We’ve grown things for a long time, but last year we went all in. We’re getting set up to do gardening on a serious basis, but we are still pretty new at it. Our neighbor, Floyd Goudreau, shares his land for part of the garden in the new location and shares much of the work with us. We removed the fence between us to facilitate this (and give the dogs more room to run) When I say “us” it includes both him and Saundra.

There are lots of articles, books, magazines and columns from experts on how to do things and we have a substantial library and learn from them as best as we can, but sometimes these expert posts can be like trying to drink from a fire hose. But I’ve also been a professional writer for many years with 40 books in print and maybe it would be useful to capture my thoughts from a beginners basis as we learn what we are doing.

What do I mean by “all in?” Let me give an overview of where we are now: We tried bale gardening for the first time this past year with good success. We got a ton of tomatoes and okra, green beans, squash and black eyed peas. Lost the squash crop mid-summer to squash bugs so that was a learning experience. We built a 16 x 24 greenhouse and already had a 6 x 10 aquaponics greenhouse growing in clay media in two ten foot beds down each side. Got some good production and a couple of foot long catfish. Right now it is running as hydroponic instead of aquaponic (the difference is the fish). We rounded it out with a waist-high asparagus bed where we planted two year old crowns in and the bed is full of ferns growing like crazy. We should be able to have a harvest there next year.

It’s not all vegetables we plant, however, we have a big rose garden in the front and grow a variety of flowers in pots which line the front yard. We have a bed of succulents in one very hot area and on the back deck. We will be closing down the bale garden soon and I’ll talk about that. Also beginning to bring the pot plants into the greenhouse for the winter. When we moved out here there was virtually no lawn and we have had a battle trying to get something established so I have thoughts on that as well.

Like I said, I detail all of this is just to give you an idea of what we are working with. We’re laying out another small garden and will be planting directly in the soil just so we can have all of these different growing mediums going. I figure that will allow us to experiment and compare and to better learn what we are doing.

As you have probably surmised it is nearing the end of the growing season as I start capturing these thoughts. My plan is to talk about each part of what I have laid out above in separate installments and will perhaps get some advice as I do. Hopefully it might also be some help to others who are just starting to get serious and where reading some of these ‘expert’ articles is a little much all at once. I don’t believe in “reinventing the wheel,” so before I start on a project I like to watch some good internet sites on the subject to pick up tips and get me in the mood for tackling the project and I include some of these sites on every topic.

How about it? Does this concept interest you? If it does watch for further blogs and do share your knowledge with us as well.


Basic H to keep bugs off plants