Posts tagged #home garden

Container Gardening and free classes with Craftys!

I've always wanted to have my own farm with tons of gardening beds to grow enough fruits and vegetables to feed my family for the entire year! Living on a farm and having enough acreage to have a garden of that size is not very easy or financial realistic living in the suburbs of Chicago. Unless, you want to drive far outside the area to afford something like this.

We were blessed to purchase a home that has an amazing backyard. To be honest, the deciding factor in our home search was the yard. We're outdoorsy people and need a space where we could really do what we want. With that being said, I need to be methodically and inventive with how I plan my garden this year. While it would be amazing to fill the entire backyard with raised garden beds that wouldn't be fair to the kids or the hubby. So instead I am looking more into container gardening and utilizing our amazing and rather large deck as a place to layout my plans.

Craftsy offers this free PDF on container gardening.  This is a great resource to get started. Not only does it give you a crash course on container gardening, it also educates you on the best plants for this type of option. My favorite part was the recipe on how to make your own potting soil! Container gardening is a great option for anyone who is limited on space such as an urban garden.

Craftsy also offers free online gardening classes! Make sure to check out their website because it doesn't just stop at gardening! They offer a wide selection of online courses from embroidery to woodworking or paper crafts! 

Would you like to see more of the free resources that Craftsy has to offer? I would be happy to share some more with you! Please share the area you are most interested in!

 photo bloggersig.jpg

*This post contains my affiliate link that helps support my family.

Reasons You Should Start Gardening with Your Kids

As we are approaching the second year for our family garden my kids are giddy with excitement and looking forward to getting out and getting dirty! This past Easter their baskets were filled will all sorts of gardening goodies. The Easter bunny hit it spot on this year! They were filled with a watering can, mini garden gloves, seeds, and gardening tools.


last year

was such a success and the kiddies were so interested, we decided that we are going to give the girls their very own garden bed to putts around in! Gardening is such a wonderful activity and hobby for young kids to take part in and here's why...


This is a

hands on experience

for the kids to learn where our food comes from and how it's made. Most kids who don't have a clue about gardening assume our food is made at the grocery store. Learning about seeds, plant needs, and how to grow their own food will make plant biology all the more fun!

Teach them about work and Responsibility

Not only do your kids learn about the educational aspects behind gardening but they learn about the hard work it takes to produce the food and the work it takes caring for the plants.

Physical activity

Kids should be out playing anyways but fun in the sun can be constructive as well and gets them moving the muscles they're not used to while sitting in class all day.

It's fun!

Most kids enjoy gardening and getting their hands a little dirty. Why not give them a productive activity that you can join in on as well.

Boosts their self-esteem

My little one felt so proud when the tomatoes and cucumbers started to grow. It's like she accomplished something big, which she did!

Healthy for the family

Growing your own food gives you the reassurance of where it comes from and the chemicals that are used. It also gets kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables because they grew it themselves. My daughter would go out to the garden and pick the green beans and eat them raw. I was shocked!

Spending time with your kids

My favorite reason is I get to spend quality time with my kids. Those early years of wonder are perfect for gardening. It's a hobby that both mommy and my girls enjoy together.

 photo bloggersig.jpg

It's that time of year for starting your seeds!

I have been crazy busy lately, thinking about girls scouts and meeting planning, new baby planning, that I almost forgot about a very exciting time of year.  What I really mean to talk about is garden planning!!!!!!

Can you tell how much I love to garden?

Really, it gets me so energized just thinking about this season. For me gardening is like an addiction. I would spend hours a week just watching my plants and fantasizing about the overfilled bowls of juicy cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes.

The thing about having a garden, or a garden that grows produce, is that you need to plan ahead. Sometimes months ahead. For example, hot peppers needs to be started indoors 12-10 weeks ahead of time. So while all of you are only dreaming of the warm summer months and the ground has not quite unfroze from the winter, these babies need to start taking action.

Last year was my first year and I felt pretty successful considering I was a beginner. We had tons of cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes and assorted peppers. This year I really hope to expand and try out some new vegetables as well.

What I am continuing from last year
Red and Green Bell peppers
Mini yellow bell peppers
Santa Fe peppers
Green beans
Cherry tomato

What I will attempt to introduce this year
Leafy greens
Roma tomato
Herbs of all kinds

With these new additions I've had to come up with a better plan as to how I am going to lay this all out in my back yard. While I would love to have a full blown homestead, I also don't want the entire back yard to be garden boxes. Plus, the girls really need their play house this year :).

Space-saving garden ideas...
Grow tomato plants in containers-I plan on have three large containers, really they are decorative terracotta pots, that will sit on my deck and not only grow tomatoes for the family but act as landscaping and greenery for the deck! The deck gets the most sun so this concept will be ideal for saving yard space.

Trellis cucumbers on deck or an arbor-I plan on trellising my cucumbers this year on my back fence. This will provide some additional privacy and space saving by not having to trellis them in the middle of the yard.

Border the entire yard-I plan on mixing some beautiful flowers and produce along the border of the yard about two feet off of the fencing. I will add in some edible favorites to the mix as well. This will also compliment and aid in the pollination of the plants. Remember to use organic and safe fertilizers when you are planting edibles near flowers.

What are your gardening plans for this year?

 photo bloggersig.jpg

New house and First Time Gardener

One of the most exciting things since we bought our home last November was to start planning our home garden! This will be my first year starting a garden and I may have taken on more than I could handle. We spent a good amount of money already on

heirloom seeds

, which I have no idea about the plants we ordered. I am a newcomer to this so bare with me. I am a master at research and finding the information I need, so I hope to share with you along the way to my first real garden.

Since I live in a

Zone 5

region, the last day for frost is the end of May. There are different types of seeds that you need to plant indoors ahead of time, this is why it's important to start your planning well in advance!

When my seeds first arrived I couldn't wait to sort them all. I sorted them into 4 groups based upon the time I would start planting. The packaging on the the seeds is a great source of information. Read them very carefully.

These are the groups I divided them into:

12-10 weeks before the last frost threat (indoors)

8-10 weeks before the last frost threat (indoors)

4-6 weeks before the last frost threat (indoors)

sow right into the outdoor garden

This weekend I planted the 12-10 weeks group.


White onion

Red onion

I used three pots for the artichokes, 6 pots for the white onion and 6 for the red onion. I still have to come up with some crafty labels, but for now I took a picture for reminder.

I used organic choice potting mix by Miracle-Gro. I wasn't sure of this mix but it stated the it works for vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. It's suppose to feed up to 2 months. I hope I made the right choice. For any experienced gardeners out there, what would you recommend?

Bella always wants to help in everything I do, so of course she had to do this too. I used this as an opportunity to discuss the seasons and plants. These are some of the unit study topics we will be covering this spring. Hands on learning opportunities are always great for the little ones!

I planted two to 3 seeds to a pot. This may require some thinning out later to allow the roots flourish.


The onion seeds required only a top sow or lightly covered with soil. It's important to make sure you pay close attention to all the directions on the packet, including the depth to which you will plant the seeds.

Once we were all finished digging in the dirt, we lightly watered the pots with a spray bottle and covered with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap helps keep the moisture in and creates a green house. You want to make sure your seeds and soil don't dry out at any time!

There ya go! This is the start to what I pray will be a wonderful season in the garden! I plan on planting the second group in about two weeks, which includes an exciting assortment of peppers! If you have any suggestions for a first timer, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I can use all the help and advice I can get!

Helpful Resources

These are two books that I have been referencing through out this adventure! They are both great options for a beginner like me!

865339: 52 How-tos Every New Gardener Needs to Know Beginner
024171: The New American Homestead: Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living for the 21st Century

The New American Homestead: Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living for the 21st Century

By John H. Tullock / Howell Book House

If you like what you read today, kindly 

Subscribe to 3 Wittle Birds by Email

*This post may contain affiliate links that help support this blog and my family.

The Garlic Experiment

A few posts back, I talked about how I ventured into gardening garlic. I accidentally came upon some sprouting garlic bulbs in my terracotta garlic jar and decided to wing it.

What was just 3 blossoming bulbs, turned into 13 garlic bulbs that have official started rooting! I don't really have much knowledge with gardening, so I'm kinda winging it! This will be my first year with an actual garden.

I recently moved my garlic buddies to larger planters, as their roots were beginning to curl because the egg cartons are not deep enough.

Currently, I have 3 bulbs per pot sitting in my window sill above the kitchen sink. I think these babies are going to make it!!

I used seed starter planting soil and I water them every other day. I usually give the soil a moisture check to make sure it's damp.

I'm really excited to start my own edible garden this year! We just ordered or seeds for the year from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Since it is my first year, I'm researching on when and how to start the seeds indoors. I will keep you updated on the garlic!

Have you ever used scraps from your kitchen to replant a vegetable?