Posts tagged Gardening

Tomatoes!

Hi fellow bloggers! I know that from my last blog entitled “I’m Back”, you probably assumed I’d get back to making regular posts. NOT! For some unknown reason I’ve had a case of laziness writers block and truthfully, the backyard has been a pretty uneventful place.

The chickens have been scratching around the yard…there are still two of them- so I’m deeming myself a chicken raising master!

We’ve been getting a little rain and it has been H-O-T so the grass has been growing like crazy!

Guess what else has been growing like crazy… Yep! The garden has been growing by leaps and bounds every week- but it hasn’t been anything really picture worthy because, other than a few cukes and some okra, nothing had really ripened yet…until today!

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I picked these today! And they were delish!!!!!!!

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These 4 are Early Girls. I guess the name is appropriate because they were the first to ripen! By the end of the week there will be even more to pick from some of the other plants!

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I’m Back!

Hi fellow bloggers! After a brief hiatus, I’m back! It feels so great to be back in the backyard and working in my garden!

I was stunned to see the growth that occurred in just 1 week! Yes, I was only gone 1 week…and yes, I know I haven’t blogged in 2 weeks I wish that I could just sit in the backyard all the time and blog continuously about all the awesomeness that occurs here…but unfortunately life gets in the way of that…maybe one day I can find a way to get paid for working in my garden!!! That would rock!

Check out what’s been happening around here lately:

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I am SO proud of my first bounty! It was very therapeutic to pull these things off the vine…I cannot explain the satisfaction it brought me! I am instantly regretting not planting more!

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These are just a couple of shots of the whole garden. Isn’t it amazing what you can do in such a small space?

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I even had this little lady visit the backyard today! Nothing puts me in a good mood like seeing a lady bug! Don’t make fun of me…I’ll take good luck any way I can get it!!!

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And now for a little confession- I’m down to these two chickens. I know- It seems like I have completely sucked at raising these chicks! However, it has just been a series of unfortunate events (the hawk and Cotton- our dog, being those unfortunate events) that have placed me in this position! I feel terrible for these little guys because between watching the sky for the next dive bomb and trying to keep one eye on our sneaky blue healer, they can’t catch a minutes rest!
I have vowed to keep a closer eye on them, and if these two make it to the fall “D” and I are going to build them a better coup with a protected little yard just for them!

I am about to begin canning so I can put up some of my veggies. Anyone know of a good book?

As always, thanks for stopping by the backyard! Come back soon!

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OOOOOKRA!

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I have little baby okra now! 49 of them to be exact! I’m 95% sure they were not there on Saturday and now today they are a little less than an inch big!!! When did this happen??!!

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You probably don’t know this about me, but I love okra 🙂 One of my favorite things to eat is a recipe D’s grandma, Nanny Pud, makes called okra gumbo. Just to clarify it’s not a gumbo! I have tried, unsuccessfully, to recreate this deliciousness several times. The tide is about to turn! When I get my first crop I will make a steaming pot of this classic recipe! When I do I’ll share the recipe with you!

I want to show you something else.

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This is what dill looks like when it is about to go to seed. The beautiful yellow flowers are still very fragrant, but if I cut from this plant, I do it from the bottom where the dill still looks like this

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If you don’t have room for a garden you should consider herbs. They are delicious and healthy, and usually pretty hardy. Next time you are out pick up a pot and any herb you like and give it a shot!

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Goodbye Rosebud

Today, while taking the dogs out, I found one of my chickens dead in the backyard. It was actually my favorite one; because, aside from being completely adorable, he was smart.
I am not 100% sure but i think a hawk got him. I thought I had seen one flying in the front yard a few weeks ago- and Rosebud looked like he had been attacked by a bird. Not a dog or anything like that. Not that I’m an animal attack expert! It just looked too “clean” to have been a large animal.

He kind of had a mind of his own and led the way for the other bitties.
I still do not know if Rosebud was a rooster, but I was predicting that he was because of the way he dominated the roost. He was the first to get flighty, the first to start pecking me, and was always first to the food!

I will miss him.

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Onions…easy as 1, 2, 3

Anyone considering gardening should start out with onions. They’re delicious, super healthy, and beyond easy to grow.

This is the first year that I have experimented with onions, and truthfully, had my husband not just tossed part of one into my garden, I probably wouldn’t have added them to my plot. But…once I saw how easy they are to maintain, I’ll never not have onions in my garden!

When I tell you “D” “tossed” part of an onion in my garden it’s pretty much the truth. We had used almost all of an onion while cooking and were left with just that knobby part that usually goes in the trash- well, D decided to just “see what would happen” if he threw it in the garden bed and kicked a little dirt on it.

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Here is what it’s done!!! This thing is growing like a weed!

Feeling motivated, I popped a couple of onion bulbs my neighbor gave me in the ground about 2 weeks ago. Again, success!

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All I have done is put them in the dirt (pointy side up) and water them. To make this even more exciting- I am 98% sure that onions are traditionally cool weather plants. I may be wrong, but it seems like I remember reading that. This does not scare me because i have learned that onions want to grow! They (obviously) do not require perfect conditions or crazy coaxing, making them the perfect beginner plant!

If you lack a garden, try planting onions in a pot with some good soil. Place the onions only deep enough that the bulb is covered but the tip is stiçking out of the dirt. Place in direct sunlight and water regularly. Good luck!

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Rain Is A Good Thing

I’m back! After a short blogging hiatus I’ve got lots to share with you!

For starters, I want to show you the little brick patio my wonderful husband built for me!

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All of the bricks that were used for this were reclaimed- from my own backyard! I don’t know a lot about bricks but these appear to be pretty old. They are really cool!
The total cost to build the little patio was $7. The only thing we purchased was two bags of sand to pour in between the bricks to keep them from shifting.

Another thing I want to show you is what happens when you mix a little rain with sunny 80 degree weather.


These are the Boston Pickling cucumbers- they have nearly doubled in size in one week!!!
I feel like the Gardening Gods are shining down on me with the gorgeous weather and perfect amounts of rain we’ve been getting lately. I probably don’t need to tell you all this but here in Texas it gets HOT! ….and dry. Usually we don’t get an actual Spring, but this year it has been perfect!
Since I’ve been keeping track (about 4 weeks now) we’ve gotten a total of 7.5 inches of rain. Definitely a good start for me!!!

I’m going to try my hand at doing a window box tomorrow- stay tuned for pictures!

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Whatcha Working With?

To have a blog about gardening you should probably first have a garden. To have a garden you need a place to put said garden. Tonight I’ll tell you about what I’m working with.

THE SPACE
…is minimal. Seriously. I have an average size backyard. Nothing over the top or special. There is a yard with a privacy fence. I cannot even say that I’ve got good grass because I don’t. We’ve got a very lush and green weed mixture! I recently asked my husband if we should put out some weed and feed- his response- “well then all we’d have is dirt!” True. I love my backyard though (probably more than I should but it’s our first home so I see it through rose colored glasses!). There is one really good Post Oak shade tree but other than that the entire yard gets direct sun- all day. We get a lot of birds to the feeder that we have in that tree- Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Dove are the most frequent visitors 🙂 they are super fun to watch!
The chickens have their own small space is the back corner of the yard. This way they are 1) not ruining what little grass (weeds) I’ve got and 2) we don’t have to look at their coop every time we step outside. Seriously, it’s not very cute. I got completely ripped off by a friend who claimed to be a “carpenter” but that’s a story for another day.

THE BEDS
I chose to go with raised beds for my garden because of the above stated issue. My yard doesn’t grow grass very well so I don’t have a lot of faith that vegetables would do any better. My husband, “D”, built me 4 raised beds out of 8ft privacy fence pickets. They measure 4′ x 8′ each and are rectangle shaped. Obviously. I truly do not know why I felt the need to clarify that 🙂
We filled the beds with soil purchased for $60 a truck load from a local nursery.

THE PLANTS
There was no method to my madness when choosing plants for my garden. I wanted to plant things we would actually eat and I did not want to spend a whole lot of money. Here is a list of what I currently have planted:

Tomatoes
Arkansas Traveler
Celebrity
Homestead
Bush Goliath
Golden Jubilee
Husky Red Cherry
Early Girl

Peppers
Serrano
Jalapeño
Cayenne
Green Bell Peppers
Sweet Banana
Thai Hot Red

Lettuce
Romaine *started from seeds given to me by a dear friend.

Okra
Clemson Spineless

Cucumber
Straight 8
Boston Pickling

Onion
Purple *sprouted from part of an onion D threw in the dirt just to see if it would work. It does!
Yellow *given to me by my neighbor

Strawberry
I have no clue what kind this one is!
Number of total plants in my beds: 40
Total cost of plants: $60.00

I bought everything at my local feed store except the strawberry plant. It came from Home Depot.

I did try to be somewhat picky about the plants I bought. I inspected the leaves carefully and only chose plants that had no discolorations, small bugs, or visible damage. They all looked healthy and fresh.

There you have it! The foundation of my garden. I hope it will all come together and produce a great bountiful crop soon!

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