|Posted on May 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM|
Since we moved here, we have tried to grow a garden. This property is not farm property but densely wooded mountain land. For twelve years, we've toiled and experimented and been alternately exhilarated and disappointed in our efforts to become more self sufficient. We're cleared out trees to let in more light, tilled and tilled and tried to amend soil as best we can on limited income, built planting boxes, made mistakes and here we are in 2014 with several new garden areas and higher hopes than in previous years.
We are growing from plants, from direct sown seed, from started seed and every method we can use here. We have since abandoned the main garden that the previous owner had sketchily tilled out in the shady land because it just doesn't work. We did leave one box, but the tomatoes in it, despite of amended soil, look rather anemic to me. There is an area behind that box where hubby hoed some short rows and just dumped extra seed into, hoping maybe to get something out of it. There is a row of purchased cantaloupe plants that are not growing with much enthusiasm, but the row of cantaloupe seed is producing a few strong looking plants, much to our surprise.
One new garden area is a fenced off plot that used to be the back of the main chicken pen, full of rich, poop-amended chicken-foot-tilled dirt. We scooped much of that into some boxes we moved in and the tomatoes and rhubarb are doing well. We're already pilfered the rhubarb stalks that were large enough to do so. The cabbage, directly planted at the end of winter, looks fabulous, as do the potato plants and garlic. The chickens are earning their keep this year with more than eggs, for sure! There are two boxes of tiny tomato plants started from seed, a couple of rows of brussels sprouts that are failing miserably with only two or three healthy looking plants, but to be fair, those rows are slightly uphill from the richest dirt and are trying to survive in a mix that has much more clay.
Then there is another area next to the huge shavings-and-poop pile from the coops that last year, in a fit of optimism, my hubby threw out some corn and it actually produced enough for us to enjoy about 25 ears of rich, fat, sweet corn on the cob. So, this year, it has a fence and, along with the grass and clover, it's growing a crop of Peaches & Cream sweet corn, plus a row of okra that we hope will come up. Little critters tunnel in that rich, soft dirt, showing interesting raised patterns, but they did it last year and the corn grew fine, so we'll just hope it does so this year as well. And there is another bed with a box of bell peppers surrounded by crookneck and zucchini squash plants. Last year, they all grew foliage but never produced a squash in the old garden. Crossing fingers for some squash this year. And we have four eggplant plants in the original garden where they can sprawl so think good thoughts for those, please!
Of course, we always have grape vines, rescued many years ago from subdivision bulldozers at our last home. There are three varieties of muscadine, including a tear shaped hybrid Southern Home variety. And we do have pear, apple, cherry and peach trees, but this year, they are not fruiting. Must be a growth year for them.
Hope you enjoy some of our garden photos.
And a very considerate and supportive friend mailed me some starts for Cuban Oregano, which I could not find here, just so I could make her wonderful salsa recipe this year. I have them in hanging baskets, such a beautiful plant. Thank you so much, Robin!
And in another hanging basket, some kale is started. Boy, this stuff comes up FAST! Thank, you, Ladyhawk, for the spinach and kale seeds you brought me on your visit!
Hope you enjoyed the garden tour! Happy Gardening, All!
Categories: Daily Clucking