Monday, March 31, 2008

Nasty trick Mother!

Mother Nature that is! So yesterday after I posted, I rushed outside to get a square of purple onions planted. I also interplanted radishes in the 2 unplanted lettuce squares. I just can't stand seeing them empty like that. I was planning to wait, but the idea of soon-to-be gratification overtook me. I know I am planning to succession plant, but I figured that I would deifintely plant some with the 2 unplanted squares of carrots, and just keep replanting radish as everything harvests. I really hope that I manage the carrots so we don't run out. I also am thinking that I can get some onions in with the tomatoes. However I had better get those beds built asap if I want to have big onions rather than just green onions. I want both ideally. Sorry, I went completely off on a tangent. I will blame it all on my mama friends who can't stay on topic ever. You know who you are!

Oh, and back to Mother Nature. So I did my planting and asked Rob to get the garden watered down for me. I was really craving some chocolate and decided to make a quick run to the corner to pick up some clearance Easter candies. When I came out it was dark, cloudy and windy as all heck. I had trouble keeping the truck in my own lane driving home it was so bad. I was really worried that my seeds would blow away. Probably unfounded worry since it is not like my garden is dried up or anything. But it hadn't been watered yet yesterday. He hadn't done it, but outside it looked like it was about to start pouring. I went home, made a quick dinner, took some migraine meds and got in bed. Next thing you know I hear the kids screaming "look out the window". OMG! SNOW!!! Big fracking quarter-sized snowflakes. And still, no water for my garden. Gah. I hope it is not too bad out there. I am scared to go check. At least I don't have any sprouts yet. Never thought I would be relieved to say that.

4 days left to enter my contest.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Purple Haze

I picked up some purple onion sets today. We also got some crabgrass preventer and lawn food. Our grass will be happily fed just like our veggie bed. I was planning on having two varieties of onions, but the place we went to only had big bags of 100 sets. Seeing as of right now I only need 32, I really couldn't justify buying both types. I want to figure out where to plant the remaining ones as well. I can't imagine wasting them. I'll have to see if they can be interplanted in any of the other squares. Speaking of which, if you scroll down, you will see that I edited and no longer have a square dedicated to my radish crop. I decided to stick to completely interplanting the radishes. As of right now those will be with the lettuce, 9 in each square, then wherever else I feel like sticking them. They grow so quick 3-4 weeks so we will be eating those frequently. In fact I am going to go plant some more right now. I am also going to get my onions in.

I know I keep talking about it, but we are even closer to getting the berry bed done. We priced top soil & compost by the yard and were pleasantly surprised at the affordability. Now I just need to figure out where we are getting the retaining wall pavers form and we are set to go. Rob is going to ask his buddy to help us pick up the dirt in his pick truck this week. I can hardly wait!

5 days left to enter my contest.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Small Update

I planted some radishes, rainbow carrots, lettuce and more peas. Luckily it has been raining off and on so mother nature has been watering for me. :) We have a busy weekend packed with birthday parties. I am going to drag my almost-finished second sock with me and try to finish it, finally. It is really stopping me from casting on any new projects. Nothing planned on the gardening front until the end of the week. Hope you all have a pleasant weekend. Don't forget to check out my contest.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My very first blog contest!

Today is the 5 year anniversary of the passing of my Grandma. We miss you GiGi! In memory of her I am running my very first contest. When I think about growing up, I remember cooking with my Grandma. She wasn't a gardener, but she was a wonderful cook and knitter! I want to hear your favorite memory of cooking, knitting or gardening with your Grandma. If you weren't fortunate enough to know your Grandma, you can still play with us. Just share a story of someone similar. Leave the story in the comments and make sure to include your email or link to your blog so I know how to reach you if you win. I will choose the winner randomly, so just tell me your favorite memory. No need to make it extra sappy lol. Feel free to link this contest in your blog and include the link in a new comment and I will give you an extra chance to win.

The contest will run until 04/04/08 at 11:59pm MDT. Oh and you want to know what the prize is don't you? I will send some seed packets, some yarn and hopefully a candy surprise. There is something in particular that my Grandma loved, but I am not sure I can get it here. If I can find it, you will get that too.

When dreams become reality

my family will not starve. At least I hope. Last night I had this wacky dream. Fueled by pain, antibiotics, and pain meds I was unable to sleep well and fell in and out of sleep. Mostly I was in a state of lucid dreaming I guess. Everything was so bright in my dream. Like the sun never went down. When I startled awake from it I discovered that when Scarlett came down from her room to get in bed with us, she left our door open. That of course meant there was the bright shining light from the upstairs hallway shining over the banister right into our bedroom. The sun that never set in my dream. My dream was like some post-apocalyptic hunt for food. I can't recall exactly how we got to the point where we were needing to scavenge for food, but we were. And not hunt in nature either. We had to search offices, stores that had already been looted, etc. Everything was pretty neat, but already picked over.

When I woke up I realized how important it is to have a garden and not be so reliant on the grocery stores. Especially with the recession. Excuse me, the *upcoming* recession. With an abudant source of food in our own backyard, I know that should something happen to the company my husband works for, we will be fine while he looks for work. I am going to be buying tons of pantry items whenever they go on deep discount, rather than letting the pantry get low. Also my friend mentioned she knows of some good beef that has a cut & wrapped price of $2.50/lb per 1/2 cow which is unbelievably cheap. It is supposed to be antibiotic free, no hormones, etc. Hopefully we are going to split a half cow with someone to fill our freezer.

I am going to price out the supplies for our berry bed this weekend and see about getting the dirt next week so I can build it. My friend FrugalMom has so graciously offered to let me come dig raspberry bushes from her garden, so that will save me a bundle. All I will have to worry about getting are the strawberry plants. Today is sunny so we are planting some seeds like I talked about yesterday, and I am also going around the corner to the nursery to see if they have onion sets too. If you have experience with onions in a SFG, please leave me a comment with some advice. I am trying to figure out how to stagger my planting so I have onions (not green) every week all summer long. I would love to have about 5-8 a week if possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain!!!

Oh yes, it is raining again. Woot! Yesterday I sent the kids out to measure the distance from the faucet bib to the garden. I wanted to see if the longest hose we have would reach since it is on the opposite side of the house. It reaches all the way, so no need to buy a new hose. I love that. Perfect for the cheapskate in me. ;) Anyhow, after that it rained a bit, so no need for the hose. Then today I had to take myself to urgent care to get some meds for a bladder infection (ouch) so I hadn't had a chance to water yet. Well now it is raining so once again, no need for the hose. I am glad I don't have to be out there in the dark cold watering. However, I do look forward to doing that in the nice warm sun. Since it is looking like rain will be coming off and on now I think I will snag the very next nice afternoon and get some more seeds down with the kids. If I pass a single day up it could leave me a week behind my target. I hope they have as much fun as me poking holes with their fingers and getting dirty.

That is the layout of the garden that I have decided on. I checked a companion planting site and don't see any issues with it. The only crops they said shouldn't be planted together are peas and onions, so hopefully I have those far enough away. I really don't see any other way to get them farther. If you think I have made any bad choices, please let me know quickly since I will be getting quite a bit of this in the box in the next week or so. The top of the garden is East, and the fence in the picture. Our house is a few feet away to the North. I am also planning to put the tomato boxes along the side of the house, though not too close as I want to make sure they have the appropriate sun.

So I am planning to plant the remaining peas, as well as one crop of carrots, onions, lettuce and radish in the next few days. Then I will wait a week or so and plant the remaining crops of onions, carrots & lettuce. I am hoping that will help the harvest stagger just a bit so we always have fresh veggies. Edamame, squash, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes will go in when it is warmer. I am not sure when exactly yet. I have to check the mountain for snow!

My plant varieties:

Little Marvel Pea
Rainbow Mix Carrot
Medley Blend of Hybrids Summer Squash
Radish Mixture
Lettuce Blend
Salad Bush Hybrid Slicing Cucumber
Onion sets, tomato & pepper plants will be bought locally
I requested edamame seeds but if they don't arrive, I will order some Midori Giant.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I love peas

especially ones in a pod. ;)

So far still only peas have been planted, but here is some current pictures of the garden. Can you guess which square has been planted?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A boy and a box

A couple weeks ago Rob built my box with some help from me and Damien. It was a bit of a tougher task than we anticipated, complete with a broken drill bit! Turns out a pesky knot in the wood was stronger than the bit and busted that sucker right in half. Luckily no one was harmed in the making of our lovely redwood garden box. :D

The box is currently sitting where that chair on the right is. I filled it with a mixture of equal parts Grandma Z's organic compost, vermiculite and peat moss. I have quite a bit left over so I have decided to build 2 triangular tomato raised beds.

Today I finally mapped out the definite layout for planting. I have been wavering back and forth on how many squares of certain crops to plant. I finally just put my foot down and decided them once and for all. If we have too many of a certain veggie I will just share with my friends. I also planted the first crop of Little Marvel Peas. The second one will go in next week, so that we have a continuous harvest of yummy peas.

I will get a picture of the current box later when my camera batteries are charged, and also list out the crops and when they will be planted along with the layout. For now I am snuggling a sleeping toddler.

Oh, I almost forgot! We have also decided to tackle the swampy area in the yard by making it fruitful rather than just "dealing" with it. So, we are going to use some pavers and make a curved raised bed of at least a foot. In that bed we will plant raspberries & strawberries. What a delicious solution! I can't wait. Special thanks to my neighbor for showing me her garden and helping me come to a much better solution than icky gravel to deal with the drainage issue.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Knot in the garden

but I was earlier. That is about all the humor I have right now though, so enjoy it while it lasts. I have been working on getting the garden going the past few days. Saturday I spent shopping for supplies, yesterday I spent building the box and discussing with my neighbor some ideas, today I hauled bag after bag (including a 3.8cu foot one) all by myself and mixed them all and filled our raised bed number one. Shoot I had a fancy name for it and I forgot. I will remember it and post a picture of it. I have some pics but I need to get them uploaded, and I will post a more detailed update as well.

My Grandpa is very ill and was moved to hospice today. My Mom & sister are flying across country right now trying to get to him before he passes. I am positively devastated. I love him so very much and can't imagine how my Grandma must feel to be losing the love of her life who she has been married to for 65 years. I wish I was in Florida with them right now. I am trying to stay busy here instead with manual labor hoping the physical ache can take away some of the heartache I feel.