Posts tagged Garden

What’s the dill, pickle?!?!

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Look what came out of the garden!

D and I are still away, but my mom is keeping an eye on the backyard…and one of the perks of watching someone’s garden for them is that if anything matures or ripens while you’re there you get to eat it! So my mom got to enjoy this little puppy! She said it was delish! I cannot wait to get home and try one!

Anyone have a great pickle recipe? I want to can some when all my cucumbers are ready!

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Confederate Rose

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Is anyone out there familiar with the Confederate Rose?
Yesterday D and I noticed this pretty flower growing on a bush in our backyard!
I have never thought anything about the bush- it was just there. About 5 foot tall, with dark green leaves. I’ve certainly never watered it. There was no reason to! Lol!
D’s first thought was that it is a Confederate Rose. I’ve looked it up on the Internet and it looks like it could be- except for one thing, ours is this pretty pink color. From what I’ve read, they start out white in the morning and by the end of the day they are red. The picture above was taken at about 8 PM. Why isn’t mine red?!?!
Any information you can share would be greatly appreciated! I want to know what this is 🌸

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A Look Outside

The garden continues to grow daily by leaps and bounds. Take a look:

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I ate one of the strawberries today and it was delicious! This variety doesn’t seem to get very big but they are still very tasty!

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The cucumbers are coming along too!
There are about 8 to 10 that are this size and there are tons that are tiny. I can’t wait to make pickles using my own cucumbers and dill!
My great-grandmother use to make homemade sweet pickles that had a spicy kick to them…I’m going to try and figure out how she did it and make some with these.

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Remember when I told you I got lettuce seeds from a friend??? Well here is the product! Healthy Romaine.

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The tomatoes are still doing really well! I’ve got 29 tomatoes on the vine as of today. The ones pictured here are cherry reds.

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And the onions! We’ve already cut the greens and used them a couple of times and they are already this big again!

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The okra. Hasn’t changed much in the last couple of days. But it still looks great. It continues to grow. I have a feeling we are going to have more than we know what to do with!

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You haven’t heard me talk about the peppers a lot because I haven’t been too pleased with them. They are just now producing these tiny little peppers and all of my gardening friends already have huge peppers on their plants. When I planted these I think I put them a couple of inches too deep. Hopefully now they have gotten over the hump! I’ll know better next year!

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And last but not least, the baby chickens! Lol! They aren’t exactly babies anymore. And thankfully they are out of that really ugly stage. They actually look like real chickens. I’m sure you noticed in the picture that there are only 4! The hawk got another one. These little guys have managed to survive 2 hawk attacks, 2 down pours, and 2 dogs. Hopefully we are in the clear now and they can live the rest of their days peacefully!

I will be away from the backyard for a little while, but no fear, my mom is coming to tend to everything while we are away! I can’t let all this hard work go to waste 😉
As soon as I am able I’ll be back to show you how it’s all coming along in Britt’s Backyard. See you soon!

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Signs of Life

Guess what?!?!? I’ve officially got tomatoes on my vines!

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This is the largest one! It is an Early Girl 50 Day tomato. It has not be fifty days but this little guy was ready to come out and say hello!
Also blooming are the Husky Cherry Reds and the Celebrities.

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I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! I literally contemplated staying home from work this morning so I could just sit and marvel at my tomato plants!
Unfortunately, that “mature adult” voice came to me and I remembered I’m not yet a millionaire, so work is a necessary evil

I was kind of in panic mode all day because I was worried one of the billion birds in my backyard would eye my baby tomatoes and eat them, so when I got off I went and purchased a little “protection device” to deal with the birds.

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LOL! I love these things! They really only work at keeping pests (birds and squirrels) away until they realize that it never moves, eats, and is eerily quit, but I still had to have it! Maybe my birds and squirrels are “special” and this little puppy will work for a while!

I also have ten little strawberries on my strawberry plant! Take a look!

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It won’t be long and we’ll be enjoying a delicious bounty of fresh and pure veggies and fruit!!!

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To Pee or Not To Pee

Compost: Organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled into a soil amendment and nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Urine: A (typically) sterile liquid by-product secreted by the kidneys. Known to be rich in the following nutrients: water, urea, nitrogen, potassium, creatinine, chloride.

I had a delightful conversation about gardening yesterday with a dear friend (I’ll call her JC for privacy’s sake). We often get together and talk about different things we’ve read or seen, so I was not surprised when she started off the conversation with “oh, I was going to tell you about something I read…”. However, I was extremely surprised when she followed that up with “…people are using their urine as a compost now!” In fact, I probably wouldn’t have been more surprised if I’d woken up with my head sewn to the carpet! (shout out to National Lampoons Christmas Vacation for letting me steal that line!)
Okay, seriously, I was surprised because as we enjoyed an afternoon cup of tea, I was actually having visions of people just urinating in their garden- odd!
This got me thinking though, why? Why would you want to excrete your waste on something you are going to eat? Would it work? And lastly, could I do it without the neighbors seeing??? What can I say- I’m easily convinced!

After a little research, I am now clear on exactly how people get the urine to their garden. They pour it from a jug. No popping a squat in the veggie patch, or taking a chance on an indecent exposure “incident”. That automatically takes away half the fun.
The second thing I learned was that this is not a new concept. Quite some time ago some genius decided he would try it out and probably had the most nutrient rich garden in town and everyone was extremely jealous and thought to themselves “my garden will never be as good as John’s, so just piss on it”, literally. And then they discovered John’s profound secret.

On a serious note, after some reading and research, adding urine to your compost or simply mixing some with water and watering your garden with it does not seem that crazy. Nitrogen is in urine. Nitrogen is also one of the most active ingredients in your compost pile. It’s what heats up and breaks everything down. Without the right amounts of nitrogen your compost pile would keep getting larger but would never become that dark, rich soil you covet!
Should you choose to pee, you’ll also be adding a little urea, potassium, and chloride to your compost pile or soil. All good stuff

One thing that I did find disturbing about this method is that if you are harboring a bacteria or are taking hormones or other medications they will also end up in your compost. Not good considering 1) I don’t want any of “that” bacteria on my food and 2) some drugs contain harmful ingredients in trace amounts (such as Coumadin- taken to thin the blood- it is thought to also contain small amounts of an ingredient that can react similarly to arsenic in the right environment- I don’t always have the best luck and I do not want to find out the hard way what that right environment is!)

Just like everything else, there are pros and cons. Done properly, I can see no harm in adding a little urine to your compost or watering your garden with a diluted version every now and then. I’m not going to do it, but I’m not knocking you for reusing your liquid by-product. Just don’t invite me over for a delicious home-grown tomato and onion salad that day. Or ever again…

Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

So I leave you this final question to ponder….to pee or not to pee????

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Sipping in my Backyard

I’ve come to realize that I suck at blogging. There is no way to sugar coat it! I could have an awesome blog, but instead I choose to sit around and drink wine and think about all the humorous things I will probably never say in my blog.
Well, today I’m making a change! I vow to stop being a once a week mediocre blogger and actually tell you about all the awesome things going on in Britt’s Backyard!

For starters, you need to see the chicks! They are getting so big. They officially have all their feathers and walk around the yard scratching and eating all sorts of bugs and ants. I’m still feeding them a starter feed- but when this bag is gone I think I’ll just do fruit and veggie scraps along with whatever they find in the yard. Occasionally they fly up and sit on the chairs or fence railing and roost. I keep saying it would make a cool picture but I haven’t been successful at capturing it.

Another awesome thing going on in the yard is the influx of birds we have had this week. Ever since D put up the feeder we have had birds come to it, but not like this! They have been flocking to it- no pun intended! This morning two sparrows got into a fight right in front of us. Today alone I have seen: Cardinals, Sparrows, Doves, & some random kind that I can’t name. I also saw the Hawk today! He did a fly-by while I was mowing. Even though he killed one of my chickens I still can’t help but think how pretty he is.

D also told me that we have babies in our Bluebird house. I haven’t actually seen them but he swears he saw the mama and the daddy flying in and out of the house!

At D’s request, we have added to the garden. There was a couple of feet that wasn’t being utilized and he could not stand it! So we added: watermelon, banana peppers, and egg plant. We also planted more cilantro because we love it! The difference between store-bought and fresh is remarkable. Plus, it is super easy and low maintenance.

The cucumbers are on steroids! They are growing like crazy!!! Today we put up a little trellis so hopefully they will grow up it.

We also added two new adirondack chairs to our sitting area. All we need now is a fire pit to have the perfect outdoor area!

To pay homage to the title of this post: a quick and easy drink recipe for you:

1 part orange juice
1 part pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice

Mix everything together and enjoy the perfect (virgin) summer drink!

If you’re really cool mix 1 part vodka in to that refreshing cocktail…And then call me…because I’m pretty sure we could be friends!

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Everything is Growing

The combination of heat and adequate amounts of rain has caused all the plants in my garden to spring up!

The tomato plants are starting to flower which means before long they’ll bear fruit! I planted Early Girls thinking they would produce long before any of the others, but my celebrities are flowering and keeping up! I cannot wait to harvest fresh tomatoes from my backyard! I can already tell you that I’ll live off of them this summer!

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The cucumbers are also thriving. Take a look at the picture below. Do you see how big the leaves are getting? It seems like that just happened over night! We have got to get a trellis put up for them to climb! I think they’ll grow better if we get the plants up and off the ground. We’ll see!

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