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Hello there giant bowl of fresh organic lettuce!

I know this is going to sound so very basic and probably not worth saying, but it still amazes me that one package of seeds for under $2 can create so much produce.

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This morning I picked enough lettuce to fill four gallon bags. Each bag contains roughly the amount of two (or maybe three) store-bought bags of lettuce. Assuming organic bags of lettuce are about $3 per package, that would be $24 of greens. First cutting, they will grow again. And all I did was put the seeds in the ground and water…nothing fancy.

One package of seeds for $2 already saved me $22. AND produced much tastier salad (and allowed me to share with friends!)

Gardening. I love it so…

Yesterday I got lost in the weeds in the woods where our berries are growing….

BEFORE:

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There are bunches and bunches of wild blackberries along the perimeter of the woods in our backyard, but many of them are lost in the weeds and bushes and trees.

AFTER:

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But not anymore. I went apeshit on those suckers. Now the berries have room to breathe and get sunshine and grow big and strong! We also planted several bushes to supplement what was already there, but they are too tiny to grow berries this year, maybe next.

I grew up on a small farm. And on this small farm we had a small well. Or at least I THINK it was a small well, that’s what my grandparents and parents ingrained into my head “don’t waste the water!”

Now that I’m living in the country with a well and lots of gardens to take care of, I knew we needed to look into some sort of supplement, you know, I don’t want to waste the water.

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So we looked into rain barrels. But HOLY COW rain barrels are expensive at the big box stores! We looked at Lowe’s and the Tractor Supply store and for $400+ a pop, well…we needed to figure something else out.

Enter. Craigslist.

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Hello large rainwater holders! Yes, we will take two… $100 a piece! 300 gallons each. SCORE!

There’s something about watering the gardens with rain we collected that makes me happy. Maybe it’s just because I know I’m not running the well dry when watering flowers.

 

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Seriously, how adorable and old school is this pharmacy? Located in an old train depot…it kept the original charm.

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More seeds. BECAUSE I HAVE AN ADDICTION PROBLEM. Thank you Remy at the Sample Seed Shop for the fast shipping and amazing prices!

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I was VERY EXCITED to see this wee little eggplant growing today! I’ve NEVER had success growing eggplants. I’ve tried by seed and nothing, I’ve even tried a few plants and nothing but this year the plants I bought seem to be growing! HURRAH!

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Our peas are a-growing still…
 
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Beans are starting to climb in the porch garden!
 
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I picked all the garlic scapes today, I let them go too long and most of the stalk was hard but the rest of them I chopped up and threw in with the potato soup made with homemade ham stock.  YUM.
 
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And I picked the few pretty pink calla lilies. Honestly, I’m not sure where they came from…I like pink but haven’t ordered any pink flowers and I certainly didn’t intend on putting them in the red/white/yellow spring garden bed. After I cut them I dug up the bulbs and threw them in a planter for the pool room.

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I know the photo is blurry but it was the best I could capture. I’d never seen anything like it. Quite beautiful actually, but freaky. Almost radioactive colored. What the heck is it?

A little research led me to this conclusion. Welcome the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle to Your Garden A beneficial little bugger that lives in the woods. Yep, I live in the woods. Bring it on little six-spotted tiger beetle, eat all those bad bugs!

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One of the onions bolted. Bad onion.
 
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Beetles are attacking the potted strawberries. I hate these things. I have to pluck them off by hand and then crunch them away from the plant. So gross. They don’t seem to be bothering the other plants too much though.
 
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And here is my friend the slug. Slimy little things. I only found a few in the peas today…none in the main garden.
 
 

violet

Violets. Oh I love you. I’m sorry I have killed approximately 1027 of your siblings in my lifetime, but I will continue to buy more and attempt to keep you looking beautiful.

I’ve been planting and planting and planting and planting and well, the fact of the matter is not everything blooms when planted. And since this is my first year exploring our new homestead and the quirks of the soil and drainage, well…I’ve had a lot of failures. A Master Gardener I am not.

So, it is with a little bit of garden depression that I share with you my June 2014 updates.

Front Yard Perennial Garden

Ah, such potential.

Perennials 2014
Over half of the bulbs and seeds between the bushes have not germinated, maybe they are waiting until next Spring? I dunno. I’m pretty disappointed. The photo above is one of the rare exceptions of green. I didn’t expect flowers the first year, but I thought they would at least grow. Wrong.

Perennials 2014
AND same thing with the pretty perennial flower bushes, only about half of them have leaves.

Perennials 2014
Most of the bare root bushes still look like bare roots. Sadly this includes the 12 elderberry bushes as well. I’m devastated. Not that they were expensive, I bought them through the Erie County Conservation Program for about $1 a piece, but still.

Blackberry June 2014 Red Raspberry June 2014
The blackberry and red raspberry bushes are doing well, at least the ones that weren’t bare roots to begin with.

Garden June 2014
Patio Blueberries

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And the wee holly bushes I bought on super clearance after Christmas…thriving.

Herb Garden

The herb garden is going pretty well. All the herbs I transplanted from the greenhouse that I started from seed managed to grow. However, the seeds I directly planted—NADA. Sage, forget it. Basil, nope. Chives, ha. I had to buy plants. Failure.

Garden June 2014
Lime, Lettuce Leaf and Purple Basil

Garden June 2014
Parsley and Oregano

Garden June 2014
Dill and Chives

Garden June 2014
Cilantro (I just picked a ton!)

Garden June 2014
Pineapple Sage and Regular Sage

Garden June 2014
Rosemary

Garden June 2014
Watercress

Garden June 2014
Catnip

Garden June 2014
Toothache Plant and Spearmint

Garden June 2014
Chamomile

Garden June 2014
White Horehound

Garden June 2014
Valerian

Garden June 2014
Lavender

Porch Garden

The large garden plot wasn’t tilled until later in the season, so I planted veggies in the front porch garden this year.

Garden June 2014
Peas

Garden June 2014
Christmas Lima and Green Beans

Garden June 2014
Spinach and Black Beans

Garden June 2014
Wax Beans, Kale, Carrots and Radishes

Garden June 2014
Cannelini Beans and Lettuce

Garden June 2014
Purple Beans

Garden June 2014
Beets and Pole Beans

Garden June 2014
Asparagus (First Year)

And then there are the plants that live on the porch.

Garden June 2014
Lemon Balm, Lemon Germanium, Lemongrass and Elephant Ears

Side Porch Gardens

Garden June 2014
Zinnias and Sunflowers

Garden June 2014
Calla Lillies

Garden June 2014
Fall Planted Garlic

Garden June 2014
Red and White Onions

Garden June 2014
Potatoes

Main Garden

Ugh. This is the most depressing of all. I know that next month when I update I will be overflowing with goodies but for now, all I want it everything to grow. LET IT GROW, LET IT GROOOOOW! (Sing to the tune of Let It Go by Frozen…)

The following plants I tried to transplant into the garden and they failed: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Pumpkins, Spaghetti Squash, Cucumbers. The roots were too young? The soil too harsh? Who knows. But none of them took.

Tomato June 2014 Tomato June 2014
My Tomatoes did though…and several of them already have little babies growing! Also, I have a RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF TOMATO PLANTS. (Maybe 75?) Only a handful didn’t make it through the transplant.

Sweet Pepper June 2014

Sweet/Hot Peppers have been fighting a war with slugs, but seem to be winning over all. Sweet Peppers are from seed, the Hot Peppers bought as plants.

Sweet Corn June 2014

Sweet Corn. Meh, doing ok. But the Red Popcorn and Glass Gem Corn are lagging behind. (Knee Ankle high by the 4th of July?)

Gourd June 2014
Two of the Gourd plants that I started indoors are going crazy in the garden, but the other seeds never took. I just started another package this week.

Swiss Chard June 2014
Swiss Chard Plants. I planted two more rows by seed this week.

Kale June 2014
Kale Plants

Celery June 2014
Celery Plants

Garden June 2014 Yellow Squash June 2014
Only one Squash plant made it through the transplant. The babies next to it are Spaghetti Squash and Summer Squash

Garden June 2014
None of the Pumpkin transplants grew, so I had to buy a few plants.

Garden June 2014
Only a few of the Cucumber transplants grew, but there are more coming up from seed now.
 
Garden June 2014
Eggplant. I can’t get Eggplant to do squat by seed, so I bought several plant varieties. These poor babies are also suffering from some slug damage, but I’m hopeful.

Also planted but not shown here because they are hardly growing: More Spinach, More Potatoes, More Chard, More Radishes, Winter Squash, Kidney Beans, Leeks and Bunching Onions. Yep, I think that about covers the gardens.

I also have seeds germinating in the greenhouse for a later planting right now. Oh and more sweet peppers and tomatoes to put in the garden. Because I keep getting packages of free seeds when I order plants and I can’t say no to planting them.

How does YOUR garden grow? Am I the only one with June Garden Depression?

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I just asked HWMMS how much it costs to pump and fix the septic tank (new filter, two new risers and lids, fixing the outlet pipe) and yelled HOLY SHIT!

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Poop maintenance isn’t cheap my friends…especially since it APPEARS that our septic hasn’t been serviced since the house was built in 1998.

1998.

(Insert poop joke here.)

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