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Archive for the ‘garden planning’ Category

I planted my 2016 garden last Sunday!

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I purchased tomatoes and cucumbers at Home Depot and planted some (probably very old) Burpee zucchini seeds.  I had seriously considered decreasing the number of plants I put into the garden, but Husband (easily) convinced me that if we were going to put in a garden at all, we might as well plant 6 tomatoes again.

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To be planted! zucchini seeds. TamiG grape (hybrid) tomato Cherokee Purple (heirloom) tomato Super Fantastic (hybrid) tomato Burpless (hybrid) cucumber Husky Cherry Red (hybrid) tomato (for kids’ pot on the deck)

Since we put the weed-blocking cloth down last year, it was so much easier to get the garden set up for this year!  Wow.  I just had a few weeds to pull, and I was good-to-go.

garden before.  the weed-blocking cloth actually worked really well!

garden before. the weed-blocking cloth actually worked really well!

 

Garden after.  Everything is planted!

Garden after. Can you tell??  Everything is planted!

This year, I decided to switch the sides on which I planted the tomatoes and cucumber/zucchini.  I don’t know, call it crop rotation or something!  I just had the idea that it might be good to switch.  Otherwise, the planting is exactly the same as it was last year– I separated the layers of weed-preventing fabric and planted the seedlings (and in the case of the zucchini, the seeds).  We bought new metal wire trellises for the cucumbers this year, since the wooden ones we got for our first garden in this location had lived their life.

Garden after.  Everything is planted!

Garden after.  Everything is planted!

We’ve had so much rain here recently that I was easily able to water the whole garden from the rain barrel!

After I had the in-ground garden planted, the kids “helped” me to plant their cherry tomato in a pot on our deck.  I helped them to use the spade to replace the soil around the plant, and they took turns watering.  I hope that they will really enjoy watching their plant grow and have a fun (and delicious) time eating its fruit!

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...and then they took turns using the watering can!

...and then they took turns using the watering can!

...and then they took turns using the watering can!

...and then they took turns using the watering can!

Varieties:
TamiG grape (hybrid) tomato
Cherokee Purple (heirloom) tomato
Super Fantastic (hybrid) tomato
Burpless (hybrid) cucumber
Husky Cherry Red (hybrid) tomato (for kids’ pot on the deck)

 

 

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So here’s the plan!

This year’s garden is not going to be much different from last year’s.  For two reasons: 1) It’s going to be a busy summer!  2) I didn’t feel like spending any money on new seeds, so I’m using what I already have.

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I’ll have 2 cucumber trellises, two zucchini plants, and two plants of each of three tomato varieties.  I’m going to try and squish in two red bell pepper plants, too!  I’ve had mixed success with peppers in the past, so we’ll see how they do here in this garden plot.

I planted the pepper and tomato seeds on Saturday, 08 February 2014.

I planted seeds for our garden today!!

Just for my own record, there are:

  • Four seeds in each pepper cup
  • Three seeds in each Best Boy cup
  • Two seeds in each Jelly Bean cup (the last of that seed packet)
  • Three seeds in each Fourth of July cup

The cups are living on a tray balanced on a luggage rack in my craft room, where I can leave the blinds completely opened all day long for them to capture as much sunshine from the southern-exposure window as possible.

On the 15th, I was delighted to see cute, fuzzy, little Best Boy sprouts poking up in two of the cups!  Can you spot one in the photo below?

Spotted my first sprouts today!  Two tiny, furry little Best Boy tomato sprouts

On the 18th, I noted sprouts in the Jelly Bean cups, as well.  (From left to right, in this photo, the cups are bell peppers, Jelly Bean, Best Boy, Fourth of July)

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And one last photo from the 18th, because the sprouts look so cheerful in the sunlight, in spite of the snow on the ground outside!

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I’m not going to set very many official goals for July.  I want to focus on just enjoying my summertime with my family and friends… and doing some crafting when it fits my schedule, because I love it.  That being said, I do want to keep a few things on the “official” list:

    • Floss each night this month.
    • Maintain the garden (and write an update post or two!).
    • Exercise at least 2 times per week (along with abs+arms every day, as possible/reasonable).
    • Make some new recipes from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook.
    • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
    • Do some scrapbooking, if it fits my schedule.
    • Do some sewing.  (I’ve started a new hand-stitiching project!  Remember my skirt?  Well, I’m making some throw pillows for our living room…Hand stitching will be great for being in the car, or for something to do with my hands while I hang out with friends.)  I also have a T-shirt that I’d like to alter/refashion/refit… I might have to resort to Pinterest to get a good idea of what/how I’m going to do that.
    • finish the Project 366 album.  In my June recap post, I listed my remaining “tasks,” and they should be completely manageable to accomplish this month.

That is it for now!  Happy July 🙂

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I think I did really well on my goals this past month! (my original goals/comments on the goals for June can be found HERE).  Not only did I accomplish everything on my list, but I also managed to fit in a few other projects, too.

  • Make (at least) TWO layouts this month. I made three!  See them here, here, and here.  I had a lot of fun with them and I’m excited to feel like I”m back into the swing of things with my scrapbooking.  I’m also learning to work on my paper projects only when I’m feeling inspired.  I have enough other hobbies to work on in between that I don’t need to “force” my creativity–and I’m much happier with the results. 
  • Sew fabric napkins (three sets).  Well, I only made two sets, because I liked my third fabric enough that I might make something else with it, rather than just napkins. 
  • Finish an altered photo board book for my daughter.  See it HERE.  It has been so fun to watch her connect the people in the pictures with the people she sees in “real life” or on Skype 🙂
  • Floss each night this month. Done!
  • Maintain the garden.  I owe an update post…It’s a jungle out there!
  • Exercise at least 2 times per week (along with abs+arms every day, as possible/reasonable). I logged just over 43 miles in June!  wooo hoooo!  A little over 8.5 of those miles were jogging by myself (avg. pace 9:15/mile, wow!  never thought I’d be that fast…), but the rest were walking/jogging with Vivian in her stroller.  
  • Make (at least) three new recipes from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook.  We made Slow-Roasted Beef, Rice Salad, Steak Fajitas, and Nut Crusted Chicken Breasts.
  • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. We made the S’more Layer Cake
  • “Sort” my computer.  I made some good progress on this.  My surprisingly-vast digital scrapbooking supply collection (considering I don’t really make digital layouts) is almost transferred to an external hard drive for storage, which definitely cleared some space.  I also took care of some redundant files and sorted some photos that were “lying around loose” in my pictures folder.  The conclusion after all of this is that I still need more storage space, though!  I need to figure out how to divide my Lightroom catalog and keep part on an external hard drive. 

And the unofficial item:

  • finish the Project 366 album. I did end up working on it this month!  I have decided to split it into two binders.  I’ve purchased a second binder and hope that it comes in the mail soon!  I’ve finished all of the inserts, and I have made the two cover pages and finished the last page in the first album.  I have half of the last page in the second album to finish, plus one journal card needs to be written out (I’ve already written the text, it just needs to be copied onto the card).  I also have the backside of one insert to fill with photos.  But that is it!!  I will share my cover and last pages on the blog soon, probably.  

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Husband set up the rain barrel for me!

rain barrel set up

It collects water that runs off of the roof of our garage.  A bit after I took the photo above, Husband came home from work one day and said, “I’ve been thinking about the rain barrel…” and proceeded to tell me a plan to make my garden watering even easier (he knows me well, haha!).  He suggested that we get a soaker hose and run it from the barrel through the garden.

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This way, I can go out each morning, open the spigot to the hose, and then come back inside for a while as the hose does all the work for me!  I set a timer so that I don’t forget to turn it off later.  The photo above shows the initial arrangement of the hose.  We have been experimenting with how to snake it around the plants so that they all get a good amount of water.

We were so excited to see how it worked the first time we hooked it up.  Since the water pressure is low (there is no pump on the rain barrel, of course!), the water oozes out of the pores in the hose like little jewels.  So pretty!

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Everything got set up just in time for… several days of storms with heavy rains.  I’ve only used the “irrigation system” twice, but I definitely love the way it works!

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June is going to be a busy month (for everyone else, too, I’m sure!).  I’m going to keep my “official” goals list short so that it is manageable, while still leaving lots of time for having fun with my family!

  • Make (at least) TWO layouts this month. Woo!  I’m getting ambitious 😉
  • Sew fabric napkins (three sets).
  • Finish an altered photo board book for my daughter.  (I started this project in May.)
  • Floss each night this month.
  • Maintain the garden.
  • Exercise at least 2 times per week (along with abs+arms every day, as possible/reasonable).
  • Make (at least) three new recipes from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook.  At the rate we’ve been going, this shouldn’t be too hard, haha!
  • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
  • “Sort” my computer.  I am running low on hard drive space and I need to reorganize.  It’s always at the bottom of my mental list… and here it is at the bottom of my “official” goals list– but at least it’s on a “real” list now!

If possible, but not on the “official” list:

  • finish the Project 366 album.  But I’m not putting any pressure on myself for this.  Whenever it seems fun again, I will work on it.

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It was a good month!!

  • Finish the Project 366 album.  Nope!  I didn’t even try.  And it felt great.  After a great comment that I received from Christine, I started thinking about how, right now, this album is not fun for me.  I like my crafting time to be fun.  The important parts of the album are finished, so I decided to just let this goal go in May.  So for the whole month, I didn’t touch the album (other than to take some photos–see below–and move it off of my craft table!).  And I am a lot happier for it.  Perhaps I will finish it up in June, we’ll see.
    • write a blog post about one or two of my favorite inserts.  DONE.  Not sure if I will post more, yet.
    • write a blog post about the weekly title cards.  Photos are taken and awaiting editing.  Still need to write this post!  It will happen in June!
  • Make ONE layout this month and/or finish the Iowa mini album.   I made two!!  Niagara Falls and Wharton Escherick/Valley Forge.  Man, it felt good.  I can’t wait to make more!  I also made two cards.  PLUS, I am thisclose to finishing the Iowa album [edited 6/4/2013 to add: the Iowa mini is finished! I will have a post about it soon].
  • Floss each night this month. Done!
  • Maintain the garden. Done!  See an update post HERE.  We also added a compost bin.  
  • Exercise at least 2 times per week (along with abs+arms every day, as possible/reasonable).  Done.  I logged 33.75 total miles in May, and over 5 of those miles were jogging… and using the MapMyRun app, I discovered that my average jogging pace was <10 min/mile!  Incredible.  I never thought I’d jog that fast.
  • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbookoooooh, we had some good food again this month!  Baked ZitiBeef StroganoffArroz con PolloCreamy Tomato Sauce.  Looks like we’re averaging about one new recipe per week!
  • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I loved these Whole Lemon Bars!
  • Finish the fabric alphabet magnets for Vivian.  DONE!  (6/6/2013: I even made some extra letters, including two more “E”s, yesterday)
  • Hem and hang the Ikea Lenda curtains for the living room.  Done!  It totally changed the look of the room, and I LOVE THEM.

Aside from the (purposeful) fail on the Project 366 goal, May was an incredibly productive month!  It looks like the Project 366 was damming up my creative juices.  I am so glad that I put it off for now.  I know it will get finished eventually, so I’m not going to worry about it.

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