Reclaiming the Garden

9 Jul

The state’s motto used to be “A Place to Grow.”  I don’t know what our motto is now, and I think they should have stuck with the old one.  It’s very true.  According to the USDA, Iowa is the leader in producing both corn and soybeans.  Our rich black soil just begs to be cultivated.  Generally my garden is very easy to grow.  Because I plant mine on a slight slope, it drains quickly and I usually have to water it frequently.

This year, I’ve watered it twice since it was planted.  I’ve only weeded the garden at my house twice since it was planted and the north garden not at all.  This is because of the massive amounts of rain we’ve had this year.  It’s been too wet to get in the garden, and the only time it was dry was when we were making hay.  I’m actually one of the lucky ones because I haven’t had flooding the way other places in Iowa have suffered.  At least in my well-established garden the weeds pull easily.  Look what I found.

I was amazed at everything I uncovered.  There were lots of little bell peppers.  The pinot noir pepper is almost ready to pick.

The onions are still there.  Look how big the pineapple sage are getting.  They are just heavenly to weed around.

I had help from Leo.  He was great at rubbing against me and what I was weeding.  The celery is growing nicely beside him.

The eggplant has blossoms and even itty bitty eggplants.

Very soon I will have more green beans than I want to think about.  Don’t look at the part that looks like yard and was supposed to be a row of lima beans.  It will soon have the cultivator run through it so it can be overrun by the pumpkin.

For the first time in my life, this was a requirement for weeding the garden.

Yummy garlic to be dried for the winter’s use is just starting to show signs of being mature.

The cauliflower is growing, and I found the asparagus again.

Look!  There’s even new little ones coming up.

These two were not helpful.  When they started eating the asparagus, I had to evict them from the yard, which lasted about two seconds.  I hate being the mean one.

This is not a good year for the cabbage.  If ever I needed to powder them, it would have been this year; however, it’s a bit difficult to keep powder on them when you have morning and evening showers.  It think it’s pretty much a lost cause now.  By the way, this was taken before I weeded the cabbage.

Finally, my only remaining luffa gourd is happy to have a piece of cattle panel to climb so it isn’t on the wet ground.  I hope starting it inside will extend the growing season enough for me to get a good gourd to make a lovely sponge with it.

The house garden was easy.  The one up north is a bit more difficult.  Remember, it was cow pasture until May.  It was lovely pasture grass before we tilled it up.  That grass is coming back, and it isn’t an easy grass to pull.  It has a big root ball and the stems of the grass fall into the soil and start more roots.  It’s horrible to try and pull.  Can you see anything?

I decided to start by cutting the grass with the lawn mower.  That was not easy to start with.  It was very wet and kept gumming up the mower.  I had to take a stick and scrape all the mud and grass from under the deck.  People would drive by and look at me like I was crazy.  I can’t imagine they’ve never seen a person mowing their garden before!

There was so much mud in the mower.  I made a lot of progress today in reclaiming the gardens, but I’ll have to finish tomorrow.  I already stopped the cultivator with the grasses wrapped around its blades once.  It already looks a lot better, and there are a lot of blossoms and little tomatoes on these plants too.

When I finish weeding, I am going to put a thick layer of old hay down to slow down the grass’s return.  This was definitely not the year to start a new garden!

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