Garden Journaling

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of your glory!" Isaiah 6:2

Just about everything this year is being sowed by seed. Why? It’s first of all an inexpensive gardening route, we are trying to clean out our aging seed stash, and it makes gardening more of an adventure!

As my parents and I settle in, setting up wifi access at our home has been among the many goals on our to-do list. We finally got a successful service, and as of last week we have internet again! Though it’s been awhile since I have blogged due to this challenge, it has given us more time in the garden- so watch out for a significant garden update below:

SOWING & TRANSPLANTING

Mom’s Tomato Plant Bed: Bed #1

June 19, 2013

  • Planted Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean from 2011 in bed D along the 14′ hog panel that we’re using as our sturdy trellis. A couple years back Dad and I made a three-sided trellis for the pole green beans to run up. With two parallel running trellises and another trellis resting on top, making a trellis “roof”, our green beans had plenty of space to thrive, while WE enjoyed walking along the pathway underneath our trellis structure harvesting from all sides. We intend to use this same concept for the pole beans this year. My 2011 Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans came from my sustainable ag teacher at J. Sargeant Reynold’s Horticulture Technology course.
  • Sowed sunflower seeds where the Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans end in bed D
  •  Transplanted about 35 sweet potatoes to bed D to intermingle between the pole beans and sunflowers. I hope they become fast friends. =) I hear that you should avoid planting pole beans and sweet potatoes beside one another, but seeing that sweet potatoes are in the yam family and not the nightshade family, I think I should be safe, have you ever tried this plant combo before?
  • Sowed Sweet Basil seeds from 2012 that were grown at the family property and from Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Home vegetable garden.

June 23, 2013

  •  Dad sowed Burgundy Okra in bed #6 that came from D. Landrum Seed Co. in 2009 . He also sowed watermelon seeds from an unmarked bag that I theorize is from 2009 as well. (Gardening is suppose to be an adventure, right?)
  • Sowed the other row of Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans in bed E.
  • Sowed Beit Alpha Cucumber seeds from 2011 to finish off the rest of the length of bed E that will have a hog panel over top for trellising those cucumber vines.
  • Sowed 1 row of Lima beans in bed #7. Will put up trellis work later.
  • Transplanted sweet potato slips in our 3 double dug garden beds near the pole barn. Beds are approximately 3′ x 30′. We planted a lot of sweet potato slips in order to cover a significant amount of space in our raised beds. We purchased approximately 10 bundles of sweet potato slips from our local feed and seed store. With 35 slips per bundle, there is a whopping 350 potato slips that Dad, Mom, and I transplanted over the past couple of weeks! Hopefully we’ll receive a great harvest this fall.

July 1, 2013

  • Mom planted 5 heirloom tomatoes (unknown variety) given by a friend. 3 were placed in raised bed #1, while the other 2 tomato plants were transplanted in bed #5. Both beds are full of tomatoes now!
  • Transplanted Red Malabar seedlings to bed E to grow up our multidimensional trellis where the Kentucky Wonder Green Beans will also run up.
  • Transplanted 2 Alpine Strawberry plants to bed #3 where English Lavender currently is.
  • Transplanted Red Malabar seedlings in pot to climb up wooden trellis on the patio.
  • Transplanted more Red Malabar with sunflower seedlings in bed D

First banana pepper harvest!

HARVESTING

June 23, 2013
  • Harvested our first two banana peppers!

MAINTENANCE 

June 23, 2013
  • Watered entire garden
  • Covered remaining garden beds with leaves from the woods. This year’s technique for mulching with leaves is working out well to retain moisture and create a partial preventative method for weeds.
  • Wire grass and morning glory weeds are reappearing in bed A with Mom’s tomato plants. Vigilance appears to be the key in fighting back wire grass!
  • Though painful, Mom pinched off the tomato growing on her itty bitty Early Girl plant. If she allowed it to grow, the majority of the plant’s energy would go in to growing that one tomato rather than adding growth and strength to the plant as a whole. We’ll wait until the tomato plant grows more before watching delicious tomatoes ripen.
8 Days after Sowing Kentucky Wonder Green Beans. They certainly pop up quickly!

8 Days after Sowing Kentucky Wonder Green Beans. They certainly pop up quickly!

July 1, 2013

  • No apparent germination from my Beit Alpha Cucumber seeds from bed E. It’s been 8 days, so I hope they will still come up! (I transplanted Red Malabar seedlings in it’s place as a back up plan. If the cucumber seeds do germinate, I’m sure the two plants won’t mind too much sharing a small area together. ;-))
  • Dad’s Burgundy Okra and mystery watermelon plant are coming up nicely in bed #6! It’s only been 8 days, and they all have about 1″ of growth on them. I believe there are 3 watermelons seedlings and many okra seedlings. In previous years, our guineas have always feasted on our plump watermelons  before we could. I hope to personally enjoy sweet watermelons this summer since we don’t have any adult guineas this season. 
  • Leaf mulched lima bean bed (bed #7)
FUTURE PLANS & OBSERVATIONS
  • As we unpack all the moving boxes (non-colored- Food Lion boxes) I intend to pave the dirt pathways between our raised beds with the flattened boxes.
  • A recent study on Hebrews 12 made my mind wander to weeding and pruning my garden:

“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?…For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” -Hebrews 12: 7,11

I couldn’t help but think how much I love my garden.  I tend to it, and even tear out parts of a squash leaf  to remove the nasty squash bugs hidden under the leaf from incubating. I do these time intensive activities because I love my garden and know of the bountiful harvest I will get to enjoy for myself as I continue to care for my individual plants. How much more does God love us then I love a squash plant? 😉 Exponentially more.

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