Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Seeds for the future

     After a long winter it is finally time to put some seeds in the ground. I get so excited when it is time to plant the garden. I start imagining fresh tomatoes, young yellow summer squash, and crisp sweet cucumbers as I go to purchase the seeds at the local greenhouse. I usually end up getting a few too many things to fit in my garden plot and have to squeeze some things together to get them all in. I know I will be glad when the produce starts coming in that I made room for those extra seeds.

Mary and Rose help with the planting
     For the last couple years I have been using a plastic tarp on my garden to aide in weed control. My in-laws have been doing this for many years and sold me on the idea when I saw how easy the maintenance was of their garden and the great produce they were getting. Any gardener will tell you that weeds can suck the fun out of the experience in a hurry. With the tarp the only weeding I need to do during the summer is within the rows about twice during the growing year. Another benefit of using the tarp for a number of years is that the weed load in my garden has decreased so there are not as many weeds to start with. I does take a bit more prep to lay down the tarp, place the blocks and boards to keep it from blowing off, and cutting the holes for the rows, but the time saved later in weed control is well worth it. I don't think I have had to use a hoe in my garden for years.
David checks to see if the onions have started growing yet
      My children have grown up having a garden and know that it is a family project. They have learned that plants need the proper amount of water, nutrients, and sun to grow. Growing a garden is also a good lesson in patience.

Simon shows Rose how plant the onions
       One pearl of advice that I found works well for me is mixing the carrot and lettuce seeds together when planting.Carrots are difficult because they grow slowly and are so small. By the time they are big enough to differentiate from the grass in the row a person ends up pulling most of them out because the grass had gotten so thick. By planting them together, the lettuce will space out the carrots and keep some of the weeds our of the carrot row. The lettuce matures and is finished about the time the carrots start to need more room. Another positive is that it saves space in the garden. Try it and see what you think.
Rose tries her hand at planting, and picking some of the onions that others had planted

   It was a fun time putting the garden in and the kids are becoming bigger helpers all the time. It is good to have the seeds in the ground and now what we need is some rain and sunshine. We will keep praying that the Lord will provide us with a productive growing season and a plentiful harvest.
Luke looks cute in the tires meant for the tomatoes. Everyone is enjoying time in the garden

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