In which the new garden isn't a complete disaster, after all

For reasons known only to the Godesss of Gardening, our little plot of dirt has suddenly started producing food!

As I bemoaned in an earlier post , our garden was not terribly impressive this year (understatement).

We had so much to do last spring, we literally plowed under a big plot of grass, and stuck a bunch of seeds in the ground. There was no time for soil amendment, fertilizer, or any of the other things needful to a beautiful garden.

And, predictably, the garden was uninspiring for most of the summer.
We had no corn crop, no broccoli, and no potatoes. The Giant Pumpkins never went beyond two pathetic blossoms. I was pretty sad about that.

The sunflowers were shorter than me (not an easy accomplishment for a sunflower, and very sad to witness). And then, suddenly:
one of the sunflowers grew!

This seemed to throw down some sort of vegetative gauntlet, because the unenthusiastic zucchinis started showing a little vigor at last.
Sorry about the zucchini photo, by the way. I took pictures of this plant from every angle I could reach, and they all look, um, phallic. But hey, at least they are growing.
This is some sort of acorn squash. The little seed packet got washed away by the sprinkler. The butternut squashes started growing, too. There are five of them out there now. I love butternut squash!

The carrots are really weird-looking, very hairy and udder-like (sorry, no pix of the roots). Fiddle says they taste just fine, leaves and roots and all.

The tomatoes also have started producing. I've never successfully grown tomatoes before, because of a peculiar tomato-specific curse placed upon me in childhood. We circumvented the curse this year, and have harvested lots of beautiful tomatoes! (Most of the purple cherry tomatoes never make it out of the garden--we just stand next to the plant and eat them right there).

The bean plants also did very well.
For a few weeks we were eating string beans every night. Wonderful!

Now, we're starting to prepare for next year's garden, which WILL have soil amendments and fertilizer added to it.

Step #1: raise the fence to 6 feet tall.

Step #2: put in an additional gate.

Step #3: dig a shallow hole, approximately 5' x 8'

(the tall shadow in the photo of the hole is the shadow of the suddenly-tall sunflower, by the way!)

Have I been sufficiently confusing yet?

That's because the essential element--a winter building for the chickens--isn't in place yet. The shallow hole is the spot where Jim will build the coop. He wanted a level location for their coop so they wouldn't roll out of bed in the middle of the night.

The taller fence will keep them in. We'll also add some salmon net as a "roof" to keep out the hawks, eagles, and owls who would love to shop in our yard for a nice fat chicken dinner.

The hens' winter job is to plow under all the foliage from the current garden, eat up all the weeds and bugs and slugs, as well as adding their own personal fertilizer to the hungry soil.

The new gate allows easy access from the horse paddocks, so we can empty the manure wheelbarrow into the garden all winter, for even more happy fertilizer for our garden.

The plastic owl oversees all this activity without saying a word...

...but I think I see him smiling sometimes.


  1. oh, your veggies look wonderful! i am so jealous you got zucchini, i got less than 10 from 5 big plants. i really need to figure out how to fix that next year.

    the carrots can stay in the ground a bit longer, i'm told, so i only pull one up per week to check.

    tomatoes we have a plenty! i make salsa regularly now that i found a turkish shop with cilantro and a shop with an import section with tortilla chips.

    you recommended regular rubber boots to BTB, and i concur! i got mine for 7 euros at the hardware store, and my man got a pair too so he can feed his fish and stay dry.

    the other day i got caught in a downpour while i was installing geotiles (the best time to install them is in rain, but that was ridiculous rain!). when i finally made it back to the house an hour later, the only part of me that was dry was the inside of my rubber boots.

    the only downside is they are so flimsy, i believe i could cut off my toes with my lawnmower. (and yesterday i mowed wet grass so i used my boots, cautious all the while about my toes!)

    so your chickens will have a winter home in the garden, but what will you do when it is growing season again?


  2. Jim is sweet on those birds, isn't he? :) The garden turned out really nice!


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