Garden looking good so far

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It’s June now, and for the second year in a row, my garden didn’t flood.

I was able to get some pea seeds in the ground early and now have six rows of young plants that I have to weed and water. A few days before our last scheduled frost date, I started putting other crops in the ground.

Late last fall, I told Susie I might just sow grass seed in our 100-foot-by-25-foot garden.

I was getting older and starting to feel it. My asthma, which hadn’t bothered me since I was young, was returning. I am seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist for my back.

Besides a lot of other vegetables, last year we planted, weeded, picked, snapped and canned 75 quarts of green beans. We froze 13 dozen ears of corn, dozens of zucchini, tomatoes, lima beans, peppers and more.

I was finished having a big garden.

Late winter saw stacks of garden catalogs arriving in my mailbox. None of them offered grass seed, so I started filling out my order for seeds again.

Since I apparently have a short term memory problem, not only did I have my garden plowed again, I had it widened 10 feet which increased it from 2,500 square feet to 3,500 square feet.

So much for a bigger yard to mow. Now, each row is 35 feet long.

After I fed sunflowers seed I grew last year to the birds all winter, I still had enough to plant again.

I have two long rows already up about six inches.

In my three smaller gardens, I also put some more out for bird feed this fall.

I have eight pepper plants (started from seed) in the big garden, six more in one of my raised beds, and about 25 in the cement border blocks we have in front of the house.

My two rows of lima beans are starting to fill in and they are looking good so far.

The eight hills of zucchini should keep the neighbors happy.

We were in Michigan on a metal detector hunt last weekend. When we arrived home, my long-awaited package of plants I had ordered were on our porch.

I always find weird stuff in the catalogs and I like trying unusual items.

One of Susie’s small lilac bushes ied last year, so when I opened the package, the first thing out was two pink pussy willow plants about three feet tall. We immediately planted them to replace the lilac.

Another new choice was a white strawberry, which is supposed to taste like pineapple. I only bought six of those, but if they grow well, they should expand next year.

We have a large maple tree in our front yard, which I have surrounded with large rocks. I filled in some of the spaces between the rocks and planted the creeping red sedum in a dozen spots. Hopefully these will spread and make a nice ground cover between the rocks.

Another item in the bag was a clump of lavender plants. These went into a long planter we have on the front porch. If they live, and thrive, we should end up with a sweet smelling entryway to the house.

Two more selections were for inside the house. One was a string of pearls hanging plant. My mom had these when I was young, and the vines drooping over the edge of the planter hung down about three feet long. There was a pea size ball, then, about an inch of vine, continuing on to look like a string of pearls. I hope I don’t kill it.

The other plant was a miniature bonsai plant. I had one years ago and was able to keep growing and trimming it for many years until something killed it. Probably me.

I still have some watermelon seeds to plant, some cucumber seeds (free with my order. I don’t usually plant these.), and a bunch of gourd and pumpkin seeds to go in the ground.

I had to borrow my neighbor’s rototiller to knock the weeds down between the rows. I actually gave it to him last year because I have a seven horse and an eight horse Troy-Bilt tiller. Unfortunately, one is not getting gas and the other not getting spark. My repair man is supposed to be over soon to fix them both.

The three 3-year-old girl next door is anxiously awaiting tomato season. I gave her some last year, and she loves them. She now has a free pass to get any tomato out of our garden whenever she wants.

Rich Creason is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer whose work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications for 40 years. Born in Anderson, he is a graduate of Markleville High School. He lives in South Madison County with his wife, Susie. He may be contacted at [email protected].