☼~Happy Earth Day~April 2013~☼

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☼~Happy Earth Day April 2013~!☼

What a productive week! We have been pretty busy, since I have written anything on here last. We finished the Compost Barrel and have it filled with compost already,and turned and wet it down for the first week. We decided to use this type of barrel for our garden this year. Here are similar plans if you are interested in making one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i-Qe75-DDQ

If any of you have composted before you know it can take a while and it is a process.
To help your compost get ready quicker here is a good link: http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/add-compost-quicker-2319.html

I had all my seeds started in the garage in starter pots along with recyclable containers that once held tomatoes and other veggies. They are great to use, since they act as hot houses in a way, once you spray water your seeds and cover them you will see the condensation on the cover and this is a good thing.

As you can see by the photo, my seedlings are up and not quite ready to be planted in the garden yet, I will wait until they are larger and then transplant them one more time to another pot and then from their they will go in the garden, that way I will be assured they are strong enough to survive.

I am excited to say not only have my seedlings sprung up but also the wonderful birth of our newest Grandson~!☼ A nature lover name that is wonderful and destined to do great things, a natural-born pathfinder!☼ We are so proud of his mom and dad and very excited to hold and love on this bundle of pure joy!

Our Soil is good and turned over and ready for our seedlings to be planted once they get larger. It is never too late to start a garden. Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness type in your zip code for your area: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/Default.aspx and this other gardening link about the 8 things not to do in your vegetable garden: http://www.veggiegardener.com/what-not-to-do-vegetable-garden/

This is my next project to try to grow mangos. I have a pineapple in water awaiting roots before I plant that and have already planted some avocado seeds since they had rooted in water! Here is the link to growing mangos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQANzdQXpKs

Growing is really pretty easy, just save your seeds and dry them out.

✿The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.✿
Alfred Austin

☼~Happy Gardening~☼Til Next Time~ ♥*✿¸.•✿•¯`*。♡。✿¸.•✿•¸̆̃♥*

❀Gardening Tips For Friday and a few links that are easy to follow. ❀

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Everyone is turning to Gardening now, since the price of Groceries have gotten higher and it is a great alternative to Co-ops or organic markets, plus the main benefit is that it is a much healthier way of living. Our mothers used to always tell us to eat our greens and we had more ground vegetables that were locally grown vegetables back then, but I think we are as a society trying to come back to eating more natural and healthier, especially with all the artificial ingredients and additives that we found were not good for any of us.  This is a good video from Jamie Oliver on Ted when you get a chance to teach our children about food: http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

I had always heard that if you go grocery shopping stay away from the middle of the store and just shop the fresh fruits and veggies or the frozen.

If you do shop the middle of the store then become a label reader and this link will help with that: http://www.fhcp.com/health/documents/VirtualGroceryStoreTourLabelReading.pdf

 If you have any canned veggies, you may want to check the sodium in them since they contain more sodium than most of us need. What you can do if you have canned veggies just put them in a colander and wash them thoroughly don’t use the packing water they came in. It is best always to eat fresh, especially with the summer months and easier to access in the growing months and it always taste better.    

I don’t grow everything so I still will shop at the local store for fresh fruit or certain vegetables.  There are some good organic markets that are around such as Wholefoods, Trader Joes, Organic Depot, or even local grocery stores now are catching on to selling locally grown produce, or buying from your local Farmers Co-op is a great alternative.

The benefit of having home-grown veggies is that you know what is being put on them as far as natural fertilizer, that is why it is good to check to see if you buy them if they are organic and how they are grown and to support local farmers or businesses is important for our local communities since it will directly affect our economy. 

To get your plants already started I recommend to either start them in pots as seeds or buy them locally from a farmer to support their business to plant in your garden.   I plan on doing just that this weekend going to a local farm or local feed and seed shop to get some starter plants in pots to put in my garden

 I love these links: Gardening to Save Money: http://bonnieplants.com/library/articles/gardening-to-save-money/

And how to grow Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons:

http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-cantaloupe-and-honeydew-melons/

A link on Container Herb Gardening: http://www.softgardening.com/post/47267036416/technically-i-did-this-last-year-and-reprised-it
Remember if this is your first time garden start small.  I know when I first started I think I had way too many tomatoes and not enough of other veggies, my neighbors always benefit though. But if you do plant too much of one thing you can always can your tomatoes or freeze them there are many different ways to preserve veggies for the winter months.  ❀Until Next Time~Happy Gardening! ❀

❀What a Glorious Day to be Outside! ❀

Beautiful Day to be outside.

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Garden WeedingTwo days in a row of warm temps, yesterday almost hitting 90 and today 83! It was just too nice to be inside, so after a meeting, I got my dandy old bicycle out and was off with my sunshade on my head to enjoy my bike ride with my iced water in my holder, off to take in all the sounds, sights and smells of nature.  You really take on a different perspective when on a bike, you see everything up close and beautiful and it awakens all your senses. 

We were always told to stop and smell the roses, well this makes you do just that, in a way but with all your senses.  I used to ride my bike everywhere as a child, and actually I have never stopped.  I try to encourage all my friends to come with me or at least give it a try.  I ride at a moderate pace and have clocked it so that I go 10 miles, it is soothing to me and nature is so relaxing it is my meditation.  I took in all the colors of spring of the different colored tulips and the many beautiful trees in bloom. It was great to stop by this beautiful little canal and absorb it in and to get a little swig of water.  A cute little frog that was sun-bathing on a rock on the canal banks decided it was not his day to get his photo so he jumped into the water as I took my picture.  Their was a white egret off in the distance. 

Our eyes are our cameras and it is our job to appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us in Nature. I loved looking up at this tree through the branches it looked like a masterpiece in person and I really took the time to appreciate it. I think we all can learn from Nature.

After getting back home, I got into the task of weeding the garden beds, I found it easy to put a lawn and leaf bag in a chair to make it a little easier to toss the weeds in. I noticed my arms were a little pink from the sun so I called it a day. 

The last bit of my cooler crops are done now and some had been attracting bees which is a good thing.  I was able to save the broccoli stems to juice, but the last bit of the broccoli we ate for dinner last night and it was delicious.

This weekend I will be planting some Summer Crops. I have started my seeds in my garage, some peppers, squash, and even a cherry tree. I put a light on them for a few hours.  I found that the starter pots seeds seem to love flourescent light, but they will do fine with just any type of light for a couple of hours, even if you take them outside for natural light and spray everyday until they sprout. 

I was glad that my avocado seed also sprouted so I have that in starter organic soil too.  I have cut the top off of my pineapple and have it in water to sprout. This is a first time for me to try the pineapple.  Here is a photo of how to do this, looks like a cool project.   I plan on finishing my compost barrel this weekend. 

❀ Happy Gardening~Til Next Time.❀

 Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship” 
― ❀Ralph Waldo Emerson

❀“Sow your seeds carefully❀You may Leave a Lasting Impression”

_photo47_5d_e5_546a2677f1cc__1365109896000Garden GlovesToday was just an incredible day!☼☼☼ My garden gloves were in great use and our dogs enjoyed the weather as well as you can tell by their shadow on the swing, even though it didn’t make our spring come any sooner. =)

The Beauty and the Warmth of the sun on my back and feeling that vitamin D Sink in was a great feeling. It was a day to be grateful and time to sow my seeds, as in life what you sow is what you will reap, so make sure it is kindness, forgiveness and love. ❀❀

I had some starter seeds in small pots which I take out on nice days to get the natural sun since they are in the safety of the garage since the nights here may drop down in temperature. I use a couple of spray bottles with our well water which my plants and the garden plants seem to love with the natural minerals in it. But you can use regular City Water if this is all you have, and use a natural fertilizer once they sprout. I use an organic starting soil for the placement of the seeds and wet the soil before placing the seeds in. It is good to use all those you have saved throughout the year. I had tons, probably too many. I wet the soil and then put the seed in the soil and spray every day, before you know it they will be large enough to plant in your garden.

I am marking mine with a label on the starter containers, I just recycle whatever I may have around the house. Some will use a popsicle stick or even an old blinds and write on it, it is your preference or what you have handy.

Here is a nice link for seed starting: ☼ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵ ƸӜƷ http://www.backyarddiva.ca/seed-starting/
Happy Gardening~☼*✿Til Next Time~✿

❀Hello Gardeners❀Think Spring Weather!

DSCN4646DSCN4538Hello Friday another Weekend to work in the soil~❀ Still have my cold weather crops yielding some such as broccoli, lettuce and cabbage, but soon will be adding some organic compost to this and rotating the placement of crops and adding in my new Springtime Selections.

This planner comes in handy to use as a reference:

http://plans.garden-planner.net/uploads/plans/371654.jpg A plan for your Garden if you don’t have one already for this year, remember as always you have to rotate your garden yearly so that the nutrients are able to give your veggies what they need: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_rotation   

In the MidAtlantic Region we are still having bouts of cooler weather mixed in.  I was feeling pretty good about getting the dirt turned over and the weeding done in the garden.  I had many bags to take out for pickup with the trash since these you don’t want to compost since you will end up having weeds in your garden again. 

I have the seeds in the smaller containers until there is growth enough to put them in the ground. You may want to check your Soils PH Level: http://www.ehow.com/how_2044729_test-ph-level-garden-soil.html

So excited with the upcoming warmer weather.  We had one day that hit 73 and I was out in the yard from 9 am until 5 pm, it was just beautiful. ❀ Worked in my front flower beds besides the vegetable garden.  It can be a full time job.  One trick I wanted to share with you is my mom had a secret when you plant tomatoes this year plant marigolds around them it will keep the bugs out naturally. http://www.ehow.com/info_8306523_do-marigolds-keep-insects-away.html

If you have a problem with slugs she would put a tin pan out with a little beer in it and they would crawl in this and stay away from the plants, here is a link with a few more ideas as well: http://www.weekendgardener.net/how-to/snails-slugs.htm  So these were natural deterrents. Also another one is Soapy Water for a natural insecticide: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/homemade-insecticidal-soap.html  These are some of my tricks of the trade.  I have had a garden for about 30 years and my mom had a green thumb also, so I am glad to pass down any of these tricks that may help you. 

Here is a Nice Vegetable Garden Planner to use: http://www.almanac.com/content/vegetable-garden-planner

Remember if this is your first Vegetable Garden Start Small and not too much of one plant. Do a variety of ones you know you will eat.  Once you have one and it is successful you will not want to go without a garden.  There is nothing like going outside to pick your food.  Fresh is great!

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” ― Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

Happy Gardening~❀❀Til Next Time~❀❀