Garden: We are trying it again this year

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

Last year our garden was a disaster due to dry conditions & then resulting weeds. It will get worked a lot this summer as we rebuild the soil and tackle the weeds. I have grown great gardens there in the past. Last year was just not one of those years.

Well, today was spent doing some miscellaneous things and planting the cold hardy part of our (previously pasture) garden. This is traditionally the weekend to plant in our area and its usually a weekend with frost & possibly snow in slightly higher elevations.

When I was younger (at those higher elevations), we always used to chuckle at the hordes of city folks driving by on Friday evening to go camping in the nearby national park...knowing that it would usually result in a cold & snowy long weekend. They never seemed to learn.

Anyway, today, we got 2 types of potatoes in, a pink and also a purple variety that we have never grown before. Beans, peas and corn also went in.

The tender stuff will have to wait a little longer. It is just too cold, day & night, at the moment.

We are hoping that it warms up to nice moderate temperatures and that we start getting just enough rain at just the right times. I don't think that is asking too much.


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I don't think you are asking too much either.

    We have had an above normal week of temperature. I looked and next week is cold. I put off putting in part of my gardens just because I know this happens every year.

    This year was chaotic enough that I didn't feel like going out every night and dropping frost covers. I have them in place so its no big deal but its just one more thing to do or think about.

    Good luck!~

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @Denise Grant Thanks!

    Well, our timing was good, I guess, because at 2am, we had a thunderstorm actually accompanied by rain. 😄

    It is a good start.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Keep at it, Laurie! Not every year will be productive, but never give up, and the long term benefits will justify the work.

    We're still in moderate drought here in New England, but I'm hoping for good crops anyway. After several days with temps around 80F (26C), the plants have taken a leap forward. Beans are sprouted, peas are getting taller, onions are shooting upward and filling out, tomatoes look like they have settled in, and even the pickling cucumbers have sprouted.

    I hope that you have a good year for your garden in 2021.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    To be honest, I had figured that we would skip this year. But, the kids insisted that they wanted one. I have to support that, of course! They went through my stored seeds, and decided what they wanted. I still have to get beets & carrots they have told me.

    They insisted that they would do the work too. I am glad! I told them it will be tough at times & they might not want to do the work, but it is important to persevere. I hope that they stick with it.

    That has been an issue in years past. I like a large garden. I like variety. I like a productive garden. I like them clean. I want to honor my heritage & I know how important a garden is. But, I find it quite difficult to take that all on myself plus get everything else done. I know that the kids need to learn the skills in spite of my lack of great enthusiasm knowing what may lie ahead.

    At this point, it looks favorable. They have interest. We will see what time brings.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You might want to compromise and have a smaller than usual garden, but still a garden. Maybe reduce the number of varieties you normally plant and the amount of square feet planted. The kids will be more likely to succeed if the task isn't too overwhelming.

    Carrots are easy. Even young kids can do the thinning if they know how. Corn, probably not. They can probably grow fresh tomatoes (if your climate supports it; you are probably pushing the northern limit of outdoor tomatoes), but canning them may be too much to ask. It all depends.

    I remember as a kid wanting to help my mother can tomatoes, and some years I did, but I have never been a morning person. Some years she was all done by the time I got out of bed! I'm just a night owl by nature.

    Good luck to you and your family!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Our garden is smaller this year. Two thirds is potatoes, sweet corn, peas & beans. The rest will have tomaroes, lettuce & spinach, cucumbers, pumpkins & maybe carrots & beets. I think we will skip something, because it will fill up quickly. It won't be enough to give us much more than a taste especially since our family is big and likes to eat. The lettuce & spinach is for us & our special (designated pet) birds. Of course, we will have to share peas with the "peas." Lol The potatoes might be the only thing that will have a little more lasting power, although we consume a lot of these too.

    Except on especially nasty days of wind & (hopefully) rain, the plan is to go out with some specialized garden tools and work it daily. When the wind dies down, I will have to get a picture of their tools. The one tool is really nice & easily & quickly does a good job. They really enjoy using it. This soil is much easier to work than where our other garden sits, so that will certainly help.

    With the exception of the potatoes, we used the precision garden seeder to do the planting. That sped things up a lot, and satisfied the mechanical/mathematical side of their brain by adjusting depth, getting the right seed disks and assuring that everything was working properly. Observations were..."Hey, it furrows, seeds, harrows AND packs! Cool." So is the farmer mind.

    We've got 2 teens & 2 almost there, so they are capable of quite a bit now if they work together. This space should not be too large...and I will help of course.

    Since I hadn't started tomatoes, we bought a few. I also overwintered a Roma that ended up creating two separate plants. That will go out with them.

    Thank you @VermontCathy!

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning glad to hear you got a storm with some rain. There’s no doubt that water that falls from the sky is superior to that from a tap! Plus the nitrogen supplied by the thunderstorm is a bonus.

    Some years, for whatever reason are better than others, season, rainfall, personal circumstances, pests and disease etc. It’s a good idea to have some time out, regroup and get stuck back in to it. This year, late summer for me was one of those times. Too much rain, a lot of produce rotted! Plus my shoulder surgery in March, I decided to pull everything out, top with compost and mulch and give it a rest. Now I’m on the mend and feeling better each week, my garden is looking good and I’ve got greens I’m already harvesting.