Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Gardening I Go....

Here are some scenes from our garden.  We actually have two gardens this year.  One in the same location as last year, now surrounded by an electric fence.  Last year we donated our entire sweet corn and popcorn crop and much of our melons and tomatoes to the wildlife population.  Not this year!  That is the garden where these photos are from.  It has incredible, soft, fertile soil  BUT it is away from the house, making it more susceptible to wild vegetable bandits, and away from a water source.  Any water needs to be hauled out there in five gallon buckets.  Of course, any of you that followed our saga of the first ten months we lived here without a home or well know that we are old pros when it comes to hauling water.  At least now we only have to haul them from the spigot at the house.

The second garden is mainly in raised beds in our front yard, within the area fenced for the dogs.  This was a good rodent control plan until our old grumpy dog died and we obtained a large, active, digging and plant tromping puppy named Cookie (aka Cookie Monster or Chewbaka).  With Cookie's influence our other younger adult dog got her second wind  and is now also like a big puppy.  We had to tack wire fencing over the raised beds in order to keep the Cookie Monster from digging up our seeds and seedlings.  It worked great.  The plants just came up through the openings.  The only problem is that the dogs refuse to understand that the beds are off limits and tromp all over them all the time.  Many black bean and pepper plants have been trampled to death by an overzealous and oversized puppy while I am trying to check cucumbers.  So all of our later plantings have been added into the larger electrified garden.

Having two gardens has helped us to isolate varieties.  For example, popcorn is in the yard garden while sweet corn is in the 'electric' garden.  We have so much wildlife here that we just don't have the luxury of planting in the yard or fields....everything must be surrounded....and surrounded well.  Last year we had a fence around the garden but the raccoons found out how to lift the fence and go under it, the rabbits went through the holes, and the deer went over.  We tried everything we could think of to keep them out....plastic snakes, dog hair, shiny ribbon, etc.  Nothing helped.  Electricity seems to be working pretty well so far.

Enjoy the pictures.  They were taken as the sun was rising above the garden so some of the pictures appear a little dark. 

Bean plants vining up the corn stalks.

Sweet Corn (Texas Honey June)

Peanuts ~ the first time we've ever grown them.  They are so fun!

Sweet Potato Vines ~ these slips were a gift from a friend...about thirty of them in all.

Multiplier Onions ~ the onion that keeps on giving.

Watermelon peeking out from among the vines (Amish Moon and Stars) ~ these are gonna be big boys, 20-30 lbs, and sure are some beautiful plants.

One of many tomato plants.  We got a late start on these as the ones that were in the yard had to be moved and transplanted, and many more had to be started from seeds at a later date (Cherokee Black, Mortgage Lifter or Brandywine ~ they all got mixed up in the move)

The banana peppers were dying in a pot in the yard.  They are slowly springing back to life after transplanting.

Potatoes ~ and weeds and johnson grass ( too late to weed more around the potatoes though.  We don't want to uproot any taters.)

Melon mounds from front to back~ watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, with potatoes and sweet corn in the back.

Happy gardening!

I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace


Michelle said...

Would a rain barrel near the garden eliminate the need to haul water? I thought ours needed to be hooked up to the run off spout from the roof of the house but when it was disconnected it still collected a huge amount of water.

I love your garden. Lots of goodies growing. Do you know what zone peanuts are for? We are zone 4 and think those would be fun to grow but not sure when they are harvested?

koinonia community said...

A rain barrel would work great but there isn't anything out there for it to run off of. The garden is at the edge of the pasture. We did get several used pickle barrels we are going to convert to rain barrels and place around the house and barn.

We talked about moving the garden closer to the house now that we have a well (before the water had to be hauled no matter where it was). The thing is that the soil in that location is so unique...things just thrive there. It is worth having to haul water. We don't have to do it every day except on seedlings anyways. Once the roots are long enough, the soil holds onto moisture a couple of inches below the surface.

I don't think peanuts are recommended for your zone. They require 120-140 days of hot weather. Of course they can be started indoors and grown in containers as well. They are so neat though. They have the most unique little flowers. Once the flowers die, they have little shoots that go downward and burrow in the ground, and that is where the peanuts grow. It might be worth a try even if they don't yield much.

Michelle said...

Bummer :( I wish we could have peanuts but we have maybe 60 days of real hot, the rest is warm or cold.

Your property is growing nicely. You've come so far from the beginning. I'm hoping someday we can have the property we want, but for now I live vicariously through you :)

koinonia community said...

You'll get there. It took us forever to get here.