Homebodies - A garden adventure


Rita Friesen 
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This year my garden consisted of a raised bed, approximately three feet by ten, two mineral tubs and the converted flower bed in front of my home. It has been interesting.

The soil for the raised bed required amendments and I fear that in my ill thought out zeal, I may have mixed some lawn weed control supplements to the mix. Anything I planted, like seeds, did not sprout. I tried two seedings of peas, one I had pre-soaked and they were nicely quelled when I gently placed them in the soil, not one germinated. Neither did the two plantings of radishes, or kohlrabi, or carrots. Not one grew to maturity, though it looked like a carrot and a radish had a desire to grow. I tried three sets of tomato plants and three of the last four plants grew, slowly. What did do well were the plants I had started indoors.

I have never started any seeds inside. It was an adventure. I began early, perhaps a little too early. Milk cartons cut in half, filled with purchased soil, became my spring projects. Cucumbers, spaghetti squash, watermelon, cantaloupe and ground cherries all sprouted and grew. The squash and melons were planted in the front flower bed, the ground cherries in the tubs and the cucumbers flourished in the raised bed. The plan had been for them to be relegated to a portion of the bed, but when little else grew, I granted them full access to their half. I slipped a couple of green pepper plants in there as well.

So what did I harvest? The tomatoes matured so late in the season, those that escaped the blight, that I gave green ones away. Never even had one tomato sandwich. The green peppers, I enjoyed and shared with family and friends. The ground cherries were enough that every day I could pick and pop enough to satisfy. The cucumbers excelled. My foe here was Miss Daisy. Once she realized her favourite vegetable was simply a hop away, I would catch her gleaning any tiny cucumber that was outside the raised box, and then blithely jumping up to get the big ones. Of these vegetables, I had enough to share.

As I have been cleaning up the foliage and hauling away apples (thank you Town of Neepawa for the compost yard!), I reflected on the future of my gardening. Thank goodness I am farm raised and a firm believer in next year! I will watch the soil I add, hoping that soon there will be a usable product from my well tended compost bin. I don’t want to have to process garden products, so I want enough for me and a little bit to share. I have worked the area where the hedge once stood, knowing that the raised bed needs watering much more regularly than I anticipated. I like the vines out front and close to the house and they will stay there. I think I want a few flowers and some potatoes. Ah, next year….