Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Gardening Update…End of the Season

Monday, August 25th, 2008

I wrote earlier in the year that we were putting in a garden for the first time since we moved to this house nearly three years ago.  We tilled up the front yard (yes, the front yard) and planted a little bit of everything.  Overall, the garden was a bit disappointing this year.  Many of my plants came up, and appeared to be flourishing, but then did not produce very well.  I am afraid that I tried to cram too many things into a small space.  I probably also need to work the ground a little better before planting next year.

My corn looks great standing, but only produced a few ears off of 4 rows.  Some of the ears only filled out a part of the kernels, leaving big empty spots on the cob.  I’m not sure what brought that on, but we only got about 20 ears of edible corn from all that we planted.  I’m not sure I’m going to plant any more corn next year, especially if I can’t figure out what the problem is with it.

Our tomatoes finally did OK after having to replace 2 or three that got chewed off by a rabbit.  We have gotten enough for my wife, who is the only tomato eater in our family.  Jacob likes the cherry tomato plant, as it puts off several ripe tomatoes per day, and he loves getting out there and picking.

Our green beans produced pretty well.  We got about 3 pickings off of them, and enough for several meals.  I think we may try to plant a few more beans next year so that we can put some up in the freezer.  We like Blue Lake green beans, as they are typically very tender, and a sweet flavored bean.

Our okra has been disappointing this year.  We were out of town when the first “tier” was ready, and no one cut it.  That makes okra stop growing, so we haven’t gotten but a few pods off of it since we got back.  We do have a friend who has been growing a lot of okra too, so he has been sharing with us.  We love fried okra!

My squash were the biggest disappointment of the season.  We had great looking plants, but only got about a half a dozen squash.  I think that I didn’t thin my plants out enough.  Next year, I will plant less plants, and hopefully get a few more squash!

Our melons didn’t do very well either, though our vines looked great.  We got one watermelon, and one cantaloupe.  These took far too much space for not having produced any more fruit.

I am going to try and work with the soil this fall, and see if we can produce more next year.  We plan to use the rabbit manure from our new endeavor to enrich the soil, and I am going to add some lime to it before tilling it under this fall.

Do you all have any suggestions for making my garden more prosperous?

Another Gardening Post…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

I wrote a few days ago that we had the garden in and complete.  However, over the last few days, I have noticed that many of my new, tender plants have been eaten off by some “wascally wabbit”, and my beans have been broken off by the neighbor’s dogs.  I certainly never thought that these would be issues.  So, today I started to work at putting up a chicken wire fence that will hopefully keep both of the aforementioned trouble makers out of my garden.

I was hoping to get the whole thing done in a couple of hours, but it appears that it will be a much bigger job than that.  It took me a while to figure out the best way of drawing the wire taunt, but I think I have the hang of it now.  Just as I was making good progress, a big storm blew up.  Looks nasty outside right now. I’m hoping we don’t lose power!

Most of the garden has come up pretty well.  I am a bit disappointed that my tomatoes and peppers have not taken as well as I thought they would.  I hope they will take off in the next week or so.  I have to replace a couple of plants that are not doing well…in fact, one is shriveled up to nothing.  I’ve already had to replace 2 tomatoes from where mr. bunny has been chewing on them.  I guess that is part of the fun of gardening.

I’m sure there will be more to come!

Garden Plots…the Saga Continues

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Today I was able to get outside and finish up with planing the garden. We got everything but the kale in (I’m throwing in that link just to share with Tom what kale is…I didn’t know either until a friend asked me to plant some for her!). We ended up planting 8 tomato plants, 6 pepper plants, 1 watermelon plant, and 1 cantaloupe plant, besides the seeds for everything else that I listed yesterday.

Jacob PlantingI had a lot of help with the garden. I had 4 little hands that just couldn’t wait to get in and help out. Our little Skylar doesn’t like to get her hands too dirty, so she would put a plant in, and then barely touch the dirt trying to push it in the hole with the plant. After a while she forgot about keeping clean, and had a lot more fun with the planting! Jacob on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of any of it. The hardest part was keeping him from grabbing things before I was ready for it. Without close observation, I am sure all of my plants would have had a hard day today!

It was nice to use this as opportunity to talk with the kids about how things grow, and how that provides food for us. I think it will be interesting to watch Skylar, as she realizes that the plants we put in the ground provide what we will eat for supper. We talked about how that is the case, but I’m not sure she will really grasp it until we actually start pulling the vegetables off the plants and using them for our supper. This was a good opportunity for us to talk about the wonderful creation that God has given to us, and how we can use what He has given to us in a good way.

Skylar RocksHere is a picture of Skylar with the pile of rocks that I had to dig out of the garden. This is not a very big garden, so the pile of rocks is pretty substantial. I was afraid that it would be even worse than it was. One big problem with this project was dealing with all the junk that got tilled to the top. I suspect that fill was brought in and used to level off the property that I live on, back when the house was built. Because of that, we found glass, marbels, pieces of plastic, and a lot of other things during the tilling process. I have tried to get everything picked up to make sure the kids don’t get cut on something. I hope I have been successful in that!

JonDavid OutsideWe did have a supervisor for the project today, at least while it was not raining. We have found out that JonDavid, like the rest of our crew, likes to stay outside. He has been laying out on a quilt while the rest of us are outside working or playing. Yesterday he found the grass, and seemed to like it a lot. I am sure it won’t be long at all until he is crawling around the grass, trying to catch up with the other kids, and getting a hold of the plants in the garden. For now, he was content to just keep an eye on us!

I have a couple of other pictures of the kids from the days activities that I will share with you as I close. I still did not get a picture of the whole garden yet, but maybe I will do that in the next couple of days. It looks like it has a lot of grass growing in it, since I just busted up the sod in there yesterday. I am hoping that the grass clumps will die, and I can till them in by the end of the summer. Next year, I hope those won’t be so bad! Anyway, here are a couple of more pictures!

Skylar Planting Skylar Jacob Planting

Spent the Day Planting…

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Well, I have been inspired by The Hunter’s Wife, and decided to plant a garden of my own. It is certainly not as pretty as Jody’s, but I am hoping that it will produce a bit of vegetables by the end of the summer. It was certainly a big job to get my garden ready today. I started out this morning with a nice little front yard, and ended this evening with 4 rows of corn, and 2 rows of beans. I didn’t get everything planted today, so I hope to get it done tomorrow. I was able to take off most of the day today, and it took almost the whole day to get the garden ready. I had to run the tiller through it 3 times before it was ready to put seed in it. The truth is, it probably wouldn’t hurt to let it set a day and then till it up again, but I don’t really want to wait that long. Remind me of that when the grass is growing up in the garden all summer.

Here is what we hope to put in the garden by the time we have it fully planted:

  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blue Lake Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Yellow crook neck squash
  • Okra
  • Cucumbers
  • Silver Queen Corn
  • Kale

I think that about covers it, though I may be forgetting something. I am looking forward to seeing how things grow here. The soil looks pretty good, and I got some Miracle Grow fertilizer to put on it…I’ve had good luck with that before, especially with peppers and tomatoes.

I’ll try to get some pictures taken when everything is planted.