All About Reading Level 4

Garden Challenge ~ Update # 4

imageSomehow I managed to miss sharing last month, but did snap a few pictures this month of how our garden is progressing. In short, the Square Foot Gardening ROCKS! :)

Here’s a look at where the raised beds were going to be put up and how they are currently looking.

First the boxes were put together and prepared with the soil…

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Fencing was added around the perimeter to keep out the wandering bunnies and deer.

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We added some netting for some of our vines to climb and be supported {the cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, and peas}. I LOVE seeing how the garden is flourishing through these pictures!

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We’re enjoying produce already from the garden and will be planting some new lettuce soon as we’re cycling through the original planting. Don’t tell Zachary, but I’ve found a few ripe cherry tomatoes and already snagged them from the vine in secret.

So far, we’ve harvested some yellow squash, zucchini, several cucumbers, lots of lettuce and are waiting on a few things to ripen. There are some melons and butternut squash forming, the tomatoes are green and beginning to ripen {the Romas and the Beefeaters}, green peppers are growing. The only casualty has been the rhubarb…not sure why.

We have been puzzled with something happening with our squash plants. Can anyone help identify this issue so we can enjoy a little more of it from our garden? The ends of many of our yellow squash and zucchini are all browning up and rotting before it matures.

Frustrating.

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It has been productive and rewarding enough that next year we’re hoping to put in two more raised beds in the same area. More cucumbers for sure, since they barely make it to the table!

How is YOUR garden growing??

Be sure to stop by The Homeschool Village and see the progress other  participants have made in their gardens along with the Garden Challenge!

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The Garden is IN!

Phew! This past weekend I managed to find the rest of the plants that I was wanting for our raised beds as a part of Square Foot Gardening. After swatting off a few hundred thousand flies, zip-tying the anti-deer netting to the posts around the garden and watering all the squares, I called it a day!

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We did manage to get a ‘gate’ of sorts up with a piece of chicken wire since we were about 3 feet short on the netting. Figures. And just in time, too. Not even an hour after the fence was up, we had a bunny family hopping around and trying to figure out how they could visit.

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Want to see what we planted? We still have to get the netting/posts for the veggies on the top rows to climb up, but we still have a bit of time to work on that. Here’s what we will hopefully be harvesting this summer:

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I used a great site, Gardener’s Supply Company to make a ‘picture layout’ of my garden so I could better envision what was coming up. You can plan and print them off ~ much fun to play around with!!

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April Garden Update ~ HSV Garden Challege

imageAlthough we don’t have anything planted in the garden yet, we have made progress!! The window boxes have all been hung up on our deck {thanks to my wonderful hubby} and thanks to one of my lovely readers, we’re planning on doing Square Foot Gardening this year!

They look so small and pitiful in that part of the yard, but I can see them from our bathroom window…which will in turn remind me to water the garden every day.

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Once I got the bug to do it, I had my hubby pick up the lumber and Laurianna and I worked on building the boxes for the two 4×4 garden beds that we’ll be planting in. We covered the bottom with the anti-weed covering and also chicken wire to keep out any pesky diggers coming up from underneath.

The hardest thing to find was the vermiculite for the soil mix. When we went to Lowes to pick up some bags, they suggested that we check with our local pool company since they often use vermiculite in their mix for pool bottoms.

So I did. Want to hear something funny?

I brought home the bags and we were going to mix it with the other parts of the recommended soil mix and my hubby realized that the bags I had purchased had CONCRETE IN THEM! It’s a good thing that he reads the labels…and double checks what I do.

That would have been GREAT in the garden, no? I’m sure I would have had much progress to report next month after the first watering. :)

Our window boxes need to have the soil replaced in them also, since what is popping up now has nothing to do with the plants that I would like to have in there, and everything to do with weeds.

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Still to do this month:

~ plant seeds and pick up other plants from nursery for window boxes, front porch planters and garden beds.

~ put ‘fencing’ of some sort around the garden beds to keep out all of the pesky critters that want to make my food their own personal buffet.

~ build up one extra bed for herbs at the side of our house.

~ start plotting some other beds either for this year or next year {depending on my ambitions}

Be sure to stop by The Homeschool Village and see the progress other  participants have made in their gardens along with the Garden Challenge!

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HSV Garden Challenge ~ The Plans

HSV Garden Challenge I’d like to say that I have well-laid plans for what our garden will look like this year, but frankly I’m at a loss at the moment. IF the weather were still lovely, I might have more in mind, but after a little teasing 80 degree weather we are now getting SNOW and freezing rain.

 

Makes me want to go right out and plant a garden.

Or not.

With our recent move, I’m also interested to see what exactly will be popping up in our new flower beds. I’m a bit sad that some of the lovely perennials we’ve planted over the years at our old house won’t be here, but that will all be part of ‘the planting plan’ this year and in years to follow.

BUT…all that said, here’s the rough idea of what we are hoping to plant this coming year. And boy, we have a lot of work to do!

Window Boxes

I love having color and hanging flowers where I can see them, so the plan is to get these window boxes off the deck and hanging on the railings.

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Last year I got smart and took pictures of the window boxes that I planted so that I could duplicate the colors/flowers this year! Hopefully, the boxes will have some of this loveliness growing inside. A few of the flowers planted in my boxes last year {and hopefully this coming year}: wallflower {yellow}, red superbells, and white alyssum. There was also a lovely purple flower {below}, but I can’t remember the name of it, so I’ll be taking my pictures along with me to the nursery.

   purple flowers red flowers

Small Beds

The side of our house has some great stair-step style gardens that will be great for different herbs. We had two different types of mint growing at our last house {that we left behind}, so one of the first things we’ll be buying is more apple mint and chocolate mint to start growing and use in our tea {yum!}.

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I’ll also be planting basil, oregano, and whatever else catches my eye at the nursery when I pick up our plants. Fresh basil, mozzarella and tomato is already sounding yummy!

Porch Planters

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The previous owner left us some big ol’ planters that sit on either side of our front door. Right now they are looking a bit homely, but come May/June, these will be spilling over with color and greenery ~ more superbells and alyssum for sure along with some spikey plants to give them a little height.

The Big Garden

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Somewhere in this area  {right around the middle back} we’ll be tilling the ground and building it up to plant the food part of our garden. Our biggest challenge right now is figuring out how to keep all the various wildlife out of the garden so that more food ends up on our table! We also have to finish {ahem} our chicken coop before we get ambitious and start on this too. :)

On the planting plan for this area is a few types of lettuce, peppers, jalepenos, tomatoes {big and small}, carrots, cucumbers, several zucchini, several squash, and maybe I’ll get brave and plant a watermelon plant too! I know that squash and zucchini tend to multiply like crazy, but the last few years our plants have gotten off to a good start and then suddenly rotted at the base of the plant. I’m hoping that having multiple plants will at least get us SOME fruit this year!

That’s it…I think! Share and link up what you’re doing with your garden, window boxes, and pots with the Homeschool Village Garden Challenge starting today! They have some great prizes lined up and if you have a preschooler and are participating, they also have a special ‘bonus pack’ to go along with my Garden Preschool Pack!!

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