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Category: Gardening

  1. Sunday, July 7, 2013

    Week 337 Menu

    We are getting unpacked very slowly. I always forget how long unpacking takes when you move! But I am not complaining because I can’t even begin to say how much I love the fact that we can finally unpack and settle into the place where we are living. For example, I have a Simon Pierce punchbowl that we received as a wedding gift that has always been buried in a closet. It finally has a permanent home and will get used this week at our housewarming party. Woohoo!

    hydrangeas web

    I am also loving our yard. It is highly landscaped and may end up being a lot of upkeep, but it is beautiful. I spent most of yesterday cutting things back, including our hydrangea bushes. I have hydrangea bushes!!! (Can you tell I’m kind of excited about our house?)

    I am realllllly hoping I stick to the menu this week. We need some home cooking! And I still have a bunch of avocados I need to use up, so we have lots of avocado-friendly dinners planned.

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

    – Nachos

    – Hamburgers

    – Housewarming/Birthday Party for Nate – will be serving various appetizers and making a cake!

    – Leftovers or takeout

    Green Noodles (aka No. 3)

    Your turn! Please share your weekly menus, big or small, short or tall!

  2. Friday, July 5, 2013

    Another Earth Box Update

    I have another Earth Box update for you! We harvested our lettuce and carrots yesterday and I wanted to let you know how things came out.

    lettuce success with the earth box |

    Lettuce is PERFECT for growing in the Earth Box. The heads of romaine lettuce grew beautifully, were very healthy and easy to take care of as they grew. I would recommend planting 8 lettuces in each Earth Box, but staggering the plantings a week or two apart (maybe 2 planted each week for a month). By staggering the planting, you will be able to harvest the lettuce over time instead of all at once. That’s what we’re going to do next year!

    stunted carrots with the earth box |

    Carrots are NOT perfect for growing in the Earth Box. Despite having at least a foot of depth for the carrots to grow, the carrots only grew a few inches long, if that! We think the roots must have sensors that report back to the carrot telling it to find somewhere else to grow. If this is the case, those sensors did a fantastic job. One of the carrots just kept twisting in on itself. You also can’t grow that many carrots in the Earth Box, so there isn’t much of a yield (16 total IF they all survive, and that’s if you just plant carrots in the box). All in all carrots were not worth the effort, at least when grown in the Earth Box.

    The tomato plants are still going strong. They are fruiting and we are just waiting for the first ripe ones to appear!

  3. Sunday, June 9, 2013

    Week 333 Menu + Earth Box Update

    Quick update on our new Earth Boxes. It’s been just two and a half weeks since I posted the photo with Anna below and look at how the tomato plants have grown! We just might have a tomato harvest his year and I am so happy! The other Earth Box I bought has carrots and lettuce planted and they are growing beautifully, too.

    earth box update 6-9 web

    It’s our last week of school and I am so excited for summer! Granted, we have a crazy busy summer ahead of us, but at least we can let the kids sleep in in the morning and I don’t have to pack lunches!

    – Chicken Stir Fry
    – Dumplings (from Costco)

    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos
    – Guacamole and chips

    Moosewood Pasta Primavera

    – Pizza night to celebrate the last day of school!

    – Leftovers

    – Take out

    – Quiche (flavor TBD)
    – Fresh fruit

    You know the drill! Please share your weekly menu so we can inspire one another!

  4. Thursday, May 23, 2013

    Could this be the year?

    About every other year I decide I really want to grow tomatoes. And every other year I enthusiastically post a photo of our beautiful little tomato plants. And every other year I report back at the end of the summer that I killed everything. I am cursed.

    anna and the earth box web

    This year is going to be different. I know I’ve said that before, but really, it is! I bit the bullet and invested in two Earth Boxes. My friend Natalee has used them the last few years and has amazing success. The beauty of the Earth Box is that you cannot overwater the plants – they always have just the right amount of water. You can use the boxes forever and you get about 8 growing seasons before you need to replace the soil. The woman at the garden center said she also loves the Earth Box. I really really really think this year is going to be different, folks.

    earth box for tomatoes

    What’s that? Locusts in my backyard destroying my tomato plants? Figures.

  5. Friday, July 22, 2011

    Tomato Talk

    The first time I planted tomatoes, the plants died. I’m 99.9999% sure the soil in our garden plot was diseased, so I don’t blame myself entirely. But it still felt like a big failure.

    This year I decided to give tomato growing another go. I had several friends tell me they had great success growing tomato plants in pots, so I decided that would be our approach this time. And, so far, so good. No diseased soil. My plants are staked and growing upward. I’ve fertilized every 7-10 days. I’ve taken care of the suckers. And we’ve actually gotten some tomatoes this year (they sure were yummy in the watermelon salad). Woo-hoo!

    But then…then…last week, I went to my friend Natalee’s house for dinner and saw THIS on her back porch.

    Just to give some perspective, this is my pot of tomatoes compared to Natalee’s.

    Left: My ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ tomato plant. Well-loved, but seriously more of a novelty at this point. Right: Natalee’s organic behemoth of a tomato plant.

    Both of our planters only have two tomato plants planted. And they get the same exact sun exposure. And yet, it’s downright stunning how different our plants are. I asked Natalee what in the world she did. She and I are at about the same level of tomato growing expertise, so her bounteous plants give me hope that one day I will be able to to grow decent tomatoes.

    • She used an EarthBox garden kit. Natalee swears by this system. It basically allows you to water your plants perfectly and you can grow all kinds of vegetables in them. Natalee bought her EarthBox planters at one of our local nurseries, but you can also buy them online, and you can use them year after year.
    • She used a soil that the local nursery recommended highly for growing tomatoes. Apparently that soil has a little pixie dust mixed in because seriously, look at those plants!

    That is ALL she did differently than me. The pot was a little different and the soil was tailored for tomato growing. When I first saw the plants, she hadn’t even fertilized them yet, if you can believe it! She’s still planning to fertilize, of course, but, yeah, whatever. Her tomato plants are still knocking my socks off.

    Maybe next year I’ll actually get tomato-growing all figured out!

    Calling all green thumbs! If you actually know what you are doing with tomato plants, please share your tips!