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Reflection On Possibilities — The Grow Network Community
Flowers are the music of the ground from earth's lips spoken without sound.

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Reflection On Possibilities

greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

I'm literally amazed this year at one of my plantings.

Most of my garden is raised beds. I don't have even dirt on my property. I have acres of ground rock dumped on this property. Given enough time, even horrible looking grass will survive growing in rocks.

So my whole garden area has to be dug out and then actual dirt trucked in to dump on it to start the process of making garden soil. That's no big problem. Every year I make one or two more raised beds so my garden has been growing each year, thus I obtain more harvest each year.

The end of the 2018 season I had one strip tucked in about 12'L X 2'W. Although not big, it was plenty enough space to me to get in plenty of crops I thought. So it became a new garden bed for this 2019 growing season.

In went early Spring cool season crops of different varieties. Nine foot of that space was all harvested by early Summer. Three feet on the end wasn't ready yet. So after a few more weeks that 3' section was harvested. A little soil maintenance and I put in Blue Lake pole beans.

I truly wasn't expecting much from that area because lets face it, I only had room for two rows of seeds in that 3' space.

Well it's now Fall and I already have 57 pints of green beans pressure canned for this winter. Those few plants just keep right on growing and blooming and I keep harvesting. Although the plants are slowing down now I'm still daily getting enough beans for 2-3 more

jars more each day. Often I tuck in a daily meal out of some of the harvest.

So I guess we should never go into a garden season with preconceived notions because the miracle of Mother Nature sure has surprised me with these green beans.


  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 425 ✭✭✭✭

    Mother Nature is a good mother, she gives all we need and more, if only we give her our attention.

  • wbt.affiliateswbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    I no longer dig my garden. I layer everything on top, make mounds, add nutrients such as vegetable matter. Mound add extra growing space. I live in a trailer park where space is limited.

    The fall before I start my new spring bed, I put down a thick layer of leaves. We get a lot of leaves blown into our yard, so I use it for the gardens to help them winter over and to begin a new space that I intend to garden the next year.

    When I make a new bed, I lay a layer of cardboard down, and start putting everything on top of that. The cardboard provides a weed-free biodegradable layer. On top of that I lay down some brush and twigs that I've trimmed from my elderberry bushes.

    I also add the weeds I gathered over the summer. Some will seed down, of course, but that provides me with more mulch later on. Because the weeds are placed in a single pile over the summer, the lower part is partially composted, I really have few weeds pop up, surprisingly.

    Over that I add a layer of kitchen compost. If the compost isn't quite composted yet, I don't worry. It all becomes dirt eventually, good garden dirt. On top of that I add a layer of last year's potted soil. I grow quite a bit in pots. Limited garden space, remember?

    All winter I've been growing things inside. By spring I have ready-to-transplant plants for the new garden. Since I live in a Colorado mountain valley, we have a short growing season, so growing seedlings and transplanting them become the way it works here.

    Gardening is a year-round activity for me. I love it.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    RE " So my whole garden area has to be dug out and then actual dirt trucked in to dump on it,

    to start the process of making garden soil. That's no big problem. " Good grief! Who's got that kind of $$$$ to waste?, no less on something unnecessary. - Just Simply Copy what a Natural Forest does :) every single day, & your garden will Thrive,,,

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @rainbow actually I have one seperate area in my lower yard where I do throw all my "Forest Material" but it takes too long to break down so there's no way I can rely on that for my garden beds. So yes we have one small town nearby here which gets all the local landscapers extra brush, leaves or whatever and then the municipality has the equipment to pulverize it and make brush, then mulch,then soil etc.. Then they sell it as a fundraiser for their municipality funds. Since I have a large pickup, I can fill the entire truckbed with organic planting soil for only $12. My truckbed can fill two 4X12 raised beds for just that $12 and then I still have a little soil left for topping off my beds as the season goes along. I generally get only two truckloads every year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. To me, that $24 is the best bargain I have ever found in my gardening endeavors.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    okay @greyfurball so long as you know... that "all the local landscapers extra brush, leaves or whatever" is CLEAN (iow no pesticides, etc. poisons) to harm your Foods, etc. - seems like a pretty good deal. - (am still trying to get us another Pickup for related Farm needs, but sadly not now.) Good for you then :)

  • SuperCSuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 369 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019

    Sometimes when the soil is all rocky, that's when the roots run deep and the yield is crazy good. Are you aware of two perennials that like rocks? They are thyme and oregano. Good drainage provided on your lot from what I read. Have fun with the bean yield. Enjoy with love.

  • gennywugennywu Posts: 96 ✭✭✭

    I didn't realize that rocks could be good for fertility but what you said makes perfect sense. I always thought that rocks had to be removed. The more I learn, the more garden chores I can eliminate. Thanks for that!

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes I had thought of that first thing @rainbow when I first heard about the soil's availability.

    I know I was quite persistent at confirming "how did they know it was clean yard scraps?" when the loads come in. And yes, they actually do confirm who is their suppliers and where the load comes from. They will take no one new. Every supplier must pre-register and explain their business practices etc.. "Dirty" loads are not accepted since the town itself has a policy it only uses clean soil.

    In case you haven't guessed it yet, the town's Dept Of Works supervisor is a woman.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @teachercaryn , then that explains why my oregano and thyme bushes both look like their own little forest. I have oregano in three places since I keep splitting it (and throwing a bunch in the compost pile) and the oregano and thyme in one place (the herb bed) looks like a regular plant. But the thyme in the other, an in-ground bed, it's like a wall of ground cover it just keeps spreading everywhere. So yes your explanation now makes their growing habits make sense.

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