The Simple Life - Simple Gardening pt.3
- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those
who don't."~~Frank A. Clark
Simple Gardening pt.3
Do you want to grow flowers, or vegetables? Are there any
predators for your produce? A couple rabbits, deer or raccoons can do
a lot of damage to a garden. That means you also might have to
invest in a fence. Having a dog helps, but the predators come around
at night. We do not have a fence, but I think about it every year.
But we usually don't lose enough to pay for a fence. The worst year
my own chickens got my tomatoes right before I was going to pick
them so that was a learning experience! I have had chickens
before, but they never bothered my garden before that. Fortunately,
I found some bushels of tomatoes that year to can that were not too
expensive, so it worked out okay. But when you put all that time
watering and pulling weeds, only to have your own chickens get your
tomatoes, that is disappointing. I haven't had chickens since!
Fences can be expensive, so that entails deciding how close
to the house your garden will be, as well. I've heard people say
they had a dog chained near a garden, and the deer walked right past
the dog. I've had really bold raccoons that came right up on the
deck, so just having a garden near the house, wouldn't work for me,
if I thought that would eliminate a fence. A small chicken-wire
fence might keep out a rabbit, but a deer would just hop right in, if
he wanted to.
Last year we had a nice large patch of corn about 50 or so
yards from the house, no fence, and only lost a few ears of corn.
Since there was a huge field of corn across the road, the animals
probably were not too interested in our small garden.
Flowers and small tree plants also need to be guarded,
especially before winter. Rabbits and rodents can strip the bark off
a tree during winter, when they are really searching for food, so
some protective measures are needed. I had a small crab-apple tree
that was doing fine, and the third year, the rabbits destroyed it.
Since they hadn't touched it before, I never gave it a thought until
it was too late. Now I wrap or fence all my small trees. Lesson
Not all of my gardening experiences have been bad, though. I
have lost a few, but most of my plants are just as hardy as always.
Luckily rabbits are picky, and only destroy a few things!
You can't go wrong with planting annual flowers from seed. They will
grow well with a little water, and weeding. All you have to do is
remove the sod from the area you want to plant, add compost if
necessary (if its too sandy, etc) and work it up a bit. Plant the
seed, cover it lightly, and keep it moist. Usually within 2 weeks or
so, you will begin to see small plants emerging. Thin if needed, and
water when needed. Unless you have very poor soil, no fertilizing
will be needed.
You can start seeds indoors, 6 to 8 weeks ahead of time. Big
box stores have gotten way too expensive for buying plants for a
typical garden. They are charging nearly $2 for a small seedling
that is only a couple weeks old. You would be better off waiting and
planting your own seeds in the garden! They are charging more per
plant than one whole packet of seeds will cost.
The other alternative is to find a local nursery that sells
garden plants by the flat. Around here they are $8-10 for up to 48
plants! That is usually the way I go. There is a great little
nursery I like and their plants are tall and healthy. They have a
better start than I can give them! I usually buy tomatoes, peppers
and a few other plants this way. I do have time to plant some things
from seed, so corn, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, cukes, beans,
lettuce, peas and onion sets go directly into the ground. (The
shorter season plants.) Since you don't want all your corn to get
ripe at the same time, it is nice to stagger your planting time, say
every 4 days or so, to plant more corn. A small area of corn is best
planted in a block, rather than long rows for better pollination,
since it is wind-pollinated. That way you will have full ears of
"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take
nothing for granted ... Nothing that is done for you is a matter of
course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is
directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action
for the expression of gratitude."~~Albert Schweitzer
"This world is intended as the place in which we shall show that we
know how to grow in the stature of manliness and of
righteousness."~~President Woodrow Wilson
"The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total
responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up."
~~Dr. John C. Maxwell
Simple Crock-pot Chicken In Sour Cream Sauce
1 1/2 t salt, 6 skinless bone in breast halves,1/4 t pepper, 8 oz.
sour cream, 10 3/4 oz. cream of mushroom
soup,1/2 c chicken broth,1 t garlic powder, 1/4 t lemon pepper,1/2 t
paprika,1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms (or (4) 4 oz. cans optional)
Combine salt, pepper, paprika, lemon pepper, garlic powder. Rub
over chicken, place in crockpot and add the mushrooms. Combine soup,
sour cream and broth. Pour over chicken. Cover, cook on low 6-8
hours. Serve over potatoes or rice.
Keeping it Simple,
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