Our Gardening Adventure Has Begun

With the hopes that all of the snow is now behind us, and Mother Nature cooperates and allows Spring to finally arrive, we have started our adventure into the wonderful world of gardening.

GERMINATION 3-30-14

We are still in a thawing stage right now here in our area, and actually had a nice warm day yesterday that melted all of the snow we received over the weekend. I actually had the chance to head out to the garden and turn over the soil for the first time this year, in preparation for our 2014 gardening season.

RED PEPPERS 3-30-14

I am not sure if most of you know, but this will be our third gardening season. We learned a great deal of advice from our neighbor, Steve, who has grown the most incredible gardens that we have seen, and we have also learned a lot from trial and error. All the things we did wrong in our first garden season in 2012, we corrected going into season #2 in 2013, so we hope that this year we can once again produce lots of veggies.

RED PEPPER 3-30-14

We have started our seeds already in the basement under the warming grow lights, but we started them a few weeks later than we did last year. (this pertains to the trial and error part I was talking about) Last year, for instance, we started our tomato plants too early, and by the time they were ready to head outside, they were already too tall.  This year, we want a more manageable size heading out to the garden. This is all a process, but a process that teaches you all about gardening and what “works” for you.  Some people do things differently, and that’s fine, but we are finding our groove of what works for us.

CUCUMBERS SPROUTING 3-30-14

We know for a fact, and if you did not know this you’ll thank us later, but tomato and pepper plants need Magnesium. If you have ever grown a tomato plant and noticed your tomatoes splitting at the top, or had a dark color bottom that looked like it was rotting – – well, that is a sure sign that your tomato plants were lacking in Magnesium.  By sprinkling Epsom Salt around your tomato and pepper plants once a week, and watering regularly, you will provide your plants with the much needed Magnesium that they require. You will not see any more split tomatoes or bottom rot on them, and your pepper plants will grow bigger and produce nice sized peppers. (you’re welcome!)

CUCUMBERS 3-30-14

If you have followed along with our gardening adventure last year, then you know that we had a deer jump our fence and ate half of our garden one night. It was devastating to see. So, with the start of a new year of gardening, we have that high on our priority list to put up another high fence to keep them out.

CUCUMBERS 4-1-14

What I find truly fun and intriguing too, is watching our seeds germinate and grow each and every day. They have needs. They don’t complain. But they need tender loving care a few times a day. They make me smile. And, one day, I will be enjoying my tomato and cucumber salads for lunch every day. We actually picked over 1,200 Juliet Tomatoes last year alone! (and yes, I will be counting every tomato I pick this year too, just to see how it compares to last year)

BUSH LAKE BEANS 4-1-14

We are so happy to have started our journey and adventure again into gardening, and as you know, we always keep you up to date on what’s happening. We’re far from being experts, we’ll take any advice we can get, but we love the experience of gardening and working in the dirt.

BIG BOY TOMATOES 3-30-14

 

We hope you will enjoy following along with us and watch our progress on how we setup our garden and it’s growth.

Yikes! There’s Veggies Growing in the Basement!

Our Tomato Harvest

It is every gardeners dream to grow their own veggies.  The pride that comes from walking out to your garden and picking a fresh veggie is so rewarding.  We started about half of our garden from seeds and have probably more than 40 plants in the basement under the warmth of grow lights.  They are ready to head outside, but we are just waiting for our last frost date in our zone.  Since we had frost over the weekend, we feel that the end is near for cold temps here and gardening season will soon be full speed ahead!  We will also be planting cucumbers, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and celery too!

I am amazed on how well our plants have been doing and just had to share with you some of our progression photographs.  What’s amazing is that in just a few days, the plants get bigger and I have to move the grow lights up again on the chains they are attached to.  Progression.  Growth.  Smiles.

3-29-13

3-29-13

4-28-13

4-28-13

5-12-13

5-12-13

But what is more amazing is that we noticed a few days ago that we already have small peppers growing on a few of our pepper plants!  Amazing is what I call that!  What I would love to try over the winter, is to start some plants and see if we can produce fresh veggies during the winter.  Now that would be amazing!

Small peppers are already growing on our plants!

Small peppers are already growing on our plants!

Awhile ago, when I was transplanting the seedlings out of the seed tray and into bigger pots, there was one Big Boy Tomato plant that kinda did not make it.  All of its leaves fell off, and all that was left was a “little stick”.  When I say little stick, it was about an inch high and looked like nothing could save this little tomato plant.  But…. I decided to try to nurture this “stick” back to health.  I carefully transplanted it into a bigger pot with a spoon as not to disturb any roots (if there were any at that point).  I watered it, and gave it a nice spot under the grow light.  To my amazement, after all of my love and affection for this little stick, it has now grown into a beautiful tomato plant!  I am going to tie something onto this tomato plant when it heads out to the garden, and will cherish each and every tomato I pick from my little stick as I have grown quite attached to it!  (NOTE:  My little stick is the tomato plant below with the binder clip on it)

I almost threw this "stick" out, but saved it!  Now, look at it!

I almost threw this “stick” out, but saved it! Now, look at it!

Our new rain barrel is filling up nicely with rain water and getting well stocked with what we need to keep our plants well watered this season.  This will surely keep the water bill to a minimum this summer!  Keep checking back for more progression photographs, and soon we will be taking all of our plants outside and into the garden.  It’s time to grow up and move out of the house!