...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gardening 101

Companion gardening is something I've learned from the AZ garden guy and a great lady in Home depot and a little bit of my own experimenting.
So here are my gardening plans:

preparing the soil: We need a lot of nitrates in our dry soil, cow and chicken manure work great as well as fresh caught fish. We mix all the above ingredients into the soil and stir it up.

I break up the garden into four parts for easier watering. Some people do it in rows, I do it in groups, using each plant as a feeding or covering companion for the other.

In one group is the corn and the green beans: Plant the corn to the West end of the garden this will help shade the other grouping of vegetables. to plant the corn put it in a square instead of row by row. Basically plant it in rows and then place a row across the top and bottom. In between each row of corn plant a row of green beans and also above each horizontal row of corn. use as much of the fish parts as possible in this planting.
Plant in the ground by the end of February to the 1st of March
As the corn starts to germinate go out an shake the corn to allow pollination between the corn, this will ensure good corn production:)
When the corn is showing the first sign of silks be sure to take a medicine dropper and drop mineral oil down into the corn silks. This will kill the nastiest white worm that eats all your beautiful corn! As the weather gets warmer make sure to feed your corn more fish or fish emulsion you can buy at the store. Otherwise the dry heat will make your corn tough.
I also plant sunflowers on the outside edge of the corn to keep the birds busy and it looks pretty. Corn should be watered from the ground instead of overhead watering. Although I've done both, the overhead watering misses the middle rows of corn and the outside rows drink the majority of the water.

The second grouping will consist of the following; planted from West to East:
Tomatoes preferably just to the East of your corn, this provides them shade during the hottest part of the day. You must buy Osmocote for your tomato plants! It makes them grow amazing! And be sure to plant the tomato starter plant laying down sideways with only the tip of the leaf showing. This method allows a huge root base and a larger plant. I tried planting both ways last year and the one I planted using this method was enormous and yielded three times the tomato. Peppers can go near your tomatoes but make sure your tomato plant doesn't block the early morning sun! Ok, from here its all about personal preference. I like my carrots and radishes together, it makes the seeds easier to thin out once they sprout up. Use the shorter carrots they grow faster here. I plant a basil and garlic plant near my leafy stuff (except near the peas) to keep the bugs and bunnies away. Just buy onion and garlic from the grocery store and stick it in the ground. Soak your lettuce seeds over night, it helps them prepare for planting. Then I plant my peas next to a trellis with alfalfa over the top. The cucumbers and squash varieties I plant in mounds with lots of compost and deep watering I also cover them with alfalfa to prevent veggie rot. You can plant your squash plants near your beans and corn. The vines will help to cool the base of the corn.
Plant your potatoes in a deep bucket or deep trench (I buy a bag of organic potatoes and just drop them in the ground) and cover with compost and water deeply as you see the green, then when its about 2-3" high stop covering it with compost and allow it to grow. the plant will be very strong. They like peas so if you can plant them near each other they will be happy growers. Okra is another easy one for Arizona, but plant a lot of it and in rows like the corn or in pots, they have pretty flowers and thrive in the heat. pick them when they are small.

* Get some marigold seeds and sprinkle them in rows to divide plants, this will keep bugs and critters out and they are pretty for cutting!

* Plant your pumpkins in July so they are ready for October harvest, but do not plant near watermelons, they like to cross breed:)

* cover your new seedling rows with burlap cover until they are a about 1" tall to keep the birds away

* Don't use horse manure as compost - horses eat Bermuda hay and that makes for Bermuda grass. I have had to weed eat the Bermuda in my garden for two years because of that!

Well that is all I've grown and had luck with, I'm sure there is so much more but these are things we eat and they are so great fresh out of the dirt!

sources: Extreme Gardening by Dave Owens

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Mornings

Oh how I love Saturdays. When I was little we used to wake up to loud country music and the smell of bacon and coffee. Much to early for my taste, but I still love to hear Waylen Jennings or Alabama playing on the radio it really brings me back to mornings at home. So now, although not so early our Saturday mornings are pretty similar. I usually play country music, even a little Marty Robbins and cook a hearty breakfast. We all go outside to feed the animals and work around the yard. I know when I was a teenager, I began to rebel against the Saturday rituals and wanted to sleep in and be gone with all my friends, but now that I have children I really enjoy it again. I hope that my kids treasure this family time and the fun in working outside and having the privilege of animals, gardens, building forts and climbing trees.

Last night my parents came over and the boys were showing us their fort they made in the back of the property. They have been working on it for a couple of days now and spent most the day Thursday with Daniel, Josh and Micah Main out there. When we walked up to the fort it had a large wooden sign that read

NO Girlz Enter! It also had their initials on it. Then on the side of the fort it had this picture of a large dinosaur with small princesses in each dino hand. I was told each princess represented Braxtyn and Rachel. Braxtyn was out there with me and promptly;y stomped over to one of the signs and tore it out of the ground. She then walked up to the fort and crawled in. (Reminds me of my childhood)

The fort that Grandpa built!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just some funny conversations

Last night we are sitting on the couch and Noah comes in after his shower
Me: Noah why do you smell so good?
Noah: Um.. I.. ahhh...
Me: you used my perfume.
Noah: Yes, (giggle)
Me: A lot of it!
Noah: Yes, three squirts under each armpit (laugh)
Me: (laughing) please don't use my expensive perfume for your pits
Noah: Well where do you spray it then?
Me: All over
Noah: why, do you stink all over?
Me: (needing a way out of this conversation) I'll buy you your own deodorant and spray if you really want some.

Later that night.....
Noah and Graham are in the bathroom
Noah: MOM!! Graham just pottied on the floor
Graham: It was an accident!
Me: Go get the Clorox wipes and clean it up
Graham: whats a clorax?
Me: looking at Daniel and shaking my head....

Braxtyn walks into the kitchen wearing high heels and a dress up Dr.'s suit: Mom pretend you are my kids grandma
Me: I will be someday
Braxtyn: No right now, you are and here are my girls.
Me: what are there names?
Braxtyn: Kayla, Shayla, Layla and Katelyn
Me: Wow, ok I'll watch them
Braxtyn: ok, I'm going to get my nails done and to buy a shirt at Walmart. Thanks, my kids grandma.

Braxtyn: Mom will you put my hair up
Me: Ok in a ponytail?
Braxtyn: no like this.. (she shows me a bun)
Me: Oh, a messy ponytail
Braxtyn: I call it a flower pony tail

Sometimes they are funnier when you are here looking at their funny sweet faces or listening to their cute little person voices..but now I will never forget just how silly it is around here sometimes!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cozette Grace almost 8 months!

My little baby girls is crawling and sitting on her own! She decided one day to start sitting up, no fuss or working up to it, just one morning after crawling an inch or so, she sat up and smiled at me. Her serene little smile, like "mom, I've been thinking about this for a while"! She went from some mobility to racing around the house, pulling down trash cans and eating anything she can find on off the floor to now, standing at the couch and chairs and fire place. She is quite proud of herself and thinks its fun to follow everyone from room to room. She is very "mommy attached" right now and can't be away from me for long, it kind of goes both ways, I love her company and have gotten very used to keeping her close. I get that way with all my babies, I love to wrap them up in a sling next to me and just have them near. She is sleeping through the night now, so its given me so much rest! Naps are harder for her but I think its because she doesn't like to be alone. She so happy and always smiling and she loves to eat big people food! No baby food for her these days, I guess when you have three other siblings to watch you do things earlier:(, I was hoping for her to stay in the baby stages for a lot longer! I have a feeling she'll be walking here pretty soon!