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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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
More seeds. BECAUSE I HAVE AN ADDICTION PROBLEM. Thank you Remy at the Sample Seed Shop for the fast shipping and amazing prices!
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!
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!
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.
Ah, such potential.
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.
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.
And the wee holly bushes I bought on super clearance after Christmas…thriving.
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.
Parsley and Oregano
Cilantro (I just picked a ton!)
The large garden plot wasn’t tilled until later in the season, so I planted veggies in the front porch garden this year.
Cannelini Beans and Lettuce
Beets and Pole Beans
And then there are the plants that live on the porch.
Lemon Balm, Lemon Germanium, Lemongrass and Elephant Ears
Zinnias and Sunflowers
Fall Planted Garlic
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.
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. Meh, doing ok. But the Red Popcorn and Glass Gem Corn are lagging behind. (
Knee Ankle high by the 4th of July?)
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 Plants. I planted two more rows by seed this week.
None of the Pumpkin transplants grew, so I had to buy a few plants.
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?
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!
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.
(Insert poop joke here.)