Year Zero: Serious Moment

I have a five year plan. It is not a good plan and it changes from day to day but it is a plan. Right now, I have just left year zero. January 2021 is starting a new year for me.

You may ask:

What is Year Zero? Year Zero has been my year of planning. I also went around the area and looked at local nurseries. I wanted to see what everyone had to offer. It opened my eyes. I also planned to go back to college and learn about plant things.

Why is Year Zero so important? Year Zero is my planning year. We moved in October 2019 and that only started our adventure. During this year I have walked the property over five hundred times. I have learned the land-ish. There is a lot more to starting a permaculture food forest then I anticipated.

This is where I outlined my goals. I learned my property and I planted starter plants- which I will get into later. We have a lot to cover so I will continue.

Some of the trees ready for new homes

What does having a poorly planned year zero do for someone who is just starting out? This is a tough one because I had to reset my Year Zero last year. It was insanity. I killed every plant I got my hands on because I just jumped in. I thought I could just wish my garden into growth. It was poor planning and I wasted a lot of money on plants that died. So, don’t waste money use your year zero wisely. Learn to work with your property and not against it.

Year Zero is the most important year of planning and development. This is my year of research and getting to know my property. Here I started and failed then restarted after some research. Even still I am not 100% sure that everything will work out. My year one began with medicinal plants and evolved into the dreams of a food forest. Somewhere it evolved and I wanted to have real food security.

I learned a lot about the native plants that already live here and it inspired me to start a Monarch Butterfly Santuary. I started by going online and joining many types of groups. They kind of inspired me and so I continued with my year zero goals. I did way better than I anticipated.

The reason Year Zero is important is because it lays the foundation for success but remember: you can always switch it up later if your plans don’t work out. I know it sounds crazy but a lot of people (myself including) thought they could just jump in (like I did) and fail. I’ve learned it’s only a true failure if I stop trying and so I will continue.

It took me the better half of the first year to figure out I was doing things wrong and I might need to talk to experts. That’s why I enrolled in classes but I’ll share all of that information as I get it with you.

Squash flower (I think?)

Sure, I was in the best Facebook groups. Unfortunately I hadn’t been utilizing them. So I went online and I just dove into research on permaculture, companion planting, ph levels, soil samples and I was blown away by how much was out there. I will never know everything but I had started down a rabbit hole that brought me here to this blog.

Spoiler alert: my plants stopped dying. I got better at planting the more I learned and there is this feeling of happiness when you are using your own vegetables and fruits.

All throughout year zero I sat outside my plants hoping they might grow. It does not make plants grow faster.

Now I know I need a plan and in year zero it’s the perfect time to decide what you want and where you see that going in five years. Make it fun and exciting but remember: your plan must flow with the tide. So make sure you are ready for those changes and adaptations as you go. For example: I thought I could just put seeds in the dirt and it would just grow. It doesn’t work that way and now I know thanks to countless people.

Goals for my property and my life for the next five years. This is important because it gives me a general outline to work with. Remember, I am making plans but they are like the wind- every changing and straightforward.

In five years, I want to have every individual breed of plant I want on my property. Even if I do not have every part of my land covered (Which I most likely will seeing my progress already- it is a possibility). I am not talking about a neat little orchard- I want trees and shrubs. I want to be overwhelmed with sight, smell and feel like nature surrounds me.

Keep that in mind- it is the foundation for our success. My goals are not primarily food security, even though it is a reoccurring theme, but instead a food based garden of eden, a place for me to retire my body and my spirit. So, not all of my plants will be solely food based. I am going to continue on that note, but keep your goals in your mind.

Another goal I realized: I want the species here to be closer to disease resistant and ready to produce in five years. This means that in the first few years I have to plant my trees that need to be producing as well as create a water source.

In Year Zero, I am going through plant lists to find edible plants, flowering plants, herbs, and pollinators. I am collecting seeds and planting what I like to call guaranteed success plants such as blackberries. During Year Zero I did a lot of planning but then I began planting samples.

For example: I don’t know of I even like certain fruits- this is a great time to plant one or two and try them. If I don’t like them I won’t plant more of that particular tree. It’s good to know before I make a mass planting decision.

The ones that do well and we like: we plant more of them. The ones that don’t we just move on from and don’t plant more. At least we are keeping those three blueberries (if any of them survive), but I am hesitant of planting more until we know they will survive. That is one of many examples. We keep what we like but we don’t want continue any difficult plants. If something happens we want to make sure we can take care of it. (Eventually I hope it will take care of itself, in my old age I don’t want to be chasing around a 7 acre mess)

I want to cover my entire property in plants that are useful primarily with a little playroom for beautiful things. I want to retire in my own hand made forest and I want to leave it for my kids to enjoy. I cannot wait until I make my dream come true, but Year Zero opened my eyes to the many possibilities.

Frankly, Year Zero did not go as planned and there is a good chance your Year Zero will not be magnificentbut don’t give up. I killed a lot of plants that I want to blame on bizarre seeds from China that I never received. Really it all came down to poor planning.

Year one starts now in January and during that year I have a lot of things I would like to accomplish. But first let’s talk about what i have already got started:

  • 75 thornless blackberries, three different kinds.
  • 33 grape plants, twenty four muscadine, six concord, two seedless randoms from Wal-Mart, and one Spanish grape.
  • 8 apple trees, 4 persimmons, 4 pomegranates, 5 peaches, 3 plums, 4 cherries, 2 pears, 2 limes, 2 lemons, and 2 avadaco trees.
  • Planted many perennials and failed two gardens.

Year One I have new goals.

  • I would like to plant 100 additional thornless blackberry plants. This year so far we have planted 75. We know that blackberries will do great here and we want at least 200. We want to primarily plant thornless varieties which is also why we are not dying into raspberries.
  • Set up the irrigation system that will support the amount of plants that I want to bring in. We already bought two irrigation systems. One is set up for bushes and one is set up for the trees.
  • I want to plant a minimum of 25 different kinds of apple trees, but that may not be possible.
  • I want to focus on the 41 disease resistant breeds that grow in my zone. Zone 8a.
  • Focus on filling in the spaces between my trees with shrubs and berry bushes.
  • Expanding my seed collection
  • Creating a creek system that runs through our property
  • Planting as much as I can as fast as I can and keeping it all alive with magic

So, don’t give up. Year Zero seems hard on everyone. We’ve got this now onward to YEAR ONE.

A much more detailed goal list for Year One is coming but you’ll have to be patient. I am busy looking through seed catalogs while listening to permaculture information.

Beneficial Grants: Texas Monarch Butterfly Grant

I live in Texas. Howdy.

I was looking into things that could boost my permaculture food forest without costing me any money. As I was looking through the many grants. It all started with the Monarch Butterfly Grant.

This is a very small personal grant that cannot exceed past 400 per person/group. This grant can only be used to purchase plants (which is all I want- free plant money). So there are some rules to this particular grant that go further than that: they have to be native to Texas. I want Butterflies

As I wait for winter to be over I plan. My close friend LD always has a beautiful yard and I want to shine too. This has inspired me to look for money to supply my hobbies.

Challenge accepted.

I want all four hundred of those dollars so that I can expand my already amazing dream permaculture food forest. So I looked into it.

Agarita is one of the native plants. I hadn’t thought about this plant before -primarily because I was so narrow minded on the idea of a permaculture food forest- but I love that we have so many milkweed plants in my pasture because it attracts the butterflies.

That’s also how I happened upon this grant because I decided I wanted to start a butterfly garden to attract even more. The agarita has the nectar that the butterflies crave. If I have this lovely blossoming flower it will give the mom butterflies plenty of food – these plants also are great for other pollinators like bees. Keep that in mind.

It is a shrub that is pointy. I like pointy shrubs because they make good barriers to keep animals away from my property. Sold. They are an evergreen, drought tolerant and they also produce tasty berries (and makes delicious jelly). Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

These are my end game goals guys. I want to be on this list.

Flame acanthus also known as the hummingbird bush. This is absolutely beautiful and another shrub. This is considered a ‘profuse’ bloomer. It allegedly is a huge bloomer and that is exciting because it attracts not just monarch butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees. (It’s also a deer resistant and drought tolerant)

Kidneywood is so beautiful. I had no idea, they are allegedly really fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They have many branches and they can get up to be 12 feet tall. That is amazing because it is also drought tolerant and can survive cold and heat. (Clay soil is acceptable here). I am digging it. Sounds like it will be a great place for butterflies to settle in and eat some nectar.

Cone Flower is something we already have but would love to have it planted everywhere. Who knew that it was a native Texas plant? Now I know and you do too. This is a perennial and has beneficial properties which I will probably go over at a later time. They bloom from April until September so this will give my early pollinators a snack before the rest bloom in May or June.

The application is online and the application and process seems very easy.

They say purple cone flower can be aggressive- I sure hope so. So keep that in mind.

Cenizo is just a cool name to have. If I get another pet (fingers crossed I don’t but if I do) I am going to name it Cenizo. Regardless, it is made for our zone. It flowers and can take the heat but it does need to be watered. They can get to be up to 8 feet tall. Sounds live privacy fence material to me.

Cenizo goes by another name Texas Sage. Amazingly enough I already have a couple growing. I had no idea. Also this plant does not appreciate heavy pruning- I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The fragrant or pink mimosa is another thorny shrub great for deer resistance and a nice barrier around my property (I hear it smells good too). Another early bloomer but it ends earlier too (March to July). The flowers are lovely and I would love to add them to my butterfly garden (or barrier I haven’t decided). Here is even more Information.

They will check up on us and I can’t wait. This adventure will be really exciting. I can’t wait to start.

Texas Lantana is something I already have growing and they are amazing. I kind of want more of them because they make a beautiful groundcover. All parts of this plant are poisonous and it is considered deer resistant.

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that can grow 2 to 4 foot tall. Wow, they just don’t seem to be scrubbing out for me. They’re just creeping across the ground. That is strange maybe next year they will perk up, regardless I would love to have more. One more link: Texas Lantana. Just in case you’re considering it. It is really beautiful.

Last but not least is Salvia texana and I want this one. If I got that grant I would definitely get this plant. This is a perennial herb and it grows to be up to 2 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and does well in clay or rocky soil (bonus i won’t need to modify the soil I have). Salvias are a perennial flower and have more than 75 species including autumn sage. That is something we already have in honor of my eldest child: Autumn Sage. This is a rabbit hole I’ll have to go down another time, but every new flower or sage that I have gets me more excited.

I have murdered lavender every single year I’ve tried it but look at her growing it like it’s nothing. I am so jealous of her naturally green thumb.

I will, of course, get more milkweed but that will place where where I want them primarily and have a large area in the middle of the garden. That sounds absolutely beautiful.

Can’t wait and I hope I get it, but I already have some of these plants. The milkweed does grow naturally and I want to entice Monarch butterflies. I want them to pollinate all of my fruit trees and attract all of the bees. I understand the importance of planting native plants and I can’t wait to get started.

I will share more grants as I come across more information.

Ginger in Pots

I just began growing a sprouted ginger in a pot yesterday. This morning I was scrolling through my Facebook groups and there it was: a sign from the universe.

STORY TIME: We had this green shoot come off a piece of ginger I had lost in the back of my spices. I hate forgetting but sometimes, I just buy more. This time it came with a prize: a little baby green shoot. I thought, oh no, it’s winter and you can’t plant new plants outside – so I just potted it and put a little bit of hope into it. I said a lot of beautiful things to it in hopes it would inspire the ginger to grow like crazy.

Photo credit to Ronel Bey

Then the universe gifted me with the answer to the question: can you grow ginger in a pot? I had wondered when I potted the ginger, but I didn’t feel the need to research because this was the baby sprouts only chance.It was magic everyone, I just potted this yesterday and now I was seeing it in a Facebook group. Is this what fate feels like? I am so excited.

They posted the answer with easy to go to links. I followed those links because I just tried this yesterday.

Epic Gardening informed me that if you look for ginger at the store (to grow) you should look for eyes like you do potatoes. Also, the larger your ginger is determines how much we’ll get. Ginger grows faster and you’ll get more ginger when you pick larger pieces of ginger. This is because they’ll have more sprouts and that will lead to more shoots and more roots.

Ronel Bey is so amazing he has all of this ginger. I am impressed. I want to grow ginger now too.

He says that you need a shallow pot with good drainage. Now that I am seeing what he is doing: maybe I’ll repot mine. He says I should just barely cover it up. I will have to pull my ginger closer to the surface, and I should just give them enough water to tell them to grow but be sure not to over water the ginger.

They enjoy heat, humidity and water. He gave use some tips to look for as our ginger grows, which i found helpful you might too: Browning tips means your ginger needs water. Yellow leaves means your, nutrient loving, plant needs some nutrients. Give them the fertilizer they will thank you for it later.

Ginger can always produce new ginger was pretty cool too. You harvest at the end and they can be dry stored for a while. I like that because I enjoy using ginger in my cooking but sometimes I don’t have a recipe to require it.

My shoot of ginger that I am so pleased with

You should always look for multiple sources… So, I went and clicked a suggested video. 5 ways to get tons of ginger (Top Tips) is where I am going, he’s Australian which is appealing because I love the accent. That distracted me for the entire video and I can’t wait to try growing them outside next year.

It was not useful for containers, but it will probably be useful in the Spring. I can’t wait to get it started and he has such a lovely accent. His tips have also helped me before which made it a lot easier for me to consider his advice.

I love international channels because they place importance on different things. This YouTube channel Everyday simple health tips has a lot of useful information and this is specifically about growing ginger in containers.

Another Ronel Bey picture, I do not have my own pictures of a successful harvest yet so I must live through others.

He suggests that I dry my ginger out 10 to 20 hours before planting, which is good because my ginger was super dry. It probably was out longer than 20 hours, but we’ll see how it goes.

He also shows himself planting it not far from the top of the soil. I really love it when multiple sources use the same information, it shows that it is a common tip and will most likely be beneficial.

We should see a sprout in 10 to 15 days. After 6 months we should be ready to harvest the ginger. I like the time line in the video so that I know when to give up on this plant. The easier for me to understand the more likely I am to return.

We are going to see how this adventure works out. I will do more research and find out what I can, but I am excited to have a baby ginger sprout.

It is now snug as a bug in a rug only a few inches from the top of the soil.

My pumpkins are flowering

That’s right. You heard it right. My pumpkins are beautiful and they have the most amazing flowers. Ignore how weedy my garden is.

Pumpkins have two kinds of flowers: male and female. The first flowers to show up are male flowers in order for the pollinators to be attracted.

Female flowers are easy to spot because you can see baby pumpkins at the base. I was told that I might want to cut off the earlier ones in order to let the better ones come in.

They also say that when there are three or four on a vine that we should cut away all of the ones that aren’t promising as soon as they get to be around the size of a soft ball.

Night time is when pumpkins do must of their growing so try to keep the leaves dry in order to prevent disease and mold or mildew. It’s good advise for any plant as I have recently had to learn. Thats how we got our lemon balm runners and I stopped letting my kids water the plants.

Why Cilantro?

Cilantro is related to carrots, celery and parsley. This little herb is good in salads, soups and as a garnish. An excellent source of antioxidants and in one study about prostate cancer in 2019 saw a difference and leads towards it’s ability to fight cancer.

Freshly planted baby cilantro

In a separate 2015 study they determined that cilantro could be used to assist with pain and inflammation- which is cool.

Cilantro is an easy to grow herb that grows in the early spring through summer in my zone and can be planted in the fall or winter in zone 9

Some people make claims that cilantro can be a perennial but there is no evidence found online by a reputable source to back these claims.

That was before I clipped the leaves. It is lovely and I planted more just to test out if I can have two growing season as well. After all, we do have warmer winters than most zones. Who knows, but I look forward to adding more cilantro to my garden.

After all, everything I have read so far states that Cilantro is a super food. They say you can take this to cleanse yourself from poisonous metals. It helps with lead poisoning and other conditions. I am super excited about cilantro and I can’t wait until I have a whole bunch.

Introducing: Yard by Yard

My favorite place to buy plants most certainly is going to be Yard by Yard. They have these huge greenhouses with so many plants. They have always been great, and it turns out that my father has painted the guys house.

They mainly grow pretty things. They aren’t primarily fruit trees or herbs, they just don’t sale as well. It is a shame, I feel like that is the best part.

They have classy statues and other amazing items. I am only showing pictures of the plants. I will do a different segment about their gift shop. They just have beautiful plants and such a variety.

Now just because it is not their primary business they do carry herbs. I wish I did better with basil this year but there will always be better luck next year.

I always walk around that place for a good thirty minutes or so. They just have so much to offer.

I find myself just sitting there watching the place because they have free roaming lizards.

Large greenhouses that are full of Beautiful green life. It is just amazing seeing everything that they do.

Happy flowers everywhere you go. It is just so peaceful. It makes you feel as though you have walked into another space.

So when I came today he said that this was their slow season and I was like, “for why?” He said that most people prefer to grow starting in spring and aren’t as interested in the fall growing season.

I figured that I could help by posting how amazing they are and highlighting how great their plants are.

So I encourage everyone to show up at your mom and pop greenhouse. Take some pictures, tell your friends, and of course buy a plant.

After all, plants are the future of the entire planet as well as being beautiful and amazing.

Update: My garden September 5, 2020

I have three sets of peas that are growing well. As you can see I have grown lazy since thus last rain and have not weeded my garden, although I plan to very soon. I just don’t know when I will.

My pumkins seem to be doing well on both sides. Each day that passes I see them getting a little taller. It is great to watch the progression.

Look at them grow, I am impressed by how well they are fighting back the grass. I am hoping to have this are cleaned up a bit pretty soon.

The thing I am most proud of is the amount of corn that is growing. Some are doing better than others, and you can still see there are a bunch that just seemed to have shoved together. Again, I did not think that this many corn would root but look at them grow. Amazing specimens of wonder reaching for the sun.

Unknowing that they are simply a means to an end and I plan on ripping their children away and devouring them. Forgive me, I’m in a mood. I look forward to eating some corn and taking more beautiful pictures of it.

Everything seems to have taken off but my Brussel sprouts. I am mildly disappointed. The reason is we don’t really like or eat Brussel sprouts but then again I did want to be able to say that I grow them.

My squash, zucchini and cucumber seem to be doing super well over here too. I think that this soil over here is better than on our other plots.

I am excited about my garden and can’t wait to post more updates in order to keep myself motivated. Thank you for reading and have a great day.

Garden Update 2020: August 30

This will most likely be the final update for this month. I like to see the progress in my plants. If you are a gardener yourself you know what I mean.

We have beans and they just don’t seem to be growing as much. I’ll have to go back and look at my older post. Maybe I need to weed around them better. I thought there would be more leaves and such since I made the dogs leave them alone.

Pumpkins are coming in. Not going to lie, I expected more of an explosion of growth. That is because they just grew up over night. There was nothing and then there were a lot of pumpkins. I dunno, I’m mildly disappointed but at least they didn’t die. Sounds to me like I am still winning.

This is the other side. It dries out a lot faster and so it has a harder time. I feel kind of bad for it. We are seriously debating on putting some fertilizer on some of this just to ensure growth.

We have either squash or something. Whatever it is on this row it is growing nicely. I am happy with this development. I hope it continues to grow like this.

My corn in coming in nicely. Wish it was taller, but for some reason I just expected it to grow like a mutant corn stalk. My imagination truly leads to disappointment when I finally get plants to live. It is almost like I think I will become a plant goddess over night and my plants will grow like I am Poison Ivy.

This is almost everything. You see my three rows of corn, my broccoli and a lot of we’ll see when it gives me vegetables. I will be excited regardless.

Also….

It turns out I do have three tiny pea plants that are struggling to survive. Let’s see what happens in the next episode of: hope it doesn’t die.

Garden Update 2020: August 25

I think the picture above is broccoli or lettuce. Either way I am pleased to see that there are sproutlings. I see some clusters, but in my defense I planted quite a few in each spot because some of the seeds were question mark seeds.

Zucchini? Cucumber? Squash? I suppose we’ll find out when they start to make vegetables. I did group them together and I am glad to see they are shooting up. I think they are doing a little bit better than my pumpkins- which I planted August 1st. These were planted on the 12th? Or maybe the 8th? I can’t remember honestly, it feels like so long ago.

We have corn, but I feel like it should be taller. I am a very judgemental gardener. I am staring at this corn as though it were 2ft too short.

These are my pumpkins. We bought some stuff to put around them in order get them to look less yellow. They seem to be doing fine. I think they have a 110 day period before they fruit. It makes sense it would take a little bit longer to get them to work.

My other row of pumpkins. Now I had some real concerns about this row. It drains much quicker than the other side and my soil is so tough it doesn’t hold water for long, but with aggressive watering I think they will make it. Fingers crossed.

Are those baby radishes? I planted these babies on August 15. We had so many radish seeds that it was awkward, but any rows that did not produce on the 8th or 1st and here we have tiny things.

I do believe these are Brussel sprouts. I do not know for a fact. This is only my second growing season and in the spring I was a murderer. It happens. This time it will be different. Hopefully, they fight for survival.

I think that is a random pea plant, but I am not one hundred percent sure. I just want to let you know that I am terrible at the whole naming stuff and keeping up with it. Then again, I think that is half the fun- the surprise of finding out what it is when you start to get some vegetables on the plant.

We got a few bean survivors. I am thankful for anything my dogs didn’t eat. It turns out that it is pretty common. Thank goodness for the few plants we have, hopefully they survive the rest of summer.

Garden update: August 20

My corn has been growing like crazy. It is still a struggle to keep my dogs away from my beans, but they aren’t really messing with my corn.

We are working on getting a pen made for them since they can’t just leave my plants alone. Regardless, updates on my fall garden ahead. There have been mistakes made and a few challenges but everything didn’t die and I see that as a win.

Pumpkins because all of my peas died

That is right, the picture above has only pumpkins becayse every single pea died. No peas this year for our families fall garden. I am angry for two reasons A) I want plants to live because I will it to happen B) peas are my absolute favorite vegetable and I was really looking forward to eating them this season. You win some. You lose some.

Corn around one week ago

Now I threw out decoy seeds for me corn and it seems to be doing fantastic. πŸ™ƒ I am truly pleased with the turn of events that led to that picture. I was so excited I texted a picture to my friends and my husband. “Look at my corn.” I felt good about it until is saw my other stuff.

Corn the next day

I keep getting so excited. Especially when they have little baby corn growth spurts. Not to be weird but I can’t wait to eat you.

The whole garden

Some stuff has come up. I just only know how to recognize corn as a baby. I am ninety percent sure that on the outer right column that is going to be my squash and zucchini, which was probably not the best idea, but it happened that way. Then there are Brussel sprouts up front and some broccoli in back.

This was yesterday (August 19th)

The corn have exploded. I am so excited. My dogs like to walk through them because they have short legs and it itches them. I am always yelling at my dogs. I am sure at this point my neighbors think I am a psychopath. I am greatly considering putting them in an enclosure is sad. Evee and Gillis listen when there aren’t other dogs around to encourage them and my kids don’t let them out without supervision.

Pumpkins to the right are doing great

They are growing, but i am sure they get a little bit of stress where they are. I am just excited that something is growing.

Up close of my corn

Ignoring all of the bad (too many too close together), that is a lot of corn. I am really surprised that one small bit grew so much. So when you cut out the other corns it looks like I am successful. I am kind of successful but I look forward to doing better next year

Did not name anything, so this is Fred and his cousins

I should have marked the garden but when I tried cutsy popsicle sticks (like a facebook group suggested) my dogs thought they were toys specifically placed out for them to play with.

My semi successful garden August 20, 2020

I will look back at this 10 years from now and cackle like a witch. It’ll be good to see how far I have come.

Have you seen this corn?

Now I am usually the first person to get excited about anything plant related. The thing is I am really excited right now.

You see back in March my parental unit gifted me 10+ year old seeds. I planted different packages of beans (ones bought by myself and others this year and the ones that my parents handed me that had been lost in their infinite freezer).

As you can see my beans

The three rows to the right were planted with those freezer seeds. Sure, my dogs and the birds most likely got rid of a lot but I don’t understand how just one would make it. So, I assumed (like any rational human might) that planting these corn seeds – as they came from the same freezer – would do around the same.

Freezing seeds is not a terrible idea if they are frozen and stored properly. The majority of the bags that I had received had been opened and were held closed by rubber bags. All seeds were then placed in “freezer safe ziploc” bags. One of the tips is that you should date your bad- this bag had not been dated. I was just given “more than ten years old”.

When Freezing seeds the bags need to be completely dry and I am not quite sure if they took any preventative measures. The ziploc did have a lot of air in it though, so I am unsure if there is a freshness guide to go by. Regardless, the beans did not work out for me and I had to look into different options.

So when I went to plant my three rows of corn I just planted everything triple. (There is still a lot of corn left over.) Too many seeds were planted, honestly. Because of my birdie problem I also threw out decoy seeds all over my rows so that they would stop picking at my other seeds (this is because they dug up my others and I was just trying stuff out).

I am not a wise woman. I did not honestly think throwing seeds out would help. If anything I thought it might make things worse and attract the birds to my garden. I figured it would give some of my developing plants a chance to live.

This morning I woke up to find that maybe there is wisdom in my decision after all. I am actually excited. There are so many that took root that I am concerned with how close they are.

There is a picture at 5:30am with my flash on. Did you see all of those little sproutlings? There are so many. It is exciting to see that so many survived my poor gardening skills.

So, I suppose the decoy seeds worked, kind of? Regardless that is a lot of corn and i am excited to see how it all turns out.

Why Lemon Balm?

We should first begin by saying: why not lemon balm? This plant smells delicious. I don’t know a single person who didn’t stick their face in my lemon balm after a small whiff. It smells like a sweet lemonade.

I attempted to make tea but it turns out you need quite a few leafs to make a good hot leaf juice. We plan on planting more in the future so that I can make real tea with honey.

Lemon balm is a small perennial herb where I live and it is beautiful. It has lovely green leaves and did I mention it smells like heaven? Allegedly it will stay growing (just not as well and die back a bit) during the winter.

I am excited to see how that plays out. The lemon balm that I am currently growing is my tester plant.

I love the color learbes of lemon balm. As you can see we should probably add nutrients to this lemon balm as some of the leaves are starting to color.

Lemon balm is known to assist with anxiety and insomnia. There are other benefits, of course, Such As digestive support and brian stuff. It is more than just a tea.

Lemon balm is more than just a tea and can be made into ointments, tinctures, and balms. There is a lot of Information out there and plenty of Things to do.

The lemon balm is to the right

Lemon balm is a bee attractor. A leaf can be chewed to freshen breath. Lemon balm can be made into a bug spray- which is neat. I don’t know how it would keep bugs away it smells so good.

It seems like lemon balm is a must have in next seasons garden. I know if this winter goes well I will be planting a lot more lemon balm. I can’t see a downside- there was a small note that people with underachieving thyroid should speak to a doctor before using large amounts of lemon balm tea.

I am not an expert. I am a simple plant lover who likes that her plants are not dying.

Get lemon balm.

My garden: August 12

This is our rogue zucchini. It grew out of our burn pile. Those seeds came from the remains of my zucchini bread. The fruit rarely ripens but that is because I purposely neglect this plant. My kids don’t want me to burn the burn because of the random zucchini plants that are growing out of it.

This is one of the few zucchinis that we have gotten from our rogue plant.

Next we just bought Lantana. We got like four of them and we don’t know where we will put them at.

Lantana is kind of invasive so we are nervous about planting it.

Bell peppers are still growing. I am excited everytime we see one growing.

Those are pumpkins above

These are green beans.

We have some green beans that are growing but only a few the rest are being eaten by birds 🐦

Finally there is my big crop of corn which is being attacked by birds as well.

Who knows what will survive the birds and the rabbits. We will find out.

Something is eating my plants – August 13th 2020

I think it is those stupid rabbits but I know for sure there are birds. They are uprooting my beans, eating my poor pumpkins.

They stripped one little baby down to its stem. It is so sad and my dogs. Those bad words. I am so mad at my two dogs Gillis and Evee. My evil dogs won’t stop rolling around all over the place, which includes anything I am working on.

Evee even dug up some of the beans and the corn FOR THE BIRDS. My dog said, “You want these beans, hold on.” I watched her do it. I understand that I teach kindness in my house but that was a bit much. They have a stupid bird feeder. It is always full.

I am losing my mind. I put this garden much closer than my last one in order to find out where I went wrong…

Now I am finding out that it is the nature that I love so dear that has betrayed me. My dogs are helping the wildlife. I am sure that raccoons helped but I can only find evidence that leads to my dogs, rabbits and birds.

It seems that only the strong survive, but my other garden is popping up okay… I wanted it to do so much better.

My dogs dug up my corn and I threw some decoy seeds out to maybe keep the birds away from my plants. I bet my dogs will paw them up just to spite me for spraying them with the water hose for being on my ground.

Not going to lie, it makes me hopeful to see that things are still sprouting up but also very frustrated. I know last year I had a few sprout up but then they all died or disappeared.

It was also a much larger garden. It was much harder to keep up with new grass growing etc.

Fingers crossed my garden stays okay.

Welcome home: ornamental pepper

Good day friends. I have a problem. It is. Problem I am happy to share with you because, friends, it is not MY problem. You see when I get sad I buy plants.

Plants make me happy and therefore I need them when I am sad. Something about plants after watching a sad commercial or your sprinkler broke and you had to go into town anyway…

I, also, buy plants when I am happy, but I buy quite a few more plants when I am sad. I just find a reason. At first, I have none and then: boom. I like new plants especially if I do not have them already.

Regardless, I am a plant addict. I buy a lot of plants and I cry out, “but I bought them because they make me happy.” Not everyone is happy when I do this, but as I look into my plants I care a lot less.

My new ornamental peppers

I bought ornamental peppers this time. I bought four. I buy plants pretty often. I buy a few ‘secret plants’, that just appear planeted. It’s “Surprise, here is a cute plant i found, just lying around.”

This time I bought two and when my husband liked them I requested two more. I said I needed emotional support plants.

You didn’t know this… but my oldest is graduating in 2021. She will moving off to live with her dad and every time I think about it… I have to buy a plant.

I am not the one complaining therefore I do not have the problem. Regardless, I buy a lot of plants and i have decided that I shall share my adventures with you.

This is one of those moments when you go: that’s amazing. Is it amazing? My husband does not find it as amazing, but here we are with some new plants. Surprise plants that he will enjoy throughout the years.

They are looking good let’s see if it they stay that way

This new one is called the Ornamental pepper. It is beautiful and it has peppers on it. Since I murdered lavender and that was what I was originally going to plant in front I decided that I would buy these to replace it because: why not?

They are very pretty, also, and maybe they will do better since i didn’t murder my bell peppers or my banana peppers this year. Hooray for happy plants.

I am excited because they are pretty and they can possibly shrub up to three feet which will cover the porch front. Nothing against porch fronts but green is my favorite color and I want my home to be my favorite place to be.

I am considering some viney plants to go up the porch but I also don’t want it everywhere. That is a debate for a later time.

Also, side note, when I am old I can dare people to eat the peppers.

It’s funny because they are edible and a chili pepper. If you would believe it these suckers are kind of spicy. I didnt warn my husband- to try it out. He went straight for the milk.

I warned my children, because I am a half decent mom. They did not believe me, because I am their mom and it was hilarious. I would do it again if I had the chance. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Yes I know my yard is dirty. I have children and I would never accomplish anything if I followed them around. Another project for another time

It is going to be amazing to see what everything looks like next year. For now, I am pleased to see what happens this time with new plants in front.

More plants to come, but hopefully fewer plant homicides. I hope that part of my life is behind me.

Three others just chilling, planeted in the ground. One day they will be shrubs

Planting season: pole beans August 6th

I have three different types of green beans and I have planted all three. I do not know how this will work out but I planted a lot of rows.

You see, I have many children and they happen to love green beans. I can’t keep cans in the house, so I figured we would plant a lot of them.

The dirt is like a giant rock

Again, my dirt is difficult to do anything with so I had to hoe and I had to water the ground. It was time consuming and I got a blister, which I am kind of proud of. I showed it off to my kids and they thought I was insane.

Regardless, three kinds blue lake pole, tendergreen and then big kahuna.

I am excited to see what they look like. Some of these seeds were given to me by other people. We are hoping they aren’t too old to grow. They had been in the freezer, but we still don’t know what to expect. I am excited and I am just glad I did not rip the names off of these.

That can get confusing. I will stare at seeds thinking: I don’t know what you are but I will plant you, yes I will. China better not send me any seeds… I’ll pot them just to see what they are. That is literally my whole system. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

My rows turned out okay but you can see where my dog wrestled her way through my beans. It was the same day.

At the end of the day I am pleased with the out come and look forward to sharing my success this go around.

August 10th: we have pumpkins

That’s right. I have pumpkins sprouting up all over the place. I am extremely excited. We have been watering them two to three times a day depending on the heat.

I went back and read one of my posts. I just should let everyone know I write these up quickly and do not proofread. I just type it up and publish it a couple of days out – just in case I change my mind about posting it (which happens).

This was August 6th

Anyway, there were only a few in the beginning. They were so tiny. It is exciting to see that they are actually coming up. I hope that this time it all works out.

Two babies at a time August 6th

Now, my more mature daughter asked me about planting them so close together and if it was a good idea. I am starting to wonder that myself.

I never anticipated that my garden would actually grow this way. (I am thinking the partial shade is really helping me out) That is one of the reasons that I planted them on the outside and I put the peas on the inside.

August 7th. You can see pumpkins all up and down the two outside lanes.

I figured if I put the pumpkins on the outskirts that they will be able to vine out, but great points were made. Should I do extra for the pumpkins or is my plan good?

Those are pumpkins in their rows below and I can’t wait for them to get bigger and show me pumpkins. In the middle two rows are the peas. We will be setting up stuff for them to hang out against. I have been watching those gardening groups, they have some really great ideas.

The more that I see success in others the more I can see there can be success in me. When I get low I have been asking others (just random citizens that frequent the groups I am in) to show me their gardens. It has been great 100% of the time. People that garden just seem to be nicer. I am excited about the pumpkins and seeing what everyone else has out there.

August 10th

Not going to lie I am starting to feel true concern for my peas. Only time will tell. I am hoping that everything works out, until next time people.

Side note: make sure you know where your water is going to travel so that you can capture it.

August 1: Peas and Pumpkins

Stop and just imagine for a second that plants just magically grew with little to now work…. that is just a great dream. Now pop it. I have been hoeing. These are my adventures… 🀣

The beginning of my flat hole

Well, random citizens, I have started a very small fall garden. I worked on it for an hour a day. First, I took my mighty hoe and I scraped all of the grass off of the top surface. I had to wet the soil multiple times. I did not enjoy this, but since my son hurt my tractor by hand it is.

My dog helping out in the shady parts

I had to really start moving dirt and my kids really only wanted to help with the fun stuff. I used the dirt that had all of the grass in it as an outside barrier.

I do not know why I did this, maybe I thought that it might protect the plants. We plan on putting ant poison around our beds. Something in me said, “keep it away from our precious.” My husband just rolled with it.

I really beat the fire out of the soil

The ground was so dry I found myself beating the dirt just to get what was on top. I complained a lot about how it was similar to rock- because it was. My shoulders were sore and I hate not having a working tractor. It is for the birds

Some people told me that I just needed to do raised beds in the beginning, but I’d kind of like to know how fast I would have starved in the 1820s. Right now, my family would have been doomed. I have already murdered plenty of plants from lavender to an entire vegetable garden. I really hope my luck changes this time, but just in case I am not using nearly as many seeds as I did the first go around.

Day 2 of our adventure

I gave up half way through the day because my delicate hands befell a blister. Missing my tractor. Regardless, I came back the next day with a blister and new determination. My husband felt bad for me and came out to help the second time. Although I did not work the dirt again that first day I did water it more than five times.

It did not work. The dirt was so dirt and compacted that it only glared at me. So, the ground was still tough but my husband watered it 10x more than I had because he said it made it easier for him. He could have peed on it for all I cared, he helped out a lot. I was not going to complain about his methods.

My sweet girl came out and helped me pull out some of the remaining grass that was in our rows (this was only to stay up later and plant the seeds)

I was going to do this cool thing in the circle that I had seen on the internet but my husband disagreed. Since I had messed up so horrible with our spring garden, he suggested i do fancy patterns with my plants at another time after I have become a little bit more skilled. He may be right, but if these ones die: we’re doing it the fancy way. πŸ˜’

Day three after the planting and after the first watering.

It does not look like it but I just watered those stupid seeds not even 15 minutes ago. Frankly, I am disappointed. I walked out there only to realize that I might need to put my sprinkler on them at least for today, while they’re getting started. I don’t want them to just become one with the dirt. I will update in a few days. I will also show the progress on spot two.

Spot Two will be preparing for our August 10th planters. I am excited. I saw on big names on this list. When I am done with these spots this fall I have some big plans. First- I am going to plant more grape plants. Then I am going to build a giant wooden structure to go over my bushes near the house. (I do not like the sun as much as I do the shade.) This will eventually have grapes growing all around it and I can’t wait.

So stick around and maybe I won’t kill everything this time.

She is just working too hard πŸ˜’
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