Welcome to my new website. It will be both fun and informative. It will have five of my favorite topics: pictures, thoughts, recipes, gardening ideas and did you know? Please enjoy, leave comments, ask questions and visit often.
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  • Courage to try

    Posted on March 23rd, 2010 Pam No comments

    Thoughts to Think About

    What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    -Vincent vanGogh

  • Bouquets, Bouquets, Bouquets

    Posted on March 23rd, 2010 Pam No comments

    I am a little behind on my bouquets. I am trying to have a new bouquet each week. Here are the latest bouquets and the dates I picked them.

    This is a bouquet of tulips and paper whites. Picked March 2nd.

    Here is a bouquet of paper whites. This will be the last forced bouquet of paper whites this year. Picked March 13th.

    These are crocus’ the first two I had bloom this spring. I hated to pick them because they don’t last long in a bouquet. I know this bouquet is pretty small. But a bouquet non the less. Picked March 17th.

  • The root of the matter

    Posted on March 22nd, 2010 Pam No comments

    Do you know how long roots can get? Well I was shocked to find out that the huarango tree that grows in Peru has the longest roots in the world extending to 80 meters (over 250 feet).
    But as you can see from the picture below, a tomato plant has pretty long roots too. I pulled this extra one up from some that I am starting in the house. I was very surprised at the size of the root. This tomato plant is about 2 weeks old. The root is as long as the stem, aproximately 3″ long.

    The reason I am showing this picture to you is to remind you that just because the soil is dry on top, the plant may not need water because the roots go deeper than we think. We want to encourage the plant to have long roots and to search for water well below the top of the soil. In short, water deep and less often.

    A good test to check to see if your plants need water is to get a handful of soil from 4″ to 6″ deep in the ground. Squeeze it and if it breaks apart easily, the plant needs water, if it forms a ball and leaves mud on your hand, the ground is still wet and your plant probably does not need water.

    This is a good test to see if your ground can be worked, too. You can drop the ball you have formed on the ground, if it breaks apart you can usually work your ground. If you dig or work your soil when it is too wet you can pack it down so much you create cloddy, compacted soil. And when you plant your plants, much needed air can’t get to the roots. If you have worked with clods, you know it is much harder to work the ground in your garden.

  • Greenhouse, Hot House, Cold Frame and Shelf Tunnel

    Posted on March 19th, 2010 Pam 2 comments

    I have heard about Grow Tunnels and I wanted to start one of my own to experiment with early vegetable growing. So I decided to try it ‘my way’.

    SUPPLIES (I used supplies I had around the house and yard, so this was free). You see, some tunnels cost as much as $600 so I was happy I came up with this idea.
    1. Shelves, (I used 2)
    2. Blankets (I used padded blankets)
    3. Plastic (I used some heavy plastic I used for covering padio furnature).
    4. Staples
    5. Hammer
    6. Steel Posts (I used three)
    7. Wire
    8. Pieces of wood to make doors with the plastic. ( I used two 1″X4″, 4 feet tall).

    A. I decided the location. The more sun the better. (facing south and more east than west)
    B. Stapled the blankets to the backs of the shelves.
    (NOTE: I also stapled two blankets to flip over the top at night. These cover the sides and the front to hold in the heat at night.
    C. Pounded the posts in and wired the shelves to them.
    D. Stapled the plastic to the top and sides.
    E. Made plastic doors. Staple some of the plastic to the wood and rolled it up to prevent the plastic from ripping.
    F. I have a space between both of the shelves. This way I can put the wooden doors in the space to close the doors.

    Here is a picture of the front of the shelves. You can see the sides and tops have plastic on them. I did have to cut vents in the top, because the ‘green house’ was getting too hot. You can also see that I have a flap that covers over the doors, without that flap, too much hot air would escape.

    This shows the hot house with one of the blankets covering the front. I cover it at night to keep the heat in. I tested one side, and it’s temperature was 50 degrees at 9:00 in the morning without a cover over it at night.

    This shows the ‘door’ open, you can see the board I use for the end of the door. I really works pretty good. Oddly enough, it stays quite warm on a sunny day with the door open.

    This shows some plants I planted on March 16th, I used plastic forks for labeling.

    This shows the thermometer inside the hot house. It is 105 degrees. An important note on temperature, you can get it too hot. Plants don’t do well when the temperature gets over 95 degrees, so BE CAREFUL !!!!!

    This shows one of the shelves. As you can see I can put 12 flats in one side. I can grow a total of 24 flats inside. WoW !!! This also shows the space between the two shelves. Where I can close the doors by putting the boards with the plastic stapled to them in the space.

    Here is a picture from the back. It shows 4 blankets, two for the back and two for the front flaps.

    I tried to show this clearly, but it is kind of hard to explain. Please ask questions or give me ideas by commenting, PLEASE !!!!!

  • Accomplishment

    Posted on March 18th, 2010 Pam No comments

    Thoughts to Think About

    Don’t judge yourself by what you have, but rather judge yourself by what you have done.

  • Bits and Pieces

    Posted on March 18th, 2010 Pam No comments

    Here are just a few garden pictures I have taken in the last few weeks.

    They really don’t deserve there own day on my blog, so I just put them all together.

    1. This picture shows a small row of tulips, I planted them about three years ago. That is why they are kind of thick. This picture was taken on March 8, 2010. It shows them coming up through a hard crust.

    2a. This shows a crocus bud. The date is March 8, 2010.

    2b. This shows the same bud on March 14th.

    2c. Here is the very same crocus in full bloom on March 17th.

    2d. This is a darker crocus. I love this picture.

    3. This picture is kind of cool. It shows a pine tree which is about 1 foot tall. The snow has melted all around it. I watched this over and over all winter. This tree is located on the north side of the grainery, so it doesn’t get a lot of sun. I think living plants have their own heat, so the snow melts around them.

    4. This is a picture of my cat Shaker. He has such a different personality, he is a very cool cat. Here I am trying to take pictures of a bouquet of flowers and he has to be ‘involved’.

    5.This is a picture of a Columbine. I can’t believe it has started to grow. It is very soft and delicate.

    6. This is a picture of a mum, I don’t know what kind (notice the lady bug). It doesn’t bloom until fall, and doesn’t get really pretty until it freezes. It is a dark mahogony color. It is next to the house facing east. A perfect growing area.

    7. Here is some lilies. I can’t believe they are up already, again, by house facing east.

    8a. Here are ‘bunch’ of tulips on March 4, 2010.

    8b. Here they are again, on March 17, 2010.

    9a. Speaking of tulips, here are some I forced inside.

    9b. Here they are again March 17th.

    The neat thing about most of these pictures is that it shows the rapid growth this time of the year. Mother Nature at her best.

  • TP planters

    Posted on March 17th, 2010 Pam No comments

    Help the environment, reuse those paper rolls.

    Okay, so I know some of you may think this strange, but I thought I would try to plant my tomatos and peppers in toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls.
    This way, I don’t have to buy the plant waffers, which don’t work so well and you have to pull the mesh off of them before you transplant. If you have ever tried to pull the mesh off a small plant you know it isn’t so good for it. I usally break the delicate roots and it really is a mess.

    So I thought of using paper rolls, this way when you transplant them it doesn’t disturbe the plant at all. You can leave them on the plant, because they will break down in the soil. As you can tell from the pictures below, I put one inside the other, to make them more stable. I also made a paper box out of a thick paper sack to stack 9 TP rolls in. I plant 8-9 plants in each ‘box’. The rolls are about 2″ tall. This may completely cure cut worms too, cause each plant has its own collar.

    My niece Missy and I planted 81 peppers and 81 tomatoes in them last week. I will let you know how they do.

    Here they are in the bathtub — yes the bathtub. I tried this last year and it works well for me. You see, some seeds take weeks to germinate and if I put them in the tub on some risers, and then fill the tub with about 3 inches of hot water, they germinate much faster. When these get about 2″ tall, I will move them to a south facing window, them later I will move them to a small cold frame-green house.

    You can tell from this picture I have marked the names of the plants with a plastic fork. I find the plastic fork stays better in the containers and when I transplant them in the garden, they stay ‘put’ in the soil.

    Okay, one last tip. I got this idea from Sunnyside Garden, Idaho Falls. When starting some of your delicate plants. Put potting soil in the container, put the seed on top then cover with vermiculite. Vermiculite is a fine grain which doesn’t allow the ground to dry out. (vermiculite is non-organic). Or you can cover it with coconut fiber which does the same as verviculite, but is totally organic.