mary mary quite contrary

Let’s jump right in.

It was our first time for growing sunflowers… success and super fun to watch them open and follow the sun during the day.  We’ll do this again next year and maybe try to make a fort out of it.  The beans and peas never got planted.  I think a fort is in order for those next year, as well.  Maybe a la SouleMamma’s metal arbor?  I planted green peppers… again.  I do this every year and every year they laugh at me.  From now on, no more green peppers.  Just get those at the farmer’s market, Kate. #remindme

I bought some extra blueberry  and raspberry bushes on clearance and tried to plant those last night.  Better judgement would have reminded me that I had 3 children, no husband, a serious head cold, and ground as solid as cement, but we went for it.  Every one came in soaked, as you can imagine.  We’re soaking the ground to let me dig a few more inches tomorrow.  OR, we’ll wait until Dad and his muscles are able to get home before dusk.

The blueberry bushes are forcing the June-bearing strawberries to be relocated.  There was no jam this year, so we will be forced to eek out what we can from last year’s bounty.  We surely won’t make it through the year, but we’ll have a fighting start.  I haven’t bought store jam in 3 years, and I don’t think we could go back!  I need to brush up on transplanting.  Moving the strawberries and adding the blueberry bushes will create a hedge of blackberries, then blueberries, then yellow raspberries along the West garden fence.  I need to draw you a map.

(That’s Ry watering, Gus waving, and the bull out back… watching.  He stood there for a good 30 minutes taking in all in.  We’re a show, People.  We are our own show.)

The strawberries will be relocated into a permanent, more protected area within a fenced garden (hence the poles and holes everywhere).  A fence will let the chickens roam without eating all my squash and tomatoes and it’ll keep the bunnies at bay. #fingerscrossed

I planted blackberries and red raspberries last year.  We lost all the raspberry bushes (I believe they met their fate with a weed whipper, but that has been denied) but the black berries have flourished.  They were so. good.  And HUGE!  And, overnight, they’re done.  I’m learning as I go.  Tomorrow, I’ll cut all the canes down that gave us berries this year to let the new canes grow.

The corn died a terrible death… not sure what happened, exactly, but we planted 10 rows and had 4 stalks grow.  SO, that half of the garden was tilled under earlier this summer.  It’s now a dust patch for the chickens, who applauded the change.

I planted 2 butternut squash plants and they are taking over the garden.  We should be set for years.   The onions are in there under the squash vines and are doing just fine.  I need to brush up on winter storage methods.

The tomatoes- all 16 pants, some cherry, some roma, some heritage- are enormous.  I fought the tomato worms this year and won, and now the plants are so big they are snapping their stakes in half.  I should have pruned a bit harder at the start, but, well, I didn’t.  So there.  The fruit will be medium-sized instead of gi-normous, and that’s just fine.  I did plant basil plants in-between each tomato plant because I’d heard it helps ward off the caterpillars, but it was a no-go for me.  The basil is doing just fine, though, so I see some frozen pesto in our future.

2012 expected harvest: tomatoes, sunflowers, butternut squash, 3 different onions I can’t remember now, blackberries, sweet basil, and a handful of strawberries we ate before they made it inside.

More photos HERE!

How does your garden grow?

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

8 responses to “mary mary quite contrary

  • Jim B

    Yours is doing much better then ours, course if we didn’t go to the lake so often and watered bettered maybe.
    Kids in gardens are good. 🙂

  • Amy B.

    Love garden talk. We’ll be doing good if we get our beds made this year. We tore down the old garden plot (too shady now) last fall, relocated a shed this spring in order to optimize the few sunny spots in our yard, and plan to put in a scattering of raised beds. Someday.

    My dad’s corn in Tejas did very little this year too. So sad. Nothing like sweet corn in the summer, slathered with butter.

  • Linda

    Love longhorns! The blackberries look so delicious! I also got my mom a bunch of berry plants on clearance this year for $1-$2 a piece–what a steal! Now she’s struggling to figure out where to plant them all too. She’s also having to relocate half her strawberry patch as she’s in a losing battle against invasive Star of Bethlehem bulbs.

  • hopefulleigh

    Sounds good to me! I can’t have a garden where I live (sadness) but I’ve more than enjoyed the bounty from my CSA. Picking up my next share this Saturday, in fact.

  • Kim Aguilar

    If you ever hear of a cure for black thumbs, let me know. But I’d also need a cure for lack of motivation in order to have an actual garden.

  • stephanie

    our tomatoes grew and started producing…but then were attacked by red spider and birds, which I tried to be clever in stopping both…and lost. i actually just bought the additional ingredients i need to make pesto because my basil BUSHES are out of control! anaheim peppers, bell peppers, and pepperoncini were all successfull. i dream of planting berry bushes, but I think Texas is too harsh. we do have blackberries that grow wild in this one random area in our front yard…but they are mostly just snacks for the birds. this was my meager attempt…and then we just mostly reaped the benefits of my dad’s never fail, over-producing, delicious garden. 🙂 when lauren and i were little, dad would send us with a wagon full of veggies up and down our street giving them away to neighbors. those were the days. 🙂

  • Margie

    Bravo to you! All we have is an herb garden, which was planted and watered entirely by the hubby. I don’t know how you do it – growing food and growing kids – but it’s marvelous. I wish I lived closer to share your butternut squash. It’s one of my favorites. Sarah would eat every blackberry you ever grew.

  • Ellen

    Not at all the point of your post – but I think that last picture is BEAUTIFUL of Rylie. I feel like I can peer right into her heart through her eyes in that picture. It could be because I’m pregnant and hormonal….but I’m going to go with that you just captured your girl in a precious way there!

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