Gardening

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My garden view from the tub

There's only one place from inside my house that I can see my garden and it involves standing in the jet tub in my ensuite.  This doesn't stop me though, several times a day I step into my tub and lean on the unfinished windowsill and admire my garden.  I love this part of the season where all the little plants start to pop out of the ground.  When I'm outside I just make laps around my garden noticing any changes since my last visit.  Within 24 hours I saw the zucchini, corn, beans, potatos, and peas all start to peak out.  At this point nearly everything has made an appearance, it makes me oh so happy.

 First sign of Onions

Rather than a traditional row garden I opted for a plan that is modeled on the square foot garden (Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space With Less Work).  The garden is separated into various sized quadrants with a few different types of plant in each section.  The individual areas are separated by various pieces of scrap board that we had lying around.  The boards serve as a walking path so that you don't have to walk on the dirt, although both Simon and Luca don't get this and I'm continually hollering at them to get off the dirt. Not an easy concept when the whole yard is dirt.  Most of the areas are no more than 4 feet wide so that the entire square can be reached from the outside boards. The square foot garden is supposed to allow you to fit more plants in a smaller space with less work.  You don't have all of the wasted space between each row where weeds can grow up.  This style of gardening also makes it easier for companion planting so two or more plants can work together to mutually benifit one another.  Another concept of the square foot gardening is that you plant exactly the number of seeds you want rather than planting extra & then thinning down at a later date.  This is a little tricky for carrots, with their small seeds but I made an attempt.  It's a trial year for the garden, I was reading about it and liked the idea.  I thought I would give it a try because you will never know how something works unless you do.  I must say, so far I really enjoy the boards to walk on, rather than the dirt and its very eye pleasing to see all the little separate squares rather than just one large area of black dirt. In my garden I planted zucchini, corn, beans, peas, lettuce, spinach, beats, carrots, cucumber, pumpkin, potatos, onions, garlic, and of course tomatos.



I got my shipment of plants from the Saskatoon Farm on Friday and got them all planted this weekend.  Saskatoons, raspberries, strawberries, asparigus & rhubarb for the garden and a few trees & shrubs for the yard.  I'm not sure that I will get any fruit or vegies off these plants this year but next year they will be producers.  I was a little nervous about getting plants shipped on the Greyhound but they all look great, very healthy and they threw in a few extra of each of the fruit plants.  I guess they know what they are doing, they do make a business of it.  If you are in the market for fruit plants I would highly recommend you check out the Saskatoon Farm, good prices and nice looking plants.

Newly planted Strawberries & Rhubarb

In closing I have another Tomato confessional, I wasn't going to say anything, kind of embarassing.  The  Tomato plants I was talking about in a previous post, I let them freeze.  Agh, the one night I didn't pull them in.  As soon as I woke up in the morning I knew and as the day went on they all wilted and died.  So again I went out to buy some more Tomato plants, I'm sure I'm up over $50 worth of Tomato plants this year. Gardening saves you money, you know.  I planted the new Tomatos in the garden after the weather forcast was showing no sign of frost like evening tempersatures.  Now you may know that I have a hard time throwing anything away so the "dead" tomato plants were still sitting on my deck.  I was watching them and it looks like some of them, most of them may survive. They have new little leaves coming out of the v's of the plant.  I cut off the dead spots & planted them in the garden too.  My garden is basically a tomato garden with a few extra plants.  Maybe I'll get a booth at the Farmers Market in the fall.  That's how Louis Hole got started you know, she just started selling the excess produce from her farm.

 Garden view from the back deck

Big Girls Sleeping

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This week the girls room got a bit of a makeover.  We took down the crib and split the bunk bed into two single beds.  Luca was making the move to a big girl bed.  We were anticipating a week or so of long nights putting her back into her bed several times, having her crying at the door, etc.  Well I guess she was ready because there was no such thing, the transition has been really smooth.  We know she has been off her bed because there are some extra books on her bed when we check on her but she makes it back to her bed and goes to sleep so I'm OK with that.  I think it helps that the girls share a room and she can see that Nollie is also in her bed going to sleep.  We didn't change anything else about the bedtime routine so that made the transition easier I'm sure.  The two twin beds with matching bedspreads look so cute in the room together and Luca is so proud of her new bed.  I'd post a photo but their room is a disaster.

The same night that we were introducing the new bed to Luca, Nollie announced that she wanted to wear panties to bed like Mom.  Up until this point she was wearing a pull-up stype diaper at night time.  I had been  making an effort lately to be sure she goes pee right before bed and as soon as she wakes up rather than letting doddle around and pee in her diaper.  Some mornings she was dry but others she was not so I hadn't introduced the idea of ditching the pull-ups yet.  I knew this transition would likely mean more laundry for me to do but if she says she is ready we will go for it.  She was immediately wondering what we would do with all the extra diapers for her, determined that she would never wear them again.  This week has gone quite well, I've had a couple extra loads of laundry but she's had some dry nights too.  I love when the transitions just happen.  Two girls moving on to a new stage of night time sleeping in one week.

Petting Zoo

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We went to the newly opened Mama Noah's Petting Zoo this week in Lodgepole.  We had such a great time,  so many animals to enjoy. 

We had a tour of all the animals,


enjoyed a picnic lunch 

and then went back for another look
I just wanted to take the animals home with me, or open my own petting zoo.  Maybe it's best if I just go back for another visit.
Does anyone else ever feel the need to get a goat, I love goats!

Grass

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From this angle, it this lighting, it almost looks like we have a lawn.

Tomato Crazy

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Normally at this point in the growing season I would be looking at my skinny, weak looking tomato plants that I planted from seed and wondering why they don't look as nice or a s healthy as the ones that professional greenhouses grow to sell in stores.  I would be feeling sorry for myself, wondering why I'm not perfect after only a few years of gardening, not even realizing that they will grow to huge, mega producing tomato plants in their own time.  This year I was singing a different song.  Why didn't I just plant some tomato seeds, was I so busy that I couldn't throw a few seeds in some dirt & water them, now I have to go buy tomato plants and spend 40x more than I would if I just planted my own seeds.  Next year I'm definitely back on the seed train.

I'd been holding off on buying tomatos this year, I wasn't quite ready for them in my garden yet.  Saturday I was at Home Hardware and there were only 5 tomato plants left, so I bought them all and planted them that night.  Monday the last thing I did before going inside for the night was to spread some wood chip mulch around my tomatos.  Tuesday when I checked them, they were all dead!!  Agh, the mulch killed my tomatos, maybe I let the soil dry out, what on Earth happened.  I was doing internet searches and thinking about it all day, totally forgetting about the ice that I dumped out of Simons bowl first thing in the morning.  Finally it hit me in the evening, they froze you dingbat, it wasn't the mulch that killed them.  It was so nice Monday evening I didn't even think about frost and I'm not much of a weather checker.  I guess I learned my lesson, for this year anyway. 

Wednesday I set off to buy another round of Tomato plants, Farmers Market day anyway I'm sure I could get some there.  I had a worry in my head that maybe I was too late and there would be no tomato plants left in all of Drayton Valley.  What would I do if I couldn't buy tomatos, I knew I should have planted seeds, tomatos, I need tomatos.  I made sure I was at the Farmers Market as soon as it started, I couldn't risk not getting any.  OK, so I overreacted, of course there were tomato plants.  Those Hutterites sure know what they are doing, their plants look great and only $2 each.  I think I need to go visit the Hutterites so they can teach me their tricks.  I got one of each type, 4 plants.  I planned to plant more than that but I was going to check out a couple of other places in town too.  I grabbed a hanging basket of Tomatos too, expensive, but ready to produce and a pepper plant, excited try that out.  Next to Canadian Tire, I picked out some herbs (I am totally addicted to herbs this year, even if I don't use them to cook it is worth it just to smell them).  I picked out 3 more tomato plants, ok that's 8 tomato plants total.  Next Curt needed me to grab something from Walmart for him, since I was there I better check out the garden section, I was still looking for a couple herbs.  Well they had 4 packs of tomatos for $0.97, the plants were small, about what mine would look like if I planted some and 4 for $0.97, cheap, so I grabbed 2 of the 4 packs and then I threw in another bigger plant just for good measure.  So that's 9 more plants making 17 total.  Oh don't let me forget to tell you I have another 3 plants at home that were given to me so the grand total is 20 tomato plants.  Do you have any idea how many tomatos we will have off of 20 tomato plants?!?  We will be able to take a bath in them.  I am going to be so busy in the the fall.  I'm quite sure we will be able to make enough tomato sauce to last us the winter.  Curt wanted lots of tomato sauce and boy will he get it.  I just hope he's willing to help make & can it all.  So if you are out of tomatos in a couple months please do not go to the store, just come visit me.

Things I'm Loving

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  • Sunny days
  • Being outside
  • Planting seeds and plants and trees
  • Reading gardening books
  • Watching my hummingbirds

  • Drinking suntea

  • Waiting for more grass sprigs to grow
  • Dirty girls
  • Listening to Ida Maria
  • 5 minutes of clean floor
  • Sleeping
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