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Carrots ❤️

My kid who only eats carrots we grow is in heaven! And we’re happy we have a decent bunch for snacks, salad, and I’ll try making (my first) carrot cake.

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Sneaky Snow Peas

Usually we’re pretty vigilant when it comes to our fruits and veggies. However these two pods sneakily grew without us even noticing. I picked the larger one, rinsed it off, and ate it raw. They have a sweet slightly green beany flavor making them delicious! I’m excited to see more of these pop up so we can have a proper portion for meals.

Have you grown any peas? If so, comment with the type you have grown and how you liked them.

New Fruit & New Challenge

This year we’ve planted much more than last year with our efforts concentrating on replacing some of the usual herbs, fruits, and veggies we purchase at the local chain store.

This year we sowed two varieties of tomato; San Marzano and Jelly Bean. The San Marzano tomatoes are making their appearance in adorable little clusters. That’s a big difference from the Roma tomatoes we grew last year that usually grew on different branches of the plant.

Practically all the seeds we sowed germinated, which left us wondering what to do with a bunch of tomato plants in such a limited gardening space. The Topsy Turvy sounded like a good idea and up to now seems to be a good solution. I can vouch that filling and adding the small tomato plants is a two person job. One person is needed to hold the bag as it gets filled with soil and the plants are added from the outside through the holes. Out of the eight plants, five were strong enough to take the transplantation into the Topsy Turvy growing strong and tall.

Cucumbers planted need a sturdier trellis so that will be a project for us in the next couple of weeks. The challenge I inadvertently created for us is that I used an old metal baby gate that has started falling over due to gravity and recent winds. Now that the vine has weaved into my make-shift trellis I can not replace the structure but have to find a way to reinforce it without damaging our sensitive cucumber plant. Maybe we can make some sort of corner brackets.

How is your garden growing? Any tips on how to reinforce my cucumber “trellis”?

Happy Gardening,

Ladybug Elsa 🐞

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Welcome Back!

Hello! Welcome back to Gardens Growing.

Last year was our first year working and maintaining a raised garden bed in our backyard. Last year’s goal of having the kids try new stuff was met with flying colors. The experience of caring for and growing our own vegetables as a family gave our kids the curiosity and courage to try the vegetables we grew. With such a positive initial experience we all decided to give it another go.

With every new journey there are some growing pains; we took last year’s challenges and turned them into learning experiences to help us make out garden better. This year we made some additions to increase our vegetable yield and even added some fruit plants. Our goals this year is to 1.) get the kids eating/trying  more veggies 2.) freeze and can veggies for later consumption 3.) keep learning about our plants and sharing our discoveries about what works here in Hardiness Zone 9a.

Thank you for following our journey here on Gardens Growing. We look forward to hearing from you all, too.

Happy Gardening,

Ladybug Elsa 🐞

Little Ladybug

Gardens Growing: Spring 2017 Planning Stage

 

Cucumbers Galore!

“Can we eat them now?” asked our newly-turned 5yr old when he saw us preparing the cucumbers for pickling. He and Little Ladybug quickly went for the sliced rounds of cucumber to snack on while they watched us do the hard work.

In reality, prepping the cucumbers (and tiny carrots) was not hard at all.  From cleaning, slicing, spicing, filling and closing the lid we took about 30 minutes with the kids helping.  Up til now our garden has produced about 25ish cucumbers from which we saved 13 to pickle.  Those thirteen were able to fill four quart jars and a large reused pickle gallon.

Now for the hard part. Waiting.

If you’d like to pickle your own homegrown pickles or store bought pickles head over to Matt Jabs’ post at DIY Natural for the recipe.  Feel free to share your favorite recipes for pickling cucumbers in comments section.

Happy gardening,

Ladybug Elsa 🐞

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Shake & Bloom Surprise

When we started our garden early March we used Shake & Bloom to get a combination of flowers started. Here we are in May and the containers have lots of leaves but no sign of flowers. After realizing that the plants may be overcrowded I decided to thin them out.  However, when I went in with my shears we made a surprising discovery. Watch our video to see what we found.