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Maybe This Time . . .

My husband said to me the other day, “You know, I kind of liked it when you were working on your blog.”  Code:  “You’ve really let things slide, lady.”  🙂 So I spent a few minutes looking at my past posts (way past, I know!) and I think I’m inspired again. I also felt a little nostalgia for our old home where I had things pretty well under control.  Boy, it’s hard to move!  Yes, things are put away, but I just don’t feel like we’re functioning at our best.  I’ve been WAY to easy-going lately. It’s time I got moving and organizing (and blogging) again.

So you don’t think I’ve just been lazing around, I’ll let you in on what I have accomplished over the past month or so.  The weather here is finally getting nice (kind of – Idaho is pretty unpredictable in the Spring – one day will be 75 and the next we’ll get snow).  As soon as there is sun and some warmth to go with it I can hardly stand it and just have to be outside. Our new home has a HUGE yard that had been neglected, so my husband and I have been doing all kinds of trimming and weeding.  But this is my baby:

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If you look carefully in the far right corner you’ll see something that made me jump for joy – RASPBERRIES! In my previous garden I tried several times to plant raspberries with no success, so I was ecstatic to discover these well-established raspberry vines. The only problem is they too had been neglected.  Here’s an up-close look at what I had to work with.

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A little on-line search yielded this very helpful video on trimming raspberries.

Then, donned with garden gloves and armed with trimmers I got to work. Several raspberry-prickle slivers later (along with some serious hand-cramping), this is the result:

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The garden area needed some serious care, so every free minute I spent weeding and digging up grass (which I actually enjoy – I just love dirt!), and even managed to get a little help from the kids. When the weeds were out, I harpooned my wonderful father into bringing over his rototill to work his magic.  Isn’t it purrrty?

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I have planted some frost-tolerant vegetables (peas, swiss chard, lettuce, cabbage), but I’m waiting until May 11, one day after our last recorded frost, in order to plant the rest.  I’m so excited! I’m particularly excited about this:

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Fruit trees!  I have a little orchard!  Can you blame me for not wanting to being inside?

Thrifty-tip Thursday

In keeping with the garden theme this week, here’s a thrifty tip I picked up from my parent’s home gardening techniques. I’m starting some of my seedlings this week. You can go to your local home and garden store and pick up one of these . . .

They aren’t terribly expensive. They run around $4 – $7. However, you can also use something most people have on hand – egg cartons.

I cut the lids off, then save them to place underneath for support. The biodegradable kind (left in picture) tend to get soggy and weak as watered so you can place a layer of plastic wrap between cells and lid.

       

For the styrofoam type, I use a toothpick to poke holes in the bottom for drainage.

The biodegradable egg cartons can be planted directly into the soil along with the plants. The styrofoam, of course, cannot be planted. I have my seeds, I have my egg cartons, and I have a tray I’m re-using from last year . . . I’m ready to plant.

My Chore Chart and Next Challenge

Just a quick post tonight. Here is the chore chart I came up with for my oldest son. The other’s are similar, but scaled down about according to each child’s age capabilities.

There are a lot of cute templates out there (see Friday’s post for links), but none of them quite fit exactly what I needed.  It’s simple, but to the point.

This week I am going to be organizing my garden plan. It’s not quite planting time yet, but my good friend and fellow blogger from Kate’s Kitchen Garden reminded me that it’s time to plant seedlings in my area. This week I will be planting my seeds so that I can nurse them inside until planting time. I will be working out exactly what I need to plant and getting my garden plan ready. To find out planting time in your area, click here. Just enter your zip code and find out when to plant at what time. Pretty handy!