Tag Archive for: planting

Time to start the Garden Plan

The snow is slowly melting and the seed catalogues are coming in piles. There’s a gnawing at the back of my brain that I’m already behind. It’s time to start planning the spring and fall veggie garden, but I’m not sure I’m ready for all of that.


Baker's Seeds, Garden
I tend to be overwhelmed looking at the catalogues from Baker’s Creek, Gurney’s, Michigan Bulb and more. And, while Biceps’ nose is stuck in a book as he continues his college studies, mine is stuck in every book relating to natural child birth.

He suggested I take a year off from gardening.


The thought rolls around in my tiny brain as I picture a spring and summer with no weeding, no sliced up hands from me hastily picking okra without gloves on, no fisticuffs with tiny rabbits.


Garden Salsa
It’s tempting. But, then I look at this….


Tomatoes, Garden
…and this…


Garden Produce
…and this…


Dirt, Garden
…and the smell of this heavenly dirt right in my own backyard.


Garden 2013-Spinach
I remember the fresh salads, the baked zucchini and the cherry tomatoes I ate like candy all summer long. I long for the peppers to grill, the carrots to roast and the okra to slice up and devour in one sitting.


Gurney's, Garden
I throw all of the oldest catalogues in the recycling bin and retrieve the sticky notes, pens and highlighters that will soon be flying as I plan the 2014 garden.

It’s time to get down to business. It’s time to put on my big girl underwear. How do you plan your garden?

Read more

It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your…

Today, the high will be a balmy 104-which translated into Tulsa’s humid temperatures, means 110. My poor little garden is persevering through the heat, like a bunch of state champs. However, the brown and crumbly tips of my squash plant cannot go unnoticed.
I have found more than one rotted out, burnt to a crisp little crookneck squash-that had started off with so much pizzaz and promise. It breaks my heart.


And a couple of my lettuce plants had to be put down. We’ve still had more than enough for the two of us to eat huge salads every day-and share with others. But, it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday’s lettuce. You eat some, you loose some.

Fighting the heat and the dang squirrels over my tomatoes is a daily struggle. Cute, furry squirrels can’t get enough of tearing off perfectly green tomatoes, taking ONE bite and then tossing it to the side like a fickle woman shopping for shoes. How wasteful you are, little creatures. If only I had a BB gun. Oh wait, I do. And a heart of stone in order to be able to kill you. Oh wait, I don’t. You can have the tomatoes…


Tomatoes, Garden

But, if I’m going to endure this heat every day while pampering, clipping, weeding, harvesting-I want to get to this point with my tomatoes. So back off, heat. Back off, squirrels. A girl can only be pushed so far and then she snaps. (Insert BB gun deployment noise).


Read more

My Naked Garden

Alright. I’m dying here. What’s the deal? It was 71 yesterday and it’s going to be near freezing again on Tuesday? By this time last year, I had my entire garden planted.


By May of last year, my garden looked like this. I had already envisioned salads full of goodness, nights of canning the booty and grilling anything grill-able.


Even my winter squash was discovering the topside of soil. Pretty, little dainty leaves smiled back at me each morning.


Biceps and I were eating spinach salads like nobodies business.


And my tiny, green tomatoes were just starting to ripen.


I’m hoping it won’t be too late to get my plants in the ground before the Okie weather shoots from a balmy 65 degrees to 104 degrees.

However, this is what is staring back at me each time I look through the french doors. Naked dirt. Void of anything green or edible. I’m trying to be patient, but it isn’t happening.

Has anyone else been impatient and planted already? Should I continue to wait? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Read more

Planning and Planting a Spring Garden

It’s that time of year again. Can you feel it?

The soil is calling, the bunnies are ready to nibble on seedlings, and the compost is ripe. Ah…springtime. Time to plant the garden and reap the harvest.


I start off by drooling over seed magazines-literally. Then, I move on to my mental “wants” vs “needs”. I’m partial to Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds, (thanks to the introduction by a lovely reader, Janice). The variety of heirloom plants and seeds that can be found in this magazine is utterly amazing.

Do you want purple cauliflower? Striped tiger carrots? Marbled tomatoes? Done.


Gurney’s Seeds also has a great variety of seeds and plants offered-they’re just a bit more mainline and most are not heirloom seeds.


Next, I make an in-depth spreadsheet (because I’m a nerd) with what I absolutely need for the garden, price it all out and keep it all under $100 utilizing coupons and online discounts.


Spending less than $100 for an entire summer of produce-plus canning, dehydrating and freezing options-just makes sense.

Take that Whole Foods.


I save money on water by using Rain Barrels, making my own garden critter deterrents and utilizing my kitchen scraps to create compost.


I also save money by growing as many seedlings as my naughty cats will allow. Let’s just say we’ve had two instances already this morning. Wet paws, dirt and fur were flying.


Next comes the soil test (which can be bought at Lowes & reused multiple times for about $5). I’ll usually need to add cow poop, ground up shells or bones-along with my winter compost. I also save money each spring by renting a tiller for about $15, instead of a hefty purchase price and then storing the dang thing.


Once the ground is warm enough (the “zone board” is fighting about whether we are a zone 6 or a 7, so I just go with my gut), I’ll either transfer the seedlings or plant directly into the soil.

Using soaker hoses conserves water and slowly offers the plant a dribbly drink rather than a monstrous monsoon. Dribbly drinks creates deeper and more established roots for the plant. I also like to cover my soaker hoses with weed-free, grass clippings, which helps to conserve water and keeps the soil moist.

Moist. Moist. What a weird word.


And wouldn’t you know…these little stinking seeds do what they’re supposed to do! It’s like there’s a God or something.

Before long I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with, zucchini coming out of my ears and a steady diet of fresh, pesticide-free produce and herbs.


Typically, with the first harvest, I do a little green clog jig in the garden while the neighbors watch on with bewilderment.

Ah…springtime. I love this time of year.

Read more