Archive for May, 2012

More garden remedies…

As promised, here are the gardening remedies that I have been trying out around our house!  I got the first two mixtures from this site via Pinterest.  The third one I got out of a book last summer and I can’t remember what book it was, so I can’t give credit, but just know that it was not in any way my brain child.
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To keep black spot off of my roses, I first plucked any leaves that I saw with black spot and put them into the compost bin (not on the ground because that may keep the fungus spreading in the roses).  Then I sprayed all of the leaves with this mixture:

2 tea. baking soda

1/2 tea. liquid soap (I used Dr. Bronners)

2 qts. water

So far (about three weeks) they are looking fabulous.  I did have to pluck and spray my worst one one more time, but all of the rest seem to be in good shape!

For a general insecticide in my vegetable garden, especially for my green bean plants which inevitably get eaten alive every summer and I never get a crop of green beans at all, I made a red pepper spray:

2 Table. red pepper powder

6 drops liquid soap (Dr. Bronners again!)

1 gallon water

I let this one sit overnight and then strained it because my red pepper was a bit chunky and wouldn’t spray correctly.  So far my green beans are the best looking that I have ever grown.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Lastly, in my garden last year and almost as soon as I planted them this year, I have had horrible fungus/mold on my squash plants and last summer they didn’t produce any squash because of it.  I was able to get rid of the fungus last year, but too late and I am determined to make sure I get some zucchini this year!!  Here’s the spray for that:

1 Table. garlic powder

a few drops liquid soap (again with the Dr. Bronners–it keeps the spray bottle from clogging)

1 qt. water

This has also worked well and just yesterday I had to dose my cucumbers with it.  Speaking of cucumbers, has anyone seen this floating around pinterest?  I’m going to build one in the next couple of weeks and I’ll share it with you when I do!
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The summer begins…

This is our first official day of summer.  Clara’s last day of preschool was last Wednesday, but we had Grandmoo here and then it was the weekend, so those days don’t count.  But today… today was the first day for me to fill.  As my girls (especially the little one) are not very fantastic about filling their own time, this time of year strikes fear into my heart.  This is especially true since I have cut the girl’s screen time down to one hour or less per day.  I decided that at least a little bit of a schedule is in order.  Here is our very flexible schedule for summer days:

  • Breakfast
  • Curious George (1/2 hour)
  • Shower/get dressed
  • Gardening/weeding/outside play time
  • Morning activity
  • Lunch
  • Nap/Quiet time
  • Afternoon activity (Could be just playing in the back yard
  • Dinner
  • Movie (1/2 hour)
  • Bath
  • Bedtime

So far today it has worked out quite well.  You’ll notice that I did not include times on our schedule so that I can manipulate things as I want.  For instance, our wake up time was officially a bright and early 5:30 and we were outside for gardening and play time by 8:00 this morning, so hopefully it won’t be that early every day.

Our morning activity today was a trip to Dollar Tree and swmimming lessons at the community center.  Woo hoo.  There will be more exciting things to come.  To prepare for this, the girls and I created this year’s summer fun list this weekend.  Remember last years?  Well, it turns out that pulling a random stick out of a jar was just too spontaneous for me.  So, this year we have a list.  That way we can discuss and there is no expectation that we will do whatever is pulled out of the jar.  But there are still tons of fun activities to choose from.

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The girls painted a piece of cardboard from a cracker box with about a ton of glitter paint (have I mentioned our current love affair with glitter paint?) and then two days later, when it was dry, I used a Sharpie to write out the list we had brain stormed.  Will we get to all of them?  Probably not, but at least we have somewhere to start to fill in our schedule.

Garden Update

I’ve been away from blogging for a while now since the weather here has been so beautiful. I’ve been weeding, working on the garden, playing in the sun, watching the kids run through the sprinkler, and otherwise just not worrying about the computer. But, it is raining today. So here I am. First, I want to show you the rock path that I mentioned working on in my last post. I think it turned out pretty well.
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That took quite a bit of time to get put back together. I have also been trying out a few home remedies for problems in the garden. I don’t have results for all of them yet, and I’ll post more when I do, but I did want to tell you about scalding weeds, which I did a bunch of in the last couple of weeks.
Here’s the spot that I scalded before:
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Under all of that ridiculous grass and random weeds are a bunch of stepping stones that separate my garden beds so that I don’t step on any plants. I spent an afternoon boiling water in my new electric teakettle (which I have no idea how I lived without for this long–its so fast!) and walking it out the garden and then pouring it slowly on to the weeds around the stepping stones. Some of the grass needed a second application about three days later, but after only a few days all of it was brown and dead without having to put any week killer so close to my vegetable garden beds! Hooray! Here is the after picture with a bit of brown weed pulling:
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As you can see, the garden beds are all planted.  In the top bed I have corn and pumpkins planted from seed.  In the middle are green beans, two kinds of zucchini, carrots, and broccoli.  The bottom bed includes more green beans, kale, lettuce, and cucumbers.

I’ll be back with a few more garden updates later in the month and I promise more crafty posts soon and the coming of this year’s summer art in a couple of weeks!

Sandpaper Art

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We haven’t been doing a lot of specific art lately, as much as just putting out materials and letting both girls explore. The bar in our kitchen has been full of markers, stickers, paper, crayons, watercolors, and scissors (at least until Clara decided to cut Nancy’s hair, then the scissors disappeared). The girls like to sit there and create while I cook dinner. The latest addition to this array of art was a package of sandpaper that I got at Dollar Tree this week. Super fun! Crayons turn out really bright on it and a new medium makes sitting at the bar while I cook even more fun.
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This one is a picture of me on the sand with sunshine and a rainbow… I’m living the dream, apparently!