Browsing Tag

gardening

3 In garden/ home

How to Celebrate Earth Day

How to Celebrate Earth Day

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Earth Day is approaching and it’s always a time when I like to do a few fun activities with the kids and teach them about ways to be more sustainable and protect our environment. I’m sharing a few ways below on how to celebrate Earth Day if you’re looking for ideas so read on.

Here are some of my favorite ways to Celebrate Earth Day

1.) Plant a garden – It doesn’t have to be anything huge, you can plant a few seeds in egg cartons if you want. Or if you are looking to start a garden, check out my post with some of my tips. It’s a great way to teach the kids sustainability and they love helping out.

tips for starting a garden

2.) Make Earth Day Seed Bombs – These are sooo easy to make and are super cute too! Make your own little seed bombs to plant and watch them grow beautiful wildflowers. Click here to see how to make them!

How to celebrate Earth Day earth day seed bombs

 

3.) Eat more plants – Incorporating more of a plant based diet into your lifestyle is not only better for your health but it’s good for the environment too as it uses less resources and ultimately leads to less greenhouse gas emissions. There are tons of resources available to educate yourself and I’m absolutely not saying to go completely vegan, everything in moderation! But even if everyone just made an attempt to try to eat more plant-based once or twice a week, say “Meatless Mondays”, it would make an impact!

Sharing some resources below

You can also click here to read this post I wrote with Plant Based Meal Ideas!

How to celebrate Earth Day more plants on your plate book   

  How to Celebrate Earth Day

4.) Pick up trash – go for a walk around the neighborhood or on a hike and pick up any trash that you see while enjoying some fresh air.

5.) Start recycling – if you don’t already, start recycling in your home.  Think of ways that you can also re-use things and get creative. Check out this DIY mud kitchen we made from an old dresser we found on the side of the road! The kids have loved playing with it and we gave it new life.

 

Here are some books I found for kids for Earth Day! Click the photos below.

How to celebrate Earth Day I am Earth Book

How to Celebrate Earth Day books for kids

How to Celebrate Earth Day

How to Celebrate Earth Day

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5 ways to celebrate earth day

5 ways to celebrate Earth Day

1 In garden/ home

How to start a garden for beginners

nesting - how to start a garden
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When we moved into our house I dreamed of having luscious garden beds and growing my own fruits, vegetables and beautiful cut flowers but had no idea where to start. Does this sound familiar? Are you wondering how to start a garden? The really cool thing about gardening is that it doesn’t need to be complicated and you’re always learning and experimenting as you go.

Scroll down to read my tips on how to start a garden for beginners and be on your way to one of the most rewarding hobbies this spring.

How to start a garden for beginners.

1.) Determine your zone.

The first thing you need to know before you can plant your garden is what zone you live in. This will help you know when to to start seeds, what plants will do well, when to transplant into the ground, etc. Where I am in Upstate New York, we are Zone 5B. The climate is very different here than you would find out in California. So while someone in Calfornia may be able to start growing various melons in January for example, our climate won’t allow that here.

To find your zone click here.

2.) Determine what you want to plant in your garden

This is my favorite part. I love to go through the seed catalogs and circle the different plant varieties that I want to plant. I usually will do alot of the vegetables that we enjoy like lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas and zucchini. The kids love to go out to the garden and just eat right as they pick.

For cut flowers I love to do zinnias, cosmos, dahlias, and sunflowers. I find that those are really easy flowers to start with.

And then I usually will pick a few new things to try. This year we’re going to try growing some pumpkins, flowers.

3.) Start seeds

If you’re starting from seeds, I have found this to be a really helpful resource. You basically plug in your zip code and it tells you when to start your seeds indoors, outdoors, our set your plants starts out.

Now you may be asking what’s the difference between starting seeds indoors or outdoors?

If you live in a zone with a shorter growing season (such as Upstate New York), it is helpful to get a jump start on starting some seeds indoors. Using seed starting trays are really helpful.  Be sure to keep next to a sunny window indoors and keep the soil moist. This year I’m also going to try a small greenhouse.

Greenhouse

Seed starting trays

 

How to start a garden for beginners

4.) Prepping the beds and soil

Clear any of the leaves, branches and brush that accumulated over the winter. If you plan to get into composting, save these for your compost.

Having your soil tested is probably one of the easiest things to do and it will tell you what nutrients it may be lacking. To check your soil:

  • With a clean shovel, dig a hole about 6 inches deep, cutting that section of soil out of the ground.
  • Place the soil into a clean bucket or clean container.
  • Bring to your local garden center and they can test it for you.

Prior to planting, make the sure the soil isn’t too wet. Pick up a handful of soil and squeeze into a ball. Open your hand and touch the ball of dirt. If it crumbles, the soil is perfect conditions to work. If it’s breaks into large clumps, it’s still too wet and you will need to a wait a few days for it to dry out. To work the soil, rake and turn over, breaking up any big clumps and removing rocks. Rake until the dirt is soft and level.

 

5.) Now you’re ready to plant

Most seeds you can direct sow right into the ground. Be sure to pay attention to the back of your seed packet as it will give you direction on when to plant, how deep, how far apart, etc.

If you are transplanting your plants that you started indoors, I like to harden them off first.  All this means is bring them outside for a few hours daily before planting them into the ground. This just helps them withstand the weather and develop stronger stems.

6.) Harvesting

This is the absolute best part about gardening and the most rewarding. Whether you are cutting your own flowers or harvesting fruits and vegetables, this is the part you’ve been waiting for. This is also the part where the kids love to help out! I like to use a basket like this one to collect all of our veggies. They also have these garden aprons too!

I love to experiment and make different recipes with our fresh vegetables. We typically get an abundance of zucchini. Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes below:

Fudgy chocolate zucchini brownies

Zucchini corn chowder

tips for starting your garden for beginners

A few helpful tips to remember when starting your garden:

  • When it comes to watering, there is such a thing as over-watering. I know I am guilty of that too and I like to think it’s because we just love our plants so much. But I have found that every few days is best depending on how rainy of a season it is.
  • Get the kids involved. My boys have loved being out in the garden, seeing how we can grow our own food and of course eating it!
  • Be patient – some years will be better than others. But that’s the cool thing about gardening, you will learn something new every year!
  • Here are some tools that I find helpful to have on hand – click here.

tips for starting a garden

 

Here are some other related blog posts you may enjoy

How to dry your hydrangeas

DIY mud kitchen

Lilac lemonade

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tips for starting a garden for beginners

 

 

2 In decor/ home

How to dry hydrangeas

How to dry your hydrangeas

We’re having a little birthday party for Dude Man this weekend so we’ve been working out in the yard and garden beds to spruce things up. If you’re looking to start a garden, check out this post I wrote on all my tips to start your first garden! Now is the perfect time to dry your hydrangeas if you haven’t already! It’s super easy to do and gives you beautiful free decor! I’m sharing my tips on how to dry your hydrangeas below!

Our hydrangeas exploded this year! I have strawberry vanilla hydrangeas and limelight and the colors were just gorgeous!

How to dry your hydrangeasHow to dry your hydrangeas

Late August-October is the perfect time to harvest them to dry out so you can enjoy them all year long. You’ll notice that the hydrangeas start to dry out a little on their own and become almost papery and a little crunchy in texture. You’ll also notice the color beginning to deepen and they start to look a little vintage. This is the best time to cut them.

How to dry your hydrangeas

Now you absolutely can just cut them and bring them in and allow to dry on their own or hand them upside down. But this is my favorite method below. I find that it yields a nicer color.

 

How to dry your hydrangreas

1.) Cut your stems so they are about 12 inches long.

2.) Remove all of the leaves from the stems.

3.) Place them in a vase of about 1-2 inches of water.

4.) Place the vase out of direct sunlight and allow the water to evaporate (about 1-2 weeks). This will naturally dry out your hydrangeas.

How to dry your hydrangeas

You can arrange your dried hydrangeas in vases, baskets or even make a dried hydrangea wreath. The muted tones are beautiful all year long!

 

My door basket below is sold out but here is a similar one I’ve linked below.

Click here for door basket

How to dry your hydrangeas

For more home and gardening posts check out

How to create a thoughtful housewarming gift

How To Start a Garden for Beginners

How to style your bookcases

 

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how to dry your hydrangeas

 

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9 In DIY/ kids

Earth Day Seed Bombs

Earth Day Seed Bombs

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If you’re looking for a cute and super easy Earth Day activity to do with your littles this is it. Earth Day seed bombs. That’s right, little balls of paper that look like earth that you can plant to grow wildflowers.

 

You will need:

 

Directions:

1.) Take your scrap pieces of blue and green paper and rip in small pieces. I let my guys help me with this part and sort into bowls by matching color.

Earth Day Seed Bombs

2.) Fill each bowl with warm water, enough to cover the top and let sit for 30 minutes.

Earth Day Seed Bombs3.) After letting soak, take your wet paper and blend each color separately. You may have to add more water so that it can blend easier and that’s ok because you can just squeeze out the water at the end.

4.) Squeeze out any additional water and put the shredded paper back in separate bowls.

Earth Day Seed Bombs

5.) Take your wildflower seeds and sprinkle into the blue bowl, mix together

6.) Take a handful of blue paper/seed mixture and roll into a ball.

Earth Day Seed Bombs

7.) Take some small pieces of shredded green paper and place into ball and roll to combine, making an earth shape.

Earth Day Seed Bombs

8.) If planting right away, you can plant right in the ground following the directions on the back of the seed packet. If you’re not planting right away, let your seed bombs dry on a pan or cookie sheet lined with paper towel. Just soak for a little bit prior to planting.

 

For more kids ideas check out

my DIY Mud Kitchen

Edible Sensory Dough

Homemade Bubbles

Earth Day Seed Bombs