloppy with the basil and it wasn’t put all the way into the soil (whoooops), so my dad helped me fix that up a little and now we’re back in action! Except for the rosemary….

BASSSSILLLLL!!! So much pesto to be made...

BASSSSILLLLL!!! So much pesto to be made…

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Zucchini plants!

Zucchini plants!

Pepper plant

Pepper plant

TOMATOES!

TOMATOES!

You can already see it flowering...

You can already see it flowering…

Poor, poor lavender

Poor, poor lavender

Basil and pepper plants

Basil and pepper plants

Zucchini!

Zucchini!

This round already feels easier to maintain because it’s my second go-round, and it’s right in my backyard, where we spend a lot of time anyway. And I love that I can look out at it from my bedroom window. It’s a lovely view and a daily reminder that I need to keep it looking pretty so I’m not ashamed every time I look out there!

I’m looking forward to watching my second garden grow, and enjoying its bounty. There is still some more stuff I want to plant in all of the random planters we have around here, but for now…this is perfect. I just hope it can withstand a one-and-a-half year-old and a chocolate lab.

Have you started your garden? If so, what are you planting? Share your progress with me in the comments and if you have a blog, share the link so I can check it out! Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest if you want more updates and photos of my garden!

Momma’s Garden Project: The beginning of the end

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This is everything I pulled from my garden yesterday. To say my garden is a mess would be a huge understatement. I let it get away from me for a few weeks, and weeds took over everything. There are ants everywhere and it’s almost too much for me to maintain with the small amount of time I get to spend on it.

So, here is what I’ve learned from my first garden:

  • You don’t need to plant everything you see at the Nursery
  • One garden bed per new mom
  • Maybe don’t even start with garden beds. One garden pot per new mom
  • You don’t need an entire six-pack of peppers. Start with one pack.
  • Look at when it’s good to plant something
  • Think about what you actually eat and decide to start there

I am going to make hot sauce with most of the peppers and then dry the rest. But, it’s almost too consuming for me right now. I shouldn’t have taken on such a big garden for my first time, and I should have dedicated every Sunday to it, like I planned.

I’m going to pull what is left next weekend then I will probably take the plants down before the frost hits. I’m going to get the rest of my basil out now and make all my pesto, then maybe downsize to a smaller herb garden that I can put in front so it will be sheltered from the rain.

At least I can say that I was able to give a lot of family and friends gifts from my garden, and we haven’t bought tomatoes in a long, long time! It was an awesome learning experience and I’m so glad I started it. I have truly learned that to be good at anything, you need to put a lot of time into your practice. This will help me on so many levels, and I’m not sure I would have seen this so clearly if I had not started my garden.

The best part of it all – I can finally get into canning!

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Sadly, a lot has changed since I last wrote about my garden, and it’s rather depressing. My potatoes didn’t last in the ground, and they did not make it through the transplant into my pots. After I planted those dang things, I read up on them a bit (yes, I know it’s better to read before planting, but obviously I don’t roll like that) and learned that they are actually very tender plants and need some TLC to correctly grow.

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So, I’m hoping that the next time I try to plant them, they will actually survive, now that I know what I need to do. My tomatoes are going good but the sun pretty much destroyed a huge chunk of the plants. I was able to get rid of a lot of the burnt parts, and now they’re growing better. We have been lucky enough to pick tomatoes whenever we need them, so I shouldn’t complain.

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And I had to get rid of my broccoli because the sun also destroyed that plant to the point of no return, and I realized that I never really use broccoli in my cooking. Maybe for a stir-fry or something, but I could definitely do without it.

The only plants that have lasted through this heat without too much maintenance are all of the peppers. We literally just pick the peppers when we use them, and they have lasted for a long time. Thinking of making some good salsa and hot sauce! Every time family members come over, I usually send them off with some peppers. Even if they don’t like them.

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My basil also made a surprising comeback, and is flourishing out of control right now. Hooray for pesto upon pesto upon pesto! I’ve also been able to use it for a bunch of other dishes, so I’m really happy it’s growing so well, cause it ain’t cheap. And the compost is doing it’s thing and, you know, composting.

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This week seemed to mesh really well with the last prompt on the Grow Write Guild, which is: This Plant is Driving Me Nuts. The potatoes were definitely driving me nuts, and sometimes the tomatoes can make me frustrated! I did what I could with the potatoes, but luckily I was able to resurrect what was left of the tomatoes and they are still harvesting.

I just have to keep reminding myself that this is my first time with a garden that houses more than just herbs, so I need to cut myself a little slack. But just a little. I’m excited to move these plants out when they’re done and try this shtick all over again.

Momma’s garden project: Week 13

I was fearing for the worst when my garden started to die due to the heat over the last few weeks. But then I increased the amount I was watering them and all of a sudden, they were blooming again! The most awesome plant in my garden thus far has been the tomato. I have been able to give A LOT of them to my family and still keep a bunch for us. We always buy tomatoes when we go to the grocery store so it’s pretty awesome to not have worry about that for a while.

The peppers have also been insane as of late, so it looks like I’ll be making some salsa soon! Along with the homemade tortillas I’m learning to make, we’ll be good! The only issues I’m having are with the potatoes and red onions, which are in the ground. We tried to pull them a couple weeks ago to see how they were doing, and we got nothing. But I’m going to pull them again next week and hopefully I will have a few potatoes to show for it!

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The most recent prompt for the Grow Write Guild was to write about a plant that is in bloom, which seems to perfect for right now, since all I can talk about is how wonderful my tomatoes are right now! I’m not even a tomato fan, I just can’t wait to make my salsa right now! The only thing I would change about the tomato is getting cages for all the plants. I do like the way it looks growing wild, but when I water it, I end up watering all the weeds too so it would be better if it was maintained!

Definitely getting cages for all of the plants next time around.

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The broccoli isn’t really doing too good right now. I’ve been pulling the weedy parts, so that all of the water goes to the broccoli, but it’s still taking a while. I’m going to pull the flowers that I have growing right now to see how they do.

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But what has been improving is my compost! I stopped adding to it, started mixing it up a lot more and kept it hydrated, so the food was able to compost faster. I’m hoping to have the compost ready by next Spring since I already have enough soil to last me for now. Luckily, the smell doesn’t completely blow me away when I go out there and I haven’t found any unwanted visitors…yet.

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So this is my garden right now, how is yours doing?

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Feel free to share your garden’s progress with pictures and the hashtag #yardlife on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Or share your pictures and stories by linking to your blog in the comments! You can check out more of my project on Facebook page and see more of my garden inspiration on Pinterest.

Momma’s garden project: Week 11

Remember the red tomato that I wrote about in my blog post about last week?

IMG_3859I pulled it last night and then while I was out in the garden today, another tomato fell right off! So needless to say, the tomatoes are going like crazy last night! Unfortunately for me, I’m not a tomato fan. But I do love salsa! And, this will be perfect time for me to get into canning. Sam also LOVES tomatoes and I’m planning on giving some away to family and friends.IMG_4069

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The rest of the garden is growing good, too. I was able to pull out the dead plants and the weeds, so all of the resources can be used on the plants that are thriving.

IMG_4065So, in this box we have five different peppers, chives, spinach and broccoli. I was able to spot a few peppers that are almost ready to pluck. And there are a lot that are getting ready to sprout! I am so unbelievably excited about my garden. Like I’ve said before, I have planted herbs and tomatoes before, but nothing ever worked out.

IMG_4055 IMG_4056 IMG_4057 IMG_4058 IMG_4059 IMG_4061 IMG_4063I also have four rows of potatoes. Didn’t quite think about the fact that we’re definitely going to be able to eat four rows worth of potatoes. So…more gifts from the garden for our family and friends! For some silly reason, I forgot to take pictures of them so I will have to update next week. I think I’m going to check them out next Sunday to see if I can pull them. Because that would be awesome.

Then, there is my headache. The compost pile. I’m worried that it will take a while for this stuff to compost, which is fine because we won’t need new soil until next Spring. We have enough to last us until then. But still! I need immediate results!

IMG_4066And with that in mind, this is what I’ve learned from gardening: patience. You have to work with these plants while you wait for them to bloom and you have to take care of them. I can spend a few hours each weekend just pruning everything back and pulling weeds. But my goodness, when that first tomato came in, it all felt worth it. It was so gratifying and I appreciated it so much more because I literally sat and watched tomatoes grow for about three months now.

There is so much more I want to do with my garden, but I know that will all come with time. I’m going to plan everything out, and do it when I can. And that is something I’ve never been able to do before.

 

 

Grow Write Guild #5: Listen to your garden

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Sometimes, I find it really hard to write a post about my garden. Aside from talking about what new plants are sprouting, there is not much left to say. And even that can be rather boring at times. That’s why I have really taken a liking to the Grow Write Guild over at You Grow Girl.

It’s cool to be able to read about other people’s gardens and to check out what they have going on, and it gives me something different to write about each week. So, this week’s prompt is: What does your garden sound like?

I am extremely, extremely lucky that my garden is located in the country. I don’t hear the cars driving by, I hear birds flying from tree to tree. I hear the dogs barking inside their crate and playing around. I hear the windmill creaking and the door leading to even more acreage, creak as it opens and closes by itself.

On most weekends, I hear my boyfriend and his dad working on their trucks and walking back and forth to the garage. If there is a light breeze, I’ll hear the plants swaying back and forth and if I bring my daughter with me, I’ll hear her obnoxiously loud bouncer as she jumps around.Sometimes, even as all this is going on around me, I don’t hear anything. I just close everything out of my mind and focus on the task at hand, ridding my beautiful, beautiful sanctuary of all the weeds!And sometimes, when I’m pulling out those weeds, I find the most exciting thing I have seen in a long time.  A RED TOMATO!IMG_3859I have attempted to plant tomatoes before, but they never worked out. This is my very, very first time I have had a red tomato! And I don’t even like tomatoes. But, I do love salsa! And my boyfriend is a tomato fan, so I put them in his sandwiches. They’re also good for pizza (duh) and homemade pasta sauce. I planted six tomato plants and they all have tomatoes growing, so I think we’ll be good on tomatoes for a while, may need to even give some away.
IMG_3861 IMG_3865 IMG_3874Not only are my tomatoes finally showing some life, but so is everything else! I did have to pull some herbs as they weren’t growing, but everything that is planted right now is growing wonderfully! The potatoes should be good to pick soon, and my spinach is finally showing some potential.

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Seriously though, look at those green wonders!

IMG_3864 IMG_3870The only thing that I’m a little worried about is my compost. It’s taking a while for all the fruit and veggies to compost, and I’m realizing that I should have probably cut them into pieces before throwing them in there (oops), so I’ll be doing that in the future for sure. It will take a while this way, but at least it will be ready for my next crop.IMG_3871If you have a garden that you love writing about, be sure to check out the Grow Write Guild, and that site in general. Share links to your garden in the comments!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favoritesToday, a good buddy of mine asked if I had an extra trellis she could use. All I have trellis-wise is chicken wire, which works wonders for a garden, but I knew there had to be interesting trellises lurking about. So, I hit the streets of Pinterest and found some really cool trellises! All of these wonderful gems are made from upcycled items, and if you happen to have a trellis that you no longer use, you can repurpose it in your home!

Who knew trellises could be so exciting?!

24258499Use an old screen door as your trellis. Learn more at The Morning Call.

081809trellis350And what about tennis rackets? Check it out at Apartment Therapy

tire-trellis-1My favorite by far…bike tires! From For The Love Of Skinny

EBG-IMG_3241Use an old crib! From My Green Lake

And for the trellises that are just sitting around? Put them to use!

p6050164Put them in your bathroom, to hold stuff. Learn more at Bees Knees Bungalow

If you have an idea for interesting trellises, please post it in the comments! You can check out my Pinterest for more ideas and if there is ever anything you want me to check out and write about for Thrifty Thursdays or Fridays are for Favorites, please let me know!

Momma’s garden project: week 6

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A couple weeks ago, I was introduced to what might be the most amazing thing I have ever found, The Grow Write Guild by You Grow Girl. It was started by Gayla Trail and is an online garden journal. Every two weeks, you get a new prompt that somehow relates to your garden. This week’s prompt was: Describe your fantasy garden.

Well, my fantasy garden would be in the same place it is now. I love the area it is in, it’s all blocked off and just for my little plants. But there would be more to it. The fences would be lined with avocado trees. There would be a blueberry bush and my strawberries would be out of control.

There would be a stone pathway into the garden and there would be a little garden area for Cecilia where she could grow what she chose, and tend to it. Then she would love tending to her garden so much that she would be inspired to tend to mine.

I would have a pineapple tree and a banana tree upon entering. There would be flat, dark rocks everywhere and in the middle would be this amazing table with running water streaming down the middle and watering the plants below. I saw the table on Pinterest and it has since gotten lost in the shuffle. But that table will be mine!

There would be a bench (of course) where I would read my book and sip tea while the sprinklers did my job for me.

Ah, fantasy.

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While I’m working on my fantasy garden, here’s how my for real garden is going. The tomato plants are getting bigger so I finally had to break out the cage. I only have one cage for now, so the biggest plant got spoiled. The others will just have to wait. We got in some peppers….sweet!

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Now for the sad part. I posted some beautiful broccoli pictures last week, then I was saddened to learn that those flowers in the pictures were actually bad. What? Since when are flowers bad? So, I had to break off that part to let it grow some more. My strawberries took a definite pooper, so I had to take them out of the planter and into the ground.

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Look at that sad basil. Makes me sad to know my basil is so sad.

Look at that sad basil. Makes me sad to know my basil is so sad.

You can find more fantastic garden ideas on my Pinterest and you can see more garden pictures on my Facebook page.

So, how is your garden doing?

I’m famous!

IMG_3461Ok, not really. But, I’m now on the Let’s Go Home app, on the iPhone. A few days ago, Robert Ringman, the creator of the app contacted me and asked if he could feature my garden on his app! The app features nine different sections: building, DIY, decorating, organizing, art, gardening, remodeling, crafting and painting. You can click on each section and it will take you to a list of sites where people write about the same stuff.

You can share your projects and earn badges. I haven’t added anything since I only post about my garden once a week, but I am working on a project that I’m planning to post when I’m done.

It’s definitely an app worth checking out, and for more than just seeing my garden post :) It looks like this app is relatively new and there’s not a “follow” option, but it does take you directly to that person’s blog so you can take it from there. The app is free and you can start posting right away.

I believe the app is only available on the iPhone so if you have that and you think you would be interested in such a thing, you should definitely go check it out. I’m hoping to have my projects up by the end of the week!