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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

The New Garden

In Gardening on Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm

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Gardening with Kids

In Gardening on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 8:39 am

I went online to the library website and reserved a bunch of books both fiction and non-fiction on kids gardening.  My boys have a lot of experience with gardening, but the books got them even more excited. 

 

We had fun picking the lettuce that is now ready in addition to our swiss chard and spinach.  Lettuce is an easy and fast grower that can be done in pots or in the ground (needs lots of sun) that kids can enjoy watching, picking and eating.

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My kids’ main interest in the garden is, “What can we eat?”  Currently asparagus is about the only semi-clean vegetable that is producing in our garden.  They chomped down on that and were asking for more!

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A few weeks ago my boys planted carrot seeds.  Kaden is checking them out to see if they’re ready yet.  Not yet, but soon!  How exciting for them to see that their seeds are growing though.  Most of their friends think carrots come in bags from the store called baby carrots!

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Bush beans are another great seed to plant that kids love to pick (and of course, my kids eat them raw in the garden).  Another favorite are pepper or tomato plants that can be bought at nurseries right now.  (Good producers that kids love to pick).  Again all of these things can be planted in pots, in your flower beds, or a small plot you pick in your yard as long as they get sun most of the day.

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Kids can also get into digging in the dirt, watering, hoeing and picking weeds.  Gardening is a great education tool and a good way to spend quality time with your kids while producing something to eat for your family!

 

~Erin

Weekend Gardening

In Gardening on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

This weekend in the OKC area, it looks to be cloudy and rainy.  It’s great weather to get your flower and other plants into the soil or pots.

It’s also a great time to fertilize or sow seeds. 

I hope to get the green beans and cucumber seeds in.

Yesterday, Jacob helped me get more  fences into our new garden plot.  Growing pole beans, cucumbers and tomatos on fences is a great way to keep them up off the soil and makes for easy picking.

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Now is the time to prune any flower bushes that have finished flowering.  Alway prune AFTER flowering.

Plant your caladium and elephant ear bulbs now.

Potatoes looking good after the  frost got them.

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Spinach almost ready to pick!

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“Milk carton” Columbine from last year.

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Erin and I are keeping these two cuties (the little ones)  this weekend while Brad and Ali head to Florida for a week!

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What  are you doing this weekend?

~Robin

Garden and Gallery

In Gardening on Friday, April 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

Even  with the recent cold snap, the lettuce spinach and  swiss chard are coming in nicely.  We’ll be picking by next week if these temps keep up!blog-310

The tomatoes are growing!

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See the bloom forming?

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One that didn’t make it.  I’m guessing a cut-worm.

 

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We like to grow our tomatoes vertically, by weaving the vines in and out of the fencing.

 

Some of the blooms around the ManyMeadows.

 

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Fresh is best!  A little olive oil, some fresh rosemary, a couple of microwave minutes.  Yum!

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You have plenty of time to get some things growing.  Start with a couple of tomato plants and a couple of peppers.  Place them in a sunny bed with your flowers, or put them in large pots on the patio.  You’ll be glad you did!

We’ll be at the OK Memorial Marathon Sunday morning watching Anna, Cody Light, Ali and Abbi and other friends cross the finish line.  Then we have an “After Marathon Celebration Party” (otherwise known as a junk-food fest) here at our house.  Wish the runners luck!!

~Robin

Asparagus Tips and Tomato Time

In Gardening on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm

We’re just beginning to get a bit of asparagus each day.  And asparagus is one of the ManyMeadows’ favorites.

 

Whether you grow it, or buy it, the very best way to store fresh asparagus is upright, in a glass with a few inches of water, in the refrigerator.

 

If you purchase it, look for the bunch with the least shriveled ends.  When you get home, trim the ends, and place the bunch immediately in the glass of water. 

 

It will keep for several days this way!

 

For us, asparagus goes in salad, pizza, and stir-fry, even omelets.  Or we steam it in the microwave with a tablespoon of water until tender-crisp and bright green.   Or drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, and put it on the grill.  Yum!

Do you like asparagus?

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Time to get those tomatoes into the soil (or containers, if you plan to have a patio garden.)  Just be ready to protect them from the brutal winds until they are more acclimated.  I plant mine next to a fence and grow them vertically, weaving the vines between the wire fence.  You can also use a large cage for support.

Today, I planted some squash seeds and some kohlrabi, hoping to take advantage of our expected rain this weekend.

It’s also time to get the green beans and cucumbers in.  Peppers prefer a little warmer nights than we’re having. 

Flowers can go in now too. 

Do you plan on growing some vegetables?  Have you already planted flowers? 

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Robin

Seedlings, Blooms, Plants

In Gardening on Friday, April 10, 2009 at 8:32 am

The recent cold snap was brutal to a lot of plants.  Our azaleas, which normally have heavy pink blooms are looking pretty measly this year. A few hostas received some damage, as did the potatoes and lettuce, and a few asparagus spears. 

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I fully expect these plants will make a comeback.    I’ll let you know.

Have you planted any tomato seeds or do you have plants ready for the garden?  It looks like we’ll be able to get those planted out soon.

If you have seedlings coming up in milk jugs or small containers, repot them to something larger.  Those roots need room to grow!  Be sure to protect them from all the wind we’ve been having.

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What’s blooming in your yard?  I still have some tulips blooming and the creeping phlox is popping out. And one of my favorites…Star of Bethlehem which is sprinkled everywhere.blog-302

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It’s still not too late to start some lettuce, or other greens.   Are you trying it this year?  It’s really easy.

And we’ll be at church on Saturday night.  Why not attend a less populated church service than your normal one this weekend and leave your seat for someone who only comes at Easter?

What are your Easter plans?  We have family coming over Sunday afternoon and will have an egg hunt with all 6 grands. (may be indoors if it rains!) (a pic of the grands from last year) 

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May my heart be filled with the overwhelming Love of a Father who would sacrifice his only son….for me.

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Robin

Hummin’

In Gardening on Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 9:32 pm

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If you’ve never enjoyed a hummingbird feeder, go purchase one! Now is the time to get one up.   You will so enjoy the flitting and buzzing of those itty-bitty birds. They are FUN to watch!   Buy a feeder that has a large enough container that you won’t have to refill it every few days.  Use 4 parts water to 1 part sugar.  The red fool coloring really isn’t necessary. 

 

Go ahead and purchase those tomatoes and peppers, but don’t set them out until after April 15.  Repot them into larger containers so their roots will have plenty of room. “Harden” them off by putting them outdoors on warm days, starting in filtered sun, and protected from the wind, a couple of hours a day.  Extend the time until they are able to stay in full sun all day.  Think of it as “sunbathing” for vegetable plants J

 

Plant green beans, squash, cucumbers and other tender vegetable seeds when it’s warmer….close to April 15, or later if we still have this cold spell. 

 

Still not too late to apply weed-n-feed to mature grass.

 

Still not too late to sow shade grass. 

 

Feed your rose bushes, and cut away anything dead.

 

Clean out your flowerbeds to have ready for new flowers. 

 

Prune your flowering shrubs soon AFTER they bloom.

 

When your daffodils and tulips finish blooming, leave the foliage until it dies back.  Then you can cut it off.  The green leaves give the bulbs their nutrients for next year’s blooms.  You can also bend the foliage over and tie in a bundle with twine or one of the bulb’s own leaves.   

 

It’s still not too late to plant some lettuce, spinach or swiss chard….even in your flower bed or a pot.

 

If you planted asparagus recently, don’t be discouraged if you haven’t seen any baby spears.  We just need warmer weather here in OK!

 

Have you ever had a hummingbird feeder?

 

What’s going on this weekend?  We’ll be cheering on Ali, Anna, Cody Light, Abbi, and  others who are running the 10K (6.1 miles)  Sunday at the Redbud Classic.

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Robin

Gardening in…the winter?

In Gardening on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 9:13 pm

What?  A freeze and snow this late in March?  Well, it’s not so unusual.  The average last frost date for our zone 7 in Oklahoma is April 12 and the last recorded frost is April 28! 

 

So?  What will we do about those plants we’ve already put out?  Well, if they’re in pots, bring them inside, or at least into the garage.

Remember these? blog-038 They’ll be coming indoors this weekend.

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The lettuceblog-3031

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carrot seeds  we recently planted

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the parsley (which has been in the ground about a week)

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as well as the peas, potatoes and onions (which are all peeking through the soil) should be okay, even with a freeze, snow or ice.

Now these itty-bitty pears? 

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We’ll see…but whatever the frost doesn’t get, the squirrels probably will 🙂

The shrubs, rosebushes, and perennials that have already started coming up should all be safe.  But, if you planted flowers, herbs, or plants recently, you may want to cover them during this cold snap with a towel, sheet,  or even a box, just to be safe. 

Now, for a suggestion I think you’ll appreciate.  Go purchase this plant!

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This  is rosemary.  If this was “smellavision”, oh my!  You would love this fragrance!  I purchased this plant at Wal-Mart for $3.50, and I’m sure you can find it at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and any nursery.  I use it in hummus (recipe to come next week), chopped and added to olive oil for grilling vegetables, chicken, etc.  and several other recipes.  It adds the most wonderful flavor to your dishes….your family will think you’re a gourmet cook!  And they might just be right!

 

So, probably no gardening this weekend. What will your family do during the “Big Spring Blizzard”?  Looks like game night and either potato soup or white chicken chili for us.  Stay safe, stay warm!

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Robin

Vegetable Gardening + Learning = Fun!

In Gardening, Homeschooling on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Having a small garden plot (or even growing in containers) is an excellent way to teach many traditional school subjects, but with a hands-on approach.

You can show your children that carrots actually look like this

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Not this

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Your kids can learn that potatoes grow underground and that tomatoes grow on a vine. 

You can do all sort of math projects, like measuring your plot, weighing your production, counting seeds and seedlings.  And the science:  Everything from labeling plant parts, the biology of reproduction, to measuring the pH of your soil! 

Entomology—good bugs and bad bugs in the garden

The vocabulary:  decomposition, organic, pollination, germination, etc.

Geography, economics, nutrition.

And the greatest for me:  the scriptural application and Truths found in dirt, seeds, plants, vines, water, giving, receiving…well, you get it.

And then there’s just the good old hard work, not to mention the yummy good taste and high nutritional value of fresh vegetables. 

So? What are you waiting for?  Think it’s time to start growing some veggies of your own?  Experience is the best teacher of all!

 mom4

 

Robin

It’s Spring!

In Gardening on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Asparagus crowns going into the garden

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Soon these will be green onions, a LOT of them! 

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Potatoes are in the ground

Lettuce, spinach and peas will go in this week.

Time to prune the rosebushes and crepe myrtles. 

Plant shade grass this month

Fertilize already existing shade grass

Scalp Bermuda this month

Begin clearing flower beds of leaves and spring weeds.

Plant perennials this  month and next

WATER everything!  We are extremely dry in Oklahoma right now.

Along with the daffodils, the cherry bushes and peach trees are beginning to bloom.  It’s spring!

 

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Planning some outdoor work this weekend?

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Robin