Saturday, June 15, 2013


The summer is coming along well, though it had been mostly quite dry up until a few days ago. We've been having some rain, but only in small spurts and just enough to water the gardens I so lovingly have planted and adorned with delightful plastic pink flamingos.

For those who might recall, last years two raised garden beds were planted with mostly pumpkins along with just a few carrots and sunflowers. The pumpkin crop had a happy turnout, however this year I just needed something a little more. Last month I had purchased more wood for two more garden beds, which my father put together. The problem? Finding dirt without having to spend a small fortune on the bagged stuff again.

I had been offered as much dirt as I needed early on, and simply needed to retrieve it. This had me brimming with excitement, except for the fact that I do not have a truck, and have none to borrow. Time started to pass and with every passing day it was cutting it closer and closer to the due date to get my pumpkins planted. I had planted one garden bed from last year with just carrots, beets, and some sunflowers early on this year, so that garden bed was already used. My second garden bed from last year had settled and the dirt was much too low to do a good planting in. I piled that dirt up to get a good depth, leaving a little less than half of the bed empty. In the usable space available, I did manage to get three hills of rouge vif d'etampes pumpkins in, and they are now up and growing.

Once again, the days went by and I was getting anxious. At this point the once-upon-a-time garden bed along the front and down the side of our house looked quite appealing. I spent a number of hours digging up all the old weeds and grass that had since overtaken it, while preserving some of the pretty flowers that have continued to grow there in the years since my Mother had left. Here was planted three more pumpkin hills, this time regular carving pumpkins which seeds were saved from last year. These, too, are now up and growing. Along with the corn a nice little plot of short season corn was also planted.

After realizing that no one would be able to assist me in picking up the soil needed, I resorted to digging up an old pile of old manure that was in my fella's back yard. Many years ago my Grandmother (who owns the property) had a truck load of old manure dumped there to use for garden beds and such, but ended up not being used. Over the years the grass (and tree roots) had over taken the pile. I never considered using any of it last year, mostly from lack of desire to do so much work, but after so much time I became pretty desperate this year. I dug up and weeded the entire pile, loading it into my father's truck. The amount that was there was enough to finish the half empty garden, fill one full new bed, and fill what was once a little space between the two old beds. I quickly put in two plants of sugar pumpkins, and two of my own hybrid seeds from last year. How these will turn out remains to be seen.

More carrots or many varieties, more beets, and even a nice helping of peas finished up the rest of the usable garden space. If I somehow get another small truckload of dirt to finish off the very last bed I'd still like to plant more peas and beets, but should time be too short, radishes will come to my rescue with their super short growing season.

In the back yard of my fella's place I also dug up a little itty bitty patch of lawn for another small plot of corn, as well as three hills of cantaloupe plants mostly for an experiment. It's rather unexpected that anything will come of the cantaloupe, but should it actually work out the fruits would be absolutely delightful!

That's the story of my garden thus far, and more (hopefully) good news to come over the course of the season. Now on to garage sales...stay tuned!

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