Thursday, April 20, 2017

Growing Petunias and a updated on the lavender plant planted last summer!

I will admit I use to dislike Petunias....they always seemed like they died easy and really never looked to pretty in the stores but sense they have grown on me. :) I have learned to enjoy these plants and like the saying goes "never judge a book by its cover". Once home and planted in correct soil these plants just come to life! There is so many colors and patterns to choose from and they for sure can make a garden. So here is some tips and tricks I learned when growing these beautiful plants, enjoy! 
(please note, I only share tips or tricks that I have learned and tried myself, if there is any more please do not be afraid to comment, I love to learn more!)

~First off is choosing the right plant. Like with any plant you do not want one with many dead flowers or leaves. One that looks sick or has ripped flowers.  I have never personally seen one of these be sold as beautiful as they look once they are replanted so do not be discouraged if you end up with a plant that looks droopy at first.(then again I get most of my plants at Homedepo....)
~you can grow this plant from seeds! It is hard but do able.
~Find a sunny spot, Petunias can grow in shade and I have a pot of them in shade but they grow slower and produce fewer flowers.
~Water every few days, I keep it to about once every 3 days unless I can see that they really need it.
~Keep fertilized
~Keep in well drained soil
~There are four different groups of Petunias..the two I know and focus on are theses~ (Grandiflora) Witch is better for pots and (Multiflora) Witch is better for beds. The difference is the way they handle a lot of rain when it does rain a lot.
~Remove dead flowers to keep the plant blooming for longer. This is called deadheading and you must make sure to get the base of the flower where the seeds are.
~Break up the soil before planting
~Watch out for pest, know that deer and rabbits will eat these plants if hungry.
~They are great to grow with vegetables, they help repel certain pests from plants.(also great for grape vines)
~They attract bees, butterflies, and moths witch can be beneficial to a garden. 

...and last the update on the lavender plant....Last fall I was asking around to see how to keep this thing alive during the winter so it would grow back. Many said just let it be, few said to cover it with leaves or small branches. I did end up covering it with small branches and here it is late April. It is turning green again!...very green....the ones in the pots that I kept inside did not make it but this one did and I couldn't be more happy it did....So THANK YOU to everyone who helped!! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Growing Tulips

These flowers are so beautiful for spring, I am in love with the ones that grow around here. 
~The first thing to grow these beautiful flowers is timing. Bulbs should be planted in late fall before frost. They stay dormant all winter and come up in spring.(September/December are good planting times) 
~Next is to choose the right bulbs. Bulbs should be planted within 5 days of buying. Always go to a nursery and look at what you are buying before hand. Never get any bulbs that have defects. Stay away from mold and split bulbs, go for firm and light brown in color. They love to be planted in groups so make sure to get enough. They also look amazing planted with Forget-me-not's.
~Now that you have the right bulbs you need to plant them correctly. Find a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day and plant with about 4 inches space in between. One bulb can sprout between 4-6 stems.  Till soil, add compost and make sure it is a well drained spot. (raised garden bed?..they work very well) Plant about 6 inches deep(what ever 3 times to length of the bulb is), but remember the bigger the bulb the deeper you should go so it stays cool. Always plant pointed side up and give them a good watering after but then not again till leaves start growing. 
Note~ they can be planted in pots but we grow in ground so I do not know much about that..yet..
~Once your plant starts growing its time to keep it healthy so it can grow back next year! Make sure to remove any dead flower heads before they start falling and any leaves when they turn yellow and most of all... Fertilize in the fall, every fall. 

So remember....
Tulips do not like over watering and need good drainage to stay healthy
There is many kinds and colors of tulips
Tulips can be planted in pots but that takes on a whole new experience
Rodents love these little bulbs and will dig them up
Leave them be in the winter
As long as the plant and bulb are healthy they will come back year after year
Some tulips grow tall some grow short, sun and water can also effect the growth
Unless conditions are perfect most bulbs only bloom for 3 years before dying off for one reason or another  
Sudden warm weather will make these bulbs bloom too early, it happens
Do not get discourage! If your bulbs fail to bloom, try again!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pine cone fire starters, how well do they work?

I have seen plenty of people swear by pine cones for great fire starters so of course out  I went collecting them from near by trees. I got home and wanted to make them pretty so I used old melted wax and covered the bottom of each cone. That step I know is not needed but it was a way to use the wax and I was bored...Anyway I got really happy to set my next fire, so I stacked up some wood and placed bills...I mean trash mail at the a pine cone to the side and went to light it....I'm sure you could imagine my disappointment when it didn't light....Tried again with another and nothing....So I just lit the paper and poof the pine cone light up after being laid on the paper. It burned for a good amount of time too, but my question is why did the pine cone not lit itself? They were dry for the record. When I herd them being good fire STARTERS I thought they would actually start the fire lol maybe I miss herd. Either way  I would keep using them as they are free and help a fire continue to grow. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Healthy? dollar store meal challenge

I have been seeing these every where and  I am a big fan of the dollar store so it was time to try this out. Yep I did the dollar store eat healthy challenge. I knew it wouldn't be easy but here is how it went.
So this is my local dollar store. Well the food part, the other parts are way better. 
So there was about 10 doors to the freezer food part and only about two were anything I could use and out of them two there was not a lot of choices. Like above one door was almost all cheese, so I ended up picking out Feta cheese. Then the next door was what ever they had meat wise and that was ham and hot dogs. I ended up with ham. Then to go with the ham and cheese I picked out pasta and sauce. For dessert I ended up picking out frozen fruit to make smoothies. 

Here is everything! Only $5. It was high in protein but also high in salt. :/ dang ham...

So I cooked the pasta, baked the ham and added cheese on top. 

 And in the end everyone ate and we ended up with extras cause I didn't cook the whole box of pasta or use all the sauce. So it is possible to make a healthy meal form the dollar store though it is proven to be hard! If you have ever attempted this challenge let me know what you made below!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

DIY Swiffer reusable clothes

I love Swiffer products but the replacement things can get pretty expensive. Well  recently I had on a shirt that I swear  collects every single piece of hair, pet fur, and anything small that I pass. No matter how I wash or dry this shirt it was plan annoying. So I figured it would make a great swiffer cloth. I measured the size of the swiffer and cut a little extra on the top and bottom so I can tuck it in like a normal cloth would. It worked amazing. You can really use any kind of fabric you feel like would work and you can do the same thing for the swiffer mop, just add a strip of velcro. If you do not have the mop try making a swiffer head using a hand towel and that way you can spray the floor and easily spot clean. These are reusable, just throw in the washer or hand wash and let dry.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cattail fire starters

The best fire starters I have ever used and I just realized I have tried a lot. As a city girl growing up cattails are something I did not see so when I did and found out all the seeds they carry and how fun they are I started to think of ideas to do with them. I let my kids play with them in a sensory bin and then ended up with a huge bin of cattail down. So I figured why not make fire starters. I cut up a egg carton, placed rolled up cattail down in each cup and topped it with hot wax. After I wrapped it in newspaper and tied it off with string. The newspaper and string is not needed though. I have been using some that I made without it and it works just as fine. These are long lasting and very worth the work of putting them together. 

Here is a video I put together of the how to instructions~

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

One way to carry in fire wood....hey it worked!

 I was actually looking up different ways people carry wood cause I am all of 4' 10" and my arms are not much bigger lol. I seen many things you can buy but trying to save for a puppy right now so buying is not a option. I seen a picture of someone trying this idea and I figured it was worth a go. It worked!. As you can see it was pretty easy to make and only took two sticks  and some rope. I could have easily carried more but it was storming out and I was not staying in the woods with 50 mph wind gust. For sure something I will use again to help.
Now if only my cat would stop eating everything, swear he is like a dog..chews on everything.