I LOVE This Idea…

Now why didn’t I think of this?  A vegetable washing table, complete with hose and close proximity to the harvest bounty! 

I do like a gardener who thinks “outside” the garden—as in:  “Where am I going with this stuff?”

Probably because he’s a man.  A woman thinks practicality:  Going to the kitchen now to prepare my fresh veggies…  She knows there’s a sink in the kitchen.  A man thinks solution:  This stuff is dirty and I’ve got to clean it off before bringing it anywhere near the kitchen.  A well-trained husband, that is. 🙂 More

The Beds are Built and Filled

Wow—talk about progress.  Tami is making loads of the stuff! Or trenches, as the case may be.  Not only has she constructed her planter beds, but filled them as well.  Okay, her assistant Jason helped.  But hey, he misses his garden.  He’s aching for the chance to get his hands into the dirt again and Tami has offered him a little slice of hers to ease his pain.  A bit dramatic, I know.  What do you expect from a fiction author?

Back to the garden.  One of the things I enjoy most about helping others learn to garden is the fact I end up learning something new, each and every time.  With Mandy, I learned how easy radish were to grow and what wonderful companions they made in the garden.  With Ashley and Julie I learned that tomatoes are much hardier than I ever dreamed.  But an attack of leaf miners and a tipsy topsy turvy planter will do that for a gal!

Today I learned a tip for growing with raised planters.  After constructing the frame and lining it with weed fabric, add a nice layer of hay across the bottom before you add your dirt.  When I asked Jason the reason for this added tip, he shrugged.  “Don’t know.  My grandmother told me it’s what she always did, but wouldn’t give me a reason.”

Sounds like my mother sharing one of her recipes.  “Oh you know, you add it to taste.”

To taste.  Add it because it works.  Hmph.  But not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ll take the advice and run with it.  “Whatever works” is my motto, though I’m assuming it has something to do with better drainage and built-in compost!

She’s carved a trench along her existing fence for her beans.  Fences provide excellent support for climbing beans.  Or cucumbers.  Both would love this space!  And the square out in front of her planters?

Tami has big plans for that area.  Watermelons.  Tons and tons of wild watermelons.  She’s given them their own space to roam free which is smart.  Watermelons need the room and while you could plant the seed in the corner of the planter and allow the vines to hang over the side and run to their heart’s content, why not scoop out the existing grass and give them their own little slice of heaven?  Other than it’s a lot of back-breaking work, that is.

Oh, well.  Jason did say he loves to garden!

Attention Dog Lovers

Now I love dogs as much as the next gardener–but not in my garden.  Except for this handsome fellow.  This handsome well-trained fellow.  This is Cody and he knows better than to trample across his mama’s garden beds! 

Okay, that’s not entirely true.  When the neighbor dogs are at the fence begging for his attention, all bets are off.  Cody is a social thing and does enjoy his visits. 

I guess what I’m saying is that when supervised, this boy is an excellent garden companion. It’s the wandering neighborhood dogs I’m concerned about! 

And I have evidence.  Those are doggie footprints. 

They may not look like much in this photo, but trust me, those are them.  In fact, my husband pointed the little fella out to me the day before.  An adorable beagle.  When I called after him he ran, leaving me with the impression he was easily startled, had lost his way and would not be back.

I was wrong.  Next day, he was back.  And rooting for beans.  Apparently dogs like beans?

This was news to me, but after laboring for hours tilling my rows, amending my soil and dropping my seeds, I was not amused.  Walking out to the garden, strolling my rows as I always do, I noticed some of the beans laying atop the dirt.  Now this can happen with too much water.  Yep.  Beans will float right to the surface if you give them too much water.  Can happen in a downpour, though it hadn’t rained.  And I checked my soil moisture.  Just right.

No.  This was the work of an uninvited visitor.  So after I replanted my bean row (plus a few corn kernels in the next row) I contemplated how best to dissuade this canine from doing visiting again.  Like bugs, was there a plant that would naturally repel dogs?  Remember, not only am I an organic gardener but I’m a dog lover.  I have no intention of hurting this pumpkin but I also have no intention of allowing him to run roughshod over my beds again.  What’s a poor gardener to do?

Well I read marigolds will do the trick.  If you plant them around your garden, the dogs will resist the urge to visit. 

Really?  Marigolds?  Lemon and grapefruit rinds are supposed to do the trick as well, however I just don’t see myself littering my garden with citrus rinds.  Not only will it diminish the glorious ambiance, it doesn’t quite set the right example for the kids if you know what I mean.  After all, we have a compost habit we’re trying to maintain and giving them permission to toss rinds on the ground doesn’t feel right.  Besides, look how pretty these two go together.  (And they’re excellent companions in the garden!)  Problem is, my beans are already in.  Too late to plant marigolds to fix my intruder problem.

I could always put up a fence.  A bit extra work and probably not something my husband wants to add to his hunny-do list.  Maybe thorny branches strewn about?

Nah.  I might scratch myself.  Any suggestions?  I’m all ears!