The entire back yard grew together during this hot humid summer. During the time that we have not been able to get out due to the heat, rain and high humidity it became a merged mess. The Mums took over the vegetable tanks, the weeds took over the garden bed, the asparagus ferns grew into the walking space around the tanks.
The sweet potato vines tangled all over everywhere, the lemon tree grew into the sweet potato tank. But guess what?
It still is making food. All by itself, just let it go and it somehow manages.
This is the time of the year our trees are heavy with foliage, nuts and citrus. Our weeds and grass is high. We took down the green houses when it was so hot and then we thought about how we could spread out the tanks and have at least one small plot in the ground.
So I sat down and sketched out a possible new garden area and that meant to empty the soil out of the cattle troughs to move them and moving them would open up the small area that they have been sitting. So off to work we went.
While Charles was digging, I was removing sweet potato leaves from the vines as well as helping with other things.
Gardening requires a lot of work and sometimes it takes making quite a mess before getting the desired results. Gardening teaches me patience because seeds take time to germinate, to grow and sometimes is seems forever until it can be harvested or the flowers bloom. But enjoy each stage because then they will be gone until next season.
I have made many garden mistakes by not understanding what a plant needs. I have also learned to look at the entire garden different by recognizing that all of these plants are alive and they grow, they need food just like we do, they need motion just like we do and they reproduce. We are nurturing something that is alive and some plants need pollinators so we do not plant the plants that need pollinators in the grow cages where bees and pollinating insects cannot get in or out.
If you notice a plant, it does not just stand still, it will follow the sun and lean and turn in different directions, it will dance around with the wind.
Harvesting also takes work but it is worth the health benefits of fresh food.
We are still learning about what parts of all the plants that we grow that are edible.
As Charles dug out the cattle troughs that we use for raised beds we found bonus food that was left behind.
Some surprise cucumbers and some carrots...
And the rest of the sweet potatoes.
One fun part of gardening is I can dress anyway I want to. I don't like it when I get bug bites. Plan on getting dirty when working in the yard and that is okay.
It was really hot and humid and we had to keep stopping to rest and cool off...
We bought our tanks little by little saving money in an envelope called gardening. As we get older it gets more difficult to pull weeds and work down on the ground so we wanted to put in place something that would last a long time and tall enough to tend easily.
We decided that my sketch would not work because we would lose space for this one in ground little plot so we decided to place the cattle troughs around the area. We have to work with the sun, shade, tree situation that we have.
Some of you might recognize the shabby cabby in the background. We still have not finished working on it. We decided to strip it out again to replace the entire floor. We had to remove the floor first and so for us this is a very slow job and we can only work on it when it is not too hot or not too cold.
For fall and winter the sun will be on this new garden area and the trees around this space will be bare of leaves. This is another thing that must be considered when gardening, The lower area we are moving from gets a lot of summer sun and too much sun for some plants. As the seasons change so does sun and shade and so keeping a garden journal is very helpful noting where the sun or shade is at different times of the year.
I used a marker to print Garden on this Record book that we had. Charles and I keep records and journals on many things we do to help us save money. Planning and using what we already have can keep the things we do at home and in the garden from being an expensive project.
Everyone has their own needs for gardening and this is what makes it so wonderful that we all can be very unique how we do things.
Our garden book can be filled with much information about many things, such as when certain birds migrate and feed on some of our trees that produce berries, we write down the date of when we spot certain varieties.
We can write down the price of seed or what we paid for something. We can also write down about saving seed. We write about when we planted and what we planted so we can rotate what we plant season to season. We note the weather and all these things combined can possibly explain a good harvest from a not so good harvest.
Charles keeps a journal that has our figures for what we use. He reads our electric meter and water meter daily, he records the temperature and humidity because that affects our electric and water use and our garden can affect our water use. He makes notations about many things and we can go back years to compare how we are now.
That leads us to another journal where we write down what we have spent. This journal holds all information about where our money is going and what we save. It can help with making financial decisions down to should we purchase or just repair or mend. In some cases it has taught us to just not have an item or service anymore and learn to live without it because it would actually save us money.
The little tin shown above is an important part of savings down to the penny. The money in this tin can buy seed or it can buy eggs or yarn.
Each of us are in control of what we do, life is full of decisions and we either live life carelessly or we live sensible. If we haven't done a very good job up to this point then change what we are doing and stick with it because it can get better. Maybe not as fast as we want but over time it will and I absolutely want to continue to go in the sensible direction because this is what got us out of all debt.
Some people may say I don't have time to write everything down. I feel if we do not have time to write these things down and know what we use and know what and where we spent money, then we need to adjust our life so we do have the time to do this because this could be the best thing we have ever done in our lives.
We added a snow pea arbor using the cattle panel we already had. We use these for vegetables that climb or can be encouraged to climb such as peas, beans, cucumbers, some types of squash etc. Again this is another metal purchase so it can be used over and over for many years.
Yesterday morning I put on my overalls and went out and planted the garden...without falling to the ground so that makes it a good day. Some of the seeds were very fine so I could hardly see what I sowed so I will most likely have to thin out the turnips. I sowed carrot seed in two of the troughs outside of this garden.
We decide to put three of the cattle troughs on the patio for onions and we have part of another trough for more carrots.
And Charles moved the grow cages around. We grow tender lettuces and celery and such as that in these cages to keep the wildlife from eating them.
I hung hanging baskets above this grow cage for radishes and small salad greens.
This is my first year to grow English Plantain, it is perennial herb that I wanted to add to the garden. So while it is growing into however big it will be I will continue to read and study about this herb.
We grow Marjoram and Oregano in our garden. This is Marjoram..
Pictured here is Marjoram on the left and Oregano on the right. To me Marjoram is slightly lighter in color and Oregano a bit darker in color and a bit thicker leaf. But I can smell and taste the difference, the Marjoram smells and tastes sweeter than oregano but I always go to the Oregano first sign of a scratchy throat or stuffy nose and make a cup of oregano tea. This is what works for me.
We let things merge together in many areas of our garden since we have a small yard. When it turns cool we will need to do quite a bit of pruning and weed pulling but there is still a lot of heat and hurricane season to go through.
This is sage above. So this is what we did this past week, I still have to plant four tanks and Charles put down some sod where the tanks used to be.
I have made a video to show some extra pictures, I hope you can grow at least a small amount of food or herbs.
Click here to see the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkq_WXYaTHU