Category Archives: Gardening

Build Your Own Fire Pit repost

Another repin of a favorite summer post…

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Logan has been wanting to build a fire pit in our backyard for awhile. You know, to compliment the huge deck we have in the back! This is another maybe-next-summer-project, but that doesn’t stop us from looking for ideas!

Lowes
 

Lowes

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HGTV

This Old House
 

The Art of Doing Stuff

Tipnut had some good things to consider before you start building…

*Check with your legal restrictions that you’re even allowed to build a fire pit, especially if you live within city limits.
*Make sure you build your fire pit a safe distance from buildings, fences, and trees.
*Always have a water source reading when you’re burning a fire.
*Check that your fire is completely out when you’re finished.
*Never leave a fire unattended.
*Supervise children when a fire is burning.

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Creative Collections: Potting Bench

I’m slowly but surely getting my vegetable garden in the ground, but my poor pots are sitting outside waiting to be filled with love. And alas, they’re going to have to wait a little longer…8 more days of school and then we’ll see!

Last year, we picked up a potting bench, which really made planting my pots a lot easier. I’ve found several diy potting benches for you to try!

Backwoods Cottage
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Diggin Food
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Sunset
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Centsational Girl
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Happy Planting!

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Garden Beds

Logan finished my garden beds! They’re A-Maz-Ing!

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Look at all the beautiful space to plant my little seeds and seedlings… if the weather would finally cooperate! I think this week I’ll finally be able to put things in the ground. I’ll have to cover them this weekend…

IMG95201304259517354095451 My little helper!

She “helped” me pull weeds tonight. I pulled the dandelions up. Then she tore off the leaves and put them in her mouth. Guess it’s a good thing those greens are edible!

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Creative Collections: Mother’s Day

I love Mother’s Day! And not just because I’m a mom (though that does make it even more special now). But my mom is absolutely wonderful–and she’s a fabulous grandma!

So in celebration of all those wonderful moms out there…

Teacup Candles by Martha Stewart
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Painted Spoons by The Happy Homebodies
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Arty Drawer Liners by Artful Kids
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Art Portfolio by Becoming Home
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Button Bracelet by Sew Many Ways
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Pleated Purse by U Handbag
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Mason Jar Planter Box by Shanty 2 Chic
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Love Art by Embrace Your Chaos
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Garden Layout

Ever have one of those times where you feel in a really good spot –you’re organized, ready, well rested– and then it all comes crashing down. That was my yesterday. So I’ve been obsessing over that… and thinking about little else. Between that and Emily waking up ridiculously early, I’m a bit of a mess. TGIF!

So there’s a little part of me that’s relieved that Logan hasn’t built the new raised beds for the garden yet. Because it means I can spend the weekend trying to get things figured out and not feel guilty that I’m not turning soil, planting more seeds, etc. Next week though!

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I’ve done LOTS of planning around my vegetable garden this year! Here’s been my process, because I feel like it’s a little daunting for a new gardener (which is me–this is the first time I feel like I’m really doing this well).

1.  Determine the size of your beds.
For us, it’s two beds that measure 4×8. I’ve seen several recommendations for 4′ wide beds so you can access the middle easily.

2.  Build your beds and add your soil.
There are tons of tutorials out there for building raised beds. The one from Vegetable Gardener is the one we’re using for inspiration, with a few variations here and there.
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3.  Plan your garden.
This is where I really wanted a website to say, “You live in Indiana. That’s zone 5. Here’s the vegetable garden you should plant.”  You know, telling me exactly what seeds to put where. Not the case. So last weekend, I did much Pinterest research to plan my 64 sq ft of vegetable space.

Helpful websites:
Sprout Robot:  enter your zip code to see when you should plant
Morgan Plays in the Dirt:  how many of each plant can grow in a square foot
AfriStar Foundation:  companion planting

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My garden plan

4.  Start your seeds inside.
I’m a little late on this one, but I’m not terribly worried. Wednesday evening, Emily and I started most of the seeds in the bottom of a paper bag (biodegradable, cheap, available). My little helper LOVED playing in the dirt and crawling around the driveway in the light rain. Huge mess, totally worth it!

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So there you go! How to plan and start your garden. Happy planting!

*Note:  The building of the beds can be done during/after Steps 3 and 4. That’s how it’s working for us!

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Creative Collections: Starting Your Garden

Technically spring is here…and has been for two weeks. Apparently, someone forgot to tell that to Indiana weather. Case and point:  the first day of my spring break last week involved over 7 in of snow. Not cool.

But surely there’s still hope that spring will come and eventually my garden will get in. Logan’s really excited about planing this year, and he’ll be rebuilding our raised beds before too long.

So here’s the set of tips that I hope to be using in the next few weeks…

Raised Beds by Vegetable Gardener
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 Cardboard Lining by Backyard Gardening
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When To Plant by Darling Stuff
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Starting Plants by Kitchen Counter Chronicle
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Epson Salt by Alternative Energy Gardening
Affordable way to help start your garden

Coffee Grounds by Northwest Edible Living
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Homemade Weed Killer by Green Garden
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It’s hard to believe that I should be planting now with the weather so crummy! But here we go…

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I Hate Bugs

Note:  I’ve had a really tough time coming up with something to write about today. So I’m going to tell a random story. I promise, next week I’ll get back in gear with projects!

Pretty much all of them. Except butterflies, ladybugs, and fireflies. Then again, I didn’t catch my first firefly until I was like 12. Because I didn’t want them crawling on me.

I was telling my mom about my disdain for the garden bugs, and she said, “I didn’t raise you to be afraid of bugs.” Hahaha! So true. And yet…

I have memories of Shannon chasing me around the yard with worms. Or 2nd graders handing me bugs and feeling them crawl across my hand. Now I look before holding my hands out!

So I was spreading our free mulch (my brother-in-law has a little wood chipper so we got chipped all our extra sticks… hopefully we’ll be able to do this enough to replenish all our gardens). And every time I got a shovelful it was filled with earwigs. I hate earwigs. It’s like there was a whole colony in there. A big colony. There was even an albino one. I must say, that was probably the bravest thing I’ve done in a long time.

Thank goodness the mulch looks great in my vegetable garden.

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The Garden is Finally In

I’m only weeks late, but all of my plants are planted and all of the weeds are pulled. Well, maybe not all!

Okay, this is just a random bush. But look how cute Emily is!

Front Garden:
This was the easiest garden to get ready. My mom has a beautiful set of gardens at home and has shared some of her flowers. All I had to do was add my herbs (I keep them by my front door so I use them frequently) and a few more perennials. I love how the plants just blend into each other. I’m letting the green ground cover go crazy… that’s one plant after 3 years! My goal is to have it cover any area that doesn’t have other flowers. But it’s a little unruly, so I have to make sure it’s not crowding other plants out!

Deck Pots:
I love putting my pots in, because it’s the only time I use annuals. And I have a thing for the bright pinks and greens of coleus. So when my mom and I were at the gardens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I treated myself to a few special varieties. Other than that, the plants are all distressed plants from Lowes. With love and lots of water, these plants are doing great.

Vegetable Garden:
Ahh, the attack of the weeds in this garden. But with Logan taking the weed eater to them, some gardening plastic, and mulch… well, now we’re in business! Lots of tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, hot red peppers, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and onions. Don’t you love the soaker hoses through this garden? That was Logan’s addition… which means that the plants will get watered regularly.

Now to keep up with the weeding… ugh!

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Creative Collections: Vertical Gardens

I love the idea of a vertical garden on my deck. There’s no way it’s going to happen this year (we’re doing the absolute minimum since Emily takes up so much of our time), but hopefully next summer you’ll see a vertical garden under our pergola.

Recycled Pallet Vertical Garden by Design Sponge 

Shoe Holder Vertical Garden by Instructables 

Cucumber Trellis by My Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

Vertical Herb Garden by Brooklyn Limestone 

Space Saving Herb Garden by Home Depot

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Starting the Garden

…finally. I know, Memorial Day weekend is a great time to start summer and open the pool. But it’s a little late to just be starting the garden.

And when I say “start,” I mean start weeding. As in, prepping. As in, haven’t looked at the vegetable garden since last summer when I pulled everything out (Logan did dump a bunch of mulched leaves on top of the whole thing in the middle of the fall).

So here’s what was waiting for me…

4 beds filled with weeds

Walkways filled with spreading weeds

And my personal favorite:
I’m not sure if you can tell, but those are tomato cages. Completely lashed to the ground by overgrown weeds.

I’m so embaressed.

The reason for my garden absence? Yep, sweet baby girl.

Remember this post about removing weeds: To Weed or Not To Weed? Unfortunately these weren’t any help. The weeds were just too thick. The only solution was real weeding. Yuck.

So, armed with a shovel and a hose. I set to work. For 3 hours. On the hottest weekend of the year so far.

I wet down soil since we haven’t had rain in awhile. Then I used the shovel to loosen the roots. And pulled. And pulled. To finish prepping the beds, I turned over the soil and let the water run through the bed for a few minutes. I’ll add some compost and a few bags of soil when I’m ready to plant.

After tons of sunscreen, sweat, and mud, the beds look like this:
The walkways are still a complete mess. That wouldn’t usually be a problem, but we have so many creeping weeds (something like wild strawberries) that if these weeds don’t get pulled, they’ll just take over the beds again. The current plan is to have Logan weed eat them close to the ground. Then I’m considering using boiling water to kill the weeds and covering the ground with paper.

Hopefully next weekend, I’ll get my seedlings in. And hopefully I won’t have another weed takeover. Hopefully.

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