Did anyone plant a garden this year? Hubs and I both have parents that have always delighted in growing veggies each summer and they loved sharing the fruit of their labors with friends and family. We, however, have never really been able to grow much of anything. Truth be told, we probably just never really gave the garden our full attention as it requires. However, this year was our first year with an “empty nest” and thus the garden became a very welcome focus.
We took the simple route and created some raised bed gardens around our house which had little or no landscaping. We’ve enjoyed seeing the foliage develop although we probably got a little carried away with some of it. I think next year will spread out our plants a little more.
But the most fun thing that we did was creating a straw bale garden. Yes, straw! A friend told us that we could line up straw bales (not hay but straw) side by side and put a metal cattle panel in between them as a trellis. The straw holds the trellis in place without an additional support. We watered the straw for 1 week and fertilized twice during that time. Then we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, sweet peppers and marigolds in the straw. No dirt. We just pushed the little baby plants right down into the straw. Then we just watered the straw when we watered the rest of our gardens. Yes, the garden grew and we had some nice produce grown in STRAW! :-) Who knew….
The sweet thing about this style of garden is that it can be done anywhere that you have sunshine and a little space. The soil can be poor or rocky and it doesn’t matter because your plants never contact the soil. You can even do this on a driveway or concrete if you have space. If you don’t like your location, you can place it somewhere else next year.
We’ve had our straw bale garden now for about three months. We have found that the tomatoes did not do well. Neither did the sweet peppers or the marigolds. The cucumbers went CRAZY! Thus I’ve been making a lot of pickles this summer. :-) The sweet potatoes and the pumpkins have not harvested yet but they are growing nicely and I’m expecting good results. The straw is starting to disintegrate now and by winter, it’ll probably just be a nice organic heap for the compost pile. Hubs is already talking about doing several more next year. It’s such a novelty and makes interesting conversation among other gardeners.
We’ve enjoyed our raised bed gardens and our straw bale garden so much this year. It’s been fun to experience the principle of sowing and reaping that God established in our world. I’ve often thought of the scripture that says: To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
There’s a lot to be learned from the garden if a person will just listen.
I took a LOT of pictures during the growing and the harvesting. I won’t bore you with all of them but I’m going to post some of my favorites below. Some of them may or may not have grandchildren pictured also.
By the way, did you notice the cute “Garden Blessings” burlap bag? This is a product we sell in the JubileeFabric.com store. With any purchase of $15 or more from Jubilee Fabric, you can get a free Garden Blessings bag using this coupon code: blessings. Offer ends Sept 30.
First the Straw Garden:
The Raised Bed Gardens: