Archive | April 2013

Brainstorm

I have to admit that sometimes the little things, which can turn into big things, bug me.  I think about them for a long time.  In this case it turned out to be a good thing.  I had a brainstorm.  What might you ask was it?  DUCT TAPE!!!!  This would save me so much time and energy trying to take apart the greenhouse that was partially complete and dealing with the store to get them to take the greenhouse back, then I would have to find a replacement.  The other option would have been trying to contact the manufacturer, which is not another great thought for me since who knows how long it would take to get the replacement parts.  I decided I would just tape the pieces that were cracked and hold it secure that way.  It is really sturdy and no one will know unless they come inside and really look.  The cover will hide the silver tape.

So the main structure of the greenhouse is just about done.  I have to complete the roof tomorrow.  I was in a hurry this afternoon trying to finish it in between things I had going on and I totally couldn’t figure it out.  I can’t find the diagram anywhere so I was at a loss.  Well, brainstorm #2.  Tomorrow, I know how to finish it.  Boy, I did a lot of thinking outside the box today.

I moved my little greenhouse outside today to start the hardening off process. As soon as the other greenhouse is done, they will go in there for another week or so and then I will put them in the ground.  I am so excited for that!!  I can then start some pumpkin, sugar snap, zucchini and spinach in the greenhouse to get a jump on the season.  I will still plant some outside in a bit and get alternating harvests.

Now, just keeping my fingers crossed that everyone makes it through this transition.  I have lost a couple of seedlings but that is normal, still sad, but normal.  I am hoping to post some pictures of the various things going on tomorrow.  It is time for me to work on my paper for school, which of course, is due tonight.

Happy planting!!!

 

 

Advertisements

Greenhouse failed

I was hoping to have a picture for you all today.  We purchased a 5’x5′ greenhouse to move the plants that are ready to be hardened off outside.  This would leave me with the indoor greenhouse to start a few more plants that I wanted to start.  Well, the assembly was a bit of an issue.  Mind you, I have assembled many things through the years, my indoor greenhouses, dollhouses, matchbox tracks, train tracks, dressers, you name it.  Today was not one of these glowing moments.  It seemed relatively simple.  The diagram was a little misleading in which length pole went in which position.  I ended up building it sideways on one of the sides of the greenhouse.  The other side there were poles with unfinished edges and ended up cracking the connectors.  so I used the good pieces and got one side completely done, but I am now short not only connectors, but poles that cracked.  I am really disappointed in this product.  I am also disappointed to not be posting a picture for you today.

On the positive side, I separated most of my tomato plants last night.  They are looking happy and vibrant now.  I had a little over watering issue, I think.  Some of them were starting to have fuzz grow on the soil.  I have let them all dry out a little for the last few days and have opened the front flap on the greenhouse.  They look much happier now.  I will post some updated pictures tomorrow.  I can’t wait to get these babies in the ground.  I hope all of your garden plans are coming along as well.

Happy planting!!

 

 

 

Spring is here?

Today could be categorized as a typical upstate spring.  One day it is 72 and sunny, the next it is 34 and raining to beat the band.  The last few days have been the latter.  Not very pleasant and not conducive to gardening.  If you go out for more than a few seconds you are soaked to the bone.

I am reading a book about permaculture in our northeastern climate.  It is very interesting and has me really thinking about our own yard.  I have been working hard on getting it cleaned up over the years (with the help of family of course) and the thought of filling it up again is kind of funny.  Of course the idea is to fill it with edible and useful plants and trees, not weeds and ugly brush.  So the ideas are swirling around and slowly embedding themselves.  I am not sure my husband will enjoy the added work I have in mind, but the end result will be well worth it.

I thought I would share some pictures of our spring day.

This is my kitchen garden.  Last year it held tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.  this year will be the same with a few additions.

This is my kitchen garden. Last year it held tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. this year will be the same with a few additions.  It does need to be worked, if it ever stops raining long enough.

This is my flower garden.  It is looking a little sad right now.  I have a clematis which grows up the trellis, they are beautiful light blue flowers.

This is my flower garden. It is looking a little sad right now. I have a clematis which grows up the trellis, they are beautiful light blue flowers.

This is my bulb garden.  It has crocus, daffodil and tulips.  they have been spreading nicely over the last few years.

This is my bulb garden. It has crocus, daffodil and tulips. they have been spreading nicely over the last few years.

This was the old garden on the property.  It is a nice flat area out of the water but it is too close to the woods and critters who would like to share my harvest.  It does still produce blackberries and my compost pile resides here.

This was the old garden on the property. It is a nice flat area out of the water but it is too close to the woods and critters who would like to share my harvest. It does still produce blackberries and my compost pile resides here.

004

This is our lake, I mean backyard. It was almost dried up a few days ago, and then it rained. I would love to make this space more useable but it is difficult because it floods every year.  In the foreground is the remainder of the old chicken coop we had to take down.

005

The other half of the back yard.

009

My Wegelia bush. It is beautiful when it is in full bloom. It produces reddish leaves and deep pink elongated bell flowers. The best part is they are deer resistant. It has grown considerably since I purchased it years ago.

I hope you enjoyed the partial tour of my water logged property.  Hopefully soon I will be able to post pictures of a more productive area.  Happy planting!

Knit doll clothes

Today is a chilly, rainy day. It feels more like fall than spring. Plans for putting the plants outside are on hold til the forecast looks more promising.

Today, I thought I would show you pictures of the two outfits I finished for an “American Girl” size doll. I love the way they came out. They were made using free patterns I found online. The little sweater I did modify from the dress pattern. I used thinner yarn and a size smaller needles. It was perfect. I also changed the waistband on the pants from the original pattern. They made belt slots for a 70’s look. I changed it by ribbing. Very fun and different project.

Emma's outfit photo(7)This is a view of the ribbing I used to alter the waistbandEmma

photo(2)

Just for fun, I thought I would put in a picture of the sock yarn bear I just finished.  He was a fun project which I am glad is done.  Sock yarn, in the round, for a small project can be tough on the hands.  My little guy loves him so I am thrilled.

photo(3)photo(4)

Happy crafting

Garden Fever

It has been beautiful here for the last few days. I am itching to get my garden ready and the seedlings planted. It will be another few weeks before they can safely go in the ground, but the little greenhouse may get moved outside so they can harden off. It really is an exciting process. You plant a tiny seed, care for it, pray they all come up, and watch them grow.   Sharing it with your children is another added bonus.  Watching them get excited about the baby plants is wonderful.  The first time you eat from one of your plants is so fulfilling. It is almost addicting.

This greenhouse is wonderful.  The plants grow like mad in it.

This greenhouse is wonderful. The plants grow like mad in it.

The cucumbers are separated and most are growing tall and strong. A few are struggling, but I am hoping they will survive. I would love to get some pickles made this year.

cucumbers

The tomatoes are growing very well. They need to be separated as well, but I don’t think I have enough room in my greenhouse for all of them.

tomatoes

The peppers are growing as well. They are a little slower as they are ready for harvest later in the season.

peppers

My little strawberry plants are adorable. They are growing slowly but surely. Who would have thought that the plants started out as teeny as they are.

It is hard to see all of them in this picture.  They all seemed to grow on one side.

strawberries It is hard to see all of them in this picture. They all seemed to grow on one side.

Next week the greenhouse will be moved outside for hardening off. I will miss them inside, but it is time. I will plant some pumpkins, zucchini, and sugar snap peas to have an earlier harvest and sow the rest in the ground. My nasturtiums and marigolds are getting really tall and ready to go out as well. I will also plant morning-glory seeds which my mother saved from her flowers last year. It is such a great feeling to share things you have grown.

Nasturtiumsmarigolds

This year I am going to try using Epsom Salts as a fertilizer.  I have read that it helps your plants grow stronger.  I have also read if you spray them on your pepper flowers it will make them fruit sooner.  This is another theory I will have to try.

Last year my mother was given Fred (a cherry tomato plant) This year she will receive Fredericka. Maybe a cucumber plant will adopt her as well and possibly a pepper or flower or two. That is part of the joy of gardening to me. Not only the fresh produce, but hearing how others enjoy theirs. I will also be sharing with my in-laws and my best friend this year.  We will see what else this planting season brings.

Happy Planting!

Starting out

Hello everyone. I am just getting my blog set up and am so excited to share the things that I am learning about. I am a mom of twins, student, knitter, novice gardener, minimalist, trying to make a simpler, more self-sufficient life. That is a lot for one sentence! I am really excited when a seed sprouts and I can share that with my little ones. I love to knit gifts for my loved ones. There are things I have learned as life has gone on and I am trying new things. As I get my page set up, I look forward to sharing these with you. Please be patient as I may not have consistent posts as I get set up. Thank you for stopping by!