Grateful For The Rains!

I am so grateful for the rains that have finally come to New England!  We are behind a good three inches of rain fall this season.   This has been a really unusual Spring, very cold and dry!  I enjoyed my afternoon walk around the yard late yesterday, joyful to see my happy veggies and flowers loving the showers!  My Lilac bushes and Cherry Blossoms are blooming.  Breath taking!  A gray rainy day cannot steal an ounce of their beauty for a second!

Cherry Blossoms

Lilacs Blooming

The colder nights are finally beginning to warm, staying in the mid 40’s or higher now.   I finally moved my seedlings outside to the deck earlier this week to get them acclimated for planting.  My long sweet peppers are finally starting take off and my Moon & Stars Water melons are catching up fast! (this is my first time trying water melons, so excited!!!!)

Sprouting VeggiesI am hoping to get some of my crops in the ground this weekend now that the temps are warming.  Once the sun starts shifting in late August, the garden starts to fizzle out.  I learned that the sooner I plant the longer I will be able to enjoy my harvest.  I am planting three weeks earlier than last year. ( I didn’t finish digging the garden till the end of May last year and got everything planted the first week of June ).

Garden 5-9-13

I have the garden clean and ready for the new additions!  Plotting what goes where is one of my favorite aspects of gardening, I love to mull over this for hours, read books to get ideas and inspirations.

Happy Beets and Peas

My veggies in the garden are finally doing great! They seemed stalled for weeks and now with these warmer temps and refreshing rains everything is really beginning to take off!  I think they are going to catch up to where they should be fast!  I am so excited to see how my carrots and beets turn out (also first try’s), love the idea of adding these to my selection of tasty veggies.   My pole beans are finally starting to sprout, I planted both Kentucky wonder and wonder wax.  If the weather and rains cooperates I suspect we can start enjoying some of the crops by the end of the month!

Unfortunately still no sign of any humming birds, I have had the feeder out for over a week and still no visitors.  I planted red petunia’s in the window box again, perhaps when they start growing and blooming this will attract them.  I suspect that when my Humming Bird Bush Blossoms they’ll definitely return!   Have any of you greeted these little visitors back to your yard yet?  I cannot wait to see these little beauties!

Now that the veggie garden is making progress and somewhat established I am looking at a few other areas in the yard on my “tackle” list.  The side of the house and the area around the driveway really need some love and attention so will probably work on those next.  I will be sure to share my planning and progress with you all! Hope your gardening and projects are all going great and that Spring is filling you all with noodling inspiration!

Wishing all of you Mother’s out there a Blessed and very Happy Mother’s Day!

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Good Bye Snow! Hello Spring Veggies!!!!!

I am so delighted that Spring finally has arrived here in Massachusetts!  This is the last little pile of snow left in my front yard.  After this rough winter, I am glad not to have to see it much longer!

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I have been working hard this past week cleaning and prepping the garden to get my Spring veggies in the ground.  I planted Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula and Onions.

I learned from last year that my garden is more of a spring-summer garden.  By Mid September the garden does not get a lot of sun and a Fall harvest is not very successful. In watching the sun, I have great sun exposure in the Spring!  So Spring veggies it is!!

This is year two of my garden that I started late last May.  I have hand tilled in compost and other natural fertilizers, great exercise! I hurt in places I forgot I even had!  I am so very excited to see the improvement in my crops and taste those fresh veggies.  Last year I had the expense of putting in a fence so my budget was lean and I did not have the ability to add a lot of top soil, compost, ect.  I am so happy that the soil is looking great!

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I am waiting for the seeds I started indoors to start peeking through.  This year I am planting them in larger containers just in case.  A late arrival of Spring could mean a late arrival of Summer.  I lost some of my seedlings last year because I used tiny little seed starting containers and being so damp and cold they did not survive the wait inside very well.  Learned my lesson not to let that happen again.

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We are going to have a great collection of hot peppers and tomatoes this year!  I am really looking forward to keeping everyone up to date with the goal of posting weekly. I am also excited about reading everyone’s progress as we start a new growing season! May this year be a blessed harvest for us all!

Happy gardening everyone!

Sheryl

Easter Eggs Are Easier To Find In the Snow!

Boy it seems like winter has been soooooo long!  I was hoping to start my spring veggies this week but the garden is still under a foot of snow! I am getting ready to shovel….

Praying for warmer days!  I am so excited to garden again, starting seeds in containers tomorrow.  I have my garden plotted and planned, just need to melt this snow so I can get to work!

The only positive thing I can see in this is that Easter eggs are easier to find in the snow!  For kids this is not considered a bad thing!

Wishing all of you a Blessed Easter, and looking forward to blogging again over the coming months and catch up with everyone!  Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!

 

Garden? Not Garden? I Chose To Garden!!!!

I took the leap and decided to Garden……

As I shared in Mid May, between the rain, failing seeds and physical issues (pulled out my back and had vertigo, three weeks of barely being able doing anything!) I was totally frustrated with not being able to start my vegetable garden and accomplishing other inspired yard projects.

Well on Sunday Morning, May 20th, I was sitting on my back deck feeling down and overwhelmed, realizing that it was late spring. I started to consider container gardening on the deck as my realistic option, but to see such a spot perfect for vegetables sitting there untouched, was just too much.

Without saying a word to my boyfriend Jim, I got up, walked to the shed, pulled out all the shovels, tools, wheel barrel and garden gloves, and placed them next to the back deck. As lousy as I felt physically, I felt more lousy sitting there staring at what was supposed to be my garden by now.  I could not bear to miss another summer of gardening bliss.

Here are photo’s of before I started and my progress breaking ground!

Here is the area before I created my garden. It has excellent sun here, over 7.5 hours daily, perfect for veggies! This is the best spot in the yard and will be conveniently off the deck, 20 steps from my kitchen!

This is the beginning of my garden, I did not have access to a rototiller so created it the old fashion way with a shovel, muscle and sweat!

There was a good eight inches of top soil to work with! I first started with a 12′ x 8′ in mind, but I soon realized I needed more space for the veggies I love!

Over two days I continued expanding until the garden reached my perfect size of 16′ x 12′! The Iris’s were almost done blooming so those will be cut down and bulbs dug out. I have other flower beds where they will be planted in the fall.

I was breaking ground late, but I knew if I could get the garden established and started by the first week of June it could still be successful.  Luckily, many local nurseries sell healthy “garden ready” organic vegetables and herbs so my failed seedlings didn’t matter.  I could still have my garden!

Happily, I realized our woodchuck has been avoiding this area of the yard now for three weeks. He does not like the presence of people or the activity of the bird feeders attracting more critters and birds to the yard.   His once quiet yard is now one of constant activity and he is now frequenting the large unoccupied lot adjacent to the back of our yard!  This turns the odds in my favor, which is really encouraging.

I have to say it was a battle with rain showers, which slowed down my progress, but the basic foundation of my garden is now established!  It is 12 feet by 16 feet, just right for all the yummy veggies I want.  The fence is over 1 foot deep in the ground, secured with heavy bricks.  The height is 3 1/2 ‘.   I left the top loose so if the wood chuck climbs  it will bow and buckle back due to his weight making him feel like he is falling backwards.  A friend said this worked for him so I am trying it.  I will be sure to let you know how it works out.

Digging this type of fence along with establishing this new garden has been one of the most exhausting challenges I have ever attempted.  But gratefully, with a lot of praying, sweat and tears, I did it!

Here are photo’s of my progress…

The top soil in this yard is excellent, it was a lot of work shaking out the soil, but saved me considerable money on purchasing bags of top soil!

Using affordable chicken wire and fencing posts I put up the fence. This required a lot of deep digging for the heavy bricks that would secure the fence under the ground ( discouraging digging! ) Placed fencing on outside on posts, so the loose top would flop out when climbed, making a wood chuck fall backs enough to discourage climbing. This worked for a friend, hopefully it will work for me as well!

Yesterday, I planted tomatoes, peppers, cukes and zucchini,  the rest will go in over the next few days as each bed area is prepped and completed.   I still need to put in a walking path with patio bricks, add more fertilizer and mulch but the basic garden is here…..I can now blissfully play and noodle in my vegetable garden to my heart’s content!

What a blessing to have this little piece of heaven in my backyard.

I cut and removed the Iris bulbs (to plant in other flower beds in the fall), then put up the rest of the fence and cultivated the areas where the zucchini, cucumber, Peppers and tomatoes were planned to go. I did not finish getting them in till late yesterday eve. We are getting heavy rain here today so will finish the rest of the planting within the next few days. Still have the patio blocks and additional mulch to add as well.

Noodling My Garden

It has been a long, long while through my journey since I’ve had a vegetable and herb garden to enjoy.   This Spring I have been inspired to rekindle this love and decided to noodle my way to create both types of gardens.  Gardening always gave me a peaceful joy and happiness in my soul, and I genuinely long to experience this bliss again.

Where I am renting the yard is sunny and huge!  Perfect for growing vegetables as well as multiple flower beds on the property where my herbs can be added.

This vegetable garden will be a big project to undertake, but I am so excited to get started.  I already picked out the spot and started the seedlings.  I first created a visual map through drawing and noodling to get me started. I really enjoyed playing around with what vegetables I wanted to plant, space requirements and their placement in the garden.

My garden will be approximately 22 by 17 feet in size.  This size will be perfect me as I plan to experiment with vertical gardening techniques using homemade trellises to maximize the use of space.  It will be interesting to see how much I can yield from a garden this size!

I am hoping to break ground this week, using good old muscle and a medium size tiller.  I may end up hiring someone to till it for me, depends on what I find when I start digging. Starting now will give me time to prep the soil and to also design and build good fencing.  We have a friendly little woodchuck as well as three rabbits living in our yard, so fencing will be the hardest challenge for me.  I am busy noodling ideas and designs to figure out the most inexpensive way to build one.  I’ve been told keeping woodchucks out of your garden is one of the hardest challenges.  We’ll see if I can be creatively successful!

This anticipation of gardening again is so exciting for me, and I am so looking forward to this adventure. There is nothing more awesome then starting your garden from seeds.  It amazes me how one little seed grows to produce so much goodness!  .

Happy Noodling, Sheryl