Monthly Archives: May 2016

Vegetable Gardening Basics

Vegetable Gardening Basics

As I’m sure you already know, I love planting a vegetable garden! My husband and I both grew up in gardening families and it just runs through our veins! I hope to pass on my love for gardening to our children someday too. Sometimes, I get so excited about talking about all of our homesteading plans that I forget that some of you may have never planted a garden before. So, today I’m sharing how we do it at our house! I’m going to break it down to the basics and if there is anything that I miss or don’t cover, let me know! I’d love to hear from you and know what you’d like to hear more about!

Seeds

Gardening is not for the faint of heart friends! It takes a commitment, not only of the time and money that you initially put into it. But an ongoing commitment of time and effort throughout the summer months. You must spend time pulling weeds, dealing with pests, and of course, keeping up with harvesting your fruits and vegetables as they ripen. That is of course my favorite part! Then, harvesting your crops isn’t even the end of it. Finally you must decide how to use your bountiful harvest. Whether you are serving up your veggies raw or cooked, canning or dehydrating, the important part is having a plan! It would be a shame to get to the end of the growing season, have a pile of tomatoes, and nothing to do with them! I would hate to see my own vegetables go to waste, so that’s why I plan, plan, PLAN!!

2 Tomato

One of the most basic things you need to decide is what you’re going to plant in your vegetable garden. Choose a variety of vegetables that your family enjoys eating or that you can make into something that your family likes (like salsa, tomato soup, pickles, etc). Once you decide what vegetables you are going to plant, you have to decide “how” you’re going to plant them. Are you going to plant seeds or plants?

I don’t know why, but we have always struggled with starting seeds indoors prior to garden season beginning. This is just not a talent I have acquired yet. So typically we like to stick with buying plants at a local greenhouse for a few vegetables and the rest we sow directly into the garden.

Brocolli

Veggies we plant as seeds:

Carrots
Beets
Beans
Peas
Squash
Pumpkins
Lettuce
Spinach
Radishes
Cantelope

Veggies we plant as plants:

Tomatoes
Peppers
Kale
Broccoli
Herbs

Here are a few other things to consider…

Soil Quality: In our past gardening, we never paid much attention to soil quality. We had raised bed gardens and when we first made our garden, we got a load of top-soil when we first began our garden. Every few years we would add peat moss and manure to enrich the soil. Now that we are setting up a bigger garden, we plan to pay more attention to the quality of the soil. We bought some soil testing kits that we will use to see what we need to do to get the best results out of our garden. I know that our soil has some clay in it, but we also have a good layer of topsoil over it. Once we test our soil and see what the different levels come back at, then I plan on researching what I should add to the soil to make it more fertile.

Composting: We haven’t started composting yet, but I plan to over the summer this year. Composting has many benefits. First of all, it is a great way to put your scraps to use. I always like to make the most out of everything we have . So, putting an additional use to something that would otherwise be getting thrown in the garbage is definitely a huge plus! Another wonderful benefit is that it adds a variety of nutrients to your soil which in turn feeds your plants! It also continues to slowly release nutrients as the materials continue to break down and decompose.

Beets

This really is just scratching the surface of gardening! I could go on and on for days! But this is just a little food for thought for those of you thinking about taking the leap into vegetable gardening. In the coming weeks I will be sharing our step by step process of getting our new vegetable garden set up. From building our fence to preparing the soil, planning the layout of vegetables and actually getting everything planted. I will be sharing it all! So make sure you stop by the blog often to check on my updates!

Happy Gardening!!

My Monthly Meal Plan-May 2016 Edition

My Monthly Meal Plan-May 2016

Hey Friends! I know that I am always talking about meal planning. So, I thought it may be helpful to you all if I shared what my family’s meal plan looks like month by month! It may give you ideas for your own meal plan and I will also be sharing more recipes every month. That way you’ll be able to test out some of the recipes that I’m using! I hope that you find this inspirational and helpful in your own meal planning adventures!

If you haven’t already, check out my methods and tips for meal-planning here!
What’s for Dinner? The Reason I started Meal Planning
Tips for Successful Meal Planning

Week 1
Sunday: Breakfast Bowls
Monday: BBQ Kielbasa
Tuesday: Dinner out for hubby’s birthday!!
Wednesday: Venison Hamburger Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable
Thursday: Popcorn Shrimp
Friday: Grilled Hamburgers, Potato Wedges
Saturday: Chicken Puffs, Tossed Salad

Week 2
Sunday: Mother’s Day-We will be visiting family
Monday: Asian Meatballs & Rice
Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Tenders, French Fries
Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes
Thursday: Grocery Night-We always grab something while we are out for $10 or less
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Hubby’s Birthday Party!!

Week 3
Sunday: General Tso’s Chicken & Fried Rice
Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Meatball Subs
Wednesday: My sister-in-law’s graduation-going out to dinner with family
Thursday: Sausage Gravy & Biscuits
Friday: Cabbage & Kielbasa Skillet
Saturday: Spaghetti Pie

Week 4:
Sunday: Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes
Monday: Sausage Hash
Tuesday: Dinner out with Hubby!!
Wednesday: Tortellini
Thursday:  Grocery Night-We always grab something while we are out for $10 or less
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Steak Hoagies

Week 5
Sunday: Teriyaki Meatballs & Rice
Monday: Happy Memorial Day! Steaks, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs
Tuesday: Pierogies

If there is a particular meal that you would like to see the recipe for on the blog, let me know! Also, if you have any questions about my meal plan or need advice on making your own, please feel free to comment below or send me an email! I always love to hear from my readers!

My Monthly Meal Plan-May 2016