Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Something Fruity...

Last Spring, Hubby and I talked about how much I wanted fruit trees.
Except we had this big problem.
Ten, 60 foot tall problems.
We had this massive grove of pine trees. 65 years ago, it was probably the most adorable hedge of pine trees. Until it blew up into The Dark Forest, home to killer squirrels, slithering snakes and a wall of poison ivy...
And so we talked about how we would spend thousands of dollars paying someone to take them down.
Which was a terrible idea.
So Hubby decided to take them down himself, with a couple of college aged kids.
What could go wrong?
But, they only almost hit the house once!
And now we have this fabulous pile in the corner of our yard...
I'm still trying to convince Hubby to notch them and build me a life size Lincoln log house.
I'm sure he's putting it at the bottom of the to-do list.
And now we get to put in MORE trees.
Which will hopefully not be cut down any time in the near future.
And so we got six of these little fellas...
Fruit Trees!

After digging out roots and stumps and grading the yard, we put all the trees along the driveway so they'll create a bit of privacy from the neighbors, who get to see our friendly faces now, Every. Day.

We (Hubby) put in two apple trees, two cherry trees, a peach tree, and a nectarine tree.
I was ridiculously happy to learn that nectarine trees could grow in our Zone!
For some reason, there is not a single farm in Zone 6b that grows a nectarine tree.
And maybe one day, I'll learn the reason why....
All of our trees came from
They are phenomenal.
The ship the trees only when it's time for you to plant them, so it takes all the guess work out of tree buying.
The even tell you what trees and varieties are best for your Zone.
We (Hubby) followed the simple steps, and Viola! 

We spread some of our compost around the trees, threw down some grass seed over the dirt, covered everything in straw, and just have to wait a few months for a beautiful yard!
And maybe a few years for fruit...
I'm so excited!
Our yard is finally looking less like a construction zone and more like a livable slice of paradise!
Wait until you see our other current project...
The Freaky Front Yard.
I can't wait to show you!
What's happening in your yard?
Share, Share!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Radi-licious. It's Spring!

You drop a handful of seeds in the earth.

You cover them with a smattering of dirt.

You water them.

It's hot and cold, and hot and cold, and hot and cold....

And while you're inside, alternating between shorts and sweaters and deciding whether or not you can live through those first few weeks of Spring, these little buggers pop up and give you the little push you need to get over the Winter Hump!

Clearly I need to work on my rows.
It looks like a drunk person put that row together.
Although, they say being in the sun for lengthy periods of time can be very similar to drinking
and can inhibit your ability to think clearly.
"Too much sunshine, Officer..."

...One of the earliest crop, and the easiest to grow!
And now that these have popped up, I can plant another row next to them
so that I have radishes for weeks instead of all at once.

Dew drops!

And if you were wondering if a tiny little seed could have any impact,
you put a few together, and they can change the world!
Er, at least their little dirt clod.
I'm sure there's a life lesson in there somewhere.
At least, they're determined enough to push aside a mountain of dirt to get to the sun...
...all so I can eat them in a few weeks.
I can't wait!
I'll be looking up homemade blue cheese dressing recipes.
What's happening in your garden?
Share, Share!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Poppin' Tags

I was one of five children. My parents rocked it out in raising all of us. We always had everything we needed and then some. Of course, we didn't have all of the "cool" stuff kids my age grew up with. 
I never had a Furbie, tickle me Elmo, or Spiral Shoe Laces.
I was totes' uncool.
And my idea of fashion was tie dye.
My favorite tshirt was similar to this...
I was a hard core tweety bird fan.
Snarky little bird.
Of course, all my classmates were wearing Gap, and when you wore Gap, you flipped that tag out so everyone knew it was Gap. 
Man, we were a cool generation.

And while I never got in to the tag flipping thing, all that has changed with gardening.
I love showing my tags.

I may be over doing it...

You start with these little naked guys...

Grab one of these bad boys off of Amzon....

And BAM. Done.

Okay, so you have to spell things out with these little fellas.
If you can't spell, that's fine.
Neither can I.
Just tell your garden visitors that you were going for that "cute, quaint, child-like garden feel"

It's the best part of making tags.
You get to hit things.
Work out those winter muscle kinks...

This little tag is your basic, "I smacked it" tag.

This one is your "I smacked it and then traced it slightly with a marker" tag.
I'll give you a minute to scroll up and down on your screen.
That's fine. I hardly noticed the difference, and I took the photo.
Anyway. I'd stay on here a little longer, but I wanna go see if I can monogram EVERYTHING in the HOUSE with this.
Bathroom Soap Bar...
You belong to ME.
Poor Hubby.
It's gonna be like living with a crazy OCD college dorm roommate...

Well Hoop-La-De-Dah...

The growing season snuck up on me. Like a slow crawling slug over a salt mine.

Totally blindsided.

So I threw together a garden plan in my head, where it's now lost among the brambles up there, and slapped on my gloves, grabbed the seeds out of fridge hibernation, and got dirty.

I'll probably end up planting things on top of each other. I really should have written it all down. I've been getting distrac.....


Anyway, call it over eager, but besides slapping in the traditional early crops, the potatoes, carrots, radishes, kale, lettuce, snap peas, etc... I also threw in a few directly sown summer squash and beans.

Why? Because today was 81 degrees. And call my a brimming optimist, but I'm going to use global warming to my full benefit. It's an El Nino year, and who knows what that means for spring.

Besides, they give you so many seeds in the packet. They're practically asking you to do something stupid  adventurous with all those extras. So I slapped one or two spares into the dirt and Viola! If it doesn't work, you can only accuse me of playing outside for a little too long.

And if it works, then I have earlier crops of some of my favorite vegetables.

But just in case nature is still predictable, I slapped up these bad boys. Hoop-house-thingys!
If there are any signs of cold weather, which for at least the next week there are not, I can cover the hoops with plastic sheeting I have folded up in storage.

My seeds will stay warm, and I will stay giddy.

And if everything dies... Meh. I have to go back outside and plant the gajillion more seeds I have left.
Hoop houses are my new Jam.
Blackberry, preferably. 
Said in a British Accent.
(are you doing it? in your head? right now?)

Lower garden hoops, cold frames, and potato towers.

I love this method for potatoes!
I got such a high yield last year, and I think it looks pretty.
If you plan on doing this near-idiot-proof method, just be sure to water. A Lot.
Or you're the idiot that couldn't be proofed.

This bed has all my early crops. I shouldn't have to cover it, even if we do get a near frost.
But it makes me all giddy to slap these up everywhere.
I might put a few in the house before Hubby gets home.
Maybe a few hoops over the dining room table. It'll be like eating in a tent.
It's pretty much fort building for adults.
What are you doing in your Garden right now???

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The ONLY Tool You'll Ever Need...

...besides all your other tools that you need, 
like a hoe, rake, spade, etc.


This one is awesome sauce, like fresh tomato sauce from the garden slathered over fried zucchini with a hefty smattering of Parmesan....
Oh I digress. 

It's actually a pre-garden tool.
It's this.

This calendar takes all the guess work out of planting dates!
You find your first frost date (last frost dates are on the other side)
And move the red line to that date.

It tells you when to SI (start indoors), FP (first planting dates) additional planting times for crops, harvest dates, and on the back it has the same information but the LP (last planting).

It breaks down all your categories of vegetables for you.
I love, love, love this handy dandy gadget! No more scrolling the internet, reading tiny print on the back of each packet, or random guessing ever again!

And the best part?

It only costs $3.

You can get yours

Check out their awesome seed collection too!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Garden Layout 2015


Or a solid, repeated thigh slap.
Preferably your own...

Here's my garden layout for 2015!
Totally awesome right?
Not so much, maybe. A little anticlimactic perhaps...
I'll have more for you in a few days, as well as all of the awesome seeds I'm hoping to use this year.
What's going in your garden?

Share, share!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Coffee Ground Rules for Gardening

You may not know this about me, but I have this thing for coffee.
I'm smitten.
And from what I can tell, it's mutual. We hang out every day.
And, I've got an impressive mug collection.
But this year, I'm planning to throw all my coffee stuff outside.
In a good way!
I haven't gone crazy.
(It's hard to 'go' crazy if you've been living there. I'm the Mayor)
Here's some ideas for my garden this year, inspired by my love for my favorite drink.

Coffee sack planters!
Coffee bags are biodegradable, so great in the garden, or you can put ugly planters inside of them or line them with recycled foil coffee bags.
I'm getting my sacks in a smaller size, think your average coffee lb size, though you can go up to the 50 lb sack if you choose.
Many of them are used, recycled bags that come with the coffee scent or even a few leftover grounds tucked inside. You can find them on Amazon in any size, with fun prints on them, although you can't be sure exactly how each bag will look until you get it in the mail.

I'm stealing this idea from another blogger, Leslie Reese. (You can find her process here)
She uses old recycled coffee cans or cans found in antique stores for a great deal.
I love this idea!
Recycling cans can be beautiful and really unique to your own tastes.
Of course there's the coffee mug planter as well.
I love this idea for when you just get TOO many mugs as gifts.
You'll always have your favorites for drinking, but come on, we've only got two hands and even if you put a few out on the table with straws while you're double fisting it, you only have so much reachable space in front of your face.

My F-I-L gave me this fabulous gift two Christmas's ago.
It's only the second indoor plant I've ever received that hasn't kicked the bucket.
The Other is a 'you can't kill it; I've tried'- aloe plant.
If this plant should die, I've still got this fun mug to get me through the trauma.
And then there's this fantastic little nugget of knowledge.

If you didn't know this already, get ready to wet your plants.
Starbucks has a coffee ground program!
They give away all of their grounds for FREE.
Coffee grounds can be great in the garden and add a lot of nutrients back in to the soil.
If you are a little intimidated, the grounds come in a bag with instructions.
You can go to almost any Starbucks and ask them for the grounds and skip home (with a latte, because you did just save money on fertilizer, soooo.....)
I've not heard of any other companies doing this, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could finagle some grounds of your local mom n' pop place if you bribed them with a little fresh produce...
My coffee is getting cold.
That's right. Hubby just popped this in front of me.
He knows how exhausted I can get with the hours I spend googling and oogling garden ideas.

Do you have any themes for your garden?
Share, share!!!