Planting Your Garden and When to Plant

Even though many areas of the country are still knee-deep in winter weather, thoughts are quickly changing to the warmth and sunshine of spring. Sunny days, no more frosty nights – what’s not to love? Even in the coldest months of the year, though, it’s time to start planning your summer garden. These tips will help you know how and when to plant.

ven in the coldest months of the year, it’s time to start planning your summer garden. These tips will help you know how and when to plant.

Keep a Journal

Planning your garden takes some time, but it really shouldn’t take more than an afternoon. If you haven’t planted a garden before, start a small garden journal. Keep notes of plants and varieties you’d like to incorporate into your space. If you are planning a vegetable garden, order some seed catalogs from online websites. You’ll learn a lot from reading about the different varieties available.

If you had a garden last year, then you probably have notes, or at least thoughts, about what worked well for your space and what you might want to change. Did you find out that 10 zucchini plants were more than your family could deal with?

Did pumpkins take over your yard? Keeping a small notebook with notes is a great way to help plan your garden from year to year. You don’t need to make anything fancy, but have a place to keep all your garden thoughts together. Before planning this year’s garden, read through to see what you might want to change.

Visit the Garden Center

Next, make a visit to your local garden center. This is for several reasons, but the primary one is that they are familiar with your locale and know when the optimum time for planting your garden is, as well as plant varieties that will perform well in your area.

They have a wealth of information and are available to share it with you. They’ll also know if you need to amend your soil or need other kinds of nutrients in your area. They enjoy talking shop.

Focus on the Estimated Last Frost Date

The important date to focus on is the estimated last frost day. Tender young plants will die if exposed to frost. There are some methods to protect them if you get a freak cold day after you’ve planted, though. But there is nothing more infuriating than having to replant your garden because you planted too early!

Start Plants Indoors

To get a jump on the season, you can start some plants indoors before the beginning of the season. Count about eight weeks before that critical last frost date, and start your seeds then. You can plant them in almost anything from newspaper pots to peat pellets to small flower pots. If they have some sunlight, warmth, and water, they will grow.

Starting your own plants from seed will allow you to experiment with types that aren’t readily available, like some of the new developments, or old heirloom varieties. There is a lot of satisfaction in starting your own transplants, and it’s a great way to get the whole family involved in gardening, too. You can order seeds from companies like BurpeeGurney’s, or Baker Creek Heirloom.

Purchase from Your Local Nursery

If this seems like too much work, make a trek back to your local nursery to find out what varieties they have available. Try to find a garden center that raises their own plants instead of buying them from a larger commercial grower. The plants will be adapted to your day length, humidity, and may even already be acclimated to the environment.

Plants that nurseries purchase – like the big box stores – are usually greenhouse grown, under the best growing conditions, and then delivered to your store. They’re usually not the best plants for your region, and are just a generic variety that’s sold everywhere.

Be Ready to Plant

Be ready to plant your garden when all dangers of frost have passed. In temperate climates where frost is not an issue, gardens may be planted any time of the year.

Pay attention to the specific needs of the varieties you’ve picked. Some plants do better in the cooler months with shorter sunlight, and some need the hotter days of summer, along with the longer sunlight to thrive. Remember to jot down a few notes throughout the season so you can fine tune the process next year.

 

 

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DIY My Little Pony Keychain

These adorable My Little Pony keychains take less than 5 minutes to make and are perfect backpack accessories for back to school or inexpensive party favors.

Do your little girls love My Little Pony? Mine sure do! Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash have become household names around here. These adorable My Little Pony keychains are perfect backpack accessories for back to school! They make great inexpensive party favors too!

Each keychain takes less than 5 minutes to put together and your kids will love having their favorite pony on their backpack.

My Little Pony Keychain Supplies

Supplies Needed

Instructions

1. Open your My Little Pony toys and place your drill bit on your drill.
2. Carefully place your My Little Pony toys on your thick wood board (this will prevent the drill bit from going through the table).
3. Use your drill to carefully drill a hole through the tail of each pony.
4. Place your key chain hook through the drilled hole and hook it onto a keychain ring.

These adorable My Little Pony keychains take less than 5 minutes to make and are perfect backpack accessories for back to school or inexpensive party favors.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Edible Marshmallow Paint

This easy edible marshmallow paint is safe for kids and is made from common kitchen ingredients. You can let young kids help to measure and stir, and, of course, choose the colors!

Summer is a great time to enjoy doing crafts with your kids. Most kids love to paint and are proud of their creations, but they’ll be even more proud if they help to actually make the paint. This easy edible marshmallow paint is safe for kids and is made from common kitchen ingredients.

You can let young kids help to measure and stir, and, of course, choose the colors, and they’ll be happy to sample a few marshmallows while you’re at it! Just remember to be careful and help protect your kids from the hot bowl and ingredients.

And to protect kids’ clothes while you do art projects, try our Easy Sew Waterproof Art Smock. If you have older kids who like to use acrylic paint, encourage them to try Painting on Recycled Materials.

Edible-Marshmallow-Paint-ingredients

Supplies Needed

Instructions

1. In a small bowl, combine the marshmallows and corn starch. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and then mix.

2. Stir in the water and heat for another 30 seconds.

Edible Marshmallow Paint - Step 2

3. Stir in the corn syrup and heat for another 30 seconds.

4. Separate into four small containers. Add 1 small drop of food coloring to each one and mix with your stir sticks or spoons.

Edible Marshmallow Paint - Step 4

5. To use, dab a small amount on the end of a paint brush and paint away!

This easy edible marshmallow paint is safe for kids and is made from common kitchen ingredients. You can let young kids help to measure and stir, and, of course, choose the colors!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Create an Awesome Backyard Fun Zone This Summer

You can create an amazing Backyard Fun Zone that your kids and all the neighborhood kids will love and never want to leave this summer. Here's how.

You can create an amazing Backyard Fun Zone that your kids and all the neighborhood kids will love and never want to leave this summer. You will become the super summer mom and create amazing memories inexpensively right in your own backyard!

1. Add a fire pit

Buy or build a fire pit if you don’t already have one. This addition is going to be loved by adults and kids alike. Picture it going in the evening, kids running around the yard with glow sticks, adults laughing and talking, and s’mores ready to be toasted – you want one now, right? To me, a fire is the ultimate centerpiece for backyard entertaining whether you have a crowd or just the family.

2. Create an obstacle course

Use what you have on hand or pick up a few dollar store items to create a simple or complex backyard obstacle course. Use boards as a balance beam, tires, jump ropes, hula hoops, tables, chairs, and anything else you can find to encourage jumping, running, climbing, crawling, and other maneuvers. And remember to change it up often.

3. Fill it up with fun toys

When summer hits, I head to the Dollar Tree or somewhere similar to stock up on cheap fun! Grab items like bubbles, water guns, hula hoops, water balloons, gliders, kites, sidewalk chalk (not just for concrete – it works great on wood fences too!), pool noodles, balls, etc. We toss ours in a big bucket with holes in the bottom to drain summer rain, or you can store the bucket in a shed.

4. Just add water

Hot summer days call for water fun! Include a little pool (or a big one)l, a store bought or homemade sprinkler, water balloons, water guns, slip ‘n slide, buckets of water and sponges, heck even the backyard hose makes it more fun!

5. Make a fairy garden

By fairy garden I don’t mean a little pot tucked away in a corner somewhere that never gets touched. Fill a good sized container with foam, add soil to the top, and let it become an ever changing, fun spot for the kids. You can make many homemade items for it or pick up small fairies and accessories at craft stores.

6. Create an outdoor reading nook

You can toss a quilt on the hammock and add a throw pillow or two, make a pallet in their playhouse, or add a teepee with giant pillows, then keep a basket of books ready to take outdoors when they need a rest. This way they still get the benefits of fresh air and sunshine even when resting and hiding from the heat of the day. Mom can enjoy an outdoor reading nook as well!

Get out there yourself! A sure fire way to get the kids laughing, playing, and having a ball in your backyard fun zone is to get out there yourself and play right along with them. Kick a soccer ball, throw a water balloon or two, turn over rocks to look for bugs, fly a kite, etc. They will never forget those memories.

More Summer Ideas

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