Category Archives: The Garden

Grow grow grow……please?

Update on the plants!  Starting in the greenhouse, here’s my first hot pepper.  It’s the only one growing on the plant.  The plant looks very healthy, except it’s not growing much.  No other flowers on it.  And it has these little white bugs or whatever they are on the leaves.  They don’t seem to actually be harming it, but I don’t really know?  They are on all three pepper plants in the trough.  Any ideas?  I can’t wait until this hot pepper starts turning colors.


Here’s a farther out view of the trough.  I did so much research before planting, finding out what plants were good to be around each other.  Stupidly, I did not check what shouldn’t be planted near each other.  So I have dill and cilantro right next to each other, and they are leggy and ginormous and seeding already.  They are closely related and will cross-pollinate, making each other taste weird.  So I am moving one or both of them today, and hoping they do alright.  Then trimming them down and hoping they bush out a lot more.  I planted one lettuce plant in the trough to see how it did in the greenhouse.  And it got eaten.  I think possibly by a deer…I left my palate gate open one night, saw deer scat the next day in the yard and the lettuce was chewed up.  I’m a deducing machine.


My tomato wasn’t doing well for awhile, and then started to take off.  The only difference is that I am pulling off suckers and putting about a tablespoon of coffee grounds around the bottom every week.  Yay!  Here’s to lots of yummy tomatoes, I hope!  I can’t remember what variety this is, but I decided it was indeterminate because it’s growing straight up and I do remember that it is supposed to be one of the best, biggest, juiciest tomatoes that grows well here in Oregon.  Can you tell I’ve set my heart on it a bit?


This is the right side of the greenhouse.  I think there’s one small pepper plant and my cucumber, which is going to be repotted soon, and the rest are all tomatoes.  Not sure why this one is yellowing.  I can’t determine if it needs more water because of the pot size and how fast it drains, or more…..but it’s got a lot of small tomatoes on it and both of my potted tomatoes in the greenhouse seem to be determinate.  They were given to me, so I don’t know what kind they are.


My good friend Jenn gave me a spaghetti squash plant!  It’s not doing so well…definitely needs to be repotted.  Doing that today.  I’m hoping I can get it to grow well and get a squash or two out of it!  Behind it is my other determinate tomato.  It’s huge and has a ton of baby tomatoes on it.  Can’t wait for them to grow!


Here’s a view of the greenhouse.  You can see how super tall my dill and cilantro has grown.  Bad herbs!


Here’s the front.  I keep wanting to put more in here, but there’s no room.  Everything seems to be doing well, although my red rosie basil bit the dust.  I tried to save it by moving it to the greenhouse but it died still.  Sadness.  The lettuce LOVES it here.  The two large ones I got from our pastors, and the small one is one we got as a live lettuce from the store, ate the leaves and planted the roots.  Growing well!  I planted some flowers around the veggies.  Chives are just hanging out, not growing much.  The pepper is growing a lot lately, but might not produce because it’s July already.  I’ve planted 3 or 4 onions….ones we got from the farmers markets and cut off the bottoms, soaked overnight, and planted.  One is popping up.  Not sure if any of the others will, but a fun experiment.  Oregano is doing well and I like that it doesn’t get more sun, because it isn’t taking over, but it’s still healthy.  This spot gets about 4-6 hours of mid day sun.


This is my lemon box.  Lemon verbena, lemon balm, and lemon thyme with some lobelia and alyssum for the prettiness.  This is a pretty sunny spot, but it also gets wind if it’s windy.  Mostly, it’s just been cool and cloudy since I moved this from the greenhouse out here.  They definitely did better in the greenhouse, but I wanted some plants on my deck and I put lemon balm in my water a lot.


I also moved this cherry tomato plant we got at the Wednesday farmers market outside.  It was the only one that wasn’t tied up, and I wanted to experiment to see how it did outside.  It’s a little protected from the random tree/bush that is growing behind it, and it still gets lots of afternoon sun.  There’s a basil plant there too that is healthy looking, but not growing much.  I’m even pruning it, which supposedly mades giant basil plants.  I read somewhere online that basil makes tomatoes taste better.  Another experiment.  The tomato plant is indeterminate, and I’ve been pulling suckers on this one too.  It’s taken off like crazy since I started doing it!  Lots of flowers.


On the side of the house, a very sunny spot, we have lavender, chocolate mint, lobelia and asylum, and sage.  The chocolate mint does not like it here but  I don’t want to move it, I don’t think it could take it.  The lavender and sage love it here.  Can’t wait to have a huge lavender plant, and I’m going to plant rosemary on the other side of it once I get it cleared.  The soil here is only ok, and there are a lot of slugs.  They ate the marigold I planted.  I think it was them anyway.  There are also gophers in this bed….they come up from the ground right into the bed.  They overturned some of the plants, and I wonder if they messed with the mint’s roots.  Never had a snail problem in Nebraska, and definitely no gophers!  Further proof that I’m in a weird parallel dimension.  Everything is the same, but slightly different. 😉


So there’s the updated garden.  I’ve found myself frustrated at some of these plants…and because of the critters, but mostly, it’s so rewarding to grow our own food, and I wish we had a large area to grow outside.  That’s in our plans for the future, whether or not we stay here.  Although I do think we have a great area for it here.  We want to start seeding a bit this month too, and we’ve never done that, so we’ll be posting our trials and probably massive errors.


Coming along…

The garden is coming along.  Some things have surprised me, but at the same time, I feel like I am out of my league a bit!



You can see how much we did…..and how much is left.  We scrubbed till our arms were noodles, and this was the best result we could get.  We aren’t sure how to get the roof finished.





We cleaned it up the best we could, spending an entire day with the kids helping as well.  We scrubbed the front, back, south side, and as much as we could reach of the roof while standing on cinder blocks.  Even though there’s more to do, the greenhouse definitely gets enough sun to produce the correct effect, and the plants inside get a nice dose of greenhouse gasses on sunny days.




And yes I am a photographer…although it seems this day I couldn’t take a straight picture to save my life.  I’d blame the iPhone, but I’m sure it was all me.




We planted in the trough first.  Two small sweet peppers and a Hungarian hot wax pepper that we got from the Saturday port farmer’s market.  Then we planted a tomato plant on the left, which we got at the Wednesday grange farmer’s market.




The peppers seemed to have a few flowers on them, but most of them fell off.  Not sure if the culprit was from a critter, bugs, soil, or what.  But we do have one pepper growing on each plant so I’m thankful for that.


We also planted along the front of the house.  We don’t have many places to plant outside.  Next year we hope to have raised beds along the front of the house that gets a lot of sun and where it will be easy to cover (seems like that’s what people do here a lot) but that’s next year.  In the front we planted a couple lettuce plants, chives, a small pepper (it was an unknown plant given to us, I think it’s a pepper) and red rosie basil.




I’ll update again soon, as we are planting like crazy right now!

My Garden

Well.  Here we are.  We made it!  We’ve moved from Nebraska, we’ve found a house and gotten a tad settled in, and we are ministering.  Doing what we could barely imagine just a couple months ago.  We didn’t have the internet for a long time, and we are now just getting settled in Brookings, actually in the town where the church is.  With internet (sigh of relief).

I won’t go a lot into what’s been going on in our lives and our ministry in this post, because I have a different topic in mind, but I will soon.  And our e-newsletter will be going out soon as well!

Every place Jon and I have lived, we have had some sort of garden.  It’s always been important to me, something in my dna, from my farming childhood and my Gramma who always desired to grow things, until the very end.  That stuff doesn’t leave you, it gets ingrained into the fibers of your cells.  It’s just a must.  Jon caught the bug, and the desire grows every year to have our own garden.  So much so, that someday, we want enough land to grow almost all of our own food.  Again, a topic for another day.

Today, I thought I’d share a little about how awesome God is.

He cares about these things, these desires that He gave us.  To create, to grow life from a dormant seed, to provide sustenance.  It’s something He knew about us, and even though we didn’t ask, He provided us with what we need to grow our own garden.  In a place that has one of the trickiest growing climates in the nation, even.

He gave us a greenhouse!

But the greenhouse needs a lot of work.  So I set out to see if it was even salvageable.  While we get some really good summer sun at the front of the house, it’s also exposed to salty sea wind, which can be bad for the plants like peppers and tomatoes that need that sun.  So our only other option is to grow in the greenhouse.

First I checked to see if it would even clean up.  A little dish soap and warm water and scrub scrub scrub and WA-LA!



The top portion is what I scrubbed, what had previously looked like the bottom.  A lot of the sides are black, and the top needs a good cleaning too.  Times like this, I wish I had a power washer, but that might be too much for the flimsy sides anyway.


This side has a lot growing in between the shed and the greenhouse….raspberries maybe?  Not sure.  But I’ll find out soon….


You can see where I scrubbed.  Gonna take awhile, but luckily I had some volunteers from the youth group that want to come help!  So we’ll get it cleaned up in no time.


Here’s the inside.  There are two vents at the top for venting out the greenhouse gasses.  The framework seems sturdy enough, made of aluminum.  There are some awesome shelves on each side, which is great because anything growing on the ground probably wouldn’t get enough light, even in the greenhouse.  It gets the most direct sunlight late morning to early afternoon, until the sun dips behind the house and heads toward the ocean.  The greenhouse is really protected from wind, though, which is great.  There’s a potting station, some old palates, which can be used for anything, and a lower trough in the back.  That’s where we are going to stick a pepper and a tomato and see what happens.  It’s a little late in the year, but we want to try.  Next month we will start to seed inside and in the greenhouse.




There is no door, which I’m thinking is kind of an issue.  Not sure what to do about that.  I don’t know if it can be made out of anything, or how tightly it needs to fit to get the right effect inside.  Especially if we choose to use it all winter.  Which, duh.  Yes we will.


Every once in awhile, I’ll document where we are at with our gardening process.  We have some long planters in the front that we might put some lettuce or kale in, along with any herbs that can grow in the shade and some flowers.  We are really trying to figure out how to keep pests away by planting plant BFF’s near each other.  Basically, certain herbs and flowers keep rabbits and bugs away from plants they would normally feast on.  More on that later.

So as you can see, we are functioning, and we are doing well!  God is taking care of us, and we are amazed at His provision at every turn.  He is so good, and it is so humbling to be in active ministry!  We love it.

And we thank you all for your prayers.  We know there is a ton of support out there, and we are so grateful to have it, and we pray for you as well!


The Dommels

(ps-we are working on a website where you can get updates from Jon’s ministry, our family, our garden, and lots of other stuff too!)