Category: gardening

Feed Your Plants Right with Whitney Farms® Organic Plant Food

This post brought to you by Whitney Farms. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I love to garden as it provides me with fresh air, exercise, and of course fresh fruits and vegetalbes to feed my family. I also strive to keep it organic as I don't want unwanted chemicals and pesticides on my food. I was excited when I learned about Whitney Farms® as it is organic plant food to help boost my garden's ability to produce more food, and also will help to keep my plants healthier. As you can see my garden is looking very lush and the vegetables are coming in quite nicely.

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Whitney Farms® has 25+ years of gardening experience and has improved their products to have low to no dust which is great as nothing is worse than pouring out food that will blow in your face. No manure smell and is easy to apply. It contains beneficial microbes which will help to make your soil easy to work and accepts water easier. I love using organic soil in my garden to make it the very best I can which makes the plants produce the very best vegetables and fruits for me.

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I know how expensive it is buying plant food so Whitney Farms has a $3 off coupon to help save money! What will you grow with Whitney Farms organic plant food?

 

 

 

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Spring is in the Air

I realize many people reading this post title are thinking I have lost my mind! They are looking out their windows to see snow covering the ground. There isn’t a hint of spring to be seen.

Here in the deep south, we are seeing a much different sight with spring already here. We did not have much of a winter this year. It was pretty mild, and this is the warmest January I can remember in years. January is normally one of the coldest months of the whole year in South Louisiana, but not this year. We are getting a day or two of cold weather, but then it warms back up to the 70’s and flirting with the 80’s! I have even had to run my air conditioner a few times already this month. That is really crazy!

The biggest sign of spring are the clover patches in my grass, and many trees are already blooming along with my azalea bushes. The picture above are blooms from one of my azalea bushes. They are so pretty. I usually do not see this sight until mid to late February. My husband actually had to cut the grass earlier this month. Again our grass is usually dead and no clover in the yard.

All of this spring weather has gotten to me thinking about my spring garden. If you want to grow your own transplants of tomatoes or bell peppers, then in Zone 9 you would have started earlier this month. I decided to skip growing tomatoes as we do not really eat them. I simply do not have the time to make sauces. I am growing bell peppers, but I have my fil giving me some next month as I only need a few plants. I usually chop them up to freeze. The main plant I want to grow this year is cucumbers. I eat at least 2-3 weekly in my salads, but I want to make Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Chips again this year. It was a huge hit with everyone. I will also get some blackberry shoots from my fil as I love fresh berries. One year I plan to tackle growing strawberries. I think I will also grow some red potatoes as well. Nothing like harvesting fresh vegetables and fruits.

Are you seeing signs of spring in your area, or does old man winter look like he is staying? Are you planning your spring garden yet? If you are, then please share with me what you are growing. I love reading about what others are doing in different parts of the country and world.

 

TMR Frugal Living Tip #80

Today’s frugal living tip is to reuse those coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, and vegetable/fruit peelings. Yep I drink coffee and tea on a daily basis so I take the grounds, and work them directly into the soil around my plants. Of course you can also throw them in a compost pile. I take rinsed eggshells and crush them before mixing into the soil. I also compost. You can either compost vegetable/fruit peelings or just dig small holes into your garden. I dig them in a few inches and let them rot until it’s time to till the soil. I love just digging small piles directly into the garden as I don’t have to deal with a compost pile this way. My soil still benefits and it gets worked into the whole garden plot twice a year. Not everyone is keen on the idea of having a compost pile so here is another alternative way to reduce waste, but it still helps your soil and plants thrive. The best part is that worms love the coffee grounds and seem to attract them. This is actually a positive as worms help to aerate the soil.

My Spring Garden has Sprung


I didn’t get any fall planting done last year since we had some unusually cold weather early in winter. Our last few winters have been very mild so I guess it was time for colder weather. Spring usually arrives in early February, but this year it waited until late March into early April. We got a late start on getting the garden tilled and amended. I also had to buy tomato and bell pepper transplants at my local nursery. We expanded the garden by several rows and planted new seeds this year. I finished planting all the April crops on Friday evening. Here is what we have planted this year: roma tomatoes, cucumbers, green/red/orange bell peppers, black beans, bush snap beans, zucchini, cow peas (similar to black eyed peas), sugar baby watermelons, and cantaloupe. I already see lots of cucumbers popping up. I also planted marigolds in between the tomato rows which helps to ward off caterpillars. I shall see how this does. I bought three more blueberry bushes which are all flowering. I will have lots of blackberries this year from all the buds and flowering on the bush. I’m very excited about my garden and very hopeful it will be plentiful. I included pictures below.

Planning my Fall Garden

One of the benefits in living a sub-tropical climate is that I can grow vegetables when most of the country is buried under snow. I can grow food year round which helps my food bill plus I am outside in fresh air. I haven’t actually had much of a chance to start planting since it’s rained almost every day for the last two weeks. I’m expanding a little more for the fall season, but not too much so it’s overwhelming. I bought my seeds for baby spinach, green onions, and two variety packs of lettuce. I made sure one variety pack is slow to bolt since we usually have spring weather in late February. My father-in-law is giving me transplants of cabbage and broccoli.

I was very pleased with how well my garden did this past year. I had more than enough cucumbers which I used to make pickles. It was a big hit with our family. I want to learn how to can so I can give dill pickles as gifts. I decided to stagger the seeds so I don’t get so overwhelmed with everything wanting to harvest near the same time. This will be really helpful with the lettuce, cabbage, and spinach plants. My husband is really looking forward to the lettuce since he likes to eat salads in the morning for breakfast. If you live in a snowy climate then use your winter to make gardening plans and looking at seeds.

Furry Visitors


My hubby and I went outside yesterday evening to water our plants in the garden. We noticed a cute little bunny eating grass in the yard right outside the carport. It was about 3 feet from the house, and barely flinched as my husband walked near it to take pictures. It’s a very bold bunny, but his friend was more timid since he hopped near the cane fields. They aren’t eating my plants but I only have cantaloupe and watermelon growing at the moment. They do the like the shade my fig tree offers them since I frequently see one sitting underneath it. I just thought it was so cute that I wanted to share the pictures we took. The rabbits are perfectly safe from us since we don’t eat rabbit.

Lots of Cukes


I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but I’ve been so busy gardening and end of school activities. Summer is definitely here with temperatures in the low 90’s and very humid. I’m watering more with the hose pipe which I’m not overly thrilled doing since I’ve seen my last water bill. It’s gone up almost $10 more than usual. We are getting rain, but not daily and it’s usually a good shower that will keep my plants watered for a couple of days. We are only getting maybe one to two good soaks per week. I do plan on installing a rain barrel which will help.

In the above pictures you can see how many tasty cucumbers I’ve picked. I started picking them around the middle of May, and haven’t stopped yet. I have picked well over 50 cukes in the last 3 weeks so those two vines are very prolific. I tried my hand at pickling them last weekend, and that batch came out very well. I’m going to make a double batch this weekend, and will share the process on my blog with pictures plus the actual recipe. I even shared them with a couple of family members that were very eager to try them. I am also going to make several loaves of zucchini bread which I also share on my blog.

I also wanted to update on my Roma tomatoes which aren’t doing as well as hoped. I had an infestation from caterpillars to stink bugs. I was trying not to use pesticides but I did spray them last weekend with Seven which has helped some. I think I didn’t act quickly enough so most of the fruit is damaged with holes and rotten. I have harvested about 30, but lost that many to bugs. I’m disappointed since I really wanted to make a big batch of tomato sauce. I’m still going to experiment with a small batch soon. My cantaloupe plants are flowering and really trying to vine out along with the watermelon plants. I will hopefully post some pictures this weekend. I’m very excited about how well the garden is doing overall, and we did expand it with a cultivator my step-dad lent me. I have zucchini to plant this weekend. I hope none of my readers mind the posts about my garden. It’s a great way to save lots of money by growing your own food and to share with others.