We took last week off of school when it became obvious on Monday that our week was going to go a bit differently than I thought. We finished butchering chickens on Monday, I spent several days cutting them up for the freezer, and we had an impromptu garage sale on Friday morning.
This week we’re back to school (we school year-round and take off times like last week when we need to. Plus, when it’s over 100º, it’s nicer to be inside! We usually take some time off in the spring when the weather is beautiful.)
I’ve got a ton of stuff on my to-do list (as usual). Here’s what I’m hoping to get done:
1. Remove Liberty apple tree. This tree finally started to produce last year, but this year it has a total of 3 apples on it. We’ve decided to replace it with a Katy apricot. I put in a Katy apricot in the front yard last year; it will be limited in size because of the limited space that I have in front. This tree ripens a month earlier than our Royal Apricot, which means we’ll have fresh apricots twice. Our local nursery got several trees in after I requested them, and I picked one up a couple of weeks ago.
2. Plant Katy apricot
3. Plant 2 currant bushes. Our nursery got in red currants (for the first time!) that say they can go to a warmer zone! (Most currants need a zone 7 or colder). I picked up two earlier this year. They were clearing these out so I bought two more on clearance. I don’t know how they’ll do here, but I’ve been reading a lot about them and I hope they do well.
4. Prune hedges on one side in the backyard (I did the other side on Saturday)
5. Collect seeds from cilantro (coriander), lettuce, Swiss chard, green onions, larkspur, spinach, kale, primroses, delphinium, foxglove, poppies
6. Plant seeds for green onion seeds, more zinnias, vincas, Swiss chard, and artichokes
7. Cut dead iris stalks back
8. Cut larkspur to bring in.
9. Pull the rest of the larkspur from the garden
10. Dig garlic
1. Finish sewing purse
2. Make and embroider lavender sachet
3. Finish making hot pads (I threw out some of my old ones as incentive to get going on this project. I still have one set but I often have one set in the wash).
4. Mend and alter as many items as possible from the mending/alteration pile that is overtaking my sewing room
1. Spend some time organizing in the sewing room
Cooking and Canning:
1. Can plum sauce
2. Make bread
1. Visit teach one of the sisters on my route this week (the appointment is already made).
1. Photograph and write three blog posts, including one for a giveaway
2. Work on updating the website into the new program. If this works, it should make the drop down menus visible on mobile devices. If there’s a recipe you’re planning to make this week, print it ahead of time in case we end up being down while updating.
And with that, I’m off to get some things done!
I love your goals for this week. You’ve kept me encouraged to keep planting seeds continually, and now I am starting to see the results. This week I plan to use up some of the frozen meat for dinners that are over 6 months old. I will replenish them as I find sales during the next 6 months. I have fresh snow peas in the garden that I will use for a stir fry and a couple of my green onions are going to seed, so I will replant these. I found a couple of items on sale at the local grocery store to purchase . Pasta $1.00/lb each.I will buy 10. My husband and I only use about a half a package so this will last a while. I will also make freezer meals for busy days: lasagna rolls, taco soup and turkey and vegetable( from frozen leftover 2 weeks ago) , and grilled chicken for quick meals, buy more corn on cob to freeze at 25 cents each and go to Costco today for 3 month supply shopping. I try to do this every 3 months and store~ We are needing paper products. batteries. I will be canning apple sauce. I will work 2 days this week…which is all that I really want to work each week now..planning to retire next June at age 60. Then I will baby sit my 4 month old grandson Tommy on Thursday as it is daughter and son in laws 5th anniversary. I will also spend the day with my other grandchildren Colton (9) and Brynn (6) on Friday as they are moving this week to Coeur D Alene…6 hours away. My husband and I are off work this coming weekend, and no family plans, so we will work on garden and back yard chores. We have spent the last 2 weekends with family and going places that it will be wonderful to stay at home.Have a wonderful week 🙂 blessings Patty from the NW
Just so you know, the fruit trees aren’t a hybrid. It’s the variety name. I would start with your local nursery and see what varieties they have that do best in your area. Ours have great tags with chilling hours and other information. Ours didn’t carry Katy buy my father-in-law has a tree that is ripe a month before mine, so I knew there was a tree out there with less chilling hours. I asked at the local nursery and there were two kinds; another nursery in town carries both of those. Did you see my post on choosing fruit trees? That may help you choose some for your garden.As far as currants, I have seen them in catalogs and only to a zone 7. I was very excited to see these! I recently pinned a bunch of information about currants on my Edible Landscaping board on Pinterest that you can read. I’m learning how to prune them to get the most from them.
as i am watching 4 of my grandkids this week, list is shorter than normal, but here goes:take them strawberry picking and make jamweed my front flower beds and the raised bedsfinish making chair for outside in patio area – just needs finish coat of varnishclean out 4 more boxes of stuff in attic – 8 kids out of the house means lots of stuff left behind!i am training for a full marathon in january so i have 3 runs scheduled for this week totalling 22 miles!
Thanks so much. Your edible garden pin board looks terrific. I will definitely spend some time reading the posts.
It takes 8 to 10 years for fruit trees to mature in zone 5. Gardening is so different in the desert!
Andrea, are you growing full-sized trees? They do take that long. Semi-dwarf trees fruit several years earlier (4-6 years). I grow semi-dwarf trees. (Dwarf trees are 3-4 years).
Thank you for sharing your goals, Brandy!Seeing that you plan to dig your apple tree up made me think: we are moving to a property that has several trees (not fruit) dying after heavy snow storms this winter. I would like to replace them with fruit trees, but am not sure how to deal with the roots – do we just dig-dig-dig to get them all out or is there a better or easier way? Also, since looks like we’ll be digging anyway, is there anything we should do to make the soil better for the fruit trees (I am thinking apples and cherries to start with, and then apricots and/or nectarines)? The soil there is awful: it’s pure clay 🙁 Maybe that’s the true reason why the trees are dying… Any suggestion is appreciated!
Stephanie, enjoy your new baby! I always used a front pack (Snugli) with them all and that really seemed to keep them content and you can still get things done/tend to older ones etc.
Had guests for 2 weeks (Son and his family) so my list is just get the house back in order, do mountains of laundry and miss Girl Baby.
Ah, good point! We have one tree that the deer keep eating that is a semi-dwarf. It probably would have apples by now if I could figure out a fence that would keep the deer out. We lost another tree in a hurricane. Both of those were here when we bought the house.I am hoping to replace both of those with heirloom varieties, so they will be full-size trees. I have been working all spring trying to clear out a new sunny area to establish an orchard with two apple trees, a pear tree and an apricot. My goal for the week is to take down the last of the invasive bittersweet, which will put us closer to an orchard 🙂
This weeks goals are- weed the back and front gardens- plant more beans and peas-to do no food shopping- make matching shorts for my two children using material i already have-start making Christmas presents for the children of the family. This week I’ll be melting down used crayons then adding them to silicone molds to make animal shaped crayons. -clean out and sort out paperwork-sort out a kitchen cupboardI think that’s it this week, I’ll still do all the normal stuff. Thanks for the posting. ps I’ve started drinking a glass of water every morning and can not believe the difference in my energy levels. I always used to do it then got out of the habit, one of your posts reminded me to start doing it again. Thanks. 😀
oh I really like your list, Yosemite and photos of Rome, how lovely 🙂
I hope your currants produce well for you, Brandy. What do you intend to do with the fruit? We make syrup, tea and jelly from ours. The berries are too seedy for us to eat fresh. We started with 1 red currant bush and 1 black currant, and took cuttings from those. Currants root easily. We now have about 8 of each.This week, I hope to pick and freeze several pounds of strawberries, make another batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam, and cut and freeze rhubarb. I also need to clean out the spinach bed and replace with lettuce seedlings.I’d like to make insect repellent from essential oils, as I’ve been eaten up by mosquitoes. I must have a bulls-eye on my forehead, because the mosquitoes come straight to me and avoid everyone else.Need to hem 2 pairs of jeans and make capris from another pair. I finally got around to dyeing clothing items light pink, and will dye a few items lavender and one item dark blue later this week.My two daughters and I will be working at a wedding reception this Saturday. The couple are friends from church, so this will be fun. And we’ll receive lunch for our service.
Ambitious! Hope the new plants work out great.Here’s what I want to do this week:–apply for three jobs (yep, I’m thinking of going back to work)–earn $200 working from home–join the YMCA and register my kids for an enrichment class or two–make granola–find new shoes for Big Brother by checking out local thrift/consignment stores–write and publish two blog posts–get a library book to read!
Syrup sounds good! I was thinking jelly would be nice, but I think syrup would be even better!
I enjoy reading your weekly goals Brandy. Do you print them out so you can review them during the week? Or do you have another system to help you stay on track? I often find myself forgetting about my goals.I am interested in your decision to grow currants. Here in Utah currants do very well, at least in my garden. I started with two red currant bushes and now have four of them. I planted a black currant bush this spring and am hoping that will do well here also. I juice the currants to make Swedish “saft”. I often juice the berries with rhubarb and that makes a delicious and refreshing drink too. Good luck with your bushes.
I just go look at them on the blog post 🙂 I have thought about printing them so that I can have the pleasure of crossing them off.I don’t know how currants will do here with the heat and alkalinity (these are technically marked to a zone 8 and we are a 9a, so it’s pushing it on chilling hours). These are red currants. I will be adding soil sulphur to lower the ph. But the water is still a ph of 8.2 to 8.4 here (same as the soil before additives) so this could be a complete waste of money. I’m interested in the fact that they can grow in partial shade and provide more variety to my garden.
I dig them as much as possible and cut out roots with large pruning lopers, and a saw if need be. Go as wide as you can under the tree to make room for the new tree to go.Bring in new dirt! Dig as wide as a hole as possible–several feet across. Put fertilizer in the hole when planting, Bone meal helps establish roots (and fruit); nitrogen (blood meal or cottonseed meal) will help it to grow bigger and make more leaves. The trees will be limited in size by how much good dirt you put it; they won’t want to make roots wider than the good dirt (and the top tends to mirror the roots, so keep that in mind as far as how big a spread you want from the tree). If you don’t bring in new dirt your plants will not get much bigger than when you planted them. I’ve seen it happen at my last house; the tree in the front yard had new dirt but not wide enough; only 3 feet, and it needed to be more. We planted the same kind of tree in the backyard with all new dirt in a wider amount the year after, and within a year it had passed up the one in front by a considerable amount, and in two years the one in back with better dirt was much larger. Likewise, I have seen people put trees into the round here with no new dirt. The trees are 5 years old and no bigger than when they planted them.
We lived in Vegas 25 years ago and I remember feeling bewildered as I tried to garden in the tiny back yard of our rented town home. I had a neighbor who gave me good advice (first time chilling bulbs in the refrigerator) and I learned a lot from the experience. I hope you are successful with the currants. They don’t require much care here and are a nice addition to the landscape.
Many thanks, Brandy! This is very helpful! I was going to get new dirt, but didn’t realize how wide we should be digging, and didn’t know about fertilizer. Thank you!
Brandy, are you going to plant artichoke seeds in the ground ?? if so how much will they grow before first frost and what do you do with them thru winter ? Would love a tutorial on planting artichokes. Would also love to see you post on what methods you use to amend your soil each growing season. Thanks, love your blog !
They are direct seeded. They are fine in the winter here. In colder areas they are covered with straw. The seed companies have lots of information on growing them on their sites. The ones i plant this year should mature next year. I add manure and Paydirt (something from a local place that they sell at our nursery). I don’t add lots of Paydirt, since is it lots more money. Many years I added nothing as there was no funds for it, but it is better when I add more. It had sank quite a bit without having dirt added so when we did the front yard last year I also added in some of the planter’s mix to the back yard. Hopefully we’ll be sucessful in making compost and we’ll add that, but I haven’t seen it turn into dirt yet!
Brandi, after you are done with the citrus peels making citrus vinegar, use a pair of scissors to cut them into pieces about 1/4″ size, then sprinkle them around the red currants. Most gardening “experts” tell you not to put citrus peels in the compost because they take a long time to break down, & make the compost too acidic. I sprinkle mine around the blueberry bushes & the roses, & use a little hand cultivator to mix them into the top inch or so of the soil. Works great to keep the soil acidified just a little more every time I water, or in your case, to lower the pH of your water just a little for that plant.I began picking our red currants today. I juice the vast majority of them, so I always freeze them first, to rupture all the cells, so I get more juice. My favorite use is to extend other fruits for jelly or jam, since the currant juice is so high in pectin & so mild in flavor. One of our favorites is mixed berry jam: whatever berry fruits are leftover, with enough currant juice added to bring the volume up to enough for a batch. Add a touch of lemon juice, cook as for jam ( 4 minutes hard boil) and bottle. I won a best of show ribbon one year at the Easter Idaho State Fair with a jar of mixed berry jam, made from the leftover strawberries, raspberries, blackberries & blueberries from making other jams, mixed with currant juice. Good stuff!
Currant jelly will set without added pectin, due to the high content in the juice, & makes a wonderful glaze for pork of poultry dishes.
Thank you so much for that, Marivene! Hopefully they will produce. The blueberries have been an effort just to keep alive.