Apple Cedar Rust

I didn’t even know this was an actual thing before planting an apple tree.  I thought trees were simple.  You plant them and let them do their thing. But, like with every other plant, there is something that can attack it.  In my case it’s the apple cedar rust.

If you remember from this post, I planted my apples from seeds.  I simply gathered the seeds from my organic apple that I had eaten.  I let the seeds sit in the fridge for about three weeks to make them think they went through winter.  After letting them sprout I planted them into small cups. 

I’ve since transplanted them into pots.  This is when I noticed bright orange spots on the tiny leaves.  I immediately knew something wasn’t right.  So I do what most people do and googled the problem. 

I’m hoping that since my trees are very small, I can save them.  I bought a fungicide to help fight it off so we’ll see.  If anyone comes across this post with the same problem, I purchased Spectracide Immunox Multi Purpose Garden Fungicide

From what I read, there is not a lot of success with organic treatments.  And really, there are three options to this stuff: a) use a fungicide b) cut down the cedar tree or c) cut down your tree and plant a cedar rust resistant apple tree.  If your tree is really far gone then I highly doubt a fungicide will knock it out.  But you can always try!

So that’s what I’m doing.  I’m going to give this fungicide stuff a whirl.

Okay, that’s all I have time for today folks.  I’m about to leave to meet up with someone who wants to buy our old stroller and then I’m off to the store. 

Sometimes I swear I live at the store. 🙂

Gardening Goals

Much will be happening with my garden this season and I have compiled a little list of goals for the new year.  First, I need to finish the fencing.  I tore down the fence a couple weeks ago in order to expand the perimeter.  Yesterday Bubba set the fence up as much as could before running out of the wire fencing.  It’s a start!  So that mess is at the top of gardening goal list. 

Next up will be the compost.  I failed at my mine for the most part, so this year I am going to try composting in a tumbler.  I think I’m going to buy it premade instead of building it myself.  It’ll save me time and headache this way. 

I will also be raising all my garden beds.  Our soil is horrible and last year I raised a bed to see if it would work better.  It did!  So Bubba has been hard at work chopping down trees to use as the border around the beds.  I’m also adding a very large trellis.  I’ll have to show you once I have that up to give you a visual on it. 

There you have it.  Those are my major goals for the garden this year.  I won’t be doing much else since we will be moving after one more garden season.  (It feels weird to type that!)  There isn’t a need to invest so much money into something I will have to abandon, right?

|| As for the photos above, well, that’s the start of an avocado tree and the beginning process of sprouting my apple seeds.

 

 

Gardening

Every year of gardening brings failures, successes, and lessons to be remembered.  Last year, for example, we experienced an abundance of rain.  During the month of July, it rained every day.  Sometimes all day and other times it was just for a few hours.  The lesson I learned very quickly is that there is such a thing as over watering.  Over watering will either kill your plants or inhibit their growth.  That month of heavy rain rotted half my garden and the rest of it grew small & tasteless vegetables.

This year, I have learned that planting my seeds in a raised bed filled with good dirt really does make a h-u-g-e difference in the taste and growth of my vegetables.  Maybe that statement isn’t true and it’s just in my head, but I can’t argue with the results in comparison to everything else that I planted into the ground.  

I also purchased most of my seeds from Johnny Seeds  this year instead of at Wal-Mart.  That is probably my smartest move yet.  Every seed I planted from Johnny Seeds grew and developed into large vegetables.  Every seed packet I purchased from Lowes/Wal-Mart was a hit and miss.  My spinach didn’t sprout, my watermelon failed, my pumpkin plants failed, the cilantro failed, and parsley failed!  The only seed I struggled to grow from Johnny Seeds were the onions.  They sprouted fine enough, but they died before I could transplant them so I ended up purchasing bulbs instead.

I think I am going stop here for now.  If I tried to sum up this whole season of gardening in one post, it would be a monster to sit and read! So this is it for now. 🙂                                        (I can’t wait to show you how much my lemon tree has grown since the picture below was taken! I’m such a nerd.)

DIY Seed Starter

Last year I posted my toilet paper diy seed starter and although it works, I have found that the paper method works much better.  I either use paper bags like I did here or like the one I’m showing you today.  I don’t suggest using this particular method if you’re starting forty different seeds inside because it can be time consuming, but if you are planting just a few flowers or herbs, then this method will work great.   

And just to show you that it does work, I included a picture above that shows my little bean has sprouted. 🙂

What you need:

leftover newspaper

twine

scissors

small glass jar (about two inches in diameter)

Instructions:

Take your newspaper and begin folding sections.  The width should be about 2-3 inches wide.

Once you’re finished with folding, wrap your paper around the end of the glass and secure with the twine.  Pull the paper off the glass and begin folding the paper inward to form the bottom that will hold the dirt.  **Tip:  I cut the paper to make it easier to fold it inward. 

Viola!  Just add some dirt, water, seeds and your done!

   

…Weekend…

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…Gardening.  It happens every year around this time; I become antsy with planting my vegetable garden.  I’ve started my herbs again , using the paper bag method.  It was successful last year with all my herbs and tomatoes!  I’m also using another DIY seed starter that I’ll post about later.  I still need to purchase some of the seed starters from the store though.  I want to jump start most of my seeds indoors this year in order to extend my harvest period. 

… Donuts.  We had a rare, sweet treat this weekend!  I say rare, not because we are sugar prudes, no no, we are quite the opposite.  I mean, we once drove all the way to Portland, OR  just so we could eat at Voodoo Doughnut.  I  even have a lovely picture of me stuffing my face with the Ol’ Dirty Bastard to prove it.  Yummy.   I say it is a rare treat because we do not have a donut shop close to our house. 

… DIY Play Dough.  I made this green play dough for the  kids this weekend.  They loved it and are still playing with it as I type.  I got the recipe from Pinterest, of course, and it is a pin that actually works!   (You can follow me on pinterest here if you want!)

… Sketch.  I’ve picked up my art journal again.  We’ll see where I go with this sketch.  My husband hates it, but that’s not surprising.  He is a really good drawer, and if it doesn’t look life-like or really pretty, then he doesn’t like it. Haha!

… Flowers.  The “I’m Sorry” flowers are from the hubs.  They were accompanied with a very nice letter of apology.  I accepted.  What can I say?  I’m sucker for letters and flowers.

That’s it for us!  Now tell me, how was your weekend?!

A Kitchen Affair

Canning Watermark 1-1

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Canning is a process that you have to simply hand over your entire day to.  Throw on your apron and deal with it.  It has the reputation of becoming a real time sucker

If you’re like me, who has three children under your feet at all times to manage, then it’s enough to make you batty by the end of the whole mess.  Couple this with next-to-nothing canning supplies and only working with what you have; It makes a long day even longer.  (and you can forget about eating lunch) 

 

This past weekend, I handed over most of my day, and managed to retain most of my good mood by the end of it all.  Despite my high spirits, I was wiped out.  I smelled like vinegar, too.  I also had very little ambition to clean the mess afterwards, but I did, because I was the only one there to do it.

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Let me back up to Friday.  Our first frost hit, so I made sure to pick every pepper I could manage—just in case—hence the canning and freezing I had to do.  I brought my herbs inside, so they are still thriving.  As for the rest of the garden, I trimmed back the asparagus ferns, artichoke, etc, and added additional dirt in preparation for Fall/Winter months.  Let’s hope they survive!


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So there you have it.  My weekend in a nutshell.  It was full of peppers, tomatoes, canning, gardening and cleaning. 

At least it is finished.

Linking up with Mary Beth at Annapolis & Company.

 

Here are some outtakes from the jalapeno jar photo shoot.  I told ya, I always gotta kid on my heels.

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Back Breaking Work

No lie.  Pulling up sod, digging holes, tilling by hand, lifting heavy bags of dirt…it hurts.  I was sore for two days, which is pretty sad because I pawned most of the work on Bubba.  I don’t know how he persevered through it because I pooped out.  
I came to the realization that there is no way I could make a living digging ditches, peeps.  I tip my hat off to all the hardworking folks out there, because they have a hard job.  Back breaking, too.  
No. Really.  My back ached.
Alright, I won’t whine anymore.  I promise.
The result of our hard work is beginning to show.  We started by marking our garden off with skewers and some yarn that was leftover from Halloween.  
That was the easy part. 
Then we had to remove the sod in our ghetto, homemade wheel barrow. (an empty plastic tote attached to our dolly).
Next we dug holes, tilled it a bit, and then filled it with dirt.  Then I jumped ahead and planted the seeds and potted plants which took up most of my day.  I’m not sure if I should have since the weather has been toying with us lately.  One day hot, one day chilly, but it was warm for a solid week before I planted.  However, a pesky cold front is heading our way tonight.  Hopefully the plants survive.   

We are being ambitious this year so I hope our garden will flourish.  I need to pray about it.  Praying worked for me last year.  I know this because our garden actually produced despite having nature working against us and it being my first real attempt.  
To wrap this post up, we have seeds planted along with markers on the rows.  I started my herbs in paper bags.  It is the first time I’ve done this so I hope it works.  The last little thing we have left to do is set up the fence around the garden which should be finished next week! 

Until next week…
Liz

Garden

It’s been a couple of months since I last gave an update on our garden.  Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even list what we planted.  Bad blogger. ::hanging head in shame::
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So far, some of our plants have begun to produce, which is really exciting, but it also means I’m about to be really busy harvesting, canning, freezing, and roasting.

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Our potatoes are completely ready to be harvested.  I’ve been slowly digging them up in the evenings.  It has been really hot and humid here for the last couple of weeks, making the mere notion of digging for potatoes, during the brunt of the afternoon sun, seem unappealing.
Our potatoes have bumps on them, which I will elaborate on in another post.
But until I go take a few more pictures (if it ever stops raining), I will list what we have planted.
Fruits:                                                   Herbs:
Strawberries                                         Basil
Blueberries                                           Thyme
Seedless Grapes                                 Sage
Tomatoes                                             Parsley
Vegetables:
Cucumbers     Sweet Texas Onions
Corn                Bell Peppers
Broccoli           Jalapenos
Fennel              Lettuce
Asparagus       Sunflowers
Artichokes       Potatoes
Spinach           Peas
Carrots           Garlic
I think that’s it! 
Later taters-Liz
Wait!  I have a lemon tree as well.  So blessed.

Garden Gate

We kind of live in a mini-forest with a lot of deer that frequently visit our lawn,  so putting a small fence and gate around it was a logical move.  My husband installed the whole thing…god bless that man!

As for that little green fella at the top, he and his friend hang out in the garden.  He also enjoyed hanging out in my hair one day, causing me to slightly freakout.  I screamed, did a little dance, while shaking my hair violently.  My children thought my screaming and dance was just too cool, so they started to scream and dance…except my oldest…he just watched and laughed from the window.

Until next time!

Gardening | DIY Seed Starter

It’s that time of year again.  I’ve been hustling and bustling in preparation for my vegetable and flower garden.  Gardening, at one point in my life, I mocked.  Maybe it is a maturity thing, but I’ve found the concept of hand to mouth, lending me a sense of self-gratification that stems from growing your own food.  
When it comes to planting, I am about as impatient as a two year old.  I always want to plant earlier than is recommended, usually resulting in withering leaves, and a disappointed Liz.   But I’m trying to suffocate my eagerness this year, especially being in a new state and being unfamiliar with its climate.  In Texas, I began my garden in February.  This year, my vegetable seeds still await in their packages.
Today, however, I was able to plant my lavender indoors.  Usually, I purchase the little Jiffy seed starter kits, but this year I am trying something different. 
I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls for a couple of months so I could make my own seed starter containers. I hope they work!  
Here is how I make them.

Directions 
 1) Take your toilet paper rolls and cut them half
2) Lay them out on some sort of tray or baking sheet
3) Fill each container with seed starting mix.  I used Miracle Grow Seed Starting Mix.
4) Pour water in each container to moisten the dirt
5) Plant your seeds according to the package directions
6) Water again
7) Set outside/sunny spot inside & let nature do its work!