Gardening


I love to grow things that we can eat. Our 3 compost piles produce wonderful soil and also worms for fishing. Grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and vegetable and fruit peelings produce great soil.

The surrounding trees have grown considerably over the years until we now have almost no sunny places to garden. Consequently, we have abandoned our raised bed area and now do not grow any garden. But we love the trees and have no plans to cut any down.

Click on a year to view the description.
2016

Usually our blueberry bushes don't product many berries due to the large surrounding trees. However, this year unknown factors made them very productive and the harvest was 9114 berries!

Thank you George and Annie Pollock for the blueberries.

2015

For the first time we did not plant a garden due to the areas becoming too shaded to produce.

Once again a generous neighbor shared some of her produce. Thank you Alice for the fresh strawberries.

The blueberry bushes are too shaded to produce as much as in the past, but the count for this season was 1,972 berries and the birds got their share.

2014

A few generous neighbors brought some of their produce to us:

  • Sonny Barker: yellow squash - patty pan squash - 4 bags of squash.
  • George & Annie Pollock: blueberries - peaches - tomatoes - blueberry drink.
Thank you for sharing your garden produce with us. All was so appreciated.

Once again I was unable to garden. Jack did all the work from planting to care and picking. The shade from our trees blocks out much of the sun. We had many tomato plants but few tomatoes. Had two green pepper plants but the "star" was Jack's one jalapeño plant which gave him 106 hot peppers.

  • tomatoes 24
  • green pepper 36
  • jalapeno pepper 106
  • blueberries - 473

2013

Lack of sunny growing spots led to reduced output this year. My impaired mobility meant I didn't get to "play in the dirt"; maybe next year.

  • Turnip greens
  • Collards
  • turnips -2
  • green onions

  • green beans - 640
  • blueberries - 1146+
  • summer squash - 3
  • cucumber - 34

  • cucumber - 34
  • cilantro
  • carrot greens
  • tomatoes - 39
  • green pepper - 9

2012

Each year we have less sun in our garden spaces and, consequently, less produce. However, we are thankful for the items that we can grow. Our four blueberry bushes became mature enough to provide us with a nice harvest. And for the first time we had one egg plant, which also did very well. Another interesting year.

  • green onions
  • chives
  • edible pod peas - 10
  • yellow beans - 57
  • turnip greens

  • onions - 2
  • blueberries - 3077
  • tomatoes - 222
  • green beans - 1174
  • cilantro

  • collards
  • egg plant - 11
  • green pepper - 17
  • zucchini - 4
  • summer squash - 4

2011

May 24: The trees have grown a lot and now shade most of our yard. So, in order to have any garden at all we converted a small section of the front yard by the house to a garden spot.

Garden in front.

How it looks in late May with tomato plants, pepper plants, some winter squash, zucchini, and green onions.

Another garden shot.
Lower garden.

The former garden area still has a couple of items. The plants in the foreground are turnips, which are already producing some greens.

October 31: Another wonderful year with the garden. I was able to plant seeds in the spring, but could not get to the garden the rest of the summer. Once again, Jack did everything. We appreciated all the organic produce that grew. Here is what we received from the garden.

  • Chives
  • Green Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Snow Peas - 148
  • Dandelion Greens

  • Turnip Greens
  • Jalapeno Peppers 165
  • Green Beans 149
  • Tomato 228
  • Zucchini 15

  • Summer Squash 16
  • Cucumbers 120
  • Onions 41 - small
  • Bell Peppers 61

2010

Due to health problems the garden was about 1/4 the normal size; however, I was delighted with the produce we received. Balance problems became very bad and Jack was left with all the care. I was only able to visit the garden several times during the growing season. It now gets so little sun due to our large trees that Jack has worked on a new place which will get more sun for next year.

Here is what we did get and I am so thankful.

  • chives
  • 51 snow peas
  • cilantro
  • 83 cucumbers/pickles

  • 369 tomato/ cherry
  • 25 Raspberries
  • 19 pepper

2009
The garden.

4/22/09: We're ready to get the growing season underway and here is a picture of the limited space I have for planting. The main area is about 4' by 10' and I put a lot of pots along the far end. There is also a bed along the base of the rock wall on the right, however, it gets only a little sun.

12/12/09: The garden for the year 2009 was very interesting. Our huge trees now block much of the sun making it hard for the plants to get sun. May was very wet so many seeds rotted in the ground. I appreciated everything that did eventually grew.

I grew 13 different items:

  • cucumbers - 56,
  • peppers - 65,
  • regular tomatoes - 148,
  • cherry tomatoes - 257,
  • chives, lettuce,
  • radishes - 4,

  • raspberries - 64,
  • blackberries - 62,
  • yellow beans 160,
  • purple beans - 152,
  • winter squash - 2,
  • cantaloupe - 1,
  • blueberries - 3.

Many neighbors shared so generously with us. I thank them all, but especially the following people:

  • Starr Limperis
  • George and Annie Pollock
  • Maurene and Paul Wanko
  • Eddie and Terri Williams
  • Sonny Barker

I had fun and am looking forward to 2010. I have saved many seeds for next year.

2008

I harvested 14 different items: chives, spinach, collards, cilantro, red raspberries - 227, blackberries - 91, yellow beans - 238, green beans - 881, cucumbers - 83, tomatoes - 2,378 ( cherry - 2,126 and regular - 252), blueberries - 2, okra - 60, butternut squash - 7 and 1 cantaloupe.

The garden for 2008 has been put to sleep for the year. Only cilantro and chives remain in their buckets. They should both winter over. It was a wonderful year for growing again. We did not travel during the growing season which allowed me to water daily. I looked forward to my daily picking and always found time to "talk" to my plants.

It was fun and I have saved many seeds for the 2009 garden. I am looking forward to spring so I can play in the "dirt" again. To me it is a miracle to plant a tiny seed and the one seed gives so much. My garden gives me so much pleasure. I am still canning for 2008 and will write about that on the canning page. So far up to 203 jars of food.

2007

My garden for 2007 was fun. I grew 17 different items which were: cilantro, spinach, collards, lettuce, 12 white potatoes, 156 yellow beans, 913 green beans, 4 zucchini, 80 cucumbers (pickles), chives, 224 tomatoes, 43 green peppers, 1 cantaloupe, 82 okra, 9 large butternut squash, 1 watermelon and 2 sweet potatoes.

I love to watch the plants grow. It was so dry that I had to water daily. We also planted 4 blueberry bushes which had 12 blueberries the first season. What did not grow in our garden grew in pots in the front yard where there is sun. I have saved many seeds for the 2008 garden. I still have some chives, collards and spinach growing and hope they get through the winter.

My garden is good for my soul as I love to feel the dirt and "talk" to my plants. I also enjoy canning and I canned 141 jars of food which were: apple preserve, apple chutney, lime, citrus and watermelon jelly, pineapple jam, okra pickles, stewed tomatoes, tomatoes with okra and tomato juice.

I am looking forward to my 2008 garden.

2006

11/23/2006: Now that everything has been picked and the garden put to sleep for the winter I have a few final numbers.

  • Tomatoes - 1303,
  • potatoes - 54,
  • winter squash - 16 and
  • green peppers - 28.
I picked the lettuce as Jack was covering the squares nightly due to the cold weather and frost. I still have collards and spinach growing but they are a cold weather crop and might make it through the winter. We have extended the area below the rock wall so more green beans and other vegetables can be planted in that area. Since tomatoes were there during 2006, I will use the area for beans and probably zucchini and summer squash. It was a wonderful year for growing vegetables in a small area. I had so much fun and will look forward to the spring of 2007 to see what I decide to plant.

October 2006

October 28, 2006: This year our rock wall came tumbling down in one area. Jack repaired the wall and we took out all the raspberry plants in the area and put in tomato plants and some tomatoes in pots.

This year I had 28 tomato plants. I purchased 6 and the rest were volunteers from the compost pile. Most from the pile were cherry tomato plants and in various sizes from small to large; 8 plants were in the ground and the rest were in pots.

So far this year we have had 1,228 tomatoes and more are still on the vines. The vines are now dying and need to be pulled up or taken out of their pots. That is one heck of a lot of tomatoes even though most have been cherry tomatoes. Each one has been enjoyed or given away.

I also grew green peppers. I did buy the six pepper plants that are in the square. So far we have had 23 peppers and more are on the plants. They are crisp and the best tasting.

Another volunteer was our large butternut squash plants. They take a large amount of room and in 2004 the largest was 19 pounds. That is a lot of squash for the two of us. I have learned to use squash in recipes that call for sweet potatoes and pumpkin. The squash keeps well in the refrigerator while eating one. I planted 8 pots with volunteer squash sprouts which came up in the compost pile. I have had 14 grow so far. These were placed in our front yard to grow. That is our only sunny spot and gets sun often. Of course once they start growing, the grass gets taller and Jack cannot mow due to the squash vines. This year several were in the 15 pound range. Most are given away as we can use about 5. These keep well in the basement through April. We have squash all through the winter.

I planted the "eyes" from the potatoes to grow more potatoes. These grow to a small potato and have been very good. I have gotten about 49 potatoes and there are still more growing in the square. I also grew carrots, green beans, onions, turnip greens (with turnips), collards, lettuce and cilantro. I am always amazed at what can be grown in a small space and in pots. Each year I save the seeds from the green beans for the following year. These produce wonderful green beans spring through fall.

2004 Squash
Barbara with squash.

This is the largest of the 2004 crop. This one was a whopping 19 pounds!

It now holds the record from our modest garden spot.

2002 Squash
Big squash.

Another large squash that also grew in the front yard; more sun up there.

It was the biggest of 2002 at 12 pounds!

2001 Squash
Big squash.

This is a giant squash that also grew on a volunteer vine in the front yard.

It was the biggest one of summer 2001 and weighed 11 pounds!

2000 Melon
Melon patch.

Here's a melon that grew on a volunteer vine in the front yard flower bed.

It was just too nice to pull up so I let it go and several melons were harvested.