Weeds and Bugs!

With all of the rain this week, a million weeds have sprung up in the garden. There were more than enough before the rain, but now its pretty unbelievable. Does anyone know of a good way to get rid of them? Is my only option to hand-pick every single one? I've already been pulling the weeds, but every time the dirt gets wet, they spring up all over again. I found out that there is something called pre-emergence weed killer that I didn't use in the garden, and will definitely do for the spring. Unless there is a better way, it looks like I'm going to start pulling weeds tomorrow.

Some of the bell pepper plants have holes in the leaves! This one looks like it is being eaten by a bug. Looks like I need to spray it with an organic bug killer.

These two look less like a bug and more like a disease. I need to do some research to see what is going on here.

But there is some good news - both of the tomato plants have flowers that have started to open! Woohoo! If anyone has suggestions on the weeds and bugs, please let me know!

Seed Packets

I want to be able to keep seeds from vegetables from the grocery store, but I have just been keeping them in bowls in the kitchen, which takes up a lot of room after a while. I decided to copy the the seed packet from the lettuce that I bought from Walmart and make my own. I made a Word document that has the outline of where to fold, so now I just have to change the picture and label, print, throw on a little glue, and I have my own seed packet! I plan on saving seeds for what I want to grow in the spring so that I don't have to buy any. I know that I run the risk of buying a vegetable that has seed that won't produce fruit, but I'm going to try anyway and see how many end up like that. If anyone wants a copy of the pattern, just let me know it's here!.
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Rosemary and Lettuce!

Today I cut three sprigs of rosemary from a plant on campus (there are a ton of HUGE plants on campus!), and I am trying to grow my own rosemary plant to put either in the garden or as a hanging plant (I haven't decided which yet). I researched online how to start a plant from a sprig, and most pages said to plant it after putting a solution on the end that would help roots grow. I don't have that solution, and don't want to pay for it if I don't have to, so I am trying two of the sprigs it without it. We'll see if these grow roots.

Another web page said to just put it in a cup of water and after a few weeks you will see roots growing, and then you can plant it. I thought I would try that with one of the sprig. With any luck, one of the three will root and we will have a nice big rosemary plant to go with the red potatoes I planted in the garden last week. Yum!

Last week I planted some lettuce seeds both outside in the garden and in some pots inside. The seeds that I planted in the pots have sprouted! Well, four out of five, which is pretty good. The front two are already a few inches tall, and today I had the wonderful idea of putting them outside so they would get more sun. Of course, it poured today, and now I'm hoping that I didn't drown them. I guess I'll find out in a few days. I'm hoping to have lettuce to serve for salads for Thanksgiving (my parents are coming down), and my gardening books say it can be harvested in 25-70 days, so let's hope for the earlier end of the range!
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I took some pictures of the garden today to share. This garden was already set up in the backyard when we bought the house. We added some compost that we got for free from the city of Round Rock, but other than that did nothing to the dirt. I hope to do more to prepare the soil for the coming spring.

These are the tomato plants I bought from Walmart. The back one is "Better Bush" and the front one is "Bush Goliath." They don't seem to be growing very fast, and we still need to buy cages for them to keep the tomatoes off the ground once they grow.

These are the bell pepper plants that I started from seed a few months ago. I am going to transplant them into the garden soon!

One of the bell pepper plants has a leaf that looks like it was supposed to be two but merged into one!

These are the onions I planted. We got a pack from Walmart for around two dollars that had a whole bunch of them, and I just stuck them right in the ground.

These are the garlic that I planted a few weeks ago. They have grown so incredibly fast; without a doubt these will be the first thing to be harvested.

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I planted some lettuce seeds back when I planted the rest, but they never sprouted. When I transplant the bell peppers, I will plant more seeds and also start some in pots in the house to see if the temperature is what is preventing them from growing. I am also going to plant some red potatoes. It is so neat that you can just cut up a potato, put the pieces with the eyes in the ground, and it grows more potatoes. I can't wait to eat them!