We got a late start to the garden this year because of Old Man Winter sticking around so long. Well, he’s gone now and we are working sun-up to sun-down to try and catch up.
Given the size of my husband’s vegetable garden, there are a few essentials that we have gathered over the years to help maintain an organized crop with the added bonus of a stunning visual display.
He uses wood frames (top) and metal gazebo corner pieces (bottom) to grow climbing beans, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.
This was taken about four years ago, the grandchildren are a lot bigger now. Kevin is the youngest and probably enjoys helping granddad the most. We bought him his own gardening tools, which he took home last week because he is having his own veggie patch at this own house, thank you very much!
Water is probably the most important component in any type of garden. We like to use rain water when possible, so we have rain barrels on the four corners of the house. Tap water is only used during dry spells. In a perfect world it would rain every night!
Another important tool of the trade used in this garden is any kind of material used to keep the weeds down. We use landscape fabric, mulch and straw to keep those weeds down and also to retain moisture. Sometimes though you have no choice but to manually hoe them out
Using a rototiller to till the soil before you start planting is frowned upon nowadays because it disturbs the almighty earthworm and all the other living micro-organisms , so we only use it on the absolute worst spots. Who knows in a couple of years when the soil has been amended with enough compostable material to keep those worms happy we will be able to do away with it all together and just use the garden fork and spade.
This is our compost pile. Its 7 years old and every year we have a disagreement on who gets to use the “black gold” that is at the bottom. I say it should go to the one who turns it the most and that would be me.
Last year we started using metal stakes for the tomatoes because someone told Pat it was beneficial. So I googled it (let’s face it we’re all googling everything) and what do you know that little old Italian man was dead right. He’d been doing it his whole life, it was probably passed down to him as an old wives tale.
If you only take one thing from this post, take the metal stake one.