The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

How has your garden grown?

June 15, 2010 - 10:00 AM

This is our fourth year attempting to grow our own veggies/fruit in a rented 10'x50' plot at the city owned community garden on the southeast side of town.  We are excited about this new season with its promise of fresh produce & old/new friendships!


Things this year are off to a much better start than the last 2 years in particular (flood one year then having a broken foot the next will do that).  The constant rain with the hot & humid temperatures have been causing everything to multiply in size, plants and weeds. 

Controlling the weeds has always been the biggest battle with a garden this size, located miles from my home.  This year I am trying something new with my weed control (in about half the garden).  Rather than chemicals, landscaping fabric or plastic tarps, I got a butcher-esque paper in rolls.  (It is similar to using newspapers, only on large rolls.)  I weeded my beds and did all my soil prep, laid the paper and staked it, then put straw on top to help hold it down.  So far it has proven a great deterrent from weeds with wind being its only enemy.  I can also tell it will definitely decompose before a year is up, hooray!



Once again, I am amazed (and thankful) at how easy the broccoli grows at these lots.  This year we did absolutely nothing to the plants (no maggot mats, no anything) and they have turned out beautifully!

silly max

pea pickers

Our sugar snap peas are a kid favorite to pick and to eat!

corn a week ago

(This is from a week ago.)

knee high


Our sweet corn... wow. Having tried the last 2 years and failed miserably at corn, I am super stoked at how they are coming along.  I accidentally used last year's seeds and was pretty skeptical at first.  However, unlike previous years, I planted 5 longer rows with decent spacing between seeds, used straw as mulch and have been much better about weeding.  I love, love, love the fact that they are knee high and it isn't even the fourth of July!


We are also attempting watermelon.  (Here you can see the paper I used and how it works even over the mounds.)  We have never had watermelon grow successfully at the garden but this year we heard to better our odds: water them a lot, choose a small sized melon with a short number of days to maturity, and water them a lot more.  I did not add straw to the melon patch because watermelons love nitrogen rich soil and straw takes nitrogen out of soil.  Even over the paper, I didn't want to take the risk since these suckers have proven hard for me to grow.  The true measure of success will be in a few weeks to see if the plants get any bigger than this.

splash pad

One of the neatest additions to the garden park has been the addition of a splash pad.  The southeast side sometimes gets a bad rep in the press so it is exciting to see the city make a wonderful and free-to-use addition to this neighborhood park. 

For the produce, the relationships, the hard work, the time spent outside, the lessons learned from God, I am incredibly thankful once again for our off-site, rented garden plot!

So tell me, how has your garden grown?

Response to How has your garden grown?

  • Nancy H. said on June 15, 2010 - 3:34 PM

    Dana, the pics of your produce in August two years ago totally inspired me to **finally** do a garden for real. Last year, I think our best crops were green peppers and gourds, but I think our summer squash might be the winner this year! The rabbits and I are having a contest with cucumber seedlings...we're on our 3rd replant (4th attempt at growing cukes this year!) so we'll see if my 2-liter plastic bottles will repel the bunnies this time! Our green peppers just aren't doing well...and my mom who lives 45 minutes away said hers aren't thriving either...still the same 7 inches tall as when I planted them a month ago. Any ideas, people-of-gardenland? I might just stick some new ones in and have them be super late. Our long-term additions are asparagus and raspberries this summer so we'll let you know in two years ;) Thanks again for all your inspiration, Dana! It looks like you're off to an amazing start!

  • Dana said on June 15, 2010 - 5:31 PM

    Hooray, Nancy! Good job! Grrrrr bunnies though! (I should say) As they get bigger you could put a dense chicken wire circle around the cucumber plants? Something like 1/2" -3/4" openings. As far as peppers, when did you plant them? We had a wicked frost here mid/late May and frost will definitely stunt the growth of pepper plants because they LOVE hot weather. That would be my first guess. The other thing too, is it hasn't been too hot recently here and pepper plants really thrive in the hot temperatures. Hopefully the rains will stop for a while and give some real hot-n-nasty days and the pepper plants will perk right up! Otherwise, you could also try some natural fertilizers like liquid fish emulsion (basically liquefied fish guts) or something that naturally has things like phosphorous and potassium in it (not quite sure what that would be), but not nitrogen. Unlike tomatoes and watermelons, peppers aren't big nitrogen fans. BUT! You must post pictures! I wanna see what it looks like! :)! Love you, Nanc!!

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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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