Making the Greenhouse Greener

Hello garden gals and guys! I hope you are finally enjoying some warm weather wherever you are.  Winter has definitely kept a dying grip on us here in Maryland, but today and for the next few days, it's finally going to feel like spring.

Y'all know that I have a greenhouse and I have only used it to store my seedlings until transplanting time.  When we first constructed it, I wanted to have planting beds on one side so that I could try growing plants year-round.  Well, roots from a neighbor's tree made that difficult. I couldn't dig down deep enough into the soil.

Yesterday, I decided to try some raised beds in the greenhouse.  I caught a sale on these raised beds called Patio Pickers. They were normally 29.99, but were reduced to 19.99, so I bought two of them.

I'll explain how it works in a bit.  But first I want to share some before and after photos.  So, here's what my greenhouse looked like before.  

And here's what it looks like after a little rearran…

Spring Is Almost Here!

Hello garden gals and guys! I'm back.  The growing season is underway and spring is almost here. And you know what that means: dusting off the garden blog and getting back into the swing of things.

I have to admit, I wasn't going to start any plants from seed this year because I just wasn't in the mood for it.  Then I went to Tractor Supply to get chicken food and saw some organic seeds.  So I bought them and a seed starting tray and soil.  Then I went to my favorite online organic seed supplier and bought these:

Now, let me tell you about the paw paw seed.  I just found out about this fruit from a friend of mine.  They are native to North America, which I found really interesting.  They have a sweet, custard flavor and are like a cross between a banana, a mango, and a cantaloupe.  Sounds yummy, right? You would think a tropical fruit like that wouldn't grow in North America, but my friend that lives on the eastern shore said they grow in the wild where he is!  So, I&#…

In A Bit of a Pickle

Hello garden gals and guys!! It's been a minute since my last post, but I'm back and I come bearing a recipe.  My cucumber plants are not doing as well as they usually do this time of year. I have a ton of flowers but so far only about four cucumbers.  I think some hand pollination may be in order.  But I digress.

My oldest son LOVES pickles.  I really didn't feel up to going through the whole canning process especially given the heat of the past couple of weeks.  But someone I follow on Instagram shared a recipe for pickles that is quick and easy.  So if you have a lot of cucumbers from your garden or the farmers market (or the grocery store), you can follow this recipe and have cucumbers in a few hours! Yes, a few hours.  But I'm going to let mine sit overnight.

They are called refrigerator pickles and I can't wait to see how they taste.  Here's what you need:

What you see are a few canning jars, 3 or 4 cucumbers (one of mine was starting to get a little yel…

Summertime, and the Growin' is Easy

Hello Garden Gals and Guys! It's July! Can you believe it?? I was hoping to have my first ripe tomato by July 4th so I could take a picture and share it with you.  Although I do have quite a few maters on the vine, none are ready for harvest yet.

I do have lots of great pictures to share with you of Fat Earth.  So, here we go.

First up are some of the sandwich tomatoes, these are a variety called 'Celebrity'.  There's probably about ten total and at least forty more blooms that will hopefully produce fruit.

Here is my tomato and pepper forest. In the middle are yellow pear tomatoes (cherry tomatoes). To the left of the really tall ones are my 'Roma' variety (plum) and they are doing okay, I guess. Only about five or six of them so far.  The cherry maters are definitely the winning producers in here.

Here is a close-up of the yellow pear tomatoes. They are really going wild. I can't wait for them to ripen!

I counted at least 60 with at least another 40 or 50…

Flowers falling off your cucumbers? Stay cool....

Hello garden gals and guys! I've got a great little garden nugget for you today and it's all about cucumbers. Cukes are one of my favorite things to grow, mostly because I love to see the tendrils they put out that grab onto anything in their path to pull themselves up on.

When I was in my garden this weekend, I saw a lot of the flowers falling off my cucumbers. My husband will tell you that I panic first and then try to figure out what is going on.  This is what I saw:

Flowers on the ground. 
I panicked. 
Then I did some googling. 
It turns out that the first ten or so flowers on a cucumber are the male flowers and it is common for these to fall off when the plant is setting flowers. So, thankfully, there is no cause for concern. 
But I will be watching them closely because I also learned that if both your female and your male flowers begin to fall off the vine, that means the female flowers aren't getting pollinated. 
Our little bee friends usually take care of this. But…

Body and Soil

Hello garden gals and guys! It was a hot one this weekend, but I got out early to get my farm tasks done. Before I get to the pictures of the physical labor that I did, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about fertilizing your plants. It's pretty important stuff.

I fertilized this weekend because I saw flowers forming on my plants, and that is always when I give them their first feeding. I also give them another dose when I see the little fruits forming.

There are so many things to know about fertilizing. Let's start with those three numbers on the bag. Let's take a look at a bag of Dr. Earth fertilizer (which is a really great organic fertilizer, by the way). See those three numbers there on the right? Let's talk about that.

5-7-3. Those numbers always represent the amount of nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) which is sometimes called Potash, and always in that order.

A great way to think of what each of these does is this: up, down, all around.