As I write this, my greenhouse is still in boxes in the shed. Hopefully, as you read this, the greenhouse stands on the sand and river rock bed I prepared for it.
I bought this greenhouse with expectations I could build it with help. Lots of help. The company I bought the kit from even gave me cell numbers for people to call on weekends in case I ran into problems. Even the customer service person was out of the office for a few days putting up a new style of greenhouse so she could answer customer questions, because she had built it.
Then I read the instructions. I called a neighborhood contractor.
Nothing is ever easy! But then again, what fun would that be? No challenge, no fun, right?
My grow bags are doing great this year. I didn’t overcrowd them this year like I did last year. Only one tomato plant per bag, not two or three. When they are cute little baby tomato plants, it’s easy to forget what big, sprawling plants they are when mature.
I did plant in my garden bed this year, but I didn’t till it first. No-till gardening and no-till farming is supposed to keep topsoil in place. That’s why I didn’t use the rototiller — not because I’m lazy or because it hurts my back, of course.
I peeled back the black tarps, and there were so few weeds sprouting that I thought I might have things under control. So I roughed up the soil with a garden rake, and spread my seeds in my square foot gardening pattern.
After the first rain, all the pea seeds were sitting atop the soil. Granted, it was a two-inch rainfall, but I think if they had been at the proper depth, they would not have floated up. The crop is not looking promising.
Since I only plant peas so I can have a treat in the garden, nothing is really lost, I guess. I used to glean peas from fields in the neighborhood after the pea pickers had gone through. Nobody I know plants peas anymore, because the timing of getting them out of the field is so tricky, and so dependent on weather. If I don’t plant my own, I won’t get any fresh peas unless I visit the farmers’ markets in the area.
I always count on my ground cherries to reseed themselves. Last year, I grew them in one of my bags, but I dumped out the used soil at the end of the season. I forgot about the reseeding component, and I forgot to buy new seed this year.
I also grew ground cherries to be a treat when I am working in the garden. No peas, no ground cherries … guess I’ll have to grab a green bean and call it a treat – which it is, of course.
Last winter I heard about the concept of perennial gardening. The idea is to lessen the time and effort of gardening by not having to plant crops every year. Things like asparagus and rhubarb are perennials. Also, most fruit trees and bushes are perennials. Think apples, pears, cherries and blueberries, for example.
Another component is to plant things that reseed themselves. Ground cherries, radishes, lettuce and spinach are samples of this.
I came upon these ideas when I read an online article about how to be a lazy gardener. I ran across a video by a quirky gardener in England who promotes the idea. Google “Mike Feingold,” and see if you find yourself intrigued.
The point is that you can have fresh produce that you can grow yourself without a lot of effort or even knowledge. If something doesn’t work, turn to something else without guilt.
My black Spanish radishes have not yet been harvested, so I don’t know if I recommend them or not yet. But they sure look cool in the bed!
I had a great early harvest of cherry bell radishes, and will plant radish seeds very early again next year. Like home grown tomatoes, there’s nothing like home grown radishes.
They absolutely MAKE a salad and/or a sandwich!
As always, after time in the yard or garden, be sure to check for ticks. Since I sold my chickens, we have bugs in the yard, including gnats, mosquitoes and ticks. (We also have clean steps with the chickens gone.)
But if you happen upon a possum in your yard, consider yourself lucky. You might not like the way they look, or the way they are attracted to the cat food on your patio, but they will supposedly eat 6,000 ticks a week.