12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Thyme Out
 Why Make your own organic potting soil mix? This is such an easy thing to do and really is much healthier for you. Plus, it will save you a bit more money than going out and buying a premade bag of potting soil. Making your own organic potting soil will feel great and your seedlings and plants will thank you!  If you need some ideas for what to put your seedlings in you can go HERE.  If you’re new to getting started with seedlings, HERE are a few of our ranch tips. Things to know what a good potting mix will do:
  • * Will be firm enough to support the plant
  • * Contribute light enough to allow air and water to flow with minimal compaction
* Be free of weed seeds and potential pathogens Coconut Coir: In may potting mix recipes they call for peat moss, but since there are many debates regarding mining from peat bogs, I decided to use the coir instead. Coconut coir is a by-product of the coconut-processing industry and is ground up coconut husk fibers. How cool is that? It is wonderful for retaining water. I got mine in a brick form so you have to soak it in water before it is ready to use. If you like peat moss in your recipe, substitute it 1:1. Perlite: Perlite is a volcanic rock. It holds water and helps to aerate the soil and keep it from compacting. Some folks also use vermiculite or plain old course sand in place of Perlite in some potting soil recipes. Compost: LOVE this stuff. First, it is the soil you made from all those leftover scraps! Ours is filled with tea herbs so how wonderful this will be to use in my potting mix! Just make sure the compost is “finished’ or it will burn your plants or introduce weed seeds into your pots. Use the finest part of the compost you can get. I had to sift a bit to get out some chunks. DIY Potting Soil Recipe (the affiliate links helps our ranch ministry) A “part” can be anything you use for a measuring device. Like a cup, bucket, can, etc. All depends on how much you need to make. If your coir is in a block you will need to add water to it. I used my hands and worked it until it was really moist. Next, mix the coir and your compost. Add more water as it makes it easier to work with. I like it damp to easily work. Add your Perlite, stir it well and BAM…your ready to fill those planters! Congrats you little homesteader you! Let me know what you think! Send a picture or comment on how your seedlings did use your own organic potting soil recipe! God’s blessings as you plant HIS goodness, naturally! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
0

Ranch Life, Thyme Out

Getting the itch with the smell of spring! What do I do? YEP, start my seedlings! I make it easy applying some simple steps and making a plan.

With each day bringing warmer temps and melting snow, I start imagining what kind of herbs and veggies we want to have on the ranch. Taking a walk around the ranch seeing the seeds that worked last year, the ones that didn’t, and making notes along the way. Now I can start purchasing my seeds.

How to Get Started

Purchasing the seeds this early can be tricky but more and more I see stores like Fleet Farm and Menard’s preparing early too knowing there are folks like us who begin our seedlings early. I first outline my gardens and design what will go where and what we for sure want to plant. Designing your gardens helps you not overbuy plus stay focused on what will grow well in the different areas you want a garden. We have a TON of shade so I have to work that angle too.

New Tack Shack

First DIY Step

Visualize: Like I stated above picture, draw out, take a walk around your home or area and design you the layout of plants. Since we have this adorable new Tack Shake, I want to add pots both on the ground and hanging. We also have a Thyme Out pasture now fenced off so each of the planters needs herbs for both horses and us. This is the area without much sun, so I have to watch which herbs can grow in this wooded area. We were given a grant by our local St. Joseph’s Foundation last year in May of 2017 and it worked out beautifully!

Garden Bed

DIY Step 2

Preparing your seeds is the fun part! Getting your hands in the dirt when there is snow outside is AWESOME! Here are some ideas for planting your seedlings if you don’t want to use the traditional plastic tray method which also is a money saver. I think you will like the ideas too!

The dirt we use is our own compost. I highly recommend doing your own and have a post on how to prepare your dirt if you want to check that out here. There is nothin’ like making your own homestead potting soil!

Once the seeds are cozy in the dirt, you need to make sure you mark them well. I mean WELL! It will be 5 months before mine goes into the ground and a lot can happen to tape along with the trays and even the pop cycle sticks, so I always mark in many ways.

Lastly, fill the trays up with water and spray the midst on the top. This is how I water daily is by waterbottle misting. It’s light on the seedlings and acts like soft rain.

DIY Step 3

Lighting…Window light or Florescent Light?

We have huge windows in our home and with every window is where I put my seedlings. But this isn’t ideal. I would like to work towards having a warm greenhouse and that is a dream of mine one day, but I also could go the extra mile and get some fluorescent lights and place the seedlings on a shelf. This is a wonderful way to grow your seeds. However, this would cost me some money. By the time I purchase at least 4 lights and have my hubby link this all up, it would be April. So I have chosen to use my windows and the greenhouse shelves. I found a picture for you of the fluorescent one in case you want to try this. It is a better way! Let me know too I always love to hear what others have done!

Green house
Our greenhouse!

DIY Step 4

 Babying your Seedlings Make sure you check your babies every day and the trays are full of water. They will drink what they need. The biggest struggle is sunlight for me especially this time of year, hence the fluorescent system but whatever you choose you to pray for lots of sunshine! Once your season begins depending on where your zone is transplanting away! Some I will be putting into planters in April keeping them in our home until May. Most of our gardening won’t take place unfortunately until Memorial weekend. Such a bummer, but it’s Minnesota! God bless you all as you start your own herbs and veggies and living a healthy homesteading lifestyle!

Whatever you do in your prepping and planting, enjoy the learning along the way! Every year I change because of our climate and of course how the gardens did the year before. It is fun to see your hard work in full bloom come in the middle of summer!

God’s blessings!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

2

Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Thyme Out
I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Starting in February I took all the eggshells we have been collecting and began filling them with dirt. I planted seedlings in each one, and of course, placing them in the sun. I had so many seeds that I had to get some seedling trays and plant some more. I think I have over 250 plants! I guess I am an overachiever! HA! I have NEVER done this before, but we want to have a huge garden this year and I don’t want to take any chances I may lose some. SO…why does not plant a ton!!! We are also going to plant a special herb garden for our horses that we will be calling the  THYME OUT PASTURE. Isn’t that cute? Get it? A garden is full of herbs the horses can walk in and choose what their bodies need. I think this will be a wonderful asset to the ministry this year! Unlike us, God has given them the ability to know what herb to choose when they have an element like a cold, cough, tummy upset, etc. So above I have one of my favorite herbs, Calendula. I love this herb! I can’t wait to see what it will do and how it will dry and of course, make into teas and tinctures. Calendula has many medicinal properties to it. One is that I love is making it into a gargle to help reduce inflammation of the mouth and throat. I also love it in my tea mixed with mint. If you would like more health info, you can visit the Bulk Herb Store and read more about this wonderful herb! I may have to wait a month or two to plant all these babies, but for now, I can enjoy a little bit of Spring right here in my home! Have a wonderful day and remember to Love deeper, and Talk Sweeter, Lee
0

Herb Basket, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, Thyme Out
Do you need to try and keep cost down while creating your herb and veggie gardens? Well, here are some tips on getting started with simple DIY’s to start your seedlings. First, you need to plan on how many herbs and veggies you want. You can refer to this spot to see some ideas I did. Once you have decided on how many you will need to begin saving and prepping for your seed homes. Here are some suggestions to get you started. NO COST DIYs! That’s the best part! 1) Eggs shells: this is my favorite way to plant seeds. I love that they are a perfect size and of course it is compost so just put right into the ground when ready to plant. Easy and no cost! 2) Paper Rolls: You will need 1 full sheet of newspaper, tear along the fold. Next fold in half lengthwise. Grab a drinking glass and place it halfway on the paper. (picture) Roll and tape bottom and side. Nice size for larger plants like tomato starter. 3) Toilet Paper Rolls: Take a roll of either toilet or paper towels and cut in half. The paper towel I can get 3 rolls. Fold bottom over (picture) and ready to go! 4) Recycled pots and trays from past purchases: Buying flowers or other items I have kept the containers and now can use as starters. Love the smaller ones! 5) Egg cartons: The paper egg cartons are great for starting your seedlings. You just have to cut them apart and then plant right into the ground carton and all. Easy Peasy! 6) Hallowed out oranges, lemons, limes, or avocadoes: Gonna try this one! I haven’t done this before but will this year! 7) Old yogurt containers or any small containers: Sure have plenty of these around or containers with no matching lids. What the heck? Where do those go? 8) Go to your local nursery for their leftover pots or planters: This is my favorite as our local person knows as well as we give them our manure. They always have tons of plastic seed starters they want to get rid of. I’m READY to start the planting process. Oh, the sun is shining bright today! Try some of these ideas to help keep your costs down. If you have any suggestions or other ideas, I would love to see them! Post them below! Happy Spring and happy planting! God’s blessings, Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
0