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How to Start a Garden

I handed my phone to my dad & asked him to take a picture of my garden. As I looked for the picture later, this is what I found. Him!

I handed my phone to my dad & asked him to take a picture of my garden. As I looked for the picture later, this is what I found. Him!

My adorably sweet father, Curtis Edward, is an amazing gardener. He has planted a successful garden every year for as long as I can remember. He is a good ol’ country boy that knows how to get your crops to grow. He is such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this stuff, and last year I finally picked his brain about gardening and set out to have my very own.

Not only was tending a garden easier than I thought it would be, it was ENJOYABLE. Yes, enjoyable. I know I may seem like a “priss-tail” (as my mother would say) but I honestly enjoyed working outside in my fertile garden. The vegetables I saw grow and produce over the summer was enlightening to see, and the food was both beneficial and cost-effective for my family. Not to mention healthy. Bonus!

The point I would like to make here, is that if I can do it, anyone can do it. For a long time I didn’t have the confidence or the knowledge to make it happen but now that I have it, I want to share it with others if you are feeling like I was. So get ready for your Garden Starter 101 class!

First, I raked out the chips from this area, and removed the weeds.

photo 1 (7)

Second, get ready to use some muscle. I “chopped up” the dirt with a hoe and got the dirt really broken up to prepare it for the plants.

photo 3 (4)

Third, I decided to make things a little easier on myself and put the odds in my favor by purchasing plants (instead of seeds) from Home Depot. I brought those little things home and planted them with Miracle Grow soil. IMPORTANT- After planting, mulch the plants around their perimeter by gathering any kind of grass clippings/leaves to block the sun from drying it out.

Plant it!Lastly, water it! I rinsed out a few milk jugs and use those as my watering cans. Water as often as needed, whenever the ground looks thirsty and dry.

A few more tips from my dad:

  • A good time to plant is after Easter/before April 15th
  • Expect to see crops about 2 months later
  • Squash and Zuchinni are easy to grow but TAKE UP A LOT OF ROOM (see picture below)
  • Cucumber and Green Beans are also easy to grow, but are “viney” and need a trellis to grow on
  • Pull weeds once a week
  • Water your plants with Miracle Grow once a week before noon because plants feed in the morning
  • Miracle Grow should be mixed 1 tsp per gallon of water and poured onto the roots
  • Pray over your plants. Talk sweet to them. There was something therapeutic about watering my garden in the early morning, thanking God for this beautiful Earth and the opportunity to see such beautiful things flourish.

If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments section below. (I am curious what people do to deter the deer from eating everything besides using a green house.) I hope you enjoy making your garden grow this year!

~Janna

My cute dad tilled up the grass and soil so I could plant zuchinni and squash

My cute dad tilled up the grass and soil so I could plant zucchini and squash

 

 

My butternut squash took over the side of my house!

My butternut squash took over the side of my house!

 

My adorable nephew and daughter were excited to pick this bell pepper

My adorable nephew and daughter were excited to pick this bell pepper

Best Cornbread Recipe

During the winter months, one of our favorite things to eat is cornbread. We eat it with soup or chili a couple times a month to warm us up and it really sticks to your ribs. Since we like our cornbread so much, I decided to share my dad’s famous recipe with y’all. So keep reading unless you are grossed out by bacon grease. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

You will need:

  • One box of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1/3 Cup of milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of bacon grease

Cornbread ingredients

While your oven is preheating to 400 degrees, put a heaping tablespoon of bacon grease in a cast iron skillet and place on oven rack so it can melt.

Bacon Grease

Crack the egg into a small bowl as package instructs. Pour in jiffy mix.

Jiffy mix

Add a heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise.

Mayo

Pour in milk and stir until blended.

Add Milk

Pull the skillet out of the oven when the grease is completely melted, and move the pan from side to side until the entire bottom of the pan has been greased.

Greased pan

Pour cornbread in the skillet and bake for about 20 minutes.

Pour in cornbread

Cornbread is done when it is golden brown. Mmmm. Enjoy!

Best Cornbread

If you use bacon grease for other things, leave me a comment and let me know!

~Janna