Monday, March 26, 2012

A Few More Seeds in the Ground

The good news...I planted some more seeds.  I got some onion bulbs (40+), spinach, lettuce, radishes and peas into the ground tonight ~ just one 3' row of each (more space for the onion bulbs).  I will be putting more rows in every few weeks.

What I planted:

Spinach ~ Bloomsdale, Long Standing (Ferry~Morse)
Lettuce ~ Pot & Patio Lettuce Blend (Territorial Seed Company)
Radishes ~ Cherry Belle (Ferry~Morse)
Peas ~ Organic Cascadia Bush Snap Pea (Seeds of Change)
Yellow Onion Bulbs (Lowes)

The bad news...the cauliflower, broccoli and kale starts I planted yesterday look very, very bad.  In fact, they look dead.  That scares me.  Is the compost too fresh?  It is not supposed to be.  Was it too soon to plant them?  It wasn't supposed to be.  I don't makes me a little bit ill.  I will be keeping my eye on them.  Worse thing would be that I would need to buy some starts...but I really wanted to try to plant most things by seed.  But I have found through the years that gardening is not a perfect least for me.

Here are some pics:

My work space...

My dying starts????

40+ (I lost count) yellow onion bulbs in the ground.  I still have my walla walla and red onion starts that I been trying to baby...but boy I will do things differently next year in regards to those, they are not looking so hot.

Peas, Radishes, Lettuce and Spinach in the cannot wait for those!

My hydrangea's are looking really good this year.  A couple of years ago I cut them back hard, not knowing any better and they looked pretty bad last year.  It looks like they have recovered.

My peonies are coming up.  I LOVE peonies.  I have tried over the years to grow these but they never thrived.  Now I have three that like where I put them and keep getting bigger and better each year.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

UPDATE: Very, Very Sore!

Every single muscle in my body even hurts to type this up!  No rain in the forecast this weekend in the Pacific Northwest, so it was time to get some yard work done.  Friday night found hubby and I buying two yards of compost from Bailey Compost.  This local farm began making compost from their very own dairy cows ~ love the locality of it all.  It took about an hour for us both to spread that two yards of yummy smelling compost between the four vegetable beds.  It is still really wet compost but it should be drying out now in the next few weeks (crossing my finger as I type that).

We got through the compost so fast that we decided to go get a yard of mulch from Topsoils NW ~ they have a beautiful dark black mulch that I love putting in my flower beds.  For the first time in the almost 24 years I have been married to my hubby...he even WEEDED one of the flower beds.  He was awarded by getting stuck in the face by a branch and now has a lovely cut on his face.  I have little hope of him ever weeding again...but I sure appreciated his help on this day. 

Here are some pictures of our weekend of work:

Our truck loaded with two yards of compost!

4 vegetable beds full of dark black compost.  In a few months, I hope they are filled with tons of thriving vegetables!

It was then on to planting my broccoli, kale and cauliflower starts.  I put 11 each starts of broccoli and cauliflower.  I only planted 2 kale starts.  I will grow more kale from seed beginning in a few weeks.

UPDATE:  My broccoli, kale and cauliflower starts all died.  I am not sure what I was thinking by taking them directly from a warm cozy home with a nice bright grow light and throwing them directly into the cold, wet dirt.  OF COURSE I should have hardened them off first...complete brain freeze.  Thankfully kale will grow from seed so I will replant that outside this weekend.  I may or may not buy some broccoli or cauliflower starts...I'll think some more about it.

Next up...herbs.  I planted LOT's of basil (Genovese & Sweet...both are Ferry~Morse), Oregano (also Ferry~Morse), Rosemary (also Ferry~Morse) and Cilantro (Sabor...Botanical Interests).  I will see how the Cilantro works says on the package that they do not recommend starting inside.  In a few weeks I will direct sow. 

Here is my greenhouse all set up for this year.  I have my onion starts in there.  They seem to be doing fine.  It is pretty amazing how much warmer it stays in that little space.  I hope to grow radishes and lettuces all througout the winter next year.

I started one planter of cucumbers that are meant to be grown in the greenhouse.  I will plant a second container in a week or two.  The cucumber seeds came from Territorial Seed Company and are called Organic Manny Hybrid.  Cukes have not done a thing for me in the past so I am really anxious to see how these work. (That's our yorkie, Beau, checking things out.)

Next up:  in the next week I will be direct sowing lettuce, kale, spinach, carrot, peas and radishes.  Just a week ago (last Sunday) it snowed a couple of inches ~ now it feels like spring.  I hope spring keeps winning out. 

Still under my grow light ~ 4 different tomatoes...which are growing like weeds!, a variety of herbs, a flat of miniature red peppers and my impatiens. 

Easter decorations are up and gardening has!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's a Garden Blog but I am not Blogging Much...

Jeez ~ where has March gone?  I have been busy...and apparently too busy to blog. 

I spent the past weekend doing my Spring Cleaning...with the help of my favorite youngest daughter.  I must be clear that she only helped in an effort to re-earn her allowance that she had lost earlier due to a lack of participation in her monthly chores.  She did earn it back...she worked her butt off.

This week is all about gardening.  I cleaned 3 out of my 4 veggie patches today and will hopefully get the other one cleaned out on Thursday.

My hubby and I are planning to go to a local farm in Snohomish to pickup a couple of yards of compost to smother our garden beds in...which means Saturday will find me busy with a wheelbarrow and shovel. 

Here is where my garden stands as of today:

Here is my grow operation:  I have (1) 4' grow light that my wonderful hubby built for me and 2 heat mats that are currently under my red pepper starts and tomato starts.

Here are my onions that I planted on February 11th.  I have some Walla Walla's (Territorial Seed) and a Red Bull (Territorial Seed) onion which are supposed to have a longer shelf life.  These are a month old and still looking a bit wimpy.  I am crossing my fingers that I can transplant them in a month. 

This tray has a combination of some Snow Crown Cauliflower, Belstar Hybrid Broccoli and Nero Di Toscana Kale (all are Territorial Seed).  I hope to get these in to the greenhouse to start hardening them up a bit and then get them in the ground in very soon.  (YES!  I have a green house that my hubby bought me for Christmas.  It is 6x8 and I am excited to start utilizing it).  These seeds were planted February 26th.

These are VERY favorite flower.  I always have these growing all summer long in a 3-tier basket next to my front door.  I just love how delicate they look but how tough they really are.  These were planted March 5th.

The front tray are my Miniature Red Bell Peppers (Territorial Seed).  I am hoping that I can actually grow some of these.  We normally don't have a long enough or hot enough summer to satisfy bell peppers.  But these are miniatures and seem to mature faster than the normal sized ones.  These were planted March 5th. 

Next...26 tomatoes!  Types planted:  Abe Lincoln, Big Red, Beefsteak and Roma.  All these seeds are Ferry-Morse except for the Beefsteak which were a freebie from the Northwest Flower & Garden Show...and doesn't say what brand.  These seeds were planted march 19th.

By the way...happy Spring!  I am hearing that Friday and Saturday have sun in the forecast ~ yahoo!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grocery Budget ~ February Wrap Up

I went over budget in February...but not too bad.

If I had paid full retail...I would have paid $856.30 for my groceries in February.

What did I pay?  $296.59 ~ $46.59 over budget

Savings?  $556.14!

Not to bad.  I love knowing that I saved $556.14 in ONE month.

I have to admit that I am taking a bit of a hiatus from couponing ~ I am burned out a bit.  In the meantime, I will still stay within my $250.00 budget for March and just coupon when I feel more like it. 

Holy Crap!

I have been floundering a bit with my Weight Watchers program. Last week I gained .6 pounds...and I deserved it. My new goal is to journal every bite I put in my mouth and to up my exercise to an hour a day for 6 days this week.

That being said...I took my favorite youngest daughter and her friend to Baskin and Robbins last night. I self-talked myself into a scoop of ice cream...that would fit in with my remaining daily points. However, I somehow heard myself ordering a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Sundae. I then found myself licking the container after I finished eating every single bite. All the while thinking...okay, this is about 15 points...I can make it work.

Fast forward to this morning...I made myself log onto the Baskin and Robbins website to determine just how many points I ate.

I was shocked...

                                         I was digusted...

80 grams of fat...
109 grams of carbs...
1220 calories!!!


Points? 34 point plus.

What does that mean?  It will take me 4.25 hours of exercise to wear these points off!