Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Friday, May 7, 2010

How does my garden grow? Quite nicely, thank you!

It's been planting time around our house for the last couple of weeks. I planted more veggies than usual - and am trying some new gardening methods. I have tomatoes growing in straw bales (click here for a great link to straw bale gardening), and a couple of beds done in a non-traditional way. Instead of digging, you lay down sheets of newspaper 6-8 layers thick (or a layer of cardboard), cover that with 7-8 inches of wheat straw, then layer 2-3 inches of potting soil on top. Sow seeds or plant young veggies and water as needed (I'm watering every day until the plants are established). Voila! No digging, no weeds and very little work!

I also have a tabletop garden using dishwashing tubs, purchased from the dollar store, (got the hubby to drill drainage holes in them) and I have cabbage and okra planted in them. The advantages of a tabletop garden are: little to no weeds, less bugs since the plants are not on ground level, and -most importantly - my little cabbages and okra are out of reach of the rabbits... who have acres upon acres around here to feed on but insist on coming into my garden every night and devouring the hard work that I did earlier in the day! They have eaten almost all the leaves off my Black-eyed Susans. As Elmer Fudd would say, "Those pesky wabbits!"

So far, all of my veggies are being grown organically. This is something new for me too, so I'm learning as I go. I'm mulching heavily to cut down on weeds and we put a chicken wire fence around the watermelon/cantaloupe patch and salad garden to keep both rabbits and deer out. As soon as the tomatoes bear fruit they'll have to be fenced off too. Deer love to mosey from one plant to the next, taking a bite out of almost every tomato on the vine, and every bitten tomato has to be discarded. It's a summer long battle: me and my veggies vs. the deer and rabbits!

I'm posting some garden pics taken this morning. The salad garden has a really ugly border around it.... but, though unsightly, cinderblock is great for this because it's so heavy it's not going anywhere and it's about 8 inches in depth.... perfect to keep the straw and potting soil from washing away in heavy rain. In a garden, function rules over form!

Have a good weekend.... I'm playing with watercolor again (that's Laure's doing) and will post that little quickie pretty soon.
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