COVID Garden Update 2020_05_10

Greetings SNH’ers, it has been a busy week at #realjob, but this weekend I was able to get into the garden and hopefully, work a few more improvements. I planted a few more of the tomato starts, we are now 15 total tomato plants at various stages.

I also took a healthy dose of lawn clippings and put them into the plant channels as a nitrogen booster. Ants are all over the place and other insects are eating everything. Mrs. SNH suggested another round of neem oil.

Here are some pics of the fun.

Whole Garden Picture

Just some spring gardening pics!

Powdery mildew spotted on the zucchini. Treated with milk as a “home remedy” seen from other pages. Also added some diluted milk and water to some slow growing roma tomatoes.
A nice little jalapeno growing.
Yellow bell pepper changing from green to yum!

CV19 Victory Garden is Growing

Greetings SNH’ers,

Just a quick post to talk about our COVID 19 Victory garden. Since planting last week we have the following things popping up:

* cow peas (black eyed peas)

* okra

* green beans (pole)

* pickling cucumbers

* tomatoes (roma)

* 1 yellow zuchini

* yellow straightneck squash

* red onions

Harvested items this week:

*2 Bell Peppers

* about ½ cup of blueberries

I am a bit concerned about the beans in the grow bags since they are getting yellow leaves. It could be iron deficiency or ph imbalance.

Have a great week, stay safe.

View of the CV19 Victory Garden
The baby green beans popping up.

Corona, Corona, Corona

Greetings SNH’ers,

It has been a while since a post, mostly because a lot has been happening in real life! As the corona virus makes it’s mark upon the world, it is undoubtedly affecting you or someone you know. Since this blog focuses on finances, gardening and eventually the occasional fishing report it might be time to explore how I and the SNH family are dealing with it.

You may have noticed that food is in short supply at the grocery stores due to the panic caused by corona virus. It seems a run on toilet paper is in effct and you might not have gel alcohol based hand sanitizer. What are we to do!

Hopefully you had a great planting of winter vegetables and are seeing a harvest from your cold frames if you are in a cold climate. If you are in a subtropical as I am here in Florida, the oranges are in harvest and your spring garden should be in full swing! I am not yet harvesting anything out of it, but still maintain the goal that when we get to our permanent house we will produce about 1/3 of our own family food needs. In the meantime, find out if there are local farms that you might be able to get some fresh produce instead of your typical grocery channel. They can have great deals, don’t gouge and it supports your locals. We were able to score some great Oranges the other day from an ex-sunkist farm.

Just for fun, these are things we have growing: Bell peppers, Italian sweet peppers, blueberries, turnips, cantelope, a single zuchini, tomatoes, a few failing bush beans and cabbage. Oh, there are also a few bulb onions growing in a bin that we planted the other day as well as a handful of bunching onions that I threw into a grow bag with a blackberry bush. The truth is that the volume of these items is very small and we have poor soil, so if there was a genuine food storage issue, we would not be able to cover the need for the 6 people in our house. It is good practice for the next time. I’ll continue to learn how to read plants and ammend soil when it is “go time” for the bigger effort.

On the upside, the stock market crash has taken a huge tumble which represents a great buying opportunity! I can’t wait to get a big discount on some my steady dividend REITS and equity REITS. I am personally looking at putting into OHI, STOR or STAG as great stocks that kick out high dividends and have good upside potential. I also thought about O or FRT, but I still think O is overvalued even with the dip and FRT while attractively valued doesn’t match my growth need. Those two will make great income generators when I get close to retirement, but not now with my 30 year horizon to market exit. You might also be able to get into a good solar stock since solar is now a requirement in California for new buildings and you get to buy in at a low low rate!

While CV19 might be on your mind, remember to keep your wits about you, keep building, investing and growing. Think of fun ways to stay busy if you are on lockdown and help others when you can.

Wash your hands and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere.

Mr. SNH.

Blueberries Planted!

Greetings SNH’ers,

Today, I had a nice bit of cool weather and planted some of the blueberries that I received for Christmas. Sams club had a great deal on some whiskey barrel look-alike planters. Berries are one of the best “smarter not harder” things you can plant because the cost of berries in the grocery store are very high. Blueberries and Blackberries can bring between 4 and 6 dollars a pint!

The first step was to plant them with some basic soil, add some manure and acidifier since blueberries enjoy a slightly acidic soil. I then added a top layer of planting/potting mix with some decent drainage. Lastly, we used an organic fertilizer to keep the plants fed for a bit.

Great Looking Planters
Soil Mix with acidifier
Blueberry Plants adapted for middle Florida
2 Potted Blueberries next to a young Orange Tree!

If you are in the southern part of the US, it’s time to start making your spring planting plans. I am planning to plant tomatoes in starter pots with the kids as a way to push some extra funds into their 529 plans. I’ll do a post when we get those going!

4 days to Christmas Update

Happy Christmas SNH’ers,

It has been a pretty crazy couple of weeks, thus my lack of posting. Let’s run down the list:

* I suffered a severe back injury that laid me up for several days and had to go to the emergency room!

* Little SNH’ers got sick before the Christmas holiday.

* Christmas school events were attended.

* Santa’s lap was attended by the youngest SNH lady.

* Lots of good home cooking was done – chili information below.

* Cabbage ended up getting a leaf miner and will likely die out completely unless it is treated and tended.

* Grow bag seems to have 2x growth versus standard plastic planters.

* I had an injury to my foot, rather, an attack of psuedogout. It swelled my right foot to double the standard size and needed some quick treatment. I am currently on the mend, but will likely take about 5 days to be really walk-able again per the fine staff at the walk in clinic.

The Garden has had some interesting items happen to it. First, Little SNH’er #2 planted a cabbage for a school scholarship progress. The winner was to submit the cabbage for a chance at a $1000 scholarship. Unfortunately, it has secumbed to leaf miner and the growth is very slow. Likely not a winner. Here is a picture of the leafy pathways it has made through the plant:

I have battled with leaf miners before when living in Florida about 15 years ago. They can be treated effectively with organic solutions, but can damage plants to a point that they cannot recover. With my foot being out of commission, it may have gone too long. I plan to get some this weekend to try.

The grow bag with the turnips are outgrowing the plastic bins with Parris Island Romain and Beets. I think the water regulation (soil drainage) of the grow bags is far superior to that of the plastic bins producing a better environment for soil consistency in a container garden. I removed the water retainer in the beets to allow more water to flow out of the container in hopes it will regulate better. I have never done will with beets.

Baby organic gmo free Turnips in grow bag

It really is time to get my metered gardening solution up and running. I have 1 more major component to order, a vegetronix VH400 meter (https://www.vegetronix.com/Products/VH400/). It is in my scientific and engineering opinion, the best option for long term soil metering. It uses TDR to read moisture vs corrosive annodes as are most of the low cost solutions. TDR ignores the salt content (a big issue in coastal Florida where I am at) as well as maintains a long lifespan sitting in the soil.

I made a great chili and seem to be honing in on a style that I really like. I apologize, but I put beans in mine. Here goes the latest version:

  • 1 lb micro cubed steak
  • 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapenos finely chopped
  • 1 poblano finely chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1-4 cups water depending on how soupy you like.
  1. Saute the onions, peppers and cubed beef together until brown and creating a lovely “spicy” scent through the house.
  2. Add your favorite chili spices. With this recipe, the peppers do a pretty good job, but some paprika, 2 tbsp of generic chili powder, 2 tbs salt work well.
  3. Add in your tomato sauce and beans and simmer on low for about 2 hrs.
  4. Serve with sour cream and cornbread.
Cutting of Peppers
Saute Peppers and Onions
Finish Cooking before adding tomato sauce.
Simmer and Enjoy.

Have a blessed Christmas, praise Jesus.

Mr. SNH.