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Funny Story April 11, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, good things, Greenhouse Gardening, life.
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4 comments

Wednesday was a beautiful day here so I decided to get in some yard work.  One of things I wanted to get done was some prep work in the vegetable garden.  groupwinter06I can’t go outside without the dogs, Bubba and Allie wanting to come with me, so we all went out back.

I was in the fenced garden clearing out all the coverings I had left on the beds during the winter.  I also had a pocket full of trash that had blown in.  Needing to dump the ground covering material in the compost pile and throw the trash away I came out of the garden. 

There was Allie wagging her tail and running around.  But no Bubba, I didn’t see him anywhere.  So I asked Allie “Where’s your brother, where’s the Bubba dog?”

greenhousesAs soon as I said his name Bubba comes a running, from the greenhouse.  Now at the end of fall I knew I had gotten the greenhouse ready for winter and all zipped down tight.  But somehow Bubba got the front zipper up just enough so he could go inside.  I’m guessing to lay on the warm, dry ground.

After putting both dogs in the house I checked to greenhouse.  Bubba had done no damage, there really wasn’t anything to damage.  I also check the thermometer that I had put in the ground.  It was reading 80 degrees.

I didn’t plant in the greenhouse this winter and hadn’t gotten it ready yet to move the tomato seedlings into.  But it’s being used, as an over sized dogie sauna.

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Up dates April 8, 2009

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, crafts, garden thoughts and ideas, good things, life.
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The tree guys are coming today to start removing the old tree.  It’s exciting and sad at the same time.  I’m sorry to see it go but at an estimated 120 years old it had a good life and we won’t have to worry about it damaging our house in a wind storm.

All the tomato seedlings are doing great.  The first pepper seedling popped up yesterday.  Now I’m just waiting for more.  I’ll keep a close eye on them the next couple of days.

Bubba is finally regulated on his insulin and diet.  He has lost about 4 pounds and doesn’t have to go to the vet again for 3 months.  I know he’s happy about that.  He’s such a good boy for the vet techs but we know he hates having to spend the day there.

With any luck I’ll get a load of manure to add to my compost this weekend.  The last several weekends have been crappy weather (pardon the pun) so we couldn’t get it.  Along with the manure I’ll get some straw to use as mulch.  It’s all coming from a local dairy farm. 

Great news, the afghan is done.  I finished it Monday night.  Now I need another project to keep me busy at night. 

And after 13 years in this house we are finally doing something to the kitchen.  Paint, some new cabinets and counter tops and a new floor.  The old floor is from about 1950.  It sucks

What’s Your Zone??? April 7, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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planting20zonesYou need to know the zip code your mailing a letter to.  You need to know the area code your calling.  And if your planting a garden you need to know the planting zone.

It’s simple really.  Find your zone on the USDA hardiness map and match it to the back of any seed package or plant tag.  I’m a zone 5.  Most plants can be grown in several zones.  You’ll see some thing like “for zones 3-8.” 

You can extend that a zone a little by starting seedlings inside and using greenhouses and containers.  I also have a heated sun room.  It helps me grow some container plants I couldn’t other wise have.     

I started my tomato and pepper seedlings a week ago yesterday in the sun room.  Almost all the tomatoes have came up.  No peppers yet, but the seed packs said 10 days to 2 weeks, so I’ll wait a little more.

Don’t Til the Dirt April 4, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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This is a repeat of what was about my first blog.  But it’s worth saying again.  Please don’t til the dirt in the garden.2560784473_655051884e

Deep tilling of the garden does damage that won’t be repaired for years to come.  Remember there are millions of living things down there.  Things we can’t see, but that do so much good.  When you til the dirt you upset their homes and lives and sometimes even kill them. 

There is a much better way to plant.  I know because I’ve been doing it for several years now.  And it is so simple.  In a couple of weeks I’ll remove the winter cover from the garden beds.  In my case that’s leaves, other garden scrapes and newspaper.  Then I’ll dump on a couple of inches of my well aged compost on the beds.  I may use a hand spade to work in the new compost a little bit.  I’ll use an old tree branch to make my rows, sprinkle out the seed or place in seedling, cover lightly with dirt and I’m done.

It works great for new beds also.  Lightly break up the existing dirt, dump on lots of compost, at least several inches thick and plant.  I did this with a new strawberry bed last year and they grew like crazy.

If your interested in finding out all sorts or ways to have a garden without tilling the dirt, check out my favorite source, Mother Earth News at www.MotherEarthNews.com.

Proceed with Caution April 1, 2009

Posted by liajo in garden thoughts and ideas, How to tips.
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organic20produceIt seems like everyone is looking for ways to save money, and many have decided that growing their own food would be a great way to do that.  I agree, I haven’t bought a tomato product in years.  But if your new to vegetable gardening please proceed with caution.

One local gardening expert was on the news saying anyone could grow their own vegetables with an investment of $30 or less.  I think the money estimate may be kind of low. 

And besides money you need to consider time.  Watering, mulching, weeding, pruning, staking and even harvesting, it all takes time.  I love doing it but my husband considers it a form of punishment.  He helps with fence building and greenhouse building and then heads inside and waits to eat the fresh produce.

In order for the garden to be sustainable through the winter you need to plant a lot, and know how to store it.  Last year I had about 12 tomato plants for 2 people.  That’s a lot of tomatoes,  and they’d rot if I didn’t preserve them.  My favorite way of persevering is drying.  I dried pounds of tomatoes and zucchini which I then froze in single serving.  Their great in all sorts of dishes.

Trust me, I want everyone that has a yard, patio or window sill to grow a garden.  But I also realize that as fun as I think my growing gardens are, they aren’t every ones idea of fun.  I also want all these new gardeners to keep gardening for years to come. 

So plant your seed, but realize the true cost pay off may be a couple years down the road.