Sponsored Post by Pennington Smart Feed & 50$ Amex Card Give-Away


I’ve been meaning to get to my weedy, overgrown, bushy, berry-vine infested flower beds… and to get to those back yard above-ground garden boxes filled with CILANTRO and weeds… and was thrilled when Pennington asked me to do a sponsored post for them to get the word out about their spray-on fertilizer products. I figured, hey – I was going to do all this hard work anyway, and who doesn’t love a dose of oomph to make her tomatoes plump and juicy?

But they sweetened the pot even further. They gave me a 50$ American Express gift card to give to my readers in exchange for some of your garden tips and upcoming yard or garden plans. They want to interact with their customers and are looking to reach out to the community through blogs and social media. You have to love a company that GETS IT!

They also have their price range just right! I got the products to try out for free, but was excited to find out that the refill fertilizer tablets are only $9.99. They come in three varieties – “All Purpose”, “Tomato and Vegetable”, and “Flowers and Blooms”.

But before I could use their fertilizer, I had to get the yard in shape. I certainly didn’t want to feed the weeds. I spent two whole days working outdoors with help from my big punks and little people. My husband speaks for the trees (he’s a true Lorax descendant, I’m sure of it — I call him the “Tree Whisperer”). He made me let him use the general purpose stuff on ours.

Below in the photo on the right is the pile of lower branches he cut from our two front-yard trees…

Still working hard on the #smartyard #spon

You can imagine all the work that needed to be done…. My list was long:

Trim trees and unruly bushes, move overgrown bush to back yard, weed, mow, pull miles of wild blackberry vine out of the flower bed, get rid of dirt and rocks from the new tree we planted, plant new flowers and veggies, add topsoil to the garden, rake and level the garden boxes, pull weeds in the gravel path, pull weeds in the yard and cedar mulch beds, plant new rosemary, rose, and mint, line extra limestone rocks around our sinking stones that already line the path and flower beds, re-mulch, plant seeds, plant new garden plants, rake under rose bush, rake weeds up, edge, and THEN…. water and fertilize!

I know why people hire landscapers. I also know how to get a great butt-busting work-out without even knowing you are doing it. Until day 2. Then, trust me, you know it.

Best butt-busting workout: pulling berry vines out of the flower bed. #smartyard #spon

But hey – having that vine (mostly) gone – and having the neighbors come over to ask if you are putting the house on the market? Priceless.

I didn’t even know I HAD flowers in the front flower bed. Amazing. Now I can SEE THEM.


So you want to take the #SmartYard Challenge with me?

You can spruce up your yard and share about it on twitter with the #SmartYard hashtag. Just put the number sign before your word and it creates a keyword that other people can easily find in Twitter — which will make your post easy to see for Pennington Seed — and will show them I sent you!

I would love to see everyone fall in love with their yard again, have prettier flowers, fatter tomatoes, and tall, happy trees. I know I have been smiling at the yard every time I go outside with this transformation.

I can’t take full credit for it, though. Even the smallest bee in my hive helped.

Landscaper #Smartyard

The ground out here in the hill country of Texas is pretty rough and tumble… This is what it WOULD look like without grass seed, water, and lots of tender love and care. Read: elbow grease.

Bluebonnets & Brown Lace-up Boots (and might I just add that it forever irks me that the iPhone doesn't have a cowgirl hat, state of Texas shape, or boot icon?!)

But I had inspiration… because some little old ladies in the town I’m near have amazing gardens and flower beds. These poppies made me so jealous… so I got a few pots of orange ones for the front flower bed. Maybe next year they will come up again without me planting them. A girl can dream.

#red #poppies #happy #Friday ♥

The one thing I DON’T have a problem growing is cilantro. Thankfully, I love cilantro and eat it in Thai and Mexican dishes all of the time. I even found out tonight that it makes a nice addition to Jerk Chicken. However, if I used it in every dish this year, I wouldn’t be able to use up all the cilantro I grew this year in my garden. One entire garden box is FULL of it!

Bee in the Cilantro #SmartYard

That cilantro shot with the bee is a close up. You an see the entire bed better and get a grip on how much cilantro is in my yard in the video I made about this project (don’t laugh, I may be a dinosaur blogger – but I’m new to vlogging):

Speaking of killing things, this tiny guy (below, top right) is the third rosemary bush I have planted in my yard. I sure hope this one won’t die on me. I have heard everyone say that rosemary is really hard to kill and cilantro is pretty hard to grow… which makes me scratch my little brown thumb in wonder.

New plant friends. Chocolate Mint ... Mini Rose Bush ... Rosemary Bush

Here’s the pile of rose bush leaves and prickly branches after my husband trimmed it and I raked underneath. I can’t wait until it bursts out with hot pink buds.

Raking under the rose bush. #smartyard #spon

We worked hard during our #SmartYard challenge. Just look at my weed pile for the back yard…

Weed Pile #smartyard #spon

The garden probably transformed the most. The cilantro had crept over from box #2 and was threatening to take up all available planting space. Weeds were everywhere. The dirt was depleted. The cats in the neighborhood were using it for a litter box, and we had grass coming under the fence from our neighbor’s yard. You couldn’t even walk through the path between the raised beds.

#smartyard BEFORE garden shot (yuck)

The only thing I had already planted was a bowl full of onions that sprouted on my counter. Now we have red and yellow tomatoes, all varieties of peppers I could get my hands on, and I have planted bean, cucumber, pumpkin, and bell pepper seeds. We sprayed this area with the Pennington Smart Feed “Tomato and Garden” fertilizer. I’ll take a photo of the growth in a couple of weeks when I announce the winner of the gift card and give you an update on how the garden is growing!

I still need another two mesh wire sheets to enclose the garden to deter the cats from digging.

Still have some more weeding to do, but so sore! Best part is planting seeds and new plants! #smartyard

We still have a few seeds left to plant… mostly watermelon. I hate having to give up half the yard for pumpkin and watermelon plants, but love to see them growing. I’d love to hear your tips on keeping the ants from eating up our harvest. Last year the ants got most of our tomatoes before they were ready to eat.

I hate fire ants. They don’t like me much, either. I have a few bites from the past couple of days to prove it.

Seeds from the kitchen sink... Finding their way in to the dirt. #smartyard #gardening

So you still here? Interested in planting your own trees, bushes, herbs, veggies, and flowers? Interested in using affordable and easy fertilizers to keep them nourished? Want to win a 50$ gift card to make your own yard over (or do whatever else you want with it)?

Use the easy Rafflecopter below to enter and win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ Hope you win! }

In Him,


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Disclosure Statement
Central Garden & Pet partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Pennington products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Central Garden & Pet believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Central Garden & Pet’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.


  1. says

    You want tips? I have none. All I have is thyme. THAT is a plant you can’t kill. Believe me, if you could, I’d have done it by now. I’ve had a thyme plant in a big pot by my steps for 3 years. Never done anything to it but trim off enough for some jerk chicken and Jamaican peas and rice. Thyme is important for that. Cilantro? Sounds awful. :-)

  2. says

    I like to plant marigolds around my raised bed as a natural bug repellent. I also try to rotate what I plant each year. Just spent all weekend pulling weeds out of the garden. Trying to be patient in planting because its still early! :)

  3. Mary Happymommy says

    I’d like to plant some flowers. The challenge I have is that I have severe allergies so working outside is difficult.

  4. says

    My best gardening tips are:

    -use non-GMO seed (we love Baker Creek)
    -if you have the means and time to do so (we have not yet), install a rain collection system on eaves of roof to collect rain water
    -Garret Juice!!!! this stuff is awesome, and naturally feeds plants, and even helps keep insects off…our garden is thriving very well on this stuff
    -Dill should be planted throughout the garden to feed caterpillars (make sure you plant enough for yourself too) and ward of certain pests
    -pray and thank God for what could be your bountiful harvest
    -refer to proverbs often about working hard versus slothfulness (this is what I tell myself when we have tons of weeding to do, and hard labor!)
    water the roots, not the plant leaves unless you are applying Garret Juice to prevent foliage from being eaten by critters!

    • says

      Fire ants….no need for chemicals…orange oil (Medina Brand is fantastic) with vinegar. This also kills weeds when applied in the heat of the day. You can also mix in some dish soap to make a bit more effective.

  5. Ashley C says

    We’re planting strawberries in old cement blocks as a way to line our walkway to our house!


  6. says

    I have a black thumb. Seriously, I think I’ve even killed fake plants. BUT I have some beautiful rose bushes that flourish in the Texas Drought and even I can’t kill them…. but Rosemary? yeah that one alludes me too.

    but I did learn that by adding a soaker hose to my flower beds, I use less water and the plants love it. So that’s my tip.

  7. Harmony B says

    We just moved into a new place, I have to find a few ways to add some color in the front yard.

  8. jeannie says

    I really need to get rid of two overbearing bushes in my front yard and come up with a plan for our front yard

  9. says

    Tip? Don’t take tips from me – I kill EVERYTHING :( Although on that same note, roses, when watered occasionally, are pretty resilient.

  10. Amanda Sakovitz says

    I would love to plant some pink and purple flowers soon. I would also love to learn how to start growing my own veggies

  11. Sheila Laurence says

    We just planted over 70 trees and shrubs as part of a huge project we have going on at our house.

  12. Holly B says

    I do NOT have a green thumb, but my approach is to not worry too much about keeping my yard super manicured and instead embrace a more natural, wildflower look (without crossing over into the very un-chic “vacant lot” look).

  13. Laura Jacobson says

    I dont really have any tips, as I have never had a garden before! But…this year….is my first! I am soooo excited!!!! I will be busy reading everyones tips!

  14. Julie says

    i learned the hard way don’t cut the grass too short
    we r having a vegetable garden this year

  15. Wild Orchid says

    My tip is to water after the sun goes down, or early in the morning to avoid too much evaporation due to daytime sun.

    Entered the rafflecopter form as “Wild Orchid”
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  16. LeAnna says

    I wish I had a green thumb. Ironically, my last name is Flowers. I keep cannas alive, but that’s about it! 😉 This year we are hiring a landscaper to come in and put a sprinkler system and re-do our beds. I have 3 kids under 4, including a 1 mo old so I’m not getting much done this spring. The landscaper is putting in a lot of perennials and hardy plants that don’t require much water (cuz who wants to pay the water bill for the sprinkler?!?) I put in a request for crepe myrtles. They are my favorite! Guess that’d be my tip? Plant for your watering zone, for us that means a lot of drought tolerant plants! I do have a tip for keeping rosemary alive…it doesn’t like it’s roots to stay wet, so make sure it’s in a well draining area (no clay!).

  17. Tabathia B says

    We usually start cleaning our area up about two weeks before planting our veggies by pulling weeds and then we get some seeds and plant our seeds

  18. Lisa Brown says

    I am getting things ready to plant my veggies, like zucchini and tomatoes. I use clay pots for the tomatoes, and I also hang them around our balcony.

  19. rachel says

    We’re moving soon so I envision adding a garden and lots of new plants to our yard.

  20. Vunda V says

    this is the first year we’re making a garden so were just starting building a fence now!

  21. David says

    My favorite tip is too not mow my grass too short. I never mow below level 4 on my mower. My neighbors mow at level one so they only have to mow once a month, and their lawns look horrible.

  22. Ashley says

    Don’t mow your lawn while the grass is wet or damp, make sure it is completely dry…mowing while wet can cause your grass to get diseases easier.

  23. Julie says

    We plant zuchini, cucumbers and tomatoes every year. This year I want to try some raspberries or strawberries.

  24. Diana says

    We are just now losing the snow in Minnesota, so our ground is still frozen. Because of this, I never plant annuals in the ground. We just don’t get the same lifespan. I stick with flowering perennials. My annuals go in containers that I can bring inside to overwinter.

  25. amy pugmire says

    we moved in our home about a year ago and it was completely trashed they let the yard go. There is 3 garden boxes which we are thrilled about. so first we have to weed like crazy and my daughter wants to plant her own flower graden and then we will grow our own veggies in the other two beds

  26. Tracy Robertson says

    The only thing I really know is it’s best to water the lawn early in the morning, especially in the warm weather months ahead.


  1. […] cilantro or even a little Mexican oregano. I like to add mine at the table. Especially since we pick ours from the yard and usually remember it on our second bowl… “Oh, THAT’s what was […]