Surprise

I have been looking, at least every other day, for cucumbers. I saw a few babies but I was worried that I was going to strike out again this year.

This what I found this morning! I didn’t check over the weekend 😜 I remember planting two types of cukes, regular pickling and one I didn’t know—I think it was Japanese something—I guess that’s what the long ones are. Time to make the pickles.

Potatoes!!!

I’m so happy. I grow potatoes in raised bed, this year with second year bales. So happy with this year’s crop.

Last year I left them in the raised bed waiting for vine to wilt but it is so hot here that they cooked, rotted before that. I got none last year. So I decided to go ahead and dig now, the really hot days are just starting. So happy

Creativity

Today, as I was pulling up dead plants (I let my garden sit over winter, in cause there is anything useful to birds, etc) I was wondering what made me think I could do anything like repaint furniture. Or do anything creative for that matter. Because I never was a “creative” person just lacking time to create. In fact, I never even got creative with cooking, my son with tell you that if it didn’t come from a box or a bag I didn’t cook it.

I realized today, pulling up weeds and roots, that it was my garden that opened up my creativity. Participating with God in making vegetables. It has allowed me to open up something inside me that I didn’t even know existed. At 60 years old I began to see new possibilities in me and the world around me.

I’ve tried making things, repainting furniture, repurposing things, home decorating–who knows what is next.

But my garden is my center. I am in love with planting seeds and being part of them growing into food for my family.

Now I try all kinds of recipes, make up my own.

Creativity– who knew?

Watermelon. Oh sweet potato

The other morning my 5 yr old granddaughter told me there was a watermelon in what was left of my garden. I said, No baby the watermelons are gone. But since she insisted, I went to look. It wasn’t a watermelon but a sweet potato sticking out of the decaying straw bale. So I decided to go ahead and pull them since they were exposed. When I went back to pull the vines this morning. I forgot a few more

My garden may have problems this year but this is certainly the best sweet potato crop I’ve ever had.

It’s June, oh my

It is hard to believe that it is June. Crazy spring in the garden. Spent this lovely, usually cool morning smooching bales and pruning. Have tomatoes growing, none ripe. Looks like I have lost my squash don’t know why. Green beans growing so are bell peppers and okra.

3 hours and I’m wasted. Old woman I guess.

Not sure what to call this

I started this entry on Saturday, but just as I was writing down a title I was surprised by my adorable granddaughters–so there went the writing😍! And, well, yesterday was Sunday, I had my 5k road race walk then off to church. So I am back this morning. 

I am having a different time this year with my garden.  It is easy to talk about when things go great but between the lack of time because of the remodeling, the weather and just “stuff” in general, so far this year has been different. When I finally got my straw bales conditioned I couldn’t wait to plant. So I guess I made a rookie mistake, except I’m not a rookie (4 years ) and nothing like this has happened before.  I planted a bunch of seeds and about 16 tomato seedlings in bales on the same day I planted pole bean, okra, zucchini and squash seeds in my raised beds.  The raised beds sprouted and continue to do great but nothing in bales and all the tomato seedlings died. Looking back, I realized the bales must have been too hot. Like I said, I’ve never had this happen before but I have read some of the docs online.  Soooo I’ve reseeded where I still had seeds, still replanting and replacing tomato seedlings and I’ve bought a few plants too. Of I forgot that I also planted 5 tomato seedlings in my little raised bed–they are doing fine so I know the seedlings were old enough to plant.

Gardening is a little like life. You learn as you go, hope and pray for the best. Keep going and restart when you need to.

Let the planting begin

So, yesterday I finally began to get started in the garden. Conditioning of straw bales was complete. I had been, broccoli and cabbage seedlings weathered and waiting. I got the black kow manure and soil into the raised beds, hoed a little to mix in–then I planted my pole bean seedlings and seeds, set up trellises and now ready to go.  I put them in second bed to rotate from last year. Then I put okra and squash seeds in other big bed. I’m not sure about squash seeds, they were from last year’s crop–looked a little dehydrated, so if they don’t sprout I’ll put in new plants or seeds from store.  I put the cabbage and broccoli in side bed, already have broccoli, lettuce and strawberries started there. I just got started planting seeds in bales and I had to stop to help DB pull bushes cut from pond front to road. Hopefully I’ll get finished tomorrow.  Did repot some tomato seedlings and put a few out to start weathering. Pictures will follow when finished.  

Gardening thoughts

Every morning, since I got my straw bales last week, as I work the conditioning process, my head is full of thoughts that I am now going to try to put down on paper, or screen.  I don’t post a lot about my garden on the straw bale group Facebook, I did in years past but after awhile I realized that gardening brought me so much pleasure and I just didn’t want the “constructive criticism”–not that the people were trying to be mean, but everyone wants to voice their opinion. 

Well, it is my garden and I just want to enjoy.  There are all kinds of purists. And, frankly I don’t care!  I have used a lot of different bales–fancy, and costly, landscape bales that had to leave the plastic around the sides to keep together (landscape-meant to be taken apart), “compressed” bales that just about strangled the roots, locally farmed but badly baled that had to have fences to stay together and now good “trash” wheat straw bales from feed store.

I have planted on the “top” side and the “bottom” as well as the side of bales–it all works as long as you work the program outlined in the book. 

I’ve planted many different veggies–some do better than others, some locations are better for some plants. I have just about given up on cucumbers–which everyone can grow, right? Wrong! But I tried a different location and I had to learn to make pickles!

I like to plant seedlings. But I have planted seeds too. Again, some do better than others, some years better than others. I have tried carrots every year using every method I’ve read about, still no luck. But I will keep on trying.

The more I garden, the more I am amazed by my God. The wonder of nature, the majesty of creation. The joy of being in nature.

I have discovered a few things that help. My mucking boots, no I don’t have animals, but I have unconquerable weeds, no weed barriers have helped, only being able to weed-eat or mow them down, discovered that weed barriers create a weed-eater nightmare, so I no longer put anything down. I wear my mucking boots and let husband weed-eat to the ground.

And my “snake stick”, once it warms up a little I have a long stick that I beat the ground in front of me with–scares the snakes, so far all I’ve ever had are garter snakes–and keeps me from jumping out of my skin when they move.

When I was younger I never would have gardened, now I think everyone should.