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WITH COVID & WINTER UPON US, HOW DO I STAY SANE?

Well, It's been cold here in Spokane wa, and we even got over 6" of snow last week.

This week, however you wouldn't have known it. The temps raised just enough to melt all the snow off and mother nature was back to Oct weather and Halloween looked like Halloween this year. A gorgeous sunny fall day! One of my favorite days of the yr!!


With colder temps and winter upon us here on the Eastern side of Washington state, I have to find ways to keep me sane throughout the next 5 mos. How I do that is to do something in these months that I enjoy doing, or prepping and Planning for Spring!!


One yr it was being outside in the snow hiking and being active. So I got the right gear, good warm snow boots, warm puffy coat and gloves!

There's ALWAYS metalsmithing, baking and cooking, right now I'm really trying to grow a sourdough starter and seem to be having some issues which is weird bc usually I'm very good in the kitchen, But I want FRESH SOURDOUGH BREAD TO FILL MY BELLY, so I will not give up!!

This yr it's learning and planning out our garden for this coming seasons! yes I said seasons bc in doing my research I've learned that most veggies have 2 growing seasons.. even in our zone! Spring and fall planting which we will be doing this year!


We've dabbled with our raised beds most every season with it being mediocre at best!! This next season we want it to THRIVE WITH ABUNDANCE that we can share with family, friends and our neighbors!

I've been doing a TON of research and I'm really excited for this gardening season!

A few things I'm learning about......

* Rain barrels ~

It's legal in spokane county to collect rainwater for use on your own property. Who would have thought that yes this is ILLEGAL in some states!! STUPID!!!!!!

We've got the perfect spot for one or two and I'm excited to save on our water bill this coming season!!

we can use this water for watering our container plants, seedlings, bird and bee baths pretty much anything we want unchlorinated water for.


*Planting zones ~

We are in zone 6b which is really zone 6 with a little variation on the frost dates

believe it or not but we can grow a shit ton of food in our zone!! I'm so thrilled to be adding some passionfruit plants to our garden space, not only do they produce GORGEOUS flowers but produce an edible fruit (passion fruit) and make an amazing dense privacy cover when trellised!

The Passionfruit ~ Passiflora Incarnata is the species to grow in zone 6


Flowers Fruit



Also a dwarf Red Haven peach tree will only grow to about 6ft tall and is self pollinating so you only need one!! Our neighbor down around the corner has a gorgeous peach tree and that's what gave me the idea to research growing one in our own little homestead garden!!


*Self Pollinating plants~

Yes some plants will self pollinate (these are good) and some you need more than one plant so they can cross pollinate (corn is like this)

or you could do this .........

fast forward to about .47 sec mark!! this is a hoot and has been going around like wildfire in some of my plant groups!! heheheeehe!!!!!



*Indeterminate and Determinate types of Tomato plants~

Indeterminate plants keep growing and produce fruit all season

Determinate plants are more compact plants that grow to a specific height and produce fruit all at once.

We like Indeterminate plants bc I want to be able to harvest throughout the season but if you do a lot of canning then a determinate type plant my be more your style!

who knew?? I didn't.. I'm starting to realize no wonder our garden has been mediocre!!!

*Water and Full sun, part sun, part shade, full shade and everything in between~

So one of the main reasons our garden has been mediocre is bc when most people think of growing something they think SUN and WATER!!!

oh my there's so much more than that!!! and not all veggies want full hot sun!!! Most of what we plant are actually part sun plants meaning they only need 4-6 hrs of sun a day!

we've been planting in full sun and watering twice a day and no wonder our plants suck!!

so now I'm tracking the sun to see where I can grow these part sun plants!

we will be adding a watering system this yr as well, a couple drip tubes with a coupler for 2 hoses at a time and a timer. This will not only save us on water waste but give the plants only what they need and also a lot of plants don't like to be watered from above so this way they will be happier.


*Perennials and Annuals~

Which most people know about, excluding my husband, who this yr ripped out all my plants, NO!!!

I had a nice rosemary growing out there!! You'd think I would have educated him on this when he ripped out all my strawberry plants one year, Bless him!!!!

So this coming season, the cut down and get ready for winter will be looking very different!!


*Mulching~

The importance of mulching to help with water maintenance, weeding, and insulation in colder months not to mention the nice finished look it gives everything! Do your research, there are a lot of different kinds of mulch for different areas and things.


It's been really fun plotting and planning.. and I'm sure these plans will change a few more times!!



We are also adding in some new raised beds, fingers crossed a little paver patio, and we are going to start moving out of the garden space and into our main yard area! I'll be utilizing some of the shadier areas we have to grow more food and flowers!


I'd love to add some hens and a run but that's something I need to get my husband on b0ard with and the answer so far has been a HARD NO!

He did say this yr we could have bees.. But I think with everything else I'm learning I'll pass on the bees and do a mason bee house, they will still pollinate but don't need a hive with a queen. And we are adding in a pollinator bed, which is just a bed full of plants that pollinators like!!

I may prime him for the asking of the chicken coop and run for next season (2022). I tend to overwhelm myself with ideas and things I want to do then take on to much and get overwhelmed or worse burnt out and nothing happens!! Waiting another year gives me time to figure out the gardening and seed starting this season.


Which brings me to seed starting. This year will be the first time I've ever done it!!

It just gives you a lot more freedom to plant different plants than what you can find as starts locally! It also gives you a jumpstart on your growing season AKA not going crazy in February and March the two worst months here in Spokane because you'll be planting and taking care of your seedlings. And it's fun to seed shop when there's snow outside!

The first plants to go directly into the ground are Radishes at the end of Feb. of course if it's been a longer winter season they may need to wait if the ground is still frozen! but per my growing zone chart that's what it says!


Now to figure out what seeds I'll be ordering and where they are going to be planted!

I'll keep you posted on my progress too!


Blessings coming atcha,

Sherice

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