Crazy weather aside, Spring is here and Summer is coming. Aurora and I have been working hard in our little garden. Every week we are adding more to it and having so much fun working on it together. Last year I didn’t have my expectations incredibly high which left us both pleasantly surprised by how successful some of our plants were. Our Spaghetti Squash gave us the biggest yield followed by our Butternut Squash and Grape Tomatoes. We had purchased six strawberry plants and got very little fruit, but that was to be expected as the plants were small. From doing my research as well, strawberries will have a higher yield each year as they grow. Our watermelon and eggplant seeds didn’t catch nor did the fruit grow very large. Again, no disappointment on our end because we didn’t expect much. Last year we also completed, with the help of Auntie Jenn, building a fire pit in the backyard. So, it was a good trial run for us as we work on our garden and fixing up the yard in whole.
This year though, we have big, big plans and have been slowly chipping away at them. We both have more confidence and are feeling a little more in tuned with the soil and what we needed to do to improve it and the surrounding area. Our strawberry plants lasted through the winter, which was incredible because I did not pay any attention to them other than pulling old leaves out whenever I noticed. So far, we’ve picked 16 strawberries this week over the course of two days as they become ripe. I let Aurora snack on all of them and she said they were sweet, so I will take her word for it. In our huge planters in the front and back yard we’ve planted
- Spaghetti Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Green Bell Peppers
- Green Peas
- Green Beans
- Tomatoes: Grape, Roma, Heirloom Brandywine
Seems like a lot, but we have the space for everything. Some of the smaller plants are in table top planter’s since they require such little space. Most of the items are trial runs to see how they do. The squash group I know does well in our soil and have been growing at a pretty good rate, same with the tomatoes, basil and mint. Which by the way basil, mint and tomatoes are so easy and you can trim stems off the plant, toss it in a cup of water and they will sprout roots and you have a new plant to place in the garden. How cool is that? I’ve done this for my mint and basil and I have so many healthy plants that were free. Thanks to Pinterest I found out you could do the same process with tomatoes and am trying it out with the Roma’s, so fingers crossed that works out. Everything from the Cauliflower down to Eggplant is all new pretty much and it’s exciting to see how well some of them are doing while others are just taking their sweet time and really testing my patience. Thanks to the birds we also have random blackberry bushes all around the property and I personally can’t wait for those to be ripe so I can make so jam. It’s the simple things guys, I’m telling you it doesn’t take much to make me feel content and happy.
At the beginning of spring I added some bags of compost and manure to our soil, mixed it in and let it sit for a couple of weeks before adding any plants. Aurora and I also dry out egg shells and blend them up to toss around our plants to get extra nutrients as well as used coffee grounds. Most of the tricks are a huge part to Pinterest and the rest of the credit goes to my Uncles Joe & Johnny. Which, they learned everything they know from my Grandparents, who had gardens for as long as I could remember. My Uncle Johnny owns a nursery in Fort Bragg and is incredibly talented. His nursery and home garden are both so magical and he is amazing at what he does. Same goes for my Uncle Joey, all my memories of Joey growing up will always include him sitting, drinking a bud light and playing guitar and gardening. He builds all his own arbors and I am so envious. His garden this year is insane and I am very thankfully for his patience while I ask a million questions. He also inspired me to cut down some branches that were beginning to cover Aurora and I’s garden. Joey had purchased this rope chain and he let me borrow it. You’re definitely not supposed to do it alone because you need a good angle on either wide to get a clean cut. Ha, yeah no, I did it alone and took down 6 branches so far. It was AWESOME and we got some firewood out of it. Win-win situation.
Aurora loves going to Friedman’s and I think we spend at least an hour there every Sunday browsing around, as we are looking to plant more flowers to attract some bees to assist with some of our vegetables and fruits. I love hydrangeas and would love to have a huge garden full of them and dahlias and bougainvillea. Oh, and lots of roses! So that’s also why we go so frequently so we can start pricing things out and then mapping it all out at home. And, of course, we always end up with a new little garden toy. They sell these really pretty decorative garden stakes, we have four now I believe. The fourth one came from a trip to Dollar Tree though, it is shaped like a flower, spins and is pink, so how could Aurora not want it? We also purchased a wind chime at Friedman’s which Aurora has become completely obsessed with! I have to keep our bedroom window open when we are home so she can hear it any time the wind blows. And the same should be said about our hummingbird feeder, we haven’t been able to spot one yet but I hope we get to soon. It’s really sweet how involved she wants to be and how much she loves our time spent outside.
I’ve posted links below to the stepping stone kit Aurora and I were given and I also provided a link to the ones I found at Michaels. The one Aurora and I made is very simple, you just need a bucket to mix it in and some water. Again, I did purchase additional glass gems, but you don’t need to if you don’t want.