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. 

Seeds

Just wanted to tell you know that I have set up a YouTube channel also. I’m using it to talk about gardening too. If you like this blog I think you will like it too. Be sure to check it out. Like it and subscribe. It is under my name Mary L Brown and has my picture on it. 

Got some seeds planted yesterday–yeah😍👍. I need to get back to working on getting garden ready for new bales but between rain and remodeling it has been difficult. At least we don’t have to deal with snow and ice here😘

Finally ordered a potting bench yesterday   Hoorah. My back was not happy yesterday after planting 2 trays of seeds on that low picnic table we have. I told myself last year that I was going to get one but didn’t. I just about had my husband ready to build me one when I found this one online, he said he couldn’t build one that cheap– materials would cost at least that– so he told me to order. And I did. Should be here next week😜🌱🍅. 

Be safe. Remember God loves us. He takes care of the birds and He will take care of us. 

Our fake spring

Now, this may not look like much to you but to me, it’s wonderful. With temps in the high 70s, I started cleaning up my garden. I left all the vines and stuff because I read that it was better for birds, etc. So, today I started cleaning up, pulling up dead tomato vines and stuff. I put most of it back into raised beds for it to compost.

Can’t wait for spring. I am fortunate to live here in Myrtle Beach because well, we just don’t have winter like other places and I can get an early start.

Also my husband built me a grow stand a couple of years ago and now I start my own seeds. I’ll start next week😍🤪.

I found myself laughing at myself today. I thought that if my younger self was told that my older self would love to garden, grows and freezes veggies. She would say that she must have lost her mind😊😊🤪.

Fruits of the garden

Tonight we had the marvelous experience of eating fresh grown and frozen–no pesticides or herbicides–green beans, okra, tomatoes and green peppers. So good. Fried okra–yum.  Made up a chicken dish with sautéed onion, garlic and green peppers, rice and a bag of fresh frozen tomatoes. Love, love, love my garden. 

New year 2019

Last year was hard. It got so hot so fast. My garden did well, especially the tomatoes, green beans and green peppers. I did not do so well. I let the heat keep me in the house. The land dollars have taken over everything everywhere. I read that it was better for wildlife to let the garden be over the winter and clean up in the spring.  Boy, am I going to have a job when it warms up😜😮! But the birds seem happier. We even had a possum for a while and mice/rats–got under the house. Thankfully my precious husband crawled up under the porch and fixed that😘. No, we didn’t poison them–I thought about it, to be truthful –he found the hole they were using and closed it up.

Have my saved seeds spread out on dining room table and seed catalogs. Just need to get busy sorting out what I need and ordering.

We are in the middle of a major remodel of master bedroom and bath that we need/must finish to be ready for garden.

Can hardly wait!!  Had to share pic of last year and my helper!😍

My garden

I have been such a bad garden mom lately. It was so hot for so long, then hurricanes   And I let my garden grow up. I am still getting green peppers–sweet lovely garden. But there is soooooo much I need to do   But we started a bathroom remodel so it may be early spring before I get back to work. But I love my garden so much. I am planning on making squash casserole and sweet potato casserole for church Christmas dinner–from homegrown veggies😍😜🤗. Makes such a happy girl. 

This year

Well, this was a hard year in the garden. Mostly due to extreme heat without rain, had to start watering daily. Then monsoon season❤️🍅

But I just counted freezer stuff. 20 gallon bags of tomatoes, 10 quart bags of green beans, 5 quart bags of squash, 3 quart bags of shredded zucchini,  3 jars of pesto

I should make another pesto, I have plenty of basil

Plus all the tomatoes, green beans and squash we ate and gave to neighbors turns out it was a better year than I thought🌿❤️🍅🍆

Still have okra coming in daily.  And I finally found the right spot for eggplant and peppers. I’ve never had eggplant come in like this🍆 before. 

Still waiting for cooler weather to get garden ready for winter. I had thought about a fall garden but it looks like the heat will be unbearable til September.  

Musings

I have been looking for the time to write for while now. This year has been so busy. Got the garden planted a little later than last year due to unusual cold spells, then it got hot and humid soooo fast. 

I did a terrible job of keeping up with pruning due to the heat. Thankfully my garden forgave me.

Then there was the unforeseen necessity of having my granddaughters here all the time.

But I have blessed with more beans than any other year. They apparently like my first raised bed better than any other spot I have tried. I finally found a place that cucumbers like, which is not the first raised bed😜 so I have refrigerator dill and bread and butter pickles. Squash did much better this year. I have a lot of tomatoes but will not be able to freeze as many bags this year. But tomatoes are still coming in.

Have had the gardener’s treat of sharing with other people especially neighbors.

Need to plan fall crop!!!