Preparing for the Arrival of Fall

Seasons change, that’s true, and lately we have been watching our Summer slip away and Fall is quickly sneaking in.  Gosh, I still remember earlier this year when we were still in the planning stages of starting our first garden and how excited we were.  We sat at the kitchen table and drew out our garden on paper with all the correct dimensions and figured out how many seeds we could plant, figured out all the material we needed from Home Depot to build our raised garden, and bought all of our seed cells and soil to start our sprouts indoors.

Now, as we look at our garden we can tell that it is almost time to say goodbye to our fruitful crop of fresh veggies that we have enjoyed all season, and then it starts all over again next year.  With Fall quickly creeping in on us, we need to start gathering seeds from our garden that we can use next year.  We are saving all of our red pepper seeds, cilantro seeds, and the seeds from all the dried out marigolds as we dead-head them.  We had so much fun with our marigold seeds that we saved from last year, as we started a bunch of them in a small pot and transplanted them into one large pot for one beautiful display of color.   Marigolds smell so good and they are deer resistant too, so if your flowers keep getting chewed up by the deer, try planting some marigolds!

We also planted strawberries for the first time this year and some of them did not take, but we did get a great many of them that grew into beautiful plants and they all have long runners all over the flower bed they are in.  When you plant strawberries for the first time, you will not reap any strawberries from them for the first year, so next year will see strawberries on our plants.  If anyone has planted strawberries before, do you know what you need to do to the strawberry plants when the season ends to prepare them for the winter months?  If you have any tips on how you cover them up, let us know!  We definitely know that we will need to put some sort of netting over them next year when they start producing fruit so the birds and chipmunks won’t eat them!

Here’s some great photographs of our garden & what’s going on in our pumpkin patch!

With the seasons changing, it also means that Nikita will be shortly working on getting her winter coat.  We can tell that she has been losing more hair lately and we know that her winter coat will soon arriving.  But, if it was not for the FURminator, we would have more hair on the floor than in the brush.  If you don’t already have a FURminator, you need to get one!  This brush really removes hair and since she has two coats of fur, this works well with removing the undercoat too.  The FURminator comes in many different sizes, so choose a brush that will work best for your dog or cat.  We got the larger one for Nikita since she is a bigger dog.

With the seasons changing, it also means that you need to get your house ready for the colder months.  It is better to start checking into these things now so you don’t have to do any of this when it is freezing out.  Have you checked around your doors to see if they need any caulking to keep the cold air out?  Putting weather stripping around your doors and windows also helps keep out any drafts.  We have also used those window film sheets that you place around your windows with double-sided tape, then use your blow dryer to shrink the film and this keeps out a lot of drafts and saves on the heating bill too!  We were surprised the first time we used this film (and yes, you can still see out the window) as it definitely kept the rooms warmer, so we definitely recommend products like this!  You also should start up your snow blower and get it ready for winter, buy some gasoline (when you can find it cheap), and get your snow removal items ready.  We bought an ice scraper for the driveway a few years ago for about $24 and we don’t know how we lived without this thing.  It it a heavy metal scraper that you use on the driveway to scrape and chop the ice off and it also works well on removing those hard packed tire snow tracks.  You just run it down the packed snow and it pulls it right up off the drive, then use your snow shovel to push all the mess away.

If you decorate your yard for Christmas, this is a good time too to climb up on your ladder and get all of those hooks placed on your gutter now so you can hang your lights.   Who wants to do this when it is snowing outside?  Not me!  Check your lights to make sure that they all light and replace any bulbs that burned out, also since you don’t want to head outside to turn off your Christmas lights when it’s snowing, make sure you have invested in an outside timer that you can set to come on when it gets dark, and goes off automatically to the time you preset.  We did our entire front yard bushes with LED white Christmas lights last year and also included LED icicle lights for the gutters.

We love watching the seasons change as it brings so many different things to do, but we could do without the snow shoveling.  Oh well, it happens though and we can’t stop the seasons, but we will be ready for next year and will have lots of fun planning our next garden and perhaps will include some celery, different tomato plants (like Juliet tomatoes) and whatever else new we want to explore.

Counting Down The Days Until 2

It seemed like yesterday when I had my 1st birthday and was showered with presents, chew toys, a cake, and had to wear one of those pointed birthday hats (gosh, I hated that hat!) and now, I have less than a week before I turn 2!  I am so excited and I can’t wait to open more presents.  I heard Daddy & Mommy talking the other day about “something” and I could not make it out, because you know how us doggies work….”we listen only for the words we know” and all other words are just spoken and we ignore them.  Well, I can’t figure it out what they were talking about, and now some big box arrived the other day and they would not let me look in it, rats!  That magical box must hold one good present if they won’t show me.  Can’t I open it early?  No?  Oh well, I’ll wait until next week.  Mommy is also planning on getting me something special as I heard her say that she is going “bye bye” over the weekend to pick up my gift – I wonder if I can go with her?  That Daddy & Mommy of mine are so special as they spoil me throughout the year, but as any doggie knows, “we always have room for more toys”.

So make sure you SAVE THE DATE:  7-18-12 is my birthday and I’m turning two!  Also, make sure you check back on that day to see the coolest post ever… ME growing up and the story behind how I got here.

With the excitement of my Birthday news, we have also been busy over here tending to the garden.  That is a full time job in itself, as every day brings news of our veggies maturing, and different ways we are trying to keep the deer and the chippies from eating our pumpkins and flowers. 

We noticed earlier this week that we have our first zucchini growing quite quickly, and we just picked our first batch of cherry tomatoes today, with our beefsteak tomatoes now starting to turn colors too!  That is such great news!  We also even have a tiny, and I mean tiny, Jack Be Little Pumpkin that has formed this week, and it is so adorable, if you could call a pumpkin adorable, but we do.  When we blow up the photo of our little Jack, it appears that it is all fuzzy.  Never knew that a pumpkin started off fuzzy, but I guess the little Jacks do.  Our Red Warty Thing Pumpkin plant gets larger every day and as we mentioned before, the stalk on this thing is HUGE!  It is like a small tree trunk!  So, we can’t wait to see how the actual pumpkin will look after it starts forming. 

We are also working on setting up a date to meet our first blog friends from Soulsby Farm.  Dan & his wife from Soulsby Farm has an awesome farm in Hudson, OH and we follow their blog.  They have a really great blog with great tips and photographs all about their farm & family.  So, if you want to checkout their blog, make sure that you tell them that Nikita referred you!  We’ll update you with lots of pictures after our visit to their farm, so you won’t want to miss that!

Here’s some photographs of our “Garden Guy” showing off our veggies progress:

Click to Enlarge our little fuzzy Jack Be Little Pumpkin