Come along with me...

Put on your gloves and grab your shovel or basket as we take this journey of gardening from seeds to food on the table together.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Family Day in the Garden

I don't have a lot of pics today.  But before I publish this, I'll take a few pics of the finished job.

My husband is home now, and so the whole family (including the two dogs) were out in the garden with me today!  We weeded, watered and transplanted a few plants.  This is the first time my hubby has been able to give input on the garden since he's been underway with the Navy ship he's attached to.  He has lots of great ideas, but he's more used to large farms, not so much, small yard gardens.

I planted from seed a couple of broccoli and we transplanted 2 Roma tomatoes, 1 Cherry tomato, 5 garlic bulbs, 1 jalapeno pepper, 2 sunflowers, and 5 basil, (1 is really tall, and full of flowers - I just bought it from the BX at Andersen AFB).

This basil is taller than my tomatoes!

Yesterday I moved a few of the pumpkins from the first hill since they were getting too crowded.  Lots of pumpkin flowers are blooming now!

I hope you're enjoying the summertime with your family and you are able to make working in the garden a joy that you can all enjoy and look forward to!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And the rain comes down...

I love the rain!  Growing up in Oregon, you either learn to love it or hate it ~ but I have always loved it.  It used to be, when I was a kid, that I couldn't sleep unless it was raining.  The sounds of the rain hitting the roof above my head was restful music to my ears!  

The rains bring life!  Rain is the reason the oceans are so enjoyable, the trees are so green, and my garden is growing!  

Here are my sparkler radishes that were just planted on the 25th of July!  

These have a 25 day harvest, but as you can see from how they're growing, I wasn't aiming on eating too many of them.  I read that they are beneficial to many garden plants, so trying to keep it pesticide free, using companion gardening!

This is my first pumpkin flower.  

These Early Sugar Pumpkin Seeds were planted June 26th, and transplanted July 12th.  I planted the whole package, but not all of them sprouted.  They have a 90 day harvest time.  These should grow to about 8 inches and very round.

As the largest ones were transplanted to my garden, I refilled the pots and planted a few Connecticut Field Pumpkins.  These have an 100 day harvest and grow to about 25 pounds.

My Sunspot Sunflowers are growing fast as well! 

These are a short variety with big heads.  These flowers will grow to about 12 inches in diameter but on stems that are only 18 inches tall!

And here is my Bush Crop Cucumber.  

These have a 60 day harvest growing 6-8 inch fruit on a small bush.  I'm also going to be growing Straight 8 Cucumbers, but I haven't planted any of those seeds yet.

I read a pinterest link about cutting the ends off you store bought celery and placing the end in a bowl of water for it to regrow.  I cut them on July 21st.  This is the evidence that it works after just 3 days.

I also tried my head of Romaine.  Again this pic is after 3 days.  And just today I tried my Bok Choy.  I will keep you up to date on their growth.  I have had success planting my garlic that started growing in my pantry and I hope to plant these greens very soon!

Day 8 for Romaine and celery.  Growing strong! 

I think it's pretty cool they are about the same height!  It's like they're racing!

So what are you growing?  Something from your fridge or pantry?  Something in a pot or in the ground?  Hopefully it's something that brings you joy and reminds you of the joy of life all around us!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sunburn, Soil, and Muffins!

Yesterday I was able to make some serious progress in my garden.

It took several hours, hence the sunburn, but I was able to transplant 2 more hills of pumpkins and 1 hill of watermelon with sprinkles of radishes, sunflowers, marigolds, dill and nasturtiums.  I planted a variety of colors of the marigolds and the nasturtiums to brighten the overall look.  With my Golden Trumpet bush on one end I will have a wonderful bounty of yellow, orange, red, and green!  I can't wait to see some colors popping up!

This Golden Trumpet lost it's flowers.

Here's the bloom from one of the other 5 Golden Trumpets I now have in my yard.

Pumpkin planting in progress!  I was so ridiculously dirty when I was done!  I used 3 bags of topsoil, 1 bag of chicken manure and 1/2 a bag of cedar mulch AND I moved over 3 wheel barrels of grass and weeds.

My daughter painted this plant marker for me!  She did such a great job!

And because I'm so excited about my pumpkins, I decided to make these awesome Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins from Jillian Michaels' book "The Master your Metabolism Cookbook"  (Page 64).  They turned out soo good!  If you aren't familiar with this cook book or the main book "Master your Metabolism" please check it out from your local library, or look up a few tasty recipes online. Like this one HERE!  I can't rave about these books enough!!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In the ground...

Today I broke ground and transplanted several plants to start my new vegetable garden.  I have been growing the seedlings and have planted a few pumpkin seedlings, but the pumpkins are in a separate area.

I'm using a number 3 shape with West at the top and North to the right.  My Garden plot will be 16 ft by 16 ft with rows 4 ft wide and walk ways 2 ft across.  Since my dogs like to eat veggies, I'm surrounding it with a 3 ft high chicken wire type fence.  (They're not very tall dogs!)

I started with the tomatoes, I planted one Roma Tomato, and one Cherry Tomato.  I bought both of these from Home Depot as seedlings (2 or 3 inch pots).  I planted next to them some Basil I started from seed and 3 garlic heads that had seeded in my pantry.  On the other side of the tomatoes, I planted 2 radishes I had started from seed, a row of Marigolds seeds and 2 spinach that I started from seed.

After digging up the grass and rocks, I gathered as many worms as I noticed, to keep for my worm compost, (I'm still waiting for the worms I bought online to be delivered!)  I'm afraid to say I cut many big ones in half with the shovel.  I moved several wheel barrels full of the grass and weed clumps to the regular compost.
I added chicken manure, and top soil or garden soil.  I also sprinkled some tomato food, about 3 Tbsp per plant.

On top of the newly planted areas, I laid some ripped up newspaper to fit around the plants and a layer of red bark.  It said on the bag not to put the bark over seedlings or or small plants, so I kept the are around the Marigolds free of mulch.

I ran out of topsoil, so I had to stop for the day and buy some more supplies, but I'm very happy with what I got accomplished today!

My power went out as well, so by the time it came back on it was the next day, hence this post is now being updated with the photos.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pumpkins Galore

I LOVE Pumpkin pie!  And now that my dog Dozer is on a special diet for his severe allergies, he eats Pumpkin almost EVERY day.  He goes through at least 1 1/2 huge cans a week.  The costs add up pretty fast when you include the other items in his diet.  Pork, Navy beans, fish and Sweet Potatoes.  So that's how I got into gardening this year!  Trying to save some money on dog food!  Funny I know, but it's the truth.

So after lots of planning and debating, I finally transplanted the first "hill" of Pumpkins yesterday!  I had to cage them off because my two dogs wanted to roll in the mud!

It was recommended on to use spaces that are at least 3 x 3 ft.  I plan to plant pumpkins and a few Watermelons along the North side of the house.  (About 30 feet)

Pumpkin: Burpee Heirloom Pumpkin - Connecticut Field
  • Seed Depth: 
  • Spacing: 
    12.0"-48.0" (1 per 3x3) plants per sq ft
  • Plant Height:18.0-24.0

I used the pavers to mark off the first area of 3 x 3 ft and as you can barely see in the photo, I'm already marked for my next 3 x 3 area.

I looked into companion gardening and found this information very useful!  So I plan to also plant Marigolds, Nasturtium, Oregano and Dill in and around the Pumpkins and Watermelon!  (I currently have some Marigolds and Nasturtium growing in the hanging pallet above the Pumpkins!)

PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Again dill may help repel those frustrating squash bugs. See squash entry for more tips.

SQUASH: Companions: Beans, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon, mint, onions and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Dill may repel the squash bug that will kill your squash vines. Generously scatter the dill leaves on your squash plants. Keep squash away from potatoes.

Watermelon: May be planted in between hills of corn. Grow them with corn, nasturtiums, peas, sunflowers, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and radishes. Nasturtium helps to deter bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.

I started from seeds and these buggers are growing super speed!  Just about 2 weeks old now, and already root bound, I decided to needed to transplant them ASAP!  

I can't be outside as much as I want to right now, so I'll just do one section at a time.  I can handle that kind of commitment and will still feel accomplished if I only get one "hill" a week!

So after marking my first area, I started to dig up the grass and the ground was soo hard.  We have a lot of clay here as well.  I soaked the ground to make it a bit softer and although it was easier with the water running, it was much messier!!

After removing the clumps of grass (which I put in my compost) I added a bag of chicken manure and a bag of top soil.  I mixed them up a bit and tried to mound the dryer mix so I could use the "hill" method.

I've read that Pumpkins are likely to get bogged down if they can't drain good, so by building hills I hope to help with the drainage.

I planted 5 pumpkin plants in the "hill" but will thin them out later.  Only 10 more hills to go!

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012

I have a very soggy back yard.  With all that water comes extra bugs and critters.  Our yard in Guam is already infested with toads and geckos, but the soggy yard brings more flies, crickets, mosquitoes and other flying insects!  Yuck!

So as I was contemplating the problem and the possible solution I decided I needed to extend my back patio so we can have a larger dry area!  My dogs on the other hand love the wetness and roll around in the gullies the rain causes and splash in the mud puddles.  I have to keep a towel on the rug for muddy feet when we come in the back door as well as have several dog towels within arms reach, just inside the door!  Needless to say I do a lot of laundry as well!  But that's another story!

I got the supplies - 12 x 12 pavers, and few decorative border bricks and went to work.

Step 1. Clean out the weeds of the gutter drain run off  things.  I decided to put a paver under each drain so the water roll off the pavers instead of under the pavers.  This inadvertently caused a built in garden spot between the drains.

Step 2. Get sidetracked and plant a flower bed.

Step 2A. Correct the dogs for helping me with the weeding of the said flower bed.

Step 3. Lay the black weed fabric, haul in the sand, level off the sand, and lay a few pavers.

This is very hard work, and especially in Guam's heat and humidity.  I didn't get very far and to this day have STILL not finished this project!

After the first flower bed died (or turned to weeds,) I decided to try again so I planted some seeds in those black plastic seed started kits.  After a few weeks, I decided to replant them in my weed free flower bed and so far so good.  I have greenery but still now flowers, so I'll save that for another day as well!

Well, the weeds all grew in between the pavers as well and after having them cut down with the weed wacker (weed eater) a few times, I found a hint on pinterest about laying news paper down below bedding and such to keep the weeds away.  So I picked up all the pavers and started again.

I also bought some plants from Home Depot before the ground was ready for them.  I bought so many tomato plants I decided to make a small garden next to the flower garden as a temporary home for the, but alas, the dogs found them to be yummy and extra tasty. So after being torn up a few times and replanted, I put a small wire edging around both beds and they are doing much better now!

The pavers I have are recycled.  I confiscated them from a neighbor's yard.  The family had moved out before I had moved in.  Since we live in military housing, when someone leaves, the items they leave behind don't belong to anyone anymore.  This goes for plants as well.  So I not only hauled the pavers to my yard saving me hundreds of dollars, but also transplanted a few beautiful yellow flowered bushes from another neighbors yard!

But then after only a few day the weeds and grass came back!  I figured the grass/weed seeds were embedded on the pavers and I need to figure out how to clean them and kill them off.  If you have some ideas, please feel free to share them with me!!

After I found the newspaper hint on pinterest, I got busy (searching on Pinterest!)  I started finding ideas for container gardens, raised bed gardens, pallet gardens, tire garden, etc.  If you've ever been on pinterest you know it's quite addicting and next thing I know I'm in the process of a huge undertaking.  Which all in all led me write this blog.  So these are my summer days in Guam as I attempt to plant a garden and enjoy my back yard!

Here are some of the plants that I'm growing for the varies gardens I'm planning!

  • Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Radishes
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtium
  • Sunflowers
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Aloe Vera
  • Garlic
  • Habanero
  • Jalapeno
  • Cayenne               Here they are again, just ten days later, they are growing FAST!

My daughter and I had a great time painting the planters and rock markers for identification!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where to start?

I was helping my daughter start a blog and thought, I should do one too!

I need to write in my garden journal anyway and having pictures would make it easier to see the steps I took, the mistakes I made, and the lessons I learned.  So here goes!
This blog will mostly be my garden journal.  With parts of me rolled in.  I hope you enjoy the journey with me!