Happy Garden!

We started a garden a few weeks ago and it is growing like crazy (along with the weeds... *sigh*). Ignore the half-weeded state it's in; I got bored/tired and decided to take pictures instead of weeding the rest. Don't worry, I went back and finished it... the next day.

Here it is so far: two rows of corn (half a row each of sweet white and sweet red), peas and zucchini squash (the onions didn't make it), a row of all different kinds of peppers (three NM green chili, three sweet peppers and three jalapeno seedlings survived -- they were burned by the fertilizer because they were so delicate), a row of herbs (basil and chives survived, oregano didn't even come up) and a row of Australian grey pumpkins, prize-winning giant pumpkins and watermelons.

At the end you can see the Topsy Turvy strawberry planter that A) fell over when we first hung it, B) is made of cheap plastic, and C) strawberry plants don't like. Some of them have decided to grow, but it's way past berry season now. :(

We planted wild flowers all around the garden on the raised dirt we had to remove before we planted. Apparently if you have a dog that has pooped in the area, you're not supposed to plant food gardens in the same soil for at least two years because the bacteria in dog poo can live and cultivate inside the vegetables. Who knew? So we dug up all the topsoil, mounded it outside, and replaced it with a mixture of gardening soil and cow poop.

Here are the tomatoes in our homemade upside down planters. They're much cheaper and much sturdier than the flimsy ones you get on TV (or from the 'As Seen on TV' aisle in some stores). Dirt, root balls and flourishing tomato plants are extremely heavy; add water to that and a Topsy Turvy is likely to collapse. The one we put up for the strawberries was so heavy we had to zip tie the metal hanger pole to the fence post at the other end of the garden. Also, there's not much room for roots to spread out in those commercial ones, so most plants aren't going to be happy in them.

Easy way to make a tomato hanger: a 2x4, four plant hangers, four cheap plastic buckets (that haven't been used for anything else) and coffee filters. Cut a two-inch hole in the bottom of the bucket, line it with a coffee filter (to keep the dirt and root ball from coming out). Cut a slit in the coffee filter large enough to gently pass your tomato seeding through, fill the bucket with a good gardening soil and cow poop mixture, fertilize and water.

These guys were just tiny seedlings when we bought them; this is two weeks of growth, and some already have blooms on them! We've got an heirloom beefsteak, an heirloom German Queen, an heirloom Mr. Stripey, and an Early Girl variety that is very far behind the German Queen in production so far.

Underneath the tomatoes is the rest of the herb garden (I planted these in pots because I want to be able to take them with us whenever we move). I've got stevia and lavender in one pot, basil, rosemary and oregano in another, then mint, catnip, bee balm, and citronella in separate pots. They're all growing so fast, I may need to get really large pots for each of them.

Here are the garbage bin potatoes. I started the sweet potatoes in here to get them happy and leafy, I'm going to transplant them this weekend to the other end of the garden where they can vine out and start producing. Then we'll plant red potatoes to see if they'll come up this late in the season.

And last, but not least, is the mulberry tree, heavy with fruit. I can't take credit for growing this beauty; from the size of it, it's about 60 years old and there are no other mulberry trees nearby that I've seen. I'm just lucky it's there! Last year it got hit by the late frost and didn't have much of a crop, but this year it's been fruiting constantly since late April. I've already made one batch of mulberry muffins, but I'm going to make another batch and alter the recipe a bit to make them less dense.

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  1. Hi! Just had to leave you a note to say that your pendants are amazing! I love the intricate detail and rich colors. Wonderful work. :)

    I'm also loving your reversible purses--such a great idea.

  2. A great garden! I was born and raised in Montgomery County, North Carolina! Beautiful place. Now on a Camp Hosting journey with my husband. Come visit when you have a few minutes. I have two blogs: Levonne's Pretty Pics and A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings. Thanks.

  3. Your garden is going to be incredible! Thanks for the ins on making your own tomato planter. My boyfriend has been wanting to make one for a month now. I can't wait to see what grows for you!

  4. i love your instructions for the upside down planter thingy lol, I do not have the green thumb but I'd like too.
    new follower ;)