Thursday, February 16, 2012

How my garden the square foot this year.

So I'm really excited to get my spring garden growing.  I choose to get heirloom seeds this year from Baker Creek.  So far. so good.  Only ONE seed didn't germinate and that really made me happy.  I wanted to get a jump start even though we have an early frost date (March 1) I'm just impatient like that. lol  I wanted to use grow lights to help, but holy cow are those growing set ups expensive.  So after a little forum research I decided on the thrifty method.  I purchased a $10 grow light at Wally World and and made an "adjustable" stand by stacking jelly jars.  Added an aluminum hood and Viola!
 The picture above was taken on January 29th  and three weeks later...

Yeah.  Can't wait to get planting. It's already getting late for the broccoli & garlic for my region, but last year I had good results.  I use a drip irrigation system (easy to build) and that seems to make many plants less temperamental.  It's hard to see but in the photo, but i'm planting tea herbs this year including hibiscus, chamomile, and mint (in a small pot away from everyone else-he is too bossy and doesn't play nice with others-lol).  I'm also trying sweet potatoes this year-we'll see how it goes.  With the addition of R2D2

I should have lots of good compost to hill the potatoes and making small batches allows me to tweak the pH as needed for the different plants. I have build two of the 4' x 4' boxes for my Square Foot Garden and have 2 more 4' x4' and 2 or 3 2' x 4' still to build.  I also need to get the conduit for the melon trellis.  I'm planting Charentais melon & Piel De Sapo (toad skin), also need to build more stacking boxes as the potatoes will be grown vertically. That being said i'm off to get some more done, hopefully i'll update this blog more frequently this year...we'll see.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Clearance and sales and coupons-Oh my! Target 11/05/2011

My Coupon Breakdown-Yeah

Halloween Candy (5.74)                                                  $2.09 (75% off) / 1.50 MQ            $0.59
Ritz Crackers (3.34)                                                         $2.33 (sale) / .50 Peelie                   $1.83
Wheat thins(tom & basil) (3.54)                                 $2.54 (sale)/ $1.00/2 Peelie          $1.54
Emerald Nut Breakfast on the go(4)(4.29)             $2.12 (clearance)/1.00MQ (4)      $4.48    
Peter Pan Peanut butter                                                 $2.09/ $0.50 MQ                               $ 1.59  
Stove Top Stuffing(5)(?)                                                  $0.89 / $1.00/2(x2)& B4G1 free $1.56  
MP tortillas (2.79)                                                            FREE/Target coupon                        $0.00
MP Eggs ($1.69)                                                                $0.99 /Target coupon                       $0.99
MP Lentils 9$0.79)                                                                                                                              $0.79 
Nestle Butterscotch chips (?)                                            $2.34 (sale)/$1.00 MQ                $1.34
Argo cornstarch ($1.34)                                                    $1.34/$0.30 MQ                             $1.04
MP Crackers (?) (2)                                                           $1.48 (clearance)                                $2.96
MP Alfredo sauce ($1.34) (2)                   $ 1.00/ $0.50/2 MP pasta sauce Cat             $1.50
Quaker Granola bars ($2.39)                                           $1.79(sale)                                         $3.59
                                                                                                                                                                 $  22.76  
Used $3.00/$30.00 or more grocery Cat                                                                            $    3.00
                                                                                                                                                                   $  19.76    

MQ= Manufacturer's Coupon  
Cat=Catalina-coupon that prints with the receipt                 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I have a dream...

all joking aside, anyone who knows me know I love to cook & bake.  I am running out of storage and the garage doesn't work well for many things because of the temperature fluctuations.  I have always wanted a pantry and I have a formulated an idea for a "dream" pantry.  Here is my inspiration taken from the the blog called Honey & Fritz.
  (wipes up drool) Can you imagine?  Awesome right? I'm thinking lime-ish green walls, carpet tiles on floor, shelving similar to one above, replace slider with nice french door, and a simple chandelier (Yes- I said chandelier-why the heck not) so cute! Now here is my plan: take ugly unused space, build wall, drywall interior, paint, put up shelve, and organize.  Simple right?  Actually not bad except for the pesky thing called money! At least I'll have a plan, so when we do have the $ I can get right on it.  Here is my space.
OK.  So the cats will be slightly relocated to the side of the house, but since they don't help pay bills, they can get over it.  The space will make a good sized pantry.  The dimensions are about 6.5' W 7'D 8'H.  A few things I'm pondering are: 1. Will there be enough light in the living room when I loose the slider and 1 large window?  2. How much it costs to move the window to the back wall? Any input (Rose?) would be great.
This is the interior wall of the side patio.
  And here is the back wall.  Don't get me started on the fact every thing is monochromatic.  That will change.
So what do you guys think?  Any input grateful.  I'll post more detailed plans for the interior after a bit. 

The Oldham family garden.

So I decided I wanted to plant a small garden because let's face it nothing beats a vine ripened tomatoes! The possibilities are endless, and surplus can be preserved to enjoy in the dead of winter when you can't find a decent tomato to save your life-lol.  First I had to clear space-I got lucky in that out side yard gets full sun for about 6-7 hours a day and it had sprinkler heads already there.  OK- so have my spot picked, but an ugly useless shrub is taking up valuable space.  Let me say here that bush was a pain in the you know what to get out.  Thanks Cynde for all your help-we did not have to enlist the help of the husbands-Yeah!

The above mentioned bush gone! OK-it took us two days and a few curse words to get that sucker out.

I've never been so happy to see bare dirt in all my life! Next to make rows and plant.
 Aren't they cute! They did not stay that way long.  Note the irrigation lines I ran from the sprinkler heads.  They work much better here as if you water from the top your plants will burn.  And it uses less water. So this is what they looked like about two weeks later.
 Now thanks to my neighbor Paul for the free turkey poop mulch they are growing fast.  This is a month later (that's a 6 foot fence) and fruit is setting nicely.  We had a weird two week cold spell that slowed the fruit down a bit, but they are doing well.

And this is the full garden.  I decided midway through the project to expand all the way down the side yard.  But most of that is the pumpkin & watermelons which love all the space. 
 Here are some of the fruits of my labor (literally-lol) beautiful strawberries! They were great on spinach salad with walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette, but even better in yummy jam!

Nice and chunky-Yum! I also have very nice crook neck squash and cucumbers. so far so good.  We'll see how the melons do. Oddly the only plants that are struggling are my peas???? Go figure? I think I got a bad packet of seeds.  I have never seen peas not grow? You would think that if kindergarteners can do it with paper towels and Dixie cups that a well irrigated richly mulch garden would be fail proof.  We'll see, not holding my breath on those. At least frozen peas are cheap-lol.

The pegboard project.

The next thing I tackled was the garage workspace.  It's all MINE! Yes, I love that while my hubby is great with computers/electronics-he leaves the tinkering to me.  I call him in when i need retard strong (OK-don't get all offended-it's an inside joke) IE: pick up that heavy object and put it wait over there) you get the idea.  So I wanted my pegboard to be a little prettier.  First finished painting the garage wall which for some reason (ran out of paint?) they only painted half of.  Next I primered:
 Next a nice bright pretty color (left over from Alex's old bedroom) I do like green.

And now everything has a home.  I have to have a designated home for everything or else clutter will overtake me.  Below the bench are the bigger hand tools like my router & jigsaw.  Drawers are for craft stuff and seasonal items as well as surplus birthday party decorations.  I LOVE having a sink out here for messy clean-ups.  It does still look kinda messy, but I can tweak it as I need to.  I still plan on painting a black picture frame border on it at some point.  But overall, i'm happy with how it turned out.

Catching up...

OK- Enough with the sickness already.  Feeling better and ready to play catch with the ideas in my head (wait...that will never happen) oh well.  I have got a few new projects finished over the past few months.  First one was an easy cheap fix to VERY (cannot stress this enough) ugly exterior fixtures.  While they did not phase my husband in the least (if it ain't broke...) it looked very out of date and tired.  Enter Rustoleum Oiled Rubbed Bronze (I totally LOVE this stuff) and a small hand driver and Viola!

Looks much better and $6 for paint that did 6 lights.  We also added the screw in motion/light sensors to the sockets.  Now they go on at dusk and off at dawn.  I'm very pleased. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Getting over strep throat & ear infection. I promise to get some more pictures posted.  Still moving slow, but feeling better.  Will get new post up soon (hopefully tomorrow).