I took a chance in 2010 and attempted to grow my first garden. You can read more about it here if you are interested. I had a large piece of unused “dirt” in our backyard and I thought it would be the perfect place for a garden. What I soon discovered was that it wasn’t a patch of dirt at all but a hidden marsh! Although, I did yield a small crop that year (I rejoiced over the few chilies I grew). I knew I was hot stuff after that first garden. I am human, hear me garden!
The next year I decided to that it was time to get rid of the muddy backyard and try something different. My husband and I both decided that concrete would be the best alternative to mud. We spent most of the summer treating the ground behind the brick wall getting it ready for my garden.
I started all of our plants from seedlings. Click here for more on that. I was extremely proud when we put these little guys in their new home and they just took off and started producing fruit. Oh the joy! Then the wind came and that was a sad day.
I think I sat there and cried for at least 15 minutes. I was just devastated. Thanks to a comment from one of my readers who suggested that I continue to care for my garden and not be discouraged from the set back, my garden came back to life and produced double the crop that I had the year before.
To be honest this year is starting off kinda unmotivated. I started off with good intentions to start all my plants from seedlings (in January) but that’s about the same time that we adopted Darcy and most of my attention went to her. My seedlings didn’t last very long…I was disappointed but nothing that can’t be fixed. I went to the farmer’s market and met a really passionate gardener who got me started with pineapple mint and chocolate mint and gave me advice for the few seedlings that made it to “transplant day”. This year my garden is a hybrid of seedlings grown from seed and plants I bought from the farmers market (technically he grew them from seed).
I will keep you posted on my gardening adventures as I am sure there will be some interesting stories to tell (there always are) and some interesting bugs to photograph (they totally creep me out…especially the tomato bugs).
Well I thought I would give you a garden update as it seems that it has been a while since I have filled you in on my garden. For those of you that are new readers or for you old readers who have been dozing off in the corner, here is the “fast forward version of my garden adventures:
2010: I started my very first Victory Garden
I had a lot of fun but the soil was not ideal and the amount of sunshine my garden received was minimal to say the least. I really think plants have the will to live because I got some produce from that garden. Here is a picture of my baby “full grown at the time” green bean plant. Lack of sunshine and soil drainage really put a damper on things. Sad times.
I started my new garden and challenged readers to start their own with “Watch Me Grow Challenge”.
Our Gardens were growing and we were having such fun.
Then in the spring came the wind of 2011
Very sad day
But with the help and encouragement from you all I was able to coax my garden back to life. I always smile when I think of my friends reading this blog and helping me out.
All that work for this….
A few weeks have gone by since the” wind of 11“. I was so sad that day but mostly frustrated with Mother Nature. I was on break with two of my friends who are also readers so thankfully no explanation was needed for my sour mood. I was lamenting over my fallen garden and how I would have to pull it all up and start from scratch when my friend suggested that before I “rip everything out” I should consider watering it for a few days and see if the plants take root again.
See, I am an all or nothing person. Yes, it is one of my down falls in life but what can I say its just the way I am. If my garden is destroyed by the wind, I give myself a day to be sad and then the next day I get to work on restarting. In most things I find that this attitude works out, for the most part, but in this situation, as my dear friend suggested, it was better to just wait and be patient.
Oh..the difference a few days rest can make!
Needless to say my garden is out of recovery and back on its feet.
Thanks to all you who sent me such sweet encouraging comments about my garden. I just wanted to give you an update and say thanks for all the encouragement and advice.
I went out into the garden today and I think a few of the green bean plants are sick. They look like this:
Do you see those UGLY yellow leaves with spots on them…grr….
Then I walked over to the gardenia and look what I saw….
Yellow leaves again..grr…
I am assumming that this problem could be related as both these plants are in the same location. Any advice? What are your thoughts? I know my readers are crazy smart so I come to you friends for some advice??
A few morning ago as I was in the garden I noticed that my mint plant was really overgrown. I mean there is only so many batches of mint ice cream a girl can make in a week. I remembered back to my experience last summer with my succulents cuttings and that is when the idea hit me. I thought to myself “Why not do the same thing with some of my plants from the garden. So mint was my first attempt. It worked! I couldn’t believe it!
Here is what i did:
First: I clipped a small piece from the base of the mint plant.
Second: I pulled away the excess leaves that would be submerged in the water and only left the top leaves. I read somewhere that plant leaves in water cause bacteria to grow in the jar (yuck) and eventually kill the plant faster (sad times).
After my mint stem got its snazzy hair cut I grabbed a glass from my cupboard. Confession, we drink out of mason jars on a daily basis because I think it makes the drink taste better. That is besides the point. I filled the cup with cold water and let my mint stem take a dip.
I placed the “plant spa” in a sunny window because what is a spa vacation without a tan? Then today as I was bouncing out the door to work I spotted something happening.
Check it out
I guess even plants like a few days off to be at the spa. I just have to convince Mr. Snail that if a plant can blossom like that with only a week at the spa, oh the possibilities for someone like me! Wish me luck…he he he
You know when you forget something and then you spend the whole day trying to remember what you forgot but you just can’t place it. Well that is how I felt the other night as I was awakened by the 40 mph wind. No, I am not embellishing the truth, I looked it up online.
Side Note: The song would “I lie to you baby” is running through my head.
So there I was 2 in the morning wide awake trying to remember what I forgot. Then it hit me. I got that sinking feeling you sometimes get when you know that it was something really really important that you should have remembered.
I forgot my plants!!!!
I quickly rolled over and whispered to my husband “hey babe are you awake?” Personally, I think that is the meanest thing that someone could ask you in the middle night but it gets better. He rolls over and nods, he knows I hate morning breathe. I very carefully informed him that the wind was blowing and that all my plants are going to die!! I got a little misty right about then. So my husband fumbles out of bed and got outside at 2 in the morning and drags my container plants inside. He fell right back asleep. He probably thought he was dreaming!
As for me, I stayed awake for another hour listening to the wind and hoping that maybe my plants would be able to stand their ground.
The next morning, I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs and into the garden. This is what I saw:
I crumbled to the ground and cried.
Soon after Mr. Snail came out and saw the devastation of my garden and immediately jumped to action.
He started pulling stuff like paint sticks and plant stabilizers out and starting tying my plants down. The wind which hadn’t calmed down since it started early this morning so this task was really tough. The wind was whipping my hair all over the place and Mr. Snail’s tools were flying all over the place.
After we had staked the rest of the salvageable plants we decided we saved about 70 percent of the garden. I will update you on the progress of the garden as it “recovers” from its night against the wind.
I have had my seedlings growing for about two and a half weeks now and I went out to take a look at them yesterday and realized that the roots are growing outside of their little pots. Oh my poor plants! Stuck in a crib when I should have moved them to toddler bed about a week ago!
Lesson Learned: Keep a close eye on your plants or they may grow legs and run away from you!
Since my plants have “true leaves” it is time to start hardening them off. Translation: “hardening off” means gradually giving your plants exposure to the environment that they will be permanently reside. Therefore, I will be taking my plants out into the great outdoors and letting them have full exposure to the sun for one hour a couple of days and then three hours for a few days and gradually increase the sun’s exposure so that when I transplant my seedlings they won’t go through sun shock (I made that word up) and die. This procedure is only necessary if you baby your plants by starting them inside like me!
Just finishing up some details on a challenge that is going to start tomorrow but I had to give you a peek as I am super excited to share with you. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t keep good things to myself for very long. I know I am really bad, but I can’t keep it inside I have to share with you. I am hosting a “Plant-A -Long” starting tomorrow. The Flickr page is already up but I am just working a couple kinks out. Feel free to join the group. I will explain everything tomorrow. You will also notice that there is a new button on my sidebar (to the right) called “Plant-A-Long” you can post that link (in the little box below the picture) onto your blog to proudly display that you are part of the challenge!
I am so excited. I don’t know if I can wait till tomorrow!!!
Ok..I am going to stop writing for fear that I am going to share all before tomorrow begins. I am so excited. By the way you are going to need seeds! Seriously, that’s all I am going to say. EEEEE
First, thank you all for being so supportive by the kind words and prayers. Last week was very hard. I stopped in a few times, just to peek, your comments brought me sunshine. So I sincerely thank you.
This week I am going to be talking about gardening. This is my second year gardening. Want to see a peak at last year’s garden click here. My victory garden last year was such a growing experience for me. The thing I learned most from last year was that you just have to jump in and do it. Don’t be afraid that you are going to kill your plants. I will assure you, you probably will, as I know I did. The good news is that it feels good to grow your own food and once you have had a morsel from your own garden you feel angry about having to go to the store and buy the watered down produce.
So about a month ago, I went to Lowe’s and picked up a few things. I bought seed starting soil, in my opinion this is a must. I bought some seeds. You can also buy them from catalogs and farmer’s markets but I was so excited that I just couldn’t wait. I also bought some seed starter kits. Now this last thing, the seed starter kits, totally unnecessary but I wanted to splurge and give them a try. Last year I planted direct and the reason for that is that I started planting in August!!!! Really late.
Stay tuned this whole week is about gardening!!! So dig out your shovels and let’s get planting.
I love succulents and you probably already know this from posts like this and this.
Many of you have asked how my succulent garden is growing so here’s the scoop:
This was a cutting used from another parent plant. Never mind the weed in the background.
After I did my post on how to divide succulents, you can find that post here. I made a “bed” for all the cuttings to grow into adult plants and with all the sun and rain look what came up. I guess it is time to replant.
I love my succulent garden. We are always keeping our eyes open for new succulents but we are slowly becoming overly populated with succulents. If things keep going as they are with these plants you can be sure to see some post in the coming months on how to use succulents as gifts.