Friday, July 22, 2016

Weeds - They Are The Biggest Problem We Have

Although we rocked the entire area that the garden beds sit on, we did not put landscape cloth under all of that rock.  Weeds have popped up throughout the rocked area.  I found a natural remedy to remove the weeds.  We treat the area every other week with this natural recipe.

In a 2-gallon garden sprayer combine my two new best friends:

1 gallon white vinegar                                                 1 cup of table salt

Add two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and shake to mix.  Spray directly on the weeds.  In a day the weeds will turn brown and die.

I am told that the salt will eventually prevent anything from growing in the area in the future.  Do not spray this mixture anywhere that you may want something to grow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Let The Planting Begin

April 30th was planting day.  I was totally excited!  We planted two Cherry Tomato plants and two Big Boy Tomato plants in the front half of the first bed.  Cucumbers were planted in the back half.

The second bed was planted with three rows of green beans.  They are a family favorite!

The third bed is split in half.  Zucchini is planted in the front half and Yellow Squash in the back half.  

And, finally, the fourth bed was planted with Everbearing Strawberries and Rhubarb.  The Rhubarb was planted from root, so it took a bit of time for that to come up.  

These photos were taken around the middle of May.  We planted all but the tomatoes and strawberries from seed, so it took a couple of weeks for the plants to grow to the size seen here.  

Come back tomorrow to find out about some of the maintenance chores we do to try to keep weeds from popping up in the graveled areas around the beds.  While we wait for the plants to produce fruits and veggies we have time to prevent those pesky weeds to keep the area looking nice.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Hubby Did A Lot Of Hard Work

Before we started this project our yard was in pretty sad shape.  The third week of April 2016, my hubby wheelbarrowed gravel into the area that would become our garden.  Then he got to work placing the cement blocks and cap stones in place to form each bed.  For a couple of weeks we made multiple trips to Lowe's EVERY day.  We were on a first name basis with the young man who loaded my son's truck with the 103 cement blocks and 50 cap stones we used.  Believe me, it took multiple trips just to transport all of those.  That's a lot of weight.

Each box is lined with landscaping cloth to help keep the dirt in the beds.  With all of that in place, it was time to fill them with soil.  We started by filling the bottom of each bed with compost material and the ornamental grass cut from the prior year's growth.  Then, of course, it was back to Lowe's.  We didn't buy garden soil in bulk.  Instead we bought "Stay Green" garden soil with fertilizer.  It was definitely expensive, but well worth it when you see how well our gardens grew.  We bought 48 bags of 3 cu ft of soil.  Again, we had to impose upon our son, Luke to transport a couple of skids of soil.

We have lots of wildlife in our yard, so Eddie (the hubs) decided it would be best to put a fence around our garden area.  I'm sure you know, that meant another trip to Lowe's for fence posts and a roll of fencing.  Nothing fancy, but it keeps the wildlife out except for the birds.

Check back often for more details!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Garden Today

It was my intention to post our progress in order, but today was such a beautiful day in the garden, I just have to jump out of order.  Tomorrow we will get back to the step-by-step.  We have been enjoying produce out of our garden for about a month now.  And seriously, there is nothing better than fresh fruits and veggies that you've grown and nurtured yourself.  It just tastes great!

We have tons of flowers all over the yard too and I wanted to share a few picture with all of you and hope that you will share your ideas and successes with me too.

Lovely Hydrangia Blossom

Beautiful Mandavilla Next To The Pond

The Zucchini Is Growing Gangbusters
The Harvest From The Garden Last Night

Such A Beautiful Sunflower
Aren't We Gorgeous?

The Hybiscus Are Blooming

The Sunflowers Are Huge

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Raised Garden Beds -- Let's Make Them A Reality

This is a really exciting day!  I've always been a very earthy person.  I love nature -- it just keeps me grounded and inspires me.  I have been away from gardening for a number of years due to life -- you know -- kids in high school with way too many activities -- weddings -- grandchildren -- the list could just go on and on.  Life has finally settled down a bit and I am ready to get back to one of the things that make me one with the Earth.

For my birthday in April, I told everyone I wanted concrete blocks.  That raised a few eyebrows!  At this point in life, I have bad elbows and a bad knee.  My bad elbows are a result of pulling too many weeds years ago.  The bad knee -- well, that's a story for another day!

After lots of evenings on Pinterest, I found a great idea to make raised garden beds out of concrete blocks.  I thought that idea was perfect.  Concrete blocks are inexpensive and they will last forever.  We had 32 tons of gravel delivered and my hubby went to work rocking the area that would soon hold our raised garden beds.

It was exciting to see them take shape and we cleaned up old flower gardens too to make the backyard brighter.  We even rocked the section of the yard that used to be our pool.  It will soon be the area for a backyard fire pit.  Lots to do to make this yard perfect, but we have a good plan.  

The raised beds will be perfect for my "old" body.  I can sit on the capped side walls and reach to the center.  There will be very few weeds popping up in these beds.  No more "Weed-Puller's Elbow" for me.  No bending or stooping required for picking produce.  It's great!

Stay tuned.  The pictures above were taken in April.  I have tons more to share.  I love, love, love the new garden!  Can't wait to give you daily updates.