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Garden 2019 Update

It’s been a handful of weeks since I posted about planting the garden.

Truth is, I’m still working on flower beds, but all the veggies are in the ground and we are anxiously awaiting their bounty.

While the weather was a bit of a mixed bag this past weekend, we did enjoy some Vitamin D (complements of the sunshine) and I was able to snap some pictures of the beauty flourishing out back.

This gorgeous flowering bush was hidden under awful pine trees we had cut down a few years ago. I cut this guy wayyyy back and allowed him to re-group – and boy did he!

All of the pepper plants are sprouting flowers!!
ALL of the tomato plants inside the greenhouse are in flower mode! I can almost taste that fresh tomato juice and smell that pasta sauce simmering on the stove.
This year I planted sweet peas in a container with a tomato cage for them to climb up. This will allow me to do a second planting in the fall and simply move the container into the greenhouse (which gets much too hot in the summer for peas) on frost-ridden nights.
Oh how I love these lilies! I only wish they would flower longer!
Ahhhh the excitement when fruits appear! This is the cherry tomato plant – my kiddos will be THRILLED! They could live on cherry tomatoes!

What’s exciting in your gardens (veggie and/or flower)? Still planting or wrapped up that project days <or weeks> ago?

Basil Propagation & Garden 2019

I bought this basil plant when a recipe for an upcoming dinner called for basil.

I then totally forgot the fresh herbs in the recipe – but that’s a different issue <sleep deprivation brain> for a different time.

The reason I bought the live plant rather than a small bunch of basil leaves from the produce department is because the difference in cost was only a few cents, and I had some dual purpose on the brain.

Propagation.

Dontcha love when basil plants get wonderfully bushy and produce copious amounts of basil?

I do.

And then I love to make lots of fresh basil pesto.We are a ways out from that at this point but it’s nice to see the end game at the start of the project.

So, anyway, the key to growing wonderfully bushy basil plants is to keep them appropriately trimmed.

A good rule of thumb is that when little off-shoots from the stem become well developed; cut the plant at the stem. Those little off-shoots will become their own big stems that will produce off-shoots of their own….and on…and on…and on….

Once you’ve trimmed the plant back in this way, you can either use the leaves in a recipe OR dip those babies (stem with leaves attached) in water and propagate another plant.

That’s right! Basil will root itself in a simple glass of water!

Once the stems take root, simply plant in potting soil in a cute little pot and start the process all over again.

Be sure to keep the tip (top) of the plant(s) trimmed back, else the plant will flower. In my experience, once a basil plant flowers, it’s pretty well done. Growth and production rapidly slow down and the plant peters out until it is simply sad.

No one wants a sad basil plant

In other gardening news…someone asked me what plans I had for a garden this year. My response was simply, “I plan to have a garden”.

I haven’t done ANY planning. I didn’t even attempt a seedlings project (again with trying to be a realist). I’ve gotten as far as knowing I will have a garden and that I will be buying most of my plants this year with money I set aside from Christmas.

Last summer I had scaled wayyy back and even at that a lot went to waste because I ended up in the hospital and on bed rest right at the height of Fall production/harvest.

Talk about inopportune timing in the world of gardening and “keeping the harvest”.

Oh well…

Garden 2019 will be scaled back as well but one thing is for certain: we MUST produce and can a LOT of green beans because once you’ve had home-canned green beans, the stuff from the store is downright YUCK!

And if I could grow another few basketball size cabbages, and a bazillion tomatoes for various tomato canning projects, and cucumbers, and brussels sprouts, and….and….and…

Whatcha think about your gardening project for this upcoming season? Anything wonderful planned, or maybe already in the works if you live a little further south?

~H

Garden 2018: Kicking Things Off

Spring brings with it not only a host of inside spring cleaning projects, as I talked about in this post. It also brings a lengthy list of outside projects as well. It can be a delicate balance ensuring that the inside, as well as the outside tasks are completed. Colorado weather lends itself to this balance with weather shifts that force one inside, sometimes right after beckoning them outside. This week was no exception. The nice weather through part of the week made being outside irresistible. And so, we are kicking things off with Garden 2018!

Generally I wiggle with excitement at the start of my annual seedlings project.

This year I wasn’t quite as excited. Hence the reason you didn’t read one post about seedlings 2018 (spoiler alert: there aren’t any!).

I needed a new spot for growing. One of the two babes in my life has taken over the bedroom where the project has been executed <with much success> in the past.

I struggled to come up with anything, but eventually did. I wasn’t thrilled with the concept but decided I’d make it work for just one year. Then, I’d get my thinking cap on and come up with something better for 2019.

So…I got the first of the planting done and the area set up. Lights. Moisture. Heat.

My enthusiasm began to build.

And then…

The project ended in catastrophe even more quickly than it had started. And, I mean CAT-astrophe!

That’s right! Just a day after I finally got moving with the seedlings, the cat LITERALLY destroyed the whole thing. One BIG awful mess. It came on the heels of a particularly difficult day with the kiddos.

Defeat set in.

I scrapped the whole project.

I am not thrilled about having to purchase plants this year. It is rewarding beyond measure for me to start my own seeds but more than that – it’s so much more cost effective to go the seedlings route.

Sometimes push comes to shove. In this instance, feeling backed into a corner (and on my very last nerve – between the kids and the cat), I made the decision to forego seedlings for 2018. I’ve got a couple gift cards from the wellness program at work that will be designated for garden 2018 ‘stuff’ (including plants) and will be cutting some corners I don’t normally cut for the sake of cost-savings.

I’ll also probably be looking for some new and creative ways to make a dollar stretch that isn’t all about cutting corners. More to come on that!

So, back to Garden 2018.

We broke ground last Sunday!!

The soil has been tilled. Compost has been purchased. The first of my store-bought plants are acclimating in the greenhouse!

Technically, I probably could have the greenhouse planted by now. The weather ought to hold up from this point going forward without much in the way of really hard frost.

But…life.

Busy schedules. Competing priorities. Illness and injuries.

The plants will go into the ground very soon. As will the seeds.

Right now I’m working on my plant mapping for garden 2018. The reason this is important is because it helps me keep track of where different plants have taken up residence year to year. Different plants pull different nutrients from the soil. Rotating what is planted, where – in addition to adding compost to the soil annually – helps ensure that plants will have everything they need to grow and produce.

Curious to know what all I have planned for garden 2018?

Check it out:

Don’t forget that Simply Writeous is hosting a giveaway. Click here for details on how to get your name entered, if you haven’t already! You have until midnight on Thursday 4/19/18 to enter – winner announced on Friday!

Cheers!