11 garden mistakes that will cost you $$$

It's almost time to plant the garden! Can you tell I'm excited? I love this time of year when I'm deciding what to plant this time and looking back on my past harvests. Unfortunately I've made some gardening mistakes over the years, and it's cost me some serious cash. I did learn from my mistakes though so that's what I want to talk about today.

money saving garden hacks

First though, I need to tell you the story of the Summer of Kohlrabi. I bring this up now because it was a costly mistake, and because I mention it in my post on deciding what you should plant in your garden. That's a pretty popular post this time of year and is getting read a lot. A few different people have asked me about this story recently, so here it is: 

(skip down to the bold type if you want to just get to the garden mistakes!) 

MYO herbal bath blends

Well, Valentine's day is coming. It's really not a big thing for me to show someone I love them on that specific day, but you know what is? Showing love to myself! Taking care of myself by taking some time to relax and pamper myself. So this year instead of spending the big day at a restaurant, I'm going to be spending time in my bathtub! There is nothing more relaxing than a nice hot, herbal bath with a good book and a candle flickering nearby. 

beginners guide to bath blends (38 ingredient list!)

I have several different types of herbal baths I like to mix up. Some of these recipes are really simple and other require quite a few ingredients. If you don't have exactly what I use, in many cases other herbs or salts can be substituted. Don't worry though...I'm going to give you a whole list of bath additions and benefits of each to save and/or print out! The beauty of the herbal bath is that you can often make it work with what you have on hand.

Sun mapping your garden

My garden is in the absolute wrong spot! In my defense I didn't put it there, but that does not change the fact that it doesn't get nearly as much sun as it should. You see, the sun travels across the sky on roughly the same path every day. Where my garden is, some of it doesn't get full sun until after noon. This means that many of my full sun plants don't get nearly as much sun and part of my garden is practically useless. Not knowing my sun pattern was an expensive gardening mistake.

I could have avoided this if I had made a sun map of my garden way back in the beginning. 

Sun mapping the garden

Had I made a sun map of my property and then chosen a spot for my garden based on that, I'd have much better harvests from my garden because I'd be able to plant more efficiently! Even if you already have a garden plot that your sticking with, a sun map can help you plan your garden more efficiently. It's super easy to make a sun map and once you have one it makes garden planning much simpler.

How to clean a mortar and pestle

Last night I realized that my mortar and pestle needed cleaned. It looks a bit sticky inside the bowl of the mortar. You see, I like my green tea pretty finely ground up. I received a big bag of large cut green tea last year and have been grinding it up daily using my mortar and pestle. Unfortunately there were tiny pieces of dried fruit in with the tea and even though I tried to pick them out, a few pieces were ground up from time to time.

Directions for cleaning a mortar and pestle

This left a sticky residue that attracted tea dust with every use. Obviously I need to clean it. Luckily it is a marble set so it was super easy to clean up, but not all mortar and pestle sets are made of the same material! Instructions for cleaning your set are different depending on what material it's made of.

Knowing what type of material your set is made of before cleaning it is important. Wood, lava rock, granite and marble are the most common materials used in a mortar and pestle set. Marble and granite get confused the most, but I'll explain how to tell them apart and how to clean them. 

Winter: What to do in the garden

For those of us under snowfall, winter is a boring time to be a gardener! There isn't much to do in the garden in December and it's pretty darn depressing to look at. I have found a few garden chores to keep busy though. One of my favorite gardening chores for winter is my assessment of the past years garden.

Garden under snow, what to do?

I like to think I learn from everything that I plant. Sometimes new things work out and other times they don't. For instance, this year I learned that the Lollipop lilies I had planted by the house were actually being eaten by rabbits and not deer! No wonder all my tricks for keeping deer away from the garden weren't working.  

I also learned just how hard raspberries are to contain once they take root in a spot they like! It was a constant battle to keep them where they belong as they kept sending up shoots further and further into my garden. For all the trouble they gave me you'd think they would have rooted where I moved them. Nope. Even though it had the exact same type of location, sun etc none took. Unfortunately, they're still popping up in the garden. *sigh*