In Which We Meet a Worm and Tour My Garden

I get really nervous in front of a video camera. (This is something I’m really trying to get over so I can make a promotional video about my new book – pray for me?! Thanks) Apparently I’m ok behind the camera, ’cause I had fun making this video for you all.

I have a tendency to misspeak though – nerves, still! So, here’s my corrections as well as a few more things I’d have said if I’d thought of it at the time…

– I totally blanked out on how much garlic I planted. The “1000 heads” was no doubt a flashback from the homestead years, when I grew garlic as a business. This bed has about 120 plants in it.

– When I say I killed off a section of sod with a piece of linoleum, I should have added that I MOVED the linoleum in order to plant. πŸ™‚

– Although it’s a bit unsightly, I like putting my compost bin right in my garden so any goodness that leaches or spills or splatters out goes right into the soil. I will turn this every few months, hauling it in the wheel barrow to another cage, but always within the garden. If I keep the kitchen scraps well-layered with leaves, weeds, and grass clippings, the smell is not overwhelming, as well as helping it to break down faster. I’m top dressing all my beds this year with compost less than a year old – it’s all rotted down and rich and black.

– I should mention, this method of no-tilling does not make for very loose soil. You would not be able to sow seeds in it, but it works well for transplants. When I want to direct seed, I scatter the seeds on top and then sprinkle them with a layer of finished compost to ‘bury’ them for germination.

– I will have to break the soil up a bit to plant my garlic in the fall, but it will be easier without all the sod. I dug the existing garlic bed by hand last fall – took quite a few hours and I wore out a shovel. I plan to expand my garden one carpet scrap-length at a time after that experience. πŸ™‚

I’ll let you know how the potatoes do – this is how we did it on the homestead with great results, but I haven’t planted potatoes in years.

Please observe a moment of silence with me today for that gorgeous squash plant…it fell prey to the weedwacker and my faithful husband, who thought he was ridding my garden of a vicious weed…

What’s coming up in your garden this week? What’s your favorite crop? I love broccoli! Oh, and garlic (can’tcha tell?)

13 responses to “In Which We Meet a Worm and Tour My Garden”

  1. Trina Avatar

    Oh, and I'll do more posts on gardening as things grow and I find things to vlog about. πŸ™‚

  2. Trina Avatar

    @Anonymous commenter who wants more garden tips πŸ™‚
    I'm by no means an expert, but I am certainly willing to share what has worked for me. (You can also get some great inspiration and practical advice on Kateri's blog – she commented further up in this thread).
    For mulch you want to use anything that won't re-seed – so, straw is good, but not usually hay unless it is well rotted – you will seed your whole garden like a hay field! (voice of experience!) You can use leaves, grass clippings, straw, compost.
    I think the most important thing, and something I'm trying to keep in mind is, start small and only enlarge your garden if you've been able to manage what you have. Although I've had huge gardens in the past, it was when I was in my teens and that's all I did all day in the summer. If you have a job or kids you have to garden in little moments here and there. That's why my garden is so small this year. πŸ™‚

  3. Trina Avatar

    Kateri, it must have been from you, then, that I learned to grow potatoes like that. No one else has heard of my easy, weed-free, nearly effortless potato technique. I can hardly wait till harvest.

  4. Trina Avatar

    Maria, on the homestead I grew garlic for sale, thus the 1000 heads. It's such an easy, fun crop that I would love to work myself up to growing it as a cash crop again. For now, I want to grow enough to get us through the winter, and enough to share with friends. It's so much fun to give away a braid of garlic. I've got the first goal down – I haven't bought garlic since last year's harvest and we're still eating it. I think I will make it to this year's harvest without buying any!

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    You seem to have homesteaded and grew *gasp* garlic at a young age. For someone like me who needs real, practical advice on gardening, a few dos and don't on what to do, pest control, what kind of mulch keeps weeds down, composting and so on would be very helpful. Please consider a few blog posts.

  6. Maria Avatar

    It was fun to hear your voice and meet your children, Trina. The garden is beautiful. I will try to remember the carpet trick for when we move to our next house.

    What will you do with All That Garlic?!

  7. wesleysrachel Avatar

    What a fun video! Your garden looks awesome, Trina! πŸ™‚

    Right now, mine is struggling valiantly away in the Texas heat and wind. I have to water every day, but so far I haven't lost anything yet. I'm harvesting zucchini, a little bit of yellow crookneck squash, some jalapeΓ±os and a bunch of cherry and grape tomatoes. My tomato plants are COVERED (except for the Brandywine…it's only managed to produce ONE [large, I'll grant you] tomato and it fell prey to a hornworm today :P) so I anticipate a good harvest then they ripen. I have little corn cobs popping up on my stalks, one little watermelon and the beginnings of some cantaloupe! Gardening is SO much fun! πŸ™‚

    I think I'm definitely going to try your carpet/linoleum method for parts of my fall garden…weeding is really not what I want to spend my time on. πŸ˜› I do mulch, so the weeds are minimal, but they're still there.

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    The squash plant is worthy of a poem. Moment of silence was observed.

  9. Kateri Avatar

    Oh, and gotta love husbands! Mine is now well trained not to touch anything anywhere on our property until I have carefully inspected and marked everything I want to save!

  10. Kateri Avatar

    That was a fun little video!

    The “carpet trick” is definitely the easy way to garden. That is how I slowly built my completely weed free garden in Ann Arbor. I'm doing it the hard way this year. Plowing up a large patch of soil then tilling it up by hand (with a potato hook) to plant. The other day I was “complaining” to my husband about how much work the garden is this year. He just kind of looked at me. πŸ™‚ I could rototill, but I hate doing that. I'd rather mulch and plant, but since I am in a big hurry this year, I chose the next best option–sweat and the potato hook. Now I am noticing millions of tiny weed seedlings in my beds. Gotta get out and mulch!

    And speaking of potatoes, that is how we always planted potatoes on the homestead. They always did really well and are so easy to harvest–you don't have to dig–just rake back the mulch! I planted potatoes for the first time this year since leaving the homestead. Since I didn't have enough mulch, I covered them slighly with soil (much less than the recommended amount), then covered them what mulch I had, so far they look very healthy and I think I'm going to pull a plant or two next week.

  11. Trina Avatar

    Erin, it sounds like your relaxed approach is going to insure you maximum enjoyment for minimum stress! And your husband is very encouraging!

    Yes, Kristina – I love the carpet trick – learned it from my mom. It's totally ok to take a year off – this is my first real garden since being married, to tell the truth! πŸ™‚

  12. Erin Avatar

    Great job on the video, Trina. I think your garden is fabulous!

    This summer is my first venture into “real” gardening. (I've done some potted plants before.) I am using the lasagna gardening method, which is kind of similar to what you're doing – – no tilling/weeding required, simply lay down layers and layers of various mulches and composts atop a bottom layer of wet newspapers (to kill the grass). I have a few tomato plants in, but the rest I am starting from seed. Note: the keyword here is “starting”. I am WAY behind, and just getting my seeds in. My husband assures me that even if I have no harvest this year, at least I'll have learned something. (And will have a garden bed established for next year!)

    Oh, things I'm growing… aforementioned tomatoes, sugar snaps, green onions, kale, radishes, melons, carrots & squash (isn't Long Island Cheese the most fun name for a squash?!).

  13. Kristina Avatar

    Wow, those are some good tips for a garden. I had never even thought of just using an old rug or somthing to kill the grass. Waht a GREAT idea. I think that I will use this ides next year. I didn't get to have a garden this year. We are trying to get our yard landscaped so there is no place for a garden this year. Oh well. I am hopping to try again next year and try out these tips. Thank you.:)

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