You Know Why Mary is so Contrary? I Do.

“Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,

How does your garden grow?”

Tell us. How is YOUR garden growing this summer?

Won’t you share with us? Hit up the comment section with Your name, Your name, Quite your mood, How does your garden grow?” And then tell us about your garden, or lack thereof.

Ok, I’ll start.

“Rebekah, Rebekah, quite frustrated yet for some reason rather perky, how does your garden grow?”

Well, why don’t I just show you my harvest so far?

2 blueberries (two blueberry bushes)

This year I harvested 2 whole berries. I plopped them on top of yogurt for breakfast. Yum. There were only two, but they were sweet, tender, and bursting with flavor. (Imagine if there were, say 10! or 20!)
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2 bunches of colorful Swiss Chard: one pink, one yellow

I don’t have a photograph to share of these lovely vegetables because I didn’t realize at the time how skimpy my overall harvest would be. I chopped the leaves and stems and sauteed them with Olive Oil and fresh garlic. It was yummy.

4 Okra Pods (three plants)

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I have three plants. Fried okay is delicious. I think I’ll wait until I have the other two pods that are almost ready to pick. That should give me enough to feed one person.

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Have you ever seen the Okra flower before the pod forms? It’s beautiful.

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1 cucumber (3 vines)

My cucumber? Delicious. Just perfect. Crisp. Not even a tad of bitterness. I enjoyed it for lunch one day. Chill it; peel it; slice it longwise; sprinkle with salt.

There are no signs of any other cucumbers forthcoming. The vines are dying.

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0 Better Boy tomatoes (4 plants)

Talk about disappointing. My tomato plants are all leaves and no blossoms. I’m not hopeful that I’ll be able to experience the summer ritual of picking a big tomato warmed by the sun, standing in the garden, and eating it there while juice drips down my chin.

sigh.

But I am not completely tomato-less:

1 or 2 small tomatoes every other day (3 plants, 2 in the garden and 1 is a “volunteer” in the shubbery by the house)

These are good to eat on your way somewhere, like the horse barn. I have a yellow and red cherry tomato plant and a grape tomato plant.

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0 yellow squash (9 vines)

My three hills of yellow squash have produced nothing. Zilch. They don’t look promising.

0 watermelon (3 vines)

But. The vines look healthy. Will there be fruit? IDK.

3 tiny butternut squash (6 vines)

are growing now. I have hope in those little guys. Butternut Squash is one of my favorite all-time foods. Come one, Butternut Squash. Fight, Fight, Win!

3 Mad Hatter sweet peppers (1 plant)

Aren’t these adorable?? I am for sure going to be harvesting a few of these cuties soon. Only one plant has survived, so whatever this plant can do will be the entire harvest.

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Some Zinnias

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My poor raggedy, straggly garden.

So how does my garden grow? I’d say this year’s gardening adventure has been a trip. A trip right down the toilet.

Here are my latest excuses for this year’s garden failures.

When you move to a new place, you must create the spaces you need. Outdoor entertaining area. Picnic area. Feral cat area. Chicken area. Fruit bush/tree area. And garden area.

For my garden spot, I picked a sunny area in the corner of an old goat pasture. Even though it was “et” up with weeds, I saw a tidy and productive garden in my mind. (In some parts of the south, et = “eaten.”) I began the war last year as I attempted to conquer the weeds. Hand combat, by the way. All by hand.

Here’s what I started with.

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Can you see the fence posts in the middle of the weeds? Those are the back of my garden spot. Can you see the actual fence?

No? Okay, let me do a quick mark-up.

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This was last year’s garden in August, back when I was super naive.

I tilled up the old goat pasture, sowed many seeds, and sang a happy tune.

I did not reap what I sowed.

It was outrageous how quickly the weeds took over my little chosen garden spot.Tall, out-of-control, stubborn weeds of several different varieties. No corn, no yellow squash, no tomatoes, no cucumbers, no pumpkins, no butternut squash. No anything edible.

SO, AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS YEAR’S YIELD IS INDEED BETTER THAN LAST YEAR’S.

(Though I freely admit that my yield has not merited the amount of effort I put into the garden this year compared to last year’s.)

There are three main reasons that I lose the weed battle. Awful and painful Weed number 1; evil Weed number 2; and terrible Weed number 3.

These three weeds are my greatest plant nemeses ever. Ugly, powerful, painful, prevalent, and out to get me. They say bullies seek the easiest victims? ‘Tis I, an innocent, pure-hearted gardener without much equipment, few tools, limited knowledge, and a hearty NO-CHEMICALS philosophy.

To use another southernism, each of these 3 weeds is a “booger-bear.” This term came from the Appalachian Mountains where booger-bears are possibly real (eh, possibly not). They are massive bear-like creatures who walk through the forests on their hindlegs. In addition to bear features, booger-bears are reported as also having gorilla, cat, and dog features. Booger-bears terrorize humans with every encounter. Very scary dudes.

The term eventually evolved to mean horrendously difficult, challenging, tough, and unpleasant undertakings.

One of these booger-bear weeds you probably know. Stinging Nettle. Holy smokes! One encounter and you’ll never forget it. These weeds have little hollow stinging hairs on the leaves and stems that act like hypodermic needles. They inject a poor unexpecting gardener with histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation upon contact. The prickly, stinging pain from this plant lasts more than a day for me. It’s awful and painful. While this weed does have medicinal properties, I have no idea how anyone would ever be able to harvest it!

Weed number 2 is the one that I detest the most. It has thick, strong, impenetrable stalks. With thorns! It grows deep, deep roots that neither a hoe nor a shovel can eradicate. And. It spreads so fast that you can almost see it grow. See those tiny thorns at each stem? They hurt like the dickens.

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Don’t be fooled by the flowering stalk. The plant is Just. Pure. Evil.

It is a variety of a weed known as “Pigweed.” This type of Pigweed is a warrior who evern loses.

The last weed, the terrible Weed number 3, causes no injury, but is so fast growing and fast reproducing that you can’t keep up with it. It’s impossible. It has deep, deep roots that you can neither pull up by hand nor use a hoe to get under its roots. I don’t know what it is. But I have a name for it that I can’t say here.

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Round-Up, oh Round-Up, get thee behind me. How thou dost tempt me!

So this year I had a plan! Oh yeah.

This year I decided to delay planting my garden in order to fight the booger-bear weeds and win. When the weeds started popping out of the ground in my planned garden patch, I did a prescribed burn in the garden. My intent was to burn out and destroy all the booger-bears and their seeds.

I brought in logs and wood and burned the garden area. While the earth was still hot, I tilled the soil by hand, turning over the burning earth into the ground to kill any seeds.

Voila!

Oh, believe me. I was proud of myself. The fire not only killed the weeds but also made the soil nice and soft and workable. Here in Georgia, we have mainly hard red clay for dirt. This burn process transformed my red dirt into something a dark, loose soil that was easy to till by hand.

Oh, I was happy, brillant even. I fought the booger-bears, and I won! I planted the garden and sang a happy tune.

Check me out! Farmgirl, indeed.

Then I learned the lesson to NOT taste victory before it is actually yours.

First only a few of those Booger Bear weeds popped up. I used a pickax to get them out of the ground. And then one night while I lay sleeping zillions of the weeds popped up and grew a foot before morning. (Exaggeration? Perhaps.) Within 24 hours I realized that I had lost again this year. There seems to be no controlling these aggressive weeds without chemicals. There seems to be no way to use that spot for an organic garden.

I’m thinking goats.

And the Farmer’s Market.

Your turn! Share your flower, vegetable, fruit, water, whatever garden with us! In the comment section, simply write,

“Your name, Your name, Quite (insert your mood here), How does your garden grow?”

Until next time, Friends, Savor the Flavor of Life!

And never stop planning and dreaming.

Rebekah, The City Farmgirl

Leave a comment 45 Comments

  1. Tim Bryant says:

    How can I meet a nice farmgirl in north central Illinois?

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      I couldn’t decide if this was spam or not, Tim. Looks like it’s not. So, if there’s any farmgals in north central Illinois a-lookin’ … get in touch with me.

  2. Jena says:

    Our garden has had our undivided attention this year.
    We built a pond, increased the bee yard to 4 hives, doubled the home veg garden, and started to transform a pasture into a small truck patch for next year. We added a bunch of vertical gardens as well.

    It has been fun, but with all these thirsty plants., our well is strained. I pray for a deep soaking rain every week. Sometimes we dance.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Oh Jena, Jena, quite impressive, WAY TO BE! I’m so happy for you. I do wish you guys could add photos! I’d love to see the creations from all your hard work!

  3. Diane Van Horn says:

    Diane, Diane quite mostly buying, how does your garden grow? It doesn’t. I removed my previous raised garden beds to make room for my camper. Built new smaller raised beds and filled them with soil. I bought the soil from a local greenhouse. It said it was organic garden soil. I feel like I have been duped. All of my plants are suffering. I have been fertilizing but they still seem a little off. I know it has to be the soil. Soil is the most important ingredient for robust plants. I will have to build the soil up with some composted manure this fall. I do have two tomato plants in a container garden that are doing better than the raised beds due to the fact I used different soil. Maybe next year I will have a better harvest. Thank goodness for farmer’s markets!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Diane, Diane, I feel your pain. What a disappointment! I guess you do feel “duped.” I’ve purchased organic soil before that spouted weeds galore. It was a step backwards for that garden (so many properties ago). Otherwise, you like your smaller raised beds?? I may need to head in that direction!

  4. Barbara Collins says:

    Loved your post! I am a horticulturist by profession for the last 38 years. I have built gardens in many places and have battled insane weeds along the way. It came to me, like a bolt of lightning, that all I have done my whole life is try to beat back nature.You think you are winning for a while but take a few days off from the fight and you are right back where you started.I turned my big vegetable garden into a perennial garden and now have a few vegetables in pots. I don’t have to weed them! Read the book “The $64 Tomato”. Happy Gardening!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Barbara, Barbara, I haven’t read that book, but feel like I have lived it! I will read it. You’re so right about the weeds. I’m trying to identify the weeds on my farm to see if there’s a way to destroy them without chemicals. In the meantime, I lose the battle.

  5. Edith Tilley says:

    Edith, Edith how does your garden grow? Not! Ive always had at least minimal good luck with seed starting, chance tomato plants, greens, pumpkins, herbs, flowers for 44 years here, in a country oasis in the midst of city encroachment…now Im into raised beds …but even those are not doing well this year.. a migration of wild rabbits and squirrels has moved into our area, plus Ive been battling stinging nettle that had to have arrived from hay that I feed my 3 goats..the critters love the raised beds and whatever I plant! I stay optimistic tho as it seems my yard has turned into a nature preserve, so it is my delight to come home after work and observe nature in action here in Norco, CA…maybe Ill figure out how to get things back under control…or maybe its best to watch nature at work in my piece of Paradise!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Edith, Edith, some gardening years are better than others for sure! I admire your optimism and attitude. I’m the same way with creatures: they are all invited here and probably need the food more than I do. The encounters with nature are worth it. Maybe I’ll figure it out as well, or maybe not. We’re lucky to have found places that feel like Paradise!

  6. Kathy says:

    Kathy, Kathy, quite persistent, how does your garden grow? Thin to very very slim…beautiful dainty princess tomato plants, elegant sparse stalks of corn blown over in the latest wind “event”, vines of many colors – flowers no fruit. What’s an organic farm girl to do? … dream of next year’s garden filled with robust, deep green plants kissing the sun :)!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Kathy, Kathy. You have found the answer that has eluded me. YES! Dream and prepare for next year. I see it in my mind now! Thank you, Persistent Gardener, You.

  7. Reba says:

    “Reba, Reba, quite determined, How does your garden grow?” This year has been one of determination to grow something, anything, somewhere!! I recently moved from MT (4/1/20 during a pandemic) back to the Appalachian area! I kept my seeds out so I could use this time to get organized by seeing how many seeds I have saved, order some new, and get ready to plant a garden next Spring, when I have my own place. I joined in gardening summits for pointers and tips. And not to be without anything growing I ordered a couple of fig trees, mixed my own soil, and put those in containers. Then I planted Stella de Or seeds (daylily) and even tried to start redbud tree seeds after stratifying those. I love those redbud trees in the mountains; those seem to be one of the first signs of Spring. I imagined finding a small farm and lining my driveway with those. But I’m not sure what went wrong with that, so far nothing green is coming up! :( So off to one of my favorite farmers markets! I have canned some things that were grown in South GA and started refilling my cabinets. It has helped “some” in the feeling satisfied department…but the determination has been valuable to get things going! I am still looking for the “perfect” place while being “picky” checking first for a garden spot and a place to have chickens. Then once I find it I will be ordering wood chips and getting compost going into the garden spot to get prepared for Spring next year! When I lived in GA (prior to moving to the very fertile soil of the mountains) I had hard red clay in my small yard in my neighborhood. I took a look at the “Back to Eden” dvd and was convinced I could do something with the soil! And you wouldn’t believe how well it worked!! I had a huge amount of tomatoes being produced on such a small spot. So soon…I can see it coming…determination and imagination…soon I will be growing again!!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Reba, Reba, Thank you for your note. Your hope and joy is contagious! I felt the same way when I moved to a fertile valley in the Appalachian Mountains. I turned over the ground and screamed with joy. What luscious, loose, rich, dark earth. That was what I always tried to create in Ga. You’ll find your place! I just know it! I don’t know “Back to Eden,” but will check it out! oh, I have a Redbud right outside my bedroom window. It is a lovely tree that spreads love with all its heart-shaped leaves!

      • Reba says:

        Hi Rebekah,

        I am placing the website about the Back to Eden gardening video. It is so amazing and causes me to feel like a true master gardener (even though I KNOW that I’m not)! My Mom was truly the real deal “farmgirl” and my #1 mentor. I absolutely hated doing all that work only to have weeds take the garden over. But yet I wanted to grow my own food as much as possible. This was revolutionary for me in my garden. Here’s a site that you can check out: http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/#:~:text=Founder%20of%20Back%20to%20Eden%20Gardening%

        This may give you the headstart you need for next year! Happy Gardening! Reba

  8. Diane says:

    My garden is doing good. My cucumbers and tomatoes are growing wonderfully We had early spring lettuces and kale on the porch. Blackberry a d blueberry trees a small bowl! Of each.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Diane, Diane. What that must feel like! I’m so happy for you. I do enjoy the spring lettuces and kale. I usually plant kale in the fall as well. Though–I don’t know about this year. Enjoy the fruit of your labor! It sounds delicious.

  9. Shauna says:

    I feel your pain. I went big this year and planted more than i have in years past. But I also went cheap and didnt get good soil for my containers. Lesson learned. My berry bishes and brambles did great. The cucumbers that i planted in April (I’m in zone 7b) are just now taking off. Im usually neck deep in cukes by now. I lost all my yellow squash amd zucchini (8 plants) to vine borers. My some miracle my queensland blue winter squash (4 plants) is huge and prolific. I cant wait to harvest in a month or so. Tomatoes – lost them all. Okra i have 3 plants, ive gotten 2 so far. Eggplant, 2 plants gotten 1 so far. Melons got trampled by the dogs. Now I am plotting more fencing and planning for fall.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Shauna, Shauna, Perhaps I have vine borers too. IDK. I’m interested to know more about Queensland Blue Winter Squash. I love winter squash BIG TIME! And yes, I feel your pain too. I’m glad you are enjoying success with a few things! Fencing and fall, I hear ya.

  10. Marlene Capelle says:

    Wow. I thought our garden was a bust but it is grand compared to yours. But I know how disappointing it is to try so hard and get nothing. If I could I would send you some tomatoes. We have two sweet 100’s that are messy upon messy but I love going out and picking a tomato and popping it in my mouth whenever I walk by. Flowers are, however, so sad.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Marlene, Marlene. That’s what I do with my little tomatoes, walk by and pop one in my mouth–IF there is one ready to eat. “Sad” is the perfect word to describe my garden. We’re been so dry too lately. Things that did grow are droopy, even some of the weeds!

  11. Cynthia S. says:

    Good Morning Rebekah
    How I love your posts! I wish there were more but I realize how busy a farm girl can be.
    I have gardened for about 40 yrs and I still have struggling moments.BUT, this year I had my darling husband build me a raised bed to which I applied lasagne planting. Oh my goodness!!! My tomato plants are 5 feet tall already and as thick as the forest. I loose myself in them as I continue to tie them to stakes. The plants are so incredibly healthy that vertical string growing was not enough support.My book of reference for this type of gardening is by Patricia Lanza “Lasagna Gardening”.A wealth of information for any type of Gardner. Give it a look,I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
    Good luck and remember there is always next year!!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Cynthia, Cynthia, You just put a big smile on my face! Thank you for your sweet words! You know, many moons ago I toyed with the idea of Lasagna Gardening. I bet I still have the book in a box somewhere. I’ll try to find it! I’m very tempted to move to raised beds at this farm. I’m excited about your tomatoes! Nothing like a just picked tomato. ENJOY!

  12. LIN HAGEN says:

    I have enjoyed your inspiring and nurturing posts for many years! However, I need an update….somehow I’ve missed some posts or I had a brain freeze:( When did you move to Georgia??? Another farm? Oh my….! Thank you for the time and adventures you have shared over the years! This is truly a time to enjoy “the little things” and always hold onto the simplicity of life.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Lin, Lin, let me update you! I moved back home to Georgia (sadly, divorce). I found a smaller farm with everything that I need and so much more. This farm delights me. Small red cottage house, lovely horse barn, chicken barn, forest, pastures, rushing creek. You talk about providence. I am finally living the “simple” life. Thank you for sticking with me for so long! I am honored that you have shared my adventures with me. Many more ahead!

      • LIN HAGEN says:

        Thank you for the update, Rebekah. Divorces are tough, but it sounds like you have found your little piece of paradise and I’m very happy for you! I’m sure your garden will get better every year! So much depends on Mother Nature! I finally resorted to container gardening. Until next time….thank you again for sharing!! Always love your pictures!!

  13. Rebecca says:

    My garden is not a total loss. I’ve had one “mess” of beans and one tomato out of my garden. Oh and zuchinni. But on the plus side, the blueberries have been wonderful. I have 4 bushes and we have picked and picked AND picked. I’ve made 24 pints of jam and frozen 8 gallans to use this winter. We’ve eaten them every day, given them to friends and neighbors and we did our last picking yesterday. I love blueberries so I’m happy that they’re so plentiful. The rest of my garden is a pretty pitiful mess though.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Rebecca, Rebecca, Blueberry Jam! That makes everything else ok, big crop or not! One tomato and one mess of beans? Sounds like a success to me!

  14. Mary Rauch says:

    This is Mary, Mary quite contrary. How do I post pics of MY garden (so to speak)?

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Mary, Mary, you are the opposite of contrary.
      Mary, Mary, quite cheery (said like cherry to rhyme with Mary).
      Mary, Mary, quite merry!
      Mary, Mary, quite NOT ordinary!
      Mary, Mary, quite necessary!
      Mary, Mary, quite LEGENDARY!
      and I’m out. That’s all I’ve got.
      Mary, Mary, quite like a fairy (ha, thought of one more), there’s no way to post photos here. But you can email me at rebekah@maryjanesfarm.com so I can see your garden!

  15. Lisa Holderman says:

    Lisa, Lisa how does my garden grow? Well…somewhat well. Rebekah, I feel ya! Especially the feeling of confidence too soon. I live in the suburbs and have way too many critters and not enough sun to grow a successful vegetable garden. I did however, plant a tomato plant in a large pot and put it on my new deck. This plant grew like something out of Jurassic Park. It grew to be nearly 6am tall and I had 30+ tomatoes. I enjoyed four big juicy red tomatoes and then one morning I noticed my plant not looking so good. I noticed nibbling in some of the tomatoes. Convinced it was chipmunks I read up on how to deter the buggers without killing them. Baby powder I read was a great deterrent. I didn’t notice any more squirrels or chipmunks. I was thinking I had success until I noticed my plant was being eaten up! The culprits finally showed themselves…tomato worms. Oh my goodness but they gross me out! I hope I have gotten them all but seeing how I have no idea how they found it to begin with I’m not getting too cocky this time. Ha! I love the birds, bees, and butterflies so I spend more time and effort growing food for them than for me. Amazingly, I am pretty successful at that.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Lisa, Lisa, your tomato plant must have set a record! over 30 tomatoes! Those tomato worms are the worst. The only way I’ve known how to manage them is by hand. I guess that’s what you did? I hope your miracle plant recovers and you enjoy even more fresh tomatoes! Birds, bees, and butterflies are so enjoyable to watch. It’s worth growing food for them in exchange for them coming close enough for us to appreciate them! PS Interesting tip on the baby powder! I’ll remember that.

  16. Amanda says:

    Amanda, Amanda, in a pickle (literally!) how does your garden grow? Oh my word! I’ve been in your shoes until this year! My old garden, no matter how I tried to make the soil better, just fought with me and I struggled to grow what we needed. Now this year, we moved to my husbands grandparents farm and worked up grandma’s old garden that was in grass for over 6 years. This plot is legendary! The whole farming community has been talking about it and driving by to see it. It’s big but not too big for one person to handle, but in less than a weeks time I’ve picked over 90 lbs of pickling cucumbers!!! I am canning pickles nonstop! I have even begun leaving slicing cucumbers and zucchini on peoples porches and running away! Kinda dreading what is to come regarding tomatoes… I wish you many blessings and hope you will have the garden of your dreams!

  17. Jo Gill says:

    I think a couple goats would definitely work. I have had Pygmy goats before, and they were very sweet. You’ll just need good fences.
    Enjoy the farmers market too. I barter some of my eggs for things I don’t have. I just traded 3 dozen for some Alaskan Halibut.

  18. My daughters have rallied this year to hoe,row,
    plant, and weed!! We are reaping a harvest of
    early veggies for Wyoming. Beautiful radishes, sweet green onions, and beets greens. The corn is
    high with the promise of goodness come the end of August or so!
    Happy weeding

  19. Sandi King says:

    Sandi, Sandi, being hopeful, how does your garden grow? well, I have 4 tomato plants in two containers; I also planted basil in one of the
    containers next to my Beefsteak tomato plant which has not produced any tomatoes yet, but is loaded with blossoms; next to the beef steak is a big boy which is producing lots of tomatoes, green and then red as they ripen and so sweet and delicious, but not real big either like they should be. In the ground garden we have one zucchini plant, and 2 cantaloupe plants; I have gotten 4 zucchini so far and made zucchini muffins, zucchini bread and we fried zucchini and fried green tomatoes for supper one night; the cantaloupes are producing at least 4 cantaloupes on one plant; also in the garden are onions, and sunflowers and corn stalks with silks, so I guess we will have corn on the cob later on and the birds will have sunflower seeds to eat this winter. Next year we will enlarge the garden area and plant differently as the zucchini and cantaloupe are competing for ground now. Our land is mostly clay or partial clay so have a lot of soil amending to do for next year. I also have one green pepper plant in a pot, and two or three yellow and three red pepper plants each in the garden; yellows are producing, a few green ones, but so far no red ones. We are letting the onions grow. One strawberry plant died. Love my tomatoes though. Not as many bees are around as last year yet. My tomato plants are huge inside these above ground containers but may be too crowded to produce the large tomatoes or too much rain and sunshine making them ripen before they grow big. But still hopeful for the great big beefsteaks where one slice fits over the whole slice of bread. Yummy. Until next time have a great month of growing.

  20. Sabrena Orr says:

    My garden poem would have to reference my hubby’s name somehow! ;0)
    He has spent an incredible amount of time, effort (and $$) during the COVID lockdown enhancing our garden. New fence; new beds; richest, healthiest soil ever!; and so many yummy veges growing! It’s been our favorite “go-to” place during our time at home!

  21. Carol Denton says:

    Carol, Carol, quite content! My garden is growing way better than last year! I finally broke down and bought some fabric weed barrier and burned holes every twelve inches (to match the emitters in the drip tape) with the flame weeder. It’s not the weeds that I battle so much, but the bermuda grass. It’s straight from you know where and next to impossible to get rid of except to rip it out by hand. I totally understand the round-up temptation!
    I didn’t put the fabric in the walk-paths between the rows, but instead laid down cardboard then put down a thick layer of old hay for mulch. What a difference! The few weeds are easy to control and it really does keep the moisture in. Look up Ruth Stout method and Back to Eden. Each are mulch methods sort of like lasagna gardening. Cover your weeds now and by next year you’ll have a nice spot.
    Also, insect pressure has seemed a little better. I planted a lot of plants for beneficial insects, let nature take its course and the bad bugs seemed to level out. Except for the squash borers. Grrr.
    I planted three blueberry bushes this spring and got almost as many blueberries as you did. Almost! The peppers are doing well though. I literally just sat down from making jalapeno cowboy candy. I’m kinda sorta addicted to it and the house smells divine.
    My three cattle panel arched trellises are dripping with green beans, cucumbers and little French melons. Just like the ones on youtube, lol. I guess I’m surprised it worked.
    And, I got some stinging nettle seeds from Baker Creek that I didn’t get planted this spring so I’ll plant them this fall. Yep, you read that right. I don’t have any here so I’m starting my own little patch. There was/is? a coffee shop in downtown AVL that had the best tea blends. I always got the stinging nettle one, I don’t remember what else was in it, but it was delicious! She wild harvested it somewhere along the French Broad, her secret little hidden stash. You could harvest your stinging nettle and chalk it up to a banner garden year! You may discover a great tea blend!

  22. hi Rebekah
    My biggest garden success this season are the tomato and pepper plants in the 5 “grow boxes ” that were gifted to me. 12 tomato plants and 6 sweet peppers . Also gifts as my grower friend had grown the heirlooms to be sold at the big garden fair at ” Landis Valley Farm Museum” last May that was cancelled.
    I also have the amazingly healthy volunteer tomatoes that came up from the plants that were pulverized last September by a 5 story tree that fell on the entire garden !
    I never expected anything to have survived but the fruits from those poor squashed plants produced abundantly ! I have done zip for those volunteers except finally putting cages around them ! Of course the labels are missing but I hope to recognize the varieties when they produce fruit.
    As for my herb and rose garden, that has been a great place for weeds! My secret for small spaces with weeds: keep laying down garden stepping stones on them! I get cheap ones a the dollar store.
    The roses are riddled with disease and all the usual ” fixes” aren’t really working. Ah such is life in the hinterlands !
    The deer have been pretty good this year despite the tree having taken out the fencing! They ,for some reason ,have been entranced by the morning glories! Just the leaves .
    So that is my growing season so far here in Amish country in Lancaster County Pennslyvania.

  23. hi again Rebekah,

    3 words : GOATS GOATS GOATS!! Like Jo Gill said, they do the trick on weeds !!

    the US forestry service and many national parks are using them especially for eating up poison ivy! If you have a way to keep them contained for awhile, even thethering them for a few hours, they will definitely eat those (insert bad word here ) weeds!!

    You said you had a fence so there is your solution. The bigger the goats the better the weed control. Pygmy goats are ok though.

    Borrow some if you don’t already have these fun entertaining livestock.

    Hope this helps! Good Luck!

  24. Marti Wynne says:

    MARTI, Marti, quite content. How is my garden growing???? Well thank goodness for last years plants of blackberries that are harvesting beautifully this year and my jalapeños from last year have sprung forth batches ❤️ No time for planting. Veggies, that is…. this year I planted my dream of opening a beauty salon this spring/summer. I am 61 years young and am eager to get back in the dirt this fall
    But I was blessed with fresh corn, tomatoes, okra, and squash From local gardeners that I put some up ❤️. To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven

  25. Denise says:

    I have problems with birds and squirrels more than weeds. BUT I have had to resort to chemicals this year when the poison ivy started popping up and it did take care of it. I don’t even put out anything any more because of the birds and squirrels BUT because my neighbor had cherry tomatoes last year, the birds brought over some seeds and I have two nice tomato plants right in the middle of my flowers. and being in the middle of the flowers it has kept the birds from getting them. knock wood, the squirrels haven’t gotten to them yet. I have picked a grand total of 6 cherry tomatoes! :) I have a little peach tree and just as the peaches start to ripen, the squirrels beat me to them each and every time. But here’s to next year and better luck with your garden.

  26. Marilyn says:

    Your garden is such a success. The flowers are beautiful. Enjoy your bounty.
    Marilyn

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