Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Onions from Seed

Onions are super easy to grow from seed as long as you start 10-8 weeks prior to transplanting.  I usually add 20 seeds per cell and the seeds grow into long blades of grass. The First couple weeks in April is a perfect time to transplant onions as they are cold tolerant, however, I'm waiting for my fertilizer and mulch to "cool" a little so they don't burn my starts. I decided to test transplanting my starts into a bigger pot while I wait. I've never transplanted onions twice so we will see what happens.

If this is your first year with onions, and the starts are ready to go, here are a few tips after you harden off the seedlings. (Letting the plants sit outside during the day for a few hours at a time to acclimate.) 
Sweet Spanish Yellow Onion (Awesome in Utah)

  • Harden off the plants
  • Make sure the soil is moist, making it easy to separate the onions
  • When you pull the clump of seeds & dirt from the container, carefully separate the grass like blades and their roots
  • Cut roots that are longer than three inches 
  • Stick your finger deep into the soil creating a hole 
  • Twirl the grass blade helping the roots into the hole
  • Bury the onion until the white/red area is covered
  • Water every other day until roots establish (maybe two weeks) 
  • then water one a week until harvest.

Red Onion

Monday, April 9, 2012


Where to begin....I survived Easter with a few bruises! I don't know why, but I really wanted to start some Easter traditions with my little guy. What I learned is he couldn't care less, and it is exhausting!

I had big plans- A fancy breakfast for the family, an Easter picture with fresh, spring outfits, fun baskets, an uplifting message about Christ's sacrifice, an exciting Easter egg hunt, etc. However, (do to my procrastination and lack of planning) it was absolute chaos.

Breakfast of sourdough pancakes didn't quite pan out as I forgot to grow my starter the night before, frozen quiche it was!

Running off to church meetings, I left Thom in charge of getting Brad dressed in is new, spring outfit. Thankfully, he took a picture (above) before leaving for church because this is the only picture we have before Brad destroyed his first tie with chocolate covered pretzels. 

Church was but a little tricky to stay focused as poor Brad was exhausted and squirmy, so I spent the majority of the service outside on the grass.

When we made it home, I REALLY wanted to do this cute picture I saw on Pinterest. Brad would have none of it, and honestly I don't blame him! I guess I'll hang on to this picture for ransom someday.

You can kind of see it, but Brad is BAWLING in this picture. BAWLING! I'm such a mean mama, but I didn't want those stupid ears to be bought in vain. -Sigh, I know...stupid! Poor little thing. 

We then took tired Brad to a family party where tears dripped from his chin during the Easter egg hunt. Thanks to Thom's camera skills, we at least snapped one shot of Brad picking up an egg not crying. 

On Your Mark, Get Set...

Picture of the day
 Next shot was Brad hurting his foot. That's when I decided it was time to throw in the towel!
At least after all the many hurdles yesterday, we came away with a few pictures. Hopefully, they will be reminders to not push a one-year-old to enjoy MY holiday celebration, and a reminder to myself to LET IT GO! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chow Mein for Easter

I always looked forward to holidays as a child. We celebrated EVERY holiday and had several traditions with each. Saint Patrick's Day, we ate green waffles and watched Darby O' Gill and the Little People. For Valentine's Day, mom streamed red and white crepe paper above the dining room table in preparation for a "romantic" family feast. Even for birthdays, sisters toilet papered our rooms while we slept, and we always expected breakfast in bed with french toast and a small bouquet of flowers from the yard.

Now as a mother, I realize all the time and effort my sweet mom spent making childhood colorful. She really had a knack for creating something from nothing. My sister Sue has followed our mothers footsteps and continues fun traditions with her children.

Today, the kids made one of their favorite treats...chocolate chow mein bird nests-just in time for spring. This is a super easy recipe and loads of fun for the kiddles. Plus, it is pretty tasty too!


  • Bag of Chocolate Chips
  • Dry Chow Mein Noodles
  • Robin Eggs


  • Melt chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth
  • Pour chocolate over dry chow mien noodles and toss until noodles are coated
  • Scoop a big spoonful on a plate and quickly form a circle or a "nest" (this is the kids favorite part)
  • Let the chocolate harden and add chocolate Robin Eggs- then eat!

Friday, March 30, 2012


I watched this video of my boy late last night and it always makes me smile. (I can't believe how small he was.)
This is my boy last summer. He does this silly laugh every once in awhile that seriously makes my heart sing. 
I hope it brightens your day! And HAPPY WEEKEND! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Growth Spurt

All my seedlings are going through a growth spurt. My broccoli grows a new leaf daily and the peppers expand their thin leaves across the small container. I love it! 
Week 2
Week 4
When starting indoors, I always add a few seeds per cell to ensure something will grow. But then I need to single one sprout out. I always struggle to cut the extra seedlings to allow the strongest plant to thrive. I don't know why, but I just don't want to kill the little plants trying to grow. (Silly, I know.) 

However, this must happen and I recommend any pair of scissors. 
Refrain from pulling the extra seedlings out as it's easy to tear the developing roots of the surviving plant. (I know from experience.) 

This is also a good time to give you plants a little extra love by adding a small amount of  plant food. Here are the two choices I like to use. I just spill a little by each plant stem along with a bit of water. 

Speaking of water, now that the seeds are sprouting I water every 3-5 days. If you notice the plant wilting, water more frequently. However, do not confuse weak, light green/yellow plant as thirsty. You probably have over watered. Give it sometime to dry out and return to a healthy, dark green glow.

Here is the plant schedule this week. Next week we begin to plant squash... Summer is coming!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Operation Backyard

Phew...I lost my blogging spirit last week due to a sick baby! Looks like we are on the upswing of this nasty virus, but still remain quarantined to our home until he is not contagious. This has led to very little sleep in our household, and to mom comforting her feelings with donut holes, ice cream and a 2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper. (Just to let you know, new feelings of despair developed from eating my feelings yet again.)

So.... I'm super hesitant to post before pictures of my backyard because frankly, it needs a TON of work, and it may take years before I'm satisfied. That being said, I feel posting the befores will give motivation to creating a masterpiece. (Kind of like the weight loss photo....BTW don't expect those to EVER be posted on my blog.)

Thom (my darling husband) finally gave in to my constant pleading for a huge garden, and it only took two years of begging! Really though, he is a dear and keeps me grounded because if I had my way the whole backyard would turn into a farm. He wanted a 16x16 space- I, of course, wanted at least half the yard. We settled with a good chunk in the back stretching fence to fence. Total gardening space: 24x75 ft. (SCORE!)

OK...I can do this...just take a deep breath...Here is the before:


  • Remove grow boxes, find new use
  • Remove random metal poles in the yard
  • Find a way to cover the 4 different fences
  • Prune the overgrown Pear and Apple tree 
  • Remove Grass from garden area, till, add nutrients to soil
  • Remove or find use for clothes line
  • Create a structure for the grapes
  • Create a outdoor living space 

For the past three Saturdays, Thom and I have dug, removed, hauled, cut, plowed, filled, pruned and bruised (our bodies) and honestly...there isn't too much difference. So give us, what... 20 more Saturdays and I think it could be worthy of an after picture. HA!

Here are pictures from 3 awesome weekends in the yard.
Here we go!

pruning and moving boxes to clothes line

Removing grass

Rest of the day spent at the dump (have about 4-5 more loads to go)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Awesome Garden Planner Program

Early Morning Gardening with Brad Saturday
It's been a few days since I last wrote and frankly I'm impressed that I'm writing now! A few friends, including family and myself decided to sign up for a Triathlon Sprint race, May 19th. I honestly don't know what spurred my desire to race. I haven’t ridden a bike since 7th grade; my best stroke is the breaststroke/doggie paddle, and I injured my knee over 10 years ago restricting my running abilities. Basically, I’m the worst candidate to attempt this race.

But I did sign up, so I’m gonna do it. This means waking up at 5 am for a swim. Ugh! Let’s just say I’m a little tired these days…well tired since last Monday….when I decided to start training. I know I’m a slacker! I should have started months ago because I’m pretty pathetic when it comes to swimming, biking and running.

I realize I need to make up a lot of lost promises to discuss soil, planning, planting etc. and I will soon…..HOWEVER…

I just found the coolest thing that saves SO much time when planning a garden. It’s this awesome online program where you basically create the garden you want with your garden dimensions. Seriously, this is so easy and saves so much time.

In the past, I’ve drawn my garden plan on graph paper, and end up losing it. But this program keeps track of what you plant and where no need to worry about replanting in the same spot the following year. 

I can also create my dream garden in just minutes:
This program accommodates square foot, portage gardening. It’s a $25 year membership with a 30 day FREE trial. If you are a bit intimated by creating a plan, check out the published plans of other users to get the juices following.

Here is the link: Vegetable Garden Planner

Happy gardening!