Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Garden Update July 30, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:33 pm
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We’re almost coming to a close with summer. How did it go by so fast? August 1st is already this Friday! One way that I’ve been able to tell summer is coming to a close is all the growth in our garden.

In the south garden: we’ve reaped two jalapenos and there are more coming. The peppers did pretty well in their new location of our yard. The six plants have grown and are looking great! We hope to get at least another 6-8 peppers by the mid September. One obstacle in the new spot was the mulberry tree. It definitely blocked the sun and layered the ground with mulberries.



What I’m looking forward to the most from this garden area are the tomatoes. We lost three plants due to decapitation from Porter’s lead. But the other five plants are thriving. Within the next few weeks we should have about 3-4 tomatoes ready to eat and hopefully more throughout the end of August and September. The only question is who will get to them first – Matt or myself!



The last plant in the south garden is my basil plant. I cannot believe it’s almost as tall as the tomato plants! I’m wondering if there is a way I can transplant it to a pot to bring it in for the winter. Any gardeners out there with ideas on transplanting herbs? Suggestions are most welcome.



The west side garden is dismal. Due to a tree branch that punctured our gutter, I didn’t foresee an oncoming direct deluge of water into the garden. Needless to say there is a bit of a divot in the garden from all the water from the spring rains. Unfortunately, I lost the majority of the cucumber seeds and green bean seeds I planted there. But low and behold, I noticed about a month ago that it appears that a few green beans and cucumbers might actually make it. I’m thrilled that we might actually have a few. And yes, we fixed the gutter to the best of our ability for now so the plants have a chance.

Green bean!

Green bean!

It will be interesting to see what all we’ll end up with from our gardens by the end of the season. It’s been a good year, definitely better than the drought of last year. At least none of my plants died….well at least by my hand. Paws on the other hand….


Getting My Green Thumb Ready April 30, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 7:38 pm
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Matt and I have been getting our backyard ready all of April. With this winter who can blame us wanting to spend our nights outside by the fire pit! We’re ready for s’mores and beer outside above 70! But even though we haven’t quite hit the 70’s yet, it’s been nice enough to get outside and get a little dirty. One area in the backyard I wanted to work on specifically are my gardening areas.

Last year I tried my hand at tomatoes, peppers and a few herbs. Regarding the herbs, I planted chives which are annuals and they came back wonderfully. So great that we’ve already snipped a few for meals.

Chive Plant

Chive Plant


As for the rest from last year, the peppers did well but the tomatoes not good at all. This was because garden location number one is next to the house and is primarily in shade and tomatoes love sun. This year I’m planning to move the tomatoes to garden area number two.

My first order of business two weeks ago was to remove any debris left from the fall, mostly leaves and twigs that were covered by snow. I couldn’t believe how many leaves we still had in our backyard! We filled up 6 full leaf bags and I promise, we raked multiple times last fall. With that complete I put down a weed killer to kill off anything that already had started to grow and to discourage future weeds. We purchase RoundUp because it does the job well and is reasonably priced at our local hardware store. All you have to do then after you spray is wait.

This past weekend, was step two in getting the gardens ready. Out from the garage came my gardening gloves and small spade to finally destroy and remove the dead weeds. Once that was done I tilled both gardens to make sure the soil was ready for seeds. In the area last year where I planted the tomatoes and peppers, I’m trying out cucumbers and green beans.


Garden Area #1

With the cooler weather this week, I’m waiting until closer to mother’s day to plant the tomatoes, and whatever else I find that sounds like a good idea at the gardening store. Or, let’s be honest, whatever else is on sale!

Garden Area #2

Garden Area #2


Growing A Garden June 13, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:22 pm
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As a child, I grew up helping my mom with our family garden. Each spring we would pick out different vegetables to plant. We always had the usual staples: tomatoes, radishes, carrots, lettuce, pumpkins, raspberries and strawberries. I have so many great memories of spending time in the side yard with both of my parents. I never had a problem getting my hands dirty and helping my mom dig neat rows for the vegetables. And of course I would volunteer to help water the plants with my dad…but sometimes I think we watered each other more than the plants.

Over the last three years since Kelly and I have been in the apartment, we’ve basically kept to potted flowers. Last year we tried our hands on one tomato plant. I think we got one tomato from the plant and the alley squirrel took the rest! We haven’t had time to go get our flowers/plants for this year due to Kel’s surgery and me being a little busy. We’re holding out for some excellent end of season sales. 🙂

So until Kelly and I go shopping for our plants, I did receive an opportunity to expand from pots. Matt offered a strip of already open dirt for planting in his backyard. And of course I took him up on his offer. When Jill was in town a few weeks ago, she helped me pick out a few herbs and vegetables at the Oak Park farmer’s market. I ended up getting three tomato plants (two “beefeaters” and one roma), one yellow pepper plant, oregano, basil, chives and french thyme.

I was a little worried about the plants because I didn’t have the chance to get them in the ground right away. I think the oregano died, but amazingly the rest of the plants are doing great since they’ve been officially grounded. It’s amazing how they can bounce back with a little water, some fertilizer and a lot of love.

The mini garden

I’m really looking forward to how the garden does this summer and fall. Keep your eye out for posts on the first tomato and pepper from the garden. I might also do a few recipe posts using ingredients from the garden or even from the CSA. Stay tuned!


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