Tag Archives: garden

How to Get Rid of Weeds: The Fast and Easy Way!

How to get rid of weeds- the fast and easy way! Ya’ll. I may have stumbled across something that changes the way I garden forever! Let me tell you a little story… I was pretty distraught this weekend. My garden, due to my negligence, was completely full of weeds and grass. So much so that I thought I might just have to abandon it and see if anything grows in between the weeds and grass. Continue reading

2016 Garden Plans

2016 Garden Plans I’m a little bit late to start my garden from seeds this year. But lately I’ve been feeling like I’m a little bit late to everything. That’s no excuse not to start planting and that’s no excuse not to start anything in life. Am I right?! Continue reading

2015 Garden Report

George tilling

I’ve had a few people ask about the results of my garden–which is super flattering. I still love gardening, I just didn’t keep statistics like I did last year. It can be time consuming to log everything you grow.

Beginning Garden

This year I planted zucchini, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, crookneck squash, peppers, potatoes and carrots. I planted the zucchini and carrots first. Too much rain washed all of the zucchini out of my garden and the carrots were washed all over the garden. The carrots ended up growing in chunks instead of neat rows. I was very disappointed about the zucchini because it was a huge crop for me last year. And it makes great noodles!

Mature Garden

Since I planted more tomatoes this year, I had a great crop. The cherry tomatoes have produced for months and are still producing! (I don’t expect this to happen for much longer.) The heirloom tomatoes did well, but I think I had a slight case of blight and they didn’t reach their full size potential.

potatoes

On a funny note, I must have bought the wrong pepper seeds. I thought I bought sweet peppers, but the peppers ended up being so hot that we couldn’t eat them! I managed to put a few into salsa and chili, and give some away, but most of the peppers ended up uneaten. I hate waste, but when I bit into one, I couldn’t breathe. They were that hot.

squash and tomatoes purple potatoes

The squash bloomed and produced for a good two weeks, then died suddenly. But for those two weeks, it was a stunner! My purple potatoes were the biggest surprise. Since they grow underground, I felt like it was a huge gamble. The flowering part of the potato plants looked great, but I had no idea what was going on under the surface. When I finally dug them up, I was so relieved. I ended up getting pounds of potatoes off of two starter potatoes!

IMG_2362

Although I spread nutritious soil on the surface of my garden, next year, I will probably dig deeper or use raised beds. The soil where I live is incredibly sandy and I think it has resulted in poor growth and small veggies.

Every year I learn something new with this little garden.

Did you plant a garden this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

love,
melanie

2015 Garden Update

garden and barn Last year I did a really good job of documenting my gardening adventure. (You can read about How much money can a garden save by clicking that link.) This year I’ve had other priorities and other stuff going on. I did manage to get plants in the ground. I haven’t managed to weed much! Eek!

potatoes!

Potatoes!

This past weekend, I got in there and weeded for hours. My garden hasn’t faired as well this year. The weeds are taking over and right after I planted the majority of the seeds we had a torrential downpour. My carrots were washed are all over the garden and my zucchini got washed away completely. The potatoes are fairing well, as are the container tomatoes.

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes!

I still think a garden is a worthwhile investment. I can’t wait to eat a fresh-off-the-vine tomato and weeding is good exercise.

How is your garden fairing this year? Let’s chat in the comments!

love,
melanie

Link Love: 28

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It’s still snowy and icy around these parts so I’ve been off from my full-time job all this week. It’s been just the thing I needed. I’ve been diving deep into some Amazon Prime movies and TV shows and a few books, of course. I already feel 1,000 times better than I did on Sunday night. And I’ve been scouring the web for the best of the best, of course. Here’s my favorites from this week:

These cute, small houses were built in just 3 weeks!

This pull out “walk in” closet would be great in a tiny home.

This log cabin and camper combo is my dream!¬†And it’s in NC!

This laundry pod is intriguing. Perhaps for use on the road?

I quit the thing that defined me. I just found this series and I love it!

TMI! Being too open about money can hurt you. Hmmm. I’m not convinced.

I’m getting pumped about having a garden again. I can’t believe I didn’t think to start seeds in pots made from newspaper!

Also, this greenhouse made from old windows is f’in adorable.

I can’t wait to start hiking again this spring. I’m on the lookout for some cute, inexpensive hiking boots. Is that even a thing? This is the pair Reese Witherspoon wore in Wild and I love them. Perhaps someone will get them for me for my birthday? Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

I’m breaking out my Crock Pot again! Here’s one of my favorite recipes. And 30 Whole30 slow cooker recipes!

Hope your week has been just as delightful.

love,
melanie

How Much Money Can a Small Garden Save You? An Update

How much money can a garden save you

This is an update on a post I published over a month ago when I thought my plants were done producing. Guess what? They weren’t done! And I’ve saved more than I thought initially! I’ve updated all the prices to reflex my bumper crop ūüėȬ†

Remember when I thought I couldn’t grow anything. Remember?! REMEMBER?! Well, I am beyond excited to report that my brown thumb has turned green, ya’ll. And today is your lucky day because I have a run down of the costs of my garden and, AND the cost if I simply went out and purchased the food. I am on fire.

Price of Seeds Cost at CSA* or Harris Teeter Amount Produced Price if purchased
Heirloom Tomatoes ($1.79) (unavailable at Home Depot, link to similar product) $2.99 (for 2)* 53 $79.24
Squash ($1.35) $2.99 (for 2)* 0 $0.00
Zucchini ($1.19) $2.99 (for 2)* 16 $23.92
Bell Peppers ($1.59) $1.99 (for 2)* 133 $132.34
Banana Peppers ($1.59) $0.43 151 $64.93
Onions ($1.59) $1.27 2 $2.54
Pumpkins ($1.43) $6.99 3 $20.97
Cucumbers ($1.35) $0.79 21 $16.59
Sunflowers ($1.35) $2.29 7 (about 2 cups) $2.29
Brussels Sprouts ($1.59) $3.49 0 $0.00
Supplies
Potting Soil (used sparingly to start seeds, previously purchased) $0.00
Gloves and a trowel (given as birthday gift) $0.00
Plow (borrowed) $0.00
Fencing to keep out critters ($34.97)
Garden Safe Insect Killer  ($5.79)
Garden Safe Fungicide ($5.47)
Miracle-Gro Shake ‚Äėn Feed Fruits and Vegetables Granules¬†($12.47)
A cucumber plant when my other cucumber plants died (gifted from my FIL) $0.00
Tax
$5.14
Total Spent Total Produced (plus tax) Total Savings
$78.56 $366.82 $288.26

Additional Notes:

Garden Start Up Costs
I kept my start up costs very low. I didn’t create raised beds and my garden was by no means
“pretty.” I can’t keep up with Martha here. This isn’t rural New England!

Quite a few people around the blogosphere make a big deal about the start up costs of gardens. There’s very low start up costs if you keep it low. And yes, there is no guarantee that anything will sprout (just look at my squash!), but if you are successful, growing a garden can be a fun way to save on grocery costs.

Store Pricing
I used my CSA’s veggie pricing when available because I think it more accurately reflects the pricing of local produce. When not available, I used the pricing of a local grocer, Harris Teeter. (Yes, I know veggies might be cheaper somewhere else, this is just a good estimate, ya’ll!)

Novice Gardener
I think it’s also important to note that I am totally a beginning gardener. This is my first time keeping anything alive– including houseplants! I know there will be bad years and good years, but I believe with experience my vegetable gains will increase, thus increasing my savings.

The time factor
Yes, growing a garden (even a small one, like mine) takes time. Most weekends I was out there pulling weeds. I watered the plants almost every day (unless it rained). P.S. We have well water, so there was no cost for the water. But growing something, ANYTHING, keeping it alive, then eating something I grew with my own two hands has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. EVER! And that includes getting my Master’s degree.

Have you ever planted a garden? If so, were you successful? Do you think it saved you money? Did you make an insane chart like I did? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

How Much Money Can a Garden Save You? The Cost and Benefits of a Small Veggie Garden from a Beginning Gardener

how much money can a garden save you It’s not quite the end of the season, my pepper plants and my tomatoes are still producing (!), but I wanted to give a little update about my garden. Remember when I thought I couldn’t grow anything. Remember?! REMEMBER?! Well, I am beyond excited to report that my brown thumb has turned green, ya’ll. And today is your lucky day because I have a run down of the costs of my garden and, AND the cost if I simply went out and purchased the food. I am on fire.

Price of Seeds Cost at CSA* or Harris Teeter Amount Produced Price if purchased
Heirloom Tomatoes ($1.79) (unavailable at Home Depot, link to similar product) $2.99 (for 2)* 46 $68.77
Squash ($1.35) $2.99 (for 2)* 0 $0.00
Zucchini ($1.19) $2.99 (for 2)* 16 $23.92
Bell Peppers ($1.59) $1.99 (for 2)* 86 $85.57
Banana Peppers ($1.59) $0.43 97 $41.71
Onions ($1.59) $1.27 2 $2.54
Pumpkins ($1.43) $6.99 3 $20.97
Cucumbers ($1.35) $0.79 21 $16.59
Sunflowers ($1.35) $2.29 7 (about 2 cups) $2.29
Brussels Sprouts ($1.59) $3.49 0 $0.00
Supplies
Potting Soil (used sparingly to start seeds, previously purchased) $0.00
Gloves and a trowel (given as birthday gift) $0.00
Plow (borrowed) $0.00
Fencing to keep out critters ($34.97)
Garden Safe Insect Killer  ($5.79)
Garden Safe Fungicide ($5.47)
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Fruits and Vegetables Granules¬†($12.47)
A cucumber plant when my other cucumber plants died (gifted from my FIL) $0.00
Tax
$5.14
Total Spent Total Produced (plus tax) Total Savings
$78.56 $280.73 $202.17

Additional Notes:

Garden Start Up Costs
I kept my start up costs very low. I didn’t create raised beds and my garden was by no means
“pretty.” I can’t keep up with Martha here. This isn’t rural New England!

Quite a few people around the blogosphere make a big deal about the start up costs of gardens. There’s very low start up costs if you keep it low. And yes, there is no guarantee that anything will sprout (just look at my squash!), but if you are successful, growing a garden can be a fun way to save on grocery costs.

Store Pricing
I used my CSA’s veggie pricing when available because I think it more accurately reflects the pricing of local produce. When not available, I used the pricing of a local grocer, Harris Teeter. (Yes, I know veggies might be cheaper somewhere else, this is just a good estimate, ya’ll!)

Novice Gardener
I think it’s also important to note that I am totally a beginning gardener. This is my first time keeping anything alive– including houseplants! I know there will be bad years and good years, but I believe with experience my vegetable gains will increase, thus increasing my savings.

The time factor
Yes, growing a garden (even a small one, like mine) takes time. Most weekends I was out there pulling weeds. I watered the plants almost every day (unless it rained). P.S. We have well water, so there was no cost for the water. But growing something, ANYTHING, keeping it alive, then eating something I grew with my own two hands has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. EVER! And that includes getting my Master’s degree.

Have you ever planted a garden? If so, were you successful? Do you think it saved you money? Did you make an insane chart like I did? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie