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Back in the Vegetable Garden

Last year my vegetables grew great.

Until my garden was suddenly overcome by weeds and then the vegetable plants got so overgrown and mixed with the weeds which turned into a giant green jungle and I got so overwhelmed I couldn’t look at it.

This year I really wanted to avoid that. So I make sure to spend a few moments once a week pulling weeds and taming the vegetable plants as they grow bigger and bigger.

My camera did a good job with this picture. Check out the detail!

I planted okra for the first time!  But I’ve never cooked with it before, hopefully I can make something good with it.

This year I bought all my plants at a nursery instead of starting them by seed indoors during the winter. It was a lot less work but it took forever for them to get big enough to start making vegetables, so next year I’ll go back to starting seeds indoors.

So far I’ve managed to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and I’m glad to be excited about my vegetable garden again!

You can check out past veggie garden posts here. It’s been a while!

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Veggie Garden Update: The Finished Fence!

In my last veggie garden update, I talked about how a certain little rabbit named Cosmo had been visiting my veggie garden. 

I was using a rabbit repellent spray which seemed to be working, but shortly after my post that hungry guy ate ALL of my eggplant and banana pepper plants, most of my bell pepper plants, one chili pepper plant and entire broccoli plant! All in a matter of a few days! So I knew it was time to line the fence with rabbit wire.

First I had to seal the entire fence with a water proof and UV proof sealant. It took forever!
Then we took turns stapling the rabbit wire to the inside of the fence. It was tricky to unroll it, but the stapling part was fun! We had to be so careful not to squish the vegetable plants. At one point I screamed because I thought Steven had stepped on my last hot pepper plant. Turns out he had stepped just in front of it but I gave him a good scare! 
Making sure the gate was rabbit proof

We worked on it every evening for about a week. We were worried the wire would make the fence ugly, but I acutally like it! I think it makes it look more like a vegetable garden and gives it a finished look. If I had known this ahead of time we would have finished the fence before we planted the vegetables so it would have been easier. We ended up losing a few bean plants, one got squished and one got covered in the sealant, turned brown and died. But I had a bunch of bean plants so not big deal!

The fence has been up for a few weeks now and so far no more veggie fatalities! I can’t believe one little rabbit could do so much destruction, but at least now my plants are safe 🙂

It was fun building the fence, but I am looking forward to next year when all I need to do is rough up the soil and put the plants in the ground. 

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Bamboo Trellis Tutorial

When I was planning my vegetable garden, I definitely knew I would need trellises. I was planning on planting lots of viney plants; cucumbers, squash, beans, eggplants ect. What I really wanted were fancy wooden trellises, but I also didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on them because I knew I needed a lot.  I thought about making them myself, but then I would have to buy wood and use power tools and that just seemed beyond my capability. Haha. Then I remembered there were a lot of bamboo forests around my neighborhood so I thought about sneaking and chopping down a few stalks to use for the trellises, but luckily someone down the street had already chopped a bunch down in their back yard and had put it on the side of the road! So one morning me and my mom hopped in her car and went to get them. But just our luck a city truck had beat us there by about 2 minutes and was already picking them up. -_- We drove down another street and amazingly enough someone else had also chopped down a bunch of bamboo from their yard so we loaded a bunch up in her car as quick as we could before the city truck made its way around! 

I was so happy with how they turned out, I thought I would write a little tutorial on how I made my vegetable trellises.

Step 1: Obtain bamboo sticks.

You can chop them down yourself, wait for someone else to do it for you and then take some for yourself, or you can buy them at lowes. They’re about a 1-3 dollars a piece there. 

Step 2: Cut them down to size

I cut mine down to 4 feet each with a saws all. (Well my husband did that part! Me + power tools does not seem like a good combination!) I didn’t cut down the thinnest pieces of bamboo yet because I was saving those for the crossbeams and it’s hard to know what size you’ll need ahead of time. 

Of course if you choose to buy them from a store you can skip this step!

Step 3: Use hot glue to hold them in place

I used hot glue to temporarily hold the three pieces in place so it would be easier to wrap the twine. The hot glue does not stick to the bamboo very well though so you have to very careful not to bump it.

Step 4: Wrap the twine

I wrapped the twine very tightly where the three sticks intersected together. I didn’t have a specific pattern I followed, I just made sure I wrapped them the twine around them in every way possible. When I was done I squirted some hot glue into any crevices to hold the twine in place.

Step 5: Add the crossbeams

This is where the thin uncut bamboo pieces come in. I measured and cut the exact length I needed and then used hot glue to hole them in place while I wrapped the twine, just as I did for the top of the trellis. I did two layers but you can do as many or as little as you want. You can even leave this part off, but your trellis will not be as stable without at least one level.

And that’s it! It’s pretty simple to do and only takes me about 15 minutes to put one together, best of all it was completely free except for the twine! (which was only about two bucks)
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Veggie Garden Update

All my vegetables are planted and growing fast! 

I made those bamboo trellises myself, I’ll post a little tutorial on how to do it soon!

I was shocked to see how huge the beans were when they sprouted!

My cabbages are looking big, but I have no idea when they are ready to eat. The middle leaves aren’t clustered together like you would see on a store bought one, so I don’t know if that will happen eventually or if these ones are different and I could be eating them right now! :0

My cucumbers have bloomed!

 I can’t wait to make some fried green tomato sandwiches!

 And this here is my prized luffa sprout! If you remember from here, I blogged about growing your own luffas. I ordered these seeds online because I couldn’t find any in stores and it took months for them to get here, I thought for sure they got lost in the mail!  I planted a few seeds when the weather finally warmed up, and of course we had a suprise frost a few days later which killed them all. I planted some more, but after a few weeks I still wasn’t seeing any. 🙁  So I frantically tried to germinate my last three inside a paper towel in a plastic bag and only ONE of them sprouted! I watch it like crazy and go out and check on him as often as I can. (Is crazy vegetable lady a thing??)
And this little guy is Cosmo! He lives in the wood pile behind the shed and he’s usually just hanging out in the yard munching clover whenever I go outside. I have been spraying rabbit repellent on my veggies and so far he hasn’t really bothered them. Although I think  I missed an eggplant and a pepper plant while spraying and sure enough, he ate the whole darn thing. -_- I was going to staple rabbit wire to the fence to keep the rabbits out, but Steven said that would be too ugly and convinced me to buy the repellent instead. If that bunny eats my luffa sprout I’m gonna be maaad. At both of them! Hehe.

I’m just so excited about my vegetable garden!  It’s exactly what my dream garden was when I wrote this post. It was my second ever blog post and I remember as I wrote it on that cold January day I was so excited I could hardly contain myself!

Here is my post from when we first started digging and here is one from where we built the fence!
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My Veggie Garden- Fence time!

We built our vegetable garden fence!!

 We finally had some pretty nice weather the other week. Saturday started out cold, but by the time we bought all the fence materials and started building, it had warmed up.

We found lots of weird stuff while digging. Including a giant root!

It’s not completely done, we still have to trim the fence posts and stain it.
I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to start planting things!

It’s been a super busy week so I haven’t been on here a whole lot. We had an ice storm, my best friend got married, my camera broke :'( I had an obnoxious take-home test to finish, and tomorrow we’re going on a trip to Pittsburgh! But I’ve got lots of good blog posts planned so stay tuned! 🙂
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My Veggie Garden- Goodbye Grass!

After dreaming about it all winter, the day finally came for me to start digging up the grass for my vegetable garden! I was beyond excited, as you could probably tell from this post. I started early last Saturday morning and my mom came down to help. When we were ready for a break we took a trip to Lowe’s ( Like you always have to do when starting project! It’s one of my favorite parts.) And bought some nice dirt, bonemeal, a  good rake and got back to work. 

 This is what it looked like before. I really wanted to move my neighbor’s trash can so it wouldn’t be in the photos, but I chickened out!

Can you find a hidden Jeeves?

And of course, these guys supervised us the entire time!

We got all of the grass dug up last weekend. Next we are going to build a picket fence around it to keep out the rabbits. Hopefully the weather will be nice this Saturday!
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Current Inspirations- Vegetable Gardens!

Right now I am currently inspired by cute vegetable gardens!  I am going to start digging mine soon, so I have been searching for inspiring pictures to try and figure out a a design, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. I got so excited the other day to start my garden that I almost ran outside with a shovel and started digging right then and there!

I LOVE this garden. I definitely want to have mine fenced in (we have rabbits that like to visit!), and I really like that brick path.

I think this path is so cute. There were a lot of bricks laying around our yard when we moved in, I always knew they would be good for something!

Hanging squash gardens are amazing!!!  I have no room in my yard for something like this, but maybe I could have a smaller version? 😉

I really want to plant colored carrots! I had no idea they came in colors other than orange. I think they would make some pretty amazing looking meals.

I will definitely be needing some trellises. I am planning on growing lots of squash, zucchini, eggplants and peppers.  I would love to make my own trellises like this, but I may chicken out and just buy some at Lowes, haha.

Last but not least.. I love this homemade sprinkler!  It makes me laugh every time I see it. 

Well that’s all for now!  I’ll post a garden update once I start digging.