May Homestead To Do List

May is Plant All The Things Month! I keep thinking I am getting ahead of the planting, but I realized this week that I am not! I still have so much to plant, and have been so busy planting, that I completely forgot to do my monthly May Homestead To Do List post earlier this month. So here it is, better late than never! Please keep in mind, I live near Seattle in the Pacific Northwest, and this list is my personal to do list. Your list may need to be slightly altered depending on where you live and your homestead needs. May Homestead To Do List for Gardening: What am I planting, you might ask. Some of these may have been planted last month, but can be sowed again this month as well. This list includes things that I am direct seeding and some that I have started either via winter sowing or in typical plant flats. See what I planted this year using the Winter Sowing Method. I have also purchased some too. Be wary of night time temperatures. When they are safely above 50 degrees, heat loving plants such as tomatoes and peppers are safe to be planted outdoors. Don’t forget to harden off your starts first! Here is my list for this month: Veggies: This first group should really already be in. But if they are not, go ahead and plant asap, and next year, try to get them in earlier! All veggies in the first two groups, are known as cold season crops: Onions (from starts only, not by seed) Peas Potatoes (if planting this late, go with a short season type such as Yukon Gold) Brassicas if you haven’t yet (starts only and early varieties): broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale…

Tamara


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Simple Easy No Work DIY Composting

I am so happy to share with you today, my Simple Easy No Work DIY Composting method. This is the very same system I have been using for several years and it has been working great for me. Before using this system, the composting just wasn’t happening, because I was not turning the pile enough. This system involves no turning of the pile, that is why it is so easy! Once you get the hang of it, you will always have loads of compost at the ready. Equipment Needed A heavy duty plastic garbage can with lid, drill, 1/4″ drill bit and bungee cord. Or three garbage cans. I have 3. I filled the first one up so fast, I bought another. And then another. And three seems to be the right number for me. By the time the 3rd one is full, the first one is almost ready to be used. But you do you. Start with one and see how it goes! DIY Composting Container With the drill, poke lots of holes all over the garbage can. Including the bottom and the lid. Aproximately 8″-10″ apart. Set the can down directly on the earth. Do not set it on anything but the actual ground, you will see why later. Don’t put it up on your deck, or prop it up on some platform. You want the bottom of the bin resting on good ol’ dirt. The “Greens” for Your Compost Collect kitchen scraps such as vegetable and fruit trimmings, egg shells, coffee grounds and tea bags. For quicker composting, cut things up smaller, or, even blend them. I keep a 5 gallon bucket just outside my kitchen door that leads to the deck, but we create…

Tamara


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5 Things Friday – 5/11/18

Welcome back to 5 Things Friday 5/11/18! I hope you all had a great week!  5 Things Friday Every Friday I aim to post about 5 of my favorite things that week. I will try to post one thing for each of these categories: Homestead Garden, Homestead Critters, Homestead Kitchen, Homesteader Entertainment and Personal a thing from my Homesteader life. These may be handy gadgets, recipe’s, quotes or moments in time. I hope you will all share some of your Friday Favorites with me as well! Homestead Gardening Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite gardening thing is finally being done with all of my tomato and pepper transplanting, and having sold most of them this past week. Whew! That was a lot of work and I’m glad it is done! I’ve also just posted a great little tutorial if you need some guidance on How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings. Homestead Critters Favorite: This week, my 5 Things Friday favorite critter thing was a visit we had from my daughter’s BFF, of their new house piglet Penny. Isn’t she cute? Doesn’t my hubby look like he is just so smitten? I am thinking we may have a house pig of our own soon by the look on his face!!! Homestead Kitchen Favorite: My 5 Things Favorite Kitchen item thing this week is really NOT having to be in the kitchen much this week! DD is off at FFA State, and so it’s just me and hubby so I am taking it easy. We went out to dinner last night, and my oldest DD cooked dinner for us tonight! Homesteader Entertainment Favorite: My 5 Things Favorite entertainment thing this week…..hmmmmm. I can…

Tamara


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How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings

How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings It is that time of the year, where it is time to transplant your tomato seedlings into their final spot for the summer growing season. In this article, I will share with you how to transplant tomato seedlings. If you need a tutorial on how to plant tomato seed, please see my article Seed Sowing 101: Planting Tomato Seed. I will show you how to plant tomato seedlings in pots, the traditional way in the ground, or how to plant them in the ground in trenches. Hardening Off your Tomato Seedlings Before moving your tomato seedlings to their permanent location outdoors, they need to be hardened off. This means that they are slowly and gradually allowed to accustom themselves to real outdoors conditions rather than the sheltered and stable indoor conditions that they have been growing in from seed. Start by moving your seedlings outdoors into a sheltered area, away from wind and hot direct sun, for an hour or two the first day. Three to four hours the second day, increasing the time by a little bit more each day until they have been outside all day. Same goes for exposing them to full hot sun. Don’t move them from the sheltered location, into a full day of hot hot sun. They will get sun scald and may go into shock. Slowly allow them to become accustomed to the direct sun as well. Preparing the Tomato Seedlings for Transplanting Once the seedlings have been hardened off, it is time to prepare them for their transplanting. Prior to transplanting your tomato seedlings, give them a good drink of water. I always water my tomato seedlings in trays from the bottom. By giving them a good drink ahead of time, this will help prevent…

Tamara


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My 2018 Winter Sowing Results are In!!

Today I am going to share my 2018 Winter Sowing Results! I was pretty hot here in the high 70’s yesterday, so I decided it was the day to open all my milk jug greenhouses that I had winter sown back in February and March. It felt like Christmas opening up all the mini greenhouses! Yay!! Did you Winter Sow this year? If so, please share with us what you grew and how it worked out for you! I have had success every year with this process. Please read my Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing article if you would like to join in the fun next winter! Winter Sowing Flowers :Snap Dragons and Zinnias Snapdragons on the left, and Zinnias on the right. I grew three varieties of Snap Dragon: Black Prince, Tall Deluxe Mix and Apple Blossoms. I grew five varieties of Zinnia: State Fair, Benary’s Giant Purple, Red Scarlet, Lilliput Mix and California Giant. This year I want to add more flowers to my vegetable garden to give it more of a potager’s garden feel. Can’t wait to see these all in bloom! Winter Sowing Flowers: Marigolds I always grow some marigolds for the vegetable garden, and now collect my own seed from them every year to plant next years flowers from. I grow three varieties every year and they are Star Fire Signet, Court Jester and Giant Mix. These are wonderful for the vegetable garden because they keep pests away. They also happily reseed there on their own, so I will probably find some volunteer’s as well. Winter Sowing Flowers: Phlox   Phlox is one of my very favorite flowers. I love all the varieties it comes in and the scent is awesome. This year I used…

Tamara


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A Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Homesteading Moms

A Complete Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Homesteading Moms! May is here, and that means that Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Do you know what you are giving as a gift this year? Whether it is your own mother, your grandmother, or your wife that you are shopping for, if she is into homesteading or gardening, you are sure to find something on this list that she will love! If you have waited to the last minute to shop, might I suggest you try Amazon Prime to get your package in 2 days or less?  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial Or, even better, gift an Amazon Prime Membership!  Give the Gift of Amazon Prime If you haven’t joined Ebates yet, you should before you shop! You can earn cashback on so many of your online purchases, even on Amazon! Amazon pays cash back in over 13 categories, including clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags and power and hand tools!! Easily earn cashback in the amount of 3%-4% in those categories.   Gardening Tools for Mother’s Day Gift Ideas All of these are things that I use myself in the garden and truly love. The right gardening tool, can make those tough jobs so much easier! The perfect gift, for the practical mom. Cobrahead Weeding Tool :  This is hand down my favorite weeder. Works great for those really hard to get weeds with deep roots, but also, turned on it’s side, to gently scrape up newly germinated seeds. Japanese Pruning Saw : This makes pruning so easy! Goes thru thick branches like butter! Felco F-8 Pruners : These pruners are just not like the rest. They will hold up like no other, this is what the professionals use! Gorilla…

Tamara


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