About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Sometimes doing it wrong is right

May 15, 2024

Charles and I are making changes again in our garden.  Each year we try to improve on what we can grow in the garden.  This year I did not start my garden on time.  We have not had the time or strength that we needed but no matter how much I try, I cannot "not" plant a garden.  Even though it is a bit too late I have seeds and so I will plant.  

If the plants do not do well with the heat, then I will still have seeds that I will use to plant a fall garden.  This year I will do something I have not done and that is plant a late spring garden in the southeast corner of Alabama.

As some of you know, we have a small space to grow food and herbs and we are older age.  We started buying cattle water troughs many years ago to use as raised bed.  We drill holes in the bottom sides to allow drainage.   If we save $1.00 per day in four months we can buy a tank with todays prices here.  

This year we have added four new tanks.  Three here above and one more on the patio.  We have special funds that we use which is where we save money for each spring when we need to buy soil or garden supplies.  We also have a vet fund that we make sure to have money to use to take our pets to the vet.

This is not the post to talk about the fund but this is the way we live debt free.  We have funds for all the necessary things and those funds are like bills we have to pay.  It is a bi-weekly or monthly payment into that fund so it is there when we need to buy something.  We have a tire fund, we have a roof fund etc.

Once again the clothesline has to be moved to make room for the new grow tanks.

One thing to consider is the cost to fill these large tanks.  This tank is 4 feet long and two feet wide and two feet tall.   So we fill the bottom with logs from left over firewood.  We can pick up wood from the curb when people have cut a tree and put the wood out to be picked up.  But we have firewood that has aged.  Then we have the compost pile to use.

Then we finish filling the tank with organic garden compost from the store.  This will settle in time and so each year we will top it off before planting.  The garden worms will have plenty to munch on further down.

The year before last, I sewed some zinnias and in the mix of seed there were what was called giant zinnias.  Well the giant zinnias decided to self sow into the tanks. 

The good bad problem I have is they want to take over the tanks.  When I had decided to not plant a garden I thought that I would just let them go.  Now that I am going to plant one I don't have the heart to pull them up and they are too big to transplant.  I will try transplanting one to see if they will.

I have neglected the garden the past year and half so there is much to do to get it in better order.  These are coneflowers which is also called Echinacea purpurea.  This is a perennial herb which means that it will come back the next year and the next year etc. They will sew seeds here and there and when I see a baby coneflower growing I will dig it up and transplant it to somewhere else and thus the garden grows. 

I have an over crowded Egyptian onion tank, actually two now.  I am going to find a place in the garden to grow these eventually.  My goal is to have a perennial onion garden so I am planting several types of onions. 

Here in the southeast united states it is not easy for me to grow regular onions.  When I do, I grow short day onions.  Yesterday I went out and pulled the rest of the onions and garlic.  I do not grow onions and garlic in the same bed.  I did not pull up any of the Egyptian Onions.

These new tanks are now ready to plant but with much thought.  

I made a graph and I am going to do square foot gardening in these tanks.  So I drew out all nine 11 tank grow areas.  Two of those tanks are round shorter tanks that have not been moved to the back garden at this time. They are in the front garden.

Each square space is a place to plant a particular plant.  

This is just my scribble notes and look confusing but I have been researching for many years about companion planting but I have not planted in a square food companion garden. 

There is a lot to consider and that is how much space each plant takes  and is it compatible with all the other plants in that tank.  This also means pruning and staking so it can grow upwards. What does the root system do, does that plant make deep roots or shallow roots and does it repel or draw certain insects?  

This is where other plants like Nasturtiums, Borage and many more types of plants help other plants. 

This year I added a strawberry bed.  This is when I received the plants that are mostly roots. I ordered them from the strawberry man in North Carolina.

The plants are doing well and it has not taken long at all to get leaves.  This is not the time of year to do this so I will see what happens.  This is a sunny but also shady area so hopefully the shade will help them survive the heat.  Once I again I will say that I am not planting at the proper time of year but it is worth the try.

Our little herb and flower bed in the front yard is doing very well, I have noticed that the oregano is reaching for the lavender.  I will use that in hopes to get it trailing up the fence wire.

I thought the onion bulb and the zinnia look pretty together.

Albert the duck and Penny the hen is taking care of the backyard herbs. 

Albert is in his element.

We are rescuing a Gardenia that was feeling poorly and put it in a pot.  The bunnies are keeping an eye on that part of the garden. 

I guess we will see if a late planted garden will grow and I will post the good and the bad so we all know.

My daughter and her family gave me an arrangement of sunflowers for Mother's day. I thought they would look nice in my watering can.

My son and his wife gave us a steak and a small key lime pie.  Our new tradition the past couple of years is we give each other food since the prices are so high.

Find a place to plant a seed and watch it grow.  Love to all, Grandma Donna

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