Thursday, March 31, 2016

Diy self-watering planter

DIY self waterers

I have been making these self-watering planters for years. They're great! Start to finished you're looking at about 7 minutes. Whomever came up with this is a genius. Straight up, smarty-pants. Check out my super-over simplified directions after the jump.

Monday, March 21, 2016

garden kit 2 weeks

two weeks

Finally, everything has germinated! I was really starting to think all the peppers were duds, but Sunday morning (13 days since planting) we finally have some signs of life. A teeny tiny little sprout and should be a leaf by the end of the day. So far that's it for the peppers, two out of ten. 


Out of the 50 pods, we have 35 that have germinated. Not terrible, I'm still hopeful for the rest of the peppers. We're still spraying them twice a day with a spray bottle, they're not ready for big drinks just yet. But soon!

2 weeks after planting

I'm not sure how but nearly every tomato plant has too seedlings in there. I guess thats what happens when you plant with a two year old. 

yabani ratatouille kit

Everything is definitely growing towards the window, I turn the whole thing every few days so they straighten up. It has been gross and rainy most of the days since planting, you definitely don't need a grow light to get the seeds started. The zucchinis are getting big and will need to be transplanted soon, I'll be putting them in self-waterers and planting some Brussel sprouts in the soon-to-be-empty pods by the end of the week. 

Yabani seeds

Seriously, 10 zucchini. What was I thinking? I'm only putting 1 plant in the garden so looks like I'll be giving a lot away. My neighbor said she'd like some and she knows some people that would like some too. She is giving me some strawberry plants, fair trade! 

So far I'm really pleased with the results, we see how it continues until transplant. Need a refresher since last week? Here it is!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Garden starter kit

ratatouille kit

Someone sent me a lovely gift for my birthday! The kids and I started the seeds on the 9th of March. The kit was super simple, straight forward, even toddlers and little kids can get right in there. The kit says there is At least 10 seeds each, heirloom tomatoes, heirloom zucchini, heirloom eggplant and let me tell you, there is much more than 10! Take a look at what's inside.

black skillet review

Black Skillet Heirloom seeds

I don't know what I was thinking starting 10 zucchini seeds. I have no desire to grow 10 plants but at this rate it doesn't seem like we're going to have much of a growing season. We have rain the forecast for 13 out of the next 15 days. I'm ready for some sun, anytime now.

ratatouille kit

After a week, we have definitely made some progress! We have lots of tiny little sprouts! Very encouraging! Here's what I've done during the first week, after planting I gave each pod a good drink. It took a while for the water to absorb into the soil. I put tooth picks in and laid plastic wrap loosely on top. Doing that helps keeps the moisture and heat in. Any water that spills into the bottom adds to the humidity. After the first good soaking, I gave the pods a good spray with a spray bottle in the morning and at night. I left it beside an eastern facing window and that's it. Easy Peasy. 

Garden Kit review

Growing Heirloom vegetables

There wasn't really any direction besides depth of planting, which is fine if you know what you're doing but if you're someone who has never planted before I bit more direction would have been benificial. I will say that the soil was packed pretty tightly into the little pods. I definitely needed to poke a tooth pick in a few times to get the water to saturate, otherwise most would just sit on top or run off. 

Starting seeds indoors

Gardening starter kit

black skillet garden kit

Out of the 50 pods, so far 12 have sprouted, not terrible. I'm sure in another week the rest will be out too. I didn't start the basil, it should grow quickly once the garden is ready, I'll sow it directly. I added 5 bean seeds instead, the kids and Scribs love beans. I can't wait to have fresh beans again. 

After the week we've had, I'm glad to see some progress. The second wind storm destroyed my green house. I'm going to see if I can repair it, but I'm not holding my breath. 

Have you started your garden yet? Are you in the planning phase?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

High winds indeed.

We have high winds pretty often in the winter. Thursday was by far the worst we've seen. Mr. lovebug woke up because the wind woke him. Alright, it's loud, good reason to get up kid. And he didn't go back to sleep, I can't really blame him. The wind woke me up at 3 and I was up for the day.
Looking out the windows I could see that the swings on the swing set have been straight out, yup thats windy! The cover was blown off the hot tub, the clips are now broken. There wasn't even a point in trying until the winds died down, around dusk.When it hit the ground, the cover made a big dent in the grass.

And the coop was knocked over, the egg door opened and chickens were out in the dark at 5am. Thankfully it happened while I was awake and able run out to catch them. It's not easy catching chickens that are rarely handled, in the dark, in sustained 30mph winds. I went a bought some fencing, made a temporary pen in the barn and caught them all. Set them up in the barn and then we had a neighbor, some co-workers and a tractor lift the coop back up and move it to another spot. Surprisingly, very little damage. The poop-deck basically broke off. The hinges were destroyed, bent in half the wrong way.
The water-er leaked everywhere, mixed with the food and straw and made a giant mess. I will say Scribs built a damn strong coop!

The windows were visibly distorting and flexing with the wind. The car was shaking.

The dog was freaking out, I was pacing like a crazy person for a few hours. If ever there was a time for a profanity laden post this would be it. We has sustained 30+ mph and gusts I'm told up to 85 mph.

You know, now that it is over everything I wrote during the storm seems a bit over dramatic. People are dealing with way worse things and I shouldn't complain. By 4pm I was ready for bed.

And we get to do it all again tomorrow. High winds, again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

WIP Wednesday Just some mittens. Regular old mittens.

I still havent ordered more yarn for Mr. Lovebug's construction truck sweater. Friday, I swear! I have one mitten for my Mother-in-Law almost completed. I'm not really following a pattern, just a chart for the outside. So far, so good. I don't really want to put up at photo because she'll see it, but I will show you the palm-side. Not so sassy, once they're in the mail I'll post a photo of them. They're stranded and will be warm. Warm is what she asked for, warm is what they'll be.
Stranded mittens

I need to start some baby things for someone. They're due in May, maybe I'll actually get them out on time. Don't hold your breath! My yarn has finally arrived for my undone sweater from Jen Geigley's weekend. Can't wait!

WIP Mittens

If you follow my instagram, you may have noticed I destroyed my hands yesterday, hence not finishing the thumb and starting the second mitten.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cost per dozen eggs for February

raising chickens

Holy Moly, I don't know what happened to February! It was a busy month, we were very productive, and so were the girls. They laid 185 eggs! No one did anything stupid like get hurtting or eaten, there's a plus! They spent a lot of time outside and we are now getting nearly 12 hours of day light.  The longer days and bugs to eat outside is definitely helping with egg production.The girls have been digging around the garden and have finally figured out that rainy days means the driveway is covered with worms.

This month I spent $23.85 on feed. Thanks to a 10% off sale, I bought enough for the month. I will have to get more in the next day or two. I've been using straw in the coop instead of shavings. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, I think it'll decompose faster in the composter then the wood shavings. We shall see.

I made a whooping $37 in egg sales. Hello in the green for the first time! Everyone paid their tab by the of the month.

So here we go, each dozen eggs made $0.84, that's a first for us!

And now to decided more chicks or not...