Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Successful Garden In Spite of the Circumstances

My summer started out great in spite of the pandemic and the stay at home orders.  We are pretty much home bodies anyway, so staying home is more of a pleasure than a hardship.  Having a vegetable garden was something that never really interested me.  I have memories of my dad hoeing the weeds out of his garden every night after work.  I have memories of my Uncle Bill growing things like horseradish, ground cherries and parsnips.  My daughter has a huge garden so if I ever want something, they probably have it.  She starts her own plants in a mini greenhouse so they are already acclimated to our Wisconsin weather.  This spring she had so many plants, she offered me some cucumber and tomato plants.  I thought it might be fun to plant some so I prepared a small area in our perennial garden.  I planted three tomato plants and six cucumber plants.  I babied them and they took off growing like crazy.  Actually I had two extra tomato plants which I planted in another area.  I was excited with the healthy look of these plants so I added to the garden. I had two potatoes in the bin which had started to sprout.  I thought I would also plant potatoes.  I cut each potato in half and planted four hills.  I watered them and inspected the plants every day.  The potatoes grew well and had started to blossom but then I fell off the wall and broke my leg. 

 My husband, bless his heart, took care of all the household chores including cooking and laundry, but he isn't a gardener.  Once in a while, I would remind him to check the tomatoes and cucumbers, but he didn't remember to check daily.  In spite of that, we did get some nice looking produce.  I even managed to make a quart of fermented dill pickles with the smaller ones.  Most of the cucumbers, however, grew way too big to be of much good.

I would ask him about the potatoes but he kind of ignored them.  I suppose it's hard to tell about potatoes because they grow under ground. Since I couldn't put any weight on my right leg, I couldn't go out in the yard for many weeks.  That is what I missed most.  Part of my day is always going outside and walking around the yard.  I just love to open the door and breathe the outside air and walk around a little.  It takes away all the stress of the day.  Last week I was finally able to put on real shoes and put full weight on my leg.  The first time I walked the yard, this is what I found.  Weeds, weeds, and more weeds.

Fortunately when the potatoes started to come up,  I marked them with wooden stakes.  I found one of the stakes and pushed the weeds aside.  The potato plants had died back but I dug into the earth with my hands just to see.  There in the dirt I felt potatoes.  I went inside to get a container and went back to see if there were more.  I found two pounds just digging in the one hill.  There may be more but they seem to be well preserved underground so I left the rest for now.

It's too bad we are so close to a freeze here in our area of Wisconsin.  The growing season will be over very soon.  The plants look so good.  The tomato plants are full of blossoms and green tomatoes.  I know some people like to use green tomatoes, but I really don't know what to do with them.

I  even found a cucumber plant that climbed up a shepherds hook I have in the garden.  Hanging from the top is a cucumber.  It's a little malformed, but I am going to pick it to see how it is.

I think I will try this gardening thing again next year.  I hadn't realized how rewarding it was to have some success.  I especially loved digging the potatoes.  Today I am making a beef roast and putting some of these lovely potatoes in with some carrots.  I can't wait for dinner.  Tonight I won't have to say "what should we have for supper??".


  1. Good morning Barb. Fun surprises you had in your garden. Mother Nature is so forgiving. Weeds didn't keep the veggies from giving you a good harvest. Potatoes are so fun to grow. Nice to hear you are going to grow veggies next Spring. Is it Heather or Sarah that grew the plants from seed? You made fermented pickles? I tried but Dave didn't like them. I will have to check on your blog if you posted a recipe. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the fruits of your non-labor. Hugs Lark

  2. Hi Lark. It is Heather who has the greenhouse. They have a huge garden. Tonight they dug carrots. Sarah is a city girl. She would like to grow a garden but there are a lot of things she likes to do better. I did write a blog about the fermented pickles. I love them and they are full of good bacteria.