My Garden Kitties!!

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2014 Garden – Day 3: Small Garden Archways

I saw this photo on Pintrest, and thought how great that would be for another children’s garden hideaway, a little lower and it would be a tunnel!

Shopping List:
Garden fence roll, ($24 at home depot)
Wire cutters (for garden fence) ($9 at home depot)
12 four foot high rebar ($3 each at home depot)

Push rebar where you want it, (after soaking the ground, or a good rain).
Cut strips of the fence roll, and weave it into rebar.

All told it took three people an hour to construct, and at about $70 total this was the most expensive object in the garden, but soooo worth it!! I can’t wait to see cucumbers and squash climb all over the thing!

2014 Garden – Day 2: Burlap Grow Sacks

I looked for old burlap bags, but could not seem to find any locally, and the ones to order online were not cost effective for me. So, I bought the cheapest burlap at Joann’s, and used a 40% off coupon to make it nearly $2 a yard. Then:

1. Cut the yards into twenty inch pieces, so they are 20 inch by 48 inch
2. Sew up the side to form a tube.

You could stop there, however even though I wanted an open bottom ‘bag’, I also wanted the dirt to be able to hold the bag in place, so sewed only the bottom corners of the bag, about three inches in on each side.

Also, I like the rolled down look at the top of the bag, but was having a hard time keeping the top of new burlap rolled, so I tacked it down in all four ‘corners’ of the bag.

So, while crude but effective, this was the neat result!

2014 Garden – Day 1: Research

Last year our focal point in the garden was a bamboo tepee, and we planted right into the ground. Based on last year, we realized that we our backyard dirt is not the best for gardening and some kind of container gardening or raised beds would be required. I didn’t have much money to put into this, so I researched and fully considered every possible solution…

Planter Beds Options, from least to most sturdy:
(Click on option to see photo)

Cardboard Boxes

Burlap Sacks

Plastic Soil Sacks

Plastic Grow Bags

Plastic Pots

Tire Pots

Pallet Boxes

Cinder Blocks

Wooden Boxes

Small Archways

Large Archways

In the end I decided to go with:
Burlap Sacks with Small Archways and a couple Tires
Also with composting and garden vermiculture

OUR 2014 GARDEN!

SPRING IS HERE!

We did our first gardening of the year! With a couple starters, and some summer bulbs we are off to a great start!

We were helped a bit by our new kitty, who is very much enjoying his first spring ever!!

Last bits from the Garden

The girls finally dug up some of their carrots this weekend, and they had a blast doing it! Also, the carrots are quite tasty!!

Pumpkin Disease – Powdery Mildew

All of our pumpkin plants came down with an illness, and when researching this issue we discovered it’s called powdery mildew. With more research it looks like we won’t want to eat the pumpkins that this has affected, and it’s caused by the partially shaded location and crowding of the pumpkin plants.

There are of course chemicals that can help treat the problem, but I never like to go that route, so we searched for an organic solution. Several sites noted that baking soda in water, used with something to make it stick such as dish soap, could help. The best info we found was at this site: Growing a Greener World
So I mixed up some of the solution for the girls and they attacked the disease. It seems to be helping, and we’ll keep applying it until the pumpkins ripen enough to at least be used as decoration.

Nightshade

We are plagued with nightshade in our garden. PLAUGED! We spend hours and hours ripping it out of ground and untangling it from the blackberries, and grapes, and blueberries, and flowers… and then the cheeky little vines appears again!! From what I’ve read this is not “deadly nightshade” also known as belladonna, however our woody nightshade berries and leaves are poisonous and “in large doses it [causes] paralyses to the central nervous system, slows the heart and respiration, lessens sensibility, lowers the temperature and causes vertigo and delirium, terminating in death with convulsions.”

We spent several hours AGAIN over the weekend pulling out the smelly vines, including the HUGE flowered vine shown at right. We keep winning the battles, and yet we’re still losing the war… this is what the blackberry patch looked like when we moved in, all the red arrows point to nightshade berries:

Our Garden in August

Everything is growing in our garden!!

the cherry tomatoes

the sunflowers are starting to open

the “Sugar Baby Watermelons” look like cute lil’ babies!

our first corn popped in!

The pumpkins are blooming

The blackberries are still getting ripe!

My Summer Flowers at Sunset

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the
best day in the year.”
-Emerson

thinking outside the ‘Big Box Store’

My hubby was asking for a garden knee pad, the kind that saves your knees from aching after kneeling in the garden, something like this: Kneeling Pad

We thought instead of using an old yoga mat, so as always, Goodwill saved the day! My hubby found one at Goodwill for $3.99, scrubbed it down with the garden hose and soap, then cut it into strips with a box cutter. Instead of buying one brand new foam “kneeling pad” for $12, we got six large strips of foam all for $4! Enough to have one for each of us, and also to double up for extra comfort! Yay!

Saving Water

In our last apartment the water heater was directly behind the shower, quick hot water when needed. In this old house we are renting, the water heater is out in the garage, long pipelines away from the bathroom. It takes at least five minutes, or longer, of running the shower full blast to get warm water, and it’s painful to me, watching all that potable water go down the drain simply because it’s too cold to comfortably shower in.

I was wishing that I could get all that water out to the parched garden somehow, when Necessity (the mother of invention) hit me over the head and said DUH! Use buckets! I hopped on craigslist and found a couple food grade buckets for a $1 each only a two mile walk away. So of course I sent my hubby on down to pick them up. They arrived plastered in a tomato based sauce, which my patient hubby scrubbed off, and now this week, they are finally ready for use!! YAY!

Blackberries!!

Blackberry season has arrived and every day over the last week I find myself drawn to the side fence where the blackberries have exploded into production of juicy berries. They remind me of the carefully tended berry vines that my grandpa grew in the Arizona desert. Over the years I thought I’d lost my taste for blackberries, all the store bought berries were small …and sour. Now I realize that I still love blackberries… but only the sun-warmed, sweet, burst-in-your-mouth, right-off-the-vine-ripe kind!

Bird Bath – Reblog

I was amazed by this project, it’s one that I might not ever try, but I’ve added it to my project list of maybe one day and so had to reblog, it’s just that marvelous!!

View the step by step here: Mosaic Tile Birdbath using Recycled DVDs

Children’s Fairy Garden – UPDATE!

The Fairy Garden is coming along nicely. The peas are all blooming, the corn finally sprouted, and one of the sunflowers is taller than Kay, who ecstatic about that! The little fort has come a long way since my first post about it: Children’s Fairy Garden. It’s not as bare as it was, but it’s still out in the open, the corn is growing fast so hopefully that and the sunflowers will envelop it soon, and it will be a true secret garden!