Wednesday, October 19, 2005

 

Gardens












I wonder how many people quit having gardens because they could no longer get up and down from the ground to do the gardening? Did ok in my sixtys, but seemed the 70`s did me in. When I turned 70, my legs started feeling like they were rubber and just refused to pick me up from the floor, so regular gardening was out.
I just wasn`t ready to give up those fresh veggies from the garden. One day I saw an add for those Earth Boxes. They have a separation in them so you fill the above section with good soil and plant your plants in the soil. Then you use you water hose and fill the under section with water. OH Yes, you also have to spread some fertalizer down the center of the soil. Then, since I didn`t want to have them sitting on my porch, I knew I had to come up with something to sit the boxes on. Found some old 2x4`s and made a good sturdy frame, then I had some thick boards my bro had left over when he remodeled the farm house. He was tossing them so I picked up some of them to bring home. First thing I did was to make ramps for riding the lawm tractor in and out of the shop on, Walt used to use just the two boards and hope the wheels stayed on the boards.
Much easier driving it in and out in the ramps as they stayed in place on the edge of the doorway. Much safer too.
Well, to get back to the frame. I used some of these thick boards to make the top platform on the frame, leaving about an inch between them for any rain water to run off. When I finished making it and painted it with some left over paint we still had down cellar, then I showed it to Walt. Later that evening I overheard him telling a friend that he thought I could build my own house if I got a mind I wanted one. Can`t get a bigger pat on the back than that. Of course, he would also be a bit predjudist, being my loving hubby. He would sure be surprised to see all the things I have made in the past three years. Who knows maybe he can see them.

I only bought 3 boxes the first year. Tomato and string beans shown in the first picture above were my first year with just 3 boxes.
Then added on two more the next year. If you look real close you will see a succhini in the second picture- this was from last year. As you can see, everything grows real tall in these boxes.
One thing I forgot to mention about the frame was that the first two years I had to use a step ladder to reach the top of the plants to pick the tomatos and climbing beans. I cut off 6 inches after the first year, another 8 inches the second year, and about 4 more inches the third year to get the top of the plants low enough to reach without a lot of climbing. Can`t cut off any more as am just a short distance below where the support boards go around the legs. Now the boxes are about the height of my waiste or maybe a speck lower.
Then this summer a Daughter wanted to try her luck with the boxes, so when I ordered two for her, I added on one more for myself. So this year I had 6 boxes filled with good fresh veggies to eat. If you use potting soil in the boxes you have no weeds to pull, just need to keep the water section filled. Little work, but lots of good eating. Boxes cost some, but when you can continue to use them year after year, you get your moneys worth out of them.
My gardens have grown great every year, except this year had tomato rot on some tomatoes from too much rain water. It had rained every day for two weeks straight then. Had long seedless cucumbers, a few beets already eaten and a few more to pull up yet, have eaten lots of string beans and frozen lots, frozen succhinni to make bread this winter, have lots of peppers in the freezer and still about 20 more smaller ones still growing on the plants, grew enough potatoes for a couple meals in one of the compost bins, had two types of lettuce ( a daughter had some and liked it much better than the boughten lettuce), my carrots didn`t grow so well in the boxes. Gave away some cucumbers , lettuce and succhini. Hope I can continue to have these gardens for years to come. I call them my "walk around gardens" as I walk around the whole outside of the frame to reach and pick everything.
Wonder how many use compost bins today. Years ago Walt made me a three section one which I am still using today. I save many things- such as veggie rinds, banana peels ( some I toss on the rosebushes), Potato peels, and lots lots more, even coffee grounds when have them. Seems like I am heading for the compost bin every couple days with something. Today I went out and turned it from the end bin into the middle bin. You need to turn it every so often to help break it up so it can become good soil faster. The past two years I have had some mighty long fat worms helping me break it up. Any fisherman would love them they are such big fat and long worms. Told the younger son to stay away from my worms. He came by one day when I was turning it and saw the worms and said he`d sure love them for fishing. Of course he was just picking on me.
I own one of those short pitchforks with the handle on the top. If I need to pick up something off the ground, I take the pitchfork, push it into the ground and then it becomes my cane to hang onto. Stays put much better than a real cane would. Sure comes in handy.
Did I tell you I saw a vine growing in the emptyest bin and left it too see what it was. Ended up with a small musk mellon to eat from it.
Love my garden veggies!!

Comments:
My father plants his vegetable garden in the yard evey year. He also exagerates with it too becaue he plants so much. He may pull 500 pounds of beef steak tomatoes every year.
There are zuccinnis and cucumbers to.
He is 76 now and I don't know for how long he will be able to do this but for now its what keeps him busy. He even has tomatoes growing in 5 gallon pail. Did I mention they get 8 feet tall.
 
looks like a great little garden you have there. i lived in the country but i never had any luck at growing any thing. the seeds were cheap back then like every thing else.

have a good day dot and i will talk with you soon.
 
Walker, his tomatoes soumded like mine. Thats why i needed a ladder to pick the tomatoes, they sure do grow tall. If the day comes when your Father can`t work the ground any more, will be time to make him one like mine. Was the only way I could continue to garden. He is 2 yurs older than I am and once you become a gardener, you hate to have to quit. it`s good exercise, but also gives something useful to do. ZNothing like fresh garden veggies of your own, You don`t have to wonder what the store ones might have been sprayed with if you grow your own.
Thanks for stopping by.

Mr Haney, Thanks for dropping by and good luck with the 2nd floor. You will feel like a floor pro by the time you get thie one finished.
 
Hi Dot, I was just reading your garden blog with interest. I was "visiting" at Mr. Haney's and I saw a comment from you about Curtis Lumber and thought we must be sort-of neighbors. I think you are farther north; I'm a middle Upstate New Yorker. What clued me in was your 2 nights of frost - us too. And now rain. I covered my peppers because they are fully grown but just need to turn red. Hate to lose them now.

I saw you are on Mr. Haney's "great" list. I don't have a blog myself (not very creative) but visit ones that interest me and are nice people. I hope that's acceptable.

Your garden sounds wonderful. I know what you mean about the rubbery legs. We're about an age! I harvested my potatoes this year for the last time; digging them about did me in. Next year, I'm going back to pole beans; they are so good and keep nice and clean. I see you had them.

I kept your addy. If you don't mind, I'll pop in now and again! Shirl
 
Hi Shirl,
You are more than welcome to visit my blog anytime you wish. How far from G.F. are you located? I`m not very far from there.
Last year I had the pole beans, but they hooked onto the top of my tomato plants and started crawling all across them. This year I planted the bush beans and still I had to untangle them from the other plants as they grew so tall. Think might go back to pole beans next year as they take up less room in the boxes. Years ago we grew enough potatoes to feed our family all that winter. Miss the large gardens, but having what I call my stand-up garden gives me some fresh veggies. Can`t get up so well from the ground , but this way i can continue to grow things.
Nice meeting you. Come back anytime. Have a nice day.
 
Hi Shirl,
You are more than welcome to visit my blog anytime you wish. How far from G.F. are you located? I`m not very far from there.
Last year I had the pole beans, but they hooked onto the top of my tomato plants and started crawling all across them. This year I planted the bush beans and still I had to untangle them from the other plants as they grew so tall. Think might go back to pole beans next year as they take up less room in the boxes. Years ago we grew enough potatoes to feed our family all that winter. Miss the large gardens, but having what I call my stand-up garden gives me some fresh veggies. Can`t get up so well from the ground , but this way i can continue to grow things.
Nice meeting you. Come back anytime. Have a nice day.

October 22, 2005
 
Hi Dot, I'm located at the southern tip of Saratoga County. We have relatives by my Son's wife in So. Glens Falls.

Sorry but I had to chuckle about your description of your pole beans. That's funny (but not funny, I know!). The first year I had them, they went up way above the trellis and I had to get the stepladder to pick them. Then they reached for the sky and heaved over and I had a tunnel and could pick them again!! LOL

Did you have the snow? We saw the little white splotches on the weather map tonight. We're having the blue streaks - much preferred! I agree, Dec. 21 is quite soon enough for winter. But right now, we have to moan and groan about the dark evenings and losing an hour of evening daylight this weekend. Bummer. Shirl
 
Bor,Shirl, we do live close to each other. I`m a ways from exit 18. Living in Saratoga county, i`m sure you know where that is. I`m in Warren County.
The first time I wrote you an answer, i came back to the blog about 10 minutes later and when it hadn`t posted yet, I redid it, so you ended up getting my reply twice. Oh Well, better twice not not at all. :)
No we didn`t end up getting the snow, just cold and more rain. Just got the snow further up north. Was watching a movie on lifetime and it is a sad one. I`m not to good with those real sad onesIt`s about a little girl born with a medical problem who only livedfor a few years. it was called Society`s Child.
Have a good evening.
 
That is a lovely set up with your plants
 
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