Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter Rye Lawn

Yummy Grass!

I love my winter lawn this year!!! I failed really bad last year so this year we…


  1. Dethatched the Bermuda with a detaching blade on our mower(very inexpensive from Lowes. Made a huge difference!)
  2. Used the perennial rye seed(more expensive but according to the garden guy it is worth it because it uses less water and fertilizer)
  3. Spread with aged cow manure(97 cents a bag at Lowes) and rabbit feed (50 lb. bag at the Stock Shop for 14 dollars).
  4. Then we NEVER let the seed dry out or puddle! Very important! We watered about 3 or 4 times a day the first week for very short periods of time to keep it moist.

FYI We started this Grass Saturday October 15th and Had a full lush lawn less then 2 weeks later!! Also I kept the kids and Chickens off of it for those 2 weeks:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Treat #2

My poor girls have been cooped up in their coop and run(they are usually 100% free range). We just planted our Rye grass and they don’t bother the seed to much(wild birds do! Grrr) but the girls love the freshly tilled soil to scratch around in and that means they up root all the my grass. So they are confined until about a half hour before bed. I let them out and keep an eye on them. If the start to scratch I scare them off and then they put them selves to bed and I close it up.


So while they are cooped up I try to give them more treats then usual. I bought them some meal worms at Pratt’s Feed Store the other day and they went bonkers! I also toss out a head of lettuce here and there. Today’s treat was my sisters idea. When you eat a cantaloupe(ours was fresh from our garden) and you scoop out the seeds, guts and all. Lay them out in a planter cover with a little soil and water itSmile. In about a week our so it will look like this…


The girls were interested…


A few more caught on…


Pepper Jumped right in! Anyone know what kind of chicken she is? She lays small off white eggs? And she is pretty small.


They picked it CLEAN! It makes me feel good to know that they are getting some good fresh greens in their dietSmile


The planter I used was 1’by 6” by 6”. I think a cake pan would work well? I am going to try a cucumber next Smile

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the Back

So I used my front yard as my Late Summer/Early Fall Garden and decided to start my Fall/Winter Garden in the back. So here is what I have going in the back.

In my first bed I have a Large cherry tomato plant(on the right), spinach seedlings(Middle, 2 rows), lettuce(2 rows on the left), and a scattering of Carrots above the tomato plant to the right. To protect them from birds(they ate my first seedlings) I put four steaks in the corners and loosely draped a piece of bird netting over it. It’s really easy to water right through it.








In my far bed(just happens to be my very first garden!) I have Broccli, garlic, and peas:)






Peas on the right, more broccoli on the left


These 2 beds are still being prepped and worked on:)


Front Yard Growing Strong!

I love showing you my successes and failures!(All of these pictures were taken at the same time this morning)

So welcome to Success, Failure and Oops!


I started an herb garden in a large pot and it is thriving!


That little pepper plant has been in that pot for over a month and is alive but NOT growing! Same for those little flowers and cherry tomato plant!



I have Pumpkins!!! They are so cute and I am leaving them all on the vine because I want them to ripen small! If you want a big one then you cut them all off of the vine but one!



It looks like this:( The leaves are always droopy and whitish. Not very attractive but still growing and putting on lots of little pumpkins:)



So there were these two plants that grew in the garden and I thought maybe they were egg plant but I didn’t plant egg plant???


But guess what?? It is!!! This was an awesome surprise for me because I LOVE Egg plant! How did this happen? I used my almost finished compost to enrich these beds! I guess there were some seeds that survived!



Same thing with my 2 cantaloupe plants! They grew totally by accident and each gave us 6 huge sweet melons! So that 12 total! There are 5 left on the vines that need a few more weeks and then I think it will get too cold for them:)



Planted my bed too close to the wall and I can’t get around to weed it! It’s driving me crazy and I WILL fix it before the next season!



The corn is doing great! No more signs of corn worms but I went out 2 more days and got a few more but none since then! I’m happy.



I planted this basil too early this Summer so it was so hot that it bolted right away, but it is beautiful and it attracts many bees to pollinate all of my other plants!



These cucumber seedlings were started in this huge pot and they have looked like this for a month! I’m not giving up on them so we will see if they do anything!


Remember: Gardening is a skill that is learned through trial and error so never be discouraged when something doesn’t work out. Just learn from it and try something newSmile

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken Treat!

My kiddos LOVE Apples and Pears and I love using an easy cutter from Pampered Chef to prepare them! And those cores are the the perfect…

Chicken Treats!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Corn Worms!!!

It is so Beautiful here in Phoenix today! I actually put long sleeves on the kids and myself! Perfect day to spend some extra time in the garden. I was admiring my corn bed, watching bees buzzzzz all over! I love it! Until I noticed some little holes on a leaf of the corn…



Corn Worms!! As I started to look closer I noticed they were all over! Since my corn bed is only 10’ by4’ I decided I would search every stalk and pick them all off! They left some nasty “presents” behind for me, GROSS! I continued to pick and clean till I was sure I had gotten all of them!


This cup represents half of what I actually got off of the corn! I read in The Extreme Garden book on Corn and he said…


“Put a drop of mineral oil on the tip of each corn when the tassels turn brown to keep the worms from entering”

So that is what I am going to try! I was pretty frustrated about the whole situation but some ladies I know thought it was pretty great!


If you don’t have Chickens, the garden guys says to drop the worms into a cup of soapy waterSmile

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Our first ripe cantaloupe!!!!!

I hand been out in the garden smelling my melons(never thought I would say that sentence) for weeks now and they all smelled like dirt??? I was beginning to think it was a myth that you could smell the sweetness of the melon when it was ripe. But sure enough I sniffed this bad boy and it smelled SWEET! I was so excited that I ran inside with it and woke up my kids from their nap so they could eat it. It was BIGGER than my 3 year olds head!


Since I promised to show my mistakes on this blog…

…here is a melon that I was too impatient to not pick a few weeks ago! It smelled like dirt…


And it was GREEN

They boys were so bummed!

The Chickens LOVED it!


HOW to Pick a Ripe Melon:

1. Smell it! It will smell sweet I promise, just wait!

2. More tan then green

3. Slips from the vine (not necessarily on all kinds of melons)

4. Where the flower was should give slightly when pressed!

Happy Melon Picking!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Praying Mantis

Can you see him?


I’ll give you a hint…Look for the bee’s butt he is chewing onWinking smile


When I discovered him hanging out in my corn a few weeks ago I told my four year old that I had a new friend in the garden! When I showed him that he had caught a bee he said-

“Mommy, your friend is eating your other friend!!”


Yes he is but I’m sure he is eating some “Non-Friend” bugs as well! Plus we get TONS of bees. It makes me happy to have all of my insect “friends” in my garden!


It’s one of my favorite things about organic gardening!