Green thumbs8:40:00 PM
Today was a nice, lay low relaxing kind of day! Something I desperately needed! The sort of day where you don't even bother to shower...cause it was a whole lotta scrub a dub dubbin' on the ol' house! You don't EVEN wanna know how long it's been. Let's just say...it needed it! You see to end last week with a bang (you remember the start was Emily Grace vs. the fractured elbow) my Uncle Melvin, who is 64 years old and also has cerebral palsy. The type of cerebral palsy that he uses a motorized wheelchair and you have to really focus to understand what he is trying to tell you. He is amazing. He has a job working for Seattle's Best coffee that he delivers to office buildings downtown Portland. His customers look forward to him coming each day and frankly its pretty dang amazing that he carries down a full time job and lives on his own (he has an aid that visits him regularly). Well. He was rushed to the hospital this week with a collapsed lung. A collapsed lung on an 85 pound 64 year old with cerebral palsy (very old for CP) is not a great thing. Surgery is not optimal. The kids and I were able to visit with him for a few hours on Friday. We picked him some hydrangeas from our garden and stuck them in a mason jar to brighten up his room! He was SO excited to see us it was wonderful! While we were visiting the doctor came in and said unfortunately things were not looking good and that they were going to need to do a few other procedures. Well, this weekend he took a turn for the worse and was having difficulty breathing so they put him in ICU. He as of today is in stable condition but it's still a very scary situation. Then to add to the mix we decided to have a wee bit of family time and went out to a local farm to pick strawberries. Before we left I put sunscreen on the kids. Within a matter of 15 minutes Ava Faith's face was covered in hives. Her eyes were watering really bad and swollen to the point of squinting and her sweet nose was beet red and runny. I called the advice nurse who told us to take her straight home and give her a bath in luke warm water. In no time at all, the hives started to disappear and she was starting to look all cute and Mushy again! Needless to say we will be on the search for a hypo-allergenic sunscreen for my wee babe!
OK, now to the whole "green thumb" part of our day! I tend to blah blah when I am sleepy! We, here in Oregon, are having what looks like to be an Indian Summer. We have had abnormally rainy weather which makes planting not optimal! In fact, my green beans were downright drowned! We just got the zucchinis and tomatoes in the ground a few weekends ago and today we started seeds indoors! I love gardening with the kids. I have been saving egg cartons because they are bio-degradable and you can cut them apart and plant them directly into the ground! Noah picked pumpkins, Emily Grace picked Sunflowers and I planted cucumbers!
When they were done planting they used the spray bottle and spritzed their seeds before placing them on the window sill.
Using the spray bottle helps the plant seeds to get established and not become over watered! Once the leaves start to poke out of the dirt we will water them more.
We also planted our lettuce in buckets I bought at Target for $1 each. First I drilled holes into the bottom to allow for drainage and then filled them with dirt. They are the perfect size for the kids to be able to pick them up and move them throughout the yard if we need to.
A little gardening advice:
- Plant marigolds around your garden to help protect your plants from aphids and slugs! (this is called companion planting)
- Also you can use egg shells around the base of plants to detract from slugs.
- A great way to get rid of sugar ants in your garden (a trick my Uncle Brian taught me!) Mix equal parts powder sugar and borax and dust into your garden. Its harmless on your plants and fine for pets and kids.
- Fine spray your plants with water to encourage your fruits to set! Water everyday and add plant food every week for better results in fruit/veggies.
- The flowers on zucchinis are edible! Pick them off the ends of the growing veggie. If left on the will shrivel and drop off.
- Leave a few green bean pods onto your plant so they can dry out and you can reuse the seeds the next year for planting.
- If you decide to grow potato's DO NOT EAT green ones. They are poisonous!! If they are not well covered by dirt they will turn green in the sunlight.
- To get your carrots to grow longer...water the soil well and then gently lift the carrots one by one out of the ground...just slightly! This will make it so you don't grow baby carrots! Also, over watering will cause your carrots to split! Finicky veggies!
- When your lettuce grows use the outer leaves when you need them so that your lettuce will continue to grow.
- And the last tip...plant Hood Strawberries if you are in the Portland area...you will have strawberries all Summer long! Yum!
I will take y'all on a tour of my yard one of these days! Its been a work of love and the past few years we feel like it is really blossoming!
Here is a teaser of my side garden...this is located next to our living/dining room. It was baron. Dirt. Plain. Yuck when we bought the house! We have a full box of strawberries (we ripped the old ones out), 2 blueberry bushes (always plant in two's so they can be cross pollinated by bees!). I planted this area while pregnant with Emily Grace. We have chives, rosemary (plant rosemary and lavender by your gate for good luck!), lavender, chocolate mint, spearmint, clematis, sweet peas, jasmine...just to name a few things! I will wait until more plants are in full bloom...we love it and live back there all Summer long!
Have a blessed day! It's never too late or too early to play in the garden and work on your green thumb!