Sunday, March 25, 2018

Update! Dollar garden/Cheap gardening

I feel like this snow here in PA just keeps coming. First day of spring and we had a big snow storm! With that said let me tell you it did NOT stop these little plants from growing and growing. I recently had to replant some of them including the tomato, sun flower, and pea plant. As of today only one pot is still empty with no sprouts and that is the watermelon. :/ 
I do realize I need to trim up the tomato plants more as so many sprouts grew but I am really trying to wait a little longer, but so far so good. I am still surprised by these little dollar plants and excited to see how big each grows. 
Below is a hyacinth plant I left in my garden from last year and is growing back. There is actually 3 growing all together right behind my lavender plant.(but that is not where I planted them last year)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The start of a dollar garden

I am sure I'm not alone in this but I can not wait to start gardening again! The weather here in PA has been so cold, but luckily we got a few nice days. So I took it as time to start some gardening. :)
Since it is not past last frost yet  I decided on starting the dollar garden that  I could easily move inside during bad weather. Why is it a dollar garden? Well that is because everything shown here was only $1!! lol yes one dollar each. (Bought at both Target and the Dollar Tree.) Here is a quick list of what I picked up~
1 Sweet basil
1 Tomato
1 Sunflower
1 Coneflower
1 Sugar snap pea
1 Mini rose
1 Watermelon
& lastly
2 Strawberry kits

They all came with their own soil disk and were pretty easy to set up. Almost all came with an overwhelming amount of seeds, but  I guess they do that so you have a higher chance of something growing. note~ I did not add any compost or anything to these, only what was given in each kit. 
So here is to the next growing season, I am excited and I hope everyone else is too! 
See you all soon!
If you would like to see the video updates of this years garden remember to follow me @ 
Thank you!~

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gifts that keep on giving...for gardeners and homesteaders!

 I love the holidays but personally one can only take so much bath sets, chocolates, and fruit cake. So if you are looking into new ideas for gifts check out some of these gifts that keep on giving.

For people who love gardening/homesteading try some of these ideas~

~Green house~go small or big but this is one gift that will for sure keep giving as it continues to help grow food and flowers year after year.
~Soap making set
~Carrying baskets..I am not sure about anyone else but we go threw these often and there is some pretty cool ones out there.
~Gardening tools
~Bird feeders..Watching birds year around can be very peaceful
~Books...Anything from gardening for beginners to one of the books that is on my list this year "the weekend homesteader"  You can never learn to much
~Self watering can find cheap ones out there and it is a great gift for anyone older or anyone that may loving gardening but is busy.
~Electric wheelbarrow..I have never used one and they are expensive but I imagine this can save some back pain
~Fruit or nut trees. For sure a gift that will keep giving even long after the person is gone.
~Rain collecting system. Again a gift you can find cheap but you get what you pay for in this one.
~Food dehydrator
~Starter solar panel kit..did you know they have solar powered Christmas lights!
~Compost barrel
~Warm clothing
~Crock pot
~Animals but make sure they are wanted first!
~Cold frames ....can be expensive, probably can be home made cheaper but helps prolong the growing season
~Fire wood can go big or small but in winter I love having one of these near the house ready to go with wood
~Wood...I now realize if you have to buy wood how expansive that can be and giving the gift of a warm home is nice.
~Chicken coop
~Canning items
~Sewing items
~Hand salve
~Cast iron items...This is also something you get what you pay for
~Tools but make sure you know what they need before buying
Most of all do not forget home made gifts are the best! When you put work into something it makes it that much more meaningful!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Growing Ghost peppers in PA! here is my experience with it

This was my first year growing ghost peppers, I was a little scared because I herd they are really hard to grow here in PA, but we ended up with a big healthy plant and many peppers to harvest. I do not know tons about ghost peppers plants but here is what I did, what I used and a little of what I do know.

~My ghost pepper plant was bought as a sprout from a local store. I was so surprised to see them I quickly grabbed one. It was about 5 inches high when bought.
~It was planted in May but for the first few months it did not grow really because a huge tomato  plant was blocking it from the sun. I did not know the tomato plant was going to get that big but the little sprout never died and once I pulled the tomato plant it grew quick.
~ I use old soil, soil for raised garden beds, and this was the first year I used compost from my bin. Other then that I threw in a little fertilizer every now and then.
~To be honest it wasn't a plant I expected to grow so I gave it little attention :/
~ I did not have any pest problems and never used any bug spray on this plant.

What I learned threw this growing season~
~Ghost peppers are great repellent, any peppers that  started to rot I just threw back into the garden. So squirrels digging this fall...
~They love heat and humidity...some people grow these plants in containers so they can easily move them around but that can easily kill a plant....a green house would be perfect but sadly  I do not own one :/
~Plant as early as you can or start indoors. These plants take a long time to grow peppers and then the peppers take a long time to turn red on vine.
~From my experience with my peppers is that no matter the color all are hot BUT the hottest ones are the ones left one the plant to turn red.
~WEAR gloves!! I can not express this enough, these peppers are hot and washing your hands after handling will not clean all the pepper oil me...
~A plant can grow to over 3 feet tall once full grown..make sure to check out my video linked at the end to see how big mines got this season.
~They are originally from India and are also called Bhut Jolokia.

Either way if you want to try to grow these then do it! You never know what can happen.~

Here is a short video of my ghost pepper plant and small harvest.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Using pine needles to freshen up dishes!

This is something I am very happy I tried. We have a dishwasher, a old dishwasher that most of the time doesn't work really well. I always end up having to go over many of the dishes and that is just a waste of time and money. My dishes wee starting to look old and stained and becoming hard to get clean. So instead of throwing them away I decided ...after collecting some pine cones... to try this idea. After  I was done soaking my dishes with some soap I put clean water in and added the pine needles. I let it sit while I brought my son to school and when I came back I used the pine needles to scrub down the dishes and then just rinsed them off. Yes it is a extra step but a step that doesn't take long and had great results! My dishes came out very clean and some even smelled of pine, witch I did not mind. Just keep in mind not to cut any branches that have sap or bugs. lol I do not use pine every time my dishes need to be done but when ever I have a pot to scrub or my dishes need a little extra tlc it has become my first go to thing.
Did you know pine needles can also be used for tea? and is even a antibacterial.

Friday, September 22, 2017

I failed.....

Man this growing season has been a problem sense day 1...pest after pest after...yep you guessed it ..PEST! For awhile I was able to keep them at bay but once my corn started growing the pest problem went from handled to crazy in what seems like over night. I was very proud of my corn crop this year and was excited to have corn like last year. This year I planted a little over 80 seeds and most grew into full plants, but I guess it was my lack of attention that resulted in a outbreak of  sap beetles right after a outbreak of ear worms. After researching and trying different things I could not get rid of them as they moved from plant to plant and decided I would not feel OK feeding the corn to my kids after it was done growing.
So off I went with a knife cutting down every single corn was hard...all the time spent on growing it, to have to messed up by my lack of attention...sucked! Now I am left with my pumpkins witch have mildew(I am treating with milk )and 3 different kinds of peppers that are all growing good. Last year the growing season went so well, wish me luck as this one comes to a end, we go out with a bang and some hopefully big pumpkins!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dollar store fall wreathes and more!

These are all crafts made with things from the dollar tree. Hope you enjoy and become inspired to make our own.
Materials needed~
wire werath
red burlap
fake leaves
picture (the card bored piece in the middle)
hot glue(I used hot glue in all of these, I found it holds better then he wore and tape)

Materials needed~
wire wreath
fake leaves
picture ( the piece at the bottom)
fake bird
burlap to hang it up
leaf lights
below is a picture of it lit up

Materials needed~
burlap(I hot glued this one to the back so I could easily lift it and move it without things falling)
fake pumpkins
little scare crows
fake leaves
pine cones(found outside, did not buy these)

Materials needed~
Something to decorate
fake corn
fall decor balls