Updated: Apr 19
This is your year to Go Green in 2023!
Follow our journey from inside our home 🏠 to our outdoor greenhouse and gardens. Yes, we are at it again or should I say Les my partner is. He does not like 🥶 winter and can not wait for spring to arrive. That being said, he has jumped into planting for the new year, beginning with cherry tomato seeds.
He buys his seeds from a catalog and the dirt pods from Walmart. When ready to plant add warm water to the dirt pods. The dirt pod will expand and pop up from a half an inch to about two inches high. Then, Les makes a few small holes in the top and adds three seeds and covers them up with dirt. The dirt pods are placed in a tray and inserted into an open plastic bag to act as a mini indoor greenhouse. You can also use those wonderful mini plastic greenhouses they sell in a store similar to a Walmart. We have bought a few of these mini indoor greenhouses and we reuse them year after year. They really help establish plants 🌱 right from the get go!
Once the plants get two leaves 🍃 it is time to choose which one looks like the healthiest and cut the other two plants at the base. You do this so that they are not all fighting for the nutrients and the water. Next, before transplanting to a bigger container cut open the bottom of the dirt pod, so the roots will grow further down into the soil of the new pot you use. Les chooses the next size up pot to plant 🌱 the pod in, so it can get bigger and the roots can grow more to hold up the larger plant that it will become.
Afterwards, he puts soil in the new pot and adds the pod with the open ending and puts it on top of the dirt inside the new pot. Make sure the pod is not above the rim of the pot. He adds dirt all the way around the pod just below the two leaves, so most of the stem to the plant 🌱 is now covered with dirt. He waters the plant. He then puts the plant under the grow lamp and sets the light timer so that it will have enough growing hours to be warm and continue to grow bigger.
The picture indicates what it will look like in about a weeks worth of growing time.
The other pictures posted are of our canned goods in the cellar. We can lots of yummy things to have and use throughout the winter months and into the spring. We also create wonderful homemade canned good Christmas 🎄 baskets 🧺 for family members. They really look forward to these gifts made with love every year. The baskets have canned zucchini relish, bread and butter pickles, pickled green beans, salsa, and Italian tomato sauce. I also make candied nuts and Gingerbread Snap Cookies. The rule for the family is if you want more canned goods the following year you MUST return your ball jar. 😂 lol.
Harvest Time And Garden Clean Up
It is harvest time so we brought in all the carrots 🥕, parsnips, broccoli 🥦, and
Brussel sprouts. The winter squash was brought into the garage too. The carrots 🥕 and parsnips we keep in the refrigerator. The broccoli and brussel sprouts we blanched, then put them into the freezer on cookie sheets to freeze. Once they are frozen we put them in plastic zip lock bags. We squeeze out all the air, then store them here until we are ready to use/eat them throughout the winter months.
Garden clean up time
Below are pictures of our three compost piles. The picture on the left shows the stems, leaves and roots of the broccoli 🥦 plants and the Brussel sprout plants. Les used the electric saw to cut all of these plants into smaller pieces, so they will decompose faster. He put layers of dirt between and on top of a few inches of the plant material. He also shoveled a layer of Lyme stones on top of the dirt.
The middle picture shows the compose of all the material we put in their in the spring and summer months. Les makes sure that the compost pile is watered and turned over once in a while throughout the spring and summer months.
The third picture shows Les stomping on the compost pile after cutting up the asparagus ferns and berries. We cut the asparagus as close to the ground as possible. The stocks/stems, leaves and berries all get cut up with the electric saw into smaller pieces to make it easier to rot. He stomps it all down before adding a layer of dirt to the top of this pile. Then he adds the Lyme stones.
Les then transfers the lettuce plants into the greenhouse to protect them from frost. We also take out and harvest the rest of the kale from the outside garden.
On the following day, Les prepares the outside garden by turning it over. This helps anything that is left in the garden break down faster for next years garden.
I will post pictures of our harvested vegetables and what is still growing in the greenhouse next week. I also will be sharing some cooking ideas with our harvested vegetables and our canning supplies for the winter months.
Stay Tune and thanks for reading.
Yesterday I took a few pictures of inside the greenhouse. We still have Arugula, Swiss Chard, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash coming.
Here are some photos.
I'll take pictures of our outside garden tomorrow. Stay tune!
April 19th, 2022-It snowed today. No accumulation. We are happy about that!
April 18th, 2022-I took pictures of the garden today. Our first flower appeared in the greenhouse today from last years hanging basket. I am so excited that these plants are coming back. They were so beautiful last year hanging out back by our patio.
The growing season has begun. Les planted the radish, lettuce, more kale and swiss chard.
This is one of the three plants that spent the winter in the garage, I was hoping they might have another spring and summer season with us and Look, it's flowering! Our first flower in bloom.
Here is the plastic cover that I have referred to. There is an opening at the far end to let air exchange. We also dug about five feet down inside the greenhouse an insulated the greenhouse walls all the way around the sides of the greenhouse. We were doing an experiment to see if we could have a vegetable garden year round. Les put in air exchange pipes to circulate the cold and warm air inside the greenhouse so that the plants never get too cold or too hot. We have electricity running into the greenhouse so that we can run fans to push air and cool plants. Stay Tune, Try your own green thumb in your yard.
Today was Easter Sunday and it was snowing, Les was not happy about that. He put the plastic sheets down in the greenhouse to keep the plants 🌱 warm. He was a little concerned about the tomato 🍅 plants he already put in the greenhouse especially since he started these from seed. With the plastic sheet down they should stay nice and warm. The temperature in the greenhouse got up to 100 on Friday and we had to put the sheets up so that the plants didn’t cook. I will take pictures of the inside of the greenhouse so you can see what it looks like. Stay Tune to Growing Green. Les picked some Swiss Chard and we had that with dinner. April 16th
It was a nice sunny day on Friday and the frost has left the ground. Les was out in the garden turning over the soil using the rotor tiller. There he is in the garden, Can you see him? After tilling the soil he made long rows of mounded soil for the garden beds. He put up the electric fence to keep the deer 🦌 out. He also put up a fence for the peas that we will be planting. He came inside to map out where he would like everything planted for this year. More garden talk will continue this week. April 14, 2022 Well, it is that wonderful time of year again! Time to get our gardens ready. My partner Les has been hard at work. He got a jump on the season because we had our greenhouse going all winter long. We even had some fresh kale, lettuce and Swiss Chard this past winter as well as a few weeks ago. It made a wonderful salad. Les started growing tomato plants under the heat lights in our house in late February. He also started more lettuce, kale, and Swiss Chard plants. Just recently he added these plants to the greenhouse. Our greenhouse is almost full with plants now and the temperature in there has been 65 degrees. Les is waiting for the frost to leave the underground dirt in the garden so we can get the soil ready there. He did put new straw out by the 🫐 blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes, and the asparagus beds. I am looking forward to planting in our big garden and eating more homegrown vegetables.
Stay Tune for more garden talk.
NEW GARDEN UPDATE
June 2022 Pictures of our Garden
I like how Les adds grass clippings to the garden to help keep the plants moist and the weeds out.
We also put up a shade sheet over most of the outdoor garden. Next to the asparagus bed we have black berries, rhubarb and 3 high bush blueberry 🫐 bushes. We also have a low growing wild blueberry patch as well. The fifth picture shows these blue berry bushes and the straw asparagus bed with the greenhouse in the background. The last picture shows vegetable pickings from the greenhouse.
I will post more updated pictures of what the gardens look like in late August.
I hope your gardens have been successful this year. Ours have been plentiful!
Last year (2020), I bought this greenhouse for my partner Lester. We have put a lot of work into creating this project. Watch as we turn it into a thriving vegetable garden.
First, we had to clear the land that the greenhouse is currently sitting on. That involved cutting down trees, renting a backhoe, removing stumps, roots, rocks, and sawing tree trunks. We burned a huge brush pile. We had to level the ground by hauling in dirt in the pick up truck from the dumps compost pile.
Lester surveyed the land, measured the desired dimensions, used stakes and string to map out where the greenhouse would go. To level the land we filled up the wheelbarrow so many times and continued adding dirt to the low end to make the ground even. Lester was able to get the wooden timbers from a friend which as you can see we put in the greenhouse to make raised garden beds.
Lester nailed all the timbers together to make it more secure. I helped by carrying the timbers to the location Lester wanted and by digging trenches so the wood would be level. I also held the timbers while Lester nailed them together. Then, we added dirt to the raised beds.
Stay tuned for more green thumb talk.