Tag Archives: gardening

The new garden

We had a good sized raised garden at our old house- 10′ x 12′- that we loved, but since moving two years ago, we hadn’t had time to put one in.

2015/06/img_3440.jpgFor Mother’s Day, I asked Keith if we could put a new garden in- and he said yes! We built raised bed boxes from pine fencing boards, modifying a plan from Ana White’s website. We decided to make 4′ x 6′ boxes as opposed to a big giant square like we had at our old house to make it easier to access the middle of the gardens.

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I actually assembled two of the three! This girl knows how to use a drill. A saw, not so much. Keith did all the cuts. I’d like to keep all my fingers, thankyouverymuch. We do all of our projects after the kids are in bed, so in usual fashion it took us forever to finish- three weeks from purchasing material to completion, although we did have puke-pocalypse in the middle so we basically lost a week of our lives…. Anyways, we had a night time installation. #parenthood

We did not remove the grass before adding dirt- we covered it with several layers of newspaper to smother it. Much less work, just as effective, and considerably cheaper than using weed matting.

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I am a garden nerd, so I sketched out a diagram of where we would plant everything that the kids and I had picked out. I purchased zucchini, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, cauliflower, brussell sprouts, and broccoli plants. We planted peas, green and purple beans, radishes, rainbow carrots, danver carrots, summer squash, spinach, swiss chard, and mesclun mix from seed.

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2015/06/img_3631.jpgThis is the garden right after we planted everything. Looking a little lonely and sparse.2015/06/img_3750.jpg

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After some great sunny and hot days, this is what it looked like after a week!

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Today marks almost three weeks, and look how everything has sprouted! I even have a teeny cauliflower!2015/06/img_3768-0.jpgWe are looking forward to the rest of the growing season! I always find it amazing how you can plant a little seed and with the right conditions, it will grow and produce fruit to feed your family.

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Forcing Spring Indoors

It’s hitting the forties this week! Very exciting! One of the things I like to do in March to make it feel more spring-like is to find some forsythia branches and force them to flower indoors.

You know forsythia- that shrub that blooms bright yellow as the first signs of spring?

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It looks like this in late winter:

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They look like most other shrubs and bushes at this time of year, mostly dead, but they have a slightly yellow-green hue on the new growth. Snap off some branches, or if you’re fancy and can find your pruning shears, use those. I grabbed some from the edge of a parking lot (I asked first!) and used my kitchen shears.

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Take those branches, stick them in some water and the warmth from your home and the indirect sunlight will cause those little buds to flower anywhere from one to three weeks. I’m hoping for an Easter bloom! The flowers last a week or two, and then they turn into little green leaves.2015/03/img_3076.jpg

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If you don’t have anywhere to be a secret-ninja-garden-pruner like me, you can head down to Maureen’s Wholesale Florist in downtown Buffalo. They have some forsythia branches in stock but most local florists that I have contacted will not have branches until April. Maureen’s also anticipates having cherry and dogwood branches later in the spring. I’ve never tried those, but I think I may this year!

If you have forsythia in your yard, give this a try! It’s not hard to do, just keep water in the vase and you’ll have signs of spring inside as we await the great thaw. Give me a shout if you have some too- I’ll come and prune your shrub for free 🙂 The more you trim, the more it’ll grow back!

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