Category Archives: Gardening

Tata and the Garden Wars

My father (Tata) proudly holding his homegrown Romain lettuce.

My dad has grown a garden every year for as long as I can remember, it is from him where I get my love of gardening.

This year, though, when I was finally serious and got some actual fruit from my work in the garden, we made it a competition. It was never an official, on-each- other-faces-competition, no, it was the silent kind, more intense.

We both planted tomatoes around the same time, I can’t recall now whose plants got the first little green tomato (I bet it was mine), but we would send pictures of our garden’s progress through text. Every day.

Then the tomatoes started getting red, his started splitting, so I would send back pictures of my beautifully smooth, red tomatoes.

My tomato vine.

When he sent a picture of his ears of corn, not having planted any myself, I sent back a picture of my awesome zucchinis. He didn’t have any zucchinis at that time.

On and on we went all season long. Sharing our work and sometimes, a witty rebuttal. The competition got ugly when we got The Bundle involved, asking her which tomatoes tasted better, and which garden was the prettiest. Poor Bundle, she tried to be diplomatic.

Cucumber bloom

Strawberry

This year’s garden brought us together, ironically enough, our “rivalry” made us bond. My favorite part about it though, was seeing the joy my father had when The Bundle tried one of his carrots, the lessons she is learning about how fruit and vegetables are grown, when a lot of grown people have no idea what a bell pepper plant looks like.

Onion in bloom

Who knew how beautiful onion plants really are?

Baby squash

Freaky, deformed carrot

But the best part, is that we are creating memories that will last the rest of our lives. Hopefully one day, The Bundle will think back and have fond memories of picking tomatoes with Tata.

Yes, that is me, and I am very excited for my first tomato.

 

Tata's onions

My onions

Tiny bean pod.

We are very committed to our gardening, my dad had me go in between his corn and the fence to check out a random potato plant growing in that tight spot.

Refresh

Even the littlest ones know how to refresh themselves on a nasty hot day.

This particular occasion, we came home from Nana’s house after work, the Pumpkin and I were watering the garden and she started grunting and slithering out of my arms. So I sat her down, away from the water, but as soon as I did she crawled with fierce determination to get to the cool refreshment ahead. I picked her up to take her clothes off only to be scolded by the child with an angry cry.

Now nothing would stand between her and that hose.

A Bee and a Gnome

Our garden is doing great. We have tomatoes getting bigger everyday, I’m still in disbelief! I have tried two or three times to grow a garden and I always end up either not watering correctly or eaten by the birds. So, I am very proud of my accomplishment so far.

I have, however, succeeded with giant sunflowers. I love sunflowers, I’ve planted them every year since The Man and I got married. There is just something about them, the way the follow the sun, like big yellow faces focusing on the bright side of life. A good lesson to learn from these floral beauties.

I think I may have discovered the secret to my gardening success and I’m going to let you in on it.

You ready?

A bee. And a gnome.

A little bee came in to pollinate the garden the other day. “Mama, I want to be a bee,” she told me out of the blue, I guess remembering her costume from last fall. So I took it out of the closet and off to the garden we went, where the bees belong.

There we found ourselves a squishy little dirt-loving-gnome. As soon as we start nearing the garden, she starts bouncing excitedly in my arms and she then demands to be put down to enjoy some mud-time.

I had to take her shirt off because was getting a little messy.

So there you have it, the secret to a beautiful, growing garden. A bee and a gnome and a lot of love surrounding the crops.

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I had some “technical difficulties” and accidentally published this post last night unfinished. My internet was down and used The Man’s phone to see how much of it had saved and posted it without meaning to!¬† So here is the post as it was meant to be read. Enjoy ūüėČ

Spring Things

It’s Spring! Beautiful Spring!

Well, more like summer here in the dessert, it’s already too hot…

But it’s Spring nonetheless, so we’ve been doing Spring things. We have been working on building a garden, fencing it all the way in so the hungry creatures can’t get it, and yesterday we finally planted our first plants!

Tomatoes!

We have jalape√Īos, green chiles, red and green bell peppers, squash ready to plant. Oh, and strawberries, too -as per The Bundle’s orders.

 

 

It was so much fun watching her be part of the process, she even had her “gardening shoes” on ūüėČ

 

She kept herself busy making holes in the mud.

This is a very legit garden, people. Scarecrow and all.

 

The Pumpkin soon got tired of being in the stroller watching us have all the fun. So she complained and I put her to work.

 

 

And she loved it.

 

 

But soon the sun went down, prompting us to head inside.

 

Working the garden

Welcome to our garden ūüôā

Here it is all bare and empty, when we first moved in, there were two squash plants, four corn, some peas and one tomato plant left, but since we live in the desert and anything of the sort is a delicacy to the wildlife, it didn’t last long! We’ve started enclosing the whole thing¬†¬†with chicken wire, so the birds will not get in.

The only surviving plant is this tomato, so we have it protected with high technology security: a crate.

Because of our mild¬†year round temperature we have what¬†is called a “second spring”, a second opportunity for planting! It’s coming soon, I read somewhere¬†that you should¬†start planting in July to have harvest time around September and October, so we are preparing the garden.¬†We thoroughly watered the soil to loosen it up and add some rows to it. The Bundle particularly enjoys the watering part, and she’s good at it, too.¬†

Notice her “concentration finger”.

The Man is hard at work here, I tried helping out but they didn’t leave me any work ūüėČ

Watering the plants.

We have been enjoying pleasant afternoons at home. It is the perfect time to water our beautiful vegetable plants that have recently started  sprouting.

I’m preparing ahead of time, I have them in little planters right now, but after there is no fear of a frost I will transplant them to my awsome planter I built. I will have to post about it soon!

 

The bundle is a good little helper. Notice the pot is intact, but there is water everywhere else.

¬†So there we were, watering and having a good time, when all of a sudden I hear something fall. And something break. I looked over and realized that somehow the Bundle knocked over the parsley. At first glance, the scene was not promising,¬†there was dirt¬†and broken peices of pots all around. After a bit of inspecting I realized that¬†what¬†had broken was the bottom part of the pot. Phew!¬†The¬†parsley itself did suffer a¬†tad but, don’t worry, I got it back on¬†its feet¬†:). ¬†

 

¬†As for the Bundle, I gave her something else to do. She adjusted well. ūüôā

Parsley

I started a little herb garden. I love the the idea of being able to use fresh herbs for cooking. I planted oregano, mint, basil and parsley so far. I had them outside under our porch because it hasn’t been too cold for them and I didn’t think they would get enough sunlight if I moved them indoors. Well, a combination of neglect and cold temperatures have hurt my beautiful little plants! Only my parsley is still going strong.

 

We’ve had a very warm winter with temperatures reaching up to the low 70’s during the day, but I think it got a bit to cold for them at night. And of course neglecting them of water for a few days also hurts.

My little herbs, I apologize. I will see if I can revive you.
I moved them to a different spot, hopefully they will not get too cold there. I plan on planting more, but I really need to be committed if I want to enjoy delicious meals with freshley picked herbs!