This year I have tried several different things, just to see what works best in my different beds and locations.
For example, I planted tomatoes in all my garden spaces except at the end of the house which I save for corn.
- So, I planted in my little raised bed, the one I call the tomato bed, like I have every year. I put in 3 or 4 plants from Lowe’s (to get a head start and earlier tomatoes) and the rest were my seedlings from heirloom tomatoes. Most of the tomatoes I am getting now are coming from this bed.
- I put many tomatoes in my straw bales, only one of the Lowe’s plants–which has gone crazy, producing much more that the others in tomato bed. My seedlings are producing but only one plant has mature enough fruit to pick any. Still waiting on others.
- My hugelkulture bed is all tomatoes and broccoli, with one eggplant, and they are doing very well, have starting picking some tomatoes.
- I put 2 tomatoes in 1st raised bed and they are struggling, as are the 2 tomatoes I put in 2nd bed. Don’t plan to put tomatoes in these beds next year.
Very interesting, it seems that my tomatoes don’t like too much sun because the 2 beds that get the most sun are the ones with the struggling tomatoes. I lost track of how many different types of tomatoes I planted.
My best potato crop is from my 1st bed not the potato bags I also used.
Last year my eggplant did nothing, planted close to house in old flower bed BUT this year I put in 1st bed and they look great and I can see a baby eggplant growing.
My zucchini plant has grown like crazy, leaves and stems, and collapsed its straw bale, still growing but not much zucchini, only one big one. I have to get the little ones before they start to collapse on blossom end–may be holding too much moisture. Next year I will put in one of my raised beds. Yellow squash in bales did not do well either, but the ones in 3 sisters bed at end of house look good (in ground).
Cabbage did much better in 2nd raised bed than the ones in bales. The slugs and rolypolies found cabbage in bales but left the raised beds alone. When I planted cabbage in bales close to house some bug ate almost everything so this year I planted in outer bales and they did much better.
Broccoli has done well in bales and beds. I have frozen several bags of broccoli in addition to what we ate. I read that you could cut the crown and leave the plant and it might produce small side heads, several have but some just rotted out.
Lettuce has been awesome in 2nd raised bed, spring mix is still going strong.
Okra planted in 1st raised bed again since it did so well last year. But I moved it to the other end for crop rotation and wind protection–hopefully a hurricane won’t end its life and production this year.
I planted a couple of watermelon plants for MK and they are going wild! I have lots of vines and flowers, we will see about whether we get watermelons. One in bale and one in 2nd raised bed, bale one is taking over!
I planted picking cucumbers but do not seem to be having much luck. Lost one completely, have another one growing in bale but have not seen any cukes and have another one in 1st bed that appears to be growing up tomato rather than trellis, but I haven’t seen any cukes.
Sweet potatoes in bale and 1st bed seem to be doing well but too early to know about production.
Bell peppers in bales doing good. I only planted one bell and one purple in 2nd bed. Purples are too little to start producing. Have been freezing bells for a while now. Banana pepper in bale doing well.
Had trouble getting beans to grow from seed in bales but I have ended up with a couple of good vines with beans. 3 sisters beans too young to start producing yet.
Garlic and onions seem to be doing well but not getting large fruit.
I love my garden. I think it is saving my sanity in addition to making me healthier–from good fresh organic vegetables and old fashioned hard work.
Thank you for reading.
I was just sitting on the back porch, early morning, listening to the birds and frogs. Watching the bird feeder. Life is good in the U.S. I pray we remember to appreciate our lives. People in other countries don’t have what we have, the freedoms, the opportunities–even the freedom to disagree and say it publicly! I don’t always like everything going on BUT I am sure thankful to be here.
So I decided to harvest all that was left of my cabbage in my bales. The slugs, rolly pollies and caterpillars have gone crazy in the bales. Not bad in raised beds? Go figure
So this is my snake stick. I have a snake who lives behind my bales. Now I know it is a good snake. But, I am afraid of snakes. So I bang my little stick, shake the tall weeds and talk loudly to get the snake to move away while I am there. So far it is working 😊. I saw the snake turn and go the other way today.
Sometimes I think it is my garden that keeps me sane. I know it is helping to keep me healthy–never have I been outside in the beauty and freshness of nature so much, all the walking, bending, enjoying the bird sounds and talking to my plants. One of the really nice things about plants is that they don’t talk back😇. And, of course, eating fresh veggies without pesticides or other junk on them.
But when life, the world, people get to me, make me want to run away–I have the wonderful opportunity to walk out the back door to my garden. When I am in the garden it is just the plants and me–and an occasional bug, which I will probably kill, and the birds, which I love to listen to, as long as they are not in my plants pecking on them. I talk to my tomatoes as I prune them–cutting off excess branches, bugs and whatever, waiting for their fruit. I sweat and struggle to make the best garden I can–and I forget that there is anything beyond the garden. I am totally immersed. I am alone with the garden. It is heaven. Funny I used to think heaven was a place where you did no work, but now I think it is a place where you are immersed in your work, one with the job.
Now, so far into this blog that no one will ever see it. I need to say that I really hate caregiving. I know that is a terrible thing to say, to think, to feel. But it is true. I always knew that I was not cut out for one on one caring–that’s why I was always in administration, I care but don’t want to do it. But now I have to, every morning it is my wake up call and every evening my bedtime routine. And I hate it. I know it is unChristian of me. I don’t like me when I feel this way, but still I hate it.
I praise God for my garden–without it I would be lost in the mire of my feelings. When I am in the garden, I forget there is a world outside the garden and I am saved from my feelings. Is that wrong? I don’t know, I am just thankful for my garden.