Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How does your garden grow?

This post has almost nothing to do with a THRIVE pantry... but, please, humor me anyways because this has everything to do with SELF-reliance and not procrastinating.

So, last summer life got busy and my garden got neglected. I planted a few squash plants and then never watered them and the few that grew anyways eventually succumbed to the vine bugs and everything died! 
Sad story.

Fast forward to this year and life got busy and I semi- attempted to plant a few squash and beans but never tilled the ground good and didn't water even thought we were going weeks without rain. 
Whoops, another sad story.

Well, fall weather is slowly making its way to East TN, so I thought now would be a great time to attempt my 2011 garden, round 2. I went out one cool morning after a good rain and pulled weeds for a good hour straight. Which is amazing if you consider my garden is only about a 6' x 6' octagonal raised bed! It took me a few days to recover. I finally went out yesterday to till, uh, loosen with a shovel & rake, the amazingly hard soil that has taken up residence in my "garden". Not only was the soil super hard (partially due to another dry spell) but it seems my neighbors giant tree thinks my garden is a good place to spread some roots. So, I spent another good hour pounding my shovel into the dirt, throwing out clumps of roots and trying not to loose my motivation to garden. I eventually loosened up 2 spots and planted some yellow squash & zucchini. I should probably go out and water it...

The main reason I want a garden is so I can grow some of my own veggies, yellow squash & zucchini in particular. I'm sure this is an exaggeration, but it seemed growing up that we had sauteed squash from the garden every night with dinner. It seems to be one dish I shall never tire of. It also happens to be one favorite ingredient that isn't available from Shelf Reliance. I'm not sure what I would think of freeze-dried squash... anyway, that's not my point.

My point is, if you have the means and space and ability, you should try out a small garden. It's a great way to take control of what you eat and become a little more self-reliant! 

My little city garden was pretty fruitful a few years back, when I actually tended to it. My neighbor gets an enormous amount of stuff from his square-foot gardens. I've seen some amazing container gardens even! 
Excellent examples of a square foot & container garden.

And if you're going to do, do it right. Don't do like me and waste your time pretending to do a garden only to have to spend 10-times more time as you would have had you maintained your garden in the first place. 

Had I maintained my garden, the weeds would never have taken over, the soil wouldn't have compacted so much, and the veggy drawer wouldn't be so full of store bought produce. Well, lesson learned... I'm off to water my "garden"...

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