Pumpkins

As the summer draws to a close and fall takes over, it’s finally time to harvest your summer’s hard work in the shape of a pumpkin. I have spent a lot of time this summer researching pumpkins. This is the first year I’ve tried to grow pumpkins. In the past, I’ve dumped pumpkin seeds in a fence row and had voluntary pumpkins grow, but now is time to learn about pumpkins.

I planted 2 types of pumpkins this summer. 

The first was from seed.

When Jody was here helping plant marigolds and my Blackberry Bush, we also planted pumpkin seeds. In the past, I’ve had good luck just throwing pumpkin guts away in the fall after carving jack-o-lanterns. They wind up in a fence row. Come next spring/summer plants start growing. But a pumpkin is 90% water and if you don’t water them in a dry summer, they won’t survive.

The second type of pumpkin was a store-bought plant. I bought it at the local farm store. It was a Bonnie Plant – Pumpkin Heirloom Jack-O-Lantern. (more…)

Sweet Corn vs Field Corn

Isn’t all corn the same? Well, no. Sweet corn is the type of corn that you grow in your personal garden or you buy at the store, Farmer’s Market, etc. Field Corn is what you’ll see in fields as you drive through Nebraska (or Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, etc). You’ll see the Farmer’s out in the field planting with a big planter and harvesting with a combine. The other big difference is when it is peak harvest time.

Similarities and Differences

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Planting Blackberry Bushes

This poor blackberry bush kind of became a laughing stock at my house. Why? Well… because, here we are in June and I bought it at the end of April. So what? Well… I just planted it yesterday.

I know, I know. It’s been living in the pot that I bought it in. That’s not a good thing really. The root system gets used to that size and then the plant could be stunted. But I wasn’t really sure where to plant it.

Jody came over yesterday and she and I went around planting stuff. We planted Marigolds in the garden as well as a couple of pumpkin plants. And… we planted the infamous Blackberry Bush. FINALLY. 

Some things to keep in mind when planting a Blackberry Bush: (more…)

Garden #2

Yes, you read that title correctly. I started my first garden in March. It sounded like a good thing… but garden number 2. Now I think I’ve seriously lost my mind. So here’s how we got to this point…

When I finally decided to start a garden, I had 2 places chosen. One was where the original garden went in and the second was this spot.

There were pros and cons to each spot that was chosen.

Original garden

  • Pros
    • Closer to the house
    • Closer to water
  • Cons
    • Less potential space
    • Trees in the yard to contend with

This garden area

  • Pros
    • Larger area
    • Very few items to compete with (i.e. trees)
    • Lots of sunlight
  • Cons
    • Harder to get water to 

Because of this… the other area was chosen. Then, I started to have “issues” getting my corn to grow (or so I thought at the time). So yesterday morning I decided I was going to start a garden in the second location

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What Started Out As (Part 2)…

Who would have thought that mowing a lawn would have turned into this?

When we were told to stay indoors and social distance… I felt like I was lucky. I live in the country. I can easily social distance outside… and I’ve done just that. Plus, when you own livestock, you can’t just ignore them! Whew! So I’ve made myself busy this year both by landscaping my house and then moving on to my parent’s house. I did convince my dad to help me. He might not have been as crazy about the idea though. haha.

I really didn’t have much of an idea, but my goal was to clean up my parent’s house and lay mulch like crazy. I love the way the red mulch looks. (more…)

Breaking a Calf to Lead

We’ve been having fun around these parts. When you can’t go anywhere or do anything, might as well make the most of it the best way you can. 

When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to show at the fair. While I showed horses so I could compete that way, that’s not really the type of horse showing I wanted to do. Plus, it wasn’t the same as if I showed livestock. I had the privilege later in my FFA years to show sheep. And through friends, I learned how to show hogs, goats, and cattle.

I really wanted to show cattle, but it wasn’t in the cards for my family and me while I was growing up. No big deal. And maybe the little won’t want to show cattle. But right now she’s a PeeWee… So we have our bottle calf and we’re going to try and show in the PeeWee show at the fair.

Part of what is required for that is breaking this stubborn calf to lead on a halter and rope. I put stubborn up against stubborn. We’ll see who wins. Wish us luck!! Oh, and hope that we don’t break any toes in the process!

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Planting the Garden – Coronavirus Day 42

This weather has been nuts. I swear, it goes along with this year. This year has been nuts. Wow! So weird, in fact I put my sweatshirt on backward this morning. Oy! But, it’s the perfect time to plant a garden since we’re all sitting at home with nothing to do. And that’s just what I did yesterday. I started the garden, planted it once, that didn’t work, so I’ve proceeded to grow seeds in the greenhouse. Update on that to come shortly. But, when the first set of seeds didn’t work, I added more soil, tilled it up a couple of times… AND… now we’re ready! Ready to plant. Except the weather isn’t cooperating.

It has rained at some point every day this week. Yesterday morning included. BUT then…

So first off…

My friend Janet talked about planting corn on her Instagram stories the other day. She mentioned an Earthway Precision Garden Seeder. I went on the hunt to do a little research and kind of fell in love. I was trying to find one locally so that I could get my corn planted… I might be itching to get my corn planted. (more…)

Homeschooling 101: Planting Seeds… Coronavirus Day 38

Once upon a time, we were in a science class in grade school. We planted beans and corn from seed and watch the germination process. Jump forward 20+ some odd years (I don’t know how many) and I decided to do that with the little. It was a time of the Coronavirus Pandemic when schools were closed for the rest of the year and we had to homeschool. And when I say homeschool, our school district wasn’t prepared for that. Eventually, they sent out daily work, that wouldn’t harm the kiddos grade, but would help it should they do it. But after we did that work, we did our own education as well. This time… science.

Since this spring we got into gardening, why not do the germinating thing, right? I had seeds waiting to be planted in the ground. Mainly corn and green beans as I attempted to start other plants in the greenhouse.

Corn prefers to be started directly in the ground. Beans on the other hand don’t mind being started indoors, but in my luck, they still do better directly in the ground. (more…)

Adding Soil/Fertilizer… Coronavirus Day 36

I gave up on the seeds in the ground. Grandma swears I should give it a little more time. And truthfully my dad always says I’m a little impatient… but they’ve been planted since March 30 and here we are April 18th (that was Saturday this all went down) and no signs of anything. The seedlings I planted were for cooler weather. Not cold… there’s a difference. But they prefer the cooler weather of April, May, and possibly June versus the summer heat of July and August.

3 weeks and nothing. So I pulled the tiller out and said screw it. Hubby started “feeling sorry” for me because I really wanted more soil from our manure pile, but we don’t have a front end loader. I wasn’t in the mood to try and bucket it as we did back in March. And truthfully he’d been wanting to rent this machine because it comes with multiple attachments including one to work on the brush in timber. (more…)

My New Greenhouse… Coronavirus Day 36

Some days I have great ideas… and other days I have ideas that make you scratch your head wondering where on earth I came up with this. Today’s project might be one of those… WHAT?!?! moments. So between the gardening and landscaping this year… I’ve really gotten into plants. I bought a lot of the flowers that I’ve used for landscaping, but the vegetables for the garden are a different story. I really wanted to grow my own plants. After garden planting #1 went awry, I decided to try the little miniature greenhouses. You know the little starter kits you buy at Home Depot (<– I used that one… not an affiliate link, just a link to what I used) or Lowes and I even found them at Dollar General.

Those starter kits are addicting. So I accidentally took over my kitchen table. Whoops. That was when I went on the hunt to see how much it would cost to make a greenhouse. There are kits you can buy but this was a DIY Greenhouse that we decided upon. This round anyway :).

My New Greenhouse

First things first… you need to decide how big it is going to be. Where you are going to put it. And buy the materials. Since I already had the trailer on from taking scrap to the scrapyard, it was the perfect time to get the materials. We decided on a 12×16. So here’s the material list: (more…)