Garden 2017: Cool-Weather Crops!

Garden selfie! Ha! 😀

Howdy! Have you all been experiencing a monsoon like we have here in Kansas? Good grief, it’s been so, so wet here lately. I’m not sure how much rain we’ve gotten although I think we are all caught up for the year and then some. I haven’t been able to plant all of my cool-weather crops yet but have gotten some in the ground thankfully. For as wet as it’s been, I could turn my little garden plot into a rice paddy. 🙂 Continue reading “Garden 2017: Cool-Weather Crops!”

Another Season, Another Reason for Makin’…Compost!

Well, hello again! I just realized it’s been a month since I posted last. My apologies for the lack of activity on here. I know all of my adoring fans have missed me so much (hi Mom!).

Life has been pretty hard lately – back-to-back sicknesses including the flu (all 4 kids had it!) and other very difficult trials. In the midst of everything, we’ve still had to do life: school, work, normal household stuff, adulting, that kind of thing. Adulting is hard, you guys. And confession time: I am STILL working on painting my kitchen. Yes, even one month later. Sigh. One day I will be done, but that day is definitely not today. Continue reading “Another Season, Another Reason for Makin’…Compost!”

Gardening Update


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I love this time of year! There is so much fresh produce available. The garden is doing well for the most part. I have a TON of kale and basil. Plus my zucchini and summer squash plants are doing great. My tomato plants aren’t looking so hot though. They do have some tomatoes on them, but not as many as I think they should. The plants themselves aren’t getting very big and the leaves are turning yellow toward the bottom. I’m not sure what’s going on there. Hopefully I will get enough to make pico de gallo. We made a ton of that last year. It was so good!

My bell pepper and jalapeno pepper plants are producing nicely too. However, I have so much stuff crammed in my garden that some of these plants aren’t getting enough sun. I think when my squash plants are done producing, they will get more sun and produce better. Lesson learned!

In the spring when everything was still small or hadn’t grown at all yet, I saw all the empty space and wanted to fill it up with as many veggies as I could. Now it is like a jungle out there! My space between rows especially by the squash plants is pretty much nonexistent. It’s exciting to see how much stuff I can grow though. And my garden plot isn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination.


Some dear friends recently gave me a book called The Backyard Homestead. The author shows you how to grow so much food, even if you don’t live on much space! It gives you the basics on how to grow pretty much anything, even information for raising chickens (something I would love to do one day!) and other livestock. I have been slowly making my way through the book. It has lots of information in there.

If you have a garden, how is it growing this year? Any issues with bugs, weather, or bad soil? I have often remarked that I am so thankful we don’t have to rely solely on our gardens for food. I think we’d go hungry! 🙂

Hey There, Hi There, Ho There

Um…Hi! How are things? All is well on the exercise front for the most part. I took a break from the 30-Day Shred and threw in a little Turbo Jam to spice things up a bit. 🙂 But you know what? I’m tired of talking about exercise. So, on to other things.

Today was a teaser for spring! It was so beautiful outside. I can’t wait to start my garden again. But you know what I found still alive in my flower bed? Weeds! And you know what else? They were still GREEN! What’s up with that, I would just like to know? I could have spent quite a bit of time outside this afternoon WEEDING MY FLOWER BED IN FEBRUARY! That just doesn’t seem right. I have to hand it to those weeds, though. They sure know how to drive me crazy survive the cold weather. Well, what’s on the menu for my garden this year? I’m so glad you asked because I will tell you just that.

To make it more fun, I’ll have you figure it out by the process of elimination. Zucchini plants? NO WAY! Carrots? Probably not. We just aren’t big carrot eaters around here. Lettuce? Nah. Okay, have you narrowed it down yet? 🙂 Just kidding. Here’s the tentative garden list for this year:

Green onions
Green beans
Peas (maybe)
Bell peppers

That may be it. I don’t know yet. This list is subject to change. I saw that is is supposed to snow on Saturday, so after that, maybe it’ll be warmer more consistently. However, there is a slight drawback to all this talk of gardens and warm weather and what not…the creepy crawlies will be back to torment me. But, alas, I am willing to march right into the throws of bugdom with my bottle of Raid and care for my veggies!

Well, I suppose I better call it a night. The morning will come early. I don’t know what workout I want to do tomorrow. The shorter, the better. 🙂

With Silver Bells and Cockle Shells and Zucchini Plants All in a Row…

As promised, here are a few more things I’ve learned from gardening this year. Hopefully this will be of help to some.

  1. Weeds are lousy.
  2. See above. Okay, seriously, I know I’ve talked about weeds before but they are really hard to keep a handle on. As I’ve been thinking about weeds more, I’ve realized how interesting they are. For instance, no one has to plant them. They just show up. Uninvited. They grow fast, overnight it seems. Also, they don’t have anything that wants to eat them. Apparently, the pesky insects that eat my zucchini plants also know that weeds are no good. Because of that, they can really take over.
  3. Zucchini plants can get these little whitish-gray beetles on them and take over the plants. It’s gross! My zucchini plants had been crawling with these little things. I had sprinkled some Sevin Dust (it’s actually spelled that way) on them but we have had so much rain this year that it kept washing off. I debated sprinkling more but we are tired of zucchini around here so just let the little guys go at it. The beetles sure seemed to be enjoying them!
  4. You can plant some seeds now for various veggies and have a fall crop! I planted some radishes and turnips so we’ll see how they turn out. I don’t remember the last time I had a turnip.
  5. Compost is cool! It’s amazing that all those things I put in there turns into this dirt-looking stuff, and it doesn’t smell like rotting food! One way to know if you have the right mix of stuff in there is if your compost has an “earthy” smell. If it stinks, you need to add more dry stuff (dry leaves or grass clippings).
  6. Your compost pile needs to be turned every now and then but be prepared! There are all kinds of things living in the pile: ants (lots and lots of them!), spiders, zucchini beetles (if you put your dead zucchini plants in there), crickets, grasshoppers. If you compost it, they will come…

All in all, I like having a garden and will probably do it again next year. I don’t think I’ll be doing zucchini however, but you probably already figured that out!

Surprises Abound!

We stirred the compost pile the other day and guess what we found (besides hundreds of ants and a really huge spider)? Compost! It’s nice to know that I’m not messing it up!

I need to go to bed but will hopefully post a few more gardening tips in the coming week. G’nite!

Lessons Learned From My Garden, part 2

This is a continuation of the entry I posted below. You can read it if you want. This is just a continuing list of things that I’ve learned this year (so far) from my garden.

10. Carrots are a little difficult to get out of the garden. The tops keep coming off. I just need to use my little trowel thing I think.

11. I planted kohl rabi in my garden this year because it reminds me of my Grandpa. He planted that quite a bit from what I remember when I was younger. It tastes pretty good, better with salt sprinkled on it (which is what Grandpa used to do).

12. Gardens are a good way for kids to get over their fear of bugs (so why doesn’t it work on me??). Miriam and Isaiah have had fun finding worms and playing with them. They’re also pretty excited about butterflies. My mom bought me a butterfly net when I was 4 and I remember having so much fun chasing butterflies around the yard.

13. Weeds grow fast! I was out weeding a few weeks ago and everytime I turned around, there was another weed. I think they grew when they knew I wasn’t looking!

14. Because of the weed issue, the bug issue, and creepy crawlies possibly lurking under huge leaves of various plants (zucchini), I am not nearly as excited about my garden as I had been before, mainly as far as weeding goes. I’ll pull some big ones out but the rest, well, I’ve just kind of left alone.

15. Dealing with weeds has brought home the truth of Genesis chapter 3 where sin entered the world. Seeing how tedious it is to pull them and how ugly they are have made for a good object lesson not only for me but for the kids too.

I think I’ll wrap this up. I may have more to add to my list by the time the season is over.

Lessons Learned From My Garden, part 1

I was really having trouble thinking of a catchy title to this post. That’s about as good as you’re gonna get at this point! Anyway, I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a thing or two on what I’ve learned from gardening this year, for my sake as well as anyone else who might be interested (that means you, Cara! just kidding).

1. You shouldn’t dig up your garden when the soil is too wet. This can create big clumps of dirt that turn rock hard when they dry.

2. Lettuce is so neat! It grows and then you cut it, and then it grows and you cut it, and then it grows and you cut it, and so forth. I don’t think I’ll be growing this next year though and will explain why below.

3. Radishes and lettuce do not do well in hot weather. When the weather gets hot, radishes get hotter (spicier I mean) and have a woody taste. Lettuce begins to flower and that’s how you know it’s done for the season. You can grow this again in the fall when the weather starts to get cooler.

4. For a family of four (three of which don’t like zucchini), 9+ zucchini plants is a little, shall we say, excessive. I had NO idea that zucchini plants produced so much zucchini. For next year, even if I do plant zucchini, I will probably only do one or two plants.

5. Zucchini plant leaves get HUGE! I had a strawberry patch in my garden and also an area where I planted some jingle bell peppers. They are now lost underneath the leaves of my zucchini plants.

6. Green onions are great from the garden! We have had green onions dipped in ranch dressing as part of our dinners this year and there have been quite a few mornings where I’ve woken up with onion breath. Combine that with morning breath and it’s amazing David still wants to be in the same room with me! But I digress…

7. Lettuce, though really neat, has little creepy crawlies on it that are the same color as the lettuce leaves and are hard to see. After David found a caterpillar in his salad one night, my excitement kind of dwindled over the lettuce. I will probably not plant lettuce next year and plant more spinach. The spinach tasted great. I used it to make a vegetarian egg casserole. Yummy!

8. I need to get over my issues with bugs. Those of you who know me understand how difficult a feat this is. Sigh. Regardless, since gardens are outside and bugs live outside, bugs are going to be in my garden despite my dislike of them.

9. If you want to grow peas, they need to grow up something, kind of like a vine. I didn’t know that they needed to do that and my peas ended up in this twisted up pile. I got a few pea pods off (they were SO good!) but not as many as I could have because some got piled underneath the vines.

I am going to go do some dishes and will continue this post another time. Good night!