The Curious Case of the Missing Blogger

27 Jun

 by Renea Winchester

My apologies for all the gardening buddies who have been looked to me for guidance, I have been too busy to blog…a sin of epic proportion.

After hearing that the price of food should double in the next 5-10 years, the children and I launched into what can only be deemed as a mission of madness.

Vinca...bane of my existance

Locating the sunniest shady spot on the property, my son dropped a few trees while I and my (very reluctant) teenage daughter battled vinca minor for dirt in which to grow beans. 

The vinca might remain victorious. Cussed, infernal nutrient sucking vine!

Gathering scrap lumber of a pile in the basement, my son constructed “raised” garden beds. Mind you, we’re on a budget. We have exactly zero dollars in our budget. As an aside, the beloved husband knows nothing of this tree-dropping create (another) garden-plan. Rifling through my seed “stash” I located a couple of packets of green beans.

Our raised beds. Not fancy, but functional

The weather is hot and dry, so I soaked the seeds to expedite germination. Same goes for the okra. I also discovered a seed known only as the “mystery seed.” They look like cucumbers, or cantaloupe. We’re not certain. Regardeless, we’ve got room so they’re getting planted.

Organic fertilizer that has been watered.

When clearing a spot that is —literally—in the woods expect roots and hard-compressed soil. Hence the need for a mattock and a whole lot of sweat equity. I hacked a row while Matthew scooped the organic fertilize into the rows. Since it’s june, to expedite the decomposition, I watered the pellets which caused them to expand.

Jamie crumbled dirt back in the row. We continued this process, five hours every single day until our shirts were drenched and our tempers were testy. 

For the record, hacking holes in the earth makes momma one tired gardener. Clay, it seems, is a member of the concrete family. 

With the earth ready, the children and I delightfully scattered seeds. We planted cucumbers, squash, beans, zucchini, spaghetti squash, pepper plants, tomatoes, watermelon, and…of course, the mystery seeds. Four days into our quest for more home-grown food we were done. Then something miraculous happened. Dog days: a wonderful meteorological event in the life of a gardener when it rains every single day. The seeds were up in two days!

Soaking the seeds expedite germination

Now, we’re praying for a bit more sun and that the mystery seeds are something we like to eat.

With our garden planted it’s time to visit Billy’s farm to see what help we can offer. Even with summer upon us, it’s not too late to plant late crops. In two weeks, I’ll plant another row of beans. My goal is to have fresh vegetables up to frost. I’m also planning to enclose the smaller “raised bed” or at least incorporate something that will shield the plants from frost.

How is your garden growing? Drop me a line and let me know. Now excuse me, I promised my workers a trip to the pool. Remember, keep those hands dirty ! Renea Winchester is the author of In The Garden With Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes.

Even the animals “helped” create our new garden.

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One response to “The Curious Case of the Missing Blogger

  1. lowlygardener

    July 9, 2011 at 5:36 am

    You seem to know what you are talking about and in Atlanta as well, although location has nothing to do my predicament. So, let me just jump right in. Being very new to gardening, meaning we’ve attempted potted gardens for the last two years, my husband and I decided to try and put some raised beds in our back yard to really grow some veggies. We enlisted the help of a friend of a friend who had some experience and said he knew what he was doing – big mistake, of course

    He got un-seasoned manure and so now everything is burning up! We have actually been blessed enough to get a few yellow squash, but that has been about it. We’ve tried to dig it up and till the soil if you will, but that hasn’t worked. I think I know the answer, but I’m desperate, is there anything at all that could be done too salvage the soil? Or is there anything that might grow in that awful environment? Thanks for any comment.


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