Tag Archives: square foot gardening

Mixed Bag

Rick Gebhardt

I’ve only done one session of weeding in the garden and I’m already hot and tired. I’m going to rest a bit, drink a bunch of water, put on a sweatband and then go out for a 2nd session. I have finished one garden box so far.

I have a mixed bag on veggie results this time. My spinach apparently didn’t like all the changes in temperature plus the constant rain. It was already bolting, so I pulled up the plants. :0(

My head lettuce is looking pretty good, though, so I’m weeding around the plants. I’m not sure when I’m supposed to harvest this. I’ll see if I can find some information on the net.

I’m hoping that I can finish the weeding today. I would also like to start digging the Mel’s Mix out of the 2nd planter whose bottom gave up the ghost, sagged, and broke. The first ruined planter is free of the soil alternative now, but the bottom is only sagging in the second, so the soil is in there much more securely.

The concentration is weeding today and figuring out when I harvest.


The information I found says that the lettuce will start to bolt when the daytime temperatures exceed 70 degrees. That’s NOW. When I finish weeding, I’ll look carefully at each of the plants and decide if I should harvest them. This has been a really weird spring planting.

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How Does My Garden Grow?

These photos are from yesterday. Things are going quite well so far. The plants seem to be thriving, and there are not a whole lot of weeds right now.

If you look closely, there are leaves toward the center of the plant curling up together. The ‘head’ lettuce will form in there.

My spinach leaves are being eaten by ‘something,’ but I can’t find any bugs. I’ll go ahead and spray with Eight to see if I can discourage whatever is chomping down.

The tomato plants are growing a lot each day. We’re trying to get the irrigation system for the flower planters (which includes the tomato planters) to work.

The plants are almost covering the whole surface of the planter now. I only have one plant, though, that has yellow blossoms at this point.

I haven’t planted anything else in the main square foot garden. We’re going one day at a time around here lately, so I haven’t pushed seeing what other plants are available in town.

I’ll be working to see if I can get the two timers in the well house working today. We’ll have a test run later today, though starting Wednesday of next week, we’re supposed to get a LOT of rain.

Do you have a garden this year?

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Tomatoes Will Come

The tomato plants are looking healthy and are more than twice the size they were when I first planted them. They needed some rearrangement of young branches for better support, but I decided to wait a bit longer on watering them.

This shows you that the plants are now about 1/4 the way up the supports. I brought out some bamboo stakes to add to the mix for the best support possible. No blossoms on these yet.

This is the 8-foot-long planter, and the plants are thriving right now. I rearranged branches here, too. There are three small yellow blossoms on one of the plants. I’ll see what other supports I have in the garage and bring them out for next time.

Just wanted to share my joy on this one. One of the buds started to bloom! Hooray!

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Happy Earth Day 2023

Just Energy

I’m planning to prune and weed my veggie boxes and tomatoes today. I hope your weather is such that you can enjoy being outside, too.

Happy Earth Day!

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FUN Lunch Bunch!

DIY Value Picture

I had to leave my husband home, since his back is still hurting a lot. He says it’s better, and he looks a bit more perky, but he still needs recovery time.

Today Lunch Bunch was especially fun. When I got to Lunch Bunch, Kay and Bud had brought a neighbor couple, Willie and Cheryl. We mainly talked gardening, and then were surprised when Patty and Linda came late! So almost the whole gang was there. The conversation was lively and fun, with a lot of laughing.

I brought home good wishes from everyone plus a bacon cheeseburger for my husband.

On the way down the driveway, I saw a package was sitting on the ground behind the trash can. (UPS has started leaving stuff down there, rather than trying to drive up our driveway.) It was the bag of Worm Castings I ordered from which I’ll make “tea” for the garden. It’s supposed to be an organic fertilizer and disease prevention for all garden plants and flowers, etc. I’ll start the process of ‘steeping’ it this weekend.

I’m going to rest a bit and then water my tomatoes and check on the main garden. We’re due for possible large hail tomorrow afternoon and evening, so I’m thinking of a method to try to protect my plants as much as possible.

I hope you’re enjoying your day.

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I found some really nice “Super Girl” tomato plants yesterday. I planted them yesterday afternoon. There are six plants in this brick planter.

Here’s a closer look at some of these.

There are 4 plants in this planter. I’m going to try to keep an eye on these and keep them as tied up as possible. They tend to be calm for awhile and then they ‘spurt’ in growth, seemingly all of a sudden spreading out over everything with the limbs too large to move without breaking them, yet really needing more support. I’ll try to do a better job of getting outside each day or so and giving them as much support as I can this year.

We also got the irrigation system controller installed on the faucet that goes to the garden. It’s set to start at 3pm today. I have a timer set so I can get out there and make sure the sprinklers are working and that the flow of water is good for watering my sweet plants well in the 10 minutes I have the controller set to now.

Later on, we’ll set the irrigation system for the yard. For now, I’ll just water the tomatoes with a hand held hose.

I’ll try to check next week to see what other plants I can add to the main garden.

We’ve started!

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The Middle of a Long Day

When we got back from errands this morning, I went right out to the garden with the flat of head lettuce and the flat of spinach. I got them planted before lunch. I’ll set up the automatic watering system tomorrow, but I THINK it’s supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon and evening, giving my new plants lots of water. (I hope not too much!)

My plan is to prep my two brick tomato planters next and get them planted, and then figure out what else will go in the main garden.

After lunch and a rest, we went out to the shop to get the snow tires off the truck and put on the regular tires. We had a hard time. I insisted we come in and rest after we got the tires on the front. We drank water and rested a bit and then went back out. We got it done, but it was a close thing.

My husband surprised me on the walk back from the shop after we finished. He has finally agreed that when the snow tires need to be put back on, we’ll put the tires and wheels and lug nuts in the back of the truck. I’ll make an appointment with the tire place so they will change the tires for us, air up the tires and put the others in the back of the truck. The only thing we’ll have to do next time is get the tires in and out of the back of the truck and into the shop. This has been a long time coming, and I had almost given up hope on getting him to see reason. I’m relieved.

We will do some serious relaxing this evening. :0)

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Chore-Filled Monday 4-3-2023

Sorry I’m late getting to my blog today. We just now came in from working in the yard a bit. My husband used the chain saw to cut down some really big evergreen branches that were hanging down between the house and the shop. So our trash pile (to be burned when safe) grows again.

We gathered our trash and also put the metal we needed to get rid of in the back of the truck. We drove it all down to the bottom of the driveway and got the trash can set up for emptying tomorrow. Then we drove to the recycling place and a nice man helped us empty the truck. Amber was flirting with him, trying to get him to come pet her. He finally did that, laughing. The way he easily threw the metal way up to the other end of the metal bin there, “I” told him we would really appreciate him on the OTHER end of our trip. At least we made him smile.

I wanted to go to the Co-Op to see what plants they had and we hit the jackpot. My husband’s favorite lettuce is head lettuce. Usually we MIGHT find one small 6-pack. This time we got an entire FLAT. The spinach was also looking stellar, so we got an entire FLAT of that, as well. I’ve JUST now come in from getting what we bought planted. I’ll take some pics to share later. Right now I’m breathing a bit hard and over-heated, so I’m relaxing, writing this, and drinking a big bottle of water.

Later my husband wants to change the truck tires. I know I told you we were planning to do that yesterday, but we got distracted, and ‘somehow’ I forgot to remind him. :0) So, now I’ve said that we can do it after lunch and after we’re rested.

Since we were BOTH looking pretty bedraggled on the way back to the house after our yard work, I took the opportunity to remind him that we’re not 30 anymore and that we both need to keep our work sessions short with lots of rest and water in-between. He seemed to listen and agree…

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Square Foot Garden – Step 1

All About Gardening

I’ve just come in from STEP 1 of prepping our square foot garden for planting.

This is the garden, minus the two brick planters on the other side of the house that we use for tomatoes. There are six 4′ x 4′ wooden planter boxes. You can see that the neon tape I strung to let the deer see there is fencing here need repair.

Here’s a view from one side.

This shows the weed barrier cloth I put in each planter box, held down by a brick in each corner. You can also see the irrigation system for these three boxes, with the pieces of hose strung together running along a piece of wood and the sprinkler in the center of each box. The six boxes are all irrigated with one timer on an agricultural faucet.

I removed the bricks and stored them in two corners of the garden, pulled the weed barrier cloths off, folded them up and stored them.

The results of the weed barrier cloth vary. This is the worst, but it’s still much better than if I hadn’t shielded the Mel’s Mix. As you can see, weeds love this soil alternative just as much, if not more, than the veggies I want to grow!

All the planter boxes were prepped the same way, and yet each is different on how many weeds were prevented.

I’m going to call this experiment a success because, though there are weeds, there aren’t NEAR as many as there were when I just left them from the fall to the spring uncovered.

My experiment with tarps wasn’t as good as this, either, because the tarps didn’t stand up well with the temperature differences, the wind, the snow and ice, etc. I had put buckets in the center of each box to try to keep water from pooling, but that had varying success. The tarps also tore and the bungee cords I used didn’t hold the tarps on as well as I had hoped.

I think that when we finish in the fall and are getting the boxes ready for the winter again, we’ll put TWO layers of the weed barrier cloth in each box.

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Playing in the Dirt

This afternoon I’m planning (again) to uncover my gardening boxes in preparation for starting my spring garden. (I got snafued by the weather once and was just plain lazy after doing other things yesterday). I’m hoping that today is the day I can prep to get spring plants going. I just checked the forecast and it looks like we won’t have any freezes in the next 10 days, so maybe it’ll be safe to get things started.

I’m hoping to find several different types of lettuce, plus spinach, and sweet onions to start tomorrow. We’ll plant tomatoes, of course – in fact, we devote two brick planters to those. Otherwise, I’ll plant broccoli maybe, squash, and radish seeds. I’m thinking of playing with some herbs in the kitchen this year just for fun. I’ll plant celery bottoms from the ones I buy at the grocery store.

Everything will depend on what I can find, and I’m excited to get started now that the weather is getting more cooperative.

I’ll take some pictures to share with you.

Enjoy your day – play in the dirt!

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Still COLD!


It has now warmed up to 27 degrees F. here. The sun is shining, but that isn’t helping much. The forecast says, “A cold final day of winter before a spring warm up.”

I really hope the weather folks are right because I’ve had my fill of cold and am itching to play in the dirt of my garden. I’m planning to prep the garden and get some things planted next week, unless the forecast changes.

Right now I have weed barrier cloth cut to size in each of our six 4′ x 4′ wooden planters. The cloth has been held down by bricks, hoping to keep the weed growth to a minimum this year. I’ll take pics when I start prepping the boxes so you can see if it worked or not.

This is an old pic, showing when we used string to mark the planting ‘squares.’ Now I use wire because it is much more sturdy. You can see the irrigation system. We strung pieces of hose together between sprinklers in the center of each box, attached to a piece of wood that runs between 3 boxes in a row. There are two rows of planters. We have the whole thing on a timer so things are watered daily automatically.

We built the boxes in the shop, then hauled them out to the garden area. We welded angle iron together to make the supports for the boxes. We put them at my chest level so that I don’t have to bend over double or get down on my hands and knees to plant, weed, or harvest. My body really appreciates that.

The six planter boxes are surrounded by fencing to keep the deer out. We also put chicken wire around the bottom to keep rabbits and other critters out. We have a ‘door’ to close off the area. I put neon tape around the perimeter of the fence to give a heads up to the deer so they don’t run into it.

Since we live on top of a ridge line, we have no soil. Everything up here that isn’t rock was trucked in – some to be able to have a ‘yard’ around the house. All else is rock and woods.

We fill the planter boxes with “Mel’s Mix” (Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Garden) – a combination of peat moss, Vermiculite, and as many different kinds of compost as we can find or create. I use mushroom, barnyard, and cotton, plus we try to make our own.

I can’t wait to get started this year!

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The Dream

Josephine Neuse – University of Illinois Extension

I have a wonderful square foot garden that my husband and I created several years ago to enable me to enjoy gardening even as I get “more mature” and less able to get down and up again from my hands and knees and do heavy lifting.

We built SIX 4′ x4′ wooden ‘tables’ up on top of iron supports. We surrounded the six tables with fencing, then added chicken wire around the bottom to keep small critters out. We threaded neon tape through the fencing to make it VISABLE to the deer who come through from time to time. We added a screen door so there is a definite ‘inside-the-garden’ and ‘outside.

The tables are about my chest height and filled with “Mel’s Mix,” a soil substitute mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, and at least three different kinds of compost. We filled the boxes with the mix, after making the mixture in a used cement mixer. That’s the heaviest part of the gardening I do now. :0)

We marked the ‘squares’ of the square foot garden using wire criss-crossed over the tops of the boxes. We mounted a sprinkler head in the center of each box, tied together with hose, for daily irrigation.

We used to have a greenhouse that we built from a kit on the other side of our property, but since we couldn’t afford air conditioning and heating for it, it was truly a dream and wasn’t really useful to our efforts. We finally took it down when it was heavily damaged by a storm a few years ago. Now I buy plants from town.

I can just walk into my garden area, taking my spreadsheet diagram of where I want to plant things, move a bit of soft Mel’s Mix, and plant. My plan enables me to rotate my plants, avoiding disease and increasing yield. I also have not followed what I COULD do with my square foot garden, and spread my plants out a bunch for easier care.

Right now I have the boxes weeded and covered with weed cloth held in place by bricks. We’ve had several big storms and so far, the cloths are staying in place. That will hopefully enable me to plant without a lot of weeding first in the spring. :0)

I’m going to concentrate on lettuces, since I plan for us to eat a lot of salad, growing several kinds. My husband likes me to plant head lettuce, so I do, if we can find the plants. Otherwise, I try to plant three or four different kinds. I also want to plant a lot of spinach so I can use it in our salads, plus freeze some. I’ll grown radishes, sweet onions, and of course, I’ll use the two brick planters on the other side of the house for tomatoes. I’m at the dreaming stage now, so I’ll peruse lots of veggie magazines to see what else I might plant.

I WISH I were a good cook. I love the idea of growing herbs and spices, but I don’t tend to USE the fresh stuff much. I buy a bunch or two at the store, use a bit and end up tossing the rest when I haven’t used it fast enough. Maybe I’ll try a couple of the ones I use most often, trying to grow them in the kitchen, rather than in the garden….

It’s FUN to dream – especially while we’re expecting snow any minute here.

The Indian Express

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Iris Planter Progress

Daily Paws

I just came in from my second session trying to clean out the iris planter. I spent an hour and a half the first session, starting with a small rake-type garden tool and quickly going back to get a shovel. The second session was an hour. I’m pooped now, and I need to rest and hydrate before I do my yoga for the day, so I’ll do more tomorrow.

So far, I got the iris I could find easily out and put into a big outside type trash can. I also got most of the Bermuda grass that was on the surface of the planter out.

Tomorrow I’ll get more serious with the shovel, digging down as deeply as I can, turning the soil, and gathering more iris rhizomes, pulling more Bermuda grass roots, etc.

I feel good about my progress today. The weather cooling off and the rain last night really helped with the project. My husband said my project to clean out the planter was ‘impossible.’ It was just ‘too far gone.’ I’m going to prove him wrong. :0)

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Almost Finished

My husband helped me almost finish up the garden this morning. We gathered 24 bricks to put in the boxes, then wheelbarrowed them out there and distributed them. We then cut the weed barrier cloth to length for each of the boxes, running the fabric under the wires that delineate the ‘squares’ of the planting areas and then holding down the fabric with the bricks.

I’ll neaten up the area under the planters with the weed whacker as part of the next part of the project. You can also see the neon surveyors tape I ran around the perimeter of the garden to keep the deer from running into it.

The next part of the project is weed whacking this area beside our shop and in front of the garden, plus
this area behind the shop and beside the garden. This is where I store the components of Mel’s Mix in the trash cans, plus garden implements, the cement mixer to mix the ingredients, etc.
this area on the other side of the shop.

THEN the garden project will be finished.

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Square Foot Garden Progress

Gardener’s Path

Yesterday I finished prepping the garden boxes in my square foot garden, finishing the weeding, spraying, and spreading the Mel’s Mix as flat as I could.

Today my husband is going to help me take bricks to the garden via the wheelbarrow. We’ll put 4 of them in each of the 6 planter boxes to hold down the fabric weed barrier we’ll cut to size today.

When that is finished, the only remaining things are spraying the weeds underneath the planter boxes in the garden itself, and then around the perimeter of the garden, plus threading bright neon tape through the fencing to try to keep deer from running into the fence in the middle of the night.

I’m feeling good this morning. I managed to only get one ant bite/sting in my work yesterday, and it’s just itchy, not all blown up and sore. :0)

If we finish in good time, I’ll post pics.

Have a great Sunday!

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Gardening Progress

Messy Motherhood

I worked for an hour and a half this morning in the garden boxes in my square foot garden. I have four of the six 4′ x 4′ wooden planting boxes ready now. When I finish weeding the last two, I’ll spray them with Eight and then with Killzall, lightly, to finish up for the day.

Tomorrow I’m planning to gather the bricks and then my husband wants to help me cut the weed barrier cloth for each box. I’m lucky I have wonderful weather for this!

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Gardening Today 9-17-2022


Well, this morning’s work in the garden was less than stellar.

I mixed up a two-gallon sprayer of SEVEN to spray the garden boxes for fire ants. I pumped up the sprayer and it wouldn’t spray more than a second or two. It was already fully pumped up, and it just wouldn’t spray. I finally went back to the house and found a smaller quart-sized container and used that to at least spray AT each of the boxes. I came in when the sweat was getting into my eyes, feeling defeated.

My husband says he thinks we have another sprayer that we haven’t used. After awhile I will go see if I can find it and take it out to the garden. Hopefully, I can transfer the SEVEN to the new sprayer container and finish hosing down the garden boxes for the ants.

I WILL get this done – one way or another.

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Nice Compliment

Verywell Mind

My husband just came in from walking around outside. He said, “You did a GREAT job of weeding in the garden.” I’m still amazed.

He wanted to go to Yeager’s tomorrow to buy tarps to go over the boxes as we have done in the past. My good friend, Marsha, had suggested that I use weed barrier fabric stuff and plant through it to keep the weeds from coming up so enthusiastically. I suggested to my husband that we use the barrier stuff to keep the weeds down until the spring, instead of the tarps. We wouldn’t have to worry about the water draining off the tarps. It would just go THROUGH the weed barrier. I could check it from time to time to see if I needed to add more until it was time to plant in the spring.

In the spring, when it’s time to plant. I’ll remove the barrier, add more to plant through, or plant things, then put strips of the barrier stuff in between the plants. That should save me a LOT of work.

We’ll go get the barrier stuff tomorrow. :0)

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Locked and Loaded


A cool front came through sometime early this morning and it’s only 68 degrees this morning! Woo HOOOOO!

Yesterday I worked almost 3 hours in the garden, trying to harvest our sweet red onions. I did two sessions, having to weed AS I harvested because the weeds were SO bad, I couldn’t FIND the onions. (I know. Embarrassing, to say the least.)

I got what I thought were 3 ant bites, but it turned out to be a few more. No big swarms of ants, but several teed-off ants got me. My left arm is a bit swollen and tender, even though I took allergy meds and put Benadryl ointment on my arm right away.

I got three of the six wooden planters weeded and harvested, and will try to finish the job today.

I’ll mix up my bug killer before I go, so I’m locked and loaded, ready to hose down any ant that even looks in my direction.

Meanwhile, we’re enjoying a cool breeze with the front and back doors open. Ahhhhhhh.

Trying to stay busy on this sad day.

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Onions, Weeds, and Ants – Oh, MY…

Gardeners World Forum

Okay. Picture the mess above on six 4’x4′ wooden ‘table’ gardens chest high and you will have an idea of what a MESS my garden is right now.

I’ve just come in from working for about 45 minutes and I can tell this is going to take SEVERAL sessions, possibly over a couple of days or so do to the FIRST thing on my list for outside – harvesting the sweet red onions.

I have to pull the weeds in order to FIND the onions. :0(

So far, I’ve harvested half of a big bucket of onions which I spread out on our trailer bed by the shop as I came back to the house just now. I have an entire large trash can full of weeds to dump before I start another session after lunch, when I’ve had a chance to rest and cool off.

I’ve finished one and a half of the six wooden boxes. I’ll see how hot it is, and if I can simply ignore the heat and sun for a bit. It IS cooler than it has been, with a high of 90 predicted for this afternoon.

I have THREE ant bites, but I haven’t dug into a bed of them where they swarm up yet. Hopefully, that won’t happen.

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This is probably the last tomato we’ll get this season.

square foot garden box example
one of the converted tomato planters

This year has been difficult, with cooler than normal temperatures in the beginning of the spring, then WAAAAAAAAY too much rain, then WAAAAAAAY too much heat with NO rain, then just killing heat, killing off the plants no matter how much we try to irrigate.

Because we built our raised-bed, square foot garden and arranged for daily irrigation, we were able to enjoy fresh lettuce and spinach at the beginning of the season. We converted two brick planters on the other side of the house to square foot planters so we could plant tomato plants. These were on irrigation, as well, so we were able to enjoy a nice crop of tomatoes, though a much shorter season than usual.

The garden is down to just sweet red onions, ready to be pulled up and dried as soon as this heat allows. The tomatoes are almost completely gone now. We’re lucky to have enjoyed some nice, fresh, home-grown veggies, but we’re also lucky we don’t have to make a living from our efforts. :0)

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Thankful Thursday

Greater Good Science Center – UC Berkeley

I’m thankful for air conditioning when we are under a ‘dangerous heat advisory’ through to the weekend with a heat index of 115 for Friday. I just went out to our shop to get some things to add to my Etsy site and the heat slammed me in the face the minute I opened the door to go out. I was REALLY glad to get things done out there and back into the house. (My dog, Amber, and my cat, Abby, accompanied me, and even THEY were happy to get back inside the cool house.)

I’m thankful that, even though my garden is pretty much over for the season (except for a couple of zucchini plants, red onions, and tomatoes) I had a nice harvest this morning.

I’m thankful to be having such a wonderful time starting to paint the totes I’m giving for Christmas this year. My ideas are starting to come together. My head and heart are full of memories of each of these wonderful friends as I picture their faces as I paint. I listen to some of my favorite music up there AND I’m ALSO thankful I can turn on the a/c upstairs so it cools off while I paint! :0)


(I’m hoping that my husband and I look like this wonderful couple when we grow up.) I’m thankful that our day so far is quiet and happy. Sharing your life with someone is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you might be lucky enough to do.

I hope you have lots of things for which you’re thankful, too.


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Wednesday Tomato Harvest

I just went out to check for ripe tomatoes before it gets too hot. (We’re due for a heat index of 110-115 today.) Look what I found!

I don’t know yet how this summer’s harvest will compare to years past, but the QUALITY of the tomatoes so far is stellar. NO blemishes. NO bad spots. Nice and firm. Delicious. It just doesn’t get better than this. :0) I wish I could share some with you.

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Garden Update


The zucchini are growing, but very slowly. I’ve never grown these before, so I’m not sure what to expect. The red onions seem fine. All else is gone, with the exception of my two tomato planters on the other side of the house.

The elephant ears are doing well, in spite of our having to water them manually.

The FIRST ripe tomato of the season!!!!!

The tomato plants were looking dry, so we ran the watering system for the back manually to make sure all was working as it is supposed to.

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Garden Progress?


Two sessions outside so far today.

I’m being very careful, since the heat index for today is 115 today. The sun is strong. You feel the heat slapping you in the face the minute you go out. I sprayed my front and asked my husband to spray my back and back of my legs with Deep Woods OFF! before I went out. I wore sunglasses and a sweatband.

The first session I concentrated on pulling out the bolted lettuce plants. They were over 2 feet tall!

After session # 1 I closed up the house and turned on the a/c. My husband started to object, feeling comfortable sitting and reading in the living room, but then decided that ‘living’ was a better option than fighting me. I didn’t do this until I had tried to cool down for a half hour or so from the first session, but decided that it was time to get a little help on trying to stay cool the rest of the day. He looked at my still-red face and decided to go along. :0)

I just came in from my second session. I filled my two-gallon spray container with EIGHT bug killer and hosed down the zucchini plants in the garden and then my tomato plants. (We lost one tomato plant in the storm. The main stem was completely broken off and the plant was hanging over the side of the planter.) The rest of the tomato plants are looking good with green tomatoes!

I’m drinking a bottle of cold water now, trying to cool down.

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do for session # 3.

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Ah, Yes…


We’ve now gone from getting almost 12 inches of rain in the past week to a heat index of 100 degrees F. today and 110+ tomorrow. Seat belts aren’t enough.

We DO have a driveway left, even though we did get some damage along one side. I’m really amazed that ALL of the crusher dust the nice man spread for us, allowing us to finally get down our driveway – and back UP again – didn’t end up in the road that runs along in front of our property. We’re just pleased that Mother Nature seems to have calmed down, or at least moved to the east now. Hopefully she won’t bring problems to others.

I plan to get outside in several sessions today, mainly this morning and late this afternoon, to try to catch up.

Lee County Center-NC State University

I need to check my tomato plants first. I need to prune them and may need to add more support. I’m hoping that tomato worms haven’t descended. I’ll spray everything heavily with Eight, looking carefully for signs we’re infested.

This is what the zucchini plants are supposed to look like.

I need to get out to the garden. I’ll pull my lettuce plants – which are probably trying to touch the sky now – and see what else needs to be done. I’m hoping I’ll have some little bitty zucchini. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to prune and stake them, as the pic above shows I’m supposed to.

With the heat index this high, I’ll need to keep my sessions really short, resting a lot in-between and drinking lots and lots of water. I would like to have things under reasonable control by the end of the weekend. I’ll plan on sharing pics with you.

There was a lot of flooding in Greenwood yesterday. I’m hoping things are getting back to normal today and that there wasn’t a lot of damage.

Have a nice, safe Saturday.

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Happy Camper

Baby Center-iStock

I’m a happy camper today. Things are really looking up around here. :0)

I’ve told you that we were FINALLY able to arrange our freedom yesterday since Jeremy Young came with his equipment and smoothed out the crusher dust pile that made us captives up here for a week. Even with the really heavy rain most of the afternoon, the driveway stayed beautiful with very little damage. We’ll see how long this lasts and then get back with him on what he thinks we should do more long term.

We replenished some supplies after relocating raccoon # 6, getting home around 5:30 or so. I slept much better last night, knowing we could get out if we needed to, or someone could come up, again, if needed. Peace of mind is priceless.

Today we’ll get our mower gas cans filled, plus the truck. The only downside of all this freedom is that it is expensive! Grocery prices were up, of course, and gas prices will make us gasp today. At least we can GET most of what we would like to. We’ll also replace a flashlight that died suddenly. Not only did it need new batteries – the batteries had ‘frozen’ inside. Oops! That one lasted over 30 years, so I guess needing to get a replacement now is understandable…

Changing from the Keto eating plan to the Mediterranean one is helping me gradually. And I’m starting to see a difference on the scales, too, finally. My focus has been on getting my system working right again, pushing lots of veggies, cutting way back on meat and fat, eating fruit, etc. Now I’ll start paying attention to calories as well, comparing that to what I’m burning with my yard work and exercise. I’m hoping I can manage a good balance where I’ll feel good, sleep well, and have more energy as I get stronger.

We’ll set the humane trap on the deck again this evening. “Something” triggered it to shut overnight, but we didn’t catch anything. We’re having a record year, having trapped and relocated six raccoons so far in the past month or so.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to get more heavy rain. But TODAY the sun is shining brightly after being fogged in this morning. I’m looking forward to spending time in the garden and checking on my tomato plants.

Have a glorious Thursday!

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Tomato Plants

So far, the tomatoes are doing well. Yesterday I got out with my clippers, ties, and stool for a good pruning session. I cleaned things up, supported the plants well, and delighted in seeing some green tomatoes!

I don’t want the tomatoes to get much taller, but the video I am going by didn’t say much about the indeterminate tomato plants growing up too tall for the supports. Usually mine spill out over the sides of the planter and sprawl all over the ground. That’s what I’m trying to avoid this year, because the guy in the video says the plants will concentrate on producing more tomatoes, rather than all the greenery.

The plants should be getting lots of oxygen. That is supposed to help them not get any diseases. I’ll mix up some bug spray next, because I don’t want the tomato worms sneak in and start eating the plants.

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Thoughts on Sunday 5-29-2022


This puppy is a genius – eating AND getting in exercise at the same time! I’m not sure what that yoga position is called, but I’m impressed :0) I’m going to make beef stew for our dinner tonight. Less stew beef, many more veggies. I’ll freeze the leftovers into individual serving containers and put them in the freezer.

I finished cleaning out and weeding the square foot garden yesterday. It took a total of three sessions and about 4 hours to get things cleaned out the way they should be, but I feel good that it looks like someone cares again. I’ll research summer crops and then see what is available locally. The tomatoes are doing fine so far, too.

If you look really carefully, above the lowermost leaves on the bottom left of the plant, you can see a small green tomato!

And finally, this has nothing whatsoever with my ‘garden,’ but I’m delighted to see that all three elephant ear plants are now coming up. You have to look carefully at the center of the planter, but you can see the first sprout of a leaf breaking through now.

Today’s project will be attacking things with my loppers. I’ll be clearing up areas that are giving my husband trouble on the riding mower, and then trying to cut down weed trees around our burn barrel between the house and the shop. It’s supposed to get to the 90s today (50s two days ago) with strong sun, so I’ll have to be careful.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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5 of the 6 Done

The main raised bed square foot garden consists of six 4’x4′ boxes we built, put on iron supports and filled with Mel’s Mix. They are my chest height, so my gardening ‘work’ is the easiest possible. I can walk up to the tables, plant, weed, and harvest – all without bending over double over and over or having to get down on my hands and knees.

Pulling out spent plants and weeding in the sun, however, is still a lot of work for me. That’s what I’ve been doing today – trying to make up for neglecting it for the past week while it’s been raining every day.

What I found today is that I needed to pull out a lot of plants. Even though the Mel’s Mix stays soft, the plants really get their roots down in it and it’s difficult to me to pull them out. Then I try to save as much of the Mel’s Mix as possible, then dispose of them (composting what I can.) The weeds have overridden my sweet garden in a week’s time. I now have 5 of the 6 boxes cleaned out and weeded, but have one left. I’m in resting and drinking water again before I try to go back out and finish the job.

I also harvested some lettuce that I’m going to take to our hairdresser Tuesday morning. I’ll also fill bags for my Lunch Bunch friends, and a couple of other people as I use what I can before the lettuce bolts.

I’ll have to think about whether I want to try to grow some other warm weather crops, besides the zucchini, such as yellow crook neck squash, etc. Maybe when I’ve had a chance to catch my breath a bit I’ll do some research in what is available now.

I’ve always loved the idea of growing herbs, but never really have. I’m not much of a cook, but the idea of snipping off a bit of fresh herbs to flavor our dinner has always appealed. The reality of it is that when I buy some fresh herbs at the store, I use a bit and the rest goes bad in the fridge. :0( I’m going to see what else I can grow that I will actually use and can freeze.

Meanwhile, we can look forward to what I hope will be a great tomato crop, giving us a wealth of ripe tomatoes for ourselves and to share with our friends.

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Work Cut Out for Me

In a nutshell, the zucchini seems to be doing all right, and the onions are fine. The lettuce hasn’t bolted yet, but will soon. Everything else must go. I just came in from spending an hour pulling out plants and weeding. I harvested one lettuce plant and pulled the rest out. I have about half of the garden done now. I’m resting and drinking lots of water. I plan to go out and hopefully finish with another hour or so after lunch.

The zucchini plant seems to be thriving. The spinach plant next to it needs to go.

The red onions are very happy. The spinach here also needs to go, as do the abundance of weeds.

I’ll be harvesting lots of lettuce in the coming days.

sent to me by my friend, Susy.

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