Veggie garden update

Boy was Memorial Day weekend busy and productive!  I have a huge veggie garden update.

It took a bit of work over each of the three days, but we tilled and planted the veggie garden.


Actually, it was a really slow process, but then our neighbor offered to run his tractor tiller through it, and it was done in half an hour.  Yay!  Thanks for good neighbors!

tilling-tractorWe got down the black plastic, cut holes and started planting seedlings of peppers, tomatoes, okra, basil, parsley, tomatillos and ground cherries.  I made sure to water them right away, they were thirsty.  The next day we finished the seedlings and added seeds for sow direct crops like cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, bunching onions and 7 rows of green beans.  Then I added some marigold and sunflower seeds around the edges to pretty things up.  I placed the sunflowers on the north side so that they don’t shade the garden and marigolds near the tomatoes for a companion planting and pest deterrent.  Then we watered everything in really well again.

vegetable garden planted

I got about two thirds of my flower beds mulched.  Here is a new gooseberry that I was able to transplant from that same helpful neighbors brush line.  It was ill fated otherwise and I was in the process of rooting some additional plants fro the three gooseberries that I already had.  These are larger than my rooted plants, so I will have better production a little sooner now.


I transplanted all of this vinca to an enclosed bed in the front yard.  It hadn’t filled in the original space and was being choked out by mulch.  So I had to find a new home for it or buy more to fill in this area.  Transplanting the vinca to another bed was easier.

transplanting vincaIt will fill this small flower bed and won’t need to be mulched.  Ground cover and mulch don’t mix, people, they just don’t.

vinca transplants

It is all looking much better.  Well, it was, but then I had to disturb some of the mulch to transplant some spring bulbs.

not so freshly mulched

Check out these deck rail planters.  They are bursting with lettuce an greens.  I have been making a huge salad every night for dinner.  So yummy!

time for salad

How to plant a fruit tree orchard

There is a luxury to being able to pick fruit from your own backyard.  Spring is the best time to plant fruit trees.  This allows them to get established and gain strength before the winter.

potted fruit trees

The first step is to select the tree and location.  You will want to make sure that the tree will be in a sunny location and that there are no nearby trees that will grow up and shade it over time.  Your tree will probably come with information on its mature width and planting distance between other fruit trees.  This orchard is being laid out for three cherry trees, two peaches, two plums, two apricots and two nectarines.  These instructions for how to plant a fruit tree orchard apply to apple and pear trees, as well.


Next you will want to mark the location of each tree you are planting.  Use a measuring tape to mark the distance between trees.  Place stakes or flags in the ground as you go.  Take note of the mature canopy widths of each tree and measure accordingly.  If you are planting two trees will be 12 feet in diameter at maturity, they will need to be a little bit more than12 feet from each other to accommodate each of their canopies.  The photo below shows pink flags and then the pots were placed along side the.

mark tree placement for orchard

Once you have your layout complete, start digging the hole.

start digging the hole for a fruit tree

Make sure that it is wide enough to accommodate the root ball or the bare roots and as deep as the root ball.

remove soil

This can be checked by setting the pot right into the hole.

Check the root ball depth for a fruit tree

Gently remove the tree from its pot and loosen some of the soil around the root ball.  Check depth of the graft union (the graft union is the knee like knot in the trunk of the tree where the variety of fruit is grafted onto the rootstock).  In the photo below it is just above the shovel laid level across the hole.

check graft union depth for a fruit tree

Replace soil back into the hole, breaking up any clumps.

loosen root ball and plant fruit tree

Gently firm the soil on top by stepping in the soil around the tree.

gently step in tree soil

Keep all the roots covered and add more soil as necessary.

Last, give each tree a good, deep watering.  Check them daily in dry weather and keep them watered well.  This will encourage the roots to grow strong and deep.

how to plant a fruit tree



Ikea tablet stand hack – only .99 cents

Try this simple .99 cent Ikea tablet stand hack.

This is amazing!  A tablet stand that costs a mere .99 cents!


Purchased in Canada, this tablet stand would still only cost$1.99.



No fuss, no muss, just flip over your Ikea Plastis Ice cube tray, set your device in it and voila. Done.  It works on tablets, it works on phones.


Also, it is light and flexible, making it easy to carry anywhere in the house.


Want to take the Plastis tablet stand with you?  No problem!  Put it in your bag right next to your tablet.  Go ahead, it is made of soft, flexible silicone, so it won’t scratch the screen and will even help to cushion your tablets journey.


What a great design.  The silicone also makes this non slip on slick surfaces, making sure that your device stays upright.  Use this Ikea tablet stand hack on the kitchen counter and your device will be safe from puddles and counter top spills.