Lola's Victory Garden

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Weekend Garden

Things are getting busy around here. Anastasia has been planting her Moss Roses and Marigolds.
And our Peony (Not Hydrangea) bush is in bloom, despite the fact that we periodically run it over with the lawn tractor. It keeps coming back. Our neighbor, Mr. Friendly has the exact same bush and he has it contained in wire netting to support it so it isn't so spread out. Sounds like a new project for us.
This weekend is garden prep. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Lot's of hoeing to do and adding organic hummus to the soil.

Lola's Victory Garden

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Garden

Big gardening weekend this weekend. Anastasia and I went to a local garden shop, actually I think a new local business. Anastasia finally found her Moss Roses and also purchased some Marigolds and something called a Spaghetti Plant.

I'll be putting photos up later this weekend.

I'm still of the opinion that the vegetable seedlings we planted ourselves should wait until next weekend due to the chance of frost this weekend. We'll see what happens.

Lola's Victory Garden

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rain Barrels - Do You Have One? What Do You Recommend?

We are shopping around for a rain barrel and are wondering if you have one and what you recommend. Anastasia and I discussed converting a trash can but decided we didn't want to deal with the possibility of not properly installing the spigot and what not.

So, do you have a rain barrel? What size, model? How much did it cost? Did your unit come with everything needed to connect it to your rain gutters, or did you need to purchase a separate kit? Would you recommend the one you purchased.

We are considering purchasing one from our local government, if they are still available, because we haven't seen a better price elsewhere, but would like to know what your experience has been with your purchase(s).


Lola's Victory Garden

Monday, May 18, 2009

Can We Get A Break On The Rain?

Our property was very soggy from the rains we've had the past few days, but I did manage to get 1 shot of one of our 2 Catawba Grape plants. This particular corner of our side yard is like a swamp. I bought several bags of topsoil for Anastasia to build up the low lying area, but it still needs more soil.

Anastasia has great ambitions for me when these 2 plants start bearing fruit. She wants me to make jam and she wants to learn how to make wine, which probably means that I will learn how to make wine, but that's ok with me. I've already made several varieties of jam and I'm jonesing to try out my Steam Juicer that I got for Christmas. Chances are next year will be the year that we actually get some fruit.

Lola's Victory Garden

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Weekend Garden


Nothing much going on with our garden. Anastasia was trying to convince me to plant our tomatoes this weekend, but I don't think they are ready yet. More importantly, I think it's too soon, considering our goofy Illinois weather.

I'll post up a photo of our seedlings tomorrow, if I can get enough light to get a shot.

No photo of our grape bushes yet because it's the ground is too soggy from the rain. Hopefully the weather will dry up soon.

Lola's Victory Garden

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lola's Victory Garden Contest Winners Announced!

Lola’s Victory Garden Contest ran from April 24th thru May 8th. Unfortunately, out of fairness, any entries before or after those dates have been disqualified.

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered. Everyone had really great garden tips. It was a difficult task, but without further ado, here are the winners:

First Place: John @ Munchkin Lands Garden
John and his munchins have won:
From: Guilty Pleasures Donation: 3,000 EC.
From: In This Life Of Ours Donation: 1308 EC.
From: Everything Has A Reason Donation: 1308 EC.
From: Symphony Of Love Donation: 125x125 ad space for 1 month.
From: Gewgaw Writings Donation:. A one month ad in her PR 4 blog.
From: In My Kitchen Donation: 125x125 ad for a month PR3.
Second Place: Auntie E @ Auntie E's Yard And Garden
Auntie E has won:
From: Things About Computer Donation: 2000 EC.
From: One At A Time - A Busy Mom's Life Donation: 1000 EC credits.
From: A Changing Life Donation: 750 EC. (Donation was transferred to Lola's Victory Garden and will be coming from Lola's Victory Garden.)
From: Life According to Me Donation: 2,000 EC and 125x125 ad for 2 weeks on PR3.
From: My Vegetables Garden Donation: 125x125 ad for a month PR2.
There was a tie for Third Place

Third Place: Thorne's World
Thorn's World has won:
From: A Malaysian Abroad Donation: 1000 EC.
From: Everything PLUS the Kitchen Sink Donation: 1000 EC credits.
From: Just Keep Trying Donation: 1,000 EC.
From: Subjective Soup Donation: 500 EC credits.

Third Place: Gengen @ Wonderful Things In Life
Gengen has won:
From: Answers Without, Answers Within Donation: 1000 EC.
From: Babette's Definitely MAYBE! Donation: 1000 EC credits.
From: Thoughts And Obsessions Donation: 1,000 EC.
From: Communication Exchange Donation: 500 EC credits.
Fourth Place: Julie @ Julie Chats
Julie has won:
From: A Mom's Box Of Crayons Donation: $15 dollars in Avon products.
From: Girls Are Made Of Sugar And Spice Donation: 125x125 ad for a month PR1.

There was a tie for Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention: The Writing Nag
Writing Nag has won:
From: All Blog Contest Donation: 500 EC.
From: Learn To Earn Money On The Net Donation: 500 EC.

Honorable Mention: Smart Mommy
Smart Mommy has won:
From: Dad To Two Donation: 500 EC.
From: Lola's Diner Donation: 500 EC.
Congratulations to everyone!

Contest Sponsors are required to contact you within 2 days of the announcement of the winners.

Individual Contest Sponsors are solely responsible for delivery of the prizes.

Lola's Victory Garden

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Friday afternoon I scheduled to have our garden tilled by a local entrepreneur. I found his name from my local version of You can also check for someone willing to bring rototilling equipment to your home and till your garden for a fair price. It certainly beats backbreaking work with a pitchfork and hoe. Our tiller guy brought a tractor with tiller attachment and a small tiller unit. Because of the size of our garden he was able to get it all done with the tractor unit. It cost us $50 bucks because he had to till through sod. He said next year it will be 1/2 price because there won't be sod to till through.
Anastasia has been giving our son a work out worthy of a professional trainer. She had him lay out the cinder blocks at least twice, then Thursday had to have him move them in preparation for Friday. Poor guy! Then Friday, when the tilling is done, he'll have to move them yet again. Who needs a gym when you have a personal trainer like Anastasia?

Anastasia laid out the timbers and used spray paint to paint lines in the grass to denote the garden space. Since she used white paint, I had to embellish the photo with red paint so you can see the size.
This is what the garden plot looks like after the tilling. We're going to be covering up with black landscaping fabric because our seedlings are not yet ready for transplant. We also want to add some organic soil amendments. That, and with the goofy Illinois weather, we want to wait until our seedlings are nice and hearty and the weather is right.
And here is one of our first Lilac Bushes to bloom. I have always loved the smell of Lilacs, they remind me of my Mother. She had several huge Lilac Bushes in our backyard. We planted 4 in front of our deck and I can't wait to sit out there with a beverage and enjoy the smells.
I made a trip to Lowe's (after Anastasia went to work) to pick up some topsoil to level out the area where we will be planting our grape bushes. I also bought organic humus to mix in to the garden plot and cypress mulch for the bushes. I spent a whole $19.07. Had I brought Anastasia with, forgettaboutit.

It's supposed to be a nice weekend, here in the Chicagoland area anyway, so get out there and get dirty in the garden!

If you don't have a garden, get out on the links. Or if you're like me, you'll try to fit in both!

Lola's Victory Garden

Lola's Victory Garden Contest Ends Friday!

Why haven't you joined us? Friday is the last day to enter Lola's Victory Garden Contest. As I post this we have 25 Prizes and 6 entrants. You do the math! At this point you are virtually guaranteed to win something!
So come on! What are you waiting for? It's easy peasy!
Why not get your entry in now?

Lola's Victory Garden

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Something Red and Shiny!

Friday I bugged out early to go check out laptops. Uncle Sam being very, very nice to me and sent my refund quite early. I did my research online and my intent was to go to Best Buy and check a few out in person, but I got sidetracked on the way. Several John Deere delivery trucks were mocking me on my route. (You remember my previous post,Lola's Diner - This And That.)

I drove past 3 as I took Route 30 to Route 45, so it couldn't have been the same truck. THREE! Was this a sign from above? They mocked me with their brand new lawn tractors in the back of each truck. The green, the yellow, shining in the sun, I couldn't help myself. I ended up detouring to Menards and Home Depot. I checked out the models. I even called our friendly lawn mower repair place to find out what brands he didn't service, because goodness knows once you find a repair place that you trust and is reasonably priced, you want to stick with them. He told me that he can't service John Deere because only dealers have the parts. On the way home I did a drive-by at Lowe's. They're so nice, they have every model parked right in front of their building with nice big price tags. You don't even need to get out of the car for this kind of window shopping!

I got home and Anastasia asked what I bought. Ahh, errr, nothing. (She had no idea about the John Deere delivery trucks mocking me or my detour to every home center known to man.) What do you mean nothing, I thought you were getting your laptop? Not yet. She went to work and I went online to research lawn tractors. When she came home I announced we were going shopping Saturday. We picked one out at Lowe's and got a free dump cart with our purchase. I also had to get Anastasia something purdy. She's been jonesing for Keurig Coffee Maker. (As if we don't have enough coffee makers already, but hey, a coffee habit is a lot less expensive than other habits, right?)

As I typed this early this morning, I saw the same neighbor who yesterday had to drive his John Deere down the street, again, driving down the street. Why? Where is he going? Is he one of those screwballs that doesn't have a driver's license so he drives the John Deere to the 7 Eleven for more beer? WTH?

So our shiny, new, red, lawn tractor was delivered this morning.
Woo hoo! Doesn't she look hawt? I had told Anastasia that even though she started to mow the front lawn Saturday morning with the old mower, I was going to re-do it Sunday, around 7:30pm. I have to try out the headlights, don't I? But of course I couldn't wait. As soon as it was off the truck I had my son get the gas can and we gassed it up. It was sweet! And it saves so much time because the cutting deck is twice the size of our old mower. I mowed the front and side yards again and Anastasia mowed the back yard. She was able to mow the back lawn in a record breaking 10 minutes! This is going to save us so much time and aggravation. We'll have a lot more time to work on our garden. Anastasia will be so glad that she won't have to deal with the front wheel falling off, then having to re-wire the front axle together.

Lola's Victory Garden

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Weekend Gardening - Composting

As I mentioned in last Friday's Lola's Victory Garden - My Weekend Garden Anastasia is all gung ho about gardening. In addition to the SUV load full of garden goodies, she has also bought some gardening books. The book she currently drags everywhere is a little pocket size gem called "The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book" By Barbara W. Ellis.

Compost - "Decomposed remains of organic matter - such as leaves, kitchen scrapes, and other garden remains. Compost is a valuable soil amendment that will improve soil structure and provide nutrition for plants."

Many townships and villages have Composters available for sale. Many offer the smaller version of the Earth Machine for around $50.

You can make your own Compost Bin for a fraction of that with scrap wood or Wire Mesh Fencing, Fencing Stakes and Cable Ties. Last year we got a large roll of Wire Mesh Fencing for $0.25 at a garage sale. Our Fencing Stakes cost $2.17 each at Lowe's. We already had Cable Ties. Anastasia and our son put ours together in a matter of minutes. Cable Ties secure the Fencing Stakes to the Wire Mesh Fencing. A rubber mallet is used to pound the Fencing Stakes into the ground.

Select a level spot for you Compost Bin. A Compost Bin should be about 3-4 feet in diameter.
What can go in a Compost Bin:
Trimmings & clippings from the garden (including disease free weeds and grass clippings), leaves, kitchen scraps, wood shavings, shredded newspaper, coffee grounds, egg shells.
What cannot go in a Compost Bin:
Dog and cat poo, diseased plant materials, weeds gone to seed, meat, bones, cooking fat.
Happy Composting!

Lola's Victory Garden


To anyone visiting on Wednesday, my 3 blogs, Lola's Victory Garden, Lola's Diner, Fire Crotch Rocket and my fellow blogger meet-up pallies: Patricia @ Subjective Soup, Lin @ Duck And Wheel With String, and Lynne @ A Malaysian Abroad you were all treated to a blogger experiment of sorts. As I mentioned in Fire Crotch Rocket - Chicago Area Blogger Meet-up - A Fly On The Wall, we talked quite a bit about blogging. Keywords came up and we all decided that we would do a blog post on Wednesday with the same subject and then compare results at a later date.

I decided to do a post on all 3 blogs. I had to get pretty creative to write one for Lola's Victory Garden. It wasn't easy. Anyway, we're back to our regularly scheduled programming at Lola's Victory Garden now. No more Tom least not for awhile.

Lola's Victory Garden