Saturday, May 12, 2012


Twice  a week I pull weeds in my garden. It is me and my cute little pink bucket. If I don't do this a couple times a week, the weeds will overtake the garden and my plants will be strangled. 

If I don't check my plants on a regular basis for bugs or general ill health, it may be too late. I might not be able to save them.

I guess we are just a lot like plants. We wait until we are taken over by disease (weeds) and the germs (bugs) are eating away at our healthy cells. We need to also do the daily maintenance and routine care so that we can keep our bodies in check before it is out of control. 

This really is going to be a gardening post but I have had an enormous amount of calls and emails this week from women who are struggling with health. We give so much to our families and others that we forget to take care of ourselves. We don't get enough sleep, we don't feed ourselves right, we demand that we are perfect and let ourselves know when we are not and we plain run ourselves down.

Since it is Mother's day tomorrow, I just wanted to give a little shout out to my favorite ladies out there: Take care of yourselves. It isn't selfish. It is vital. If we don't, we will wither and won't be able to nourish others just like a healthy garden. 

There. I hope you all paid attention.

Now on to gardening. I promised a few of my best , and not original tips. 

Here is my jungle. It is flourishing and this is why; fish emulsion, sea kelp, fertilizer from The Backyard Farmer and lots of love. 

Here is the basic routine:

Fish emulsion/sea kelp every two weeks. I fill a gallon jug with 2 T. of emulsion/kelp mixture and dump some on each plant. You can also spray it but do so only after the sun is down. Be very careful of blossoms. 

I feed with the Backyard Farmer fertilizer every month. 

The love part is the regular weeding and watching. I check the plants for bugs to catch them early before they overtake them. If a plant looks a little less green, I give them a little extra fish emulsion to boost the nitrogen level. If a plant looks a little wilty, he gets more water. Temperature changes daily so a watering schedule might need to change as well.

I put extra mulch around the plants as needed to protect the roots and soil balance. 

I trim dead leaves off plants and harvest daily so that it will stimulate more blossoming.

It sounds like lots of work but it really is just a little time each day. I would really spend the entire day out there if I had no other responsibilities. It is my happy place. 

The peach tree is out of control. The branches are literally breaking because there are too many peaches. I even thinned them out but obviously, not enough. They are small but delicious. The freezing begins.

The boysenberry plant that was supposed to be a blackberry plant is full of berries. I pick a couple when I go out to check on my plants and love their beautiful color. I can't wait to come in with a bowl full.

The cantaloupe trellis is working splendidly. Thank you , Pinterest. Underneath them are herbs and little potato plants. I have some pinto bean plants that popped up from the little preschoolers who planted them there. I didn't intend on growing pinto bean plants. We will see how that goes. 

I pick at least one cucumber a day. Soon I will have several bushes ready to pick from. The key to a good cucumber is lots of water. Melons and cucumbers love lots of water. I water them daily.

If you have bugs, spray them down with a mixture of about 1/4 cup natural dish soap or charlie's soap and the rest water in a 32 oz spray bottle. Spray them in the morning before the sun avoiding the fruits of the plants. It will smother the bugs. Pick worms off as you find them. I don't really get bugs anymore. If you keep your plants healthy and green, bugs don't like them. Just like germs, they come to the unhealthy plants. They are part of the natural decay process. This isn't all the time but I have only had bugs when my plants weren't healthy. Worms come regardless but they are easy to get rid of. 

If you want to be a gardener, be a good gardener. Otherwise, you are just wasting water and money. 

Happy Mother's Day! Hope you get spoiled.

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