Tag Archives: planting schedules

Plan 2015 Annual Gardens

Sketch summer and fall annual vegetable gardens. Switching places this year so the fall annual has the longer sunshine, well into December. Plenty of sun where the fall was last year for the summer garden to thrive.

We doubled the annual garden size.

We doubled the annual garden size.

“Abundance” plant share at the Sunshine House

If you are anything like us you plant WAY TOO MANY seedlings. And of course we did again this year.

abundance? more like compulsion to plant a whole packet of seeds.

abundance? more like compulsion to plant a whole packet of seeds.

Or maybe you are interested in trying a new vegetable in your garden but didn’t want to start a whole packet of seedlings! I have already had friends of the Sunshine House reach out about what we were growing this year.  And last year our friend Robin shared these beautiful onions, garlic and she also shared some golden raspberries  bushes with us so I figure we will pay it forward!

Egyptian walking onions

I would like to propose this centrally located “share” for extra plants you may have as transplanting season begins. Or you can join us on the back porch of Sunshine House this day for some fun, a lunch, visiting and general garden hoopla!

(But I am sure it is because you really want to come over over and see these)

bird wants dad, cat wants bird, bunny wants cat, dad wants bunny...sigh.

bird wants dad, cat wants bird, bunny wants cat, dad wants bunny…sigh.

Please join us at the Sunshine House, May 17th
Happy Planting!

down the drain

Over the years – and especially when we were sailing – our family has done a LOT to curb our local impact on Mother Earth’s water supply. In Connecticut the storm drains all run into the Connecticut River and that runs into Long Island Sound – which will be a dead body of water of we don’t wake up soon and start changing some little habits!

Here is a quick list of a few of the things we have done:

We stopped using our disposal almost completely (and yes I have stuck my hand down there to pull out food that has slipped by) and started composting. The high nitrogen levels produced when decaying food mixes with the sewer is very harmful for the rivers and waterways.  The overgrowth of algae will starve a body of water of sunlight and oxygen.  Our sewers and storm drains wash into the river then right into Long Island Sound.

We certainly DO NOT “treat” our lawn to any chemicals – all of this washes into the river and the same result happens. We have beautiful green grass in May and part of June and then it turns tannish green – LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO! This is our lawn in November but this is pretty much what it looks like in July August September October – then it gets covered in snow.


We stopped using paper towels completely and now use cloth towels to clean up spills and wipe counters. And we have traditional cloth napkins at the table. They are such a waste of paper – and the paper processing plants use so much water and chemicals.  It is really harmful to those local areas. Instead we use wet towels like these Handi Wipes


We don’t use dryer sheets – they take a VERY long time to biodegrade, we use dryer balls instead. And we have the occasional static cling but nothing major.  Certainly nothing I would want a dryer sheet in a landfill for thirty years for!!!

dryer balls

I am hoping my cousin  Laura can make me some of these felted wool dryer balls


So one of the last places where I just thought I couldn’t find a solution for was my clogged shower drains…

My husband and I both use Dr. Bronner’s Soap.  Which if you are a fan you know is very thick and can cause a little build-up in the pipes.  Well after two or three days of standing in scummy shower water I reach for the (flinching here folks)…Drano… I KNOW! I KNOW!!! I am embarrassed to even write it! But what kind of person would I be if I did not confess my home-making sins and share the VICTORY I found it two very simple ingredients:


Baking soda and white vinegar. Now to my husbands defense – he has been saying for years – “Try baking soda and vinegar” But have I done that? No.

It’s OK – enough beating myself up. Because yesterday I put a cup of baking soda on top of the little drain cover, then poured over about a half gallon of vinegar and ten bubbly fizzy minutes later I had a clear drain and a clear conscience!!!


So don’t overwhelm yourself with having to do ten things differently! Take it easy! One thing at a time!  Some of the changes we have made in our life have taken years to become habits. Just start living small with one little change. Maybe you are ready to switch to cloth Handi-wipes and ditch the paper towels? Or maybe add a small compost bucket to your countertop?  Every little change makes a difference.


Planting new seeds

As I review pictures of last years garden, I am able to see clearly what worked and what didn’t work. Alas, procrastination did not work for me again! Who knew???


I missed out on SOO many opportunities – I won’t go into all of them, but suffice it to say I am aware and awake and pray this coming year I am a better steward of the bounty God has given us. Some things I will try more of: freezing, canning, weeding (as it will give me better production) and co-planting of herbs and flowers to keep those pesty bugs down.

I guess this begs the question how do you battle procrastination? I only know one way – do something right now! And what can I do on January 4 to be a better steward of my garden? Plan my seed starting, planting, trans-planting calendar RIGHT NOW so I do not procrastinate in being best prepared for the maximum production.


And of course it sure helps that I already received my Baker Creek Seed catalog in the mail (request one, they send it for free!), and that my husband totally rocks when it comes to having a vision for our garden. Last year I “experimented” with some new things…Meh…not so much this year. I am only growing what we eat.

Kale; lots, Chard, Spinach, Lettuces,Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant (Japanese), Carrots, Radish, Turnips, Beets, Peas, Cukes, Herbs and of course ASPARAGUS – totally different blog.

We have totally abandoned any hope for zukes or squash. After last years squash beetle infestation we are hoping we give the garden a year to recuperate. Ugh.

And we are only adding one new thing: sweet potatoes. I know nothing about them. More will be revealed.

I have decided I am not contributing to the plastic problem and I will use egg cartons for seed starters. If you are near me, please save your cardboard egg cartons for me. And we are placing an order for a bag or organic manure from our local horse farmer who has organic manure Grace Meadow Farms (he delivers!) to use for “potting soil”.

I found a GREAT little calendar to help set my dates for seeds and planting. And this worked for me perfectly, because after I finished hand calculating everything I found this great tool on the Old Farmer’s Almanac website and I was spot on with every date!

So basically we start seedlings as early as February 8th, which is SO invigorating to my spirit! That is only a few weeks away!! YAHOO!

So, planting new seeds. New seeds for my own growth into more responsible and more attentive habits, and more self-discipline which will all contribute to the growth in my garden. As soon as I get these dates entered into my calendar widget you will know everything I am doing. At least that’s the plan.