Gardening

Craziest Spring Ever

Most of us think about spring showers in April then the May flowers. Well it  didn’t start that way here on The Mississippi!!

Rain, cold and periods of snow oh and I almost forgot the Flooding! Levees being built and more rain and cool, so no planting here, this was early March through April.

Now with all this rain we will be right back where the flooding started by two weeks!

This is a picture of where my son works here on the edge of town and has to boat to work daily and this has been for over a month so far!  Its just starting to go down now but we shall see after all the rain the coming weeks they predict!

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Then a break as the waters subsided but the cooler temperatures stuck around. I was so anxious to plant seeds I did anyway and failed! So tried again a few weeks later and now early May I have produce coming up! Sugar snap Peas, green beans, carrots, radishes, Potatoes, Cauliflower and bought some Heirloom plants and planted yesterday also!

Today I managed to plant two rows of green beans in between the rain and still waiting for my seedling plants to harden off, Their not quite ready yet but will be exciting to plant my first raised from seed plants of tomatoes and jalapeño pepper plants!

Garden Boxes

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Thanks to Mary’s Heirloom Seeds!

I’ve never had such a busy spring and excitement!!  Preparing the coop for new chicks, designing the new garden and all the fencing and decorations;  A girl still has to decorate outside even!  Planting flowers in pots for color and to help with insects so I planted the marigolds in the pots for that reason along with the bright colors!

Gardening

Seeds and Seedlings

So finally Spring has Sprung like a Lion as storms and rain continues in between the rain you’ll find me out there with nature and my Ladies ! On my simple living, urban, natural way of life, self sufficient just living like I Love to. 🌱🐥🌻

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Family Helping Reach Goals

Family time working together to help with self-sustaining goals.

Still working on the coop and fencing for run area, and must say it was great having family helping us and all working together for a common goal!

I never felt so proud of them all stepping up to the plate helping their parents meet our goal with the gardens and chicken preparations plus we have fun teasing each other, and listening to them teach each other or give guidance and help, makes me smile thinking we did something right! Our Third son made a gate with all refurbished wood and his added little touches! He’s a true junkie red neck!

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The inside coop is done all but a plug in and other son will finish that up this week plus he built the nesting boxes and walk ramp. Everyone had a hand in the projects from first son to last with garden boxes to fencing; A good day for us all and pizza for the hungry crew!

Mamas eggs are still in the incubator and will be hatching .

One hatched 2 Days ago now waiting for some more baby’s to keep my little one company! A few finishing touches and things to get ready!

update on chicks!  My 2 little ones passed and now have 6 new ones waiting to get big enough to move outside and when weather cooperates!

Feed, bedding, water and food containers, light, to keep babies warm for they will be inside house till it warms up more here plus get a little bigger.

This is a new adventure a long time coming for me and I couldn’t be more excited having a little touch of farm life or another step towards more self-sustainment in our little urban homestead!

Back to the gardening; I have starts to transplant to larger containers now and within a few weeks can harden off and transfer to garden boxes!  Thanks to Mary’s Heirloom Seeds!   And I have starts coming up in the garden now from Marys seeds also!

I did plant some seeds this week such as lettuce, sugar snap peas, and one row of green beans.

My goal is to plant only what we can eat, can, dehydrate and freeze! Along with kitchen herbs and some medicinal herbs. It’s a great feeling when you can grow and produce your own food!

What are you all growing this year? Mine will be Tomatoes, Green Beans, Potatoes, Green Peppers, Garlic, Cucumbers, onions, and Herbs.

Having said all this leads me to where are all my supplies to get this all done?! Well I must admit mine are all over!! So it’s time to organized these tools for canning and more in one place and don’t forget the jars and supplies for dehydrating and freezing. It’s so much easier to have these similar supplies together for when they will be needed! Check, goal accomplished plus this way you will know what you need to purchase prior to harvesting your food.

Get Ready to Garden Tips

So planning and setting goals to accomplish makes life a little easier plus when the family comes together to help makes it all worth it and a little entertainment!

New Update!

All electrical in coop is finished all left to do is paint out side, chicks to young and too cold yet to be out but maybe my 3 bigger ones in a week or two . So now more planting to do plus some of my first seeds planted are up such as sugar snap peas, lettuce, green beans and that’s it for now. yard decorations a few to do!

Happy Spring Planning🌱🐓

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It’s a Full Moon Time to Transplant

Seedlings are ready to transplant and It’s also a full Moon perfect timing!

My Tomato and Pepper Seedlings are ready now to transplant to bigger containers and wouldn’t you know it the April Full Moon! Pink Full Moon they call it, And no the moon won’t be pink . It was given that name by the native tribes because of the spring pink flowers that spread on the ground. Pretty cool huh!

I will say it pays to buy Heirloom seeds and non-GMO for this is the first time my seedlings have ever survived! Happy Camper here I might add.

I used a starting potting mix and potting cups and they look good this evening.

Hopefully in a couple weeks I can harden them off and get them ready to plant in garden! Have you planted your gardens yet? These above are Jalapeño peppers and Tomato plants both Heirloom plants.

I’m hoping for a good harvest this year with the new plant boxes and more energy(losing weight helped me there)! Plus I love gardening and planting new Perennials on my trails and small flower beds.

I plant mainlyPerennials because one they last longer and two I don’t have to replant every year! One of my favorites are Lavender and Echinacea (cone flower). Both of these plant are hardy in my area and so beautiful when in bloom not to mention they both have medicinal qualities also! I like to dry my Lavender and use the wonderful smelling buds for soap, lotions and sachets, the lotion is very relaxing just before bed ,heck I have even sprinkled some on our sheets and pillows at night! The cone flower I dry for tea especially during cold and flu season it’s a great Immune booster!

Cone Flower

Lavender

I planted some seedings of Heirloom seeds only a third came up and holding their own still small so time will tell.

What grows in your garden?

Experiment and have fun with Mother Nature and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

Happy Gardening🌱🌻

Get Ready to Garden Tips

Gardening

Spring has Sprung

What a beautiful day today!! Getting all pumped up for the planting to begin and a lot of yard projects!!

What plans do you all have?

Putting finishing touches on chicken coop and waiting for the fence to come and be put up plus my friend is giving me some nice netting to put over the run area for we have hawks that like to come here and kill my birdies!! Man that ticks me off!! You definitely don’t want predators getting those or your chickens!

Now the garden beds are up and filled with dirt plus I also made some drain pipes for easier watering and to get it deeper in the soil for a better root system, I have to admit for years Hubby would put the sprinkler out and then later I’d go behind him and water with the hose! Lol well it wasn’t enough and then the leaves stayed all soggy.

Moving on to drainage pipes

garden beds

I also made a Herb Bed closer to house(kitchen herb garden) and planted seeds in it today with one more area yet for cilantro.

I divided the bed into 4 sections as to not over crowd the plants.

I lined the bed with garden fabric and mixed some planting soil and organic fertilizer in the dirt prior to planting so I’m a happy Gardner today!

Have y’all planted or started your Herbs?

Now onto filling some large pots for flowers and more herbs then some crafting decor for the back porch! Then I’m done for today!

I’m not 30,40,or 50!!! 😜🌱

Have a happy gardening day or whatever your doing!

Seeds and Seedlings

https://pamelamarston.coM

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Compost

Growing Organically

It’s time to get your “ORGANIC” on!  Here are some things I love about organic gardening and tips to share with you.

A lot of the most common used chemicals used for non-organic gardening and farming have been linked to cancer, attention deficit disorder, autism, and a lot of other chronic diseases.  By avoiding synthetic chemical fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides means my garden is a safe haven for birds and bees to do their work!

Soil provides the nutrients that plants need to survive, and with a healthy nutrient soil you will get a healthy plant that will survive. Drainage is another important factor because many plants don’t like  their roots waterlogged plus it can cause root rot; Then the soil will be too acidic due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other byproducts of bacterial decomposition.

Good garden compost leaf mold, composted bark, and well-rotted manure are vital organic materials that should be incorporated into the soil.  By doing this they increase aeration and drainage in fine compacted  clay based soils.  Also it provides plenty of nutrients and are able to absorb moisture and retain it.

Compost is available purchase , but you can avoid the expense by making your own!

I had been thinking about compost for years especially with our hard sandy soil but wasn’t sure how , where or when so with studying and gathering material the compost pile has begun and I will no longer incorporate nasty chemicals into my garden or yard!

It’s a great way to recycle your house waste and regenerate it into the garden, not to mention reduces our land fills!   Some free organic material would be things like grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and wood chips and don’t forget the manure!

So you need a proper place for your compost pit and a corner of your garden would be great!  Or an open and closed bin would be easy also.  A good compost  pile would be building your pill with one part grass clippings and two parts dead leaves or other brown matter.  If you don’t want to hassle of transporting your compost to the garden beds or turning it  try  trench composting where you dump all the waste in trenches, and cover it with soil and then plant over it the next season.

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Organic Gardening is all about avoiding chemicals of all kinds and types.   However some plant diseases are deadly and spread quickly through an entire crop and destroy it.!  Diseases may be caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses!  Who knew!  It is tempting to use these chemical based solutions, but it’s important to avoid them as they can enter the plants directly through the plant tissue or by way of contaminated air and water.

Getting disease-resistant varieties is best for organic gardens.    Many plant breeders have developed many cultivars that are highly resistant to viral diseases, bacterial -rot and Fungal- infections and not all of them are GMO !  A good solution is to look for Heirloom varieties tat have developed high levels of disease resistance, They may cost a little more but worth it in the end.

Seeds and starts for your garden are best if bought in local nurseries so you know they are suitable for your climate and zone area.  Local varieties are acclimatized to the climate and seasonal variations.  Try to find high yielding and disease-resistant varieties popular in your specific area.

Don’t forget chickens and other farm animals are a benefit in organic gardening!  They not only develop organic eggs but act as a composers eating up anything eatable such as garbage, food, vegetable peels, garden waste, insects, and their constant scratching brings up larvae that live in the soil and mulch!  The best part they can provide you with high quality of organic manure!!  Raising turkeys, sheep goats and rabbits are great choices for organic gardens.  Turkey manure is nitrogen rich while sheep manure is high potash content.   Manure of herbivorous animals is safe added to the soil without any treatment, especially rabbit droppings as it breaks down quick without turning plant roots.

So get your compost going, and if possible some farm animals for some good manure and great organic eggs!

I don’t know about you but we are excited to be going Organic outside as well as we have been going green inside and will be all the better and healthier for making these great decisions plus make some new animal friends along the way!

 

Happy Organic Gardening!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

person holding a green plant

THIS IS WHAT WE WANT OUR SEEDLING TO GROW INTO

 

 

Garden Box
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Garden Boxes

Raised Garden Boxes

Are you tired of the back aches, sore knees, or have physical limitations, But love to garden and grow your own produce; I know I’m !  Well here’s a suggestion for you and a few tips to help you out and give you something to think about this coming gardening season!

Garden Box
Raised Garden Boxes

I approached this topic as the plan for my own garden this year due to poor quality of and lack of soil here on the river.  Our soil is mostly sand and very dry and hot no matter how much watering  it seems was never enough and a lot of  our plants either would not produce in quality or quantity !  So the plans soon is to make our own garden boxes and bring in new soil along with the added compost and such.

So the fastest way to get good deep fertile soil is to make the Raised Beds!  They can yield up to four times more than the same amount of space as in planted rows and  save you money and time!  I’m all for that!  Not to mention less back, knee and stress on the body!

The plants also grow closer together and crowd out the weeds therefore you spend less time and effort weeding plus it makes watering and harvesting efficient and easier.

Did you know that planting in a triangle will yield more?  I didn’t, So we need to pay attention how we arrange the plants AND by doing this you can fit 10-14% more plants in each bed!!  I’m for that!  Just don’t plant them too close to each other.

Weight yield is more important than the number of plants per square foot.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember or think ahead what it will grow into!

Small garden?  No problem, Grow up! go vertical hence Tomatoes, Pole Beans, Melons, can all be supported by fences, cages, or stakes, plus it saves time by going up it provides more air to circulate which means less Fungal Diseases!

Some great ideas for growing vertical are becoming more popular especially small yards, apartments and also for just the great looks!  You can hang a shoe organizer up from a rod and attach heavy hooks through top holes of shoe garment to hang on the rod and fill each pocket up to an inch with compost and plant  herbs, lettuce, flowers and such, the water will seep through the canvas material.  Also you can use pallet boards leaning up against the house or garage and pack with dirt to plant herbs .  I have see large plumbing tubes with drilled holes in them and attached together in shapes where plants are grown in the large holes drilled into them.  Check out Pinterest.com for some great resources and DIY ideas on vertical gardening.

Grow Vining crops along the sides of your beds, You could even place buckets or cement blocks along the sides of your boxes AND have extra plants!  I think I’m going with the cement blocks, and add some marigolds in a few boxes also!   Just use what you have or can find.

Another thing to think about before you plant in your cute boxes is to make sure you have compatible plants such as the “Three Sisters” Corn, beans, and squash.  The corn stocks support the beans and the squash grows on the ground shading out the weeds!  More compatibles include Tomatoes, basil and onions.

Use your transplants that already are a month or so old when you plant them and they will mature faster, plus the pride you have from seeding them yourself!

Remember no pressure treated wood is allowed to grow “Organic Food”  If you want to meet these high standards choose a different wood material.  The EPA recommends use naturally Rot-Resistant woods like Red Cedar, Black Locust or Red Wood.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know this or thought about it!

Check out some local lumber yards for Raised Garden Kits also if your not into building.

Lowes.com

menards.com

Raised Beds can also be used on a cement patio if you don’t have the yard space or want it closer to your house; keep in mind your plants need sun  at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive,  Also Remember to block up one end of your box a little to allow for drainage if you chose this option.

farmers almanac     Another great source for planting, and  when to plant by the moon forecast and more.

 

You may ask ok what kind of soil do I use?  The best is Homemade soil blend of 50% Topsoil made of healthy loom, 50% compost which can be manure, animal manure or fish compost.

The best Premium soil is :

1/3. Peat Moss

1/3. Vermiculite

1/3. compost blend

I really like the idea of mulching the paths between the boxes it gives it a finished look and will keep the soil cooler, plus keep the weeds down! As you can see my Old Garden lacks any structure!   Lay a landscape cloth on your path and cover with 2-3 inches of mulch or sawdust, Also when laying the fabric down allow it come up 1′ against the bottom board of box and staple it in place.  The much will cover it.

 

One of the most important things to know is your plant zone which will tell you when you can plant according to each state.  Here is a USA Zone Map to help you decide.

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.USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, 2012. Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Accessed from https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov.


Now that you know when to start planting, Think ahead and start your own seedlings!

If you really want to start your own plants from seeds I think thats great!  And what better satisfaction than doing it all your self .  Here are some  Tid-Bits  from the ( Good Ol Farmers Almanac )  I read and  you might enjoy!

person holding green cactus on pot
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Try using some things you may have around the house instead of purchasing seedling trays such as, Toilet Paper roll,  Cut four slits in one end and fold in edge and fill with compost and your seeds plus you can plant the container and all!  It’s Biodegradable.

Ice Cream cones are also great to start seeds in as well as 1/2 of an egg shell and what about empty egg cartons the paper ones.

Do you live in the country or farm and bothered by deer eating in your garden?  You should  try this DIY Deer Repellent.  Mix 3 Tab hot sauce, 3 Tab minced garlic and 3 raw eggs, blend all together in blender and add to 1 gal of water and pour into spray bottle to spray your plants with and respray after a rain.  Insects are always a pest for gardeners and here is a few natural ideas without the chemicals!  Try planting Basil near your windows or doorways to repel flies and mosquitos, Plant some Dill near your tomatoes  to prevent tomato hook worms .( Oh speaking of that , Did you know a tomato hornworm (also known as a tobacco hornworm) is like a humming bird !  it grows into a type of humming bird moth!!  yup you heard me  they are brownish 2-2.5 inches with no beak just a long roll out tongue and sucks nectar from flowers just like a real hummingbird!! ) Go figure. That’s Sci-Fi for ya!   THAT I read in the Farmers Almanac!!

10 Fascinating Facts About The Hummingbird MothPinterest.com/moth

And what about those pesky weeds!  Try your own homemade weed killer, Mix 5 Tab of dish washing soap per 1 quart of water and add to a spray bottle to spray the plants with, Oh an it works great on Aphids too!  I use it every year!

Hopefully your plants are in the garden now or soon to be and you have all your garden tools, aprons, buckets or baskets to make things go smoothly and water nearby for your growing season!  Stay tuned and in a few months it will be time to talk about how we preserve all your garden harvest.

food salad healthy summer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Well this is just a little information I gained while researching the Raised Garden Beds of how and why I chose to go this route and sharing a little information on how to get started with your own seeds or seedlings with  you.

Happy Gardening and stay green and dirty Gardners!

Old Garden
My Old Garden ! Of No More!

Soon to have my New Garden Boxes

  Happy Gardening All !

 

http://livetheoldway.com/homestead-blog-hop-230/

http://livetheoldway.com/homestead-blog-hop-230/

Gardening

Gardening

I began Gardening in my younger years when our family was young and keep learning and experiencing each year!   Live and Learn right?  

I’m no professional my no means , but I had a lot of fun and sore hands in the process!

Well to start off lets pick and good location for your garden with at least 6 hours of sunlight, good dirt, and free of weeds( a never ending battle) as can be!   We tilled it several times in spring and I hoed for hours seemed like!

I always marked my sections off with string and left plenty of space between rows so I could get in there without damaging any plants or the kids stepping on them.  Aww   them “Good Ol Days”

Grow the foods that you know you will eat,  No sense in all the work if you’re not going to eat it Right?

  • Determine the planting dates an directions for your Geographical Area which is usually located on the packages;  but if not you can always go to your local government, university or good ol Google!
  • The soil should drain well and have access to water and hoses.  Some fertilizers can be added during tilling and some during the growing season. I prefer natural fertilizers as to the chemical ones, It’s usually cheaper and safe for pets and children.
  • Mulching retains moisture and eliminates weeds.  Straw,hay, and grass clippings are all effective.
  • Remember each year to rotate your crops as some plants are hard on soil, plus it controls disease and insect infestation.
  • in the Fall its times to start preserving all the food you have nurtured throughout the season!  And there are a few ways to do that.
  • Drying,  can be done at home for little cost;  you can dry in the oven, in the sun, or in home Dehydrators,  Freezing and My Favorite Canning!

It all boils down to having the satisfaction of raising your own foods and knowing whats in them!   As we all know now days we have no idea what is in our food;  but that’s another subject!

So this is a few basics to get you going this coming planting season and happy Gardening!!

I’m always learning too, so I may be adding more info as I can.

Enjoy!

My Garden
My Garden
Snapping Green Beans getting ready to can !
Snapping Green Beans getting ready to can !
The Best Canner! American ; I love it !
The Best Canner!
American ; I love it !

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I BOUGHT A NEW TOY TO HELP WITH MY GARDENING THIS LAST YEAR AS WE LIVE IN A SMALL HOME AND RUNNING OUT OF SPACE FOR ALL MY CANNING JARS OF FOOD,  SO DECIDED TO GET A DEHYDRATOR AND SEALER THEREFORE I CAN STORE MY DRIED FOOD TAKING UP LESS SPACE!!

HERE ARE A FEW THINGS I DEHYDRATED!

TOMATOES WERE EASY BUT I FOUND OUT IT TAKES ALOT OF FRESH TOMATOES TO GET ALOT OF TOMATOE POWDER!  I BEGAN BY SLICING REMOVING THE CORE AND WITH SKINS ON SLICED THEM THIN AND ARRANGED ON MY DEHYDRATOR TRAYS NOT OVERLAPPING!   THIS TOOK SEVERAL DAYS BUT PRIDE AND FUN LOOKING AT THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

I ALSO DEHYDRATED PEPPERS CUTTING THEM INTO SLICES TO DRY THE SEALED THEM.  IT COMES IN HANDY WITH THE WINTER CHILI AND SOUPS!