Monday, July 13, 2015

Gardening Project 2015: Gardening 101

Gardening Project 2015 Gardening 101
By Renee Arbia

As I mentioned early this month I took on a new hobby of attempting to garden. We ploughed our own garden and also have some plants in containers outside. If you have not read the previous post check it out here Gardening Project 2015.

Gardening these past two months has been glorious. Every morning after breakfast I take a few minutes to go outside and garden. I find it very therapeutic and it is a nice break from the day. My husband is able to take care of Xavier at that time of day for a little while so I can actually have some peace and quiet. Gardening like most hobbies is nice because it makes you tune out everything that is going on in your life and focus on the here and now. If your tomato plant is leaning and about to fall over you have to fix it now. If it poured last night and your seedlings are overflowing you need to clean them up. You do not have time to worry or to wonder, just to be in the present moment. Being in the present moment outside is extremely addicting. As many of your outdoors enthusiasts will tell you there is no better feeling than feeling the magic of Mother Nature.


We are about two months into our gardening project now and things are going very good and I am learning a lot along the way. I have not really added much more to our gardening. Right now it is very hot where we live and is not the gardening time. We are looking into plants for the fall that will bloom in our winter as we do not get any snow. We are on the southern coast which is zone 8.

Pepper plant 

Tomato plant

The pepper plant not only produced the pepper that I talked about previously, but one other one that we got to eat. It now has five more peppers growing on it all nice sizes and is much taller and stronger. I have not had to replant it which is good because I am running out of large pots. The tomato plant I had to replant into a larger pot and get three different stakes to tie it up. However, it must have helped because we now have six tomatoes we are waiting to ripen. I started trying the trick going around the internet lately that is to mix two tablespoons of Epsom Salt and one quart of water into a misting spray bottle. Then, mist pepper and tomato plants once every two weeks. This is to help the plant absorb more Magnesium and helps it produce more fruit that is also bigger. I have been using it a month and it has worked very well. I also bought just the cheap fertilizer sticks that you would stick in houseplants and use those sporadically on both the pepper and the tomatoes when they need some fertilizing. I find the pepper does good being fertilized right after a pepper is picked off the plant.

Our germination station. You can see the herbs in the back and Xavier's little yellow pot up front.

 The pepper seeds that we are trying to grow into plants made it into small cups, but unfortunately, got completely soaked and rained on in the middle of the night when we did not know was going to storm. So no new pepper plants, I figured we would wait until we harvest the peppers that are growing now and harvest and save some of those seeds to plant next year in the spring again, as it is late where we live to plant any more pepper or tomato plants.

The herbs have been growing very slow and we have not seen any Parsley at all, but we have a little Cilantro and a lot of Basil, so looks like I may need to find a good pesto recipe soon.

Our garden before

Our bulb garden two months in.
The garden that we made that is filled with bulbs is coming along nicely. The bulbs are about halfway right now. Some of them seem to grow better than others but it is hard to tell. As they are flowers that I do not know well and many of them just look like stalks right now. However, I enjoy imagining what they may end up being. The marigolds we planted are of course growing like crazy. You can get marigolds very cheap and they grow every where. They are great to keep mosquitoes away. The flowers for the marigolds are not blooming yet, but the leaves of the stalks are very bushy and pretty. Even Xavier’s pot has one big marigold growing in it.


Right now there is not much that I do to tend to the garden just a little light weeding and fertilizing along with lots of watering and watching. I can already see though how much of a difference it has made in our family. Xavier always asks about the garden and what is growing today and how every thing is. He loves to water it and he is so very proud of his marigold flower that he is growing. Even my husband has starting doing more gardening. It has become a fun family hobby for all of us. It just proves that it is never too late to try something new.


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