Polly Esther Background

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Making the Bed

Yesterday, Tim and I took advantage of the nice weather before the latest cold front. To start,
we borrowed a friends truck and gathered what we needed at Lowe's.

Tim took pity on me and helped a lot. Helped = Did almost everything. I used the ruler and made the executive decisions, like "where should we put this thing?"

There was lots of drilling involved. (I don't believe I used that verb appropriately, but that's okay.)

At this point in the project, Tim started praying a lot.

At least, I think it was praying...

Either way, I asked if I could do anything to help. When he said no, I took a moment to tend the other garden that we have.

This garden is very prolific.

If this garden produced food instead of laundry, I could solve world hunger. I could bring world peace. I would be rich.

...but it doesn't.

Any who... I returned to check on the man, brought him some food for lunch, and eventually we had ourselves a box.

(Disclaimer: The camera is tilted. Not the box. Sorry. Still learning!)

It has it's issues, but who doesn't? We happened to pick some wood that was just as hard-headed as the two of us together. Then the wooden stakes that support the box started splitting. (There may have been another round of praying then. Not so sure.)

I'm hoping to add the dirt next weekend. ("I" being "We.") Our local nursery said their starter plants arrive next month, so we'll be adding some onions about mid-February.

As of right now, I still do not have a "garden" but I do have a box for one. The Green Patch Novice is moving on up!


(See this blog by the Pioneer Woman to see more specific directions.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Planting is like a Blind Date

I have one of those job that gets snow days. *smile* So, I've spent part of my snow day looking at a few gardening websites. Of course, this has only brought more questions. (Do you see yet why I need each and every one of you?)

I requested my first seed catalog, but I could use names for companies you trust and recommend for ordering seeds. I mean, think about it. Who can I trust to provide me with months worth of fresh garden happiness?? One wrong order and I could spend the summer looking at a box of dirt. Dirt!

Also, I am realizing that there is no such thing as "lettuce" or "tomato." I bet dirt isn't just dirt anymore, either.

So, since I don't have much experience with such specific names for plants, I wanted to ask for some recommendations. I feel like I am being set-up on a date, but I'm not sure who I'm going to meet. I'm looking for strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers (the green ones.) What specific varieties would you recommend? For example, I found a "Buttercrunch Lettuce" on a website. Is that the one I should plant?

So, you have two questions: Where should I go for seeds/plants? What varieties should I plant in my garden? Any advice would be appreciated!

Sincerely and warmly,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Onions Stink Up the Plans

So, this afternoon I had some time on my hands. (I was procrastinating, actually. Do the details really matter?) With this "extra" time, I decided to Google onions and information about planting them. I stumbled across this link from Texas A&M. It look detailed (maybe more than this novice needed) so I started reading.

Here's what I learned: Onions from seed have to be started in November.



I wanted onions this coming spring/summer. That's already about 5-6 months out. Now I have to wait until November? Do you realize that's now 11 months until I can plant them? That means over a year until I will have homegrown onions.

Do you smell that?

It's the onions that just rained onion juice on my planting parade.

Now, you might be wondering, very legitimately, why I would want onions. Well, onions are one of those things I hate buying from the store. Like bell peppers or tomatoes. They just seem so crazy expensive. That's probably because I never memorize the price of an item, so I'm shocked every time I see it. (I just revealed another issue of mine in this post. If you haven't caught on to them yet, then I won't mention them again. Deal?)

So where does this leave me? Right now, I don't think I will be planting onions this spring.

So I am currently home-grown-onions-less.

However, on the up side it provided me with a question to ask. (Onions and Texas A&M, you two still aren't off the hook for spoiling my planting fun.)

Where do I go to find out when to plant what? I'm considering plants like tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, carrots, lettuce, and strawberries. I'm also considering herbs such as cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley. If you have any advice to offer, please comment below. I am not sure where to turn to find a planting calendar, and one that I can trust.

Your help is needed!



Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Story

Every story has a beginning. Mine would be tied to ambitious goals. (It seems that most of my life stories start this way.)

I got a cookbook for Christmas, The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. This has been no ordinary cookbook. It's filled with stories about her and her family as well as recipes. A number of these stories mention her vegetable garden, and the more I read, the more I liked the idea.

You mean I could get tomatoes from my backyard for free? And bell peppers? And onions?

The idea isn't a new one. My parents have the green thumb. Me? My thumb tends to be more along the line of khaki-green -- not sure if it's more green or brown.

Which is why I call this an ambitious goal.

*Drum roll*

The goal: a raised vegetable garden.

*Oo's and Ah's fill the room*

It's true. This ambiguous thumb is going to be creating a raised vegetable garden this spring.

And I need help.

I am a novice -- inexperienced without much knowledge on the subject.

So, I am coming to you. I'll use this to ask for tips, tricks, and that sage advice (haha- garden pun!) that I need in order to not turn this khaki-green thumb all khaki. I hope you will help, and have some fun along the way.

Well, that's it for the first day. I'm looking forward to the adventure!



a.k.a. Stephanie