A blog about family, food and fun!

Tag: progress

A List of Sort of Financial Goals for 2018

A List of Sort of Financial Goals for 2018

Usually this time of year I start looking over our finances for the year, project our income a year ahead and start setting some goals for the year. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions because I am not great at following through with them but […]

A New Beginning in Budgeting Part 3: Reducing our Clothing Spending

A New Beginning in Budgeting Part 3: Reducing our Clothing Spending

Hello and welcome to the third installment of our A New Beginning in Budgeting Series! Our first installment was “A New Beginning in Budgeting Part 1: Using Quicken to Build a Buffer” and our second was “A New Beginning in Budgeting Part 2: Adjusting our […]

Garden Update July 28, 2017

Garden Update July 28, 2017

Summer is upon us and the vegetable garden is in full swing. My pumpkins have taken over the garden space and the spaghetti squash is not far behind it.  The kids and I are harvesting berries, green beans and squash every other day.  I have been blanching and freezing small batches of green beans a couple of times a week since we have an over abundance of produce at the moment. It is wonderful to have fresh produce from the garden every day! I have already noticed a reduction in our grocery bill.

 

 

I went to go take pictures of the bush beans we have been harvesting and I discovered that we had eaten most of them! There are still some smaller ones left that should ripen in the next week or two but then we will be done with green beans until our pole beans start to produce some time in the next few weeks.

 

 

We only have two pumpkins so far but this one is gigantic.  I have been excitedly watching it grow over the past few weeks and my daughter finally got a good look at it the other day. We have decided that it is wonderful even if it doesn’t ripen. We will still carve it green!

 

 

There are several spaghetti squash in various stages of growth around the garden.  They are definitely an exercise in patience! Spaghetti squash is a family favorite and they seem to be taking forever to ripen.  Our very first one is just starting to turn yellow so I am hoping we can harvest it soon. We will be curing most of them so we can eat them in the winter but I want to try one this summer for sure!

 

 

I planted some radishes a few weeks ago and they are growing nicely. I completely forgot to write down when they popped up so I could keep track of when they would be ready to pick but I will be thinning them this week so I can check on their progress then.

 

 

They are kind of hard to see but my daughter and I planted our bottle gourd seedlings last weekend. They are doing well in their new space, crammed in front of some squash plants and an errant pumpkin vine.  I will definitely need to plant pumpkins somewhere else next year. They take up way too much space!

 

 

Our pole beans finally seem to be getting some legs on them.  I checked them again yesterday and one of them is already a couple of feet taller than our tepee so I will have to figure out a solution for that soon.

 

 

My ground cherry plant that I spent many months hoping would germinate and then carefully keeping healthy under the grow light has a couple of ripe fruits! My daughter was very excited to eat the first couple of them.  Our volunteer ground cherries are doing well and have some of the largest fruits I have seen, some are the size of a large grape.

 

 

We have two cucumbers. They aren’t very long but they are definitely fat! We ate the larger one last night and it was delicious! I will probably harvest the other one in the next day or two. I double checked our seed packet and the cucumbers are supposed to grow to 10 inches but this particular plant had several female blossoms shrivel up so I think it can’t support too many large cucumbers at once.  I have read it is better to harvest them to encourage new fruit.  Our cucumber vines are still pretty small at this point but I am a little nervous for how many they will produce later in the summer!

 

 

I thought I would also post a more general picture of the garden.  We have had a ton of growth since the last time I posted one.  Our tomatoes are coming along nicely but our broccoli is still struggling.  I am going to plant seed starts indoors ASAP for a fall/winter crop.  Adding the lavender plants to our garden has really helped with pollination.  Our marigolds all got eaten by slugs but I am sure we will have more next year since I think they are self-seeding.  We are having a huge problem with both crows and squirrels eating a majority of the squash blossoms but it hasn’t really affected our yellow zucchini or spaghetti squash production so I am not too worried about it. They are mostly eating the male blossoms so we aren’t able to harvest and eat any but honestly we haven’t had time anyways.

 

I am really glad we planted such a large vegetable garden this year! I am excited for more veggies to come! What is going on in your garden this week?

 

 

 

 

Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster Award Nomination

    I want to thank Katie from Sled Dog Slow for nominating Oscoey for the Leibster Award! It was completely unexpected and the email was a wonderful surprise after a long week of craziness in our house. I have only been blogging for a few […]

Garden Update July 10th 2017

Garden Update July 10th 2017

We have had a busy week in the garden! Lots of flowers are in bloom and we spent many hours pulling ivy along the property lines in anticipation of our fence measure this week. We are very close to being done with the fence line […]

Gardening Update

Gardening Update

This week not a lot got done in the garden besides watering and weeding.  We had a busy week with the oldest daughter graduating from high school and Father’s Day so we were pretty occupied.  We spent a lot of time doing maintenance type stuff around the garden so that it looked better for the party. I in no way got it looking nearly as nice as I wanted it to but the weeds were more in control and the lawn was at least mowed.

 

I have been really pleased with the growth in our vegetable garden.  All of the plants took off when the sun came out and we have quite a few vegetables growing.  Most of them are squash but now that they are starting to grow I can tell which plant is which. It is very helpful!

 

 

I pulled the last of our seedlings from the indoor grow area and started hardening them off this week. My ground cherry is growing well and has a couple of fruits on it. Yay! It looks like most of the other plants are bottle gourds. I am a little tight on space so I will have to find somewhere else to stash these.  I am thinking of planting them near the hydrangeas in our front bed for now and install some netting so they can grow vertically. I also have some room over by the blueberry bushes but that area is very weedy and I don’t know if that will be a problem later.  I might have to super mulch and see if that solves the problem.

 

 

The bush bean plants have gotten super tall. They seem to have grown a couple of feet in the last week or two.  We have been checking them every day but we missed a day for graduation and they seemed to grow overnight.

 

 

I am really excited about our carrots.  We grew this variety last year and had no luck.  They doubled in size over the last few days and I am hoping that they are growing some nice roots down in the soil!

 

 

We have a few pumpkins! I am really hoping they aren’t eaten by the pesky squirrels and crows.  I seem to be missing 95% of my strawberries and I think I know who has eaten them…

 

 

Our squash plants are taking over the bed. I planted way to many of them for the area. I honestly was not sure if they would even grow.  We should hopefully have a bunch though so I can freeze a bunch for the winter.  They are mostly summer squash so  they won’t keep over winter.

 

 

Baby zucchini!

 

 

Yellow squash! I took this photo a couple of days ago and they are much bigger today.  I didn’t get a picture but they almost looked big enough to eat. Yellow squash is one of my favorites!

 

 

Our Luffa plants are starting to grow up the trellis.  I need to trim them back a bit but I am waiting for the first flowers so I can do it all at once.  These really are my experiment this year.  I am hoping they do well so we can switch to natural sponges instead of synthetic.

 

 

We have a couple of tiny cucumbers.  I am going to have to train these with some string so they can find the fence behind them. I didn’t plant them quite close enough.

 

 

Our green beans are doing ok. They have been attacked by some slugs and many of them lost their leaves.  I am going to start another batch next week and set up a beer slug trap as soon as I can get around to it. Hopefully that will help.

 

 

Do you see these? These popped up in the garden a couple of weeks ago and I have been watching them carefully.  They first appeared to be weeds but I was hopeful and decided to let them grow a bit before I pulled the plug.  I am fairly certain now what they are since I compared them to my seedling from the laundry room. Do you know what they are? I am pretty sure they are volunteer ground cherries from our plant last year.  We planted it in this spot and many of the ground cherries were either squished or left under leaves since we had a very successful harvest last year and missed a bunch of them.  I am really excited about it if they are because that means next year I can just save some seeds, I don’t have to search high and low or stress about how many seeds germinate next year. I was also really nervous about our one not so great looking plant but even though it has been growing ever so slowly it looks really healthy so hopefully we will get quite a bit from it.

 

That’s it for our short but sweet garden update! I may look into some netting for our strawberry plants but honestly I have spent my budget for gardening for the year and my kids aren’t missing them so I may not.  Hopefully it will keep the birds off of our raspberry plants.  I am excited about the possibility of baby squash to eat next week! Yum!

 

What’s happening in your garden this week?

 

 

Gardening Update June 19, 2017

Gardening Update June 19, 2017

We have had some excitement in the garden this week. Our plants are continuing to grow super fast from our week of excellent sun and we harvested our first few strawberries.  I got some more seedlings planted and we spent quite a bit of time […]

Gardening Update June 5th 2017

Gardening Update June 5th 2017

We had a really busy week this week with playdates for the younger kids and prom for our oldest.  There were errands to run and the one year old didn’t nap all week. Both little kids must be growing through a growth spurt because I […]

Gardening Update May 30, 2017

Gardening Update May 30, 2017

I haven’t posted an update about the garden in a while since we got really busy and I ignored it for a bit…I am definitely paying for it now with weeding and chopping back, I mean pruning, the massive growth on our many ornamental bushes.  I was keeping an eye on the bushes but we had a few days of sun and they seem to have all grown a foot and put out their flowers so I feel pretty bad about chopping those off. I tried to just trim where it was necessary such as along paths and to keep plants from growing too close to the house. This week I focused on weeding the larger weeds, installing soaker hoses in the vegetable beds and trimming back bushes where I could.

 

 

The bushes near the front of my house are starting to bloom and it will be gorgeous when all of the white flowers are out.  I started the annual spring trim of these bushes so they don’t completely take over the front of the house but I didn’t get very far since it was so hot. I am hoping to finish next weekend but it will depend on the vegetable garden.

 

 

My gigantic Hydrangea bushes in the front have a couple of flowers just starting to bloom.  I love these bushes and they were a selling point for me when we bought the house.  I am a little concerned though because last year I spent many, many hours deadheading these bushes and even though I cut it back pretty severely last fall it apparently wasn’t enough to prevent massive growth.  It seems to be extra bushy this year with lots of new branches and each and every one of them has a flower bud on it.

 

 

I am also concerned I will have the same problem this year as last year with the blossoms being to massive for the branches to support their weight when it rains.  Most of the branches fell over last year and I had to cut the flowers strategically so that the branches didn’t break. I may have to cut these back even further this year and see how they do.

 

 

Our apple tree seems to be doing well. It is leaning a bit which is concerning but it did produce fruit! There are a few apples on a couple of the branches.

 

 

I was really excited to see them but I may end up pinching them off so the tree can grow a little more since it was planted only a year ago.

 

 

 

 

 

Our raspberries, blueberries and strawberries have quite a few fruit on them and the kids have been checking them periodically to see if they are ripe.  I know once the blueberries begin to turn blue I will have a hard time keeping my three year old from sneaking over there and eating them before they are ripe.  I did a little weeding in the fruit beds and pulled some of the outlying raspberry starts.  There are way too many of them and I was afraid they would crowd the blueberries or the pear tree that is planted next to it.  I may have to rethink my raspberries next year and move them into a planter to keep them from taking over my garden bed.  I don’t have time this year though so that would be a project for fall.

 

 

In the vegetable beds we have some quick growing bush bean sprouts and some tiny broccoli starts.  The beans popped up overnight. I took this picture on Sunday night, installed soaker hoses that night, turned them on for an hour and by Monday night the bean sprouts had doubled in size.  I should hopefully be able to thin them this week.

 

 

Our watermelon (lower right) seems to be doing so-so. I think I may have left it too long in the cup since it has barely grown. The soil in the garden bed was a little dry so I am hoping that with the soaker hoses the plants will do better, despite my best efforts at watering.

 

 

We have flowers on our pumpkin plants! I am hoping the yellow one was pollinated by our busy bees!

 

 

Our squash and zucchini are doing well. I was having a hard time watering them without getting the leaves wet and I had to pull a few of the leaves off of them but they still had quite a few leaves so they should recover.  Our cucumbers however bit the dust.  I apparently planted them too early but thankfully I still have a couple of seed starts under the grow lights that I can harden off this week and get in the ground hopefully next weekend.

 

 

My lettuce is flourishing in it’s pot and my daughter has been grazing off of it every time we go outside to play.  She will not eat salad but she helped grow this lettuce and has been helping water it for me and now she is actually eating it. It really shows how getting kids involved in gardening will help then expand their palates.

 

 

It is kind of hard to see but our asparagus is also blooming.  They have not sent up any new shoots besides the first few in the spring but I think that is because we have kind of neglected them.  They are pretty weedy and I may have forgotten to mulch them at the beginning of the season. I am hoping to at least get them weeded this week and possibly look into a large quantity of mulch to cut down on my weeding time in the future.

 

 

I did a rather hasty soaker hose install on Sunday night using rocks to keep my hoses down.  I ordered clips a couple of weeks ago from Gardener’s Supply Store but they have not come yet. I am hoping to plant pole beans, luffa and peas this week so I will be moving the hoses around a bit next weekend to get a better fit.

 

 

They seemed to work ok. I ran them for an hour the first night and will try again in the morning. My soil probably needs some mulching in this bed so it will hold moisture better.

 

 

I had to get a little creative in the corner and I will have to hand water the marigolds but after an hour the area was pretty well soaked.

 

 

Here is a view of the entire set up. It is pretty ugly as is but after I tweak it a bit it should look better.  Overall it worked pretty well. The carrot starts were a little iffy with the water so I may have to continue to hand water those but everything else seemed to get quite a bit.

 

I am really excited to see my vegetable garden take off in the next few weeks! What’s going on in your garden?

 

 

 

Stitching Update May 19, 2017

Stitching Update May 19, 2017

Stitching update time! My goal was to update once a month but we were so busy in the garden that I barely got any time to stitch until a couple of weeks ago. I had to pause all work on my birthdate alphabet sampler to […]