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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 10

Hero of the week: Ladybug
Ladybugs are great for your garden and eat aphids. Thank you!
50% of the job done weeding the carrots
Any gardener reading this post has faced the challenge of keeping weeds out. The reality of the job pictured to the left is this: "Honey, I need 30 more minutes to finish weeding the bed of carrots. Well, don't be too much longer, our son is having a fit and I'm about to make dinner. Ok, just 30 more minutes and I'll be in."
1 hour later, the carrots are finally done and your hands are covered in dirt. You look proudly down at your 2 square feet of success and if you're as nerdy as me, you snap a photo by wrapping your dirty hands with your less dirty t-shirt to hold the phone and tap the touch screen with your knuckle because it is the only clean part of your hand. The sunlight is disappearing and it is time to go inside, not to mention you have explaining to do because a husband's guess-timate is about as accurate as a psychic's medical opinions. This time, I got out of it without any consequences as I cleaned the house from head to toe while my wife was at work. Score!
I hereby pledge to kill all the weeds that threaten my therapeutic sanctuary! I used both boiling water and a homemade weed killer to take the weeds to task this weekend. Let's take a moment to appreciate two methods of killing weeds at the perimeter of your garden. 
Homemade weed killer (do not use close to your desired plants)
Boiling water in action

The homemade weed killer requires the following materials: 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of salt, liquid dish soap, and an empty spray bottle. Put salt in the empty spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap. This solutions works best if you use it on a hot day. Spray it on the weeds in the morning, and as it heats up it will do its work.

The boiling water seemed instant, but time consuming as you have to walk back and forth between the kitchen and the garden. Boiling water may be the best solution for a few tough weeds. You also run the risk of burning yourself, where as vinegar can be washed off if it irritates your skin.
I have way more lettuce than I need so I am starting to cut heads of lettuce rather than pulling off individual lettuce leaves. I have to say that it is saving me a lot of money on produce. My coworkers must think that I am some kind of salad snob by now because I bring in beautiful salads on a daily basis by using multiple varieties of lettuce in the same bowl.
Don't ask what I was thinking, but next year I will be planting less lettuce and I intend on planting them weeks apart. It is also important to consider that each variety takes longer than the other to become ready to harvest. 

I didn't know what to expect when I grew broccoli. It was my wild card plant, as I had no idea whether it would work out. I have been pleasantly surprised at how large the broccoli plants have grown and that they are now producing broccoli heads.
This may sound silly to some, but I find myself not wanting to pick the vegetables right away because I love how beautiful they look when they are full grown. I suppose this blog will be a good way to remember how special this first spring of vegetable gardening has been so far. It isn't over and there is a lot more to look forward to. Check out how fast squash plants grow and see how big they have gotten, not to mention the squash blossoms are everywhere! I think we will have plenty of squash this year...
May 11, 2014
3 days later
5 days later
5 days later
6 days later
6 days later

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