Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Green B Garden: Part 2

(This is a week delayed, I posted on last Sunday and somehow deleted the entire post and I am just now sitting down to repost!!)

Hello Bees! We have been busy this weekend! We pretty much worked in the garden all weekend and we got a LOT done!! Saturday Ella and I made our bean/pea tee-pees. I had some bamboo in my craft closet from a mirror project that never came to fruition so that was money saved. I also had twine, so we were all set.  I stuck four bamboo poles in the dirt in a square. Ella held the top very tight and I wrapped the twine in and out until secure. We then added about four more poles and did the same.  We left an opening at the front for a door. The idea is that vines will grow up the poles creating a little hideout inside.  My concern is that I should have used taller poles, but we’ll see, this is a learning year!

Speaking of learning year, I’ve found the most confusing part of this gardening process is what to plant and when.  Should I start seeds inside or out and should I plant seeds or starter plants??  I decided on a combination approach as a result of a wonderfully helpful conversation I had with a lady in the garden store in Old Salem, NC. I was there this week on an amazing field trip and bought a couple packets of heirloom seeds (tomatoes and okra) from Seed Savers, a nonprofit heirloom seed collection group. (more about this to come) The lady in the garden shop told me to cheat on a few plants (tomatoes, eggplants and peppers) and buy starter plants. She suggested seeds for the rest of the items I was interested in planting. I was set on planting the heirloom seeds I bought so she told me I could start those inside in a sunny window and then transplant.

 Ella planting the heirloom seeds in egg cartons.

Here’s what else we bought:
Tomatoes (seeds and plants)
Eggplant (plant)
Red, Yellow and Green Bell Peppers (Plants)
Cayenne Peppers (plant)
Peas (seeds)
Green Beans (seeds)
Summer Squash (seeds)
Cucumbers (seeds)
Lettuce (seeds)
Radishes (seeds)
Okra (seeds)
Sunflowers (seeds)

On our shopping trip for plants and seeds we also bought four tomato cages, a handful of small stakes, a solar globe and two humming bird feeders (I melted last years feeders in the dishwasher).

First I laid the plants out where we wanted to plant them, planted them and inserted the cages and stakes.  Next we planted the seeds. Here’s my rough sketch/plan for planting and to also remember what we planted where.

Last I used an old hose that had the end chewed off as a drip line. I used duct tape to close off the end and then used scissors to cut slits along the hose.  I want to eventually hook this up to a rain barrel but in the meantime we’ll use the hose and the sprinkler.

This is Twinkle Toes. She is a Giant Leopard Moth!!
We found her while planting.

So… that’s, that, I guess; now we just wait to germinate!! J I’ll keep you posted on the progress but in an effort to keep you from being bored to death with two inch plants, stay tuned for posts about composting, Seed Savers and humming birds!

 Ella's reward for her hard work!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Green B Garden: Part 1

Here at the hive we are planting our very first organic veggie garden. I emphasize "very first" as I am learning as I go and have no real idea of what I am doing! I spent the winter months researching garden "how tos", talking to those "in the know" (i.e. my parents and grandparents), and finally committing to a plan I felt was doable for a beginner. 

Today was day one. My husband kindly rented a tiller for the day and upon arriving home said, “Do you know how to use this?” "Sure, Sure, of course!!"  ;)

"We've got this Mommy!"

After a brief phone tutorial from my dad and a few YouTube videos, I was up and running!

Today I tilled my 8 X 8 area (we are starting small) again, a  "beginner garden". I am loosely going by a mix of a couple plans I found on the Better Homes and Gardens website. One is a children’s garden and one is a small veggie garden. You can see the plans here.

All American Veggie Garden

Easy Children's Garden

 This is what I accomplished today..

-walked off an 8 x 8 area of an “all day sun” section of our yard
-tilled the area to break up the ground
- raked and shoveled grass and rocks from the area (I used the displaced soil and grass to fill holes in our yard)
-tilled again
-added peat moss and manure
-tilled again
-raked some more to remove remaining grass and rocks
-cleaned up surrounding perimeter

She found a nice collections of worms by the time we were done. (Poor worms!)

Now the garden area will sit for a week. I don’t have a recommendation for the peat moss and manure, I told my husband to get whatever they had organic. Anyway, this is just what he got, I’m not sure what brands etc. are best at this point.

Ready for veggies!!
Stay tuned! Next weekend is Easter and we will be traveling for the weekend but we plan to pick back up on our garden plans once we return! (more info to come as to what we are planting etc.)

Please let me know if you have any specific questions or have any suggestions for me!

Happy gardening!