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Country Garden Update!

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Unlike exercising or laundry, I always find time to garden. I love it and this year has been especially rewarding so far. I put just about everything in the ground over a month ago and thankfully most of it survived the late frost in mid-April. Now, the garden is really starting to crank up. The squash and zucchini are beginning to pump out tasty little fruits and the tomato plants are getting huge!! This year I have planted 4 types of tomatoes; Rutgers ( a great canning tomato), mortgage lifters, black cherry, and Cherokee Greens and Purples. Well, that’s 5 – so sue me. As long as I can keep the hornworms at bay, I think we will be swimming in tomatoes before long and that is okay by me.

I have come to realize that maybe 25 heads of Golden Acre cabbage was a little much. Considering an average head of cabbage weighs somewhere around 5 pounds each, I am looking at what will be about 125 pounds of cabbage. It is a safe bet that sauerkraut will be in our future. And yes dear readers, I will be posting about that when the time comes. I’m hoping the two little gourd plants I have in a big bucket will also do well. The kids are dying to do some gourd crafts and who can blame them really.

Notice that pretty much everything is mulched with hay. That’s free hay, from the pasture behind me, graciously donated by our friends who take care of the cows. And let me just say that free hay is great, because mulch in a big garden is a must unless you just really love pulling weeds. I do not like pulling weeds.

The free hay has also been a boon to our potato plants which I straw/hay hilled instead of hilling with dirt. The taters haven’t even bloomed yet and already some really nice sized potatoes can be seen deep in the stack.

So far, the garden has been doing so very well, with the exception of some little critter that comes through and munches on my plants. Because of that nasty little varmint my pea plants were almost a total loss. No amount of cayenne or garlic will keep that little b#$%@*d away and I am just about ready to camp out with my .22. Uggg…I hate critters in my garden.

Oh well, if it wasn’t a challenge, it wouldn’t be fun. So, here’s to my garden and yours! Tell me what you’ve got growing this year. And any tips to keep what I suspect to be  a raccoon out of my garden would be appreciated!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. very nice – looks like there is also a lot of slaw recipes coming forth too …
    my squash are so puny, the blossoms are small and falling off, don’t think it is a cutworm but I just don’t know… good luck with your varmint, keep us (me) posted on your garden, love it

    1. I over planted squash this year for sure. I’m pulling 8-10 every day! Have you tried a little chicken poop tea? Squash are pretty heavy feeders. Mine have lots of cow poop and they seem to love it. My problem is with the dang squash bugs. I hate those things.

    2. I know it’s November and the garden is history, but for the coming planting season, I have a tip for keeping your raccoon at bay….go to a sporting goods store that has hunting gear and purchase “coyote urine”. Evidently coyotes are raccoons’ natural predators and spraying this around your property will get them scurrying! I’m a city dweller now, but had a pesky critter move into my attic! This worked like a charm. Don’t worry, it had no smell that I could detect…

  2. Hope its not too late to suggest marigolds and/or dill with the tomatoes to keep hornworms away. My mom always plants a border of marigolds around her garden and I have never seen a hornworm on her tomatoes. I also plant a bit of dill nearby (I really hate hornworms). It is apparently the strong scent of something un-tomato that works.

    1. Thanks Karen! I’ve got a few marigolds and basil around the tomatoes right now. So far, no nasty hornworms, but I will definitely put some more dill on the list.

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

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