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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  • GARDEN CREATING

    Posted on June 7th, 2011 Pam No comments

    Okay so this is probably the first time you have heard the word creating when talking about gardening. Sometimes you just need to be creative. Like starting seeds in the bathtub (more about that later).
    This may be your first garden, if so, congratulations !!! What a big step. A garden will be a great improvement in your garden and on your table. Start small and do some research. You will have so many decisions to make. Such as where to plant, what to plant and how much to plant.

    Lets start with where to plant.
    1. Choose a sunny location.
    2. Well drained soil
    3. Keep your first garden small.
    4. Plant it in a close, convenient spot, one that you can see from your kitchen window.

    Next, what to plant.
    1. Vegetables your family likes to eat.
    2. Lots of veggies for salads.
    3. Plant a variety.
    4. Have fun with your garden, try something new.

    Last, how much to plant.
    1. Plant in a compact area, make the most of your space.
    2. Decide if you plan to eat the vegetables fresh or do some canning too.
    3. Estimate how much you will harvest from a certain vegetable and then plant accordingly.
    4. Try this, keep track of what vegetables you buy for a few weeks. Then plant what you think you will need. Keep in mind that you will eat differently out of your garden than out of the store. For example, you will probably use radishes and green onions from your garden in a salad, but may not go to the extra expense if you buy them at the store.

    My Mother used to say, plant too much so you will have enough.
    Plant what you eat and eat what you plant.

    Updated from my ‘gardenyourlife blog’, April 15, 2009

  • WHAT TO BUY AND WHEN TO PLANT

    Posted on June 6th, 2011 Pam No comments

    This should take about a week to explain, but I will try to do it in a few paragraphs. First, some of you may be overwhelmed with starting a garden. Even those of you who have gardened for years may be a little stressed. So let me tell all of you to relax !!!! Your garden is to enjoy. So just slow down and enjoy it, enjoy every minute you spend in it.

    Buy seeds or plants?
    I buy seeds for things like peas, radishes, beans, corn, carrots and lettuce, they grow quite easily planted directly into the soil. I buy plants from the greenhouse for things like pumpkins, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbage, tomatoes and peppers. I sometimes buy seeds from this last group and plant them, too. If you need a faster start, you may buy the plants to try to get a successful crop. The seeds are much cheaper, but you do take more of a risk with seeds. However, the plants that come up from the seeds you plant directly into the soil will usually be more healthy looking and will already hardened in when they come up.

    Helpful hint: When planting seeds outside it is sometimes useful to soak the seeds. I usually soak seeds like cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, squash, (I soak them for at least three days). I dig a hole about 4″ square and 2″ deep, then put about 1/4 cup of fertilizer in the hole and fill the hole with water. When the water sinks, I put the soaked seeds in the hole (5 seeds in the hole) and cover with about ½ inch of soft soil. Pretty simple huh? This way the seeds are soft and ready to germinate when you plant them, they are in damp soil and will come up about one week earlier.

    Please read the back of your seed package, before and after you buy the seeds. It has a lot of information, if the seeds can be planted inside or outside, when to plant, and lots of other valuable information.

    When to plant, (these are my suggestions for eastern Idaho).
    Guidelines for planting seeds inside for transplanting outside (after the last frost).
    Plant peppers from seeds the first of March, or even mid February, (10 to 12 weeks before the last frost) depending on the seed, as most are slow growing.
    Plant tomatoes from seeds the first of April (6 to 8 weeks before the last frost). plant seed of squash, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins around April 20th (4 to 6 weeks before the last frost).
    I am GUESSING the last frost in this area is May 31. But according to my Mother, we ‘always have a first of June frost!!! So expect one more frost around June 5th, if you have planted, just cover the plants for a few nights.

    If you are planting indoors you can buy planting trays with soil disks and clear tops. You should have a light source, plants need 8 to 10 hours of light each day. If you are using artificial light, keep the light close to the plants or they will become tall and skinny. Keep the plants in a semi warm place (a constant temperature of 40 to 50 degrees is ideal). Notice I said semi-warm, why get them use to 70 degrees when they will be transplanted into a much cooler environment?
    Wow, lots of information, I hope you can understand much of what I said. Any questions so far?

    Updated from my ‘gardenyourlife’ blog, February 14, 2009

  • READY TO PLANT?

    Posted on June 4th, 2011 Pam No comments

    Pam’s Planting Plan
    Now you have your seeds and are getting ready to plant. So how do you plant seeds anyway?

    When you plan to plant your plants, planting can take some planning. Got that?

    For example, how many seeds do I plant? How close to each other? How deep and how soon.
    Always read the seed packets, there is lots of information there.

    Let’s start with how many seeds to plant. Radishes, lettuce, carrots, spinach and cress should be as thick as you would use salt or pepper. They shouldn’t be overlapping but should be about 1/4 inch apart. I like to plant all of these plants in a 18″ wide row. That will make the most of your space. Leave room to walk around the ‘rows’ or try two 10″ rows with 24″ or 36″ between the rows.

    Beets, beans and peas can be planted in a wide row too, or you can trellis the peas and beans. Plant beets and beans about 1/2 inch apart. I plant my peas much thicker, actually don’t tell anyone, but I plant my peas so thick you can’t see the ground. This year I am going to try to trellis my beans and peas. I will use a net wire fence and plant on both sides of the fence.

    Planting peppers, tomatoes, califlower and cabbage are a little different. I plant peppers about 1 foot apart, tomatoes, califlower and cabbage about 2 feet apart.

    A rule of thumb is plant the seed at a depth of three times the size of the seed. So if you are planting carrots or lettuce that is 1/8 of an inch thick, only cover it with 3/8 of an inch of soil. Peas are 1/4 of an inch, so plant them 3/4 of an inch deep. A note about peas, plant them thicker than it recommends on the packet. Peas are self fertilizing so they can be planted much thicker.

    Cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and watermelon can be planted in rows about 36″ apart. They should be planted in groups called hills. I plant 3 to 4 seeds per hill and then when the plants are about 3 inches tall, thin to the best 2 plants. A note about thinning, don’t pull the plants up, pinch them off or trim with sissors. Then the roots of the remaining plants won’t be disturbed.

    Now the million dollar question, when to plant. You can plant by the moon, middle of May, after Memorial Day, or the first of June. Your guess is as good as mine. I usually plant all of my garden around the 20 of May, in 2009 I planted around the 29th of May, in 2010 I planted around the 14 of June, this year I will plant most of my garden from the 6 to the 15th. If we have a late Fall, I should be okay. The Spring’s have been so late the last few years, plants will grow slowly when planted too early.

    Some plants do like the cool weather, and they will do fine. Things like radishes, cabbage, cress, onions will grow in the early Spring, but they will grow slow.

    This Spring has been a cool wet one and if a garden is planted too early it won’t grow too quickly. The ground needs to be warm before the seeds and plants can grow with vigor. Plant early if you want, but notice the same plants planted later usually mature just as fast. I can remember planting potatoes in March, (once) and they did just fine, but with a wet Spring you take the chance of seeds rotting in the cold wet ground.

    Updated from ‘gardenyourlife’ blog April 25, 2009

  • CAN THE IDEA

    Posted on June 3rd, 2011 Pam No comments

    I sometimes use gallon cans around or next to some of my plants. I learned this method from my Parents, and I also found this example in an old garden book printed in the 1930’s. It is a very simple method and I recommend it to everyone.

    Plan ahead to get cans from a local school cafeteria. Ask them to cut both ends off.

    This is how it works. After you plant tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, eggplant, artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower from the plants you raised or purchased from the nursery, place a gallon can over the top. Push it in the soil about two inches. Make sure both ends are removed.

    Using a can AROUND a new transplant will do several things:
    1. Protect it from wind damage.
    2. Keep in the moisture.
    3. Keep in the heat, for a more consistent temperature.
    4. It allows you to fertilize by putting the fertilizer directly in the can and watering it in.
    5. It is easy to water the plant and gives the plant more water. I fill the can full, but not running over.
    6. Keeps the weeds outside the can from growing as much, because they don’t receive as much water.

    How to use a can NEXT to other plants. When planting cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, squash and pumpkins, place the gallon can NEXT to the plant. I put it on the south side of the plant, to protect the delicate plant from the cold Spring winds. Sometimes I put one can between two plants.

    I create a large bowl with soil, two to three inches high and one to two feet around the plants. I water these plants in the cans also. I just let the can overflow with water and fill the large bowl. This system insures that the plant will get at least one gallon of water each time you water it. It will stay moist longer and its roots will move to the water.

    Watering in the can will also keep the weeds around the plant from growing. This is the biggest advantage of this system. You will have to hand water the plants, but the reduction of weeds will be worth it.

    Updated blog from my blog, gardenyourlife, Saturday, March 28, 2009

  • JUNE 2011 PHOTO CONTEST

    Posted on June 2nd, 2011 Pam 47 comments

    June 2nd already—so time for another contest.
    Thanks again for all of those that entered last month, this month should be much bigger and better.
    The winner receives a new 7 inch HD Television, worth $75. (this is really a great little TV!!!!)
    Pictures of the TV will be posted next week.

    NOTE: The subject this month is ‘IN THE GARDEN’. Types of garden pictures are: flowers, fruits, vegetables, people in the garden, blossoms, lawns, beautiful yards and garden layouts.
    Only one picture of each subject may be submitted. Only enter one subject once.

    HERE ARE THE RULES.
    1. You can enter each day if you would like, but send ONLY ONE PHOTOGRAPH EACH DAY.
    2. The contest starts today, June 2, 2011 and goes until June 30, 2011.
    3. Here is the tricky part. Do not duplicate subjects, send only one picture of each subject. For example, if you have five pictures of tulips, send only the best picture you have. Only one picture of a pumpkin, one picture of a flowering apple tree, and one picture of a group of lilies, or a single lilie, you get the idea. So this means, pick your favorite picture of each subject and send it, I only want your best.
    4. ONLY PICTURES TAKEN BY YOU ARE ELIGIBLE, pictures entered by ‘Frank’ must be taken by ‘Frank’.
    5. You can’t submit for someone else, everyone must enter their own pictures, using their own email.
    6. Your pictures are safe with me, I will ONLY use the images to judge the contest.
    7. Here is how to submit a photograph. Use this June 2nd blog to submit your entries. Just add a caption in the comment box, then attach the image using the browse button in the box below the comment box, then click ‘submit comment’.
    8. Bribing the judge (ME) is prohibited, but you can always try.
    9. Remember, enter only one picture per day.
    10. Because this is a family site, keep your photographs child friendly!!!!!
    11. Breaking any rule will disqualify you for that entry and that day.
    12. Any picture that has been used in a prior contest CAN BE USED AGAIN !!!!!!!!

    Good luck everyone, please tell your friends and family to enter.
    Thanks!!!!!!!!

  • MAY PHOTO CONTEST TOP 15

    Posted on June 2nd, 2011 Pam No comments

    Thanks to all of you for entering the May Photo Contest!!!!!
    There were 80 entries!!!!!!
    The pictures were soooo good, it was very hard to choose!!! Keep up the good work!!!

    Kathy entered every day!!!!!! What dedication!!!! Thanks Kathy for your support.
    Please try to tell everyone about the June contest which starts tomorrow!!!!!!

    The winner will be announced tomorrow!!
    Remember, the winner receives a NEW DIGITAL CAMERA, (VERY COOL).

    So here are the top 15, in no particular order.

    FROM KATHY; Missy is a cute little ghost – Halloween 1986

    FROM BARBARA; Big Horn Sheep, a view from the car window.

    FROM KATHY; Devin licking the spatula after I frosted a cake. March 1981

    FROM MELISSA; Blessing for Chelsea

    FROM DIANA STUBBS; A baby deer resting under the hitching post in front of our house.

    FROM DIANA STUBBS; Aree

     

    FROM CINDY BALDWIN; This one is called “A Mother Heart”.

    FROM MARY CATON; The horse seems to be listening quietly.

    FROM KATHY; too much vacationing – Mahon fell asleep. What is with the toy tractor in his mouth? Glacier Park 1986

    FROM MELISSA; Dog in a Tree

    FROM BARBARA; Where's the Frosted Flakes?

    FROM MELISSA; Pretty in pink.

    FROM KATHY; Lori and Shane Oler in the tire swing 1972.

    FROM CINDY BALDWIN; Ashley and Katie about 2 years ago, in the campus orchards.

    FROM KATHY CATON; CATTAIL ‘Sword’ SILHOUETTE

  • MAY PHOTO CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!

    Posted on June 2nd, 2011 Pam 1 comment

    Below is the winner of the May photo contest!!!!!!

    Kathy is the WINNER!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!
    Kathy, you just won the Digital Camera!!!!!!

    too much vacationing – Mahon fell asleep. What is with the toy tractor in his mouth? Glacier Park 1986