Slide background

Encouragement

Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography
Inkwell and Pen

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in The Garden

My Garden Goals for 2017

Posted by on

January is the month where I spend the most time in my garden, pruning, tidying, and planting. I'm outside working for several hours almost every day.

I have some goals I'd like to achieve in the garden this year, and a lot of those will come from good planning and preparation done this month. This year, I want the garden to be both more productive and more beautiful. Here's how I plan to make that happen:

Pea Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker

Snow Pea Seedlings; these are the 30 day "Little Snowpea White" that I also grew last year; I love the short time to harvest!

 

More Productive:

 

1. Bring in new dirt to the garden. This will refresh the area and also fill in where the garden soil has settled over the years. 

2. Fertilize more often. Fruit trees should be fertilized here 3 times a year (February, May, and September), and roses every few weeks. I generally only fertilize my fruit trees once a year (I never get around to the other two times) and roses once in a while.

3. Plant more often. I want to make sure to do lots of succession planting (where I plant again every few weeks), especially with lettuce.

4. Plant earlier. I want to plant more before the heat sets in. Our last frost date is February 15th, which means warm-season crops can go in the ground then.

5. Add new plants. Last year I added 2 more pomegranate trees (in pots), a mandarin tree (in a pot), male and female pistachio trees, and 2 new blackberry bushes. This year I want to add at least 5 more blackberry bushes (and if I can figure out a way to add more trees, I'll do that too!). 

6. Make the shady areas more productive by planting more of what works well in the shade in these areas. This includes Swiss chard, New Zealand spinach, parsley, and Vesca (Alpine) strawberries.

7. Plant more squash.

8. Spray more often. I lost part of my grape crop last year to powdery mildew (and almost lost all of it). I will spray neem oil a couple of times before the leaves come out in March/April, and again in April or May if needed.

9. Bag grapes in paper lunch bags (stapled on) to keep the birds from eating the grapes.

10. Plant more snow peas, Armenian cucumbers, and red noodle beans. To do this, I am unrolling some homemade tomato cages (made from 6-inch concrete mesh) and using stakes that I already have to use the flat mesh as a trellis (pictured above).

11. Plant more chives and green onions from seed. 

12. Plant more artichokes.

January Sundial The Prudent Homemaker Four of the new rose bushes surrounded by flowering cabbage

 

More beautiful:

Last year I added 14 new rose bushes to the garden in back. Five of these did not make it; the company will be sending me replacements in February. The plants are small to start, but the ones that I planted last year should start flowering this year.

I planted a few hundred flower bulbs over the last few weeks, and I've still got more to plant. I'll be planting those this year.

 

1. Plant 250 daffodil bulbs in the garden (hopefully all this week if I can).

2. Plant small hedges along the walkway in the white garden. 

3. Dig 6 large bushes from the white garden (from the planting areas along the walkway, seen in the photo below) and transplant them into pots on the back patio. I have been growing these for 3 years and pruning them to become spheres. By the end of this year, there is a good chance they will have reached the size and shape I've been planning.

4. Plant another hedge in the garden in back. I'm going slow on this and using cuttings from existing bushes to grow the hedge. It will take many more years to grow it this way, but it doesn't cost me any money to do it like this.

5. Plant nasturtium seeds in all of the potted fruit trees on the patio. The seeds are ones we collected from the garden last year.

6. Plant rows of flower seeds in between the vegetables.

7. Resod and reseed grass in areas where we lost grass last year (we had some larger areas die due to broken sprinkler issues, as well as some of the normal loss due to grubs, for which we always reseed in spring).

8. Purchase a new edger and learn how to use it. I'd like to have sharp edges on the grass around the beds this year.

9. Prune hedges 4 times a year to keep them looking good.

January Walkway Planter The Prudent Homemaker

The start of changes to the front walkway: I just planted daffodils in this bed last week as well as these pansies. The large bushes will be transplanted into pots in the backyard and will hopefully finish growing into the sphere shapes I have always planned for them to be (but now they'll do so in the backyard). I'll surround each of these 4 planters by the walkway with smaller box leaf euonymus hedges; I've put in 2 small ones already at the top of this planter (near the other large bush in the planter) and I am waiting for the nursery to have more for sale over the next few months. The bed is soaked from a wonderful rain we had a few days ago; this bed is in full shade all day and will be for the next couple of months.

 

The local nursery will be having many sales over the next four months, and they'll have coupons too, so I will look for sales on the blackberries and box leaf euonymus as well as coupons to make those sales even better deals.

We're enjoying temperatures in the 50's and 60's this week; a frost is possible this month and we'll likely get at least one night of it sometime later this month, but for the most part, it's spring-like weather with lots to do!

Tagged in: Goals The Garden
Last modified on

Anticipation

Posted by on

Anticipation Blackberry Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

 

Good things to come. . . .

 Anticipation Elderberry The Prudent Homemaker

 

Meyer Lemon Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

 Strawberry Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

 

Anticipation Grapes The Prudent Homemaker

 Anticipation Peony The Prudent Homemaker

 

Baby Rattle The Prudent Homemaker

 Baby expected in a few weeks!

 

Tagged in: Motherhood The Garden
Last modified on

The Garden in Early April

Posted by on

The Shepherdess Rose The Prudent Homemaker

The garden is becoming rather full and lush lately. We had a beautiful, cloudy weekend, with a bit of rain, which gave me the opportunity to photograph the garden without the harsh light that it normally gets. Rain in April is extremely unusual here, but oh so pretty, and we were happy for the storm to drop the temperature 18º.

April Roses The Prudent Homemaker

Because it had been rather warm prior to the storm, the David Austin roses have bloomed several weeks earlier than normal.

April Graham Thomas Rose The Prudent Homemaker

 These are David Austin's "Graham Thomas."

April Garden Armilliary The Prudent Homemaker

April Garden Nasturiums 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The nasturtiums are blooming in abundance. These are all self-seeded ones that came up in January. 

April Yellow Nasturium The Prudent Homemaker

I also collected some seeds last year that I planted in pots. 

 April Garden Pomegranate and Nasturiums The Prudent Homemaker

In a more mild climate, these will bloom all summer. Here, they will die once the heat sets in. 

 April Garden Nasturiums The Prudent Homemaker

If you're looking for an inexpensive way to fill your garden with flowers, I highly recommend nasturtiums. In addition, the leaves, flowers, and seed pods (when green) are all edible (they have a sharp peppery taste). You can buy seeds for them just about anywhere you buy garden seeds, They spread out, and are also a good spiller plant for pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes.

April Beets and Chard Bolting The Prudent Homemaker

The beets and Swiss chard are bolting. It's easy to see why they've been on the menu so often lately. They don't get bitter when they bolt, but they won't hesitate to grow 6 feet tall within a few weeks. I'll pull some beets soon (and can them)  and plant other things in their place. I'll also leave some to finish going to seed. All of these grew from self-seeded beets from the open-pollinated ones I planted last year.

The grape vines are filling out nicely on the trellis behind them.

April Garden Blackberries The Prudent Homemaker

The blackberries are full of blossoms. These will ripen next month. They're planted in a space that's a foot wide, on the west side of the house. They get afternoon shade here, which is essential in our heat to prevent them from burning. This area was originally a slope, which we cut back to the wall, and then added dirt and a low wall (to keep it to the height of the original slope, as the neighbor's house is built higher). The narrow planter allows us to walk past the air conditioning units that are on this side of the house, and gives us some room for storage as well.

April Garden Snow Peas The Prudent Homemaker

In the same planter, I have planted snow peas. These don't get shaded from the house, as they are further south in the planter. These are the 30-day Little White Snowpeas from Territorial Seed. They took about 30 days to germinate, and after about 35-40 days, the first ones started appearing on the vines. I normally plant Oregon Sugar Pod in the fall, which are ripe this time of year. (I actually did plant them, but all of my seedlings were munched by bugs, so I planted these at the end of January when the seeds arrived.) I planted them in two places in the garden, and the ones here are doing much better than the ones that have morning shade and afternoon sun. I also had a higher germination rate in this spot.

April Garden Snow Pea Blossom The Prudent Homemaker

In both places, I planted them below some grape vines. These are a shorter variety than the Oregon Sugar Pod, so I can harvest them now before the grapes fill in much more. Unfortunately snow peas last only about a month here before dying of powdery mildew every year, but come that time, it is too hot anyway (at the end of April, usually; I am normally harvesting a bit earlier than now) and the pods become fat and hard almost immediately.

 April Garden Snow Pea The Prudent Homemaker

 

April Garden Onion and Sage Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

My sage and green onions are in flower. This is a new sage plant that I put in last fall, and a new location for my green onions. I dug them from their old location and moved them here. I'll collect some seeds and let others self-seed in this spot.

April Garden Sage in Bloom The Prudent Homemaker

 

I hope you've enjoyed visiting my garden today!

 

Participating at:

Stone Gable: The Scoop

Tweak it Tuesday

Wednesday Roundup

 
Tagged in: The Garden
Last modified on

Spring Blossoms in the Garden

Posted by on

It's been a long time since I shared pictures of the backyard garden. It is so incredibly beautiful right now.

Garden in March White Bench The Prudent Homemaker

 

The fruit trees are in bloom in the garden, and if you stand still, you can hear the bees and see them work.

Garden in March Peach Blossoms 2 The Prudent Homemaker

 Garden in March center circle The Prudent Homemaker

 

Garden in March Peach Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

The birds have been enjoying the garden, too. I've seen a violet-throated humming bird, a California quail, a red-tailed hawk, mourning doves, pigeons, and lots of smaller birds that I'm still working to identify.

Garden in March  circle 2 The Prudent Homemaker

 

The daffodils are just starting to bloom, and will open more fully in the next two weeks.

Garden in March Daffodils The Prudent Homemaker

 

The Dorsett Gold apple has been in bloom for a couple of weeks.

Garden in March Peach and Apple Trees The Prudent Homemaker

 

My 20th Century Asian pear, espaliered on the wall, is starting to bloom. 

Garden in March Asian Pear Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker

The scent from the blosoms in the garden is wonderful.

Garden in March Peaches and Daffodils The Prudent Homemaker

Garden in March 2 The Prudent Homemaker

It's going to be 83ºF (29ºC) today. I'll be out in the garden.

 Garden in March Peach Tree The Prudent Homemaker

Tagged in: The Garden
Last modified on

This Morning's Garden Harvest

Posted by on

June Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I spent several hours in the garden this morning, picking fruit.

Mission Figs The Prudent Homemaker

I picked Mission figs, Royal apricots, Apache blackberries, Red Flame Grapes,  Dorsett Golden Apples, and white alpine strawberries.

June Harvest 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Tonight I'll pick more apricots and blackberries, towards the end of the day when the sun is going down.

I love the fruit we receive from the garden in June.

 

Tagged in: The Garden
Last modified on

Garden Progress & This Week's Goals

Posted by on
Larkspur The Prudent Homemaker

Larkspur. These reseed themselves in the garden every year.

 

I tried last week for a shortened to-do list for the week, and still, it didn't happen.

It reminded me of this quote from C.S. Lewis.

C S Lewis Quote The Prudent Homemaker

Interestingly enough, my children picked this video to watch on Sunday, which was a great thing for me to see in relation to the coming week. The ending made me cry (for a good reason). It's worth 9 minutes of your time: You Never Know How Much Good You Do

What did I accomplish last week?

I did get the children's shower curtains washed, and my bathtub emptied of plants, pots, and dirt. I still need to replant the pots that I overwintered for way too long in the house; I think I'll remove the ginger bulbs and try them in the garden, and replant the pots with begonias (I found some bulbs online) for the shade by the front door. I still need to plant the seedlings that are growing in one pot into the garden.

I went to Lowe's to buy some pots to plant my hibiscus plants. This wasn't even on my to-do list, but it should have been.  I didn't end up liking any of their options, but when I first walked into the department, I saw two large white hydrangea plants.

I've been wanting to grow hydrangeas for a long time.

Growing up in the desert, they're not something I've ever seen except in photos. I had been doing some reading on hydrangeas just a few days before I saw them, and I went home with one of them that night. The clerk told me they had got 6 plants in the day before, and those 2 were already all that was left. 

White Hydrangeas 1 The Prudent Homemaker

 

The next morning I was certain I wanted the other one, and I went back to get it. It was still there. I brought it back and planted it.

 Hydrangea The Prudent Homemaker

Both of these are up against the house, where they are in shade most of the day.

Hydrangea buds The Prudent Homemaker

Later I went to Home Depot to look at their pots (I checked online first and found one I liked). I took a different child with me to the store this time (I try to take one child at a time to the store for some individual time with mom). We bought the pots, and on the way home, as we approached the cemetery, my daughter asked when we could go to grandma's grave again.

"Right now," I said, and pulled into the cemetery.

That wasn't on my to-do list--but I'm sure glad we did it.

When we came home, Wren helped me plant the hibiscus.

I didn't plant the apricot tree, but I did take out the old pomegranate (a few years ago it stopped producing, overshadowed by other trees that had grown up near it. I removed it and moved it into a pot, but it still didn't produce. I think it needs a sunny spot in the ground. Two weeks ago, I bought a new, smaller pomegranate tree to replace it). I gave the old pomegranate to my neighbor, who already had a hole partly dug, and whose sons were visiting and able to finish digging the hole for her (something else had died in the spot, so she also had drip irrigation to the spot already). Wren, Ivory, and I planted the new pomegranate in the pot.

I spent time this week listening to a child who really needed to talk.

Later, my husband and I spent time discussing the needs of that child and what we can do to help her with those things.

 Passionfruit Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

Maypop Passionfruit Flowers

 

I did manage to pull out most of the pea plants, all of the broccoli plants, and a good number of dill plants. I planted Armenian cucumber seeds, dahlia seeds, and porutlaca seeds. I planted a few gladiolus bulbs. I took out and replanted several iris bulbs that were where the hydrangea went it. That required me to dig up several leeks, which will need to be planted elsewhere this week.

I moved the crib to the garage, though my husband will still have to find a place for it there.

I photographed and listed one item for sale on the Facebok gargae sale page.

I collected green onion seeds from the garden.

I went to Sam's Club and did my shopping there.

I didn't plant the Chinese lantern seeds. It says on the packet that they need at least 2 weeks of cool temepratures, and to refrigerate them, so I put them in the fridge.

I found a number of grape leaf skeleteonizer eggs. This is months earlier than they appeared last year. I will have to be diligent about checking the leaves of all of my vines and taking off infected leaves.

I did decide to have two girls switch rooms, which should make for quieter afternoons.

This week's goals, then, include some new items, and most of the same items from last week.  The Katy apricots and Desert Gold peaches look to be ripe some time this week, so they'll need to be picked, eaten, and processed.

 

Garden:

1. Replant leeks in a new spot or two in the garden

2. Remove the rest of pea vines

3. Harvest Katy apricots and Desert Gold peaches

4. Plant zucchini, butternut squash, sunflower and red noodle bean seeds

5. Plant artichoke seedlings in the garden

6. Spray euonymus hedges for powdery mildew (I use an organic cottonseed oil for this)

7. Cut and dry chamomile buds

8. Plant raspberry bushes

9. Fix damaged drip lines and run a few new drip lines

10. Plant apricot tree

11. Pot begonias

12. Plant the other summer bulbs I ordered that came: gladiolus, dahlia (I'm trying seeds and bulbs), and lilies.

13. Reseed bare spots in grass

14. Remove dead leaves from center circle in back and plant zinna seeds in their place

15. Plant 2 tomato plants that have been waiting for the broccoli to come out

16. Put up tomato cages and stakes, and wire cages to stakes

17. Check grape vines for grape leaf skeletonizers and remove infected leaves



Organization and Cleaning:

1. Photograph and list several items for sale on Facebook garage sale pages

2. Take non-sold items to thrift store for donation at the end of the week

3. Hang pictures (I'm moving pictures around in a few places in the house)

4. Clean out behind fridge (we're blowing out the coils with the air compressor)

5. Clean dust in kitchen and main living areas after cleaning behind fridge :)

6. Help girls switch rooms



Blogging:

1. Take photos for three blog posts this week

 

Last modified on

 Introduction sidebar

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Financial Management

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background

Lemon

Poppyseed

Muffins

Slide background

White Bean

Alfredo

Pasta

Slide background

Swiss

Chard

Soup

Slide background

Minestrone

Soup

Slide background

Taco

Soup

The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List