Use Your Noodle – When Planning Your Vegetable Garden

The journey begins…with just a thought.  One day we’re complaining about the price of red peppers from the grocery store, the next minute, we’re sitting down and figuring out how to build our own raised vegetable garden.  The journey we are embarking on will be a long one, but it will be well worth the effort, not to mention the pure satisfaction of picking your own vegetables. 

We sat down over the weekend and planned out our vegetable garden on paper.  Since we are newbies, we decided to figure out how many feet we have in our garden and exactly how many plants we can actually fit into the garden.  This part of our journey turned out to be very interesting, as we taped some cardstock together, and drew out the size of the garden, then we added squares to our paper to resemble one foot squares so we can figure out exactly how many plants we can actually fit into the garden.  This part was fun!  We used different colored sticky notes and wrote on each sticky note what the plant was and how many we were going to plant in that one square foot.  Since some plants need more room to grow, some “squares” we only put one plant, others, we could put 2 or 3 in each one foot.  The end results were amazing, not to mention very color-coded, as we now know exactly how many seeds we can plant. 

Our journey into gardening started with a thought, ended up on paper, and now we will be starting our next phase of planting our seeds indoors to give them a good head start.  We purchased an awesome grow light from Home Depot to give our plants light so they can grow up big and strong before we plant them outdoors.  We also took some skewers and string and did a quick mock-up of the size of our garden in the backyard.  At first, we were going to make an 8′ x 6′ raised garden, but when we actually saw how small it was, we decided we needed a bigger size, so we changed it to 16′ x 6′ – now that is a good sized garden!  When we break down the garden into one foot squares, we came up with 96 square feet of garden.  WOW!  Not bad for the first time gardener, eh? 

Anyhow, since this is all new to us, we will be documenting our journey to see what works and what does not, just in case we need to change something for next years garden.  We’ll learn as we go, but we feel that we are on the right track to having the best vegetable garden ever.  We also found a really great website that assists you in calculating the volume of soil needed in a raised garden bed.  Glad we found this site, as we now know exactly the amount we need.  Here is the link:  http://www.gardeners.com/Soil-Calculator/7558,default,pg.html   All we need now is the soil, the wood for the raised bed and the anchors to hold it all together.  One note though, we have learned that it is not good to use treated wood for your raised beds as the chemicals in the wood may seep into the garden & your vegetables.  The best wood to use is cedar, but it is more expensive so don’t be surprised at the price when you head to Home Depot or Lowes.  You can even get the store to cut your wood for you, but they do charge per cut, but we have heard that most of the time, they just wave the extra cuts costs.  I guess it just depends on who is doing the cutting for you that day. 

So far, we will be planting 14 different plants this year.  The list includes:  Red peppers, green beans, cucumbers, beef steak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, vidalia onions, spanish onions, cabbage (hopefully Grandma will make us some stuffed cabbage!), zucchini (can’t wait for zucchini bread), head lettuce, black seeded simpson lettuce, giant strawberries, oregano, and jack be little pumpkins, along with the pumpkin seeds that we dried from our pumpkins last year. 

If anyone has any tips or tricks that has worked for your raised vegetable garden, please share them with us! 

Thanks & happy gardening!

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet?

Weekends around here are always FUN, and the chance of going for a ride in the car is a definite “YES”!  Hooray!  I was just lying there all cute on the carpet, just minding my own business, and then it happened…. I heard a familiar sound that got me up to my feet!  It was the sound of the car keys!  Yeah!  I jumped up and started running back and forth from between Mommy, then back to Daddy (they knew I figured out they were going somewhere) and all I kept hoping in my mind was “Am I going too”?

Bye Bye Brown Spots!

Our first stop was at Home Depot.  You see, Daddy had to pick up some things to fix the lawn that I ruined over the winter.  I kinda made nice round spots on the grass all over that need fixin.  So, here is what my Daddy found that Scotts is now selling, it is called Scotts Turf Builder EZ Seed Dog Spot Repair. 

Here’s the poop on this product: 

  • Unique mix of Scotts best grass seed, a neutralizing ingredient, and a super absorbent growing material
  • Special salt neutralizer minimizes the effects of salts from dog urine
  • Repairs urine spots, high traffic areas, and damage from digging
  • Growing material absorbs water like a sponge to surround the seed in a moist layer which protects seed from drying out and dying out
  • It even turns light brown to tell you when it needs more water!
  • EZ Seed is kid and pet friendly too!

My Daddy also picked up some other EZ Seed for the rest fo the lawn and this stuff even says on the bottle that you can even grow grass on cement!  WOW, we can now have a driveway that Mommy has to mow!  LOL    Mommy is going to try a little spot on the driveway of this stuff and see if she can grow some grass!  I will keep you informed of our progress, and of course, I am sure she will take pictures to show you if we can get grass to grow on the drive!  (This ought to be fun!) 

After Home Depot, we stopped and got Daddy some BBQ chicken wings at Mavis Winkles (Daddy was hungry) and then we quickly headed off to Pet Supplies Plus because I needed more treats!  Daddy actually got me 3 pounds of treats for under $3 – WOW, now that is a low price!  While we were in the store, I got to meet a lot of nice people!  I even ran up to a lady in the parking lot to say hi to her and she was surprised, but happy to say hi back!  I got to meet a nice lady and her family & kids in the store and my Mommy was telling her all about they adopted me from the Cleveland APL and how lucky I was to have a good home now.  She also told her family about how I was collecting donations for the APL for the Pledge for Pets, and asked that she pass the word to get everyone involved in this.   I also had to check out the toy aisle before we left, and Daddy got me a new pink toy that has all kinds of neat little nubs all over the ball.  I can even pick up the ball by the nubs, but it is not easy to do, but it is a lot of fun to chase around the kitchen!  (Gotta love those neat toys that make sound when they roll

Anyhow, I had a great weekend and I hope that you did as well!  Drop me a line, give me a shout, tell me what’s up, but never ever pull my tail!  Hope to hear from you soon! 

Hugs & New Toy Kisses to you, Nikita