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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Hello to all. Well we have made it through the month of April, and have finally come to May. I hope that we start to see warmer days, and a lot less snow! The rain OK, but not to much. Our local farmers may be in trouble with there crops because of all the snow and rain we have been getting. Then there is the flooding that the state of Utah has been experiencing.

Well I have had to start all over with my Spinach. I only had 4 plants come up of the 162 that I planted back on April 6th. Not sure what the deal was. If it was a little too cold for them, or if it was because of the moisture that seemed to be in that box. So I took some time this fine Sunday morning, and weeded the few weeds I had in there. Took my fork to the dirt, and started once again. I did however leave the 4 plants that have started to grow there.

I also weeded the onions, and gave them some water today. They are looking good. I am hoping that over the next few weeks I will be able to take the covers off of the boxes, and just let the warm days take care of everything. I checked on the pumpkins today as well. They are doing wonderfully! I now have 7 plants up of the 8 seeds I sowed. Gave them a little water too. I have a few weeds coming up in that box, but nothing bad. I think I might let that one go a little longer before I weed it. Ive been leaving that one closed more than I have my other boxes. I've been trying to keep it as warm as I can in there. I'm hoping to get some really nice big pumpkins for Halloween.

I really wish that i could get some more stuff in the ground, and growing. I have about 3 weeks to my sons wedding, and a month to us starting to move. That is going to be an undertaking! I plan to move my garden boxes. So we are talking about 7- 3x6 boxes, and the dirt that is in them. Plus the watering system that runs underneath them. The new house we are moving to needs a ton of work to the yard, and even more work to the garden area. We have got fences to mend, and build before we will be able to move over the chickens, and ducks. I feel for the neighbors, they don't know whats coming at them. Then again maybe they will appreciate new neighbors that actually take care of the yard. Then again, I'm bringing them rosters, and chickens.......

Well happy gardening, and Welcome to May! I hope it turns out to be a warmer and dryer month then April.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Grow Garden Grow!

I am excited! Things are growing and coming up in my garden. I'm going to back track just a little bit and bring everyone up to speed on what I have been doing in my garden since the beginning of March. I am also going to jump back to some Garlic that I planted back in October last year. I have been keeping a small note book on my phone of what I have been doing this year. I didn't do a very good job of keeping record last year, and I want to do better with it this year. So as to help anyone who may be fallowing this blog get a better understanding of what has worked, and not worked and maybe be able to better plan and prepare themselves for what ever they may be trying to grow.

Garden Notes

Watered the garlic and weeded it. First time watering it this season since planting it back in October. I also planted 158 Utah Yellow Spanish Onions. I still have enough seeds to plant that many again 3 more times.

Checked on the Onions. Still not seeing anything breaking ground. Little worried it has been a little cold, maybe too cold for them.

I'm really wanting to start planting my Spinach. Maybe tomorrow???

Checked on my Onions today. Great news! They have broke ground!!! I gave everything some water too. It was looking a little dry. : )

My husband helped me change out the cover on the box with the garlic. I changed it from an A frame to a Wagon cover. My Garlic are growing! They are getting taller. To the point that it was touching the top of the A frame covers. I gave them and the Onions a little water.

Opened up the ends of the boxes with the Onions and Garlic. It got to 68 degrees today. It was like a sauna in those boxes.Gave everything some water too. Don't want to burn or dry out my baby Onions. I started these onions from seeds. Not small bulbs. I have always in the past done bulbs. But this year, I'm trying something new.

I went over to my friends house and planted one of her boxes. It was so nice to get my hands in the dirt. She has been sick and has wanted to do some planting but has not been able to. So she said to come over and I could plant for her. I had a nice time in my crazy, busy, Saturday. I planted 2 tomatoes, 2 rosemary, 8 lettuce, 34 spinach, and 68 onion bulbs.

Ah! I played in my own dirt! That was so nice. My husband and the kids helped me. They kept the chickens at bay, while I turned the dirt and planted 162 Bloomsdale Long-Standing Spinach seeds. Also watered the Onions and the Garlic. There looking good! I'm Happy! My friend text me this morning and told me that the wind had blown off her cover, and that her tomatoes had frozen. I'm trying to talk my youngest son into mowing the front yard. Not all of it needs mowing. But its very un-even and doesn't look very well on the curb appeal. I'm very tempted to plant my pumpkins in the front box.

Well I did manage to get my son to mowe the front yard. After he was done with ours, he mowed our elderly neighbors to the east of us. The garden looks good and moist. Don't need to water anything. My Spinach seeds have not popped up yet. But it has been cold and a mix of rain and snow for the last 3 days. It looks like the sun is going to come out and warm things up nicely in those boxes. So perhaps that will stimulate those spinach seeds to germinate quicker. I think I may plant some pumpkin, carrots, and peppers today.

UPDATE 4/10//11
Well I planted 8 pumpkin seeds. Four Big Max. They can grow up to 70 inches around and 100 pounds or more. I also planted 4 Connecticut Field. Those should produce up to a 30 pound pumpkin. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. We are moving in June. But I figure if I get stuff in now, and it can establish a good root system. Maybe when i need to move stuff in June it will do alright.

Checked on my Spinach today. It's been a nice warm day. I was so hoping to see my Spinach breaking ground. No such luck..... I am a little concerned. This box seems to be holding a lot of moisture. I hope that my seeds are going to be OK. I guess I will just have to watch and wait a little more.

Great News! I have pumpkins!!! Four of the eight I planted are up and growing. These 4 are all of one kind. Sad thing is I can't remember which ones I planted at which end of the box.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From the Ground Up

So I have decided to start this blog. I love to garden, and some day I hope to go from it being just a small back yard thing to about a 20 acre thing. My husband and I would like to get as self sufficient as possible. But still live in the real world. We are by far not back woods folk. Many of my friends, family, and neighbors, tell me that I'm very talented in what I do, and that maybe I should think about teaching others how to do the same. So that has brought me here. I have been married for a little over 20 years, and have a large family. So gardening has fulfilled a few things in life for me. First it has helped feed my family. It has also given me the opportunity to share with my family, friends, and neighbors. I have also gotten to teach my children how to do this, and to recognize the benefits of gardening.  But the one thing that I love the most is that it has given me the chance to escape from the crazy world we live in and slow down and enjoy what  is around me. To get back down to earth again.

One of my favorite methods of gardening is to do it in raised beds. I like this for a few reasons.
  • One I build my boxes to fit where I live and to maximize the space I have. but also to give myself room around each box so that I can weed it, plant it, and maintain it with out having to walk through it. 
  • Two thanks to the understanding and hard work that my husband puts in on my "Projects" I have got a sprinkling system in  each of my boxes that have separate valves to each. That way I can control which boxes get water, when, and how much. That helps a ton in water conservation.
  • Three, It also allows me to better rotate what I have planted and help keep the soil from depleting it nutrients.
  • Four, again thanks to my husband for dealing with my ideas for new "Projects" I have covers for each of my boxes that allow me to garden year round. They are like miniature green houses which i can take on and off really easily, or trade around if what I planted has grown to tall.

 Later down the road I will add pictures on how to build a 3x6 cedar garden box, and how to build extended year covers. Also I will talk about soil, and composting. In this blog as a whole, I want to teach if I can on how to garden year round. Yes that's what I said "Year Round" and no I don't live in some perfect part of the country that has got awesome and ideal weather year round. We live in the 2nd largest city in Utah. Northern Utah at that! So trust me. I'm talking about below 0 temps, and snow, lots of snow. Before you start saying to yourself she's got to have some sort of heating system for those boxes. Your wrong. The only heating that those boxes get is from the sun each day. My plan is to up date this blog a couple times a week. Normally I would have everything that I was planning to grow for the season already in the ground. I start planting in mid March to mid April. But this year is going to be a little different. We are going to be moving into a new house, so not everything can be planted now. Some of it is going to have to wait until we move and then put in late. This year is going to be a little bit of an experiment. Cause there are a few things that I have planted, and are going to have to be transplanted. But I am hoping that they will have a chance to produce a good root system so that I will be able to dig them up and move them, like my pumpkins. Our family is crazy about Halloween, and we try and grow the biggest pumpkin we can every year to display in our front yard with all of the other decor. This blog is also about Urban Farming, Our family has a small flock of poultry. Two Ducks which have been apart of our family since they were 3 days old. They are now 6 years old. We have one drake, and one hen. Also we have 10 chickens, 2 rosters, and 8 hens. They have been apart of our family now for a year. I love my neighbors, cause they love my rosters. I'm afraid that I am going to have to find new homes for my 2 rosters. I don't think my new neighbors are going to like them the way my neighbors I have now do. Have you ever had a Farm Fresh Egg? Oh man are they ever good!

In my future posts, I will be brining you up to speed on what I have been doing since the first part of March this year, and what I started in the ground last fall that is currently growing now. Until next time, "Happy Gardening!"