The Garden

2014's Garden Started and Continuing to Grow and Beautify

Did you just think to yourself who in the world starts a garden in Missouri in January???  LOL  Well some things are just meant to be started early.  LIKE ONION SEEDs   Yes I started onions from seed this year and guess what?  They are very easy to grow.  I started seed under grow lights this year instead of my daughter's bedroom (it has the most light)  And they were very grateful for the change.  ;)  
The lights I chose to use are regular shop lights but instead of using one type of bulb you use two different kinds.  One "Cool Tone" and one "Warm Tone"  from everything I've read this balances the heat and light out perfectly and doesn't cost as much as the "REAL" grow lights.  Many people swear this method of lighting beats the "real" grow lights in the growing process as well as expense.  So a $15 dollar shop light from walmart and 2 pkg of bulbs I was set to start onion seeds.  

By February  We had kale and lettuce and onions growing like crazy so for the first time we were able to use the greenhouse.   I was able to get my girls involved and have them set some goals with their Personal Progress for their Faith Value project and we all were able to complete it.  What a good feeling to work together on something like this and associate it with your faith and how with love and care your faith grows like a garden does. 


Now I must tell you March is when we really started growing plants and fish in our Aquaponics system.  I will create a page just for Aquaponics because even though they are closely related and sometimes overlap each other they are way different as well. And the Aquaponics is something we are experimenting with so we are learning as we go.  In March my plants were looking really good and some of them were transplanted in the aquaponics system as you can see in the pix. 

My husband (with my boys assistance) created a sprinkler system that will water the plants at their roots.  :)  Last year he sweetly installed one to surprise me and I was very surprised but all the sprinkler heads were on the top of the fence and so when I wasn't extremely thrilled he asked me if I didn't like it and I had to tell him that you are suppose to water the base of the plant not the leaves.  His reply was logical...."God waters things from the top...?"  But this year he once again came through as my super hero and installed each bed with it's own shut off and watering system that gets mainly the roots.  :)  I am so blessed and somewhat spoiled.  I'm grateful for his willingness to do all these things and all his amazing talents.  Not to mention his hard work ethics and CAN DO attitude.  

We are currently in May so these are the pix I've gathered so far.  

 Look at those raspberry blooms!!!  BEAUTIFUL
 My pepers once again look so small and like they are struggling.  I'm not giving up though.  Next year I will start them earlier and hope for better growth. and strength. 

 My tomatoes don't look as healthy as last year but I didn't plant them in a large enough starter pots.  So it's my fault.
 I planted asparagus last year and it didn't come back.  This year I bought (yep I bought instead of planting from seed frown if you must)  a 2 year old asparagus plant.  Right now it is waiting for a new bed to be built so It can have a proper home. 
 There he is saving my garden my Superhero hard at work.  He is not a redhead just a trick of the setting sun light.  :)
 Missouri weather strikes again.  Last week it dropped down to 39 degrees,  I paniced but hubby stepped up to the challenge and with his idea we placed buckets in the beds with a peice of pvc pipe sitting on the center and then stapled plastic over the beds.  It worked great. 

 My new flower as you approach the entrance to my garden.  My husband once again saved the day I had made a mess of this path trying to make it look better and he swooped in with my boys and created a masterpeice.  I have about 20 lavendar plants that will border the inside of the path.  I am excited to see the growth.  Sometimes feel like I can't wait but then when I look back at last years garden I'm so thrilled about all the change and growth.  I know I can wait it's half the fun. 

 Sugar snap peas and lettuce

 Look baby grapes!!!  We planted these last year and I really didn't know how they would do we lost so many of them.  But look one plant has baby grapes already. 
 I happened across free black raspberry plants on Craigslist and some of them have blooms already.  Super Excited about this. 
 Can't wait for these blackberries to reach their full potential.
 Hubby added a tier of tires for a few strawberries and to disguise a sprinker just a little bit.
 The everbearing strawberries are looking a little thin this year I was expecting the bed to look a bit fuller. 
 My Potatoes are looking healthy

I will now start posting updates with the Actual Dates I took the photos.  That way you can see and I can keep track from year to year (as long as I have the internet as a resource) how fast things are growing and when I harvest certain things.  ;)
MAY 21st, 2014

Potatoes are looking good.  I think I'm going to cage them all and start adding straw to them as they grow

JUNE 4TH 2014

June 16th 2014 

Tonight I ran out and took some more pix of the progress in our garden.  
Hope you enjoy the journey with my family.  

The photos above show the summer colors of our yard so far this year.  Outside the garden gate I have lavender plants (I started from seed)  that border the path. The orange day lilies, we found all over our property when we bought it so we have given some away and transplanted many of them.   And the yellow day lilies will bloom all summer and I purchased them on a clearance rack last year. 
This is a peaches and cream honey suckle that I also found on clearance last year.  It is working its way up and over my swing that Dennis and the boys built.  Love it. 
Potatoes Gone WILD!!!   I've added taller cages to the  potatoes as they keep growing taller and taller.  I'm so excited to see how these turn out this year.  They are looking good

We've had so much rain I have no idea how much but the tomatoes look a little sad and one of my zucchini plants started to look sad too.  Oh and next year I will tie the peas up a little better.  :)  they seemed a little weak and fell over.  

 Found something had munched on the peppers and that just won't due in my garden. 

 These poor tomatoes I just planted in the two new boxes Dennis built this past weekend.  So I finally was able to get the last of the tomatoes in the garden.  I sure hope they perk up soon.  :) 

Dennis also added rock and some stepping stones under my swing he built.  I am so very spoiled.  I'm extremely grateful for all his hard work and wonderful talents.  I love sitting on the swing and pondering and feeling all the gratitude I have for the garden.  
The grapes.  Oh I took some pix when they were just blooming and I took a pix of what I thought was a bunch of tiny grapes but I was wrong.  I learned that the first little bunch ends up flowering first and then the tiny grapes follow.  These are looking good don't you think?  
I really am excited about harvesting these berries.  I bet next year they will be amazing!!!!!

NOW for a quick little memory
This is my Grandpa and Grandma McMasters in their garden. My dad has told me many stories about these two amazing people and their love of gardening.  My grandpa Wallace McMasters might have gained the desire from his parents in which I know found joy in gardening too.  My dad has many stories of my grandma Lizzie McMasters and how she started seeds and how my grandpa and his brother would talk about who was going to get the first ripe tomato off the vine.  I wish I would have got to know them, but I have the hope that someday I will know them and get to talk with them.  My dad said my grandma Joetta McMasters had fair skin and always wore her straw hat to work in the garden, and long sleeves because the corn and okra would make her skin crawl.  I always pictured her hat brim much wider.  I have a garden hat too.  But mine is very big and very floppy.  And when I put it on I think of my grandma Joetta McMasters. 

JUNE 26th, 2014
The garden is growing well.  Take a look for yourself. 
Kale is such a pretty plant.  especially if the bugs leave it alone.  LOL  I should really pick it to keep it from going to see. But it's so pretty.
The green beans have blooms and I'm so excited to have fresh green beans for dinner.  :)
Spaghetti squash is really starting to look good.  It's starting to climb the arch.  I've never grown spaghetti squash before and I'm really excited about this one.  Looks like it's going to bloom soon too.
I started these late but they do have such pretty flowers on them.  I am trying to put them in a cage.  I saw on Pinterest that you could contain them but using a tomato cage.  I have to admit I'm wondering how but I'm willing to try it.  So we will see.  
 This is my favorite pepper plant.  Again it is a first.  It is suppose to be a Chinese 5 pepper and so it is not only suppose to be HOT but it should be very colorful as well.  The purple blooms and dark stems and leaves are already so very pretty.  
Jalapenos are looking good. 

 Yay finally a bell pepper! 
 And yep I'm almost positive this will be the most beautiful Anaheim pepper.  I can't wait to stuff it and bake it and enjoy it flavor.  YUMMMY!
The cucumber is starting to climb.  Haven't seen any blooms yet but it's taking off up it's trellis.  Man I need to trim around this garden bed. HaHa.  
 Tomatoes and Marigolds.  They have a very good relationship. 
On Saturday I noticed this little asparagus and was so excited to see another shoot of it.  That was 6 days ago.  Look at the photo below that I took this morning?  I'm touching the same shoot that 6 days ago was only about 2 inches tall. I'm so surprised it grew that fast.  I love it.  Another first for me.  I tried to start this from seed last year and it did okay but lost it over the extremely cold winter we had.  It was in a pot.  It didn't survive.  Oh well thank goodness for 2nd chances. 
Morning Glories and other flowers seem to be doing okay. Can't wait to see their color.  I have a feeling I'm going to dread winter when it gets here.  :((

JULY 4th, 2014 

One Sunflower so far is beautifying my garden.  Look what amazing color it has.  LOVE IT!!!  

The pepper are really growing nicely.  I took these pix right before running off to a big 4th of July celebration with the family.  So I will update again soon with more detailed pix.  But for now this is it you can see the growth is wonderful in my opinion.  ;)

Cucumbers are double the size in this photo but they are looking amazing.  
 Chinese 5 Pepper is beautiful!!!!!!!

This picture doesn't do it justice.  I found a photo online of what it should look like.  I'm hoping mine eventually looks like this one I found on the internet......
Here is a link if you are interested in the plant...

planted green beans in the place that I pulled sugar snap peas from.  

Green beans, Spaghetti Squash, zucchini, kale, acorn squash, and tomatoes. 

The Potatoes are taking off on another growth spurt.  I thought they had stopped but I'm going to have to add more straw.  We had a really good rain at the beginning of the week and they are blooming again.
Yellow wax beans looking very pretty in the garden.  I can't wait to add these to my canning so that they decorate my shelves.  LOL it's not just about self sufficiency it's about making the pantry pretty too.  hehe.  I had a neighbor tell me my garden was a "Foo-Foo" garden!  Let it be.  

Learning more about asperagus I found a website that sounds like it might have some interesting information.

Pix of the Garden with my Iphone
the iphone takes good pix but not wonderful pix but this will give you an idea of my growth since July 4th.  
JULY 9th, 2014
Not sure what kind of flower this is but it's very tiny 
This is bee balm!  Really thought this plant would be pretty.  And the flowers are but the plant is very scraggly. 
 Sweet Success and now Let's EAT!
And yes hunny those are your sissors...I couldn't find mine :0/  
NOTE TO SELF.............Next year don't plant onions this close together.  I've stunted them..I think.  And why are they falling over.  Look how pretty the ones are that I replanted over by those chinese 5 peppers...
I think the onions and peppers like each other.  look how amazing they both look!!!  I will remember this for next year.     Also I found out that you do NOT break the top of the onion over you wait for it to do that on it's own because the onion will stop growing if you break it over.  Also if it's bent over you can tell if you need to pull it by feeling the base of the stem, if it's spongy they go ahead and pull it and let it dry or it will rot and we don't want to waste any of the onions where there is salsa to be made. :)  
Remember the photo I took of the baby cucumber on July 4th???? Um hello guys this is 6 days later.  WOW talk about a fast grower.  When the conditions are perfect I'm going to be in over my head with cucumbers.  I was talking to a lady from our church the other day and she said the season for making sure your car is locked at church is NOW  so people don't pawn off all the extras from their garden on you.  LOL   Isn't that the truth.   Trying to decide if I want to pickle any of these or not.  I'll keep you posted.  

Honey suckle is starting to bloom again and I'm really glad.  I started to worry that it was finished for the year.
Sweet Potatoes are growing I sure do hope they start to climb the trellis.  They are such a pretty plant.  

 Look at that Anaheim pepper!  Yummmy
Here is a recipe I use these peppers for. 

Ever-bearing strawberries are producing again.  We had a ton of rain and very little sun thru JUNE and it zapped all my strawberries. 
Morning glories look great.  They have reached the top of my harbor and are trying to go across the top.  Hope it makes it before they bloom.  Can't wait to have color as you enter my garden gate.  
The Garden is growing amazingly.  I'm enjoying every second.  Here is an update in pix.  It takes me forever to upload the photos onto this blog.  Not sure why but I find I have to click on the photo over and over and only once and a while will it load more than one photo at a time.  :0(  Oh well here we go....
JULY 19th, 2014
I'm pretty sure this is a Roma tomato or also called Amish paste tomato.  Beautiful. 

I think I am succeeding in the pepper department this year.  And I'm so grateful for the success. 

cayenne peppers looking great too.
Spaghetti squash looking good too.  It blooming and not dying. 
Onions didn't get very big I think I planted them too close together and so it stunted them.  They are laying in the green house drying out so I can braid them and hang them in the pantry for salsa and other recipes. 
The pole beans are finally climbing up the trellis. 
Potatoes hit another growth spurt too. 
Look more asparagus is shooting up! HOOray!!!

 This is a better look at the cucumbers and how far they have grown up the trellis my amazing husband made for me.  :0)
 We definitely are not running short on cucumbers. 
 Honeysuckle is starting to bloom and climb again.  It took a small break for a little while not sure why.

 Can you tell I'm proud of my Morning Glories.  They are finally blooming.  And shading the gate going into my garden too.  LOVE IT!!!

 This is my clearence rack flower bed.  I will be posting pix of it later because I added black mulch to match my other flower bed and the flowers look great.  Plus the other pixture shows that I weeded it too. LOL
 My sunflowers are looking pretty good. 
So I added these to my favorite stuffed pepper recipe and according to everyone who ate one they have an amazing flavor and a good kick. 

The booty!!!!   for one day! 

JULY 21st, 2014
 Spaghetti squash. I see fruit.  Excitement building now.
 Zucchini squash Some rotted. 
 Cherry tomatoes
 Better pic of the Roma tomatoes

 The peppers are pretty but look at that beautiful onion.  I'm pretty sure they love being planted together.  What a great relationship. 
 This is how sad my onion bed looks.  :0(
 Thrilled to see large tomatoes on the vine
 Not sure what's getting into this tomato.  Looks bad though
 Check out the honey bee on his daily visit to the garden.  :

 One specific bed of tomatoes looks very very sad.  LOL  not sure why either. 
 Okay three days ago this asparagus was tiny.  I'm so impressed with how fast this veggie grows. 

 The Concords are turning purple. 

And the beetles are still on attack. 


We have worked tirelessly on our garden and the outcome is such a blessing.  Here are a few pix to show the progress. 

This is how we started.  February 2013.  I drew up a design on a piece of paper and showed my husband what I wanted.  As I recall he told me this would cost a lot of money to build!!!!!!!!  There was a lot of wood involved and the prices of lumber are not getting any cheaper.  I told him we could do it in stages a little bit at a time.  But he is my super man and loves me beyond description, so much that the next thing I knew he pulled into the yard with a trailer load of wood to make my garden dreams come true.

  I had already started my seedlings and now they would have a wonderful garden to be planted in.

Then in April we came across a great deal on a greenhouse.  With Aquaponics in mind we bought it and added it to a section of the garden.  LOVE IT!

In April I also started potatoes in cages.  This looked cool but I did something wrong because I didn't get the amount of potatoes I was expecting.  They looked cool though!  Oh and a wonderful garden gate for entrance to my garden and a fence to keep out the wildlife (for the most part)

 May brought on some awesome growth.  :)

June was a very busy month and somehow the garden thrived all the same without as much attention. 

  July brought on some carrots and other yummies!

August had a few more! 

September brought on an ABUNDANCE!  With canning of tomatoes and drying basil and blooming flowers.  Not to mention our favorite pepper jelly being canned.  Fun Fun FUN!!!


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