Category Archives: Gardening

Worms to the Rescue!

Our yard is a disaster.  Remember a few months ago we planted a bunch of new things in hopes up making our yard a happier place to be?  Let’s take a look:

So young and promising… full of hope for their bright futures…

Now they are dead. Dead as door nails.R.I.P. trees… we will miss you.

After going through the heartbreak of losing yet another round of planted love, we came to the conclusion that its isn’t the way we take care of them (because we do! and well!)… it is the terrible quality of the soil.  Literally it is hard-packed sand/dust that blows around in the wind.  That doesn’t scream healthy to me…

So how does one go about improving soil quality?  The answer: worms.Apparently these little guys are called “the gardener’s unpaid handyman.”  First of all, they tunnel through the top 12″ of your soil, aerating it and leaving room for plant roots to grow more freely.  No more hard-packed soil!  Secondly, (and bear with me here… I’m about to get a little gross) earthworm waste contains five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, eleven times more potassium, and 1,000 times more good bacteria than the material it consumed.  So worms make the quality of the soil better as well as the structure.  You may think I know a lot about worms but really all I did was read the back of the worm container! :)Anyway, now that we have gotten a little down and dirty, let’s move forward.  Once Walker came up with the brilliant idea to use worms to help our soil (he’s so smart!) and I read the back of the worm can to figure out what the heck he was talking about, we followed the instructions to give the little worms a new home in our yard.

Prior to placing the worms, we roughed up the top couple inches of bare soil.  Then, once the worms were settled, we mixed the top layer of dead, miserable soil with some healthy, happy soil.  Then we spread some more grass seed over the bare areas and watered thoroughly with our new sprinkler.

Sad, but this is the improved “after” picture…

We have been good about watering twice a day (morning and evening) and are hoping that the worms, healthy soil, and new grass (please?) will help improve our soil. It is also nice that the weather has cooled down a bit here to a gorgeous 80 degrees or less because our new grass actually stands a chance!

On a side note, the reason the other half of our yard has out of control, tall grass is due to two things: 1. laziness and 2. the last time we cut the grass, we ended up with half of it dead and now we are trying to re-grow it. So we need to trim it but not too much.  It is the one thing that is surviving in our soil!

We do, however, have a few container plants that are flourishing in their store-bought healthy soil and two of them were displaced from their usual homes when we brought in the new side table and Adirondack chairs this weekend.  But not to worry, they found new homes!  Clifford has taken the sunny corner where the lime tree used to live die slowly and the succulent crate has snuggled in next to the grape plant!  We actually used two patio pavers to raise the crate off of the soil for drainage reasons but you can’t see them because of the grass.So there is a little life back there but keep your fingers crossed for our backyard’s healthy recovery!

“Uncork” Wine Cork Frame

I hope you all had a nice weekend!  I had to work on Saturday so my weekend was a fun but brief one day thing. However, we did manage to fit in an easy little DIY project that is perfect for a wine lover!

This project was so simple.  I found a set of these “Uncork” greeting cards at Michaels a while back in the dollar bin and fell in love!  We have had one of the cards on display on our bar/microwave cart in the kitchen ever since but we have been meaning to frame it. I remembered that I had a spare 5×7 Ikea frame ($2.99) that I bought ages ago and an extra wine-colored envelope from Laura’s bridal shower invitations.

I cut the envelope to size and mounted the Uncork card to the envelope using photo stickers.  You could put this in the frame and be done… super simple!  Or you could take it a step further like we did by adding halved wine corks to the frame!

Using a utility knife (or something similar), CAREFULLY (watch those fingers!) cut 7 corks in half lengthwise.  The fun part is acquiring the 7 corks… that requires drinking 7 bottles of wine! :)

Rough up the front of the frame a tiny bit with some sandpaper so your glue will stick better.  Lay out your pattern and use a glue gun to attach your corks to the frame. And there you have it, a wine-lovers frame with delightful vino-themed DIY art!  This project would only cost $3.99 but it was free for me since I already had these things in the house!  Can’t beat that price!

Speaking of all things wine, check out our Zinfandel grape plant’s progress.  Remember when we only had one purple champion grape?  Now they are all purple and looking great… like REAL grapes!  So excited! :)

Puppy & Plants

Happy Friday Saturday everyone! I had a blog post all planned out for today yesterday but I ended up having to spend the morning at the vet with my little bean because he tore another toenail (and then got home too late Friday night to take outdoor photos). Poor Bo!

But not to worry- he is doing well and enjoying his loopy drugs. I feel like the world must be a very fun/baffling place for a little drugged up doggy brain.

So instead of the planned post, I will instead leave you with two pretty awesome plant-related discoveries.

First of all, there was huge news on the grape front yesterday Thursday… one of our grapes turned purple!!! This is the first grape to ever make it to the purple phase. It seems like these bunches may actually become real grapes by fall. Very exciting! Haha and I love that only one has turned purple… it’s much more dramatic that way. He is the champion grape.

Secondly, remember that wild mint that was that was taking over our backyard? I had placed it into a vase of water two weeks ago in the hopes of having greenery in the house for a few days. Well fast forward two weeks and not only is it still living… it has continued growing! See the fresh green at the top? That is new growth! I can’t believe that it is possible to grow mint in a vase. Super cool!

Well it is time for me to go back to being a loving, supportive dog mom so I will bid you adieu. Have a great weekend!