Ready for Spring

Last spring my garden started out really well.  
I grew many of my plants from seedlings and then transplanted them.  David helped plant them (please notice his tongue – when he concentrates he sticks his tongue out – no matter if it’s on the basketball court, while doing homework, while playing a video game, or while helping me plant my seedlings…he’s just like his daddy).  
Back to the plants…..I watered them…..I fertilized them (once).  

Then I got busy.

And my garden sucked.  There were too many weeds.  Not enough watering.  And therefore – not enough produce.

I got a few tomatoes, peppers and green beans.  That’s about it.

The one shining beacon in my yard is my blueberry bushes…they produced a bunch.  Awesomesauce.

This year WILL BE DIFFERENT.  I’m going to plant just a few things and really focus on them.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

– tomatoes
– peppers
– squash
– zucchini
– cilantro
– parsley
– basil

Totally doable, right?

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My Garden

So this spring Brad has been amazing in really helping me get things set up for our garden. He helped me build a raised vegetable bed in the backyard. It’s broken into two sections…one for the veggies and one for the herbs that I no longer have room for in the other herb section of my yard. I’d like to build one more vegetable bed for root veggies, but I’m not sure we’ll have time to do that before it’s too late to get everything planted.

We went to our friends (Katrina and Randle) a couple weekends ago and planted all the seeds. The only thing I still need to buy plants for are the bell peppers and onions (if I end up doing those).

So this is what the area of our backyard looked like before we build the bed. Yuck. I had a couple butterfly bushes (which I have since transplanted) but mostly weeds growing here.
Here is the bed that Brad helped me build. We used Pioneer Woman’s design….the herb part (on the very left hand side) I built with scrap wood, but hopefully it will hold up for a couple of years too.
Brad had a huge dump truck come dump 3 yards of dirt on our driveway. It took about 1/3 of it to fill up the beds! We either need to build those extra beds or find a place for another 2 yards of dirt in our yard. I’m sure we can do it….the only challenge will be to move it before the HOA sends us a nasty letter about dirt being on our driveway. In digging up some other areas in the yard I came across some earth worms. Each time we find a worm David dumps it in the garden area….so they can aerate the dirt. I’ve thought about buying some to dump in there, but so far I’ve found (and transplanted) about 15 worms from around the yard.
Worms in their new home. They were pretty ticked and flopping all over the place when I first moved them.
On a side note: I’m hoping to have a compost pile this year. I’ve tried once before unsuccessfully. I’m not sure what I’m doing, but this is what I have so far. Yuck. It’s behind our fence, and to my knowledge has not attracted anything other than bugs. We’ll see if I can make it work this year. Anyone have any ideas to share?
And, finally, these are the seedlings (only about 1/4 of what I have growing) that will need to be transplanted in the next few weeks. Wish us luck!

Last freeze?

It’s a good thing I didn’t get to plant any veggies in my garden this weekend (when it was sunny and warm) because right now I am sitting in the lazy boy (watching Michigan State get thier butt kicked by UNC) with my toes being warmed by a raging fire in the fire place. It’s in the 30’s now. They (I’m not really sure who ‘they’ is) say that you should never plant anything in your garden until the middle of April or around Easter because there is typically one last freeze of the year. We’ll – we’ve getting it today and tomorrow….I guess that means my garden will be ready to plant in this coming weekend (which just so happens to be Easter weekend). I need to have a load of good soil delivered before anything can be planted and my dad is coming over for Easter this weekend, so it will probably be 2-3 weeks before anything gets actually put into the ground. By then hopefully my seedlings will be ready.

This ones for Pa

So it’s been way too long since I’ve posted. Since we got our iphones I haven’t really been online much at home, since I can surf the web from my phone, but updating my blog is impossible via the iphone so I’ve neglected to do so. Sorry, Pa. I think you are the only one that reads this….but I do need to keep it updated more often so you know what’s going on up here in the ‘ham.

So in the past few months David has learned to ride his bike without training wheels, finished up his basketball season and started t-ball, and we went to North Carolina to see our Bulldogs last b-ball game of the season. The weather has been really great so we’ve been able to spend time outside almost every day (even after work because it stays light enough until about 7:00). We play basketball, let David ride his bike, swing or jump on the trampoline. The trampoline part is my favorite…I feel like such a kid again when I’m jumping. I play basketball with the boys, but they are BOTH better than me. We’ve finally taken the training wheels off of his dirt bike! The first time he rode he did pretty good and only dropped it a couple of times with no real crashes. He hasn’t wanted to practice much lately – I think he’s still pretty nervous about it…so we are slowly encouraging him to ride again. Even just five minutes here and there will do him good without wearing him out.

Today was a really busy day – David had his first t-ball game. He was so stinking cute in his baseball outfit. I have pictures to share, but don’t have access to them right now….will get those posted soon (promise!). He did really good and hit the ball hard all three times he was at bat.

After t-ball (and a nap) we went to hunt Easter Eggs with my very good friend Wylma. Her neighborhood does a really good egg hunt every year and she invites us (she’s definitely like a grandma to David). The Easter bunny was there and we took a hay ride around the neighborhood too. David had a really fun time and with over 700 eggs hidden he had plenty to find. Again, pictures will follow.

Last weekend we went to the feed store and bought some seeds to start our garden. Our good friends, Randle and Katrina invited us over and she and I planted seeds together. That day we planted spinach, lettuce, okra, watermelon, tomato, squash, cauliflower, zucchini, black beans, green beans, cilantro, basil and italian parsley (many, many thanks to Katrina for the seeds and seed starters). In just a few days we already have sprouts on out lettuce and green beans!

To finish up our day, Brad helped me build a raised vegetable garden for these seeds to be transplanted to in a few weeks. I got the plan from the bed from http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/ (my favorite website) and it was super easy to do. Now we just have to have some dirt delivered to fill it and the seeds to continue growing so we’ll have something to plant in a few weeks.

This was a fantastic Saturday. We were busy all day, but it was a relaxing kind of busy.

We have finally finished painting the last coat of paint on out built in bookshelves. It has to cure for 7 days…so next weekend we’ll hopefully finish up the office project by geting all the books on the bookshelves and get the office organized….finally. This is the never ending project…that has just gone on forever and ever it seems.

Our next spring project is to build a brick patio out back for the grill. When we built our house (over 3 years ago) we kept the loose left over bricks with the intent to use them somehow. We’ve finally decided to build a patio. We have about 250 bricks for the job and hope it’s enough.

So this is what we’ve been up to.

We can’t wait for our family vacation at the end of this month. We are going to a campground in Florida with Brad’s family. It will be a great and relaxing trip together. Will post about that after it happens.

Well, I know this is a pretty boring post since I don’t have any pictures to share. I’ll get some loaded on the computer soon. More to come…..

Blueberries

This weekend David and I picked about 1 1/2 cups of blueberries from our bushes out back. They are the best ever…it looks like there are lots more to come, so if you want some let me know – you just have to live local and come pick them up yourself.

Garden and first harvest

So the garden is doing good, especially with the large amounts of rain we’ve had this summer. Last year it was the worst drought in a long time and this year the rain has been pretty steady. Here is a picture of our first harvest – 6 strawberries! David enjoys looking for strawberries almost every night…even though he won’t eat them.
I think this is my jalapeno pepper plant (either that or a green pepper):
And while you don’t eat lavender (at least I don’t think you do) I wanted to post this picture since it does qualify as a part of my garden. If anyone has any idea what to do with lavender let me know. Right now I’m just cutting it and putting it in vases in my house – which is fine and smells lovely, but I’d love to find something else to do with it.