My first garden harvest

Look what I grew! A cucumber! It is my first one and was the only one so far. I don’t have any recipes that call for cucumber so I think it will get put into a salad with some hard boiled eggs from my girls in the backyard. I’m not much of a salad person unless there is some boiled egg and ranch dressing involved.

please excuse the blurry photo but YAY

Something else I’m currently “growing” is this abandoned kitten a friend found. She didn’t have a place to keep it and it was tiny and bony scrawny and flea infested. He is currently getting kitten formula and combings with a flea comb and is doing well. I’m planning to rehome him but we’ll see. It is kitten season so all the rescues all overrun with babies. Meet Yoda:

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My volunteer pumpkin vine is doing well although no pumpkins yet. I really need to get out and work in the yard but the mosquitos are awful, even with bug spray on. Heck, everything is awful this year; mosquitos, fleas, ticks, flies. Ugh. I knew it would be like this though because our winter was so warm this year. It’s always warm, this is Georgia after all, but we needed a good hard freeze to kill off the bugs. We’re also getting crazy things like earwigs and carpenter ants all over the place. I’m starting prayers NOW for snow this winter.

What’s living so far

I sprouted from seeds this year instead of buying baby plants. Not everything has died so I consider that a success. One vine cucumber is thriving:

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The peppers are all perking along and need to be transplanted to give each other more room:

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And I have a volunteer something from the compost I mixed into the soil around the raspberry bush. I think and hope it is a pumpkin vine:

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What do you think? Is my pumpkin guess correct?

 

Taking stock

I found several packets of outdated seeds  (peas, lettuce, and pumpkins). I’m going to try sprouting them and see what happens. I bought 2 bags of potting soil tonight and I’ve been saving my toilet paper and paper towel rolls and popsicle sticks. The popsicle sticks are to label and stick in the dirt and the toilet paper rolls are to cut into little seed sprouting cups. Hooray for recycling! One things I’ve already learned is that gardening doesn’t have to be expensive.

I redeemed some of my Swagbucks  for e-Bay gift certificates and bought some muscadine seeds from a seller on a farm in Virginia. For those that don’t know, muscadines are big, fat grapes, perfect for jelly and wine. I plan to sprout some vines and grow them up a trellis attached to the privacy fence. Then, some day, I’ll harvest them and make wine.

Mmm, muscadine wine. I remember the first time I had some. I was at a sleepover and my friend’s mom had made some and let us each have a little shot glass of some. The other girls didn’t like it but I did. I waited until they set their glasses aside and then snagged and drank them. It was enough to give little 13 year old me a healthy buzz. I know, I was a terrible child.

Now that I’m older (you know, legal drinking age) I’ve had some bought off the shelf in a store and it is not the same as home made. I can’t wait to try making my own. Of course there are tons of recipes on the interwebz.

Any wine makers here? If so, do you have a great muscadine wine recipe I should try?

Spring will be here soon

Spring isn’t here officially yet, but it feels like it. Everything is budding and trying to bloom so the pollen count is already ridiculous and we’re hitting temps in the 70s (we’re just outside of Atlanta, GA). I’m not going to run out and plant anything yet, because I know better. There has been blizzards in March and April and while I don’t *think* thats happening this year, I’m not going to chance it. Still, the weather is gorgeous. I spent Saturday raking up the back yard and planning what I want to do. It includes additional fencing in a large chunk of the backyard so the ladies have their own space. We’ve had some close calls with people accidentally letting the dogs out when the girls were free ranging. I also want (one or three) more chickens. I’ve read that it is better to have even numbers when you have fewer chickens so that they don’t gang up on one which is what happens now with having three.

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Other than that I’m debating on what I want to plant. I was thinking of peppers (pepperoncini and maybe one other), some sort of tomato, green beans, pumpkins for Halloween, strawberries, and maybe a birdhouse or luffa gourd. Is that too much though? Oh and various herbs in containers. I also want to plant all of this in raised beds that we build in the front yard. I’m thinking the front to keep out the chickens and dogs.

Are you planning your summer garden yet? What are you planting?