I’ve got to say that I’m so excited to garden this year! I’m excited to be pushing my own boundaries and learning how to become better at it. Not only have I started some new seedlings inside and outside this week but I’ve also done a bit of research into learning companion planting. I’m so excited to you you guys what I’ve planted this week and how I’m going to use my garden beds.
So for this week I started planting one of each of my fruits and vegetables. I’ve also planted out some different types of flowers as well. Inside I planted Roma tomatoes. I’m really excited to be growing this variety so that I can make pasta sauce. However, outside I’ve planted strawberries and Danver carrots. I don’t know the variety of straw berries because they are store bought ones that started to go bad and well I just really wanted to at least not let the seeds go to waste. We go through a lot of strawberries so I really didn’t want those ones that went bad to go to waste. I’ve also started planting flowers as well too. The flower seeds that I’ve planted are echinacea, painted daisy, lupine, asylum and ornamental grass (a smaller variety). I’ve selected those flowers for two reasons. The first is that I wanted something that is a perennial and would come back year after year. The second is that they can attract pollinators (bees) and fight off unwanted pests too. I do not want to use any pesticides on my plants. I planted my perennials in two different spots and for slightly different reasons. The first is the obvious in my planter bed to help pollinate my garden and the second place is in the bed in my front yard for aesthetic reasons. Also, I wanted to make sure to tell you guys as a tip when you planting new seedlings inside or outside is to make sure you water your soil first before planting. The is so that your seedlings don’t become washed out and “misplaced”. You defiantly don’t want that to happen.
Another important aspect of gardening is what is called companion planting. Companion planting can help your crops grow by not only sometimes giving it nutrients but it can help ward off unwanted pests. Take for example tomatoes and basil. The herby smell of the basil helps repel bugs and more specifically hornworms. I’ve learned how important companion planting for your garden is. In the next few weeks you guys are going to see me do a lot of companion planting with different herbs and plants.
I can already feel that this year is going to be a big year for growing my garden. Especially with what I’ve learned on how much companion planting and having pollinators (flowers) in your garden can help in the growth of your harvest. I’m not that great with growing flowers but it is something that I’m willing to learn. I’m just hoping that all this rain that we have had this week is going to help with the seeds that are germinating outside.
So this post this week is going to be sort of a reflection post. In the past few weeks I’ve come across a YouTuber named James prigioni. You could say that I’ve been inspired by the knowledge of his food Forrest. Well, this past week he inspired me in showing that even he can make mistakes or have problems as someone that has been growing his own food for years. We are all human and constantly learning.
Over the course of this past summer I’ve learned a lot about what I can improve on with growing my garden. For one thing don’t keep on transplanting plants or fertilizing them too early cause they may die faster. That’s a mistake that I did twice and my basil suffered because of that. I’ve also learned to properly trim my cucumber plant so that I can get a good harvest. I learned that one this past week. I’ve also learned that even though it looks half dead that it can still have a comeback like my green bean plant. I’m still getting a good harvest out of my green beans. I love growing my own vegetables and I love blogging about it. One thing that James prigioni taught me is that no matter if you are an amateur gardener like me or have lots of experience like him that mistakes and disappointment happens.
Overall, I really do enjoy it. It’s something that I take pride in and I hope to someday to inspire people to garden themselves. If you don’t know who James is and have not seen any of his videos then please go to his channel on YouTube.
Ok so since I kinda missed last weeks update I’ve decided to combine this weeks and last weeks updates. A lot has happened since I’ve last blogged. I’ve learned that I’m good in some areas and I kinda suck in others.
Onto the good parts. Well, let’s just say that my green bean plant came back from the dead and now it’s thriving! I’m having so many green beans growing it’s crazy. It’s fuller and thicker. Also a very shocking surprise that I had today was that I had my first cucumber grow! I checked it out the other day and I must have missed it. I do have lots of little ones towards the top but they aren’t growing as well. It tasted very sweet and my husband agrees that it was a very good cucumber. My other plants are growing very well outside too. I have a small variety growing outside that has grown a lot this week. I thinned them out last week so I think that helped a lot.
Even though I had some positives happen this week I also had a major blow happen. I ended up losing my remaining basil plants. I think it had something to do with the fertilizer. It was a good run while I had them but I still have more seeds for more basil plants in the future.
Overall, this has been so much fun for me to do as a hobby. Slowly I’m learning more and more about gardening. It feels great to know that That at least I know what I’m putting into my own body food wise. I think I’ve come a long way with gardening and this is something that I’m going to continue doing.
I have so many things to update you guys on. I have had both good and bad things happen over the course of the week. This week has been a whirl wind of things going on.
So to start off with the bad. I think that I may not be using the fertilizer right or maybe my plants just don’t like it. Every time I fertilize my plants die a few days after. I’ve already lost a basil plant. My plants outside are doing fine but it’s my indoor plants. Not only did that happen but I accidentally killed my large tomato’s. I made the mistake of not putting them in a pot with drainage holes. All the rain last week killed them. I’m so mad at myself for doing that. Also, if your probably wondering why I didn’t post anything last Wednesday it’s because I was sick for a couple of days. No it wasn’t covid and I know this because I was tested. Now I’m okay and almost feeling 100% myself.
Ok so onto the good. Where to start is the question. Well, let’s see my cucumber plant is doing really good so far. No cucumbers but is it growing like crazy. It’s flowering like crazy now. The next awesome thing that is happening is that I’ve got more green beans growing. I’ve seen a difference with those ever since I put the netting on. The new leaves are not as eaten up as the others. I think it took literally a few days for the leaves to be eaten up without the netting on at the beginning. Literally my mouth dropped this week when I saw the green bean plants. The leaves have come back to life and they aren’t half eaten. I don’t think that I will get a lot of green beans this year so I’m probably going to use the seeds for next years harvest.
So what is new around here you ask? You can kinda say that I got bit by this thing called the gardening bug. I ended up also sowing some new vegetables and herbs into my garden this past weekend. I’ve also become inspired by watching some YouTube videos of people who grow everything in their garden and have become somewhat self sustainable. My goal is to cut down on grocery costs. I’m also trying to get my husband, the accountant, into it as well. For one thing I think once he sees that it will make a difference in the long term then he will be more involved. Plus I think it’s a good hobby for us to do both together and eventually with our son. However, I also like the fact that it gets me focused on something other than just being a working mom. I don’t have to think about work and it is relaxing for me after putting my son down for bed. Plus it counts as a workout for me too.
So what new crops am I growing? Well, since our first frost date is for the end of October I’ve sowed crops that I will be able to harvest in about 75 days or so. I mostly tried to put out crops that we eat like cauliflower, lettuce and carrots and more tomatoes. Yes we have a obsession with tomatoes. We have to have them every Tuesday night for taco Tuesday. However, I did try to plant some crops that we also don’t normally eat as well like radishes. I also put in some new herbs such as oregano as well.
Also, last but not least I’m trying out a little experiment of using sandwich bags as a mini green house to make my super sweet 100 hybrid tomato seeds grow. I’m also thinking of maybe trying this on my basil as well. I still have my jiffy plastic container box started but I ran out of starter pods. I figured hey I have soil and I have all these pots why not do a little experiment.
Overall, I learned some new things this week that are both good and bad. I may not be the best gardener but I do have room to improve. I am determined to get my grocery costs low and to eat a over all healthier diet.
So as a new gardener I came to this bump in the road and questioning what is the right way to harvest basil? So I’ve scoured the internet and also asked my father on what’s the proper way to harvest and store basil. These are the steps that I’ve learned on how to do just that.
Ice water in a bowl or plastic container is fine
Gallon size bag
Step 1: Go through your plant and take out all the dead leaves that have fallen on the soil.
Step 2: Start cutting the stems right after the first node of the mature basil. The mature basil will have two big leaves and two small leaves on it like the one in this picture. You want to make sure you harvest the basil before those two little leaves form seeds. Once it starts forming seeds it will die. Doing this will also help encourage new and more growth. You will see more stems growing and sprouting.
Step 3: once you have harvested your basil go through them and take out any leaves that are starting to become diseased. You don’t want to eat those.
Step 4: cut off and discard the stems of your basil.
Step 5: take your leaves and run them under water to take off any soil or critters that may still be on them. Pat them as dry as you can get them with paper towels
Step 6: Put them in the ice cold water for 15 seconds. This will shock them and help stop them from going bad.
Step 7 pat them dry with a paper towel and fold the paper towel with the basil in it and store in a gallon sized bag.
Step 8: repeat steps 6 and 7 if necessary.
Step 9 date and freeze your bags for future use.
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So this week is going to be a short but exciting post. I’ve made a few changes that have helped the growth of my plants. Keep on reading to find out what is new around here.
The first thing that has changed is that I bought more self watering plants. I ended up finding these pots that are below. I think they are a great value. You can get a lot more pots for the price. The total number of pots that I received is 6. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve transplanted my tomatoes into them and I can tell that they are making a difference. I can see more growth and my plants look more livelier. I didn’t want to buy pots that were expensive. I wanted something where I don’t have to worry about watering them everyday. A plus side to these compared to the other ones that I have is that if you place them near a window you can see through them and see how much water the plant has.
The second thing that I’ve done was Ive transplanted my small cherry tomatoes from a white pot to my trellis pots outside. I’ve also added these netting’s as well. All I can say is that wow I’ve seen a huge difference in the over all health of my vegetables outside. It has kept a lot of bugs off the plants. So much so that a green bean popped out! I’m so excited that I’ve already had a vegetable come out. My cucumbers are also flowering like crazy too. In fact I had to tie more of the stems onto the trellis because they were hanging over each other. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get these any earlier. I 100% recommend these to anyone that has trellises outside.
The last thing that I did was I harvested my basil. I had to do this because I have a ton that is over growing in my pots. So much so that the roots are coming out the bottom of my self watering pot. Make sure you subscribe to my email list and watch out for a post in the near future of how I saved my basil harvest.
Overall, I’m really ecstatic about how far my plants have come along. The next thing that my husband and I are going to try and tackle are the flies because we have a bunch of them that we’re trying to eat my plants outside and they are coming inside as well.
So this week I had made some major changes to our garden. I not only managed to repot some plants but I somehow ended up buying more seeds to grow more flowers and vegetables.
The first thing that I did was I repotted some of the vegetables and flowers. Weeks ago I bought some special trellises that came in a pack of 3 and can hold up to 40 quarts of soil. So far they are holding up really well. I desperately needed to replant the green beans and cucumbers. However, my tomatoes are taking some time to grow so those won’t be getting transplanted for a while. I also replanted the Jumping Junipers and Sweet Williams into two flower hanging pots. Every thing that I bought off of Amazon is linked below. If you click on the Amazon link you will be directed where I bought my items.
The second thing that I did was I somehow ended up back at home depo to buy more vegetable seeds. This time however I bought purple coneflowers, bell peppers, and a different kind of tomato called a cloudy day hybrid tomato.
Overall, I’m excited to see our little garden grow! You can certainly say that I caught the gardening bug! I’m hoping to make our backyard into our own little piece of heaven.
So this weeks post is going to be a little bit different. Instead of an update on our plants I thought that I would do a mini series of our yard. My husband has been working on this project for a few weeks and you can say that it is a work in progress.
So our yard is a pretty good size yard with a lot of room for our son and dog to run around. However, we have this huge problem that is an eyesore. We have a side hill with tall grass and poisonous plants. At the top of the side hill is what looks like brown vines. What is underneath those vines is a barb wired fence. we can’t take out this fence because the people that own the property behind us own it. However, my husband is week by week cleaning the hill.
The first thing my husband did was to kill a majority of the poisonous plants and to cut down the tall grass using a weed whacker. The next thing that he is planning to do is to plow the hill to get all the weeds up. In the fall we are going to put down a protective barrier so that weeds don’t come up. My plan is to hopefully plant my garden in that side hill because it does get the best sunlight.
Oh, did I also mention the iron metal pole that is sticking out on the hill as well? If I showed you in person you would easily be able to see it but in these pictures it is hard to find. The pole is so deep that he couldn’t get it up and so he had to use a saw to cut it down.
Overall, my husband has done a really good job with cleaning up the eyesore of a hill. Also, one thing to add is that the construction company added that tree on the hill where the pine straw is. Either it will come out completely or maybe it will stay. Even though we still have a long way of cleaning up the hill I’m excited to have a garden of our own.
I know I said last week that we had a ton of growth in our garden but holy smokes we sure did see a lot this week too! If you haven’t read my last blog post of our gardening Journey then please do so. Over the course of the last week I have figured out what mistakes I have made and what works and what doesn’t work.
First off,I planted more seeds and got rid of the pods that didn’t have any growth at all. I planted more sweet tomatoes, basil, sweet Williams, jumping junipers, and green beans. I didn’t plant anymore cucumbers because I already have a ton of those. I think a part of the problem was the pods that I got with the jiffy seed starter kit. I think it must have been the soil in the pods because only half of the seeds that I planted germinated. However, out of the 25 pods that I used for the new seeds growing I had probably 5 pods total that didn’t germinate. The pods that I used is right below and you can get them on Amazon cheaper than in store.
The next thing that I also did was I transplanted my pods into plastic cups with the potting soil that I bought. I used plastic cups that were left over from my son’s birthday party. I didn’t want to go out and buy more potted pots and overspend especially since they will be in their for a few weeks. I also noticed that my jiffy seed starter box was becoming a little bit too crowed and the roots of the green beans started to come out of the pods.
After that I did or I should say did not do was put plant fertilizer. Now, I am going to put some fertilizer on my plants in two weeks but I think that also killed half my seeds too. I can say that not doing that did help a lot. I wanted to give the seeds a chance to germinate the second time around.
The last thing that I did do was read the labels on the seed packets. I admit that I was so excited about growing plants that I didn’t think to read the label. The green beans and sweet William seeds require soaking the seeds in warm water overnight.
Overall, I learned new things along the way. I hope expand our garden and spend a little less money on groceries. Also, to note is that my husband is also working on a huge backyard project himself where I hope to one day plant our garden. That project is a project that will not be done for weeks or even months.